Editor's note: Since the publication of this article, unfortunately RVRB Records has closed.
Record Store Day returns this Saturday. In honor of the annual event, we've rounded up the best record stores that you can visit any day of the year. Check out our favorite havens for music nerds, vinyl collectors, and CD fans.
Waterloo Records & Video
This Austin icon has an entire section dedicated to local artists, and not just those of the country variety. Peruse CDs (and some vinyl) from the sweetest local bands ranging from metal to Americana. Between the new releases, used selection, in-store performances, and ticket sales, Waterloo serves as a one-stop shop for anything music related you might need.
Best for: New releases, local artists, CDs
End of an Ear
End of an Ear has a huge selection of old and new releases for CD and vinyl collectors. This is a great place to shop for indie albums, rare editions, or even pop sensations. The helpful, knowledgeable staff won't judge: Walk to the counter proudly with Dave Matthews Band in one hand and Death Grips in the other.
Best for: Wide selection, knowledgeable staff, indie and limited-edition releases
Antone's Record Shop
Antone's has an old-school selection that's almost as famous as its name. You'll find vinyl deals and hard-to-find albums (I once snagged an original release of The Who for only $20). Plus, shopping here is like stepping into Old Austin. We are talking about Clifford Antone's legacy here.
Best for: Good deals, hard-to-find albums, blues artists
Friends of Sound
This South Congress vinyl gem boasts a massive selection of old releases and used albums. The store puts an emphasis on turnover, so most of the albums are pretty reasonably priced. Friends of Sound processes hundreds of new additions every week, so plan on sifting through all the offerings. You never know what you're going to find.
Best for: Vinyl, old school artists, perusing
Breakaway Records is an all vinyl shop nestled on North Loop near Epoch Coffee. Although the store sells new releases (and regularly participates in Record Store Day), there's a big emphasis on old-school rock 'n' roll and similar genres from the 1950s through the 1970s. Don't have a record player? Breakaway Records sells all things vinyl: You can purchase record players and accessories in house.
Best for: Vinyl, record player accessories, old-school artists
Encore Records, Video & Apparel
Encore Records is going strong since reopening on East Sixth Street in 2012. Austinites with an affinity for hard rock and metal music flock to this spot that has a wide selection of CDs, vinyl, movies and merchandise.
Best for: Metal and hard rock, wide selection, movies
Probably the most Austin-y of all the Austin record stores is RVRB Records. It serves as the storefront for the Reverberation Appreciation Society, the guys behind Levitation (the festival formerly known as Psych fest) and the similarly named record label. Bonus: The record store is connected to a boutique vintage store and succulent shop.
Best for: Psychedelic and garage artists, Psych Fest merch