As the co-owner of BRIC-A-BRAC RECORDS, and now, THE BREWED, Jen Lemasters and her partners; husband, Nick Mayor, and new partner (and longtime friend), Jason Deuchler, have made their love of vinyl records, horror films, and coffee, into a booming new business expansion. In early 2022, the trio moved Bric-A-Brac Records to a brand new location in Chicago (at 2843 N. Milwaukee Ave.) after being at their previous location on W. Diversey Ave. for eight years (Bric-A-Brac opened in 2013).
Bric-A-Brac Records can now officially be defined as a record label as well, as it also released its debut vinyl record: a new compilation of material by the Tina Bell-led Seattle punk band, Bam Bam, for an EP titled, Villains (Also Wear White), released in February (2022).
Lemasters has also spent a lot of creative time posting about women in punk via her handle on Instagram as @she_bop_, and during the pandemic, she began creating action figure versions of some of her favorite new wave, post-punk, and punk singers to rave reviews; inspiring new friends, and fans, along the way.
BRIC-A-BRAC RECORDS has moved, and is now incorporating THE BREWED (cleverly inspired by David Cronenberg's psychological horror, THE BROOD). Was that everyone's favorite Director and horror movie? Do you have any other favorite Cronenberg films? Or films that you've featured in the new space?
JEN LEMASTERS: Everyone here really does love Cronenberg, not necessarily our favorite director and movie, but we are all big fans of it, AND puns, and so that seemed like a good name for our coffee shop. I really love The Fly, as well, but it's a movie that I have to go years in between watching because it just makes me so sad and I cry so much when I watch it. We have quite a few films featured. We have many framed posters that we will eventually rotate out, but some of the movies that are permanently featured are Suspiria, Candyman, and Hausu. We have murals that reference those... I also wanted to feature some international horror movies, so, in some of our frames we have some Hong Kong horror movies, something I am very passionate about.
This year Bric-A-Brac became an official record label and released the Bam Bam EP "Villains (Also Wear White)," on white vinyl. How far in advance was the EP planned out and when did you first hear of lead singer Tina Bell and her band, Bam Bam, and what is your favorite track by the band?
So, this all came about because my husband kinda/sorta stole the Bam Bam single from his college radio station and over the pandemic. I was digging deep in our collection featuring my records on my Instagram account....I am a big daydreamer so I was talking to my husband about re-releasing records of women misplaced by time....It's really hard to pick a favorite song because I love them all.
Does Bric-A-Brac Records have plans for future releases on vinyl--who would you like to see get a reissue?
Oh, I am always dreaming of reissues! We do have our second one planned, Dog Eat Dog, from NYC. And one of my dreams is to do Out On Blue Six from the UK.
Read more of Jen's interview in CONNECT-ING TO THE BEAT Issue #1:
Order BAM BAM Villains EP:
Visit Bric-A-Brac Records and The Brewed in Chicago: