In-Store Concerts Keep Us Returning To Record Store Day

By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 19, 2013 7:00PM

Another year, another Record Store Day, another reason to be deeply, deeply ambivalent. So why do we keep subjecting ourselves to this made-up holiday? Spoiler alert: in-stores. They are your friend.

We won't completely rehash the reasons why Record Store Day fills us with ambivalence at best. Instead, here's an excerpt from a piece this writer wrote back in 2011.

Simply put, Record Store Day, for all its good intentions, is merely a celebration of consumption. It may be limited-edition piss-colored vinyl consumption, but it's consumption all the same. With a mission like this in mind, where does the actual discussion and appreciation of actual music factor in?

After all, we don't buy records just to buy collectibles--though it's certainly nice when we find them. We buy records because we enjoy music. Talking about it, thinking about it, living it, breathing it, and other hippie bullshit.

Can we honestly say Record Store Day fosters a deep listening climate even in the slightest? Or is it just about companies convincing people to part with their money in a comical rat race increasingly co-opted by major labels and corporations?

Basically: Record Store Day is Black Friday for people who scoff at the idea of Black Friday. People who would otherwise lambast getting up at an godawful early morning hour to buy stuff with questionable value...get up at an godawful early morning hour to buy stuff with questionable value. Does. Not. Compute.

Still, perhaps Record Store Day is your thing. Do want you want to do. After all, we can't tell you who to sock it to. And there are some exclusives that look pretty cool. The Codeine live LP — recorded in Chicago when the legendary slowcore band opened for Mazzy Star — looks pretty neat. Local bands White Mystery and Disappears are releasing new material on Record Store Day, too, if you're interested in having your dollars sustain the local music community.

But seriously: do you listen still to the stuff you picked up on past Record Store Days? It's likely not. Speaking personally: the only thing I still use from Record Store Days past is the Wu-Tang Clan record player cover I won from Dusty Groove a few years back. It keeps my records and my record player dust-free. Win!

So why bother this year? We're finally getting to it: In-stores. Record stores celebrate record store day with live music, the only still unique, still personable music experience left in an increasingly digital world. Best of all, these in-stores are free. In other words, a band you'd normally would have to see for ten bucks, or have to drive out to a warehouse bordering Pilsen and Little Village to see, is playing for free in Lakeview. Or Lincoln Square. Or Ukrainian Village. Or another neighborhood that is steps from your apartment.

So go. Carpe diem. What do you have to lose? You only have free live music to gain, and if you like that live music, then you have found a new band whose music can lift you to the kind of special transcendence that only music can. And if you think it sucks? Just leave. Or browse for records and ignore the band entirely. The stakes here are incredibly low. Go for it. If you decide to buy the band's record, you'll be supporting local music, and not re-hashed consumer goods for a made-up holiday.

With that in mind: A list of live stores happening around the city on Record Store Day, this Saturday, April 20. Hop to it!

Laurie's Planet of Sound

12 p.m.: Nicholas Tremulis
12:30 p.m.: Edward Burch & the Grand Ennui performing Mike Nesmith’s “And The Hits Just Keep On Coming” album in its’ entirety.
3 p.m.: Luke Winslow King
3:30 p.m.: Dolly Varden
6 p.m.-8 p.m.: Claps, Unur, Cinchel

Reckless Records: Wicker Park

1 p.m.: Their/They're/There
2 p.m.: Speck Mountain
3 p.m.: Jar'd Loose
4 p.m.: Lair of the Minotaur

Reckless Records: Lakeview

2 p.m. Tim Kinsella (solo)
3 p.m. JC Brooks (acoustic)
4 p.m. Hound Mouth

Record Breakers

10 a.m.: Cloud Cult
10:45 a.m.: Kangaroo
11:30 a.m.: The New Diet
12:15 p.m.: Flatfoot 56
1:15 p.m.: The Kickback
2 p.m.: Super Minotaur
2:45 p.m.: Free Drugs
3:30 p.m.: Magicks
4:15 p.m.: Suns
5 p.m.: Joan of Arc (solo set)

Permanent Records

Maybe and The Sick Fucks
The Hecks
Gel Set
Wax Idols
TV Ghost


1 p.m.: Twin Peaks
2 p.m. - Radar Eyes
3 p.m. - The Oarsman
4 p.m. - The Beets
5 p.m. - Pink Avalanche
6 p.m. - Fake Limbs

Of course, there are others. List them below in the comments, if you're so inclined!