ATLAS: vol. 1 Austin, TX–Waterloo Records, West End

West of the the city center, Waterloo Records still hangs out for a full square block.  Since 1982, it has sold in here.

The entrance door sticks open into the first of two expansive rooms.  In this first room, digital media– CDs, DVDs.  Immediately left of the entrance, two seven-foot cases of Texan’s music, five ranked by staff preference.  You pick up Jon Dee Graham and proceed to the next room.

Ah, here is the analogue.  Some used, but mostly new vinyl LPs sidle up the length of the building in four rows.  Unlike the digital media– which are squeezed tightly in their shelves with but the sides of their packaging displayed– the LPs have their front covers facing forward, to flip through with your fingertips.

Hey, check this out, y’all, two columns of analogue cassette tapes in six narrow rows.  Ranging from 3.99 for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, a rare find, the Cro-Mags, goes for 17.99.  You pick up both, pay, remind yourself to check the belts on your tape deck, then pick up your skateboard deck from behind the counter where it was checked, hitch up your pants by the belt— and saunter forth into the bright, Texas-size Sun.

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