The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

For The Record: Local Austin Vinyl Shops

Katie Busby
IN BETWEEN THE GROOVES | Antone’s Record Shop’s mural shines among vinyls.

Austin has donned the title of the “Live Music Capital of the World”, and with that title comes an extensive selection of record stores. According to the Texas Music Industry Directory, the Austin area is home to around 44 record stores. With the resurgence of vinyl records in recent years, we search for something tangible in our ever-changing digital world, and many people have started investing in record-collecting. Below are some iconic places in Austin to find your vinyl fix.

Antone’s Record Shop

Katie Busby | Entertainment Editor

Nestled on a busy stretch of Guadalupe St. and flanked by the big burnt orange buildings of UT Austin (UT) sits Antone’s. The walls are lined with a diverse range of genres of records, from classic Texas country to funk to new pop records. People trickle in off “The Drag”, the nickname given to the section of Guadalupe St. lined with shops on the west side of UT, to encounter old posters all over the walls, music playing over the speakers, and a friendly staff. Manager Ray Colgen appreciates the variety the store provides for people including both used and new records, CDs, and vinyl accouterments. 

“I like that you can kind of dig, find some treasures when you’re looking through everything,” Colgen said. “I like that there are a lot of different types of stuff, different kinds of music. It’s not just one genre. Also, [I like] just the stories you get to hear working here and the good music. Shopping here, you get to be around good music and you get to look for different types of stuff that maybe you’ve heard about.”

 According to the store’s website, when Clifford Antone first came to Austin, he founded a nightclub called Antone’s, which quickly started hosting performers, especially those who played in Blues music. Continuing the legacy of the nightclub, Antone’s record shop was opened in 1978, right across the street from where the nightclub was at the time. 

“There’s a lot of cool people that come in, so you get to meet all kinds of different people from all over the world,” Colgen said. “People looking for music that they like, and you get to help them find stuff that they’re interested in, and it makes them happy.”

End of an Ear

IN BETWEEN THE GROOVES | End Of An Ear stands tall against the gloomy sky. (Allison Gerold)
Benjamin Goodman | Staffer

South Austin’s End of an Ear holds an extensive selection of records. Everyone can find their niche – especially those looking for psych records or experimental reggae, genres that are hard to come by in other record stores. The owner, Dan Plunkett, has enjoyed collecting music across different genres since a young age, and that interest is still shown in the store’s extensive selection.

“There’s some [people] that are super hardcore,” Plunkett said. “And then some are just casual, like, ‘I’ve heard this band. Do y’all have it?’”

Plunkett and his partner Blake Carlisle first opened End of an Ear in 2005. Just a couple of years later, vinyl made an unprecedented comeback into mainstream culture. 

“People want something tangible that they can touch,” Plunkett said. “You scratched it, but the click becomes your copy. Like, I miss having that click there, that’s my copy.”

The store was originally on South First St. until the landlord sold it in 2016. They then relocated slightly farther north near Ben White. 

“There’ll be whole families that come in here and maybe one of the kids is buying something,” Plunkett said. “The grandmother, she recognizes certain things, like ‘Oh, I used to love this record.’”

IN BETWEEN THE GROOVES | Waterloo records basks in the sunlight of downtown Austin. (Megan Gerold)

Waterloo Records

Ellington Tough | Staffer

Opened in 1982, Waterloo Records has been a part of Austin’s music history for a long time. Andy Pluta is an employee at Waterloo who has worked at the store for over 20 years, around half the lifetime of the store. According to him, the store has changed a lot over that time, but has always remained a core part of the Austin music scene.

“We’ve always been very supportive of the local music scene, and we have our in-store performances that are still pretty big. It’s been a hub for music lovers in Austin for over 40 years now,” Pluta said.

The record store is a well respected landmark in Austin, having been voted “Best Record Store” by the Austin Chronicle Reader’s Poll every year since the category debuted in 1982. 

According to the Austin-American Statesman, the store moved locations in 1989 in order to have more space for their growing business. Eva Matulewski-Carter has worked at Waterloo for three years and has been coming to the store since she was a kid. Since she started working there, she has grown to love the environment even more, including the people she gets to meet and her co-workers. 

“It’s a place where you’re rewarded for being a total nerd and fixating on music,” Matulewski-Carter said. You make a lot of really interesting connections with interesting oddballs, and I love that. I’ve discovered so much [that] really felt like part of the fabric of Austin.”

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