Notable Chicago record collector and Danny's soul-night resident DJ Dante Carfagna shares five tips for upping your vintage-vinyl karma.
Condition is the most important thing. There’s nothing worse than having to re-buy an old record because the sound quality is less than desirable.
Don’t let anyone tell you which records to buy; it’s solely up to you, your interests and your ears. If you feel like buying a hammered Mike Settle LP on Uni, against the wishes of your hipster friends, it is your prerogative. By the same token, do not buy records because your friends say they’re wack, because then you’re being ironic, which is really wack.
Develop a rapport with the people you regularly buy from. A mellow demeanor usually results in future positive dealings, possible discounts and good record karma. Do not become what the record-collecting world calls a gripper (a.k.a. one who values the object over the music).
Don’t be that person who buys solely to resell on eBay. Everybody likes a deal, but chronic abuse of this results in becoming a “grip and flipper.” This is not a good look and will undoubtedly tarnish your future record karma. It’s about the music, maaan.
Keep in mind that you will never, ever have every record. The beauty of the world of recorded sound is that it is literally an endless abyss. Tastes change, so file that Terry Reid Rogue Waves album you bought and think sucks, because in five years it will be your favorite album.
CARFAGNA’S TOP SHOPS The Record Dugout The only place in town where one can buy a used Notations 45 on Twinight and the Billy Ripken “Fuck Face” card. 6055 W 63rd St (773-586-1206). Beverly Records The oldest used record shop in Chicago and always worth a visit. Say hello to Randy at the costume shop next door. 11612 S Western Ave (773-779-0066). Mr. Peabody Records Owners Mike and Mark are the 12-inch dons of this fair city, plus the shop is getting kind of crusty—that’s a good thing. 11832 S Western Ave (773-881-9299).
Hear some of Carfagna’s top finds at Sheer Magic, the first Wednesday of each month at Danny’s Tavern (1951 W Dickens Ave, 773-489-6457).