Rolling Stone recently compiled a list of The Best Record Stores in the USA: The Top 25 Spots for Unique Vinyl and CDS, From San Francisco to Boston, and good old Emerald City is represented not once but three times.
Jive Time Records
Of West Seattle's Easy Street Records, RS says:
When Easy Street opened on California Ave. in West Seattle -- the detached part of town you have to cross a bridge to get to -- the special trip from the city proper was always worth it, thanks to the stores hefty selection and adjacent cafe. Then the second store opened in Lower Queen Anne, near the Space Needle, and there was no further question as to which of Seattle's CD stores was best. Beyond the DVD wall, the impressive array of magazines and books, generous number of box sets, and thorough metal selection, the LQA's secret weapon is a neatly arranged, dauntingly thorough vinyl selection where you're as likely to find cool disco rarities as the new limited-edition Beck 7-inch.Of Ballard's Sonic Boom Records:
Ballard is the Brooklyn of Seattle, so it stands to reason that one of the best record shops in the city has the bigger of its two locations there, just around the corner from the earthy live venue Sunset Tavern. Sonic Boom has enough space to host in-store performances as well as house an impressive array of new titles both indie and major, and while the shop's vibe definitely skews toward the former, there's very little snobbery to be found either there or in the recently relocated Capitol Hill location. A nice, wide selection of vinyl and an impressive shelf of books round things out -- as do homemade mixtapes from K Records' Calvin Johnson.And, being loyal to my neighborhood, what I think is most exciting is the inclusion of Fremont's Jive Time Records. Jive Time is the jam. It's my favorite place to buy vinyl, bar none -- an awesomely eclectic selection and an unquestionably knowledgeable and friendly staff. Here's what RS says about the shop:
Located in Seattle's charming Fremont district, Jive Time is a modest-seeming local store whose holdings belie its size. There are bigger vinyl specialists in town, but few offer the kinds of bargains you'll find here -- the $3 bins (four records for $10) are full of good stuff, and the more collector-oriented sections feature lots of terrific vintage R&B, including an enviable selection of P-Funk titles. (There's also a nice selection of used CDs, but the vinyl is the attraction here.) On good days there are vintage rock magazines (including early issues of Rolling Stone) for sale in the corner, to further enhance the old-school vibe.Those $3 bins have made my day many a time.