If the trends in Houston’s music scene are any indication, turntables and vinyl records are no longer under the exclusive domain of hipsters and bargain-basement stores.
Several of Houston’s most established venues are reportedly launching their own “vinyl nights” in an effort to draw crowds of all ages.
Venues, like MKT Bar and the Nightingale Room in downtown Houston, The Flat in Midtown, Continental Club and Alley Kat on mid-Main, are now all dedicating at least one night a month to DJ’s who get the crowd moving by spinning platters, rather than punching buttons.
These shows often feature a specific genre of classic popular music.
For example, Fistful of Soul, a DJ duo at the Continental Club, plays classic soul music from the 50’s and 60’s.
Tejas Got Soul, another duo made up of Isaac Rodriguez and Nick Gaitan, features Tex Mex and Chicano music from the 60’s and 70’s.
Gaitan, who also plays bass with Nikki Hill and reportedly makes his own music with his band The Umbrella Man, spoke to a local newspaper about what he describes as the visceral experience of putting on a record:
“There’s something different about whenever you put a record on, even down to the crackle and the dust on it. There’s just something about it that’s different than when you listen to a CD or an MP3. Although great things have happened on those media, too, but, when you put on the record, it’s a moment.”
The demand for dedicated DJ shows is expanding to other dates and venues across Houston, including weekly shows at Rice Village’s Under the Volcano on Saturdays and Mid-Main’s Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge on Tuesdays.
For music aficionados, the show-goers say they enjoy the experience of listening to their favorite music in a relaxed social setting; and, for those unaccustomed to these songs, these nights can open their eyes – and ears – to new and sounds of old.