I am in the office at 6:52 after an all-nighter, the kind where you're playing catch-up and scrambling to meet a deadline. Embarrassing. And I'm listening to UB-40, so doubly embarrassing. But that's not why I decided to write. I decided to write because I just remembered my first and only visit to Parrotfish Records in St. Thomas, USVI. My mom took me because she knew I was a music geek. The color scheme, the decor, the stuff on display, all Jamaican. Not the proprietor, clearly a mainlander, middle-aged and sour-looking. I didn't know much about reggae or dancehall, so I asked for some dub. For my trouble I got a five minute lecture about how nobody in Jamaica listens to that "drug music" any more. And after lecturing me on "drug music" he tries to sell me some dancehall! The record sleeve was probably covered with five-pointed leaves! The fucking nerve!
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"L.A.: I prefer Aron's to Amoeba in many respects. It's less of a headache to shop at, the people seem to know more, and it's often much cheaper. Also, Sea Level in Echo Park is great. Headline on Melrose is good for obscure punk rock. R.I.P.: No Life."
"Also, Record Surplus on Pico Ave, which is great for cheap LPs (they only carry older stuff it seems) and reasonably priced CDs. Also, their 92 cent CD section can be a goldmine. Since the guys who run it seem to know popular music moreso than underground, you can find some steals in that section. Just picked up a copy of the Low and Dirty Three EP there for a buck."