B-Sides in the Bins #23 – Chicago Suburbs 3/2/08

This weekend my wife Sherry was attending a conference for Skin and Hair people at McCormick Place in Chicago. I came along for moral support and some time away– and the hopes of hitting some record stores. Sherry booked a cheap hotel online in Des Plaines North of O’Hare off I-90. Saturday I hung out at McCormick Place loitering at a Starbucks waiting for Sherry. Sunday morning I dropped her off around 10:30AM and I made my way back up to Des Plaines. This gave me the option to hang at the hotel with free parking and to venture out to the surrounding burbs.

A quick search of Google for “record stores near Des Plaines, IL” turned out a mix of interesting and not-so-interesting results. I quickly jotted down three places to try out. The plan being that I’d hit the closest stores first and work my way out.

The first place I tried was promisingly called “The Record Room” on Golf Rd (641 W Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL). No website. I called first, and the phone company said the “number is being tested” so I ended up driving over anyway. Rest In Piece Record Room! It is now a chiropractic office.

So, the next place I decided I wanted to hit was called “Sunshine Daydream” in Mt. Prospect, IL and has a current website, so that seemed promising. However, their hours are “Noonish to 6PM” on Sundays. I made my way up to the store and it exists and seemed to have inventory. It’s a tie-die, posters, Grateful Dead/Jamband type store. However, it was 12:15, so maybe that wasn’t “Noonish” enough for them. So, I headed back down to a restaurant I passed on River Road called Dick’s River Roadhouse for a Blue Moon (with requisite orange slice garnish) and a wonderful BBQ Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The bar music was some 80’s station (likely XM). Rick Spingfield, Prince, New Order, Toni Basil, etc. The food was served quickly.

After I ate my food and finished my beer I called Sunshine Daydream (2027 E Euclid Ave., Mt. Prospect, IL) to see if they were open– they were. I paid my bill and headed up to the store. As I opened the door, I was overcome by the smell of inscense. The store was pretty much what one would expect for a store that advertises itself as “the hippy general store.” They had a large array of “natural fiber” bags and other clothing– a lot of it tie-died. Posters, rolling papers, gag greeting cards and other sundries were available as well. The rack that had the CD’s was half used CDs and half new titles. Most of the new titles were jambands including a lot of titles that you’d normally only see on the bands’ websites– the Live Phish series, the Wart’s and All moe. series, Dick’s Picks. I think that if someone was looking for any release from the jamband genre this would be the place to go. I flipped through the selections, but didn’t find anything I was interested in. I looked briefly at the Infrared Roses CD that was in the used bin. Infrared Roses is a mashup of a whole bunch of performances of “Dark Star.” I also noted that they had a copy of the Traveling Wilburys Three CD for $7.99. I guess the release of the box set last year really dropped the bottom out of the used market on Traveling Wilburys– I remember seeing copies of the first CD going for over $100! The owner of the place spent the entire time I was in there dealing with some personal issue involving a relative who was freaked out about either moving into a new apartment or getting new neighbors.

From there I ventured over to Disk Replay (13 Golf Center, Hoffman Estates, IL). Disk Replay is a chain used CD/DVD/video game store. There are 4 or 5 in the Chicagoland area. They have a very large DVD selection and two sizable rows of tables of CD’s. The selection was pretty good. Lots of duplicates. They have a “buy three get one free” deal which I took advantage of.

Grant Lee Buffalo – Jubilee (CD, Slash/Warner Bros. 468789-2, 1998) ($4.99) Gold-stamped label promo. I still consider Mighty Joe Moon one of my favorite 90’s albums. I especially loved “Lone Star Song.” I own Moon and Fuzzy. I’ve never heard Jubilee, so I’m looking forward to hearing this. Apparently I only need Copperopolis and I have all of the releases. Jubilee is produced by Paul Fox, who did some great work with 10,000 Maniacs. Helping out on the album are Michael Stipe, Robyn Hitchcock and E. Jon Brion contributes vibes to the album as well.

Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense – Special New Edition (CD, Sire/Warner Bros. 47489-2, 1999) ($7.99) I own most of the Talking Heads releases. I purchased most of them back in the early 90’s, but never bought Stop Making Sense on CD. Frankly, it kind of annoyed me that the original release was a very abbreviated version with only nine of the 16 songs from the movie. I made a cassette of the video tape a long time ago and that was the version that I listened to years ago. It’s great to have this at last.

Reminder – Continuum (CD, Eastern Developments Music EDM 013, 2006) ($3.99) This is why I love to dig through Chicago used bins! Reminder is the side project of Thrill Jockey friend Josh Abrams. I mentioned Reminder’s new EP in B-Sides in the Bins #15. Josh has some help on a couple of tracks from Nicole Mitchell of Thrill Jockey band Frequency. The track “Terradactyl Town” is credited as a remix of “Toy Boat” from Jeff Parker’s amazing solo album The Relatives. Very good cut-and-pastish album. Considering the Jazz bass work Josh does for other artists, it’s interesting to hear such a departure.

Nellie McKay – Get Away From Me (2 CD, Columbia C2K 90664, 2004) ($0.00) This was my “free” CD from purchasing the other three titles. It was sitting in the bin for $2.99! The case and CD’s are in perfect condition. Who knows why it was so cheap! Nellie’s first album. On Columbia, produced by the incomparable Goeff Emerick. This is the album that started it all. Jumps around stylistically from Rap to lush pop a la Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Probably regarded as her best effort, but time will tell. The clock is ticking for the show we’re seeing in Minneapolis. I’m very excited to see her!

I had hoped to spend another day in Chicago, but Saturday nights storms moving to Chicago had us worried about the road conditions so we headed back to Cedar Rapids rather than chance getting stuck in Chicago.

“This ain’t no Mudd Club, or CBGB’s…

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2 thoughts on “B-Sides in the Bins #23 – Chicago Suburbs 3/2/08

  1. Hey man,

    I realy wish you could have seen the Record Room, that is one of the biggest mysteries in the world that that place disapeared into thin air one day. I will never forget how fun it was to go there and look at all the vinyl and talk music with that 80 year old man that owned the place. He had tons of Beatles, Stones and just about anything you could think of! I used to frequent that shop when I used to go to school near there. You could talk him into lowering proces on almost anything, I think he just liked the company, one of the niced guys I ever met. One day in 2002 I showed up and I saw a “for rent” sign in the window and the place was empty. No information or anything was availiable on what happened and I had just been there the week before and it looked like all was well.

    RIP Record Room, you are missed….

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    I’m going to be back in the Chicagoland area in September and will try to find some other record stores worth hitting. I haven’t been to the Jazz Record Mart in a while, and I have a guy coming along who hosts a morning Jazz show in Cedar Rapids so I thought he’d get a kick out of that store.

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