Best record stores for Longhorn audiophiles

Chandler Rowley, General Life & Arts Reporter

Over the past several years, the retro appeal of vinyl has sparked a resurgence of popularity and demand, making it a valued medium of music among collectors. For seekers of high-fidelity sound quality or even just a physical copy of their favorite album, record stores often resemble a music enthusiast’s paradise. 

The Daily Texan scoured the expanse of the live music capital of the world to give audiophiles a collection of some of Austin’s best record stores. 


Waterloo Records 

600 N. Lamar Blvd.

When traversing down North Lamar Boulevard, passerbys will likely come across Waterloo Records. Tucked between looming downtown high-rises and trendy boutiques, Waterloo stands as a 40-year-old Austin vinyl mainstay. With 6,400 square feet to roam, fans of any genre will undoubtedly come across a worthwhile pick. 

The establishment earned its place as a fixture of SXSW, hosting several days of live performances in its front parking lot and on its indoor stage. Though home to bargain bins of vinyl and CDs on most days, huge names such as Nirvana and Willie Nelson have graced the shop’s indoor stage. When planning a record-hunting excavation at Waterloo, visitors should carve out a good chunk of their afternoon to explore their almost endless collection. 


Antone’s Record Shop 

2928 Guadalupe St. #101

Hailing from the same namesake as Antone’s Nightclub in downtown Austin, the exterior of Antone’s Record Shop mirrors its storied place in the Texas music scene. Opened in the late ‘80s, this picturesque shop sits off the intersection of Guadalupe and West 29th Street. 

This gem takes pride in its Texan heritage, with an extensive selection of blues music and Texan artists. Clifford Antone, founder of the record shop and club, served as the unofficial patron saint of Texas music with ties to music giants like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Gary Clark Jr. Antone’s proximity to campus and its wide-ranging array of contemporary and vintage vinyl makes it a must-visit for students of all musical persuasions. 


End of an Ear 

4304 Clawson Road 

Though a slight trek from campus, End of an Ear will make a worthwhile musical excursion. The shop’s relatively unassuming facade encases a selection of music unrivaled by most vinyl collectors. Though its 2005 opening pales in comparison to the age and history of its counterparts, End of an Ear established itself as a refreshing haven for record collectors of all interests. 

The store’s homey vibe gives patrons a sense of familiarity, as though they’re perusing a friend’s monolithic record collection. This intimacy translates into the shop’s occasional live performances, including the likes of Explosions in the Sky and indie-rock icons Yo La Tengo. Shopping for vinyl can be daunting, but the friendly staff of End of an Ear does wonders in making the store’s expansive variety of genres as accessible as possible.