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« Review: Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall @ Logan Square Auditorium 9/28 Pulling Strings: For Classical Music in Chicago, You Got a Guy - October 2012 »

Event Wed Oct 03 2012

A Day of Crate Diving at the Pig, Swig and Record Dig @ Schubas Tavern 9/29

It's hard enough finding an excuse not to swing by Schubas when you're in Lakeview and damn near impossible to resist making a stop when they combine a poster sale, record fair and backyard pig roast all in one afternoon get-together. Lucky, then, that when I showed up to the corner of Southport and Belmont on Saturday afternoon I was just as hungry to get my hands on some rare 45s as I was some pulled pork. And turns out I wasn't alone: From the beginning of the event at 11am to well after 2pm, Schubas catered to a growing but casual crowd eager to peruse through crates of records, dig some tunes, and sample some pig. If you roast it, they will eat — plus records, or something.

schubas4.jpg
Photos by Mike Bellis

Most of the day's festivities took place outdoors in the venue's converted back lot, where local record store fixtures like Reckless, Dusty Groove and Permanent Records set up impromptu booths of carefully picked-out collections from their respective stacks next to labels like the garage punkers Hozac and Numero Group, the home for soul-grooves-that time-forgot. (The latter offered my favorite piece of ephemera of the day in their deck of "No Hitter" trading cards, modeled after old-fashioned baseball cards and showcasing — while also glorifying — their catalogue of local no-hit wonders found over the years.) Tables and chairs were setup throughout to accommodate the lunch crowd, correctly anticipating an overflow from the bar inside.

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Toward the back of the lot was an oven that housed a semi-whole, still-smiling roasted pig, ceremoniously placed front-and-center between a huge tub of $2 cans of 312 and a Schubas staffer spinning tried and true jams the likes of Television, American Stars n' Bars, and Country Funk through the speakers. Back inside, the live room was converted into a print show of back-stocked posters from bills over the course of the past year while the bar became a sort of free-for-all buffet accommodating draught beer, pulled pork and Ryder Cup enthusiasts alike. Great smells, tastes, tunes, and sights from the colorful posters adorning the wood-trimmed walls were inescapable, and it seemed that no matter where I went there was something sure to please the senses.

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It was tough to know where to start with so much going on (my problem, not theirs), but I figured my first move would be to cash in my free raffle ticket (courtesy of a Facebook event RSVP) for a go at the day's grand prize: a pair of 5-day passes to Tomorrow Never Knows 2013, a Hozac Records CD pack, a Schubas or Lincoln Hall tee, and a $100 Reckless Records gift card. (Surprise: I didn't win.) I moved outside to scour through the crates, finding a wealth of rare records and impressive finds: While a pair of CHIRP record fair regulars had an impressive collection of original hardcore 45s (Articles of Faith!), the collection of the day went to Permanent, whose original mono pressings of the first few Dylan records and The Kink Kontroversy were stuffed casually between stacks of old soul and Brazilian funk compilations. Staffers were friendly, eager to point me toward a booth that might have better odds of finding that old SST compilation I'd been seeking out. Really, I was just happy to browse through stacks in the Indian summer sun with The Jam's "That's Entertainment" blasting in the background.

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With the event's second year now in the books, and aided by the carefree midday atmosphere, helpful staff, amazing food and killer records, it's safe to expect the Pig, Swig and Record Dig will become an anticipated institution for at least a few years yet. Somehow, after a full afternoon surrounded by every sonic and culinary temptation Schubas had to offer, I managed to escape without losing a sizable chunk of my wallet, comfortably buzzed with stomach full and ears ringing. So, yeah — I dig.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

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Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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