Bayou City

Damaged But Determined, Cactus Music Presses On [Updated]

Outside the store
Outside the store Photo courtesy of Cactus Music
Cactus Music is facing an uphill climb after incurring the wrath of Hurricane Harvey. The Shepherd Plaza store, an anchor of Houston’s music community for decades, was hit hard by the storm. According to the staff, the consolation is that it wasn’t as bad as Tropical Storm Allison, when Cactus was still at its old location near the old Alabama Theater.

Still, the store is now dealing with wet inventory and wetter carpets. Tuesday, Cactus was open, but “It is not pretty in here,” the store said on Facebook. “Though only a modest amount of product was damaged, we have a tremendous cleanup operation ahead of us. The Cactoid crew is small and this is a big job dealing with carpet, fixtures and cleaning.”

click to enlarge Wet vinyl, carpets - PHOTO COURTESY OF CACTUS MUSIC
Wet vinyl, carpets
Photo courtesy of Cactus Music
A list of everything the store needs to get back on its feet should be coming via its social-media accounts in the next day or two, they promised. Its next scheduled in-store, Galveston-based singer-songwriter Robert Kuhn supporting new album Maria the Gun, remains on the books for this Saturday at 1 p.m. In fact, Thursday morning Cactus announced plans for a "Hang In There Post-Harvey In-Store Event" this Saturday, featuring Kuhn and now Gio Chamba (2:30 p.m.) and Say Girl Say (4 p.m.) . From the store:

Almost every Saturday of the year, we present a program of free in-store events and performances.  This has been at the core of Cactus culture for decades and it is about more than business for us. Our in-stores are where kindred spirits congregate to catch up, discuss music that they love and have an experience. We feel it puts great record store peace and love out there which we know is a powerful thing. This Saturday, maybe more than any Saturday ever, we feel compelled to put some great music on the Cactus stage and not have our tradition interrupted by prolonged Hurricane nastiness.

We've asked some very talented friends to perform and we know that it will lift spirits. All artists have fine releases available and they are staff favorites. We will, as always, be serving delicious Saint Arnold beverages.  This Saturday we are asking for a suggested donation which we will donate directly to our good friend, Bun B's wife Queenie's Gofundme effort, Trill Funds for Victims of Harvey.  As always, our events are free, open to the public and kid friendly. Please join us for an afternoon of great music and camaraderie. We hope to see you there.

It's all free, including the Saint Arnold beverages, except for a suggested donation to Queenie Freeman's (Mrs. Bun B) Trill Funds for Victims of Harvey.


As for other inner-loop record stores, Sound Exchange closed Monday and Tuesday, but planned to be back open this morning. Vinal Edge in the Heights opened for a few hours Tuesday, even honoring requests for customers in the mood to hear a certain song or album, and asking shoppers to bring by relief supplies for neighboring Big Blue Whale Toys, who was making donation runs.

Sig’s Lagoon in Mid-Main will open at 11 a.m. Wednesday, and donate 20 percent of each purchase to the Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

More Cactus photos:

click to enlarge More wet vinyl - PHOTO COURTESY OF CACTUS MUSIC
More wet vinyl
Photo courtesy of Cactus Music
click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF CACTUS MUSIC
Photo courtesy of Cactus Music
click to enlarge Cactus lobby - PHOTO COURTESY OF CACTUS MUSIC
Cactus lobby
Photo courtesy of Cactus Music
click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF CACTUS MUSIC
Photo courtesy of Cactus Music
click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF CACTUS MUSIC
Photo courtesy of Cactus Music

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray