April is an exciting month for vinyl fans. After its conception in 2007, the third Saturday in April has come to be known as Record Store Day across the country. Local record stores offer up crazy sales and artists plan special releases for this day. Record Store Day 2013 falls on April 20 and, with more awesome local record stores than you can shake a record player needle at, Chicago will definitely be celebrating.
There are a ton of stores that will be taking part in the holiday across Chicago, so here are just a few of my favorites.
Think of Reckless Records as the Target of record shops -- they have everything. In additional to an ample supply of records at all three locations (Lakeview, Wicker Park and the Loop), you can find an swell selection of used and new CDs and movies at prices that make my inner cheapskate squeal. This year Reckless Records' Lakeview location (3126 N. Broadway) will hold performances from local legend Tim Kinsella (Cap'n Jazz, Joan Of Arc) and Chicago soul music darling JC Brooks. The Wicker Park record stop (1532 N. Milwaukee) has managed to book a performance from the highly anticipated new band Their/They're/There (featuring members of Cap'n Jazz and Into It. Over It.). The Loop location (26 E. Madison) will not be holding any in-store performances but it will still feature releases and sales to celebrate! All performances are free for the public.
If you didn't already know, Chicago is the home of house music. The genre was born here back in the days when DJs still actually used records during their sets -- not Macbooks. Gramaphone Records in Lakeview is easily the best bet for house, techno and disco records. I can testify to their awesome selection and have even been known to walk in and buy an album not knowing anything about the artists. If they sell it at Gramaphone, it's got to be good. This year they'll host a free in-store DJ set from British DJ Bonobo on Record Store Day.
My dad is a professional jazz musician back home in St. Louis. He rarely makes it through a visit to his daughter here in Chicago without having to dip off for an hour or two to go to the Jazz Record Mart downtown (27 E. Illinois). For new releases, old gems and rare finds the Mart is a solid choice for all fans of jazz music.
In addition to a vehement dedication to keeping the legacy of records alive, Logan Hardware is cool for another reason: they have a freaking arcade in the store! Once you're done perusing the aisles upon aisles of vinyl, take a peak in the back right corner for some more vintage fun. Logan Hardware is located in the heart of Logan Square at 2410 W. Fullerton.
For a full list of Record Store Day releases and participating local stores, visit RecordStoreDay.com.
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