To celebrate Record Store Day (Aug. 18) I went by my one of my favorite places in Chicago, Laurie’s Planet of Sound late yesterday morning, and by the time I got there, many of the exclusive records being released by bands ranging from the Flaming Lips to Sonic Youth and Beck had already sold out. I managed to snag a copy of the 7-inch single with a Sonic Youth song on one side and a Jay Reatard track on the flip side.
It was really fun and nostalgic to be inside a record store with so many people. Is this just a once-a-year phenomenon? So many record stores have kicked the bucket in recent years, but a few cool ones are surviving, and Laurie’s seemed very much alive yesterday.
Chicago singer-songwriter Azita played a free in-store show a little after noon, playing a Yamaha piano that was crammed into a back corner of the store. The performance felt somewhat impromptu and a little unvarnished — and was all the better for that sense of spontaneity.