I originally intended to stay at Good Records‘ day-long National Record Store Day celebration (cheekily dubbed “Revolution 9”) for maybe an hour, tops. I ended up hanging out on Good’s Lowest Greenville site for nearly four (and, as a result, skipped out on the Dallas Art Dealers Association Spring Gallery Walk altogether), and I would have stayed longer had hunger pangs not forced me to acquire dinner (and had the burgers served at the event looked more appetizing to someone that limits his red-meat intake).
It was quite a positive experience. The crowd numbered several hundred all afternoon – easily two or three times last year’s turnout – and many of those of consequence in Dallas’ local-music scene swung by. Those seeking an early start to Lowest Greenville’s Saturday-night bar scene began ambling into Good’s parking lot around 6 p.m. Five-dollar commemorative cups provided access to all-you-could-drink light beer. The superb entertainment on two stages concluded with a set by Erykah Badu and her easy-flowing, jam-oriented backing band.
But two issues – one under Good Records’ control and the other not – tempered an otherwise phenomenal event: the lack of bathroom facilities (a pair of portable toilets – one each for men and women – was nowhere near enough) and the shutting down of the outdoor stage at about 4:30 p.m. due to a neighbor complaint (note the singular tense) about noise. The latter is an absolute shame, and is endemic of the long-simmering clash between those who live near Lower Greenville and those who do business on it.
Yes, the outdoor stage’s sound could be heard well beyond Matilda Street, two blocks away to the east and, in this neighborhood, the demarcation line between commercial and most residential. (I say ‘most’ because at least three block-long lines of recently erected townhomes now sit within two blocks of Good’s location.) But because Good’s building physically muffled a chunk of the sound eastward, the volume was not all that high beyond Matilda.
Good had a permit to hold the event outside; Dallas Police was even present to keep beer swillers from meandering away from the lot. But (reportedly) one single complaint prompted Good to move the outdoor acts inside the now-vacant Beagle space next door.
That stretch of Lowest Greenville has been an active nightlife zone for decades, long before Good moved there in 2006. Anyone that chooses to live near that area should reasonably expect some of that ambiance to seep in on occasion, even in the daytime.
Other stretches of Greenville Avenue are situationally similar. For instance, several years ago I lived on Goodwin Avenue a few doors behind Stan’s Blue Note and what is now Cafe Brazil – basically the epicenter of an active sector of the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day block party. I knew about it, and I accepted it as a neighbor. In fact, the constant nighttime activity made me feel safer than had I lived, say, a few more blocks to the east.
Those that reside near Good Records – particularly in the townhomes previously mentioned – should accept that the store will hold occasional weekend outdoor events. If one lives in a neighborhood with an established environment and ‘feel,’ accept that environment as your own and don’t attempt to stifle it unless it’s unsafe or unreasonable. Neither appeared to be the case, at least to my eyes and ears, late Saturday afternoon.