Philbrook Museum - Tulsa, OK

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reflections On A Weekend In OKC Or... "I Miss Sound Warehouse."

 Farmers Public Market - 311 S. Kline Ave. OKC, OK  73108
My wife and I took a trip to Oklahoma City on Friday night to attend the opening of the Momentum event. It was an incredible show, filling the historic Farmers Public Market from wall to wall with art created right here in Oklahoma by this years selected artists (You can meet a few of the artists who represented Tulsa at this years show right here.) The building itself is a work of art if you have never seen it, constructed in 1928 and placed on the national register of historic places in 1982. It was once the hub of a 140 acre amusement park, later housed the likes of Bob Wills and his trademark sound and more recently has gone through a thorough renovation and houses weddings, receptions, countless events and numerous concerts. We were provided an incredible surprise before leaving town Friday evening, a conformation number for a hotel reservation in our names in Bricktown for Friday night. We spent the evening with friends and family enjoying the crowds of people at the Momentum event, making new friends and I even had an opportunity to to delve into a conversation with the owners of Keep It Local OK about bringing their program into the Tulsa area. It was a great conversation, and I encourage you to check out their website, and contact Bryce to let him know we would love to see this program in and around Tulsa.

After we awoke from our late evening of art fueled insanity my wife recommended that we find a Dunkin' Donuts for some much needed "self" refueling. With her not being a native Tulsan, or Oklahoman, or even a native US Citizen for that matter, I have been hearing about "Munchkins" for as long as I have known her, and agreed without thinking twice about the subject. We eventually found a Dunkin' Donuts, and after thoroughly enjoying almost half of my breakfast fit for a a small family, I decided that I not only understand her longing for Munchkins, but I now encourage it. Needless to say, Dunkin' Donuts now resides on my list of places I wish I could drive to in under 30 minutes, mentally nestled between Ikea and White Castle.

Once we waddled back to the car from our Dunkin' Donuts breakfast adventure, I had a surprise address saved on my phone that was quickly entered into the GPS before she noticed something was awry. She says I have an addiction, but I always remind her that no one has every died or gone to prison for a "vinyl" addiction.  We made our way just a few miles up the street and pulled into the parking lot of Guestroom Records.

Former Location Of Sound Warehouse
1342 S. 15th Street Tulsa, Oklahoma
I was instantly nostalgic due to the numerous flyers and posters tapped to the inside of the large street facing windows, wishing and longing for the days of my youth spent wandering up and down the isles of music at Sound Warehouse on Cherry Street (Whose location was later filled by Camilles Sidwalk Cafe, pictured right ). Once we entered the building I was again reminded of the fact that Tulsa has seemingly lost its supporters of "music stores" to the culture of online listening, but perhaps it was just the difference of population totals that allowed this OKC and Norman based independent music store to be busy on a Saturday afternoon. Here in Tulsa we lost Under The Mooch on Harvard over a year ago, which served our city well for it's three years in business. We still have Starship Music & Gifts (formally Starship Records & Tapes, back before The University Of Tulsa told them to scram, and they moved up the street), but you can only assume that a majority of their operating income is received from the "other" side of the store since you can look through their "records and tapes" in less than 15 minutes. They do in fact still boast an outstanding collection of music on CD, the likes of which rival Best Buy or any other "local store" still selling physical music in Tulsa during 2011, but a record store it is not.

I've made several new friends at both of Tulsa's Saturday Flea Markets while on the hunt for hidden gems, and I've even received a few musical recommendations along the way from some very knowledgeable people, but it's still no "Music Store" experience. I must say, that there are times such as this weekend when I find myself wishing for the days gone by when you could find an open bar stool in the back Sound Warehouse, grab a pair of clean headphones, and sit there to relax and check out the artist of your choice. I purchased my first Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey CD from the "Local" section on the West wall, back when their group was big enough to fill a entire stage with people holding instruments. I miss Sound Warehouse, just like some people miss Peaches, and other's miss Mohawk Music or Buttons. I don't think having a store like Guestroom Records makes OKC any better than Tulsa, it just fills a niche that we still have open further up the turnpike. Until the day that a new business owner takes yet another chance on the collective group of Tulsa's music lovers, we will have Starship and Tom at the Expo Flea Market, and according to my wife that is enough of a reason to say "iDigTulsa".

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