Last week, the Good Records Web site carried the following notice: "For four years we have had the pleasure to meet many of you on our journey to a new adventure in listening. We have been proud to bring our vision of a record store to the people of Dallas and around the world. We will be suspending our Internet presence and on-line orders to restructure temporarily. You will soon see changes not only on-line but also at our physical location."
Wait: What changes? And when? And why the elevated language, almost begging the reader to peek between the lines? Was one of the city's most beloved record stores covering up for its own demise? For a moment, I thought it was some April Fools' prank, like the posting at Deep Elm Records that claimed the label had entered an exclusive partnership with Disney Corp. and all future albums would carry pictures of animated Disney characters.
It's not quite so dramatic. "It's basically a karmic cleansing," says the store's new manager Chris Neal, who recently replaced Erik Courson, still a silent partner in the company. Neal, known affectionately as "The Rubber Man" (the result of a college-age tendency to bounce off the walls with excitement), is a longtime friend of Good Records co-owner Tim DeLaughter and his wife, Julie. He says the announcement signals a purging of certain merchandise. "The original vision for the store was that when you walk into the place, everything should be worth buying," Neal says. Guess that means no more Ryan Adams at Good Records. The store is planning some impressive in-stores, while trying to count all the marbles and ensure consistent online service. Oh, yes! And there will be fresh flowers. "We want people to come in and have a good experience," Neal says.
Adds employee C.J. Davis, "We want to make sure we stay the best in town."
Good Records hosts a CD release party for Buzz-Oven Vol. 11 on Saturday at 3 p.m. The disc features music from Chomsky and The Vanished.
A Polyphonic Spree spree: Not enough glistening anthemic pop in your diet? Fret not. The Polyphonic Spree's "Light and Day" makes a cameo in the brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and on April 20, the band itself makes a cameo on the cheeky sitcom Scrubs. (See next week's Music section for details.) The next night, on April 21, the band will appear on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. The Spree is currently on tour with David Bowie, although no dates are set for Dallas. Their studio album, Together We're Heavy, comes out July 13, and I promise not to mention the Polyphonic Spree again...till next week.
In memoriam: Last Wednesday at 3 a.m., guitarist Matt Setzer of the band Frolic died in a car accident. "We had played an acoustic gig that night on McKinney," says Brock Kuharchek, bassist for the band (and Dallas Observer employee). Kuharchek says of Setzer, who was 23, "For as young as he was, he was really influenced by the '80s guys, and he could just tear the guitar up. He'd just bust something out, and it was always smooth as silk. That was God's gift to him."
The band is planning several benefit concerts, including a show April 23, with Dana's Fast, Solace, FFTN and others. For more information, see www.frolicweb.com.
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Come correct: I received a couple of e-mails about errors in my Prince preview last week. "Someone needs to help Ms. Hepola with her research of Prince," one began. (Wanted: one Prince intern.) The e-mail went on to point out that Prince's last album was The Rainbow Children, not Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, and that his last tour was two--rather than seven--years ago. This is true. And I blame the Internet. Who else would so cruelly propagate these lies?
Here is something else that is true: Prince has added a second Dallas show on June 11. Tickets go on sale April 17.
Hand stamps: Sultry songstress Lauren Gifford holds a CD release party for Sitting Pretty at the Gypsy Ballroom on Friday. Also on Friday, at the Sons of Hermann Hall, there will be a benefit show for Alejandro Escovedo, the beloved Texas singer-songwriter battling Hepatitis C. The bang-up lineup includes Pleasant Grove, Sorta, Brent Best of Slobberbone, Deadman and Doug Burr. A $10 donation is suggested at the door. Of course, we can't go without mentioning the Dallas Observer Music Awards on April 13 (see feature story "Behind the Music Awards"), which will include performances by everyone's favorite polka band Brave Combo, goofy folk-rockers I Love Math, R&B newcomers Common Folk and a special one-time-only supergroup, Uncommon Denominated (it was my name, so blame me), including Marcus Striplin from Pleasant Grove, Michele Pittenger from the Lucky Pierres, Danny Balis from Sorta, and Glen Reynolds and Matt Kellum from Chomsky. Of course, there will be other various surprises. Wink-wink.