Once upon a time, the competition for Denver's best vinyl haven was fierce -- yet Wax Trax usually came out on top. Today, most of the also-rans are history, while Wax Trax's vinyl branch remains. The reasons are simple: Wax Trax Vinyl inspires intense loyalty among knowledgeable collectors of LPs and 45s because of its great prices, cool selection, and staffers who know more about music than just about anyone in these parts. Simply put, it's a Denver treasure.
Independent Records
Let's face it: Denver's still pretty damn white -- a city with umpteen wine bars and rock venues but just a handful of halfway-decent jazz or hip-hop joints. Independent Records and Video -- the store with the big, beautiful display windows filled with big, beautiful photographs of African-American recording artists -- is one sign of urban life in D-town. The store carries an impressive selection of music in every genre -- it's the only place in town where you can satiate a midnight Big Star jones on a Tuesday -- but its primary trade is hip-hop and R&B. True, white kids could be the ones who are buying it all up, but who really cares? As the only storefront on Colfax to proudly represent black culture, Independent gets a big holla.

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