A sanctuary from the worlds bullshit.
A sanctuary from the world's bullshit. Dave Segal

Any record store that's still operating in Seattle in 2019 is a minor miracle. Given the city's exorbitant rents and the general population's propensity to stream music instead of purchasing physical products, music retailers face supremely daunting challenges to keep the lights on. So, deep respect to the shops staying alive, against the odds.

As someone who's been frequenting record shops since the Carter administration, I obviously champion their cause. Sure, shopping for records online can be rewarding and streaming songs can be convenient and weightless/waitless, but the experience of rifling through bins in a brick-and-mortar emporium remains the gold standard of music consumption. Your chance encounters with other patrons, your interactions with clerks (who are not nearly as annoying as pop-culture depictions would lead you to believe; on the contrary, some are downright oracular—and full of kindness, to boot), your ability to check out the condition of the goods with your own damn eyes—all of these factors add up to a real-ass analog experience that's more fun and vital than clicking an icon on a screen in your home. At their best, record shops are sources of aural pleasure that could last a lifetime and sanctuaries from the world's bullshit.

Seattle is blessed with an abundance of good record stores, even at this late date. We may not quite have the bounty of Portland and Los Angeles, but we certainly harbor one of the most robust music-retail environments in America. And that achievement deserves recognition.

With this in mind, it seems beneficial to hold a poll to determine Seattle's favorite record store. Vote below, and then support these hard-working peddlers of sonic sustenance.

CORRECTION: Jigsaw closed in June and moved to Portland.