Your Record Store Day cheat sheet: Five independent music stores you have tovisit
Record Store Day is upon us. A celebration of independent music retailers, this Saturday holiday offers an excuse to visit (or revisit) some of Houston's best sound dives. Read on for our top five options:
Proprietor Fred Allred will lead you to the best tracks at All Records (1955 West Gray St.). Obscurity is king here, whether you're looking for a German Pink Floyd import or rare Big Band vinyl. You'll want to allot a few hours to sort through the boxes of records run amuck. Crate diving at its best.
Black Dog Records (3804 S. Shepherd) keeps it local while also offering an encyclopedic selection of used records. The owner, who was previously an accountant, reveals his meticulous style by screening vinyl for scratches and expertly organizing the psychedelic-era albums. Of course, that doesn't stop him from burning a little patchouli. The jazz selection is also worth a peek.
Music lovers mourned the death of Cactus Music and Record Ranch in 2006. With their former location taken over by an expanded Whole Earth Provision Company, the store has reopened at 2110 Portsmouth. The deliciously inexpensive movie rental section is gone, but here to stay is the broad selection of CDs, vinyl and used music. The shop also features live acts, including multiple shows throughout the day.
On Saturday at 3 p.m., Something Fierce takes the stage, with Young Girls performing at 5 p.m.
Sig's Lagoon's selection is very vintage, and that's how the clientele likes it. Located at 3622 E. Main Street near the Alabama emerging alternative retail corridor, Sig's also offers a range of tchotchkes like old school toys and ironic books. But first, flip through the eclectic CDs and vinyl. Alternative world music is at your fingertips, from Peruvian indie rock to vintage African funk.
Little known fact: the name is a tribute to 1950s and 1960s Houston scenester journalist Sigman Byrd.
In an original Montrose brick home at 1846 Richmond, you'll find Sound Exchange. The business arose out of the ashes of the flower power era in 1977 to serve as the nexus of Houston's punk rock scene. Beginning in a strip center in Rice Village, the store spent a decade and a half on lower Westheimer. It was among the first businesses to embrace the compact disc, and persevered as indie bands signed on to mega record labels and now-deceased corporate stores like Musicland, Media Play and Planet Music proliferated.
Today, Sound Exchange stands by its mission, refusing to sell music released by major labels.