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BEST NEW BACK-TO-THE-FUTURE VINYL RECORD STORE Los Angeles 2009 

Origami

It kind of boggles (and tickles) the mind that in the tech-infected 21st century there would exist this category. Seems like only yesterday the major record labels conspired to destroy the LP in order to profit off of the more lucrati— er, better sounding, compact disc. So, as vinyl enthusiasts, it is with great joy (and irony) that we celebrate the best new vinyl store in L.A., Origami on Sunset, as we dance on the grave of the CD. Yes, there are still more Starbucks outlets in Westwood than there are fresh vinyl record stores in the metropolitan area, but the gems that have sprouted — and remain — are thrilling. Freak Beat in the Valley, Vacation in East Hollywood, Territory BBQ & Records, Fingerprints in Long Beach, the jumbo and all-consuming Amoeba in Hollywood, and Origami in Echo Park are the music lover's equivalent of an antiquarian bookstore. A tiny shop just down the street from the Time Travel Mart, Origami's about the size of Amoeba's entryway, with a selection the size of Amoeba's soundtrack section. But within those racks are rows and rows of new LPs from around the world and across time. Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band's oeuvre sits near German proto-punks Can, alongside new squares from Mika Miko, HEALTH, Silversun Pickups and Rainbow Arabia. A little bookshelf contains the week's flyer population, cellophaned LPs line the walls, each a nice-sized work of art. When it comes to vinyl shops, it turns out, bigger isn't always better. 1816 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. (213) 413-3030, origamimusic.com.

—Randall Roberts

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Best Of Award Graphics 2009

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