Amoeba Music is the largest record store in the country. It’s the size of an entire factory, with two floors full of the most extensive collection of music records in all formats, DVD’s, stickers, and posters. Much like Los Angeles itself, it is an otherworldly melding pot of each and every breed of music fan that exists. There are monstrous sections split up by genre covering everything from jazz to soul to classical to opera to death metal to my personal favorite, film scores, and more. If you’re looking to become a DJ, there’s plenty of turntable options. Upstairs you’ll find a hearty supply of video games and films. Unlike your typical video store, these people are elitists in the best way: they know what things like The Criterion Collection and giallo are, and they give them their own rightful sections.
Amoeba isn’t just about the merchandise, it’s about the culture. With a consistent weekly schedule of guest DJ’s and brief live performances, there are always several reasons to make your way into the music castle. Whether it’s a half hour set from a legendary synth guru like Gary Numan, or an intimate showcase of a gorgeous new songwriters like Zola Jesus, the place is always full of life. The massive staff themselves get to express their individuality through intelligently placed Staff Picks sections, and most prove to have admirable tastes you can count on for a good recommendation. Don’t forget that this is Hollywood: for all you know, you may find yourself casually browsing used VHS titles right next to Quentin Tarantino as I once did.