In late 2009 Jim Zespy took over the American headquarters of London-based Southern Records at Fullerton and Western and launched his own Chicago Independent Distribution to pick up Southern's slack. He also turned the space into a record store specializing in vinyl, in particular oddball genre releases most shops consider an afterthought. Even better, purchasing your obscure postpunk or reggae or country find grants you access to a backroom arcade that Zespy's stocked with a couple dozen vintage video games and pinball machines from his collection, all of them set to free play and in fine working condition. For a while it was where I worked on getting my BurgerTime skills back in shape, but I keep going back for the demonically challenging pinball machines, designed back in a time before tricky ramps and toys—and just brutally unforgiving in their treatment of the player.
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Sararose Krenger of Stix and Roses
Night and Day Vintage
The Brown Elephant