The first time I was ever in Austin, I wanted to go to Waterloo Records first. I had already heard about the shop long before actually going, from somebody who said something like “If they don’t have it, it’s not worth having”. They may be a bit of an overstatement, but the selection at Waterloo Records is truly amazing, particularly in this era of closing record stores and declining sales. Of course the tremendous offerings take some getting used to, because Waterloo is no ordinary record store. For one thing, new and used discs are combined together in the bins, so don’t go looking for the “used section.” If they have any used discs by your favorite band, they’ll be with that band’s cards in the ordinary racks. Also, with few exceptions, there are no genre divisions. Country, jazz, rock, hip-hop, Tejano- you’ll find them all present filed alphabetically by the artists’ names in one system of bins. Finally, the newest used discs to come in are filed by the day they came into the store in the “new arrivals” section, which can be the most fun section to browse. It must be added that Waterloo Records also sells plenty of DVDs (especially some that were featured in previous years of SXSW), books about music, and tickets to local shows and events. They also deserve special mention for the superb outdoor stage line-up they present every year during South By Southwest. Waterloo Records is located at 600A North Lamar at Sixth Street in Austin, directly beside the 24 Diner. Call them at (512) 474-2500 (A word about the name- When I first visited Austin, Waterloo Records shared its business with a Waterloo Ice House restaurant. I had thought they were owned by the same people, but later I came to learn that it was merely a coincidence. But the frequency of the name “Waterloo” on businesses intrigued me, as I couldn’t imagine the reason for the significance. Later, I learned that Waterloo had been the original name of the village that would one day grow to be Austin.