RSD 2018

Record Breakers’ first RSD in the new Avondale location began at 7 a.m. after all the boxes of new releases had been unpacked and shelved.

People started trickling in, and by noon bands were taking the little stage in the back : Speed Babes, Blue Dream, Avantist, Magicks, TV Moms (visiting from Minneapolis), Alouette, then Lasers and Fast and Shit.  The front counter was surrounded all day by the steady beep-sound of records being rung up at the register until the front doors were locked for the night.

Thanks to everyone who came out this RSD 2018 to pick up some records and listen to some tunes !  Cheers to warm weather coming and lazy weekends hanging around Avondale eating pizza, getting a drink and listening to some vinyl.  🌴🌊🍸

(Photos : L to R, clockwise : Blue Dream, Lever, Magicks, Speed Babes.  Photos by Charles Pearson).

November at Breakers

Long time no write, but we’ve been pretty busy.  We’re really starting to settle into the new space, and people are starting to figure out what’s behind the storefront at 2935 N. Milwaukee in Avondale.  Breakers is getting in a load of good trades or sells in the used vinyl department.  From jazz to punk to electronic to classic rock, the racks are shifting daily.  If you haven’t been here in a month, that’s too long.

The apex of the month was this Black Friday weekend, which began with the exclusive releases on Friday and a sale, 10% off everything, used and new.  Local bands, Lettucehead, pussy foot, Daysee and Looms (as two-piece, acoustic duo) stopped by to play a few hours on the stage.

Saturday, we had a steady trickle of shoppers swing through, some they said, specifically for Small Business Saturday, and to take advantage of our sale.  The steady trickle continued into Sunday.  Thank you so much to everyone who came by this weekend to browse the racks, check out a local band or just come by to say “hey.”

Look out for upcoming events, including our next in-store on Saturday, 9-DEC, feat. Chicago locals Fundamental Kink, Junkee Girl and La Cosa.

October Musings

Been a while since we wrote a new blog post, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had a lot going on in our little storefront on Milwaukee Avenue in Avondale.

This last weekend, Breakers hosted two events on its stage – 2nd In-Store on the new stage on Saturday, 21 October, featuring local, Chicago artists Wavy I.D. and their drum-machine-driven funk, Le Tour’s noisy punk and the riot grrrl attitude and fresh-clementine-decorated stage presence of Daymaker (they asked the crowd to eat the fruits afterwards).

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[Wavy I.D. starting off the show]

On Sunday, though incredibly dreary weather, DJ’s Hood Internet and Oscillator Bug spun 45’s at 33 r.p.m. making for some pretty strange sounding classics – “Barracuda” by Heart slogging along at monstrous pace, anyone ? We managed to get rid of several pounds of 45’s at 99 cents each and have no idea of the fate of all those little black discs.

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[DJ’s Spinning those Vinyl]

Breakers has had a pretty healthy dose of new arrivals showing up on our doorstep as well. Sub Pop just released (20-Oct) Nashville band, Bully’s, second LP, “Losing.” As of writing, we’ve still got a copy, which is a limited-edition color vinyl. Other vinyl of note include new Propagandhi, Afghan Whigs, Kelela, Beck, St. Vincent and Chastity Belt.

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[New Arrivals]

So what’s next ? Black Friday (where has the year gone ?) !

Starting at 11 a.m., when we open, everything in the store will be 10% for Black Friday, and live bands will take the stage at 4 p.m, including Lettucehead, pussy foot, Daysee and LOOMS. Come thru and wind down after fist-fighting a nine-year-old for that shiny, new toy in the department store. We promise we have records for even the most picky of music connoisseurs whom you know.

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[Black Friday flyer – see you there ! ♥]

Grand Re-Opening

The space was finished, floors swept and dusted, Tiffany lamp strung up in its corner, local artwork hung on the walls.  Friends and family took photos as CB unlocked the metal grates and flipped the sign to “open” for the first time.  The sunny afternoon was perfect, and we put a record on the turntable.  Record Breakers had finally re-opened its doors.  

Not knowing exactly what to expect, we watched as people trickled in :  friends, family, the Reggies Crew and a few curious locals wondering what had become of the new storefront.  Within an hour, the store was filled to capacity.  People crowded the racks and the snack table, munching on macaroni, corn muffins and chips.  John from Jackalope Coffee & Tea House provided doughnuts and coffee for “record shopping fuel.”  Thanks to Sluggo, Brit and Michelle, cold brews were provided in a pinch from Revolution Brewery, when we thought we wouldn’t have beer. 😧

Local jazz trio, Bracket, broke in the new space with two, hour-long sets on the wooden stage in the back of the room.  Without a PA, the acoustic sounds of horn, drums and bass drifted to the front without trouble.  Having so many friends and family in the same place at the same time made the Grand Re-Opening extra special, since so many of our friends and family are rarely in the same place.  Thanks for coming out and helping us celebrate !  It was great to see you all.  

The Big Renovation

Finding a storefront was the easy part.  Transforming a building that was a photography studio in the 1960’s and then a print shop into a record store ?  Not so much.  The demolition took a month just to clear out all the dust and debris.  One of the nastier tasks involved tearing down the old, tin ceiling.  Decades of dirt and soot spilled down on everyone helping with the project, probably taking a year off their lives, and was “worse than being a garbage man for a summer” (according to CB).  

CB and Kratz wanted to keep the integrity of the building’s bricks, but that involved an intensive sand-blasting process as they had accumulated fifty years or more of grime.  Donnie, from Reggies, tore through the dusty drywall with an axe, tearing into the flimsy gypsum panels like a viking on a raid.  Next on the project list was the stage.  CB and his band mate, Goose, collected wood from a metal factory in Northbrook; the weather-beaten wood added a rustic tone to the room with its red-brick walls and dark flooring.  One thing was kept from the photo studio – a vintage, baby blue counter that could easily have been found in a post-war American kitchen.  

The first jams to be played in the record store were supplied by a boombox CB has had since he was a kid.  Not the most hi-fi, but a sort of breaking-in of the new space.  The list of people to thank for their help on the project is long : the Reggies Crew migrated from home base at 2105 South State Street to help, including Keith, Donnie, Mizzo, Ed, Brendan, Sluggo, Sean and Erynne, but we also had loads of help from other friends – Amy, Goose, Chauncey, Tom the Mason, Fred, Michelle, Ashley Ono and Lara (who painted the rad mural).  

As always, thank you to Robby and thank you to Reggies for all the support.  Come out and help us break in the new space on 10 September from 5 to 9 pm – there will be beer, coffee and live music !