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RVRB: Psychedelic record store of today

Outside of RVRB Records
Outside of RVRB Records
RVRB Records

'60s style psychedelia has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity in the last few years. Thee Oh Sees, Tame Impala, and Austin's own Black Angels are just a few of the bands who have ridden the wave of psych rock's popularity.

While some people would say these bands are just a derivative rehash of old bands like Pink Floyd or 13th Floor Elevators, to others this isn't important, because the fans are able to see these new psych rock bands in their prime. Since Syd Barrett is dead, there isn't much chance you will able to see the original '60s version of Pink Floyd play anytime soon unless it's with a holographic version of him. Besides, isn't any modern rock band shaping some style from the past?

Oswald James, Rob Fitzpatrick, Christian Bland, and Alex Maas founded the Reverb Appreciation Society as like minded psych rock lovers. They started the Austin Psych Fest in 2008 and have seen it grow like a psilocybin mushroom from a small spore. Austin is a logical place for the Psych Fest, as the first arguably psychedelic rock band, the 13th Floor Elevators, are from here.

The Reverb Appreciation Society founded a record label, and on March 14 of this year, RVRB record store was launched, specializing in psychedelic records, both modern and old. RVRB is on 2404 E 7th Street in Austin, in what looks like a small former house.

In addition to records and Austin Psych Fest merchandise, the store features guitars, amps, pedals and other instruments selected by The Black Angels' Christian Bland and Alex Maas. There is also vintage clothing, silver jewelry, and other accessories. To host bands, there is a small back yard with a stage that can hold up to 75 people.

There are numerous punk rock record stores, and stores that specialize in blues or jazz, so a psych record store makes sense. In this age of record stores struggling against online retail and file sharing, a small niche store might be the best bet. As long as psychedelia survives, hopefully RVRB will too.

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