Groove Net: The Best Kept Secret in Dallas' Music
Like all niche stores, record shops are keeling over left and right. Only one or two record stores among each hundred have survived the evolution of the music industry. In turn, a priceless cultural gathering place has been all but lost. A cornerstone that ignores occupational, national, and social boundaries, concerned instead with music, and the rich dialogue fellow enthusiasts share with one another therein.
Rightly so, considerable ink has been spilt discussing these places - the choice survivors - shops like Good Records and CD Source. Even Bill's and Forever Young receive their mentions. But Dallasites might be surprised to learn that there is another place. Perhaps, an even better record store than these. In fact, it's THE record store for local collectors, audiophiles and DJs. It's also one of the oldest and best kept secrets in the DFW music scene. I'm speaking about a refreshingly nondescript store called Groove Net.
After years of blaring recommendations and a seemingly endless stream of "you wouldn't believe what I found" stories, I finally made my over to Groove Net this last Wednesday.
If, like me, you depend on GPS technology to overcome even the simplest of navigation, finding Groove Net can be something of a chore. It's off the beaten path, tucked amongst a series of small warehouses on the fringes of Mesquite and Garland (635 and La Prada to be exact). But, of course, that's the point. Owner Randy Frierson considers Groove Net his retirement headquarters. It's by no means meant as a window-shopping, high-traffic venue; however, as I would soon discover, Frierson is more than happy to accommodate any and all customers.
Once you've arrived, you're faced with a minimal, no-flare storefront, stamped with a sign reading: GROOVE.NET MAIL ORDER. HOURS: BANKERS. You see Groove Net is not solely a physical shop, it's also an internationally recognized hub, satisfying scores of discerning crate diggers the world over. And HOURS: BANKERS? It is as it sounds. Groove Net keeps Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm/Sat: 8am-2pm hours. Well, sort of. Since Frierson's hands are constantly in several ventures at once, it's best to call ahead just to make sure he's still in for the day.
A swing of the door and I'm inside. It's a stark, delightfully low-key interior, housing a neatly aligned series of well-kept records. Sounds both strange and pleasing fill the air. It's a clean, welcoming place, refreshingly free of the bothersome industry marketing materials that typically blanket a record shop. I'm met with a friendly "how can I help you?" and soon proceed to search the stacks.