With Austin being such a hip town, it has become ground zero for the vinyl renaissance, with plenty of vinyl record shops in several different neighborhoods. South Austin’s End of an Ear is definitely one of the better shops, with a specialized inventory that emphasizes indie rock, jazz, soul, funk and reggae. Vinyl is the main thing here, although there are plenty of compact discs as well, with a decided bias toward independent labels. A small selection of music books and DVD’s rounds out the offerings. Live music gigs in the shop are not uncommon either, at least during South By Southwest.
End Of An Ear
2209 South First Street
Austin, TX 78704
Somebody had recommended the Magnolia Cafe for breakfast, so I drove down the Mo Pac Expressway to Lake Austin Boulevard, and to the restaurant, but there was no place to park, and I had to park down by the lake and walk a block up the hill. There was a wait for a table as well, but the breakfast was worth the wait. From there, I drove down into South Austin to a record store called End Of An Ear, where there was a live DJ performing for the South By Southwest crowd. I was beginning to notice that all kinds of businesses had booked live bands during the festival. I bought a few things there (and could have spent a lot more), then drove back up to Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse for a latte. Sir Vince had called me from the Drury Inn and told me that he and Al Kapone had made it to Austin, so I met them at the hotel. Vince wanted to ride out with me to some more record stores, so we headed over to Backspin Records on the eastside, where there was an outdoor stage with a female band playing. The store had a great selection of reasonably-priced 45’s, and I bought a few singles there. The owner there recommended another store in South Austin called Friends Of Sound, so we drove over there, and they also had a live band playing, but the prices there were very steep indeed. For dinner, Vince and I went to a place called Chez Zee, an “american bistro” which offered very good food at reasonable prices. After dinner, it was time to head downtown to meet Al Kapone for the Memphis Music Foundation show at the Dirty Dog. Al and his live band were the high point of a show that also included the Tennessee Tearjerkers, River City Tan Lines and Free Sol. Walking back to the car, I grabbed a cappuccino from a coffee bar in the Hilton, before dropping Al and Vince off at their hotel and driving back to the room. (Photos by Loveless Photography)