In August 2009, I moved right into a three-bedroom on Clark just a few blocks north of Fullerton, with no clue about Lincoln Park’s cultural place in Chicago. I had grad-school courses in Evanston and the Loop, so the neighborhood appeared to make sense—it was kind of in between the 2. I felt misplaced amid the faculty soccer followers crammed into sports activities bars alongside Clark, the drunk DePaul college students stampeding 5 Guys and the Wieners Circle after midnight, and the tony white-collar staff of their million-dollar houses. I lived in an affordable, shabby residence, and I cherished something subversive that survived within the cracks within the neighborhood’s facade.
That December, I found the storefront home windows of a close-by report store. In an eclectic show of Christmas-themed album covers, I noticed a report by King Diamond, who was pictured in his trademark corpsepaint, thumbing his nostril, protruding his tongue, and cozying as much as a reindeer with ribbons in its antlers. The disc was a 1985 12-inch referred to as “No Presents for Christmas,” and the store was Dave’s Information. Nothing else within the neighborhood spoke to me the way in which it did.
Dave Crain opened his store at 2604 N. Clark on Labor Day in 2002. Since day one, Crain offered solely vinyl, which was by no means a straightforward proposition. By the early 2000s the format had been in a decades-long decline, and in accordance with RIAA figures, vinyl gross sales in 2002 had been roughly 0.36 p.c of the music business’s whole income—a $45.4 million sliver of a $12.6 billion haul. Earlier than File Retailer Day helped alert main business gamers to the newfound area of interest worth of wax, folks shopping for vinyl had been collaborating in a subculture, whether or not they considered it that manner or not. Dave’s Information provided these true believers a world to discover.
On election day 2022, when Crain introduced he was closing the shop, he hadn’t but chosen a ultimate day. He knew he needed to take away all proof of the store’s existence from the house by January 1, when his lease could be over. After I first reported on the tip of Dave’s Information in mid-November, I requested Crain if the Reader might doc the shop’s ultimate day, at any time when that turned out to be. I needed to know who would journey from far and vast to pay their respects and who may casually wander in off the road. One factor I like about brick-and-mortar report outlets is that you simply by no means know who you’ll meet and the way they may reshape your world as a listener, even when all they do is advocate a seven-inch you’ll play just a few instances after which overlook. The opportunity of these interactions, as a lot because the vinyl itself, retains me invested in report outlets.
Dave’s Information closed for good Sunday, December 18. I swung by on the Friday earlier than to choose up just a few information and chat with Crain, however I couldn’t make it out that final day. Happily, photographer and Reader contributor Kathleen Hinkel was free, and she or he went to Dave’s to seize the scene throughout its ultimate hours. She emerged with a touching doc of the unfastened neighborhood that coalesced round Dave’s Information, the place all types of parents—younger mother and father, native music legends, former Chicagoans visiting for the vacations—navigated the tight aisles seeking buried treasure. The shop is gone, however we nonetheless have our information—and Hinkel’s report of its farewell. —Leor Galil