Record Store Day: The Aftermath

Don’t know about you, but we had a nice day in Houston for Record Store Day – temps in the 60s, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky. We lined up two hours early outside Cactus Music and by the time the doors opened a little before 10 a.m. there were about 150 die-hards in line to snap up copies of about 200 exclusive vinyl items. (There were more than 200 copies, there were many copies of about … never mind.)

We talked to the guy in front of us in line, his name was Sonny.  He

Record Store Day line outside Cactus Music in Houston - that Kenny Rogers shirt worn ironically, I hope.

brought a Bible to read while waiting, and after we bothered him from that activity he told us he was getting married tonight! Sonny was worried he wouldn’t make a planned lunch with his groomsmen and even though he didn’t get the My Morning Jacket items on his list (Cactus didn’t get ‘em) Sonny did walk away happy with Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, Bruce Springsteen and some Regina Spektor for his fiancée. He told us he bought tickets for his entire bridal party to see the Avett Brothers in Houston – but that show was scratched due to Scott Avett’s wife possibly giving birth ahead of schedule. That’s life – it gives a little, and it causes your rock show to get rescheduled.

As for us, we came away with the Foo Fighters covers LP Medium Rare, highlights include “Band On The Run,” “Darling Nikki,” “Life Of Illusion” and a scorching live version of the Who warhorse “Young Man Blues.”  We also got some choice 7″ singles including the new Wild Flag song “Glass Tambourine” and the Rolling Stones doing some vintage stuff from Sticky Fingers and a live “Let It Rock.”

It was kinda pricey – the copy of Big Star’s Third, considered to be the band’s “lost” album, went for 40 bucks and the Foo Fighters item was about 20. The 7″ singles cost anywhere from seven to 10 bucks apiece, so you had purchase wisely. Cactus Music personnel helped that process by distributing a list of everything they had, along with the price, so you could make a plan before you got to the counter. Some of these vinyl items were limited edition, but I got pretty much everything on my list.

Yes, even though there was a bit of sticker shock and I wound up spending money I shouldn’t have, it felt good to support my favorite record store. Cactus has been there for me since the 1970s, and even though I don’t buy as much music as I used to I still regularly attend their in-stores. In recent months you’ve read about awesome Cactus performances from the likes of Everest, Anders Osborne, Los Lonely Boys, Girl In A Coma and Rodney Crowell; they have someone playing pretty much every weekend and on May 3 they welcome Steve Earle for his third in-store!

And you know what – right now, as I’m writing this, my 17-year-old son is in the next room playing vinyl records for the very first time in his life. As Ken Shane so aptly put it – that’s like a VISA commercial … Big Star: $40, sharing music with a kid: Priceless.

First time in 20 years I spent 100 bucks on vinyl records - and it felt good.

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