The 12th annual Record Store Day is Saturday, April 13, earlier in the month than usual. Personally I’ve decided that the best time to drop by my favorite stores is after the queues of early birds have come and gone—and cleared the shelves of pointless vinyl reissues such as the soundtrack to I Know What You Did Last Summer. But Chicagoans who remember Medusa’s or still love industrial music have an incentive to wake up early this year—many shops getting Record Store Day exclusive releases will receive the special-edition soundtrack for the Wax Trax! documentary Industrial Accident, most copies of which come with a pair of tickets to a Saturday-night event at House of Vans that features a screening of Industrial Accident, a panel, and live sets by Cold Cave and Ministry.
The organizers of Record Store Day tend to spotlight its extravagant list of special releases, not the brick-and-mortar shops that sell them, probably because albums don’t promote themselves but shops can. Here at the Reader we have mixed feelings about RSD, but we wholeheartedly love record stores—so as usual, we’ve assembled a list of Chicago shops (and a few pop-ups) that are participating in this odd retail holiday, no matter how they’re doing it. We’ve even included a few that don’t have any special plans at all, just because we think they’re worth a visit.
In the past year, several local record stores have closed or moved: Logan Hardware shut its doors in May, and Joyride Records vacated its storefront in December. Raffe’s Record Riot shuttered its venerable Portage Park shop after founder and owner Raffe Simonian died in May. But those losses have been offset by gains, including Rattleback Records, Electric Jungle, Dorian’s, and No Requests.
We’ve put together an interactive map and alphabetized listings so you can make the most of Record Store Day—and we hope the map will stay useful all year. Some stores hadn’t finalized their plans by publication, so we’ll add to this information as necessary. If you notice anything out of date, please contact music editor Philip Montoro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Select Record Store Day titles, free Dark Matter coffee, and other giveaways. A portion of proceeds from today’s sales benefit visual-arts nonprofit Threewalls. Cross-programming with Thalia Hall piano bar Tack Room includes a day of DJ sets from Bobby Pyrex’s Continental Breakfast (10 AM), the Minimal Beat (11 AM), Carlile (1 PM), Akenya (2 PM), Ben LaMar Gay (3 PM), and the Sooper Records crew (4 PM). The Tack Room also offers Dusek’s brunch options and raffles. 10 AM-8 PM, 1808 S. Allport, 312-585-6106, 606records.com.
Select Record Store Day titles, plus sales on a portion of the shop’s electronics and music. Marc “Moose” Moder DJs from noon to 4 PM. 8 AM-8 PM, 1324 W. Devon, 773-856-3472, audioarchaeology.com.
Select Record Store Day titles, 20 percent off used vinyl all weekend. For $10 you can buy a Beverly Records “Tribute to Chicago Music” T-shirt, with a typographic map of the city displaying the names of famous musical exports in neighborhoods they’ve called home—and with a total RSD purchase of $100 or more, you get one for free. Free White Castle sliders at 2 PM and complimentary candy and snacks all day. Acoustic in-store performances to be determined. 8 AM-6 PM, 11612 S. Western, 773-779-0066, beverlyrecords.com.
Bloodshot Record Store Day Pop-Up
The alt-country label’s Record Store Day pop-up sells Bloodshot merch only, but it’s all 20 percent off—including deluxe LPs, test pressings, rare LPs, and the latest releases from Laura Jane Grace, Vandoliers, and the Mekons. Free Dark Matter coffee, Tano’s pizza, and Waterloo sparkling water. Noon-5 PM, 3039 W. Irving Park, 773-604-5300, bloodshotrecords.com.
Bob’s Blues & Jazz Mart
No Record Store Day titles. Performance by the Smiley Tillmon Band with Kate Moss at 1 PM. Free refreshments. 10:30 AM-6:30 PM, 3419 W. Irving Park, 773-539-5002, bluesandjazzmart.com.
Select Record Store Day titles and “mystery bags.” Free doughnuts and Halfwit coffee in the morning. In-store performances by Surly (1 PM), the Weekend Run Club (2 PM), Sunshine Boys (3 PM), Usufruct (4 PM), Roy Kinsey (5 PM), and Ethers (6 PM). Lost Lake hosts DJ sets next door, with Sonorama’s Marlowe Baca (11 AM), Choral Reefr’s Jessie Oleson (12:30 PM), 45s on 33 DJs Steve and Stacey (6:30 PM), and Good Fuck’s Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse (8 PM). 8 AM-7 PM, 3156 W. Diversey, 773-654-3915, facebook.com/bricabracrecords.
Bucket o’ Blood Books and Records
Select Record Store Day titles, free Glassworks coffee, and ticket giveaways. Bucket o’ Blood’s tailgate-themed party features free brats, hot links, and vegan sliders courtesy of Bullet Proof BBQ. Metropolitan Brewing debuts a beer made in collaboration with the shop, a weizenbock called BOCKet o’ Blood (free for customers 21 and older). Food is available at noon, which is also when the day’s rotating cast of DJs—including Jump Up! Records honcho Chuck Wren—starts spinning records. 9 AM-9 PM, 3182 N. Elston, 312-890-3860, bucketoblood.com.
No Record Store Day titles or special plans—but no other record store can compete with Cafe Mustache’s selection of self-released CDs by local DIY composer and pianist Charles Joseph Smith. 8 AM-6 PM, 2313 N. Milwaukee, 773-687-9063, cafemustache.com.
Select Record Store Day titles (the shop will post a list on its website by Friday at 5 PM). All used LPs and all seven-inches, new and used, are 50 percent off. Free candy and free treats from Molly’s Cupcakes until they run out. 9 AM-8 PM, 2604 N. Clark, 773-929-6325, davesrecordschicago.com.
No Record Store Day titles, but Dorian’s will sell records in its street-facing shop as well as in its bar and restaurant. About a dozen independent dealers will be on hand, including members of Sonorama, folks from International Anthem and the Numero Group, and Dorian’s programming director, Joe Bryl. “Deep Eddy” Bloody Marys are $8; Miller High Lifes, $2. 11 AM-3 PM, 1939 W. North, 773-687-9824, throughtherecordshop.com.
Select Record Store Day titles will be available in the Dusty Groove Annex, a new space that the shop debuts Saturday. Dusty Groove’s annual RSD magic show will be held in the early afternoon. With every purchase, customers can spin a “wheel of fortune” to win a prize. 8 AM-9 PM, 1120 N. Ashland, 773-342-5800, dustygroove.com.
Select Record Store Day titles. The shop will also sell off a large collection of house and techno by a local legend whose identity is a secret for now—employees have priced a “holy grail” record at $1 and will hide it somewhere in the store. In-store DJ sets by Tim Zawada (Star Creature Universal Vibrations), Bryan Bai-ee (Secret Studio), Roy Kinsey, and Heavee (Teklife); live performance by DJ Kou. Noon-8 PM, 2843 N. Clark, 773-472-3683, gramaphonerecords.com.
Select Record Store Day titles. 7 AM-7 PM, 1047 W. Belmont, 773-476-6846.
Laurie’s Planet of Sound
Select Record Store Day titles. Free coffee from Baker Miller beginning at 7:30 AM, and free pizza and beer later in the day. DJ sets by employees as well as by Alex White (1 PM) and Chuck Wren (6 PM), the latter of whom will give away tickets for the Specials’ show at the Vic on Saturday, June 8, part of their 40th-anniversary tour. In-store performance by Pete Cautious at 4 PM. 9 AM-9 PM, 4639 N. Lincoln, 773-271-3569, lauriesplanetofsound.com.
Select Record Store Day titles, free Four Letter Word coffee. Sleeping Village ticket giveaways, 10 percent off used vinyl, and raffles of old FeelTrip stock and signed merch. DJ sets by Paul Cherry, Steve Noah, Starfoxxx, Kuh Lida, and DJ Hii. 9 AM-7 PM, 3358 N. Karlov, 312-544-9804, feeltrip.co.
Numero Group Pop-Up Shop
No Record Store Day titles. The pop-up will offer discounts on old Numero inventory (including dinged-up items and test pressings) and sell stock normally available only in the label’s Little Village outlet. The new Numero releases on hand include the Escape from Synth City compilation, Rupa’s Disco Jazz, Chasman’s Synth-E-Fuge, the Duster box set Capsule Losing Contact, and an issue of Periodical Numerical dedicated to new age music. 10 AM-5 PM, Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee, numerogroup.wordpress.com.
The Old School Records
Select Record Store Day titles. Early birds get giveaway bags. DJ K-Blaze spins from 1-3 PM. 10 AM-7 PM, 413 Des Plaines Ave., Forest Park, 708-366-7588, theoldschoolrecords.com.
Select Record Store Day titles. Early birds get free coffee and doughnuts. In-store performances by Lilac, Rich Jones, Keefe Jackson & Anton Hatwich, and Prairie State begin at 2 PM; set times are to be determined. 9 AM-8 PM, 1722 W. 18th St., 312-888-9629, pinwheelrecords.com.
Select Record Store Day titles. DJs from the store will spin at Cescas Margarita Bar next door, where you can get 15 percent off with a receipt from Rattleback. 10 AM-7 PM, 5405 N. Clark, 773-944-0188, rattlebackrecords.com.
Select Record Store Day releases. Free coffee in the morning, free beer at noon from One Trick Pony Brewery. In-store performances starting at 11 AM by Paddlefish, Jessie Winslow, Mitch Mead, Pete Crosetto, Marc Bannes, Ester, Namorado, Seasaw, and Pink Neighbor. 9 AM-9 PM, 2935 N. Milwaukee, 773-698-8387, recordbreakerschi.com.
Shady Rest Vintage & Vinyl
No Record Store Day titles, though there will be giveaways. The store will sell budget records for $2 and all its audio gear, home goods, books, and knickknacks for 15 percent off. Guest dealers will have stock on hand too. DJ sets by Nunya Bidness, Darren Reggae, Quinn Cunningham (Funk Trunk Records), Uncle EL, Martin Sorrendeguy, Tewz, DJ Trew, DJ Kou, David Tropicalazo, JJ Jellybean, Moose, and DJ Deez. 10 AM-8 PM, 1659 S. Throop, 872-444-6488, shadyrestchicago.com.
Select Record Store Day titles, plus free doughnuts and coffee from Dark Matter. The first 150 people who buy a RSD item get a free custom-designed 16-ounce beer glass, and 100 of them will get a voucher for a glass of Lagunitas beer at the Emporium Arcade Bar in Wicker Park (21 and over only). In-store performances start at 1 PM from Wilem Hurricane Simmons & the Severe Weather Warning, Cooper Atwell Guncheon, Happy Face, Sweetie Poison, Douglas Slur, and more. DJ set by Paul Cherry at 6 PM. 8 AM-10 PM, 1272 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-4085, shugarecords.com.
Squeezebox Books & Music
Select Record Store Day titles, plus ticket giveaways to shows at SPACE. All other merchandise 20 percent off. In-store performances by Tommi Zender (1:30 PM), White Wolf Sonic Princess (3 PM), and Ex Machina (4:30 PM). 10 AM-7 PM, 743 Main St., Evanston, 847-943-9309, squeezeboxbooks.com.
Val’s Halla Records
Select Record Store Day titles, plus free coffee and doughnuts for early birds. In-store performances by Frankie B., the Country Doctors, Steve Z., John Connors, Casey McDonough, Laughing Boys, Gerald McClendon, and Big Hair Big Trouble. 9 AM-7 PM, 239 Harrison, Oak Park, 708-524-1004, valshallarecords.com.
Wild Prairie Vintage & Vinyl
No Record Store Day titles. “Open mike” turntables will be available for members of the public to spin records (though you have to claim a spot using a sign-up sheet at the store). In-store performance by the O’My’s (6 PM), followed by an afterparty with a DJ set by Tone B. Nimble. 10 AM-7 PM, 1109 N. Western, 773-683-7414, facebook.com/wildprairiechicago. v