Spent all day Saturday (well, for the most part) at Good Records for the store's combined 9th Birthday Bash and National Record Store Day Celebration. And, given the at-times cool and at-times brutally humid weather, that kind of marathon was something of a beating. A fun beating, but a beating nonetheless.
In total, the music lasted from 11 a.m. to just about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday--right up until the cops shut down both Erykah Badu's outdoor stage performance and True Widow's simultaneous indoor performance within a few minutes of each other. After the jump, as the headline promises, the highs and lows from the music- and beer-filled day.
Putting the "Good" In "Good Records"...
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- If ever there were doubt that people sure do care about the record stores they shop in, it was washed away on Saturday. The line for the cashier inside Good Records never once waned over the course of nearly 12 hours of live performance. Whether they were purchasing the one-day only special vinyl releases or just a CD they'd been wanting to grab, these people showed up ready to stimulate the economy. Good on them.
- Even if some event attendees didn't make any purchases, the fact remains that, from three o'clock onward, the crowd size only grew from "kinda crowded" to "holy crap, this place is fucking packed." All in all, a resounding show of support for live (and mostly local) music.
- The unsung hero of the day: Good Records' landlord. On Friday morning, when rain still appeared to be a possible hindrance on the event, Good's landlord, which also owns the property next door to Good's parking lot (the room formerly known as The Beagle Room, among other names), gave the store permission to use the space as a way to give its outdoor stage performers a play to play. Rain was never really much of a factor (aside from a few drips and drops here and there), but, because someone in the nearby residential properties kept calling the police and complaining about the noise (more on him later), the room served as a haven for the bands anyway--from four-o'clock until The Cannabinoids arrived at 9:30 or so, every band scheduled to take the outdoor stage played instead in the vacant bar room.
- And in that vacant bar room? Dove Hunter and Dem Southernfolkz especially killed. The former wowed a hooting and hollering crowd with an especially heavy blend of its roots rock and the latter surprised a largely unfamiliar crowd with its soulful brand of hip-hop. The sound in there was surprisingly OK, turns out. (Also: Dove Hunter's Chad DeAtley says fans can expect a revamped and remixed version of 2008's The Southern Unknown to pop up for sale at some point in the near future.)
- The Boom Boom Box, too, had some re-workings to debut at its performance. Former Pleasant Grove percussionist Jeff Ryan proved a fine addition to the band on Saturday afternoon, adding keyboards and tribal drum beats to the band's already heavy sound. Boom Boom Box bassist Tony Hormilosa also tells me audiences can expect former Pleasant Grove and current Naptime Shake multi-instrumentalist Chris Mayes to join the band on Friday night when it opens for Man Man at The Lounge on Elm Street.
- For many in attendance, Saturday provided an opportunity for local music fans to get their first taste of the Atlantic Records-signed Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights. Crowd reactions were a mixed blessing: Some enjoyed the band's live energy, other knocked them as a poor man's Black Crowes. Either way, good on both the Good crowd and JT&TNL for taking a chance on each other on Saturday. My assessment? Somewhere in between. But, trust me, these guys have come along way from where they were when they got signed a year ago.
- The outdoor stage backdrop sure looked like it was gonna topple at various points throughout the day. But that sucker never crashed.
- Bill Wisener, who, even though it had been announced, surprised many by leaving his store and showing up to thank the crowd for supporting him and his record store
- The crowds, which, in the face of constant police presence, really couldn't have been more calm. Children of all ages littered the store and its surrouding area on Saturday, and, from what I saw, everyone was quite accomodating to each other's needs.
- And, lastly, a big thanks to The Great Erykah Badu, who, even in a set shortened by the police, filled the Good Records parking lot to capacity and gave Dallas crowds unable to afford this year's Coachella something special. At one point, Badu defiantly told the crowd that the police weren't going to stop her: "Y'all better not pull that plug when we start." They didn't stop her--but they also didn't let her play another one after that.
Putting the "Low" in "Lower Greenville"...
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- Good manager Chris Penn says his store had all its permits in line in anticipation of Saturday's event. Even had a couple uniformed, off-duty cops in attendance to keep things in line. But, throughout the day, the police kept returning to the corner of Greenville and La Vista, giving Penn and co-owner Tim Delaughter earfuls, returning at least three different times to check on the complaints. Didn't they know what was going on at this point?
- The guy who complained--supposedly multiple times--about the noise at Good Records. Don't know who he is, but as someone who also lives in that part of town, I can honestly say that the noise on Saturday afternoon and evening was no louder than a normal weekend night on Lower Greenville. When are old people gonna realize that you can't move into urban and/or dense areas of the city and expect the peace and quite you had up in Garland?
- I'm sorry, commenter who thinks Farah's performance was amazing, but were you watching the same disinterested, lazy performance that I was watching? Justify it as arty and as a social commentary all you want. There's just no way I could honestly recommend anyone sit through a half-hour performance of Farah half-heartedly sing-speaking over a pretty dull blip-and-bleep-filled backing track. Her performance was compelling in the same way that watching a cat cough up a hairball is compelling. Which, really, is to say: It wasn't. Not at all.
- The Dallas Police Department, again. Honestly, I didn't think they had the balls to cut Erykah's set short, but lo and behold, they did. And you know what, given the complaints, fine, I can, to an extent, understand asking her to cut her set short. But why the hell did the cops have to shut down True Widow (and, subsequently, cancel performances from The Crash That Took Me, Starlight Mints and The Hooded Deer) on the inside stage, too? Don't. Get. It.
But let's not harp on the negative, OK?
Thanks, Good Records, for an awesome time. And, well done, local music fans, for keeping it all relatively civil (even with five dollar all-you-can-drink beer!).
See you next year?