The Austin Chronicle

Austin Record Stores for Your Listening Pleasure

By Kevin Curtin, February 4, 2023, 7:31am, Earache!

Despite phones being the modern world's main conduit of recorded music, brick-and-mortar retail spaces selling physical copies of albums thrive in this musically enlightened city.

Algorithms and playlists are fine for what they are, but nothing beats the record store experience: the surprise of a cool and unfamiliar LP sleeve catching your eye, the regional flavors, the informed clerks, and the fellowship of browsing alongside other music fans. Here are some of the record stores Austin has to offer.

Antone's Record Shop

Campus-area classic with a Texas treasure trove of new and used vinyl, CDs, and cassettes, plus occasional in-stores, open to all ages.

Big Henry's Vinyl & Gifts

Doubling as a gift shop for Austin's Home of the Blues, Big Henry's bins contain a discerningly curated collection of used genre gems.

BLK Vinyl

Eastside used-vinyl hideaway with a wealth of classic LPs, obscurities, and local fare.

Breakaway Records

Wide-ranging but notably soul-centric shop including rare 45s worthy of a DJ's tote bag, with a vibe fitting for the vintage store strip it resides on.

End of an Ear

Veteran vinyl sellers maintaining an impressive stock of new releases, ranging from mainstream to ultra-underground, plus bountiful genre sections. EoaE holds occasional in-stores, too.

Exploded Records

While getting your Wundershowzen smoothie and wheatgrass shot at the JuiceLand on 45th and Duval, browse their vinyl enclave, which includes a clued-in clutch of beatmaker releases.

Feels So Good Records

A sizable record store in the showroom of FSG's South Austin print shop, which also hosts all-ages performances. Mostly used selection, except releases from the FSG label.

Love Wheel Records

North Austin boutique shop with solid, mostly used selection at an affordable price.

Waterloo Records

Since 1982, Austin's most prominent record retailer. Austin's musical town square has deep vinyl bins and endless CD racks – both containing new and used releases. Touring artists and prominent locals play all-ages in-stores and appear for autograph signings.

A version of this story previously published as "Back-to-School Guide: Stores to Shop Your Way Into Austin Music."

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