Your Local Black Friday/Record Store Day Shopper's Guide
Historically speaking, "Black Friday" is a phrase synonymous with discount hand-mixers and 5 a.m. tramplings at the local Walmart. By definition alone -- so not hip. And while all of you normal folks -- who would rather pay the extra $50 for a PS4 over pitching a tent in the shantytown that accumulates outside Best Buy every Thanksgiving night -- are highly advised to sleep in and enjoy some tasty Tofurky leftovers this Friday, you may just want to venture out after the early-bird deals have ended and get in a little record-shopping at your favorite locally owned spots.
Photo courtesy of heightsvinyl.com
The reason being that, as you may not know, the organizers of April's nationwide Record Store Day have declared Black Friday a secondary annual event aimed at encouraging shoppers to buy from independent shops. To that end, indie record stores around the country are scheduling various special events for this coming Friday, November 29. In addition, major labels have planned special releases and limited editions to be debuted for the occasion. (See a full list here.)
So, if you're a vinyl junkie, there's no better time of the season to supplement your collection or do a little early gift-shopping. Not a record enthusiast, per se? Who cares! Everyone is bound to need a little family-time time-out... and did we mention free booze?
Photo courtesy of Sigslagoon.com
3622 E. Main, 713-533-9525
Friday hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Proudly self-declared "Midtown's Only Record Store," Sig's is conveniently located right off of the light rail's Main line, nestled in Houston's hippest block and adjacent to Tacos A-Go-Go, the Continental Club and Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by Yelp-ers, this shop not only boasts an impressive selection of vinyl but has an added gift-shopping bonus: namely, the random but endearing assortment of souvenirs, sundries and knickknacks, from assorted tiki-themed collector's garb to bobbleheads galore, ideally suited for picking out a perfectly adorable piece of crap for that difficult-to-buy-for relative in your life.
1846 Richmond, 713-666-5555
Friday hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Housed in a cozy Montrose cottage, Sound Exchange is a favorite among neighborhood collectors, who frequent the shop in search of hard-to-find DIY and indie gems. The owners are also devoted to supporting the local scene, striving to carry even the most obscure of Houston-act releases.
Though the inventory may be small, what Sound Exchange lacks in quantity, it makes up in quality -- superiorly catering to the underground lot and maintaining prices that won't break the piggy bank.
VINAL EDGE RECORDS
239 W. 19th, 281-537-2575
Friday hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Smack in the middle of the bustling Heights shopping region, Vinal Edge is a respected Houston music institution. Open since 1985 though only recently transported to the new location, this one-stop album shop boasts an impressive assortment of both records and CDs -- a technology quickly becoming a rarity in its own right -- with a friendly and knowledgeable shopkeeper always just around the corner, ready and willing to answer questions and perhaps even engage in a good old-fashioned music debate.
Also, Vinyl Edge was voted "Best Record Store" in this year's Best of Houston Awards, thus lending it the official HP seal of approval.
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