Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Jogging Trail

Best Jogging Trail

Best of 2013: 4/24/2013
What to Know Before You Go On A Cleanse

What to Know Before You Go On A Cleanse

Food & Drink: It’s been a year since I’ve taken up this gig of eating and drinking across San Antonio. Since then, no fewer than seven juice shops have opened in the area... By Jessica Elizarraras 8/20/2014
Big Hops Gastropub Brings Beer-centric Eats to the Northside

Big Hops Gastropub Brings Beer-centric Eats to the Northside

Food & Drink: On a recent Sunday, my wife and I drove up 281 and into the heart of San Antonio’s ever-expanding Northside suburbs to try out... By Lance Higdon 8/20/2014
SA R&B crooner Eddie B. returns with new EP ‘Melodies for a Goddess’

SA R&B crooner Eddie B. returns with new EP ‘Melodies for a Goddess’

Music: For San Antonio R&B virtuoso Eddie Brickerson (better known as Eddie B.), failure is not an option. In fact, his last solo project, F.I.N.A.O., a 2007 mixtape... By M. Solis 8/20/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Local record shops will need to up their game to weather the substanceless future of music

Photo: Photos by Adam Villela Coronado, License: N/A

Photos by Adam Villela Coronado

Last of the independents — Imagine Books’ Don Hurd is San Antonio’s latest stand for vinyl.

Photo: , License: N/A

Javier Gutiérrez, part owner of Del Bravo Record Shop on Old Highway 90.

“We’re struggling a bit, but we’re keeping our doors open,” Risher said.

Around that same time, I spoke with folks at Janie’s Record Shop at Bandera near Woodlawn. Like Del Bravo, Janie’s sells Latin music, but offers more used material. Customer traffic was steady while I was there, and owner Juanita Esparza said she was not worried about closing Janie’s, even though Janie’s moved two years ago to cut down on rent and her daughter/accountant Rebecca DeLeon’s Era Tapes downtown store closed early last decade. Her son/inventory manager Robert Esparza shared anecdotes of international customers visiting and how fast Janie’s hit the 5,000 friend limit on Facebook.

“[Esparza] is trying to survive just like we are,” Gutiérrez insists. “If we don’t have a product, we send [the customer] to her. We try to be each other’s lifeline.”

It’s unclear who is being more honest, but it’s clear that Del Bravo is in twilight. The Gutiérrez family still sells DLB’s back catalog to distributors and collects royalties on around 15,000 song copyrights through their San Antonio Music Publishers. In other words, they have other means.

I ask Gutiérrez about amping their sales (including two warehouses of used vinyl) by selling online. He’s indefinite.

Hopstetter describes a good record store as having the selection and promotion of Waterloo Records and End of an Ear in Austin. He finds as many as 20 items on his purchase radar whenever he visits. Austin stores host in-store shows/appearances and promote sales/deals through social media. According to Corbin Harwell, Waterloo’s indie buyer, the shop averages around four in-store events a week.

End of an Ear uploads record porn to YouTube: videos of lovely hands showing off new arrivals, frequently followed by “hold” requests in the Facebook comments section. Michael Kurtz, co-founder of Record Store Day and president of the Music Monitor Network (the largest indie record store coalition in the U.S. and Canada), adds that an ideal record store provides an online order department.

Hogwild and Alamo Records and Sheet Music don’t have websites. Hogwild promotes deals and events via social media, though their homemade videos make a greater attempt at (bad) comedy than the hawking of wares. Special events happen less than once a week, but they also mention new arrivals, events around town, and share excellent music trivia. Conversely, Del Bravo’s Facebook started in mid-summer and has less than a page of updates. Janie’s spams variations of the same post with video and picture links.

None of these stores offer online ordering, but I wish that was the worst of it.*

“We just opened our doors and got slammed,” Risher said about Hogwild’s Record Store Day 2011 festivities in April. He didn’t book regional/local talent (as Waterloo did) or even give discounts to customers who shotgunned beers (as Austin’s Trailer Space Record Shop has). He just came to work, not bothering to double-down on the publicity provided by the holiday.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus