If you’re looking for that go-to record store you haven’t found yet in Austin, End of an Ear has you covered. Dan Plunkett and Blake Carlisle opened End of an Ear in May 2005 and have been spreading musical joy around the city ever since. With their diverse selection of records, CDs, books, and even new and used turntables, it’s not hard to see why they have developed a steady following.
End of an Ear’s prices are some of the most affordable in town, especially on their new vinyl. Plus, they have turntable listening stations set up throughout the store, so you can listen to anything that isn’t sealed before you buy it.
Another thing I find refreshing is the fact that End of an Ear supports local artists, with an entire section of the store dedicated to them. The store also sells tickets to local shows and updates their customers daily on what’s new in the store. (If you want to stay updated, visit their website and join their email list here.)
Plunkett and Carlisle opened End of an Ear to focus on genres and obscure music they felt were ignored, while creating some balance by carrying popular new releases too. I have to say, they’ve done well. The selection here is like none you’ve ever seen. Their Metal and Punk vinyl collections are impressive in size, bigger than any I’ve ever come across. There was a plethora of music I didn’t recognize. I wanted to curl up and spend the night exploring, and that wasn’t just because it was deathly cold outside.
Though their retail space is relatively small, they still host a lot of incredible in-store performances. Everyone from Band of Horses to Gary Wilson to Ted Leo has set up and played inside.
To keep customers happy and engaged, they also regularly hold record and ticket giveaways through their social media sites. On top of that, if you spend a hundred bucks in the store, you’ll get a free End of an Ear tote bag to carry your records home.
You can also stop in to sell your used vinyl, CDs, and DVDs. From what I’ve heard, End of an Ear pays a more than fair amount for items they can use. With more and more people going digital, the quality of selection when buying used is only going up.
With a place like End of an Ear around the corner, I urge you to put down your smartphone and go experience music the way it was meant to be experienced. This is a place where you can feel it, touch it, read it and, of course, listen to it. A place where you never know what musical discovery you might stumble upon. A place where you can find things you hadn’t realized you love.
Have you ever been to End of an Ear? What is your favorite record store in Austin?