Permanent Records

1914 W. Chicago


When your house starts to look like a record store, maybe it’s time to open one. So decided former record-shop clerks Liz Tooley and Lance Barresi, who moved here from Columbia, Missouri, in August. They secured a space in Ukrainian Village in September and in two weeks turned a 1,400-square-foot white box with track lighting into Permanent Records, a homey boutique with robin’s-egg blue walls, homemade forest green record and CD bins, and mod plastic chairs adorned with granny-chic-tapestry throw pillows. (The back third of the space has been left open for in-stores and possibly a satellite of the vintage boutique a friend runs in Columbia.) At first the inventory consisted entirely of selections from the couple’s personal collection–Touch and Go and Dischord staples alongside cream-puff psychedelic stuff like the Flock and Harpers Bizarre–and most of it was priced under ten bucks, but they’ve slowly added new releases, which now make up about half the stock. They hope to start buying used records from the public in the next couple months, and they’re already picking up harder-to-find items from bands that have recently been through town, like Tall Firs and Warhammer 48K. “We’re bringing in stuff we would actually suggest to people, things we’re not embarrassed of,” says Barresi, and while they’re happy to special-order rap metal for the neighborhood kid who comes in off the street, Tooley says, “my days of selling Ace of Base’s ‘I Saw the Sign’ for $1.99 are over.”

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jim Newberry.