In 2007, Record Store Day was conceived with the idea that celebrating and spreading the word about record store culture would keep the bond between independent record shops and the folks that frequent them strong.
In addition to the fun and sense of community a record shop provides, specialty releases from artists new and old — from rare B-sides and legendary live performances to singles, are produced in a commemorative, limited run making the thrill of the record dig that much more exciting.
Ten years later, the event is celebrated internationally as a day that contributes to the cultural and artistic lives of participants. There’s even a Record Store Day ambassador, a title first held by Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes and carried this year by St. Vincent’s Annie Clark.
In Chicago, Record Store Day has been embraced by the most of the shops. Evolving over the years, the unofficial holiday is often coupled with a day of in-store performances, giveaways and extended hours to accommodate those hoping to spend time digging through crates for that perfect find.
Here are some spots to visit Saturday, Record Store Day’s 10th anniversary, for vinyl and much more.
Shuga Records, 1272 N. Milwaukee Ave.: Opening at 8 a.m., Shuga plans to go above and beyond. Offering complimentary Dark Matter coffee and doughnuts for customers while supplies last, the shop also has a stacked lineup of in-store performances featuring local acts such as psychedelic rockers Lucille Furs and Hair, along with jangly garage rocker Joe Bordenaro, singer-songwriter Wilem Hurricane Simmons and others, beginning at noon.
The first 300 customers will receive a free, limited edition Emporium, Lagunitas and Shuga Records-printed 20 oz. Tall Boy glass and there will be raffle drawings for PAX portable vaporizers and other surprises.
The only rule? “Once doors open, you’re only allowed to purchase three official Record Store Day releases, then it’s back to the end of the line,” says owner Adam Rosen.
Dusty Groove, 1120 N. Ashland Ave.: Not far from Shuga, Dusty Groove — a shop known for pushing soul, funk, jazz, Latin/Brazilian and progressive sounds to the forefront — is also celebrating.
“There really seems to be kind of a carnival-like atmosphere on Record Store Day, and we really roll with that,” says buyer Doug Arnold. “We have a prize wheel, popcorn machine, wandering magician — we strive for it to be a fun, unique experience for everybody, including young kids, rather than just a competitive shopping experience.”
Open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., every purchaser gets a spin of the prize wheel, and there will be freebies and giveaways. Folks in line at 8 a.m. will be treated to coffee and breakfast snacks.