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Austin’s record stores, mapped

For your Record Store Day 2019 pleasure

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Oh, Austin. Our relationship with record stores is a saga of trauma and bliss. We’ve seen some great ones come and go (Inner Sanctum, Record/Sound Exchange, Recycled Records, Music Mania, Cheapo) and some that came and stayed (Waterloo, End of an Ear).

There’s one thing we’ve never given up on in all that time: vinyl. (Ha! Bet you thought that would be “showing off obscure knowledge” or “‘surprising’ admissions of love for mainstream pop.”) We even had a vinyl pressing plant for a brief stint in the 1990s (albeit one with very limited and arcane output).

Now there’s a national marketing holiday to celebrate record stores, and we couldn’t be happier. Record Store Day has become more elaborate over the years, with special releases by artists, events that aren’t at record stores, and the like. It falls on Saturday, April 13, this year, and many shops will have special events and deals throughout the day.

Below, we’ve mapped Austin’s best, most tried-and-true record stores—whether or not they’re participating in RSD 2019. We’ll add more before the big day, so if we missed one of your favorites (on the official list of participating stores or not), let us know in the comments section.

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Piranha Records

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Piranha is both an old standby and an under-the-radar choice for area record-buyers, probably because it’s in Round Rock. It has an extensive selection of old new and used vinyl records as well as CDs, DVDs, clothing, and incense, and specializes in local rap and Down-South apparel, according to its website.

Groovers Paradise

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You can incorporate your visit to the aptly named Groovers Paradise with a trip to Lake Travis—Hippie Hollow, specifically, if you want to go full-bore with the store’s “old Austin vibe” theme. (Old-timer’s tip: Stop by on the way home, lest your records melt in the car.)

Stacks of records with Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline in front
Groover’s Paradise
Groover’s Paradise/Facebook

Out of the Past Collectibles

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The venerable vintage store on Burnet Road is a family shop that offers a wide array of items that includes vintage rock posters from Texas and California, other rock memorabilia, and, of course, vintage vinyl—including lots of Texas music and hard-to-find recordings in all genres.

Breakaway Records

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Located in the cute retro strip mall that’s also home to Epoch Coffee, Breakaway is an all-vinyl store with new and used LPs and 45s in many genres, as well as vintage record-playing equipment including turntables and receivers, 7-inch single adapters, and more.

Room Service Vintage

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It’s always good to remember that amid Room Service’s epic and legendary collection of vintage furniture, clothing, fixtures, jewelry, decor, and knickknacks are some equally delight-inducing used records for sale—not to mention posters, music memorabilia, and cool things to play them on and store them in.

Exploded Records at Juiceland

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Exploded Records is a collaboration between Exploded Drawing cofounder Andrew P. Brown and Matt Shook, creator of Juiceland. It stocks new and used vinyl—and cassettes!

Antone’s Record Shop

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Located across the street from one of the former locations of legendary blues club Antone’s, the record shop was once a hangout for performers and club-goers and since 1987 has offered one of the largest selections of used vinyl in central Texas. For obvious reasons, the stock is heavy on blues and Texas artists, often with stories to go with it if you hang around and eavesdrop long enough.

Waterloo Records

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Waterloo Records has long been considered the definitive Austin record store, with the largest selection of records in in town (one that includes substantial local representation), an extremely knowledgeable staff, in-store performances that often equal or better those in clubs, and lots of collateral paraphernalia, from collectibles to T-shirts to record equipment.

Whetstone Audio

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Whetstone is primarily a music-equipment store that specializes in preowned and vintage “hi-fi” pieces, as the site puts it, but it also has a small selection of collectible and quirky vinyl for sale.

BLK Vinyl

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BLK is kind of the new kid in town, but it offers a selection that represents a lifetime of fandom and collecting on the part of its three owners (whose initials make up the shop’s name). It specializes in used and collectible records, particularly in the genres of 1960s and 70s pop, psych, garage, and prog. There’s also a good-sized selection of jazz and R&B records. And guitar lessons!

Switched On

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Switched On is primarily a storefront, repair shop, and paradise for devotees of the synthesizer and other music electronica. They also sell vinyl records at the store and have what we are told is a collection that is “surprisingly good for its size.”

Turntable Records

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Located in the still-holding-on “Golden Slipper Village” strip of longtime Austin businesses (see: the aforementioned Golden Slipper, fave shoe repair shop of the notoriously fussy punk-rock set), Turntable Records keeps the throwback vibe alive with a wide-ranging selection that includes plenty of Tejano and Top 40 as well as more eccentric choices.

End of an Ear

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End of an Ear caters like no other record store in town to those with a taste for the idiosyncratic, experimental, and obscure—without (and this is major) being a-holes about it. Its offerings don't end there, either; ask for most anything in any genre you want, and, if it's in print, they will find it. It’s hands-down the favorite of true vinyl geeks and diehard popular/unpopular-music fanatics.

Sound Gallery

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Sound Gallery sells a good selection of records, but it also serves as an outpost for the analog purist, selling not only new and restored audio gear, but also typewriters, telephones, and other bygone/eternally hip machines. And if that’s not enough (though how could it not be?), it also has an espresso bar.

Bluebonnet Records

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Since priced-out musicians and music-industry workers have been moving to Lockhart in droves lately, it makes sense that the place would need a great record store. Enter recently opened Bluebonnet Records, which aficionados attest is the real deal.

Piranha Records

Piranha is both an old standby and an under-the-radar choice for area record-buyers, probably because it’s in Round Rock. It has an extensive selection of old new and used vinyl records as well as CDs, DVDs, clothing, and incense, and specializes in local rap and Down-South apparel, according to its website.

Groovers Paradise

Stacks of records with Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline in front
Groover’s Paradise
Groover’s Paradise/Facebook

You can incorporate your visit to the aptly named Groovers Paradise with a trip to Lake Travis—Hippie Hollow, specifically, if you want to go full-bore with the store’s “old Austin vibe” theme. (Old-timer’s tip: Stop by on the way home, lest your records melt in the car.)

Stacks of records with Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline in front
Groover’s Paradise
Groover’s Paradise/Facebook

Out of the Past Collectibles

The venerable vintage store on Burnet Road is a family shop that offers a wide array of items that includes vintage rock posters from Texas and California, other rock memorabilia, and, of course, vintage vinyl—including lots of Texas music and hard-to-find recordings in all genres.

Breakaway Records

Located in the cute retro strip mall that’s also home to Epoch Coffee, Breakaway is an all-vinyl store with new and used LPs and 45s in many genres, as well as vintage record-playing equipment including turntables and receivers, 7-inch single adapters, and more.

Room Service Vintage

It’s always good to remember that amid Room Service’s epic and legendary collection of vintage furniture, clothing, fixtures, jewelry, decor, and knickknacks are some equally delight-inducing used records for sale—not to mention posters, music memorabilia, and cool things to play them on and store them in.

Exploded Records at Juiceland

Exploded Records is a collaboration between Exploded Drawing cofounder Andrew P. Brown and Matt Shook, creator of Juiceland. It stocks new and used vinyl—and cassettes!

Antone’s Record Shop

Located across the street from one of the former locations of legendary blues club Antone’s, the record shop was once a hangout for performers and club-goers and since 1987 has offered one of the largest selections of used vinyl in central Texas. For obvious reasons, the stock is heavy on blues and Texas artists, often with stories to go with it if you hang around and eavesdrop long enough.

Waterloo Records

Waterloo Records has long been considered the definitive Austin record store, with the largest selection of records in in town (one that includes substantial local representation), an extremely knowledgeable staff, in-store performances that often equal or better those in clubs, and lots of collateral paraphernalia, from collectibles to T-shirts to record equipment.

Whetstone Audio

Whetstone is primarily a music-equipment store that specializes in preowned and vintage “hi-fi” pieces, as the site puts it, but it also has a small selection of collectible and quirky vinyl for sale.

BLK Vinyl

BLK is kind of the new kid in town, but it offers a selection that represents a lifetime of fandom and collecting on the part of its three owners (whose initials make up the shop’s name). It specializes in used and collectible records, particularly in the genres of 1960s and 70s pop, psych, garage, and prog. There’s also a good-sized selection of jazz and R&B records. And guitar lessons!

Switched On

Switched On is primarily a storefront, repair shop, and paradise for devotees of the synthesizer and other music electronica. They also sell vinyl records at the store and have what we are told is a collection that is “surprisingly good for its size.”

Turntable Records

Located in the still-holding-on “Golden Slipper Village” strip of longtime Austin businesses (see: the aforementioned Golden Slipper, fave shoe repair shop of the notoriously fussy punk-rock set), Turntable Records keeps the throwback vibe alive with a wide-ranging selection that includes plenty of Tejano and Top 40 as well as more eccentric choices.

End of an Ear

End of an Ear caters like no other record store in town to those with a taste for the idiosyncratic, experimental, and obscure—without (and this is major) being a-holes about it. Its offerings don't end there, either; ask for most anything in any genre you want, and, if it's in print, they will find it. It’s hands-down the favorite of true vinyl geeks and diehard popular/unpopular-music fanatics.

Sound Gallery

Sound Gallery sells a good selection of records, but it also serves as an outpost for the analog purist, selling not only new and restored audio gear, but also typewriters, telephones, and other bygone/eternally hip machines. And if that’s not enough (though how could it not be?), it also has an espresso bar.

Bluebonnet Records

Since priced-out musicians and music-industry workers have been moving to Lockhart in droves lately, it makes sense that the place would need a great record store. Enter recently opened Bluebonnet Records, which aficionados attest is the real deal.