836 Leadenhall St., (410) 227-3006, facebook.com/ProteanRecords
Ever since this Federal Hill shop moved from South Charles Street to its new Leadenhall warehouse space in March, its stock seems to have grown exponentially. So while the store’s book browsing remains a nerdy snob’s friend, especially in the music books and lesser-known global crime fiction options, the records remain the main draw. Protean is the city’s most democratic collection of used records. No, you won’t find that Rare Noise album from an obscure label that only printed about 500 copies, but chances are you’ll find something in its blues, rock, jazz, and soundtracks sections you’ll want to take home at prices that won’t have you thinking about what you’ll have to sell to cover the hole in the bank balance. And its soul and gospel section is hard to beat anywhere else in the city.