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Art-Te Company
945 Broadway, Downtown
(619) 232-7231

It says something that the major music stores are stocking some major Mexican and Latin American music stars. But Robert Highsmith, the bilingual walking encyclopedia of Art-Te, says they're more expensive than little-guy aficionados like him. He believes they bow to record companies' pressure to keep the cost of CDs high. "But I decide what price I charge. The small stores can do that. Partly because we don't have to pay advertising bills like the chain stores do." His modest shop at Tenth and Broadway bulges with everything from Ricky Martin to

the still-hot banda music, to Norteño groups like Los Tigres del Norte. You can find their 1972 hit "Contrabando" and 1989's "Corridos Prohibidos" (all songs about smuggling you-know-what from there to here). But even Highsmith has to charge higher prices for bigger stars. The normal $12 CD leaps to $18 for the likes of Ricky Martin.

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