Happy Record Store Day

Today is Record Store Day, a nationwide promotion where independent music retailers want you to forget that your house is in foreclosure and gasoline is more expensive than champagne and buy some tunes using something other than a mouse. If you've forgotten how, don't bother asking your kids. It's really very simple: browse the thousands of vinyl and CD selections on offer, bring your selections to the counter and hand your cash or credit card. Believe it or not, people used to do this a lot.

Because they realize you may be somewhat unfamiliar with this ritual, several Houston music merchants are prepared to cut you all kinds of deals if you throw some business their way. All used vinyl at Sig's Lagoon (3710 Main) is 50 percent off. Vinal Edge (13171 Veterans Memorial Drive) has buy-one-get-one-free for all used CDs, LPs and DVDs, as long as they're under $9.99. Cactus Music (2110 Portsmouth) is holding a drawing for items autographed by Tom Waits and Eisley, and hosting an in-store by James McMurtry, who spins his hard-bitten heartland yarns at 3 p.m. before moving on to the Continental Club tonight. All Records (1955 W. Gray), Music Depot (12300 North Fwy.) and Evolution Records, Tapes and More (8099 Spencer Hwy., Deer Park/907 E. Fayle, Baytown) are also participating.

Not everyone feels the need for a special day devoted to record stores, though. Sound Exchange (1846 Richmond) owner Kurt Brennan thinks every day should be record store day. Besides, he says, "business has been doing great."

Perhaps the reports of music retailers' imminent demise have been greatly exaggerated. - Chris Gray

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