Digging Through Corpus Christi’s Crates of Vinyl
It’s no secret that Corpus Christi is a music town. Whether touted as the Nashville of Tejano, a wellspring of South Texas punk and metal, or the current regional hotbed of the modern cumbia revolution, Corpus Christi’s vibrant live music scene proves: We’ve got the beat. But honestly, even if all you know is Selena, you’ve come to the right place!
Did you know that Corpus Christi is also a vinyl record heaven? What a great place to get your groove on – literally. With two active record stores and dedicated sections at other shops to explore, hardcore collectors and newbies alike can dig the day away and find some gems.
Welcome to Corpus Christi’s ground zero for vinyl hunting. For the two decades that Disc Go Round has been around, they’ve filled the independent record store niche by not only stocking a wild treasure trove of tunes but in serving as a hub for music buffs. Owners Jason and Johanna Dubose took over operations two years ago with the intention of beefing up the inventory with customer requests. “We focused on bringing in records that people were asking for and creating a more diverse selection,” said Jason Dubose. Some of the hottest recent sellers, he said, have been the new Kanye West, Lana DelRay and “Cry Baby” by Melanie Martinez. “We’ve also really increased and built on our Latin section.” Every week, something special is going on: live band shows, DJ sets, listening parties, signings and meet & greets with touring artists and so much more.
Every year, fans and friends come out in force for Record Store Day, and Disc Go Round does it up right with an all-day party full of specials, deals, shows and even a cake. For the seasoned record collector, Disc Go Round’s sane pricing and not-picked-over selection will please.
In the age of downloads and online music everywhere, a small, independent record store seems like an act of defiance. In a city the size of Corpus Christi, being the second and smaller of two stores seems like insanity. But Carlos Cooper’s Hybrid Records proves that there’s a very thin line between crazy and genius. The intimate store is more a music listening lounge than hyped-up place of commerce and has become a popular addition to the local music scene. Cooper is a third-generation music nut and life-long Corpus Christi native who worked locally in music through high school and college and opened this shop to encourage community.
Journalist, filmmaker, and founding member of late-80s Corpus Christi punk band the Krayons, Richard Guerrero says the initial intention behind his family-owned TFC Records was to put out his band’s records and to give local musicians an affordable option for practice space. The store front part of this rehearsal/recording operation is stocked with “records we consider classics in the genre,” he said (including, of course, the entire TFC catalog), and to keep the music alive for young generations of punks and metal heads.
The record store is open anytime bands have booked space (often every night, 6-10pm), making it an unusual, late-night record-shopping alternative. The family lives nearby and will open the store during most other business hours by appointment as well.
This grand Texas used and “overstock” bookstore began in a Dallas laundromat and has grown to over 120 outlets, nationwide. Half Price Books is known for hiring the brightest book, film and music know-it-alls to keep the shelves stocked with items brought in for sale or trade by customers. Garrett Weiland, who manages the music section at the Corpus Christi store and hosts a local music show on NPR station KEDT-FM is one such music brainiac. He enjoys catching local DJs regularly scouring the racks for LPs to sample. “Our collection leans towards classic 60s and 70s rock and 80s and 90s country,” he said. Sometimes, collectible items like the original Purple Rain by Prince (with the poster) come in or specialty scores like entire collections of 45s from local vintage Tejano labels Freddie and Hacienda.
True vinyl aficionados know: The real fun is in the hunt. In addition to shops devoted specifically to LPs, Corpus Christi also has a slew of other options for serious crate digging. From the individual vendors that populate Antique Lane on Alameda Street and a permanent indoor flea market --the Corpus Christi Trade Center (100,000 square feet, open Friday-Sunday), to the dozens of thrift and vintage stores dotting the region, the stacks and crates are waiting! Book your trip now!