Best Record/CD Store Orange County 2008 - Fingerprints
Every year, as more and more record stores disappear, the potential selections for this category get slimmer and slimmer. As long as Fingerprints is around, other record stores will still have a tough contender to beat. For 16 years now, Fingerprints has prided itself on the knowledge of its staff (asking applicants to fill out a music survey separates the wheat from the chaff), its unique inventory (which now includes books and magazines, trinkets and tchotchkes, DVDs, memorabilia, clothing, even the occasional vintage record player in addition to CDs and vinyl) and the quality of its free, in-store performances (Frank Black played there pre-Pixies reunion, and the place wasn't even at capacity). Fingerprints makes the most of its limited size, stocking a diverse, select assortment of music, and while you may not be able to obtain a new copy of the second Mudvayne CD, chances are good you might find it in their used bins. The shop is a browser's paradise: You will frequently find three things you didn't even know you needed while you search for that one elusive album you came in for (which, chances are, they'll either have or can order for you). Best of all, Fingerprints is remarkably free of the dreaded independent-music-store snobbery that people make so much of a fuss about.