The Los Sundowns,
The TVD First Date

“Some of my first musical memories, around ’80 or ’81, revolve around a little Mickey Mouse turntable I had.”

“I distinctly remember a Davy Crockett and a Star Wars record that were meant to play while you read the book. A couple years later and I fancied myself a Breaker (B Boy) and the soundtrack to Breakin’ was my turntable obsession. I played that record constantly until one day I decided that if I put on my fingerless leather gloves, I’d be able to scratch the record on the turntable like in the movies. Needless to say, it didn’t work out like I wanted to and I got in trouble.

For the next couple years, my musical obsessions deepened and I discovered heavy metal. Still, I loved to return to my parents’ record collection of classic rock, disco, and funk. I remember Stanley Clarke, the Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever, Michael Jackson, Santana. I’d pore over the record sleeves and the artwork even when not playing any music. When my parents had get-togethers, I’d jump at the chance to play DJ and I suppose that’s where an early affinity for a variety of music came from. As I got older, the medium that I delved into with my own money was cassettes, less so CDs. I lost touch with vinyl for about a decade or more.

Sometime in the late ’90s, after moving to Austin from my hometown of Laredo, I stumbled on the remnants of a burned out abandoned house on a hike. I happened to find a stack of records, slightly water damaged, but not really in bad shape, considering. Among this batch was a copy of the Beastie Boys’ “Cooky Puss” 12″ single. I opened it up and it was in good shape, even more exciting, there was $20 in there. Go figure.

It was around this time I discovered thrift shop record digging. I don’t even think I had a turntable, but I started buying a few records here and there when I found something coo—they were usually like $1 or $2 anyway. I kept this small collection for a few years till about 2013. It was then that I was gifted a nice ’70s Sansui Deck, a Technics turntable, some ’70s JBLs and discovered an antique shop down the street from the new place I had just moved into.

They had yet to discover the wonders of Google it seemed, and my wife and I started buying cheap records in excellent shape, in earnest. They eventually caught on and prices jumped to more or less what you find around most places now. My collection has grown to a few hundred records and I continue to buy more when I can. I still love putting a record on and sitting on the floor in front of the lot of them and perusing the covers, reading the liner notes and enjoying the warmth and familiarity of a record on vinyl.

I record music now and am constantly sending mixes over email, uploading tracks here and there, listening to tracks from my phone in my car or on headphones, but I’ll always prefer sitting back and dropping that needle on a good record any day.”
Beto Martinez

The debut self-titled release from The Los Sundowns arrives in stores on February 12, 2020—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: SANDRA DAHDAH

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