Rather than bore you with the numbers that show vinyl is getting its industry groove back, or make like "High Fidelity" reenactors and expound on the superiority of the medium, let's get to the Record Store Day bottom line: On April 17, some fine music shops across the nation will offer limited pressings for a small sampling of record collectors.
Of course, supporting your local, independent retailer is part of the package, with more than two-dozen Chicago-area shops participating in different ways, from in-store performances to free turntable repairs. But if you're really into keeping things close to home, consider dropping that tax refund on a limited-edition release from a local act. Here are some of our favorites to scope out on Saturday (these should be available at all participating shops, but you may want to call and check first):
Buddy Guy A Man and The Blues 12-inch
500 copies, $21.99
A lot of Chicago blues musicians are hailed as the originators of the modern sound, but it's tough to deny the influence of Buddy and his Fender Stratocaster. The former session star proved himself with this 1968 release, earning the right to be mentioned in the same sentence as B.B. King and Muddy Waters.
Tutu & the Pirates Sub-Urvan Insult Rock For the Anti-Lectual
1500 copies, $15
As shown in the 2007 Chicago punk documentary "You Weren't There," Tutu & the Pirates were some of the first misfits to hit the local scene in the late '70s. But though they played clubs from Mother's to La Mere Vipere (using guitars fashioned from toilet seats), they never released so much as a single. Until now. And these are just demos. What's not punk about that?
Juicehead "Rotting From The Inside" b/w "Death of Democracy" 7-inch
500 copies, $5.99
In contrast to Tutu's early punk rumblings, this DIY start-up got off on a crunchy, lo-fi collection of seemingly 4-track-recorded pop numbers about blood and whores. They're actually kind of charming, in a NOFX, Operation Ivy kind of way. This 7-inch is their first proper recording on the Misfits imprint and should be a game-changer.
Wilco Kicking Television 4 X 12-inch box set
1000 copies, $65
With this live album - recorded over four nights at the Vic Theatre
in 2005 - the Chicago indie act was able to capture the perfect balance between the experimental jams of 2001's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
and its later dad-rock leanings (with a little alt-country thrown in for good measure). This is the first release of the 23-song set on vinyl, with fewer copies available than there were tickets to the actual shows.
Mr. Russia "Boys Keep Swinging" 7-inch
500 copies, free
Each side of this single - free with any Record Store Day purchase at Reckless Records
- offers an alternate cover of David Bowie's garage-glam classic. The local trio tackles the song seemingly using only a bass guitar, which might make the androgynous hero raise an eyebrow, but we're excited about a hometown revival of the niche genre.
Bitchin Bajas/Moon Duo Split 7-inch
750 copies, $5.99
This one's a local double-shot. Ukrainian Village shop/label Permanent Records
brings together two of its talents, San Francisco summer psych-rockers Moon Duo and Chicago's Bitchin Bajas, a Cave side project that will surely start some conversations if you whip 'em out at your next BBQ.
Ty Segall/CoCoComa/White Wires/Charlie & the Moonhearts 4-Way Covers Split 7-inch
(Trouble In Mind
1000 copies, $7.98
Trouble In Mind is the start-up label of CoCoComa's Bill and Lisa Roe, who are currently issuing garage singles in the hopes of proving that the two-and-a-half-minute pop song is alive and well." Though all three other bands featured on this compilation pay their taxes in non-Illinois states, the label is housed in our fine city and CoCoComa's cover of The Wipers' "Messenger" is worth the price alone.