Every April, music lovers gather in the vinyl stacks for Record Store Day, a celebration of the independent music stores still going strong on the promise of physical music. With a famous musician crowned Ambassador, in-store performances and the special release of new or unreleased music from hundreds of artists, it’s cause for excitement. Record Store Day 2019 was April 13 but the musical city of Austin has plenty of record stores to support year-round. Take our quiz to find your new favorite spot and to start priming yourself for next year!
By Carys Anderson
What’s your musical style?
Old school -- some blues, some country
I like everything, new and old!
Subgenres on subgenres on subgenres.
Hip-hop, R&B, etc.
Where are you coming from?
How do you feel about driving?
I’m more of a homebody.
I’ll go downtown… that’s pretty much it.
I love it! Driving is freedom!
It’s alright. I can do short distances.
Whatcha looking for?
Something unique. I can get the basics on Spotify.
I don’t know, I just wanna have a good time
My record collection is light on singles -- who has 45s?
What’s your budget?
If it’s cool, I’ll rake over the cash.
It’s Record Store Day! Treat Yoself!
If you answered…
Mostly 1’s: Antone’s Records
If you selected mostly A’s, that means you’re either looking for a music shop in walking distance, or you’re looking for some old school music. Antone’s Records has got you covered. Antone’s is located on Guadalupe St., just north of the UT campus and lucky for you specializes in classic genres like country and the blues. Their rare stuff can get a little pricey, but they also offer singles that come in at under $10. Take a walk up to Antone’s for a deep dive into the music that started it all, especially here in Texas.
Mostly 2’s: Waterloo Records
The letter B points to Waterloo Records, Austin’s biggest and probably most well-known record store. Waterloo has something for everyone. They carry all the big genres, complete with new releases and bootlegs of old concerts. There’s a CD section just as large as the vinyl collection. Texas artists have a section of their own. Waterloo’s aware of the recent vinyl trend, so they’re priced about the same as other big stores: LPs come in at around $20-$30. If you’re impressed with their music selection, check out their trinkets -- like Funko Pop! action figures, coin purses and socks. Don’t forget to grab a Waterloo t-shirt while you wait in the checkout line. Everyone else in Austin has one.
Mostly 3’s: End of An Ear
Waterloo is consistently number one in those “Best Austin Record Stores” lists, and for good reason,but End of An Ear, located in South Austin, has street cred. Like its famous companion, End of An Ear often has in-store performances from notable bands, like Austin’s own indie veterans, Spoon. If you live close or are up for driving, check out the store’s myriad niche subgenres across the historical rock spectrum. End of An Ear opens up everyone’s inner music nerd: come for the collectible vinyl, stay for the old zines.
Mostly 4’s: Breakaway Records
Breakaway Records is your go-to if you’re looking for a store up North, or if you’re hoping to expand your hip-hop/R&B/soul collection. Their online shop boasts tons of CDS for only $5-$10, and their vinyl is sure to fit anyone’s budget. For the fully committed, the 45 RPM section is a can’t-miss.