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Equator Books and Vinyl ~ Venice

11:13 AM PDT on September 13, 2007

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Equator Books and Vinyl ~ 1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291 ~ (310) 399-5510

With the recent strangulations of Sea-Level, Aron's, Rhino, countless Towers, and a slew of small independent wax shops, one would have to be crazy to open a record store these days. Although a few great ones like 33 Third and that spot down on Vermont still dot L.A.'s crate-filling map, only Amoeba seems to truly thrive due to its inclusion of every single album ever made on earth.

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Equator Books' Philip Fracassi has just done the opposite, placing a small record store, Equator Vinyl, in the back of his space that, similar to the books lining his front shelves, stocks a small supply full of simply great taste.

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Those who know Equator Books recognize its tight collection of tomes that illustrate art, subversion, first edition or out-of-print classics of fiery style and substance, plus plain and simple great reads on subjects like fringe, outlaw, and true counter-culture.

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Equator Vinyl, hiding in the corner of this rotating art-strewn store, similarly stocks a limited but flawless selection of soul, rock, reggae, and country, alongside straight-up anomalies, baring prominent sleeves from Ray Charles and Lightnin' Hopkins to Groucho Marx and The Stones. Equator carries only LPs and only the fliest stuff that truly represents heart over hype. One can spend an entire afternoon browsing the deceptively well-stocked book and record selections (even the covers alone), coming in for a look-see and often coming out with an arm-load of precious, rare treasures, wallet much lighter, eyes and gray matter much more stimulated.

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