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Best Retail Music Store 

Hear's Music

READERS' PICK: Craving the latest offerings of the boy band of the month or, say, Britney Spears? Then head to the mall. If you're looking for grown-up music meant to last beyond the current season, then you'll want to spend your allowance at Hear's Music, whose 15,000-odd-disc inventory includes treasures from around the planet: Malian blues, Canadian fiddle tunes, Scottish skirls, Tuvan throat concerti and the divine offerings of Hank Williams I and III. (For II, as we say, head to the mall.) Locally owned and staffed by expert, attitude-free listeners, Hear's Music brings the world to your ears, and it's a Tucson treasure.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: OK, OK, so they don't really have too many jen-u-wine LP vinyl records at Zia Record Exchange, but hey, that's covered at a place on Grant and Dodge. Nevertheless, there's no other place in town where you'll find the selection and variety of genres at Zia's. It's that simple. You want to sell that copy of Journey's Greatest Hits that ain't too hip with the ladies these days? Bring it in and trade up for that new Deftones CD that's such a rage with all the young dudes. Looking for music DVDs? They've got them. Wanna special order that obscure Lee Perry album? They'll do it. And of course, they will buy your stuff if it's in OK condition. If you bought it in the first place, chances are somebody else will, too. Hell, with that new CD buffer on hand, you can even get a little trade credit for that Damn Yankees CD you've been using as a coaster for the last 10 years.

STAFF PICK: PDQ Records & Tapes, 2342 N. Dodge Blvd. Otherwise known as obscurity central, this world-famous warehouse-sized music emporium houses 8-tracks, 78s, 45s and reel-to-reels, as well as a fine selection of CDs, cassettes and videos. But it's the vinyl album selection that is, well, downright dizzying. Whether you're looking for that Aztec Camera 12-inch with the cover of Van Halen's "Jump," a red vinyl copy of The Sick Humor of Lenny Bruce, a complete collection of Beethoven's string quartets, or a Woody Herman best-of compilation, chances are you'll find it--and just about anything else you're looking for--under this roof.

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