MTV Ghosts Summon ’60s Spirit

Elizabeth Stevens

The doors of Bric-A-Brac Records and Collectibles were open and upbeat rock music came spilling out and onto the street as the sun set in Logan. A crowd surrounded a nook in the back of the record store facing MtvGhosts.

Bric-A-Brac records store opened in June of 2013 and frequently holds free events. Cashiers stood behind the checkout desk bobbing their heads and customers roamed the store looking at all the records, vibrantly decorated walls and collectibles ranging from Barbie dolls to Ren and Stimpy headwear.

The entire scene was upbeat and inclusive. People were not pushing or shoving to get closer, but politely moving around one another. Varieties of beer filled the hands of attendees to the free BYOB show.

Also on the bill for the night were Lia Mice and Those Howlings.

MTV Ghosts haunted Bric-A-Brac records last Saturday.
MTV Ghosts haunted Bric-A-Brac records last Saturday.

The music was catchy, danceable and lively. Fan and friend of MtvGhosts Konstantin Jace described their sound as, “Middle sixties—when rock became pop music. Very catchy, easy songs, good for ages 7-70 years old. Somewhere in there is MtvGhosts.”

When all the acts finished their last song the performers immediately began to take down all of their equipment themselves. DIY culture is exactly what the initials stand for, doing it yourself, but applied to more than just home improvement, extending to everything from business to music.

Bric-A-Brac Records is an extension of Chicago’s DIY scene, providing local bands to play shows and sell independent tapes and records.

“It’s a combo of everything we like so we just went for it,” said Jen Lemasters, co-owner of Bric-a-Brac. The decorum of the store, ranging from the large image of RoboCop on one of the walls, to a figurine of Alphonze from Full Metal Alchemist is inspired by the owners’ taste.

“This is what our house looks like,” Lemasters said. “So this was my creative idea to go out and find things.” As far as the event aspect of the store, Jen Lemasters said that booking shows was something Mayor used to do for Lincoln Hall.

On the business aspect of DIY culture, Lemasters said that her and her husband and fellow co-owner, Nick Mayor, “Appreciate it. We weren’t going to wait around for anything to happen.”

MtvGhosts singer Donnie Love echoed Lemasters DIY sentiments. “I like to do everything myself. I do all my recordings at home, in my bedroom,” Love said.

For MtvGhosts, the music is what matters most. Love said, “Music is there first. Then there’s the band.”

Love confessed, “I’m really bad at the business aspect of it all, but I really hope people keep finding the music.” MtvGhosts were number eight in Loud Loop Press’s “14 Chicago Bands to Watch in 2014.”

Bric-A-Brac Records is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to seven, and it is located at 3156 W Diversey Avenue in Logan Square. Bric-A-Brac Records hosts events every week and their schedule can be found on their website And Mtvghosts can be heard at