For the most part it appears the CD is dead. Napster was one of the first nails in the CD coffin, iTunes was another and other nails are being hammered in everyday. There is one place, however, that still makes me yearn for that shiny polycarbonate disc. Amoeba Music. This place is a sacred shrine to all that is music. When I enter its doors all I want to do is open my wallet and empty out all my cash in exchange for CDs, CDs and more CDs.
Why do I love Amoeba? 1. It's huge! Remember Sam Goody, Musicland and all those other mall music store also-rans? Well, Amoeba is like 50 of those (don't quote me on that statistic, I was only a civil engineer major for one semester). Consequently, they have a huge selection. If you go to Target they only have a few of the most popular artists and then they have only the newest album from those artists. At Amoeba they basically have the whole discography, plus rarities, imports and B-sides. 2. Unparalleled people watching. In LA there aren't a lot of places where people really mingle with each other--we're either in our cars, homes or at work. At Amoeba you get to see your fellow Angelenos in the flesh. From 20 somethings in suits and ties to 60 something hipsters in skinny jeans (no, those ages are correct). It's a veritable cornucopia of hair colors, piercings and tattoos. 3. It's cool. I can't describe it, at least eloquently, but I know I'm not cool, but when I shop at Amoeba I feel coolness rubbing off on me.
Friday night Allison and I made an Amoeba Pilgrimage (AP). Now I already knew I was susceptible to Amoeba's charms, but apparently Allison takes to its enormous selections of low-priced used CDs like she does to bags of peanut M&Ms. We entered the store and headed to our own favorite genres. A few minutes later we ran into each other, and while I was still getting my bearings, Allison already had 5 or 6 CDs (in those plastic security cases) draped around her arm. It looked like some new take on those 80s era jelly bracelets. By the end of our AP we'd ravaged the store from AC/DC (Allison) to Pavement (Ted) with "several" others in between.