Vinyl Is Cool Again. Where Can I Find It In Amarillo?
I love watching the advancement of technology, I really do.
Over the last 30-40 years, the ways music is delivered has dramatically changed, and several different ways too.
We've seen 8-tracks, cassette tapes, CD's, MiniDiscs (remember those? Probably not) and now streaming services.
But before all that, it was a big, round, black circular disc with grooves in it called vinyl.
I remember my parents just having stacks of them around the house. Anything from The Beatles to Olivia Newton John to even a George Carlin album. Yes, that album was "Occupation: Foole" and it was the ONE album my mother said I couldn't listen to. Well, I did...and that "Filthy Words" bit is what taught me the lovely art of cussing. Thanks George!
But here we are in 2022, a full on digital age where we stream music, movies, TV and download our video games. Yet vinyl is making a huge comeback.
I've always thought vinyl had the coolest sound, even in an age where we can stream master quality audio. There was something about the purity of it, the crackle you would pick up in it. Not to mention it's just cool to have it laying around.
So with the big vinyl comeback, I think to myself "where can I find vinyl in Amarillo?". Well, there isn't a HUGE shop like there is in many cities across America, you have to kind of dig for it. So here's a few places you can go to sort through some crates and find a few gems.
Located inside The NAT, booth 501 to be exact, is what is lovingly known as the "Funky Little Record Store", AKA High Fidelity. Inside, you'll find a display area with some of the new releases that have dropped, and believe me a LOT of artists are releasing new material on vinyl these days. Adele recently said they had to place the vinyl order for her latest album MONTHS in advance just to ensure it would be pressed on time for release date.
You'll also come across crates upon crates of older records that have been gently (or not so gently) used over the years. It's inside these crates that you'll find some seriously hidden gems. I stumbled upon a first pressing of Janet Jackson's "Control" at a random record store in Portland, OR. once time. Sure, the cover looked like it had been thrown around like a frisbee, but I didn't care. I love Janet, and to have an original pressing of the album was worth more to me than eye appeal. Oh yeah, I only paid $3 for it since I went crate digging.
Oh, if you're a comic book collector, they've got those in there as well.
BITTER BUFFALO RECORDS
Another fun shop to go check out is Bitter Buffalo Records. You'll find em at 2311 SW 7th Ave.
You'll find a lot of the same things here that are at High Fidelity. The new records that are still sealed on the shelves, as well as the crates to go hunting through. There is one thing however that Bitter Buffalo offers that High Fidelity doesn't.
The ability to search their inventory online and see what's in the store. Now, while this MAY take away from the experience of flipping through those crates, it makes it super convenient to see what there is to choose from without hopping in your car for what could be a potentially empty trip. All it takes is that one record to bring you into the store, where you may end up finding even more gems.
Check out their inventory here.
While this isn't specifically a record/vinyl store, they DO have some for you to filter through. Located at 2807 6th Ave, it's easy to pop into if you were just digging through crates at High Fidelity.
They're spread out across the store in a couple different places. Behind the cashier area of the store, you'll see a large cabinet with some displayed in it. If you're looking for more, you wanna head upstairs where you should find some in the hallway. Again, this isn't a store dedicated to it, so the selection is very limited. However, you never know what you're going to find. It's worth taking a look!
You can always check secondhand shops like Goodwill, etc. as they have a tendency to get that kind of stuff donated from time to time. The upside to finding vinyl in these types of stores is they don't typically price those sorts of items on value of the record. They just slap a tag on it and move along. If you search long enough, you're bound to find a valuable piece or two that someone just dropped off.