Amoeba Music (Haight Ashbury)

Live Music Venue / Record Store
Amoeba Music (Haight Ashbury) Looking for concerts at Amoeba Music in San Francisco? Check out Party Earth for schedules, updates, photos, videos, & more for this famous music venue & store! San Francisco United States 37.769177 -122.452856
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Amoeba Music (Haight Ashbury) - Live Music Venue | Record Store in San Francisco.
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INFO Sprawling across 24,000 square feet in a former bowling alley, Amoeba Music in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco is one of three California locations, joining Berkeley (the original) and Hollywood. Boasting... ... read more

  • Neighborhood:

    Haight Ashbury
  • Address:

    1855 Haight Street
    San Francisco, CA 94117

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Amoeba Music (Haight Ashbury) Information

Sprawling across 24,000 square feet in a former bowling alley, Amoeba Music in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco is one of three California locations, joining Berkeley (the original) and Hollywood.

Boasting more than 100,000 audio cassettes, CDs, and vinyl records, Amoeba SF says it pays “particular attention to the experimental frontiers of rock, hip-hop, electronica and jazz.” Amoeba Music also hosts a slew of free events and live music; in the past, concerts at Amoeba Music have included performances by M.I.A., the Gossip, Sonic Youth, Sharon Jones, the Polyphonic Spree, and the late Elliott Smith.

Music-heads can also quietly rock out to the beat of their own drum at the CD listening stations. Amoeba SF launched the biggest DVD outlet in the Bay Area in 2004, creating a store within a store with more than 30,000 titles, both new and used. In addition to left-of-center and hard-to-find music, Amoeba SF now carries everything from cult classics and Asian cinema to rock films, rare imports, and indie releases.

Amoeba Music (Haight Ashbury) User Reviews

Average rating:
Rasputin picked the wrong street to open up on
Eric S. Aug 29, 2013
In between the street kids loitering outside of Mickey D's and the tourists stepping over pitbulls sits the visual and auditory experience that is Amoeba. Walking in, you're immediately overtaken by the rows of CDs blanketing the racks and the vinyls glittering from the walls. With some good old elbow grease or help from the crew of audiophiles, the album that's been hovering gracefully in your dreams will descend into hands. They have everything from Hank Williams to Elvis Crespo to that one metal band your cousin's friend mentioned that time in the car and everything else in between. Goddamn. And, unbeknownst to you, while you were hunting through records like a soul that has just had it's first taste of music you come across your favorite movie of all time. Why is this in the racks you ask? Well, as you let your ears take over and as your hands rummaged, you drifted into their amazing and large assortment of movies. Classics and new ones alike, what more could you ask for? And then you realize. This is heaven (sans the religion and dying part of course). That, my friends, is Amoeba.
A must-visit
Ricki J. Aug 23, 2013
If you're visiting San Francisco, Ameoba is one of the places that you just have to go to. The store is HUGE. Even someone like me, with an off-the-wall taste in music, can find what they're looking for- and so much more. This place is great for discovering great new music and is always a fun experience. Be sure to stop by and check out their events, too!
The Definition of a Music Store
April M. Apr 2, 2013
A pillar of San Francisco's revolutionary history, Amoeba is like a last survivor of a once-prominent species called "the music store." While the analog, in-the-flesh music shopping experience has nearly gone extinct at the hands of the Internet, Amoeba has lasted. And this store will continue to survive because it is so much more than a shopping trip. The ten minute browse I'd planned the first time I stepped into Amoeba evolved into a two-hour, full-immersion musical adventure. This place is like a fairyland for music lovers, where time seems to stop as you browse a warehouse full of vinyls, posters, cassettes, CD's, and movies, spanning every imaginable genre and generation of sound. A sign on the door reminded me that Radiohead had released a new album, so I adorned a set of headphones and picked a sample song at random. "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" drifted into my ears for the first time, and my faith in new music was restored. I purchased the In Rainbows album on the spot, and thus began a long and fulfilling relationship between Amoeba and me. I've since enjoyed live shows inside their walls, and quietly gawked at a number of celebrity musicians clad in incognito hoodies, bobbing their heads to their own albums at Amoeba's listening station. Amoeba is the definition of a music store.
My first Big Music Store Experience, And My Best
Taylor W. Mar 5, 2013
Living in a small town, for most of my life I have not had access to a large music stores like Amoeba. Starting about 4 years ago I began to take interest in both modern music on vinyl and old vinyl records. Where I lived, it was hard to collect because I had no physical store to shop in. I did most of my buying when I travelled out of town as a result. When i went to San Francisco a couple of summers ago, I knew I absolutely had to go to Amoeba Music. Walking into the store was like culture shock--it is absolutely GIGANTIC! I could never have imagined such a large place being dedicated entirely to selling recorded music. It would probably take hours to walk through the whole store if you wanted to actually look at was available in all of the different sections. The store is really well-organized into the different available recording media (CD, Vinyl, DVD, etc), and then broken down into sections based on genre. All of the sections are quite well labeled and the selection is incredible. I spent a solid hour, possibly longer, looking just at the alternative rock and electronica vinyl sections. I had some really great finds. After looking for years for just one Tegan and Sara vinyl record in a physical store (knowing they existed from seeing them online, but not wanting to risk receiving a damaged record in the mail), I found a box-set of their complete discography, including early home recordings never released on EP or LP CDs. My excitement over that is beyond words. The prices were also really great, bearing in mind that vinyl is not a cheap investment. The prices were very competitive with smaller shops I've been to in Houston and SoCal. Overall, Amoeba is a must-see destination for any music enthusiast, just be careful not bring along more money than you'd like to spend!
The best record store in the Bay Area.
Dan B. Feb 23, 2013
It’s dangerous for a music lover with a credit card to set foot in this store. Amoeba carries the biggest selection of music anywhere in the Bay Area, in both cd and vinyl, in every conceivable genre. One can find near-complete catalogs of most major artists (the Beatles, Miles Davis, Radiohead) in CD, and a large number of used releases, including many that are out of print and hard to find. And the stock is broken down into very specific categories (psychedelic rock, oldies, blues, soul, etc.) to make your search easier. The staff are knowledgeable and helpful, and there are record review books and listening stations to help consumers make informed decisions. Not to mention, Amoeba has rock bottom prices; in the fifteen years I’ve shopped there, I’ve yet to see competitive prices anywhere else in London, Austin, Manhattan, or the upper Midwest. Amoeba also has a big room dedicated to DVDs that run the gamut from comedy to drama to cult films, documentaries, anime, stand-up comedy, and anything else you could imagine. To avoid long lines, don’t shop there on weekends.
The Lost Generation's Best Museum
Stuart B. Feb 13, 2013
If you came of age between 1989 and 2002, you know that a kick-ass music collection is essentially the defining characteristic of a worthwhile person and you also know that cooler than any bar or club was, once upon a time, the local cd shop where hip kids of any age could lose hour upon hour browsing through the bins in search of great deals and obscure bands. For better or worse (and I clearly think for better) Amoeba Music has preserved the pre-downloadable era in all it's glory, from the bohemian staff with their tattoos and dyed hair, to the seemingly bottomless rows and piles of music, movies and pop culture schwag. Imagine the store from "Empire Records" run by the folks from "High Fidelity" and you get a real sense of what I'm talking about- plus if you recognize those references, this really is your place. Even if you don't, if you love music and prefer it in a form you can hold and stack against a wall somewhere, this should be your home away from home in the Bay Area. Pretty much any taste will be met and satisfied- I've bought showtunes, classical music, cult films, pop trash, indie rock and imports with equal success. Their bargain bins are fantastic and always being stocked with the cast offs of other music junkies and they frequently run a "buy three bargain cd's, get a fourth one free" special that allows you to walk out the door with half a dozen or more new finds for only twenty bucks. A fantastic way to start a weekend or kill the Sunday afternoon blues, this place is in the heart of the Haight district, right next to Golden Gate Park, and makes for a great stop between, after or before your other plans for the evening.
Hip at a Cost
Alix H. Feb 11, 2013
I'm a really big record collecting enthusiast, and as a recent transplant from the east bay, I decided to take a short 71 bus ride to check out this location of one of my favorite record stores. When I first walked in, I was a little underwhelmed by the size and collection of the store, especially so when I made my way to the back of the store to look at their collection of punk/hardcore vinyls. I'm more used to the incredibly expansive Berkeley location that has tons of cool finds and cheap 7" that I rarely find elsewhere. I managed to find a couple things that I wanted, even though the price of it made me want to tear up a little bit, but record collecting is an investment right? They have a great selection of rarer records on the wall if you want to fork out the money, as well as some hard to find 7" behind the cash registers. This location also has a copy of every single poster from shows that have happened at local major venues for not that much money, which is a plus for any broke college kid wanting to make the bare walls of their overpriced dorm room equivalent of a living situation that much cooler. If you're still into CDs, then this would definitely be the place for you. Most of the store is made up of CD racks, used and new, so you can probably find whatever hard to find Bright Eyes or Frank Ocean CD you've been looking to jam in your car here, and probably for under 10 dollars. I talked to a staff member, and apparently this previous Christmas season was the first year in their history where vinyl sales outsold CD sales, so my hopes are they scale back the CDs and put it in some more of the records. A girl can dream right? Overall, if you got some extra cash and want to pick up some new cool things to listen to or deck out your pad with and have some serious time to dig through the clearance bins for some gems, this is the place for you. If you want to find some more obscure things at a price that wont make you eat ramen for a week, you might be better off checking out some of the record stores throughout the city.
Is this Heaven?!
Sabrina G. Feb 3, 2013
As a music enthusiast Amoeba music is like my version of Heaven. The first time I stepped in to the Haight Ashbury legendary locale I almost fainted at the incredible expanse of all things music, movies, and memorabilia. My eyes glazed over as I scanned aisle after aisle of alphabetized wonderment and had such a difficult time prying myself away from the used and sale section. Amoeba is a great place to go if you want to burn a few hours delighting your inner fantasy. I like to pretend that I'm a millionaire who can magically afford everything in the store. Yet as much as I would like to purchase each and every CD I could get my hands on I must admit that the prices are very reasonable. The store offers a wide abundance of clearance and used CDs, even on some of the most popular new music, and you can usually walk out of there with a deal. Now that's not to say that you won't blow your entire paycheck on these little gems because I've definitely been there but it is somewhat of a relief to know that you save a buck or two. Overall, I highly recommend Amoeba music to any music enthusiast, expert, or mere dabbler. What a fantastic place to spend a few hours! (Or days really....)
Really fun place!
Jody P. Dec 1, 2012
This was one of my favorite things that I did in San Fran on vacation. I'm a huge sucker for vintage music anything, and Amoeba music has vintage music EVERYTHING. It looks like nothing from the outside but inside is full of treasures. I think I spent several hours just looking through everything. There aren't many places like this in the US anymore and I didn't want to miss a thing. I bought a few books and some vinyls but had to limit myself. They have tons of posters, vinyls, books, tapes, and cds. If you are in SF, even for a short time, it is definitely worth checking out!
Like a hipster candy store!
Nick S. Oct 4, 2012
Amoeba is an SF institution and pretty much everything you could ever want in a music store. Customer service is always amazing, as these kids know more about music than anyone I have ever met. Seriously, walk in and hum a track for two seconds and they will point you to the right rack. A lot of times I will be here and they’ll be bringing a box of stuff to sort from the back, and they're always totally cool with me rummaging through it before they sort it and see if there's anything good in there. Sure, online retailers are great, but the selection in this store is everything you could ever want. I’m a bit of a vinyl nerd, so when I go I always check the recent arrivals in the vinyl section. I remember I came to Amoeba on the release date of a fairly obscure album which only had 300 copies made. I walk to the “Miscellaneous” section, and yep, there's a copy sitting in there. Always be sure to check the stuff at the checkout counter when you walk in, too, or you'll miss some great finds. Ridiculously cheap used CDs and an eye-popping selection. Music DVDs as well, I found what I was looking for sealed here for $12 when it was going used on eBay for more than twice that. Will always have a special place in my heart (and on my music selection) for Amoeba.
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