Vinyl Lives: Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles Keeps Chicago Colorful and Groovy

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In Vinyl Lives we spotlight and profile record stores around the country who offer music lovers an experience that goes beyond an iTunes purchase or a Spotify playlist. Vinyl has found a new resurgence and the good folks behind independent record stores are on the front line, directly responsible for curating a unique collection of music. Here at Glide Magazine we feel that record stores are a valuable part of the community and to music as a whole, and are therefore worth celebrating.

On the corner of W Diversey Ave and N Kedzie Ave in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood sits a colorful little record shop by the name of Bric-a-Brac. The store’s logo is a bright yellow triangle wearing sunglasses and a big smile, a welcoming character resembling a tortilla chip that appropriately reflects the eclectic and playful decor of the shop. Calling themselves “your one-stop shop for all the necessities that no one really needs”, Bric-a-Brac specializes in new and used vinyl and cassettes, vintage movie posters, toys from the 80’s and 90’s, and all kinds of pop culture knick knacks. On a more serious note, the store also carries a large selection of music from local acts and maintains a bustling schedule of in-store performances. Ultimately, Bric-a-Brac is the kind of record store that we wish we could find on more city corners, and a place that captures the vibrant creative spirit of the city it calls home. To learn more about the store’s personality, we talked with owners Jen Lemasters and Nick Mayor.

Can you give us a short history of the store?

Bric-a-Brac Records opened in June of 2013 and is owned by wife-and-husband duo Jen Lemasters and Nick Mayor. For our new inventory we focus mostly on punk/rock n roll/garage and soundtracks, but the used inventory is much less specific. The stock is pretty evenly split between used and new.

Where does your shop fit into the musical history of your state and city?

Bric-a-Brac has been a home for all ages events since day one, and we continue to host events on nearly a weekly basis (sometimes more!) I think it’s fair to claim that we have the most in-store performances from bands in the city and pride ourselves on the vast selection of local releases (cassettes especially!).

Top sellers of the past 2 months?

We’ve been selling a lot of the new Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile release, the newest Omni LP from Trouble in Mind and The World’s debut full-length on Lumpy Records.

Are there any upcoming releases you are anticipating?

We’re eagerly awaiting the next Lumpy and the Dumpers record and the next Negative Scanner!

You’d be surprised but we sell a lot of…

You’d be surprised but we sell a lot of VHS tapes, action figures and vintage non-sports trading cards! Bric-a-Brac fully embodies its name and offers much more than just records. We also have a ton of vintage toys and collectibles from the 80s and 90s, from My Little Pony to Ghostbusters to Madballs.

Can you share some recent employee picks?

Jen: Flesh World “Into the Shroud” (Dark Entries), Come On “Come On Collection” (Manufactured Recordings), Y Pants “S/T” (Water Wing Records)
Nick: Devo “Recombo DNA” (Futurismo), Nancy “With Child” (Eat the Life), John Carpenter “Escape from New York” (Varese Sarabande) Absolutely Not “Errors”(No Trend)

Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles is located at 3156 W Diversey Ave in Chicago, IL. For more info visit bricabracrecords.com.

Check out other editions of Vinyl Lives:

Vertical House Records (Huntsville, AL)

Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl (Charleston, SC)

Luna Music (Indianapolis, IN)

Sweat Records (Miami, FL)

Shed House Records

Guestroom Records (Norman/Oklahoma City, OK & Louisville, KY)

Streetlight Records (San Jose/Santa Cruz, CA)

Scotti’s Record Shop (Summit, NJ)

Breakaway Records (Austin, TX)

Euclid Records (St. Louis & New Orleans)

Stinkweeds (Phoenix, AZ)

Pure Pop Records (Burlington, VT)

Generation Records (New York, NY)

Wall of Sound (Seattle, WA)

Strictly Discs (Madison, WI)

Is there a record store you think we should profile? Feel free to shoot your suggestions to Neil Ferguson on Twitter: @musicjournzo!

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