Record Store Day at Laurie’s Planet of Sound


A lot of record stores around Chicago had fun festivities planned on Record Store Day, which was April 19, but I ended up spending most of the day at Laurie’s Planet of Sound in Lincoln Square. At making a morning stop at the store to buy some records, I returned midafternoon. Among the things I missed in the middle of the day was a performance by  John Darnielle of Mountain Goats. I’d hoped to see the Lemons, a Chicago band that plays short bubble-gum pop ditties, but they started early and played such short songs that they were finishing up the minute I came through the front door.

But then I was there for a fun afternoon of music, including Phil Angotti and Friends covering the whole Simon & Garfunkel album Sounds of Silence; the solid riffs of Handcuffs; the reunited Chicago punk band Silver Abuse, who shouted goofy songs about dogs and Ron Santo and made a delightful art-noise racket; and Mazes, who artfully shifted from pretty chamber pop melodies into some rocking guitar solos.

Best of all, this was one of those days when a record store feels like a clubhouse where you hang out with friends.

Phil Angotti and Friends

L99A4194 L99A4223

HandcuffsL99A4384 L99A4478

Silver Abuse

L99A4612 L99A4766 L99A4877 L99A4970 L99A5000 L99A5022 L99A5280
L99A5480 L99A5584


L99A5767 L99A6012L99A6032 L99A6059 L99A6078 L99A6130

The Love Language at the Hideout

The Love Language, a band from North Carolina, was one of the acts I hoped to catch last month at SXSW after hearing the group’s dandy pop track “Lalita.” I missed these guys when I was in Austin, but got another shot at seeing them last night, when they played at Chicago’s Hideout. It was a good set, and although the room could have accommodated more fans, the ones who were there were pretty enthusiastic. At times, the Love Language reminds me a bit of the Walkmen, but there’s more of a ’60s pop vibe to their songs, although with some Southern touches, naturally due to the band’s North Carolina origins. (Maybe a touch of alt-country, but nothing remotely like stereotypical Southern rock, though.) Singer-guitarist Stuart McLamb is clearly the band’s focal point, though the two female keyboard players helped a lot to liven up the show with their occasional dancing stints on tambourine.

The opening act was Mazes, a new Chicago band featuring a couple of the fine musicians already making excellent music in another group, the 1900s — Edward Anderson and Caroline Donovan — along with Charles D’Autremont. Mazes play ’60s-style rock, not that far afield from what the 1900s are doing, but less orchestral-sounding.

Photos of the Love Language and Mazes.