WHAT IS TRANSISTOR?
It's a shop and gallery, with work and wares from 80+ artists, many based in Chicago. It's a recording space and screening room, with live music, movie nights, and a webcast. Time Out Chicago likens Transistor to 'your coolest friend's apartment ... and just like that apartment, you'll want to hang out here a lot.' We hope you'll visit soon.
Panoramic photo by Craig Atkinson
WHERE IS TRANSISTOR?
We're located at 3441 N. Broadway in Chicago's Lakeview East/Boystown neighborhood, just south of Cornelia, just north of Roscoe and just east of Halsted. There is both metered and free residential street parking nearby. If you're on the bus, the CTA 36 will take you almost right to our door. By train, the CTA Brown Line/Red Line stop at Belmont gets you pretty close. The Addison Red Line stop is also a good option.
WHAT DO WE SELL?
The art currently featured in the shop is comprised of paintings, prints and photography by more than 80 artists, among them printmakers Hiroshi Ariyama and Dan Grzeca, collagist Beth Hoeckel, photographers William Harper, Tim Jarosz, Kent Drake Morien, Ellie Pritts, and Rafael Rivera, and painter Dennis Johnson. We have two walls devoted to rotating two-month exhibits and two walls devoted to works from our 'permanent collection.'
Featured artists from left to right: Ellie Pritts, Kent Drake Morien, Tim Jarosz, Rafael Rivera
The electronics we currently carry include musical instruments, turntables, radios, speakers, and headphones. Transistor is an authorized dealer of Akai Professional (speakers), Audio Engine (speakers), Audio Technica (turntables), Korg (synthesizers), Lexon (radios, speakers), LSTN (wood headphones), Music Hall (turntables, speakers), Numark (turntables), Stellé Audio Couture (Bluetooth speakers), Tivoli Audio (high-end radios, headphones), among others.
Featured electronics brands from left to right: Tivoli Audio, Music Hall, LSTN, Lexon
On the handmade side, the Pocket Piano, Bolsa Bass (left) and Kaleidoloop from Critter & Guitari are mainstays, as are the Nebulophone and Bleep Drum machine from Bleep Labs, handcrafted sound gadgets from brandnewnoise, and Humvolt Drum's analog drum machines and upcycled audio oddities. Transistor also carries handcrafted audio speakers from Andersonville-based Ikyaudio (right), upcycled suitcase stereo systems from Lakeview-based The HiFi Case, and colorful, handcrafted instrument cables covered in yarn from Cordinated. Our 'Record Time' vinyl record clocks are a Transistor exclusive, produced by Andy Miles.
Featured handmade pieces by (left to right): Critter & Guitari, brandnewnoise, Humvolt Drum, IkyAudio
Our music selection consists mostly of indie rock, classic rock and electronica -- new releases and reissues, all on vinyl. Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Atlas Sound, Beach House, The Beatles, Beastie Boys, Belle & Sebastian, Black Keys, James Blake, Boards of Canada, Bon Iver, Broken Social Scene, Caribou, The Clash, Daft Punk, Death Cab For Cutie, Deerhunter, Flaming Lips, Fleet Foxes, Fleetwood Mac, Flying Lotus, Fugazi, Future Islands, Gorillaz, Grizzly Bear, PJ Harvey, The Head and the Heart, Gil Scott-Heron, Interpol, Iron & Wine, Joy Division, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Led Zeppelin, Liars, Low, MGMT, MIA, Mumford & Sons, The National, New Pornographers, Joanna Newsom, Of Montreal, Pavement, Pixies, Radiohead, Real Estate, RJD2, The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music, SBTRKT, The Shins, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Spoon, St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, The Strokes, T. Rex, Talking Heads, Tame Impala, Tribe Called Quest, Vampire Weekend, Velvet Underground, Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, Warpaint, Kanye West, White Stripes, Wilco, Amy Winehouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Yo La Tengo and XX are among the popular artists in our collection.
Left to right: Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer; Swim; Random Access Memories; Electric Warrior; Turn On The Bright Lights
Our books come from art & culture publishers, several university presses, and more. The titles we carry focus primarily on film, photography, music, media, art, design and culture. Some of our best-selling titles over the years have been 'Amusing Ourselves To Death' by Neil Postman, 'Handmade Electronic Music' by Nicolas Collins, 'Just Kids' by Patti Smith, 'Thinking With Type' by Ellen Lupton (not pictured), 'The Wes Anderson Collection' by Matt Zoller Seitz, 'This Is NPR,' 'How Music Works' by David Byrne (not pictured), 'The Polaroid Book' by Taschen, and 'Art & Fear' by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
Featured work by (left to right): Zerobird Studio, Craighton Berman, Paper Parasol Press, Medium Control, Kevin Lucius
Wearables (T-shirts, jewelry, buttons)
Most of the jewelry we carry is upcycled and re-purposed; all of it is handmade. Tracey Dobson contributes bracelets made of hexagon hardware nuts, under the name Hard Wear; Laurie Freivogel makes fused-glass necklaces under the name Kiku Handmade; Derek Keenan produces earrings and belt buckles from reclaimed skateboards (pictured far left), under the name MuKee Design; Rosamund Lannin offers CTA token necklaces, under the name Wonderwheel; Meg Musick-Makely creates vintage vinyl cuff-style bracelets; Bethany Nixon contributes earrings made from old records, many of them color and clear vinyl (pictured left); and Liz Radzickie offers bracelets from film strips.
Pop culture and Chicago-themed buttons from Arthur's Plaid Pants are among our best-selling goods at Transistor; the same can be said of ElSarah's CTA train stop buttons. We also carry a selection of buttons from Chicago-based Busy Beaver Button Co.
If you're looking for something to display on your wall or hang on a shelf, check out Kevin Lucius' wood block art prints under the name LuciusArt.