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For a moment, it almost seems as though you've walked into the CD World location on Greenville Avenue and Mockingbird Lane by mistake. There's the burly, bearded Chris Penn behind the counter ringing up a customer, and Carlos Jackson, a quiet Elephant 6 collective afficionado, checking the racks. Both were familiar faces at CD World, a pair of employees that made the staff among the most knowledgeable in town. Walking through the doors of a Good-Latimer storefront on the outskirts of Deep Ellum on a sunny Monday afternoon, it's hard not to believe CD World has opened a third location. Without looking around much, it's harder to believe the store has been open for only a few hours.
But Jackson and Penn don't work for CD World anymore; they work for Good Records, the latest enterprise to develop out of the Tripping Daisy camp. Penn, in fact, is one of the store's co-owners, along with Tripping Daisy singer Tim DeLaughter and his wife Julie Doyle. And, upon further inspection, it's clear Good Records is just now opening. The racks lining the walls and cutting through the middle of the store are only half full, if that. The yellow shelves labeled "New Arrivals" are completely barren. Jackson says he and everyone involved with the store stayed up all night, readying Good Records for its first day in business. "At midnight, we didn't have any records out," Jackson says, laughing.
Still, Good Records is already pretty far along. The interior resembles a full-scale re-creation of the artwork from Tripping Daisy's 1998 album Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb. It's all bright colors and retro design, somewhat kitschy, but in a very subtle way -- if that's even possible. A mural runs the length of one wall, depicting a portion of the washed-out landscape that appeared on the cover of the disc. The mural runs into a magazine rack -- stocked with a wide variety of 'zines and underground magazines. "Mark Pirro built that magazine rack," Penn loudly announces, pointing to the Tripping Daisy bassist, who's milling around among the racks, looking every bit the carpenter in his Dickies jumpsuit.
The selection in the store, while still fairly paltry, reflects the music the members of the band have been playing on their Internet radio station, Daisy Radio, which is located at www.daisyradio.com. It literally is A-to-Z -- from the Apples in Stereo to Frank Zappa -- and it should only improve as the inventory does. As DeLaughter says, Good Records is a work in progress.
"We pulled an all-nighter last night," he says. "Had to do it, man. Had to put the blood, sweat, and tears into it. We'll have it pretty much there [in about a month]. The inventory comes in every day, it's just whipping the store into shape before that." He sighs. "First day in the big house."