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Touch and Go Records: Born Free

"When I got involved doing this stuff I never imagined that, 25 years later, we'd still be doing this," says Corey Rusk, owner of influential Chicago imprint Touch and Go. The label, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in September, was started in late 1980; named after a Michigan music fanzine, its first release was a four-song 7" by Rusk's punk band, The Necros. The outfit slowly expanded, releasing other Midwest hardcore bands like The Meatmen, Negative Approach, and Big Black while Rusk gained extra experience running an all-ages club in Detroit during the mid-'80s called The Graystone, booking seminal bands like Black Flag and The Minutemen.

T&G remains true to punk's ethic–and continues to offer artists an impressive 50/50 profit split–but has surprised everyone in recent years with a roster that includes Jesus Lizard, Slint, Blonde Redhead, !!!, Supersystem, and TV on the Radio. Rusk's clearly got reason to celebrate, and if you're in the Windy City you should join him. The label is throwing a weekend-long anniversary and block party at Chicago venue The Hideout from September 8-10, 2006, featuring 25 current and former label acts including Shellac, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, and Scratch Acid.

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