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A Completely Biased Review: Cactus Records
My first summer in Bozeman was spent in a little studio apartment on Main Street over a business that no longer exists, Montana Motor Supply. I used the bathroom down the hall because my apartment, and others, didn’t have their own. I didn’t have a parking spot and had to move my car every two hours during the day and park blocks away at night, my mom paid my parking tickets so I wouldn’t get into too much trouble. It was a simpler life, and the best part was the huge window facing Main Street; and the view. I was directly across from the Ellen Theatre, and they still showed movies. Kitty corner from the Baxter Hotel, and oh so close to Cactus Records.
Cactus has been in downtown Bozeman longer than I have been alive. Although I’ve only enjoyed it for the past sixteen years I’m sure it’s quirky style has been keeping visitors happy since they opened their doors in 1970. Some of my favorite cards and post cards have come from Cactus. They are funny, memorable and always appreciated by the recipient. My little apartment enjoyed the aromatics of the incense I purchased at Cactus, and my walls displayed it’s artwork.
There is no denying the Records in Cactus Records. It is after all inherently a music store, and that I hope is what will always keep you coming back to visit. My household has a record collection, and I can think of only two local stores that I can add to it from, Cactus is my favorite. We have preordered vinyl from Cactus several times, yes current bands are putting out new albums on vinyl, but you have to be on the ball to be sure to get it before it sells out nationally, and preorder it to make sure it makes it to Bozeman.
So vinyl, CDs and the all powerful concert ticket are all to be found at Cactus Records. Until six months ago you had to enter the shop to buy concert tickets to your favorite Bozeman venue (and beyond). Now you can purchase tickets to anything from music at the Filling Station to fundraisers at the Emerson at www.cactusrecords.net for just a little bit more than making in the door.
If you do ignore the temptation of the internet to buy tickets at Cactus you won’t be sorry. The assortment of novelties and oddities will tickle your gift giving trigger point to be sure. It will be hard to resist the hilarious games, tshirts, cards and toys for every age. Need a turd bird? Cactus has them. Want to make your hand into a puppet? Cactus has eyes that fit around your fingers for that. Want to give the best gift at the next birthday party? Cactus has just the thing.
I may not get to Cactus Records in beautiful downtown Bozeman as much as when I was a neighbor, but it never fails to disappoint when I make the point to visit. It is fun and exciting. The clerks are friendly and always willing to help. The feel is authentic and original, two things I appreciate a lot in a retail envirnoment. The owner is around, and the store dog is adorable.
Find Cactus Records & Gifts on Facebook for in-store music performances, new music teasers and quizes, links to articles, fun downtown info and more. Next time your downtown be sure to stop in for some good tunes and a laugh.
Angie Ripple is the publisher of and increasingly more frequent contributor to Bozeman Magazine. If like her you also enjoy the eclectic ambiance of Cactus she recommends a visit to Benjie’s as well.