March 31st, 2017 by chocko
Wrestlemania weekend is upon us once again, so look for Chocko in the stands munching on a bowl of Booty-O’s and a turnbuckle on the side, cheering on all the fist flying and off the top rope action which should be kicking like Bruce Lee’s Chinese Connection. Here’s a quick look back at last year’s trek to Texas for our annual pilgrimage to the pandemonium in the squared circle. Traveling for Chocko usually involves record store shopping, checking out graffiti, street art and enjoying lots of local eats.
My first stop after landing in Austin, Texas was Antone’s Record Shop (2928 Guadalupe St. Austin, TX 78705). A quick history about the place is that in 1975 Clifford Antone opened a blues nightclub which became successful and legendary. In 1987 he opened a record store across the street from the club where it has remained ever since. The shop specializes in the blues and local artists. Great amount of used vinyl, CDs to keep you busy digging around if you’re into that. I bought a bunch music including “West Side Soul” by Magic Sam…a great album of electric blues which came out in 1967. There’s a DVD I picked up on a previous trip to Austin and it’s titled “Antone’s Home Of The Blues” and if you can track that down it’s a really interesting documentary about the history of Antone’s nightclub and it’s jam packed with stories, great music and performances by B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins, Buddy Guy, and Hubert Sumlin. Trust me, you gotta see it. The amount of talent that walked through the doors and played at Antone’s is absolutely mind blowing.
Waterloo Records & Video (600 A North Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703) is always a must. Don’t let the challenge of finding a parking spot in their packed lot deter you from stepping in. They have a large amount of new and used vinyl, CDs and an awesome selection of movies. They also have a lot of toys and shirts. They have all their CDs alphabetized and they aren’t separated by genre…not sure if that’s a good thing. Among my findings in the Used section was “HEARTATTACK! 1954-1965: WILD AND CRAZY L.A. R&B” which kept the driving around town entertaining. The deep fried and greasy tracks on the album had me wanting more.
Encore Records (809 E. 6th St. Austin, TX 78702) is a decent walk from Congress Ave. Bridge where we parked. Recommended stop for sugar and and energy for the walk is Voodoo Doughnut (212 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701) an Oregon-based shop that serves some weird looking doughnuts and off the wall flavors. Encore has a great amount of new and used music with an emphasis on Metal and Hardcore. They had a huge amount of shirts and movies. I bought a bunch of movies on DVD and VHS.
Breakaway Records (211 W. North Loop Blvd. Austin, TX 78751) was nicely organized with records specializing in Soul, R&B, jazz and rock. There’s lots of equipment to check out too like turntables, speakers and receivers. The record stores I visited was just a few of many to check out. There’s a small guide available for free at most of the local record stores titled Vinyl Around Austin which lists more than a dozen record stores in the Austin area. The guide also includes a small but helpful map.
The photos above were taken at the HOPE Outdoor gallery where graffiti and street art reign supreme. Some of the art is spectacular but it looks like anything goes, lots of great stuff gets tagged quickly by amateurs picking up a half empty (or half full) can of spray paint and going at it.
The last photos above are from Dallas, Texas where Wrestlemania took place last year. Looks like a fun city to check out, but we just didn’t have the time. Gotta go and catch a flight to Wrestlemania 33 in Orlando!