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May 6, 2014 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Not only is Wax Trax! Records being reborn as a label, but the famed Chicago record store will return next month, too — for one day only.
posted by quin (47 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

posted by Sticherbeast at 4:21 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]

This is so great I'm only a little bit disappointed coming here from the Mefi twitter post that cut off at "next month " (Honestly I only want to live in the past one day at a time anyway.)


posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:30 PM on May 6

! x 242
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:32 PM on May 6 [10 favorites]

06:21:03:11 KMFDM heh
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:37 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:45 PM on May 6

dat nostalgia
posted by cavalier at 4:51 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

The week after I'm in town. Figures.
posted by mykescipark at 4:58 PM on May 6

Adding my warm fuzzies to the pile.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 4:59 PM on May 6

Damn. I would have been a whole lot more excited about this 15 years ago but still, awesome.
posted by Venadium at 5:04 PM on May 6

I spent a lot of time hanging out there as a teen. The staff probably hated me because I combed over every inch of that store but could rarely afford to buy anything. Fond memories Medusa's too, back when Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville had a much different vibe.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:08 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]

Oh god. The random incoherent noises I just made in the spouse's general direction.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:18 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]

I spent a lot of time hanging out there as a teen. The staff probably hated me because I combed over every inch of that store but could rarely afford to buy anything. Fond memories Medusa's too, back when Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville had a much different vibe.

I spent a lot time there as well 'cause I worked next door. That was a great stretch of Lincoln Ave what with Wax Trax right there, Lounge Axe was right across the street and the Crash Palace was up the street a few blocks. (*sigh* Missy.)
posted by NoMich at 5:20 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]

Oh, and the only time I ever went to Medusa's was their last night of existence. That was a heckuva party.
posted by NoMich at 5:20 PM on May 6

Aww, man, Wax Trax was a pilgrimage for me as a Michigan rivet-head. Last time I was in that neighborhood, it was because my bro-ey high school friends were serving as the shock troops of gentrification (including a pretty hilarious warning about walking through Lincoln Park to get to our brunch meet-up). Glad to hear it's coming back, if only for a day.

(I never went to Lounge Ax, despite my parents taking me to a benefit show for them in '96. I turned 21 just around the time they went under.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:29 PM on May 6

It is really good that I am nowhere near this, because they are selling (or just displaying?) "test pressings for the unreleased Lead Into Gold, Front Line Assembly, Coil, and other impossible to find gems." Nothing gets me to pay attention to sales like the terms "limited edition" or "rarities" and "one day only." Thank goodness for the internet, for allowing virtual tourism and virtual music ownership.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:37 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]

posted by Going To Maine at 6:11 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]

ooooh that sounds so fun
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:16 PM on May 6

I'm looking for this man, to sell him to other man...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:40 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]

For 10x his price at least.
posted by grimley at 6:52 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]

Ahhhhh! I wish I could be there!! So many memories. Geez, I feel kinda old now!
posted by Bohemian Sailor at 6:57 PM on May 6

Also, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (that's "Kult" with a "K") released their new album today.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:20 PM on May 6 [4 favorites]

THANKS, Escape! I didn't know that, and I just bought it. Awesome!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 7:26 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

My god. Memories of driving down to Chicago from Madison for a Saturday, and hitting Wax Trax, seeing shows at (Cabaret) Metro, and dancing at Smart Bar.

posted by droplet at 7:53 PM on May 6

I'll post the meetup tomorrow.
posted by eamondaly at 8:12 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]

They sold one copy each of the Lead Into Gold and FLA test pressings on eBay already for prices above what I could afford. I wonder if they kept more!
posted by starscream at 8:30 PM on May 6

My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (that's "Kult" with a "K")

Ach, of course it is. This is my fingers typing without my brain being involved. Good catch.

posted by quin at 9:02 PM on May 6

yeah but it's not like they're going to have any used stuff there.
posted by lester at 9:04 PM on May 6

THANKS, Escape! I didn't know that, and I just bought it. Awesome!

Seconding this. With the purchase too.
posted by dragstroke at 9:34 PM on May 6

Gasp. Very exciting.
posted by Wataki at 9:35 PM on May 6

This reminds me of back when I believed in the future of the human race.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:35 PM on May 6

Sometimes I yell so loud my own ears ring afterwards.

Goddammit we already have tickets to a Las Vegas wedding around then...

college me remembers first hearing The Snow EP and Acid Horse, et al and thinking possibly that Windowpane was what my blurriest and best dreamed sounded like. Beautiful, and unnaturally slowed down yet hypnotic.

Wax Trax! was everything from the sound of rebellion to come-downs, mosh pits and ex-boyfriends and everything from the pre-startup heyday of my psychedelic youth that rocked a little too hard to be on 4AD.

Sure do wish I could be there, but then I'd be poorer financially. Right now I'm just poorer in spirit from jealousy of all you lucky bastards who get to go! (post pics and/or prices *foam froth foam* if you buy vinyl plz and thx)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:40 PM on May 6

By the way, the store is now the Lincoln Park Institute, providing "a comprehensive range of cosmetic oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures". Which is an odd balance of horrifying, appropriate, and horrifyingly appropriate. Can God Fill Teeth?

That's right! For a $10 donation you can see silver fillings turn to gold! And other supernormal dental happenings. New caps! Filled cavities! Bring a flashlight and a mirror to observe...
posted by xil at 11:16 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

Trying to think of a superlative that doesn't sound either a) horribly dated or b) un-punk-as-fuck. Good? Good.
My cousins had the very first Wax Trax! release, ever.
Also, Wax Trax in Evanston supplied much of my (pre-owned) CD collection, though very little of that was punk.
posted by dhartung at 12:34 AM on May 7



And mother fucking Medusas??/!!/??!
posted by C.A.S. at 1:29 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]

I’m old. I didn’t even realize when Wax Trax! went away.
posted by bongo_x at 1:37 AM on May 7

Wax Trax! and Nettwerk were the only record labels for me between the ages of 16 and something like 20.

I think there was more dignity in Wax Trax's demise than the Sarah Maclaughlinification of Nettwerk, where everything now sounds vaguely like background music for a made-for-TV movie on a Canadian cable channel.
posted by Shepherd at 5:50 AM on May 7 [6 favorites]

KMFDM sucks!

(I was just listening to them in the car this morning on a nostalgia kick, 'cause their older stuff is way better than their newer stuff.)
posted by Foosnark at 6:19 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]

We also made the pilgrimage to WaxTrax, Medusa's, and The Alley--from the land of the Golden Dome--in the late 80s. I'm seriously considering a trip to the pop-up shop, although I have to be at a graduation party later that afternoon here at home.
posted by k_nemesis at 6:39 AM on May 7

'cause their older stuff is way better than their newer stuff

I feel that way about most of the Wax Trax bands, except maybe Front 242. Then again, I don't seek out and absorb music the way I used to, so I'm sure I've missed some gems.

But thank god for all these guys, because they made music listening possible in the pre-grunge era, when "alternative" local radio here in L.A. was saturated with the Spin Doctors, James, and 10,000 Maniacs.
posted by malocchio at 6:46 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]

Also, may Coil rest in peace...I'll never really get over those losses.
posted by malocchio at 7:00 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]

This defines such a chunk of my life. Much wow.
posted by hypersloth at 9:26 AM on May 7

KMFDM... their older stuff is way better than their newer stuff.

I was really, really impressed with WTF?! Nearly every track on there reminded me of better times, when the entire sys-admin department I worked in were housed with our machines in a dark building (because we kept the lights off, naturally.) And there was Trax! shit just everywhere. People wore the t-shirts, the tattoos, and the whole general attitude. I think this would have been right around '99, because there was a lot of Ministry playing at our Y2k drunkfest.
posted by quin at 10:38 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah I used to shop at Wax Tracks back at the original record store in Denver. That would have been around 77 or 78. It was right next to my workplace, no paycheck ever got home intact after a trip past Wax Tracks.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:57 AM on May 7

It's funny how nostalgic I'm getting for a type of music that evokes images of a dystopian future.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:07 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]


man I spent so much time and money plotting field trips to Chicago as a young twentysomething living in the Midwest when Wax Trax! was in its heyday and the goth club scene was all the rage. And yeah, fuck 10,000 Maniacs and Spin Doctors and all that other generic "alternative" bullshit (and god don't even get me started on the uniquely mid-90's scourge that is jam bands).

brb, gonna go don black eyeliner, white foundation and a thriftshop lace minidress with giant stompy black combat boots.
posted by lonefrontranger at 2:34 PM on May 7

The worst part about steel-toe combat boots was how goddamned cold they got in Midwest winters.
posted by klangklangston at 9:30 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]

Wax Trax closed?

I remember when the school bus our band had planned to use to get to an acoustic afternoon gig in the Loop (seriously, who booked that one and whyyy) broke down in front of Wax Trax and so all fifteen of us shoehorned into some stupid big car and somehow survived the short trip. I was lucky and got to sit on a lap in front with my head sticking out the window, but the sounds from the back seat were frightening.
posted by salix at 12:12 PM on May 10

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