The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

Growl offers music enthusiasts both live and recorded music at its Arlington store

Vinyl fans, local music aficionados can find their groove
Hannah Murphy
Growl, located at 509 E. Abram St. in Arlington, Texas, sells new and used vinyl and hosts local and visiting bands.

ARLINGTON, Texas—Vinyl enthusiasts and local music fans have been going to Growl for almost seven years to browse used records and tune in for live performances.

Located at 509 E. Abram St., Growl hosts local and visiting bands alike whose music varies from indie rock to punk. As a record store and music venue hybrid, Growl is an inviting place with its walls lined with new and used records along with performance accessories such as a large disco ball, rotating rainbow lights and sound equipment.

But Growl is not in this business alone. It is affiliated with Division Brewing, which is a craft brewery situated in a barn-style building located directly behind Growl.

“If it wasn’t for Division Brewing, this place would not exist,” Growl manager David Waits said.

Growl began showcasing bands with the idea that live music goes hand in hand with many bars and restaurants. Waits said entertainment is a main way to get people to come to a business.

“In a lot of ways, it works,” Waits said. “There’s nights where we’re very well attended and that translates to the business over at the brewery.”

Even though Division Brewery is the foundation of Growl, bands often bring in the foot traffic that helps the brewery, demonstrating the symbiotic nature of the relationship.

One local band named Plum Boys, whose music can be described as retro ‘80s pop, recently performed at Growl for the first time, and members stressed the importance of live performances.

Bandmate Caleb Jackson said live performances allow connection with the audience.

“I think it is the human part of it,” Jackson said. “To be able to have that connection in person from an artist to the people they write music for. I think it’s a very unique thing that can honestly do a lot of good for a lot of people.”

To keep a steady flow of bands each week, Growl both reaches out to artists and also allows them to reach out about future gigs. For Plum Boys, their show was a collaborative effort with another band named North By North.

Fabian Aguilar of the Plum Boys said the group was approached by North By North about the gig.

“The band North By North DM’d us a couple of months ago on our Instagram,” Aguilar said. “They told us about the show and that they were coming down from Chicago.”

Many times at Growl multiple bands perform the same night. But Growl does not like grouping random acts together. So, many bands will reach out to others to achieve a stacked show with up to four groups playing in one evening.

Growl offers music lovers an intimate experience.

“We don’t have a stage, so I think when bands play right on the floor with the audience there’s a greater connection,” Waits said.

Waits said the experience of watching local bands can be more fruitful than going to concerts put on by larger bands that have more popularity.

“Coming here to see upcoming bands sometimes is more rewarding in the sense that they’re not established,” Waits said. “Sometimes the end reward is more interesting.”

Growl performances are also all-ages events, with the most successful nights being Punk shows.

“We’re one of the few places that allows underage kids to come here and mosh,” Waits said.

Of course, live performances share the spotlight with Growl’s record collection. Growl sells both new and used vinyl. The store also buys used records from the public, depending on the condition. Growl carries genres tailored to a variety of musical tastes, ranging from folk to pop to metal.

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