Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Place to Buy Vinyl

Eclipse Records

For too long now, it's been easy to rag on St. Paul and its perceived lack of cool. (Has anyone coined "The City That Always Sleeps" yet?) But at long last, that could be changing: The recent opening of the lavish Union Depot renovation, the pending arrival of the light rail this June, and, hell, the whole thriving arts scene in Lowertown all suggest a cultural rebirth underway. And then there's a place like Eclipse Records. A mainstay of the local record-buying community for over a decade, Eclipse appeared to have gone the way of the dodo when it closed its doors back in 2010. But the store bounced back with a new Wabasha location a few years ago, nestled in between Amsterdam Bar and Big Table Studio. Boasting an array of vinyl-only albums and 45s, Eclipse's compact space packs a mean punch: You can match your used ABBA record with some Bill Cosby standup, then throw in a brand-new copy of Reflektor, all of which are available to check out first at a listening station. There are collectibles, from rare vinyl to old-school copies of Rolling Stone and even vintage turntable equipment. Plus, like any record store worth its salt, Eclipse is staffed with knowledgeable folks who are often musicians themselves. With newcomers Barely Brothers Records and Agharta Records also opening up shop in St. Paul recently, Eclipse could be more than just an outpost; it may be leading the new vanguard.

Best All-Ages Venue (2009) Eclipse Records

BEST ALL-AGES VENUE (2010) Eclipse Records

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