It was a thriving cultural resource in the '70s and '80s, with three franchises and an owner who knew more trivia about recorded music than anybody in the history of the universe. That's why the remaining Off the Record, which moved from its Hillcrest location to 2912 University Ave. in North Park last year, is one of the most important music stores in town.
It's a lone voice in the gentrification wilderness, doggedly hawking the best of the punk and alternative bands-and the demise of vinyl hasn't fazed it. Even as it's only about half the size of the Hillcrest store, it stocks or can locate titles dating to the 1940s; the website (www.otrvinyl.com) also has lots of tips on the collecting and care of your (or your parents') precious keepsakes. Rich Horowitz, the former owner, sold off the franchise assets to go on to other stuff--but San Diego keeps it around as an inimitable steward of another day. --Martin Jones Westlin