Vinyl Junkie Joins Houston's Indie Record-Store Ranks

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Photos by Neph Basedow
Considering the music junkies we are, Rocks Off couldn't wait to check out Houston's newest independent record store, the aptly titled Vinyl Junkie, which opened its doors November 1.

Located at 4202 E. Canal in Houston's East End, customers might need to circle the block once before spotting the unassuming, signless storefront. But don't judge this shop by its facade; once inside, customers are quick to realize that owner Titus Haag knows his craft.

The store has the vibe of a warehouse, offering the bare necessities to house its vinyl gems. Its walls have been artistically adorned courtesy of local street artists, including Eye Sore and Ack!.

Rows of neatly alphabetized vinyl and used 7"s span the store, emptying into the open makeshift stage area, where Haag hosts live shows. A quick scan of the merchandise and we discover Vinyl Junkie is home to bona fide rarities.

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Haag, a South Dakota native who moved to Houston just last year, works on his laptop on the store's homey couch as we browse his shop. "This is definitely a 'niche' store," he reflects. "It's not a store for everyone; actually, I think people will either love it or hate it."

Haag appears assuredly natural in his surroundings - as he should, considering he mans the store daily, with help from his wife. "We carry pretty obscure stuff, but for those who really know underground music, we have the records you won't be able to find at most other places around town."

Though Vinyl Junkie's inventory is heavy on hardcore and independent punk, there's an eclectic variety amongst the store's vinyl, which becomes understandable when Haag laughably admits, "I have everything from Death Metal to 70's Country, to the Dixie Chicks on my iPod. I think my store reflects that variety."

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