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Best Record Store: Albums you never knew you wanted 

Down Home Music

By now, independent record stores were supposed to have been trampled to death by the likes of Amazon.com, Borders, and those pesky illegal downloads. Stores like Down Home are why they live on. Down Home has what you can't get online or in a big box store: quirkiness and personality. But it also has an enormous selection of popular and obscure CDs. In the mood for some yodeling? Try Yodelling Mad! The Best of Country Yodeler Vol. 1 or Yodeler's Paradise -- Traditional Country Music Makers Vol. 13. If that's not your style, browse its great collections of blues, jazz, country, old-time, world, and more. Turn to the right after the sales counter and you're greeted by an old Wurlitzer jukebox and a room full of vinyl, new and used. Get Miles Davis' 'Round About Midnight for $6 or the Stones' Let It Bleed for $8. Check the quality of the used albums on a record player before you buy. Stop by on a Saturday afternoon and you may get a free live show. To top it off, Down Home is also the headquarters of Arhoolie Records, one of the great roots labels. This shows why the iTunes Music Store has a ways to go.

Readers' Pick:
Amoeba Music
2455 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, 510-549-1125
AmoebaMusic.com

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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