by Joe Wallace
If you can’t make out what that sign says, it reads “Welcome to SLACKERVILLE”. Which is only fitting since I am currently reporting from Austin, Texas (home of Richard Linklater and the setting for his breakout pic, Slacker”) and have basically been the anti-slacker ever since hitting the road.
With 21 record stores now visited, Vinyl Road Rage is going like gangbusters. I’ve been reminding people that the individual record store reviews are coming, most likely once I get off the road and settled into a normal routine…but the updates from the journey will keep coming because there are plenty of wonderful discoveries along the way.
Two of my favorite discoveries so far on the trip are located in Austin. End of an Ear Records is a complete treasure, crammed full of rare, obscure, and wonderful vinyl.
I’ve been hearing about The Feederz LP, “Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?” for years, but have never seen or heard it until today when I found a copy sitting in the End of An Ear bin waiting for me, complete with its sandpaper cover and all.
Also discovered at End of An Ear, vinyl copies of the From Beyond and Big Trouble In Little China soundtracks, and soooo much more. This shop is a dream for collectors and there’s plenty in the way of both new and used LPs.
Also fairly impressive–the DVD section for both music and genre films. Austin has a rep as being a cinemaphile town, so the really good record shops seem to try to keep pace with that and the standard set by Waterloo Records, which has an exhaustive DVD section along with the vinyl. End of An Ear will please vinyl junkies who also love genre filmmaking.
And then there’s Friends Of Sound Records, which is difficult for a newcomer to find because while it is located on 1704 South Congress in Austin, the entryway is located in the alley—there’s no sign on the main sidewalk to let you know a great, eclectic and friendly indie record store is lurking there. But rest assured, friends, it DOES exist and IS worth a stop.
Friends of Sound Records had some wonderful, bizarre and obscure titles including a Polish New Wave record, a copy of the ultra-collector-riffic Cross and the Switchblade soundtrack in the budget bin, and plenty of other highly collectible weirdness.
My assumption is that because of their location they probably need a bit more support than other, more visible indie shops. Maybe I’m wrong about that, I have no idea, but I can tell you this–I will ALWAYS stop in this place when I’m in Austin. I did very well there and would NEVER pass it up if I had the opportunity to go. VISIT THIS SHOP, folks.
After these two discoveries, I totally geeked out and ate at the infamous Guero’s, which was featured in Tarantino’s Death Proof. Naturally the place looks completely different in many ways than in the film, but you can see where many of the scenes took place and it was a cine-nerd cheap thrill to eat there. So many of my friends hated this movie, but not me….
There are loads more updates coming, I just need to find time to get it all down. Video coming again soon, too.