Best-kept Vinyl Junkie Secret (2001)

Prickly Pair Records

It's true, we'll miss wandering the swamp-cooled aisles of this cavernous vinyl trove, which recently closed its 12th Street location after nearly 20 years. But we don't have to miss the Pair's impressive assortment of dirt-cheap albums and 45s because -- best-kept-secret alert! -- the owners haven't really shut down at all. Although little was made of it last spring when owners Roger and Elaine locked the doors on their fusty record warehouse, the duo is now located exclusively on the Web, offering undistinguished and downright hard-to-find records.

Another secret: The vinyl selection posted on the shop's cyber site is only a fraction of Prickly Pair's inventory. A quick e-mail to this site helped us find Sonny and Cher singing in French ("Je M'en Balance Car Je T'aime") and a copy of Bob Lind's debut disc that everyone told us we'd never see. The only thing we like more than scoring cool old vinyl in a cavernous old record shop is doing it from home in our underwear.


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