Best of Houston

Best of Houston® 2020: Best Record Store

San Antonio's Mexstep rocks a Cactus Music in-store show.
San Antonio's Mexstep rocks a Cactus Music in-store show. Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Best Record Store: Cactus Music

Record stores have found ways to remain alive and even thrive in entertainment’s digital era. Cactus Music’s diverse offerings form a blueprint for how it’s done. For one, it has name recognition built over 40 years of business here, giving it the same status as shops like Amoeba in California or Minneapolis’ famed Electric Fetus. Cactus stocks its racks with diverse music offerings including loads of vinyl for buyers eagerly pushing the medium’s resurgence. There are books, T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters and assorted music merch on hand and the store sometimes teams with local venues to promote approaching concerts. Recently, shoppers could claim a pair of tickets for shows featuring Social Distortion and George Clinton for every $10 spent in the building. Quite a bargain.

Cactus’s in-store performance events are more than just a fun time where shoppers can sip a free Saint Arnold brew to live music. For local musicians these spots have almost become mandatory for growing an audience or promoting a new release. Sometimes the showcases draw national acts like L.A. folk rockers Dawes or music writers promoting new books; but when a local band is on its stage and wowing, it’s a perfect moment where music leaps from alpha-ordered shelves and into our hearts.

2110 Portsmouth, Houston

Readers' Choice:
Cactus Music
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