Houston's Top 10 Record Stores 2014

Categories: Only In Houston

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Chuck Roast at the Vinal Edge till
4. VINAL EDGE
Chuck Roast's wonderful store Vinal Edge is Houston's go-to place for punk and metal records, but it's got something for everyone too. Whether it was at the classic Veterans Memorial location or the more recently established home in the Heights, Vinal Edge has provided a service that cannot be beat when it comes to records.

Even before the vinyl revival, it was a straggler from the old days, holding onto the dream of vinyl records and stocking extensive collections of 7" and 12" records when no one else would. It continues to thrive today in part due to the dedication of its awesome employees and commitment to stocking vinyl of all styles and eras. Not to mention, if you have something specific in mind and you can't figure out what it is, owner Chuck Roast is the man to see. This store is truly a Houston treasure.

239 W. 19th St., 281-537-2575, vinaledge.com.


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Heights Vinyl owner Craig Brown
3. HEIGHTS VINYL
If Black Dog would be the store your dad would open, Heights Vinyl would most certainly be the one that you would. While it still stocks the classics (with a healthy dose of the Doors and Pink Floyd), it's the penchant for rare '80s, '90s and '00s vinyl that really gets me excited when I walk through the White Oak storefront. Everything from Rage Against the Machine and Pearl Jam to Public Enemy and NWA is here; they somehow seem to pull in the stuff you only dream about.

And while the premium may be a little higher than most stores, Heights still leaves room to haggle with a sticker system that allows a little wiggle room at the counter, both parties can leave satisfied with a price. If you feel like digging cheaply, they also have a huge selection of dollar records that, if you can get past the million Chicago LPs in the bins, hides a few choice selections in the mix.

3122 White Oak, 281-974-1234, heightsvinyl.com


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2. SIG'S LAGOON
With all due respect to its bigger cousin, pound for pound Sig's Lagoon is as purely Houston as the No. 1 store on this list, which makes it an even more concentrated dose of local-music culture. As the ticket outlet for most of the shows that come through the Continental Club across the street, Sig's curates the musical spirit of the thriving "Mid-Main" block, meaning that roots music rules here (more or less), and its jazz, R&B and blues vinyl bins are especially enviable.

But you'll also find new vinyl releases, plenty of local music, reasonably priced (and actually listenable) used CDs, a very Houston-centric book section, Uncle Charlie posters, and once in a while an in-store book signing. And tying it all together is the elaborate collage covering the walls, a dizzying array of newspaper clippings, magazine covers, posters, backstage passes and more, all focused on music, Texas history or both. On top of everything else, that makes Sig's more of a pop-culture museum where you can pick up a few choice items before you head out the door.

3622-E Main, 713-533-9525, sigslagoon.com.

REWIND: Houston's Top 10 Record Stores (March 8, 2013)


List continues on the next page.


Location Info

Map

Black Dog Records

4900 Bissonnet St., Bellaire, TX

Category: General

Sound Exchange

1846 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Vinal Edge

239 W. 19th St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Heights Vinyl

3122 White Oak Drive, Houston, TX

Category: General

Sig's Lagoon

3622 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Cactus Music & Video

2110 Portsmouth St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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9 comments
everyman002000
everyman002000

Rocks Off - THANKS for continuing to bring attention to the Record Stores in Houston. Much Appreciated my friend.


-Craig from Heights Vinyl

Optimo Ram
Optimo Ram

aww yeah my dad store #8 Allrecords baby!!!

Vinaledge
Vinaledge

My hat is off to my fellow record store peeps and to Cactus for deservedly topping our fun heap. All of Houston's record shops do certain things well, and each has a unique flavor that will appeal to different folk. This is probably why I have always thought the "Numbered list" thing is lame. I DO recognize that mags and blogs LOVE to do these as they get people involved and thus viewing ads, which in turn sells ads. I celebrate ALL my fellow record shops!! -cheers, CHuck Roast, owner Vinal Edge Records.

Anse
Anse

Also worth mentioning...anybody looking to buy a turntable would do well to visit Sound Exchange and chat with the owner. I bought mine used from them ten years ago and take it back there every few years for a little maintenance. Their used tables are better than any of the ones they sell new at Cactus. (At least, I assume they still sell them, I haven't been in there in quite a long time.)

Nate McKee
Nate McKee

I love the list but I hate how Vinal Edge Records somehow isn't first (or at least 2nd)

michaelbell.1975
michaelbell.1975

Cactus rules!

My 2nd runner-up and dark horse is the new Black Dog. I hated the old location and wrote it off long ago as a place that bilked baby boomers who thought Rolling Stones records were rare. The new location is clean and efficient, and surprisingly moderately priced.

To my knowledge Houston still needs a place that embraces customers looking to up their fidelity game. Sure, Urban Outfitters has records, but they want you to destroy them on some atrocious Crosley players. A few places sell turntable accessories, but they're all pretty sub-par. IMO it's semi-pointless to offer up the vinyl medium without also being a resource for the things that really make it shine. So record stores, go ahead and stock a few $100+ cartridges and some entry level vintage speakers, cleaning tools and services. We'll save up for them the same way we saved up for those Judy's records and imports. I promise!

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