Mon-Fri, noon-9pm; Sat, noon-8pm; Sun, noon-7pm
B, D, F, M at Broadway-Lafayette St.; 6 at Bleecker St.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
Beyond luring East Village music fanatics and Tisch undergrads since 1996, this venerable record store is also a must-see destination for D.J.'s and musicians swapping industry buzz with the impossibly cool clerks at the counter. Helpful blurbs indicating the next hot thing are posted on new arrivals in indie rock (the company’s bread and butter) as well as quirkier finds like Polynesian electronica or obscure psychedelica. If one of your new favorite bands is playing the Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall, or Maxwell’s, you can score tickets at the in-store box office; if you’re out of town, the Website is a formidable entity in its own right, selling non-rights-restricted MP3s for $1.11 and issuing a weekly e-mail replete with employee picks.