Tag Archives: indie record store

Platterpus Records, Addison Illinois

by Joe Wallace

So it begins–the Vinyl Road Rage updates move into record store review territory now because if I don’t start writing ’em, they will NEVER get done. There’s already a massive backlog of great indie record stores to cover and you have to start sometime so we begin with the great Platterpus Records in Addison, Illinois.

Platterpus sells online and does not have a storefront per se, but they do have a bi-monthly warehouse sale where they invite the public to come and browse literally thousands of records. You can also come out and look by appointment, which is how I enjoyed my first visit.

Platterpus is challenging for non-crate digging obsessive record shoppers going by appointment because the stock is literally boxed and waiting the warehouse sale–but the persistent digger is soon rewarded with plenty of delicious finds.

I strongly recommend searching the site’s online stock–which is not available for crate digging–before going to the warehouse. I was rewarded with a couple of wonderful finds using this approach–a Coil 12-inch I’d been long seeking and some other beauties.

Crate digging at Platterpus is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. I have yet to experience the warehouse sale but the Platterpus folks tell me it’s organized and fun. They’re friendly, very helpful and I will definitely be going back out to Addison at some point soon for more digging.

In the world of storefronts, Platterpus Records is a bit of an anomaly, but it’s definitely working for them, and any warehouse sale that also features cocktails ¬†and live bands (as advertised in their last flyer) cannot be a bad thing at all. I REALLY want to try the warehouse sale version of Platterpus Records . Cocktails and vinyl? Oh yes, please.

Chicago Record Stores: Transistor

by Joe Wallace

Let’s just start by saying that the best record stores have performance spaces in them. I played more than a couple of gigs at the late, great Austin, Texas record mecca 33 Degrees in the late 90s, and since then I’ve been hooked on shops that know where their bread is buttered.

Chicago’s awesome “sound & vision” store Transistor, at 5045 N. Clark Street in Andersonville is just such a place. Usually, stores that don’t pick a direction–vinyl/CDs or electronics, or art, or…whatever– and stick with it are doomed to fail from the start, but Transistor has something many similar endeavors fail to promote–a philosophy.

Sure, that’s MY interpretation, but take a quick glance at the records, books, DVDs, music gear (Transistor is an authorized Numark, Korg, Alesis and Marshall dealer to name a few) and art; you’ll soon discover the vibe of this place. Everything’s interconnected somehow.

Transistor has regular workshops, performances, film screenings, even a Sunday podcast called Transistor Radio. It’s an ambitious operation, to be sure, but it definitely beats sitting on your thumbs waiting for Jesus to come and whip out a keg of Belgium’s finest. This is definitely one of the most forward-thinking shops in the Chicago record store scene. Yes, I’m well aware that it’s a multi-faceted operation, but they still sell vinyl and therefore…

One last note–99% of the vinyl falls into the new release category, but there is a smattering of used vinyl the shop offers on behalf of the Chicago Independent Radio Project as a benefit for them. How cool is that?