Do you hear that crackling? That's the sound of vinyl still going strong. This Saturday, instead of streaming that new album on Spotify, head out into the city to support some of the best record stores in the nation that call Chicago their home on Record Store Day, the worldwide celebration of local independent record stores and the vinyl format.
Now in its fifth year, the celebration brings together record stores, musicians and fans in a day of special events. With official ambassador Iggy Pop at the helm of this year's celebration, the list of artists unveiling exclusive releases is extremely extensive. And if you're big on wax, shop to your heart's content for LPs, 7-inches, 10-inches, 12-inch singles, vinyl box sets and even blood-infused records (oh, Wayne Coyne).
So pick up exclusive limited edition releases this Saturday and catch some in-store performances of local hidden gems while you're at it. Even if you don't have a record player, many stores will have special events and other shenanigans. Check out this partial list of NBN-recommended stores that are participating in RSD and start planning your itinerary now.
Also, check back next week for a photojournal of one writer's RSD experience.
Saki (Logan Square)
Don't miss this treasure trove of a day at Saki in Logan Square on Saturday. The store will be open early at 9 a.m. and will close later at 9 p.m. In addition to the stock of confirmed RSD titles, Saki will be having a mouthwatering lineup of in-store performances starting at 1 p.m. and going until after 8 p.m. Notable acts include Bare Mutants of the local psychedelic label HoZac and folk rock group Cains & Abels. Additional acts include Santah, Cross Record, Minor Characters, Hollows, Opposites and The Runnies.
Finally, take your Saki receipt for special deals off of purchases at other locales, including a free coffee at New Wave Coffee and a free PBR from The Burlington.
The Numero Group Pop-Up shop (Ukrainian Village)
If obscure reissues are more your gambit, head over to The Empty Bottle on Saturday where, starting at 9 a.m., Chicago reissue label the Numero Group will be hosting a pop-up shop slinging stacks on stacks of LPs, CDs, 45s, DVDs, books, zines, you name it. In addition to the limited edition (100 copies!) 45 that Numero will be selling, there will be tons of other vendors who will be coming from all over the nation to share their collection – definitely not to be missed.
Laurie's Planet of Sound (Ravenswood)
Laurie's Planet of Sound is hosting seven musical acts, including the girl-punk-group quartet Blizzard Babies and New York-based singer-songwriter Martin Rivas. If you need a food break, the Chubby Wieners food truck will be parked right outside the store – and with a receipt from the store, you can even get a hot dog for free. Don't want to buy anything? They'll be giving out goodie bags all day. One employee claimed he had to keep what’s in the bags “kind of a secret,” but he promised, "it will be good stuff, not like, crap." The store will open 2 hours early, at 9 a.m. instead of the usual 11 a.m., and it will close at 10 p.m.
Dusty Groove is the place for snacks and limited edition giveaways. They’ll be offering free popcorn, bagels and refreshments to the people waiting in line, and once everyone gets inside, customers can snag some limited edition posters, rare singles and even a Miles Davis lithograph exclusive to Dusty Groove. If you’re not satisfied with the giveaways, you can enter one of the contests for a chance to win even bigger items. The store opens at 8 a.m., but try to come around 4 p.m. – that’s when Grammy-nominated soul singer Otis Clay is performing.
Permanent Records (Ukrainian Village)
Permanent Records will have special hours from midnight on Record Store Day to 2 a.m. on April 21. There will be special in-store performances by the Chicago experimental band ONO as well as the post-punk band Psychic Teens and reclusive Chicago musician Vyto B and The Band That Never Made It. There will be 100 copies of a Permanent Records exclusive career-spanning LP by The Pows as well as free gift bags while supplies last. Coalfire Pizza will be catering the event throughout the afternoon.
Jazz Record Mart (Near North Side)
The Jazz Record Mart will feature several in store performances on Record Store Day, including guitarist Steve Marquette and saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, who will be leading their small jazz combos. Blues collective The Rockin’ Johnny Band will also perform. Special releases will be announced closer to the date.
Dave's Records (Lincoln Park)
Dave’s Records will offer a number of free giveaways, including CD samplers, posters and Record Store Day bags. Complimentary cupcakes and candy will also be available. In addition to selling special limited-supply Record Store Day releases (specific albums will be announced Friday on the store’s website), Dave’s will offer a 50% discount on all 7-inch and 12-inch singles.
Reckless Records (three locations)
The Milwaukee store will have Rock 'n' Roll caricatures by Steve Krakow in the afternoon and in-store performances by Radar Eyes (who played Northwestern a few weeks ago), Fake Limbs, Spires That in the Sunset Rise, Bloodiest and Circles.
At 11 p.m. there will be a Record Store Day Post Party at Bottom Lounge featuring music by Sweet Cobra, Chicago Thrash Ensemble, The Party Downers, DJ Matt Jencik and Unholy Empire DJs. Reckless and Three Floyds Brewing are also releasing an exclusive rye pale ale beer called Rye'd da Lightning for the show, and there will also be hoodies, pint glasses and beer label art celebrating its release.