Ra Ra Go Rasputin!

In this day and age, almost everyone buys his or her music online through iTunes or downloads it online illegally. If you wish to actually purchase your music physically or to purchase it at all, Rasputin Music is the place for you. Rasputin Music is amazing; the atmosphere, the people, and the music selection are all amazing. It is incredibly easy to spend hours browsing through the thousands of CDs that Rasputin Music has to offer.

Rasputin offers not only great music, but also t-shirts, books, videos, posters and DVDs. The store buys, sells and trades, meaning it can take stuff that you don’t want anymore off of your hands. The store also offers records at most locations for a decent price, and the employees are friendly and they all have some excellent tastes in music.

In addition, they offer free bags with your purchase; with no “ten cents” nonsense, and each bag is decorated the gravestones of old record stores that have fallen through and the Russian psychic and Rasputin Music’s namesake, Grigori Rasputin.

There are Rasputin Music stores spread throughout the area in Berkeley, San Francisco, San Lorenzo, Campbell, Stockton, Concord, Mountain View, Fairfield and Fresno. My personal favorites are San Francisco, Berkeley and San Lorenzo, with San Lorenzo being my number one choice.

The San Francisco location is a little odd. It’s located right near the Westfield mall which makes it a little crowded, but that only adds to its charm. The store is very narrow, but spreads up to five floors. You can’t walk upstairs past the second floor, so you have to use this little, rickety elevator, operated by a Rasputin employee. While the elevator is questionable, the music at the San Francisco location is not. The upper floors are filled with a huge variety of rock, metal, reggae, deathcore, and my personal favorite: punk. The San Francisco location carries a spectacular selection of punk music. I was able to find a Suicidal Tendencies album that I couldn’t find anywhere else for only $7.99. My frugal self was delighted. They also sell hard-to-find artists like Bauhaus, The Adicts, Subhumans, Municipal Waste and a ton more. The San Francisco Rasputin Music is home to any obscure artist that you could possibly think of.

The original Rasputin Music, where the business first began, is located in Berkeley. The nostalgia of the store is what I love most about it.

In San Lorenzo, the Rasputin Music is what I call heaven. One huge store full of everyone’s musical desires. The music selection isn’t as good as San Francisco, but what it has in prices easily makes up for options. The San Lorenzo store has aisles and aisles of sale CDs that range from $1.95 to $3.95, and when you buy three, you get the fourth three. If you’re a CD junkie like me, this is an ideal sale. The sale CDs aisles boast artists like Morrissey, No Doubt, and Billy Idol. Rasputin Music also has dozens of t-shirts, ranging from Jimi Hendrix, to Blondie, to Iron Maiden. They are originally $18 to $20, but if you keep your eye out, they always have markdowns ranging from $8 to $12. I found an Operation Ivy shirt for only $8 and a Wu-Tang Clan shirt for $12, both of which are music t-shirt gold.

No matter which Rasputin Music I go to I’m going to leave with at least four CDs, and some days I’ve left with up to 20. Rasputin Music store is rad beyond belief.

Evan Kwong

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