Austin’s Record Store Day Picks

Local releases and where to get 'em

Music freaks and fetishists mark their calendars annually for this coming Saturday – April 18 – anticipating the eighth iteration of Record Store Day, a consumer holiday spotlighting the unique culture of independent record shops.

Stoking obsession from vinyl-minded masses are the RSD special releases, which range in quality from a 180-gram mono pressing of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes to a 7-inch from Macaulay Culkin’s pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band.

At best, these hundreds of special-edition records stimulate sales for the retailers that slang music 365 days a year and offer fans unheard material by their favorite artists. At worst, they goose collector market opportunists to hock limited-edition goods on Ebay.

In either case, we’ve selected RSD titles with Austin ties that locals can get excited over.

Small Faces
Afterglow of Your Love
7-inch vinyl, Charly Records

A beautiful, unreleased song led by late local organist Ian McLagan.

Okkervil River
Sleep and Wake-Up Songs

12-inch vinyl, JagjaguwarR

Will Sheff and company’s third album, from 2004, debuts on vinyl with two bonus tracks: a demo of the EP track “You’re Untied Again” and the unreleased “Knocking Myself Out.”

James Cotton
Cut You Loose!

12-inch vinyl, Vanguard Records

A fan-voted remastered reissue of an iconic release by the blues harp great who hangs his hat in Austin.

Johnny Winter
Live Bootleg Series Vol. 4
12-inch 180-gram clear vinyl, Friday Music

Live licks from the late guitarist who was discovered and first recorded in Austin.

Robert Earl Keen
Gringo Honeymoon

12-inch vinyl, Sugar Hill Records

Inaugural vinyl issuance of Keen’s 1994 breakout.

The Baseball Project/The Minus 5
Redeyed in Austin
12-inch colored vinyl, Yep Roc Records

Two of Scott McCaughey’s bands showcase their vocation with live recordings from Austin.

Smoke Signals

12-inch white vinyl, Beer City Skateboards & Records

A reissue of sophomore LP by the police-hating punk band that formed in Austin as the Stains in 1981.

Sons of Anarchy
Songs of Anarchy Vol. 2 & 3 (Seasons 5 and 6)
Double vinyl, Friday Music

This TV biker drama soundtrack includes two tracks by Battleme, aka Matt Drenik of one-time Austin rock hopefuls Lions.

Junior Brown
Better Call Saul Theme

7-inch vinyl, Spacelab9

Double-neck-guitar pickin’ former Austinitie sings the theme song for the popular Breaking Bad spin-off.

Willie Nelson
Double LP on colored vinyl, Modern Classics/Light in the Attic

Willie’s 1998 album with Emmylou Harris as a backup singer arrives on wax for the first time.

Asleep at the Wheel
Still The King: Celebrating The Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys

7-inch vinyl, Bismeaux Records

This Ray Benson-autographed regional RSD release features “New Spanish Two Step” and “The Devil Ain’t Lazy” – tracks left off the Wheel’s recent longplayer, the former with Willie Nelson and latter featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Bob Dylan
The Night We Called It A Day

7-inch blue vinyl, Columbia Records

Highlights from Dylan’s new album of Sinatra favorites, “The Night We Called It A Day” b/w “Stay With Me,” featuring guitar work from ever-present local guitar-slinger Charlie Sexton.

Official RSD releases can be found at stores that have signed the Record Store Day Pledge, which according to the RSD website, means “they have agreed to act in the spirit of Record Store Day, and sell the commercial Record Store Day releases to their physical customers on Record Store Day; not to gouge them, or hold product back to sell them online.” The availability of a specific RSD release at any particular store isn’t guaranteed.

Austin’s official RSD outlets are Waterloo Records, Encore Records, End of an Ear, Antone’s Record Shop, Breakaway Records, and Exploded Records, but we encourage you to shop and support all of Austin’s record retailers:

Waterloo (600-A N. Lamar): The local Mecca of music retail offers acres of new and used CDs, vinyl, and rock & roll paraphernalia, as well as hosting a plethora of big-name festival acts in its parking lot during SXSW.

Trailer Space (1401 Rosewood): This Eastside hangout hosts bands nightly and remains the best record store to get drunk in.

Breakaway (211 W. North Loop): A sophisticated selection of soulful music and a clean shop with chairs your significant other can sit in while you dig through racks.

Encore (809 E. Sixth): Austin’s foremost metal marketplace – resurrected downtown after a brief closure – boasts CDs and vinyl of all genres as well as T-shirts and DVDs.

Friends of Sound (1704 S. Congress): A hidden gem behind the SoCo strip, FOS attracts DJs and collectors, and has the best genre labels: “Yacht Rock,” “East Coast Rap,” “Jesus Music.”

End of an Ear (2209 S. First): No one beats this South Austin shop’s distinguished selection of heavy music (prog, punk, experimental, psych, metal, etc.). It also boasts a back room selling stereo gear and drum kits.

Antone’s Record Shop (2928 Guadalupe): Founded by departed Austin music impresario Clifford Antone, this campus area shop has a snob-worthy selection and the cheapest used vinyl prices in town.

Whetstone Audio (2401 E. Sixth): This Eastside boutique sells connoisseur-quality turntables, amps, and speakers as well as the round things you play on them.

Sound Gallery (4930 S. Congress): High-end hi-fi headquarters busting out a museum-like showroom of record players and receivers plus racks of new vinyl.

Exploded Records (4500 Duval): A vinyl annex inside Hyde Park’s JuiceLand, with new and used records specializing in hip-hop and experimental DJ stuff.

RVRB Records (2404 E. Seventh): Amid guitars and clothing, find psych rock gems in the vinyl bins.

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Record Store Day, Small Faces, Ian McLagan, Okkervil River, Bob Dylan, Charlie Sexton, Robert Earl Keen, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Asleep at the Wheel, Junior Brown, Sons of Anarchy, Johnny Winter, James Cotton, MDC

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