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Best Next Place to Search for That Elusive Slab of Vinyl 


Yeah, yeah, everyone goes to Amoeba. But where do you look if scouring the former bowling alley doesn't turn up your prize — or if you just don't feel like braving the Upper Haight? Grooves is a great place to continue the hunt. And even if you're not looking for anything in particular, it's a fine place for a music lover to while away an afternoon. The funky shop with the colored discs in the window is a chaotic, dusty treasure trove of vinyl that stocks both the quirkiest stuff (midcentury film soundtracks; Greek folk records) as well as rare, high-priced slabs of funk and soul most prized by collectors. The spectrum of genres is broadly represented, with lots of old-school vocal groups, jazz, rock, classical, and international records. Along with records, the store stocks music books, vintage posters, and used phonograph equipment. (As you'll note from the boxes upon boxes of records and books stacked up a back stairway, they keep a lot of stuff in here.) Hang out for a while and you might even get offered a free beer. And you never know who you'll meet: Kelley Stoltz, San Francisco rock artist signed to Sub Pop records (who also plays drums in Sonny & the Sunsets), works behind the counter. So if you show up, look around, and still don't know what to buy, just ask him.

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