The drive from Memphis to Austin for the annual South By Southwest conference is usually one of my favorite days of the year. Although I usually go by way of Texarkana and Dallas, on this particular year, I decided to head down through Monroe, Louisiana and Shreveport instead. My primary goal was to leave promotional posters and compact discs from Select-O-Hits Music Distribution with record stores and urban clothing stores in the areas I visited on the way down. The Monroe, Ruston and Grambling area had once had numerous record stores; all were gone now, and I was limited mainly to hip-hop clothing outlets like Mad Flavors and Urban Zone. West Monroe did indeed have a new record store called Spazz Records, but it seemed to be oriented toward indie rock, and in any case, it had more clothes than it did records.
Shreveport had also once had more record stores than it did now, but I was able to visit at least the two most important ones, All Around Sounds in the Queensboro neighborhood, and Garland’s Super Sound in Cedar Grove.