I've written briefly about Waterloo Records before in the Holiday Gift Guide, but after Austin-locals Spoon's free live show there on Tuesday it's worth another mention. After all, in the liner notes of Spoon's new release Transference (stream it free on their website!) they wrote "Buying records in record stores is cool."
Austin is a rare and lucky city to have several locally owned record stores that actually still sell records. Waterloo Records is one of the most popular, and it has an impressive selection of records, CDs, DVDs, books, and other merchandise. While Waterloo is a great place to look for international releases, it's also a great place to buy local music, which is one of many reasons that people like Britt Daniel and the guys in Spoon are so pro-record stores. Buying music online or in chain stores may be convenient, but if you have local record stores it is important to keep them alive. Locally-owned record stores can maintain a deeper relationship with the local music scene and community, which helps them thrive. Waterloo Records for example has Waterloo Exclusives, releases that are unavailable at other stores, including Live at Waterloo recordings or other local live recordings, KGSR Broadcast CDs and other local music.
Waterloo also does free live in-store performances, such as the one by Spoon this week. If you missed seeing Spoon, you have more opportunities for these live performances, upcoming are Girls on Jan. 29, Danny Barnes on Jan. 31, The Texas Sapphires on Feb. 3, Reckless Kelly on Feb. 9, Speak on Feb. 10, Hannibal Lokumbe on Feb 12, and check Waterloo's listings for more dates. Waterloo will also be a music venue for SXSW in March.
While you're at Waterloo, do check out Spoon's latest album Transference. It's a solid album, with some great rocking new songs like "Got Nuffin," "Written in Reverse," more introspective lyrics than some of their other albums, and even a ballad, "Goodnight Laura." Listen to it for free on their website.