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BORDERLINE MUSIC

Borderline Music (5351 North Clark Street) is located along the strip in Andersonville, one of Chicago’s top LGBTQ neighborhoods.

 

This new and used CD and vinyl record store specializes in dance and imports, remixes and DJ compilations, but also carries assorted collectibles, new and used DVDs/Blu-rays, and more. Plus, the diva lover/star-gazer in you will delight in the signed posters and music memorabilia adorning the walls and display cases of the shop. 

 

Dance, Remixes and More...

Owner Scott Jannush opened Borderline Music in Lakeview in 2000 and relocated the store to Andersonville in 2014. The shop is a labor of love. Scott opened the store because of his passion for dance music, an expertise honed by experience in national record store chains as well as a stint at a record label in Los Angeles. When Jannush opened Borderline he wanted to specialize in dance, import, and DJ mixes. He also wanted Borderline to be a place for fans to meet the artists. The list of Meet and Greets is lengthy and impressive with past in-store performances by Lady Gaga, Kristine W, Dragonette, Natalia Kills, Darren Hayes, Charlie XCX, Abigail, Amber, Donna De Lory, Pepper Mashay, Agnes and many more. The store has also featured local DJs spinning live.

 

Memorabilia Lovers Delight

Adorning the walls and even display cases throughout the shop are photos, posters, memorabilia and assorted signed items by some of the titans of music: Cher, Erasure, Kylie Minogue, Amber, Cyndi Lauper, Kristine W., Depeche Mode, Go-Go’s, Rupaul, Lisa Stansfield, Donna Summer, Eartha Kitt and many more. Behind the counter a multi media screen plays an ongoing loop of dance music video. And if you’re thinking, What would a dance record store be without a disco mirror ball? ... Borderline Music has three!

 

Music Trends

Jannush has seen changes in music consumer trends since Borderline first opened its doors. “Over the years our selection has evolved from dance and DJ mixes to all genres and most recently, in the last three years, vinyl has become a huge seller and our new and used vinyl is more than half the store now. But we are still offering the best in dance, pop, imports and mixes.”

With shipping available worldwide, online sales comprise a huge part of Borderline’s business. Jannush adds that online sales are dominated by CDs and mixes while in-store sales are about 70% vinyl. To accompany the surge in vinyl, Borderline also sells turntables.

 

Scott’s Picks for Exploring Chicago

When asked about recommendations for a terrific LGBTQ day in Chicago, Jannush says it depends on the weather. “If it is sunny I would recommend getting to the lakefront. The stretch between Montrose and Fullerton is my favorite part of the lake. I always recommend customers to dine at Replay (5358 North Clark Street) or Jerry's (5419 North Clark Street), especially on nice sunny days.” Both eateries have a patio.

“For going out to local bars I like neighborhood bars where you can sit at the bar and get to know the staff and locals.” Scott’s two favorite local LGBTQ taverns are the Granville Anvil (1137 West Granville Avenue) and SoFo Tap (4923 North Clark Street).

For unbeatable Chicago pizza Jannush recommends Gino's North (1111 West Granville Avenue) adding, “The bar is from around the 1940's and their tiny kitchen in back is where the pizza is prepared from a local legend, Peggy. Peggy has worked there for decades. Great local hangout and killer pizza.”

Jannush also describes himself as “a big brunch person” and says his two favorite places for brunch are Bongo Room in Andersonville (5022 North Clark Street) and m. henry (5707 North Clark Street).

Best Spot in the City:

When asked to share a favorite hidden Chicago treasure Scott responded, “At Montrose harbor there is a hidden path that runs between the lakefront and the golf course. I love running and this area is tucked away.” He also describes the nearby lakefront rocks as a great place to “sit and watch the lake or even just to sit on the lawn and relax. It is so peaceful this is my favorite spot in the city.”

Best Live Music and Entertainment Venues:

Uptown Underground

For live music in Chicago, Scott gives high marks to the Chicago Theatre (175 North State Street) “It is a stunning venue and not too big. You can enjoy the show from any seat.” He also praises Metro Chicago (3730 North Clark Street), “They always has amazing live performers: They have had Robyn, Dragonette, Betty Who and so many others. Definitely check out Metro.”

Another of Scott’s top music spots is the historic Green Mill Cocktail Lounge (4802 North Broadway Street) in Uptown. Also in Uptown, he recommends Uptown Underground (4707 North Broadway Street) which he describes as “a speakeasy themed cabaret and burlesque act.” Scott also highly recommends taking in a show at the iconic Baton Show Lounge (436 North Clark Street) in the River North area which has garnered national acclaim for providing the best in drag entertainment since 1969.

5 Picks for a Touring Chicago Soundtrack:

Finally, Scott listed five CDs make for a great soundtrack when driving around Chicago and taking in the sights and splendors of the city.

  1. Annie Lennox, Diva
  2. Madonna’s self titled first album 
  3. Dragonette, Royal Blues
  4. Tegan and Sara, Love You To Death
  5. Troye Sivan, Blue Neighborhood 

 

Borderline Music is a friendly and welcoming LGBTQ business and definitely a place to put on the to-do list when shopping in Andersonville. The store is fun and funky and sure to put a smile on your face. There’s plenty to see and your browsing is guaranteed to be accompanied by a superb soundtrack — learn more at borderlinemusic.com.

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