· By David Millar

Crate Digging in San Fran…and environs. Part One


Exploring a new record store is an unparalleled joy. Few things rival the pleasure of sifting through stacks of vinyl, hunting for those elusive gems you've coveted for ages.

Such was the experience for one lucky member of the OnVinyl team during a fortunate jaunt to San Francisco. The city, brimming with boundless energy and verve, welcomed us with open arms. From its vibrant streets to the outer reaches, San Francisco never fails to captivate.

 Among the culinary delights we sampled were the delectable Mexican flavors at 'Flores' and a satisfying lunch at 'Tartine'. For accommodation, 'Hotel Kabuki' in Japantown came highly recommended, offering a cozy retreat amidst the city's hustle and bustle.

As for whether my purchases were for OnVinyl or personal indulgence, I'll admit, it's a blur. The sheer volume of new artists and releases makes for a sensory overload.

 It's somewhat ironic that we, an online business, champion brick-and-mortar establishments. Yet, there's something invaluable about witnessing the pulse of music scenes beyond New Zealand.

 While there are numerous other stores worth exploring, time and budget constraints inevitably come into play. 'Rasputin', 'Stranded', 'Vinyl Dreams', 'Thrillhouse', to name a few, beckon with their own unique offerings.

 Despite the challenges wrought by Covid, San Francisco's record stores remain resilient, a testament to the enduring allure of analog music in a digital age. With only a twelve-hour flight separating us, the city's vibrant culture beckons, promising endless exploration and discovery

No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a pilgrimage to the iconic 'Amoeba' Store in Lower Haight (and let's be clear, it's Lower Haight, not Haight Ashbury!). With its towering stacks of vinyl, CDs, books, and accessories, 'Amoeba' is a haven for music enthusiasts seeking both the classic and the cutting-edge. While navigating its vast selection may be overwhelming at first, the thrill of discovery quickly takes over.


David Millar


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