Good mixed media article on the growing recognition of vinyl enthusiasts with a focus on the Chicago market. Maybe Sandbox and HHS should have opened shop in Chi-Town. Link

Tower records is gone.

And as of last month, Virgin Megastore is too.

So are scores of local independent record shops, slaughtered by the iPod, iTunes, and “big box” stores like Best Buy and Target.

R.I.P. record stores, you old dinosaurs you. Right?

Wrong. Independent record stores are alive and well in the Chicago area. Some even claim to be–gasp–making money. Some crazy folks are even opening new ones.

Customer service is one reason. But another, perhaps more surprising factor is the growing demand for LPs.

Two of the newest record stores–Permanent Records on Chicago Avenue and year-old Revolver Records on 18th Street in Pilsen–opened specifically to specialize in vinyl, carrying thousands of used and rare records.

It’s a quest for tangibility that is, in some ways, driving the vinyl craze. To some music lovers, CDs, at about 16 grams, feel less substantial than a 180-gram audiophile vinyl record. And that’s not counting the record jacket, with its poster, perhaps, and liner notes and art on the back and front.