Poor iPod Classic
  • Poor iPod Classic

On Sunday more than a dozen local record labels will join together at the Empty Bottle for the Chicago Independent Labels Pop-Up Shop. The list of imprints slinging new records and cassettes includes classical-focused Parlour Tapes; the in-house label belonging to Permanent Records; and the eclectic FPE Records, which was founded in 2012 by Matt Pakulski (he also came up with the idea for the pop-up event). “I feel like there’s this critical mass of people that are making new records in Chicago, and there isn’t really a good venue for them to sell the records in,” Pakulski says. “So I decided to make a venue for them to sell records in.”

Some Chicago record stores have sections dedicated to local music, but there’s not an entire store stocked with new releases from hometown artists—which is kind of what this pop-up will do. The closest analogue to Sunday’s event that Pakulski has had experience with as the head of a label is the CHIRP Record Fair. “I sell more in one day at CHIRP than I sell all year long not at an event,” Pakulski says. But he also points out that CHIRP—which returns to Plumbers Hall on Saturday, April 11—features lots of people dealing old records, and tends to attract diggers looking for vinyl gold rather than new tunes. Pakulski sees the Chicago Independent Labels Pop-Up Shop as a complement to CHIRP’s annual gathering—plus DJs from the radio station will spin during Sunday’s pop-up.

Pakulski says he got the idea for the event late last year, and he was partially inspired by a DCASE fashion pop-up at O’Hare. By January he landed a venue for the event with the help of Emily Rose, who plays in art-pop duo Zigtebra—their 2013 album, The Pink Line, is the first release from FPE—and went to work recruiting participating labels. Pakulski already has ideas for the pop-up after Sunday. “I’d like to do them every three or four months,” he says. “For the next one is to not have it be so heavily focused on indie rock and underground rock.”

That said, if you’re looking for a crash course in Chicago’s underground-rock scene—or a portion of it—the event is a good place to start. The Chicago Independent Labels Pop-Up Shop runs from noon to 5 PM, and it’s free to attend. The full list of participating labels, along with links to old Reader write-ups, is below:

Already Dead Tapes and Records
Athletic Tapes
Berserk Records
Dark Circles Records
Dumpster Tapes
Eye Vybe Records
FPE Records
Grabbing Clouds Records
Hairy Spider Legs
Impossible Colors
Lake Paradise Records
Maximum Pelt Records
Moniker Records
Parlour Tapes
Permanent Records
Pretty All Right
Safety Records
Tall Pat Records (Tall Pat honcho Patrick Sullivan wrote this week’s B Side feature on The Best Show)
1980 Records