The scene was bustling at Heights Vinyl on Saturday, as Houston's newest record store opened it's doors with complementary beer, DJs and bands, and crates of great vinyl to sift through.
The store's location on White Oak, just yards from Fitzgerald's and all the new restaurants invading the area, will make it a go-to destination for the music lovers in the Heights area. Heights Vinyl is currently the only record store in the neighborhood.
On our inaugural trip we picked up two Leon Russell slabs, including his Hank Wilson's Back LP, a Hank Williams Jr. greatest hits - featuring stuff from before the mountain accident.
The best part of our hour at the shop was overhearing older vinyl collectors tell their wives and children about some of the albums in the crates. "I had that one but an old girlfriend got it in the break-up," or "We used to smoke grass and put this on. I think I sold it in a garage sale," were some of the things we overheard.
Record stores are also good for gaining knowledge from other nerds, or emparting some useless facts to others. We hipped a guy to the whole Wendy/Walter Carlos issue as he picked up a great looking copy of the A Clockwork Orange soundtrack, much prettier than the ugly one we have at home.
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"Yeah, Walter turned into Wendy. Make sure you pick Switched On Bach if they have it here, it's killer," we said. That goes for all of you too.
There is always that sinking feeling you get when another customer finds an album you wanted in another crate before you could get to it. The close quarters of Heights Vinyl magnified that feeling.
We especially enjoyed the store's sliding pricing scale, and the color coding system was easy to get the hang of. Silver-colored tags are albums you buy on pay day, or if it's something that you can't spend another day on Earth without.
Baby blue tags, the kind that all of the albums we bought on Saturday had on them, are for when you have already been spending too much goddamned money on Christmas and you can only afford to treat yo' self a little bit.