By Evan Henry
When some of us were straight out of the womb, the compact disc ruled the music industry. Now, it seems music nerds and audiophiles alike are rejecting the format. This time belongs to the silver-faced disc’s great-grandfather, the vinyl LP.
While Greenville Avenue’s CD Source shut its doors this September after 21 years, vinyl shops have popped up all across Dallas-Fort Worth in the last several months. Dreamy Life Records and Music in Fort Worth and Off the Record, Spinster Records and Josey Records in Dallas are part of a new wave of shops providing the classic format to those who want it most.
For years the people of Fort Worth have gotten their fix at Doc’s Records and Vintage, located off Camp Bowie West Boulevard. But earlier this year, the folks who run Lo Life Recording and Dreamy Soundz got together to start a new kind of shop, Dreamy Life Records and Music. It was not so focused on supplying the greatest selection of vinyl as on providing a venue to play shows, hang out and record bands, much like that of Los Angeles’ Lolipop Records.
Currently, Dreamy Life is only selling vinyl. In the months to come, they plan to relocate and create the studio in no time.
“Dreamy Life is here to record, promote and distribute like-minded bands and artists of all kinds of different sounds and influences,” co-founder Robby Rux said.
“Owning a sound file is kinda lame … you can’t hold it, sell it, collect it,” Spinster Records owner and operator David Grover said. Grover’s store will focus solely on the vinyl LP, from the record itself to the player and speakers. He has been spinning for the better half of two decades, from the West Coast to here in North Texas.
Spinster Records operates out of a spot on Davis Street in Oak Cliff. Deep Ellum has plenty of bars but clearly not enough record stores, so Club Dada and City Tavern owner Josh Florence got creative and opened Off the Record, a craft beer and vinyl shop all in one, out of Dada’s old Green Room.
“There’s just something cool about spending an hour or two, or half hour or whatever, in a record shop with no real objective other than slowly flipping through the selection,” Florence said. Students who are of age and want to see a show nearby can stop by and take a look into the new wax of today.
Far from the hunting grounds of most Dallas music nerds and just a short drive from Brookhaven College is Josey Records, an upscale used record shop with a stellar approach to stocking the oddities of jazz, dub, rock and everything in between. Josey will stock something for everyone, even CDs to enjoy on the go.
Aside from selection, Josey offers “customer service above all else,” co-owner Waric Cameron said. “We just happen to carry over 100,000 pieces of music … you will find most genres stocked, and if we don’t have what you’re looking for, we will certainly try to get it or find it for you.”
Each of the mentioned shops serves as a place for discovery as well as a hangout for like-minded individuals. Every city needs a record store, at least one. The people of North Texas are lucky. There are many to choose from. But this selection just increases the possibility of new bands forming and offers greater exposure. Plus, each of the owners are strong believers in live music, all welcoming the classic in-store performances from bands near and far.
Ideally, these shops would like to be around forever, though it just depends on consumers willing to support and enrich their community.