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Some Chicago record stores have sections dedicated to local music, but there's not an entire store stocked with new releases from hometown artists—which is kind of what this pop-up will do. The closest analogue to Sunday's event that Pakulski has had experience with as the head of a label is the CHIRP Record Fair. "I sell more in one day at CHIRP than I sell all year long not at an event," Pakulski says. But he also points out that CHIRP—which returns to Plumbers Hall on Saturday, April 11—features lots of people dealing old records, and tends to attract diggers looking for vinyl gold rather than new tunes. Pakulski sees the Chicago Independent Labels Pop-Up Shop as a complement to CHIRP's annual gathering—plus DJs from the radio station will spin during Sunday's pop-up.
Pakulski says he got the idea for the event late last year, and he was partially inspired by a DCASE fashion pop-up at O'Hare. By January he landed a venue for the event with the help of Emily Rose, who plays in art-pop duo Zigtebra—their 2013 album, The Pink Line, is the first release from FPE—and went to work recruiting participating labels. Pakulski already has ideas for the pop-up after Sunday. "I'd like to do them every three or four months," he says. "For the next one is to not have it be so heavily focused on indie rock and underground rock."
That said, if you're looking for a crash course in Chicago's underground-rock scene—or a portion of it—the event is a good place to start. The Chicago Independent Labels Pop-Up Shop runs from noon to 5 PM, and it's free to attend. The full list of participating labels, along with links to old Reader write-ups, is below:
Already Dead Tapes and Records
Dark Circles Records
Eye Vybe Records
Grabbing Clouds Records
Hairy Spider Legs
Lake Paradise Records
Maximum Pelt Records
Pretty All Right
Tall Pat Records (Tall Pat honcho Patrick Sullivan wrote this week's B Side feature on The Best Show)