Best Record/CD Store Orange County 2011 - Bionic Records
Established in 1988, the independent store expanded to three locations throughout the county in its heyday before shifting trends in music buying (and pirating) contracted it back to its original Cypress spot. It relocated this year to a Buena Park storefront a block and a half south from its old space. Under the new ownership of Mike D, the store still leans toward punk, metal (check out the "underground metal" subsection stocked with CDs from bands with such life-affirming names as Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Gorgasm, Napalm Death and Savage Messiah) and alternative, but it also offers a respectable underground hip-hop selection. On the other side, a sitting stool is provided to support methodical crate-diggers who thumb through vinyl records priced between $4 and $22. Used CDs start from just 99 cents, with the metal section kindly decorated with black-marker-drawn pentagrams and upside-down crucifixes. Along the main wall, you'll find nearly 200 black T-shirts boasting your favorite bands: Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, the Doors, Wu-Tang Clan and At the Drive-in. Buttons, patches, stickers, poster racks (remember those?) and other music paraphernalia round out the product line. On the way out, pick up an OC Weekly from the magazine rack, especially if you missed a week or two; Bionic has back issues!