Record Store Day usually takes place in the spring (well, before the pandemic it did), but in 2011 its organizers launched a Black Friday spin-off. Since then I’ve become increasingly weary of this invented retail holiday. Even though RSD promotes independent brick-and-mortar music shops—unquestionably a good idea—its list of special releases has become saturated with vinyl reissues of massively popular records. This year’s roster, for instance, includes John Legend’s 2006 album Once Again

Yes, the vinyl boom of the past decade has returned the format to a position of significance in the larger music industry: Billboard reports that U.S. vinyl sales could exceed $1 billion this year. But vinyl-production capacity was already strained before the global supply chain went pear-shaped during the pandemic, and an entire ecosystem of independent musicians and labels who rely on selling physical media have long had to tolerate ridiculous delays that are only getting worse. 

If you’re surprised that Adele had to wait six months to press 500,000 vinyl copies of 30, you should ask your favorite independent Chicago band how long it’ll take them to produce a vinyl version of their next album. In this environment, did Aerosmith really need to press 10,000 vinyl copies of a rehearsal recording for RSD Black Friday, or would fans have been just as happy to buy 1971: The Road Starts Hear in literally any other format?

Though Record Store Day’s Black Friday event is the occasion for this post, it should be obvious that I’m writing it because I want you to support local independent record stores every day. Black Friday is obnoxious, sure, but it can also be a good way to remind shoppers that these shops exist—and that they’re great places to get a gift for the music obsessive in your life. The Reader last ran a guide to local record shops in 2019, and since then several of them have disappeared. Audio Archaeology shuttered just before the pandemic, and No Requests closed its brick-and-mortar shop in summer 2020, though it maintains a webstore. I wasn’t able to determine by publication time whether Fletcher’s 1 Stop (457 E. 75th), Let’s Boogie Records & Tapes (3321 S. Halsted), or Out of the Past Records (4407 W. Madison) were still open.

Thankfully most local record stores have survived the pandemic so far, and in the past couple years a few have even opened. Newcomers include Interstellar Space, Beverly Phono Mart, Chicago Ray Records, Tone Deaf Records, MetalEdge Records & Tapes, and the brand-new Round Trip Records. This is your last weekend to visit Bric-a-Brac Records at its current location; it’s moving to a nearby storefront in Avondale, which may open by the end of the year.

The following map and listings should be reasonably reliable on Black Friday. If you plan to visit these shops on another day, please check with them about their hours first. 

606 Records
Select Record Store Day titles. Free Dark Matter coffee; DJ sets throughout the day. 10 AM-6 PM, 1808 S. Allport, 312-585-6106,

Beverly Phono Mart
Used vinyl 20 percent off; Beverly Phono Mart merch, audio equipment, and accessories 15 percent off. Open turntables available for customers to DJ. 11 AM-8 PM, 1808 W. 103rd, 773-629-6089, 

Beverly Records
Select Record Store Day titles. Used vinyl 20 percent off through Sunday. 8 AM-5 PM, 11612 S. Western, 773-779-0066,

Bob’s Blues & Jazz Mart
Select Record Store Day titles. 10:30 AM-6:30 PM, 3419 W. Irving Park, 773-539-5002,

Bric-a-Brac Records
Select Record Store Day titles. Noon-7 PM, 3156 W. Diversey, 773-654-3915,

Bucket o’ Blood Books and Records
Select Record Store Day titles. 9 AM-7 PM, 3182 N. Elston, 312-890-3860,

Cafe Mustache
Sale on Eye Vybe Records stock: one cassette for $8, three for $20; one LP for $10, two for $15. 9 AM-6 PM, 2313 N. Milwaukee, 773-687-9063,

Chicago Ray Records
Select records 15 to 25 percent off. In-store performances by Otis Taylor (4:30 PM) and J.J. Smith (6:30 PM). 9 AM-8 PM, 7051 N. Clark, 773-293-6014, 

Conservatory Vintage & Vinyl
10 AM-8 PM, 1042 Sterling, Flossmoor, 708-960-0231, 

Dave’s Records
Buy one record, get half off a second if you pay in cash. (Record Store Day titles will arrive Monday.) 11 AM-7 PM, 2604 N. Clark, 773-929-6325,

6 PM-2 AM, 1939 W. North, 773-687-9824,

Dusty Groove
Select Record Store Day titles, giveaways, and refreshments. 7 AM-7 PM, 1120 N. Ashland, 773-342-5800,

Gramaphone Records
Noon-6 PM, 2843 N. Clark, 773-472-3683,

Groovin’ High
Select Record Store Day titles. 7 AM-7 PM, 1047 W. Belmont, 773-476-6846.

Hyde Park Records
Select Record Store Day titles. 11 AM-8 PM, 1377 E. 53rd, 773-288-6588,

Interstellar Space
Noon-5 PM, 2022 W. Montrose, 847-920-8159,

Laurie’s Planet of Sound
Select Record Store Day titles. 10 AM-8 PM, 4639 N. Lincoln, 773-271-3569,

MetalEdge Records & Tapes
5:30 PM-8 PM. 6682 N. Northwest Hwy., 312-471-5576,

The Old School Records
Select Record Store Day titles; in-store performances to be determined. 10 AM-7 PM, 413 Des Plaines Ave., Forest Park, 708-366-7588,

Pinwheel Records
Select Record Store Day titles. 10 AM-6 PM, 1722 W. 18th St., 312-888-9629,

Rattleback Records
Select Record Store Day titles. 9 AM-7 PM, 5405 N. Clark, 773-944-0188,

Reckless Records on Belmont
Select Record Store Day titles. 10 AM-7 PM, 929 W. Belmont, 773-404-5080,

Reckless Records on Madison
Select Record Store Day titles. 10 AM-7 PM, 26 E. Madison, 312-795-0878,

Reckless Records on Milwaukee
Select Record Store Day titles. 10 AM-7 PM, 1379 N. Milwaukee, 773-235-3727,

Record Breakers
Select Record Store Day titles. 9 AM-7 PM, 2935 N. Milwaukee, 773-698-8387,

Rolling Stones
Select Record Store Day titles. 9 AM-9 PM, 7300 W. Irving Park, Norridge, 708-456-0861,

Round Trip Records
Special collection of music from 1961 (including rock, jazz, soul, and blues) available for sale; giveaways and prizes. Noon-8 PM, 3455 W. Foster,

Shady Rest Vintage & Vinyl
All budget records originally priced $6 and under on sale for $2. Gear and books 15 percent off. 10 AM-8 PM, 1659 S. Throop, 872-444-6488,

Shuga Records
Select Record Store Day titles. 10 AM-7 PM, 1272 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-4085,

Squeezebox Books & Music
Select Record Store Day titles. 10 AM-6 PM, 743 Main St., Evanston, 847-943-9309,

Tone Deaf Records
Select Record Store Day titles. 9 AM-6 PM, 4356 N. Milwaukee, 773-372-6643, 

Val’s Halla Records
Select Record Store Day titles; used CDs 20 percent off or buy five get five free. In-store performances start at noon, beginning with Big Hair Big Trouble and ending with Country Doctors; sets by John San Juan (of Hushdrops) and Gerald McClendon double as celebrations of their new albums on long-running Chicago indie label Pravda. 9 AM-7 PM, 239 Harrison, Oak Park, 708-524-1004,

Vintage Vinyl
Select Record Store Day titles. 11 AM-7 PM, 925 Davis, Evanston, 847-328-2899,

Wild Prairie Vinyl & Vintage
Live DJs perform one-hour all-vinyl sets all day, beginning at noon. Sale prices on all merchandise from Friday through Sunday. 10 AM-7 PM, 1109 N. Western, 773-683-7414,