Since the explosion of the counterculture movement in the early 1960s, the San Francisco Bay Area has developed into arguably the biggest economic market on the west coast of the U.S. Even with all the growth and the arrival of major tech business in the two cities, San Francisco and Oakland have not lost their musical identity and artistic spirit. The country’s biggest commerce month of the year is quickly approaching with the arrival of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday next week, and music fans around the Bay Area have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to picking out a special gift for their friends and loved ones.
So with winter shopping season now less than a week away, here are five great small business options for music lovers to pick from when starting their holiday shopping sprees.
Etsy Team Indie Holiday Emporium
Pier 35 - 1454 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, California 94133
The popular DIY ecommerce website known as Etsy totally embraces the idea of Small Business Saturday. This will be their fifth year bringing some of its favorite online retailers to the streets of San Francisco with their annual celebration of Etsy Made Local pop-up markets. Taking place both Nov. 25 (12 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and again on Nov. 26 (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.) shoppers can swing by to see what some of the city’s best designers, craft makers and decor builders have to sell, all while enjoying some live music. Don’t forget to bring your own shopping bag!
Love on Haight
1400 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
Haight Street was ground zero for the counterculture movement before being overrun by excessive media coverage and an overpopulation of bohemians bombarding its sidewalks. Love on Haight acts as the “Rainbow Paradise” of the community, whose goal is to keep the peaceful vibes of the 1960s going into the 21st century. In addition to selling some of “the finest tie-dye around,” the store also gives a portion of their profits to Taking it to the Streets. Over the past two years, the nonprofit homeless youth organization has provided a home for over 200 youths in the Haight-Ashbury area.
1-2-3-4 Go! Records
1038 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
420 40th St. #5
Oakland, CA 94608
1-2-3-4 Go! Records could be considered a fan favorite when it comes to indie record stores in the Bay Area. With two locations in both San Francisco’s Mission District as well as the Temescal neighborhood in Oakland, Go! Records provides vinyl lovers with vinyl across all genres. The two locations even put on their own art and poetry events, providing the community wit an abundance of the city’s thriving cultural spirit. They recently hosted a Metallica-themed karaoke night and fundraiser to help those affected by the raging wildfires which devastated much of nearby California.
Rooky Ricardo's Records
419 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
Another indie record store located on San Francisco’s Haight St., Rooky Ricado’s Records has been selling vinyl, CDs and cassettes to music fans for three decades now. The growth of the small store has taken the brick and mortar location from being just another music shop to becoming San Francisco institution. Fans will get to choose from an inventory of over 100,000 LP's, with their Standard 45's still selling for just $2 each.
The Starving Musician
2474 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
The Starving Musician will sell, buy, rent out and repair instruments of all sorts to musicians of all levels. The store has brick and mortar setups in Berkeley, Santa Cruz (flagship location) and Santa Clara areas of California, with all three gradually opening over the brand’s 20-year history. The Starving Musician has become a local favorite for both veteran and aspiring players around the are and is certainly worth checking out come the holiday season.