Sure, the Internet has put every type of music at your disposal, but that’s exactly the problem. When you can get all the music you want with a click, it sometimes feels, well, disposable. For music with a sense of permanence, drop by Amoeba Music, the world’s largest independent record store. You could visit with your friends, but it’s also a great destination for a daytime date, the perfect prelude to a romantic evening spent enjoying new tunes together.
In the digital age, this iconic Los Angeles landmark is your temple to the vanishing pleasures of old-fashioned music-buying. The 34,000 square-foot behemoth of a store, capped with a Jetsons-style glass-and-neon tower, is a beacon for true music lovers. Selling new and used titles, you and your date will enjoy a free-for-all that honors the populist bent of modern music by showcasing unsigned artists alongside the biggest names in the game.
A trip to Amoeba Music is far from a simple errand; it’s an experience. The rows upon rows of vinyl, CDs, DVDs, posters and other merch hit you with a wave of nostalgia for something you didn’t know you were missing. Hand-in-hand, you stroll among the stacks, stopping occasionally to rifle through the bins. Don’t limit yourselves to one genre. Start with a trip through the hip-hop and soul section before going on a quixotic quest for obscure 1990s Britpop (you’ll find plenty). Even if you don’t have anything specific in mind, there’s every chance you’ll find something you simply can’t leave the store without buying, like a little-known gem from your college radio days. You can’t wait to share it with your date, and your date has a few discoveries to share with you too.
Time your visit right and you’ll catch an in-house concert or artist event–a pleasant surprise for your sweetheart. But it might be a better idea to plan a private listening party for later over takeout. Sure, you could bond over the latest digital download, but the fact that you discovered this music together in one of LA’s most beloved record shops will make it that much more special.