It’s 2018, and Saturday, April 21, is the 11th annual Record Store Day—does anybody still need to have this peculiar holiday explained to them? If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already woken up early on a Saturday in April to stand in line with vinyl addicts and record flippers. You know the score, for good or for ill. Record Store Day started as a way to celebrate and rally support for the last remaining independent brick-and-mortar music retailers, but not even the best-intentioned commercial undertaking can entirely immunize itself from the distortions of capitalism—for some small indie shops, Record Store Day is now basically an injection of overpriced major-label vinyl that turns them into hosts for a parasitic inventory that’s alien to what they usually sell. This Saturday, someone will surely camp outside a shop before dawn to secure a reissued copy of Adam Sandler’s 1993 debut album, They’re All Gonna Laugh at You.
The Reader joked that Record Store Day had jumped the shark six years ago, but we’ve never completely ignored it—even though we don’t like overpriced major-label vinyl, we still like record stores. Last year we put the spotlight on six local shops that don’t carry any of the “exclusive” Record Store Day releases and largely ignore the hubbub—every store, whether it participates in RSD or not, brings something unique to the local music ecosystem, and that’s important to remember year round. I’m all about encouraging people to drop by shops they’ve always walked past, or shops in neighborhoods where they never go. Even on Record Store Day itself, the best moments often happen after the lines disappear, when you can browse at ease or watch a local band play.
Most stores don’t know what RSD titles they’ll have till shortly before the big day, and in most cases the only way you can find out yourself is to show up then. A few shops—most notably Dave’s Records and Laurie’s Planet of Sound—will provide that information on their websites or on social media as soon as they have it.
Below you’ll find an alphabetical list of participating Record Store Day shops, plus a map to help you locate them—and plan your route, if you’re ambitious enough to visit more than one. We’ve included any shop that’s selling special RSD releases, plus the ones that aren’t but are using the occasion to throw a party or do something else a little different. The listings include information about discounts, giveaways, free food and drink, in-store performances, and more. Because Record Store Day is such a hectic time for folks in the business, some details are bound to be finalized or changed after we publish this. We’ll do our best to stay on top of things, but if you have an update we haven’t seen yet, feel free to e-mail Reader music editor Philip Montoro.
Free Dark Matter coffee and Dogfish Head beer, plus additional giveaways including concert tickets courtesy of Jam Productions. Cross-programming with Thalia Hall piano bar Tack Room includes a DJ set by Waxahatchee front woman Katie Crutchfield, who’ll spin records she’s bought from 606 at Tack Room beginning at 3:30 PM. Throughout the day at 606, founders of local labels will DJ. 10 AM-8 PM, 1808 S. Allport, 312-585-6106, 606records.com.
Select Record Store Day titles and 20 percent off used records. Free White Castle sliders at noon. Beverly Records hosts a pre-RSD party at Evergreen Park restaurant the Red Palm (3020 95th St.) on Wed 4/18 at 8 PM, which features a record-store trivia game with a $400 cash prize. 8 AM-6 PM, 11612 S. Western, 773-779-0066, beverlyrecords.com.
Bloodshot Record Store Day Pop-Up
The alt-country label opens up its headquarters to sell old, new, and out-of-print Bloodshot releases, test pressings, signed ephemera, rare vinyl, and what it calls “unique items.” Free Dark Matter Coffee and Tano’s pizza. Noon-5 PM, 3039 W. Irving Park, 773-604-5300, bloodshotrecords.com.
Bob’s Blues & Jazz Mart
In-store performance by Lurrie Bell at 1 PM. New T-shirts from Delmark Records and Bob’s Blues & Jazz Mart on sale. New Delmark releases (including Tribute, a covers compilation celebrating the label’s 65th anniversary) will be available, and all used CDs are 25 percent off. 10:30 AM-6:30 PM, 3419 W. Irving Park, 773-539-5002, delmark.com/bluesandjazzmart.
In-store performances by Ganser, Air Credits, Richard Album & the Singles, Lasers and Fast and Shit, and the Just Luckies. Free coffee and doughnuts in the morning. Select Record Store Day titles will be in stock, and Bric-a-Brac will post them on Facebook in advance. DJ sets and special drinks at Lost Lake next door. 8 AM-7 PM, 3156 W. Diversey, 773-654-3915, facebook.com/bricabracrecords.
Bucket o’ Blood Books and Records
Select Record Store Day releases will be in stock; morning giveaways include free coffee and mugs courtesy of Metropolis Coffee. Beginning at noon, shoppers can take advantage of free Metropolitan Brewing beer, free barbecue (with vegetarian options), and concert-ticket giveaways. DJs for the afternoon include Jump Up! Records honcho Chuck Wren, Smoking Popes guitarist Eli Caterer, and Metal Shop DJ Nick Fury. 10 AM-9 PM, 3182 N. Elston, 312-890-3860, bucketoblood.com.
Free Molly’s Cupcakes while supplies last, plus other giveaways. Select Record Store Day titles will be in stock, and before RSD the shop will hold sales every day for customers who can’t make it Saturday—the sales change daily, and details will be posted online. 10 AM-8 PM, 2604 N. Clark, 773-929-6325, davesrecordschicago.com.
Select Record Store Day releases. Refreshments, food, and giveaways throughout the day, plus Dusty Groove’s annual RSD magic show in the early afternoon. With every purchase, customers can spin the store’s “wheel of fortune” to win a prize. 8 AM-9 PM, 1120 N. Ashland, 773-342-5800, dustygroove.com.
In-store DJ sets from the owners of several local dance labels: Sam Kern (God Particle), Parris Mitchell (Dance Mania), ChicagoDeep/Taelue (Perpetual Rhythms), Tim Zawada (Star Creature Universal Vibrations), Daryl Cura (Eargasmic Recordings), Bai-ee (Secret Studio), and Garrett David (Night Sea Journey). noon-8 PM, 2843 N. Clark, 773-472-3683, gramaphonerecords.com.
Select Record Store Day titles and giveaway bags. 7 AM-7 PM, 1047 W. Belmont, 773-476-6846.
Select Record Store Day titles and ticket giveaways. In-store performances starting at 4 PM by Jawns, Not for You, La Cosa, and Pet Peeves. BYOB while browsing. 9 AM-9 PM. 1914 W. Chicago, 773-278-1744, joyriderecordschicago.com.
Laurie’s Planet of Sound
Select Record Store Day titles and giveaways. Girl Scouts will be on hand to sell cookies. In-store performances include Tommi Zender and Natalie Galey covering Joni Mitchell (1 PM), Phil Angotti performing the Kinks’ Something Else (2 PM), the Census Takers covering the Residents (3 PM), and the Handcuffs (4 PM). 9 AM-9 PM, 4639 N. Lincoln, 773-271-3569, lauriesplanetofsound.com.
No Record Store Day titles, but sales include VHS tapes, cassettes, and hip-hop 12-inches for $1 each and DVDs, T-shirts, and deadstock LPs for $2 each. For $15 you can buy and fill a reusable “Big Dig” record bag with seven-inches from the store’s basement. DJs spin in the shop all day: Jill Hopkins, DJ Reggie, Baggy Time, Noleian Reusse, Nathan Aguleria, Gethro Jones, CoryaYo, St. Stephen, Matt Schneider, and Skyler Rowe. The sales and in-store performances continue on Sunday. Noon-9 PM, 2532 W. Fullerton, 773-235-5030.
Numero Group Pop-Up Shop
Deals on old Numero inventory, plus items normally only sold in the label’s Little Village outlet—and some secret releases that won’t be available in any other store. The label will of course also be selling its two newest releases, the compilation W2NG: 89.9 FM and the Creation’s We Are Paintermen. 10 AM-5 PM, Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee, numerogroup.wordpress.com.
Select Record Store Day titles. The shop will give away coffee and doughnuts to early birds and owner Scott Schaaf has enlisted his mom to bake free brownies and cookies for customers. In-store performances beginning at 2 PM by Emily Jane Powers, Miranda Winters (Melkbelly), Half Gringa, and Mia Joy. 9 AM-9 PM, 1722 W 18th St., 312-888-9629, pinwheelrecords.com.
Purple Llama Coffee & Records
Ten percent off all records; $1 small drip coffee or espresso with Record Store Day receipt from any local shop. In-store performances by Ovef Ow and Health & Beauty. 7 AM-7 PM, 2140 W. Division St., 847-385-4538, purplellamachicago.com.
Select Record Store Day titles. The shop will also raffle off a Pixies box set. In-store performances beginning at noon by Magicks, Speed Babes, Blue Dream, Lever, Avantist, TV Moms, Alouette, and Lasers and Fast and Shit. Present your Record Breakers RSD receipt or purchase at Moe’s Tavern next door for a $1 Lagunitas draft beer. 7 AM-9 PM, 2935 N. Milwaukee, 773-698-8387, recordbreakerschi.com.
Shady Rest Vintage & Vinyl
No Record Store Day titles, but the shop will be selling $2 budget records, and much of its other inventory will be discounted too, including 15 percent off vintage headphones, 20 percent off audio gear, and 15 percent off books and knickknacks. Free pan dulce from Panaderia el Acambaro, free coffee from La Catrina Cafe, and free beer from Argus and Half Acre. 10 AM-8 PM, 1659 S. Throop, 872-444-6488, shadyrestchicago.com.
Select Record Store Day titles. Free coffee and doughnuts, plus giveaways from Lagunitas and Emporium. In-store performances begin at 1 PM, featuring the Hazy Seas, Jordanna, Strange Foliage, Rookie, Brisco Darling, and Sundown Club. 8 AM-10 PM, 1272 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-4085, shugarecords.com.
Val’s Halla Records
Select Record Store Day titles, plus 20 percent off used records and discounts on select new records. Raffle prizes include an inflatable Yellow Submarine chair. In-store performances by Farewell Captain (11 AM), Two Guitars & a Tuba (noon), Matt Lenny & Elm City Council (1 PM), Ginger (2 PM), the Frantastic Sound System (3 PM), and Gino & Friends Jam (4 PM). 9 AM-7 PM, 239 Harrison, Oak Park, 708-524-1004, valshallarecords.com.
Wild Prairie Vintage & Vinyl
Select Record Store Day titles. Free food and free Half Acre beer. In-store DJ sets by Tone B. Nimble, Shazam Bangles, Zulu Henry, King Hippo, Sadposr, Jordan Zawideh, Twelve Gage, and Joseph Memory. 11 AM-8 PM, 1109 N. Western, 773-580-7946, facebook.com/wildprairiechicago.