Starship Records

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According to its Myspace page, Starship Records is the largest and oldest record store in northeastern Oklahoma.

For more than 30 years, the store operated out of a screaming yellow-and-blue house on Route 66, at the corner of 11th Street and Delaware Avenue, but the University of Tulsa unceremoniously bulldozed the store’s distinctive location in the name of prettifying its entrance — a move intended to attract more students (because you know how college kids just hate cool record stores) — and forced the longtime Tulsa institution out of its original location and into a pole barn at the corner of 13th and Lewis.

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Starship still has all the stuff an indie record store is supposed to have: Thousands of CDs, an impressive selection of T-shirts (John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, the Stones, the Dead, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, the Beatles, and Wille Nelson are all here, along with a respectable collection of less-than-respectable slogans for teenagers bent on shocking their elders), party lights shaped like pot leaves, Misfits afghans, Frisbees shaped like KISS records, concert DVDs, Beatles cookie jars, Grateful Dead bumper stickers, body jewelry, hemp necklaces, bead curtains, posters, Bettie Page stickers, an over-18 room offering “tobacco” accessories and adult novelties, a collection of concert fliers and want ads pasted to the front window — in short, all the usual suspects are here.

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Still, standing in the midst of the store, one can’t help but wonder if something got lost in the move, because despite the fact that the owners gamely added a mural to the south side of the building, celebrating the business’ old location, it doesn’t have the vibe of a thirtysomething record store.

Presumably this problem will resolve itself with time; the business moved less than a year ago, and I got the impression that it hasn’t quite settled in and is just sort of going through the motions like all of us do when we’ve moved to a new place that doesn’t quite suit us and are trying to make the best of it while we wait for our sense of “home” to return.

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The vinyl collection could also use work. It’s almost unheard-of for me to walk into a business selling vinyl albums and walk out without a new addition to my collection, but I found nothing I wanted in Starship’s racks (although I did give brief consideration to a mint-condition copy of We Are the World in its original shrink-wrap). My suggestion would be to either beef up the selection or ditch the vinyl altogether and use the space for something else — perhaps an expanded selection of alt-country CDs.

Despite those criticisms, I think the prices are fair enough (I paid $13.99 for a copy of the deluxe re-release of Dusty in Memphis) and the product selection good enough to make Starship worth supporting while it regains its bearings. No doubt an army of regular (and loyal) customers can help break in the new location and develop the cool underground vibe an old, reliable countercultural veteran like Starship deserves.

Open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Grades:
Value: B
Service: A
Convenience: A-
Products: A-
Overall: B+

CAUTIONARY NOTE: Some materials in the store may be inappropriate for children, so parental discretion is advised.

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~ by redforkhippie on February 13, 2007.

3 Responses to “Starship Records”

  1. This store rocks,… my husband and my dad shop there on at least 3 times a month… hope you get to stop by and at least check out they have..

  2. My fiance knows the owner of the place and he says he is such a great guy-I’ve never met him yet. I used to go in when it was at the other location and I did like that one better. Of course the new location is good too because its more roomy and not so over-crowded. Still a great place to go though.

  3. Never get rid of the vinyl

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