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"a thousand libraries were lost"

Bob Abrahamian was a Chicago DJ, record collector, and chronicler of Chicago's soul history whose death in June at age 35 shocked soul music lovers around the world. The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Guarino says: "He left behind tens of thousands of 45-rpm records, but to those who knew him, it was the generous spirit in evangelizing the music that made the greatest impact." His work lives on on the site for his radio show, Sitting in the Park, which features exclusive music from and extensive interviews with 60s and 70s Chicago soul musicians. [more inside]
posted by carrienation on Jul 7, 2014 - 10 comments

American Football reunites; emo revival over!

American Football, the quintessential emo/math-rock band of the 90's, has announced their first two shows in 15 years. [more inside]
posted by gucci mane on Apr 21, 2014 - 18 comments

Lip Gallagher meets Garage Rock

Need something to headbang to? The Orwells are the mallrats you're looking for. [more inside]
posted by tooloudinhere on Aug 2, 2013 - 5 comments

2cool4school

Last spring, Chance the Rapper got suspended from High School for 10 days. Faced with an ultimatum from his Dad to make real progress as an artist or drop it and get serious about his studies, Chance spent his suspension making the mixtape #10Day, a critical hit. Now, Chance has released another mixtape, Acid Rap, that delves even deeper (and with even more complex wordplay) into his favorite subjects: hallucinogens, nicotine addiction, the 90s, his mom, and the current dire situation of the south side of Chicago. Many critics are calling it a masterpiece. Download for free here, or listen here.
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 31, 2013 - 60 comments

Luthorcorp- It's a name you can trust!

Wonder Woman's Half-Brother Has Defeated Both Batman and Spiderman [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull on Feb 1, 2013 - 23 comments

Veteran singer Kelly Hogan finally gets her due

Singer Kelly Hogan has a reputation as a journeyman, someone who's worked for years to master the craft but has yet to make a mark of her own. That may change with her new album, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain. Here are some songs: 1 2 3 4 5. [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic on Jul 22, 2012 - 31 comments

See you in Chicago

Chicago has a new tourism anthem. It's pretty incredible.
posted by naju on Apr 26, 2012 - 80 comments

Hornlets and hornlings.

Specimen products is the workshop of Ian Schneller, a Chicago-based sculptor-turned-luthier. His site is worth a look if you are interested in unusual guitars and other stringed instruments (like this electic lute), eccentric amplifiers and speakers, or extreme guitar repair. Currently Schneller is collaberating with musician Andrew Bird on Sonic Arboretum, a musical perfomance/installation piece. Here is video of a performance at the Guggenheim in 2010, and a slideshow of the preparations for an upcoming performance at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.
posted by gamera on Dec 1, 2011 - 9 comments

buckets and sticks gonna do the trick

Chicago street drummers.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 24, 2011 - 28 comments

"People are so mean on the internet." - Complaints Choir of Chicago

The Complaints Choir phenomenon, started by the Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, has spread all over the world since last we paid it any attention, from Birmingham to Helsinki, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Poikkilaakso, Bodø, Penn State, Canada, Juneau, Gabriola Island, Sointula, Jerusalem, Melbourne, Budapest, Malmö, Chicago, Florence, Copenhagen, Vancouver (2), Philadelphia, Sundbyberg, Milano, Åland, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Basel, Umeå, Ljubljana, Gdansk, Arizona State University, Washington, DC, Horace Mann School, Durham-Chapel Hill, Auckland, Toronto theatre students, Kortrijk, Cairo (2), St. Pölten, Maribor, Port Coquitlam, Ústí nad Labem, Columbus & Kauhajoki (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). For more information, including a 9 step guide to forming your own complaints choir, go to the Complaints Choir website. Finally, here's the Singapore Complaints Choir, whose performance was banned by the Singapore government.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 19, 2010 - 40 comments

Chicago is the place

Sounds from Tomorrow's World: Sun Ra and the Chicago Years, 1946-1961 is an exhibition drawn from the collections of the University of Chicago's Chicago Jazz Archive.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 27, 2010 - 18 comments

Last Call at the Velvet Lounge

Fred Anderson was a monster on the tenor sax. Fred Anderson was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and his "home court," the Velvet Lounge, remains a place for Chicago creative musicians to find welcoming audience. Fred died June 24 in Chicago. A wake will take place from 5 to 6 PM this Tuesday (June 29) at Leak and Sons Funeral Chapel, 7838 S. Cottage Grove, followed immediately by Anderson’s Going Home service. [more inside]
posted by beelzbubba on Jun 26, 2010 - 14 comments

Ray St. Ray, the Singing Cab Driver

A cosmically selective process: you enter a white cab in Chicago. After the usual pleasantries, the driver asks you if you'd like to hear a song...
posted by Iridic on Mar 15, 2010 - 15 comments

The tunnel musicians of Chicago

The tunnel musicians of Chicago can be heard amid the roar of trains.... I recently spent three nights walking through the tunnels for a closer listen. These are the sounds, and the people I heard. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Jan 25, 2010 - 14 comments

Chicago House Music: History in Interviews and Recordings

Gridface has an on-going series of interviews as part of its Chicago House music history section. The first interview was with Stacey Collins, aka VERB, who started working security at The Music Box in 1983. Others interviewed include producers Merwin Sanders (discog) and Jamal Moss (aka Hieroglyphic Being, IAMTHATIAM, The Sun God) and Frank Youngwerth (discog), and DJ Leonard "Remix" Rroy. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 11, 2010 - 15 comments

An American Art Form

NEA Jazz in the Schools takes a step-by-step journey through the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of American social, economic, and political developments. This multi-media curriculum is designed to be as useful to high school history and social studies teachers as it is to music teachers. Start with the introductory video to get a feel for the place. The education outline contains five lessons. If you just want to listen, all the music samples are on one page. Perhaps you're more interested in individual artist biographies, or a jazz history timeline. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 21, 2009 - 11 comments

Waiting for the CTA

It's harder to be more obscure and unheralded than John Henry Timmis IV. He barely even tried to sell his own music, almost always giving copies away of his impossibly rare loner-punk 45's. Dieing in 2002, almost 15 years after his last single, from complications resulting from alcoholism, after suffering from the degenerative ear/skull disease mastoiditis-- his potential hardly tapped... until now. Film buffs may know him as the director/producer of the longest movie ever made, The Cure for Insomnia staring Lee Groban reading his same titled 4,080 page poem spliced with porn and heavy metal, clocking in at 87 hours. Virtually unknown until the song "Death Trip" appeared on an obscure bootleg punk compilation Staring Down the Barrel. Interest peaked enough for Plastic Crimewave's Secret History of Chicago Music article to have a write up on him and Drag City/Galactic Zoo to reissue his forgotten masterpiece, Cosmic Lighting. [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Mar 17, 2009 - 7 comments

The Hoodoo Man

"He was one bad dude, strutting across the stage like a harp-toting gangster, mesmerizing the crowd with his tough-guy antics and rib-sticking Chicago blues attack." - All Music Guide. He was also a sharp-dressing mofo who, at the end of his storied life, was buried in "his creaseless sky-blue silk suit and matching homburg, a shiny trove of harmonicas laid out beside him, a pint of gin nestled nearby to ease his journey home". In the opinion of many, he was the greatest blues harmonica player of all time. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 22, 2009 - 13 comments

Touched and Went.

Touch and Go Records, distributor for Drag City, Merge, and Kill Rock Stars (among others) has announced they will be cutting their distribution service and scale back to being a record label only.
posted by Dr-Baa on Feb 18, 2009 - 45 comments

Colbert will love you, baby!

Wilco perform "The Wilco Song" on The Colbert Report... and Tweedy even manages to work Colbert's name into the lyrics. Apparently, the band are tight with a certain candidate.
posted by chuckdarwin on Nov 1, 2008 - 35 comments

All the street's a stage.

Chicago's Maxwell Street Market wasn't just a market: it was a stage that played host to many an exuberantly ragged, hard grinding blues performance. It was lively, eccentric, ecstatic. You could get there on The Happy Bus. And of course, one of the greatest musicals in the history of American cinema paid homage to the street, as the setting for a fabulous performance by John Lee Hooker of his iconic "Boom Boom". (Note: See mouseovers for link descriptions.) [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 4, 2008 - 19 comments

The Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band

The Chicago Women's Liberation (embedded video) Rock Band [more inside]
posted by sleepy pete on Nov 14, 2007 - 17 comments

Turn it up!

New voice for the oldest song ever. "The Prayer of an Infertile Woman," (video embedded within article text) is a 3200 year old song that was recently reconstructed and performed by Leiden University Assyriology professor Dr. Theo J. H. Krispijn at the Chicago Oriental Institute.
posted by The Straightener on Apr 4, 2007 - 19 comments

Songs about places

This gem got me thinking: Songs about a place. Some are more evocative of the geography, some of a tangential longing merely rooted in a place and others -- while about a place -- are really rooted more in a time. Some places immortalized in song you want to visit, others you don't , and others don't really exist at all, though we may know somewhere like it. But near or far, border to border, coast-to-coast (from the west side* to the east side and somewhere in the middle as well, there's musical pins all over the map. [links go to videos] *no direct link, second entry
posted by spacely_sprocket on Mar 3, 2007 - 16 comments

Flavorpill adds Art & World Events mailing lists...

2 years ago I FPP'd FlavorPill, a company that sends out permission-based emails for books (Boldtype), music (Earplug), and fashion (the JC Report). They've since added ArtKrush (it's art, stupid! - nsfw) and Activate (world events) to their aresenal. In addition to the topic-specific mailing lists, they offer city-specific lists for London, New York, SF, LA, and Chicago. Sample issues are archived on the site.
posted by dobbs on Aug 11, 2006 - 6 comments

See you at the rock show!

Tourfilter: Track your favorite bands. See who else is tracking them. Never miss another show! [Boston, Chicago, New York for now - other cities on the way.]
posted by mr.curmudgeon on Jul 5, 2006 - 15 comments

I'm laughing and I'm dancing and it's fun!

Chic-a-go-go is an all-ages dance party that airs weekly on local access in Chicago, hosted by Miss Mia and Ratso, a teenage rat puppet. Costumed hipsters, youngsters and oldsters shake their groove things in a sparsely decorated studio, often while musical guests lip-synch their hits. Ratso gets to interview some real legends too. (Although Lemmy dissed him, and Vanilla Ice was too freaked out.) They've spawned at least one imitator. This Saturday, they'll be taping their tenth anniversary show. (More inside)
posted by hydrophonic on Mar 31, 2006 - 16 comments

Return of Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza returns to Chicago this summer with a line up that I'm actually a little excited about. Presented by Parkways Foundation it looks like the damage that might be done to Grant Park by the two day festival might just be covered by the proceeds.
posted by FlamingBore on Apr 22, 2005 - 87 comments

Hallelujah

"Precious Lord" sung by Mahalia Jackson (mp3)
No artist brought more acclaim to gospel music than Mahalia Jackson (October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972). Beginning in 1950, her divine (.wav) talents were featured weekly on Studs Turkel's radio program, and through her music and gentle personality she became so beloved worldwide that her funeral rivaled that of royalty. Mahalia sang "Precious Lord" at Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral -- at Mahalia's funeral, Aretha Franklin did the honors. Mahalia was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 1997. Word has it she also made a mean okra gumbo.
posted by miss lynnster on Jan 27, 2005 - 6 comments

Wesley Willis dead at 40 from Leukemia

Wesley Willis: Rock and roll star, artist, poet, movie star and friend to all he met passed away last night from Leukemia at the age of 40. The six foot five, 320 pound Chicago area musician who cut his teeth on the streets selling city landscape drawings and playing music on his tiny Casio keyboard was infamous for his raw insightful songs and ability to draw his audiences into a schizophrenic's take on reality.
posted by car_bomb on Aug 22, 2003 - 35 comments

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