If you are a music fanatic then there is a good chance you’ll be making a trek to the Midwest at some point this summer to hit up the ever-growing indie Pitchfork Music Festival or world renowned Lollapalooza Festival. If you are traveling from distant lands than I’d highly suggest you stay a few extra days and soak up the Windy City summer vibes! When you aren’t terrifying your friends with the glass floor at the Willis Tower or eating your weight in deep dish pizza at Gino’s East, make sure to check out these 5 (well…6) music spots:
1. Reckless Records (3 locations) – This is a no brainer for any music lover spending some time in Chicago. Reckless has three shops located throughout the city and is often times the record store that comes up when talking about the windy city. The shop’s divvy vibes create the ultimate ‘indie record shop’ appeal and they have some of the widest selections of music in the city.
2. Permanent Records (1914 W Chicago Ave) – a small shop but loaded to the brim with goodies. Their focus leans towards punk and psychedelic but they also have an interesting used section where you are sure to find that album you’ve been on the look out for for months (it’ll probably cost a good amount of money too but it’ll totally be worth it since you need that piece for your collection, right??). They also manage to host in-stores on most Saturdays so make sure to stop in if you are in the market to check out a Chicago band you’ve probably never had the chance to see before.
3. Dusty Grooves (1120 N. Ashland Ave) – these guys kick it old school…really old school. Their specialty is vintage jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, world, and rare / obscure records. Be sure to stop in here if you are on the hunt for something completely different or need to snag the newest Numero Group release.
4. Saki Records (3716 W. Fullterton Ave.) – a nice little shop tucked away in the Logan Square neighborhood. The store space is also used for intimate musical performances and as an art gallery. If you are planning ahead then make sure to check out their video newsletters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-SRQajxtJw) to get an idea of what will be going on at Saki while you are visiting.
5. Dave’s Records (2604 North Clark Street) – Make sure you don’t make the mistake of asking where the CD section is when popping in here because this shop is exclusively vinyl and they are proud of it. This place is stacked to the rim with several shelves on the walls that add up to over 40,000 vinyl pieces at any given time. That is some pretty darn good odds that you’ll find something you want to snag!
6. Quimby’s – This shop doesn’t sell records but has one of the largest zine collection I’ve ever laid eyes on. Their specialty is unusual publications, comic books, and indie zines. The array of music zines are sure to inspire the music nerds in all of us so I’d recommend taking some time to sift through the incredible collection of DIY publications this shop has to offer. (Also – it’s right down the street from one of the Reckless shops so you could hit them both up while in the Wicker Park neighborhood!)