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Best Latin Record Store: For Mexican music, the clear winner 

Acapulco Records

When it comes to Latin retail record stores in the East Bay, there are those that sell specifically Mexican regional music and those that sell everything else. For music from the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean, it's a toss-up between Rasputin and Amoeba in Berkeley. From Cuba to Colombia, boleros to reggaeton, this is where you'll find it. Both stores feature vast selections of music traded in, consigned, or solicited by their respective buyers. Rasputin surprises you with out-of-print vinyl gems. Conversely, Amoeba's Brazilian section is probably better than Rasputin's, although both stores stay up with the current releases and can order anything you seek. But when it comes to the East Bay's most dominant flavors of Latin music -- Mexican banda, conjunto norteño, and the latest Latin pop -- Oakland's Acapulco Records rules. The DJs keep the music pumping from a computerized playlist that bops the latest hits and remixes. And after closing their store in the Bayfair Mall in San Leandro a year ago, the owners opened a satellite shop on Monument Blvd. in Concord across the street from El Rancho Restaurant and nightclub. It's neat and well-stocked, and the genres are well displayed with interesting offerings and decent prices. Some recent highlights have been the three-CD sets of the Musart recordings of Lucha Villa, Olga Guillot, and others for quite a bargain. The rock en español sections have grown, and a new urban regional category featuring banda rappers such as Akwid and Flakiss is taking shape. Around for fifteen years now, Acapulco Records gives the people what they want.

Readers' Pick:
Discolandia Music & Video
3263 International Blvd., Oakland,

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


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