Since when do we need a holiday to shop at local record stores? Why, since 2007, when a group of six independent shop owners banded together in hopes of saving their fast-fading industry (Tower Records had just gone under) with a day dedicated to special releases and in-store promos. Seven years and some serious endorsements later, it seems they’ve succeeded. This year’s list of special RSD releases runs more than 400 albums long and features pressings from David Bowie, Jay-Z, and The Ramones (plus Chicagoans Neko Case, Chance the Rapper, and Sun Ra).
For those not prone to crate-digging, there are plenty of shows, signings, and freebies at Chicago’s record stores this weekend. If nabbing a copy of Nirvana’s decade-delayed Pennyroyal Tea/I Hate Myself And Want To Die 7” (!) somehow doesn’t lure you away from iTunes, hopefully a free hot dog will.
Here’s what’s going on:
The Record Butcher at Logan Hardware
Jivan Ivan, “The Record Butcher,” will sell stacks of vinyl LPs for as cheap as 25 cents a pound (“sound by the pound”) starting at noon. Free coffee from Passion House Roasters.
12 p.m. to 9 p.m. 2532 W. Fullerton.
Nick Mazzarella Trio at Jazz Record Mart
This alto sax whiz, who takes the stage at noon, is likely the earliest live music you’ll catch all day.
12 p.m. Store open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 27 E. Illinois.
Numero’s pop-up shop at Comfort Station
For one day only, you can browse archival record label Numero Group’s monstrous catalog in person. Special releases include a five-7” set from Dinosaur Jr. and limited-edition Chicago soul compilation South Side Story vol. 23 (only 1,000 copies pressed).
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee.
No live music at Dusty Groove this year, but the UKV shop promises all manner of carnivalesque entertainment, including a wheel of fortune, afternoon magic show, and breakfast pastries.
8 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1120 N. Ashland.
Permanent will open at 7 a.m. with free Dark Matter Coffee, plus live tunes in the afternoon (Plumb Bob at 3, Quicksails at 4, Mines at 5, and the positively gruesome Unmanned Ship at 6.)
7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1914 W. Chicago.
Record Breakers (Reggies)
On top of live music by Mike Golden and Brontosaurus (full lineup here), Reggies will offer free hotdogs and soda plus 50% off all CDs (which will probably be trendy in 20 years).
8 a.m. to 11 p.m. 2105 S. State.
You’ll have to choose between double-booked 3 p.m. sets at Reckless’s Lakeview and Wicker Park shops (Lord Mantis and Video Bug in Lakeview vs. Circuit des Yeux, Parris Mitchell/Jammin’ Gerald, and Kim Deal/Kelley Deal/Morgan Nagler in Wicker Park). A bonus in Lakeview: At 1 p.m., Papa Emeritus of Ghost B.C. will “give anyone in attendance the 360 degree Papa experience.” Whatever that means.
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (bands start at 3 p.m.) 3126 N. Broadway (Lakeview), 1532 N. Milwaukee (Wicker Park).
Chicago Soul Reunion at Hyde Park Records
88.5 WHPK DJs Gary P. Tyson, Mario Smith, and PJ Willis will spin records throughout the day with breaks for appearances by as-yet unannounced “soul legends” (Syl Johnson dropped by last year). A Soul Train-style conga line will form outside the store at 4 p.m.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Soul Reunion 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.) 1377 E. 53rd.
Their / They’re / There at Saki
Catch a rare local set from emo-heavyweights Their / They’re / There (Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It., Mike Kinsella of Owen, and Matthew Frank of Loose Lips Sink Ships). Bands start at 1 p.m. with a set every hour until T / T / T at 6 p.m. Full lineup here.
8 a.m. to 9 p.m. 3716 W. Fullerton.
Still not satisfied? Shuga, The Exchange, Dave’s, Bucket O’Blood, Gramaphone, Groovin’ High, Val’s Halla, Raffe’s, Beverly, Laurie’s, Music Experience, and Bric-a-Brac have all made the Record Store Day Pledge (see them mapped out here). Can you hit them all?