People aren’t ditching their MP3 players (yet), but sales of vinyl records are at their highest point since the early 1990s, increasing 14% since 2009. On April 16th, National Record Store Day celebrates vinyl and the independent music stores around the country that carry the format—with in-store performances, exclusive vinyl (and CD) releases, re-releases, and compilations. Chicago has a long list of venues and events going on during the holiday, but local label named the Numero Group has the most all-encompassing celebration.
The archival label, known for preserving obscure soul and funk from the Chicago area and beyond, will open a one-day pop-up shop at the former Stop Smiling headquarters at 1371 N. Milwaukee, with 20,000 records—some very limited. In addition to an exclusive limited-edition 45 release, the store will have a new Record-Store-Day–exclusive compilation of tracks acquired from a defunct vinyl press in Cleveland, Ohio, called the Boddie Recording Company. There will also be a live "pirate" radio station for the day on 89.9 FM, playing tracks from the Numero Group interspersed with old school radio commercials and news updates. The label is also historicizing the Wicker Park area with a map of record stores past and present—listing the location and stories behind shops that are open today and old favorites like the Beat Parlor, Wax Trax, and Championship Vinyl, the fictional record store from the Chicago-filmed High Fidelity.
-Mia DiMeo, ArtSlant Staff Writer