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The Dark Tower

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 19, 2006 3:33PM

Yesterday, Chicagoist took a trip over to the Tower Records downtown, where it’s all over but the shoutin’.

2006_12_18_tower.jpgIf you wanted to own the complete Tony Orlando and Dawn series on 3 DVDs for less than twenty bucks, you were in luck. Other than that, finding recognizable artists in the dregs was a challenge (we managed to pick up recent releases from Cougars and Damone but nothing else held any appeal).

It was pretty obvious that the employees were trying to make the best of the situation. At one point, we overheard an employee identify himself over the phone as “Black Sabbath.” Then later, we heard this over the store’s public address system:

“All rap and hip-hop CDs are a dollar. All that’s left is a bunch of West Coast cats so if you’re here visiting from the Bay Area or Compton…you all good.”

Though we’re avowed techies, we’re still in love with holding a CD or record album in our hands, checking out the album art and finding out who played the theremin on track 5. With the closing of Tower and Hi-Fi Records, there are fewer independent record stores to shop in Chicago for those who share our fetish.

Some of our favorites (found in The Chicagoist Guide to Chicago) are still around, including Laurie’s Planet of Sound, Reckless Records and Dr. Wax. We’ve written before about Dusty Groove America and scored good finds at Evil Clown Records, Jazz Record Mart, Deadwax Records and Rock Records, which seemed to be on the verge of closing earlier this year. NewCity recently published a list of great indie record stores, so it’s obvious that one can still find plenty of places that treat music as a treasure and not a “loss leader.”

What’s your favorite place to buy music?