The corner of Hesperian and Lewelling boulevards in San Lorenzo will never be the same since Rasputin, the used-records guru, moved to San Lorenzo. With a tall illuminated portrait of the scandalous Russian monk behind turntables with headphones and a giant silver CD above the doorway, it's a cool sighting off the 238 freeway. As a store, it's spacious and has good customer service and loads of low-priced items. There's a diverse youthful vibe to the place with particularly strong rap, rock, and Latin pop sections. And as a cultural institution, Rasputin has truly filled a niche in this part of South Alameda County -- not just widening the selection of music for sale, but actually giving local young people a place where they can go. Hip-hoppers stand outside the store peddling their homespun CDs, and in-store events feature local and touring artists.
Readers' Pick: Amoeba Music