Bonus Tracks

May 11, 2017

My Kind of Town

Kevin Starke of Chicago’s Kstarke Records also runs a local record label

Record Collector News visits Chicago on Record Store Day 2017 to check out its vital collecting scene and, of course, pick some bins

by Jim Kaplan~

This April, Record Collector News shut down the entire World Headquarters facilities while I hopped on a plane to attend AXPONA, the Audio Expo North America yearly event in Chicago. This was my first visit. As you would expect, a dynamite show with many audio and vinyl exhibitors. Their rooms sounded warm and musical. I found myself seduced by many of them. Even DIGITAL files sounded inviting. I will have a more detailed report in the next issue. For now, I want to talk about Record Store Day — Chicago style.

I rented a spiffy Fiat 500 for a few days to check out 12 record stores. I found Chicago an amazing place for vinyl. There are serious, world-class stores with clean vinyl at decent prices.

Here’s the deal: The metropolis population is huge yet there only 20 or so stores. So all the owners are happy and healthy as there isn’t too much competition.

Here’s where we went. Please do not blab about these stores to everyone until you and I have had a chance to dig thru the bins first.

rolling stones

Rolling Stones
7300 W. Irving Park Rd.

Lots of new vinyl and even more CDs. Been around since the ‘70s.


Bob’s Blues & Jazz Mart
3419 W. Irving Park Rd.
Chicago 60616

Fear not Jazz Record Mart fans. Bob Koester of Delmark Records and Jazz Record Mart moved his store a few times in the last few years and wound up on W. Irving Park Road with a new name, Bob’s Blues & Jazz — where if it’s not Blues or Jazz it’s ninety-nine cents. World class digging.

logan hardware

Logan Hardware
2532 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago 60647

A true neighborhood record store, yet you would have to come here weekly no matter what neighborhood you lived in.

kdtarke records

Kstarke Records
1109 N. Western Ave.
Chicago 60622

Another amazing neighborhood record store that if you lived near and it was your usual, you’d be blessed.

reckless records

Reckless Records
1379 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago 60622

They have three locations in Chicago and sell a lot of new and used titles. Big selection. Books and T-shirts, too.

shuga records

Shuga Records
1272 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago 60622

Looking at the photos I shot of their wall they have two Beatles Butcher covers and one Ben Folds record I must have.

permanent records

Permanent Records
1914 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago 60622

Permanent Records has two locations in Los Angeles. Way more $30 blue notes on the walls here than in LA.

dusty groove

Dusty Groove
1120 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago 60622

One of the premier record stores in the country.

Val’s Halla Records
239 Harrison S.
Oak Park 60304

Val has been doing this for about 40 years, so I think she’s getting good at it. GREAT store.

Dave’s Records
2604 N. Clark St.
Chicago 60614

Totally essential neighborhood record store offers world class digging.

logan hardware2

Laurie’s Planet of Sound
4639 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago 60625

Another great store. Lots of good digging.


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *