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Consumers Research & Development

The right and left coasts may regard the Midwest as a cattle parking lot, but the curatorial lasso of Chicago's Consumers Research and Development label cuts a wide swathe through this foolish chimera, rounding up an eclectic aural assemblage of the Midwest's finest audio individualists.

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Numero Group: Going Off the Deep End

"We take most of our meetings here during the summer, around 10 or 11 feet," says Ken Shipley of Chicago Park District's Olympic-sized pride and joy–Holstein Pool. "We just hang on the side during lap swims. If they had a wireless connection here, we'd be here all the time. We tried once to log on, but there is no signal down here."

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Drag City: Pioneering Rock Decadence

"Did we really love the music that much? Did we want to get closer to the stars? Were we young and impressionable? Were we hoping to make money? Or were we just sick of our jobs? It was a bit of all of these things–and it happened in 1989."

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Gramaphone Records: Standing Strong

Longevity. No word better describes Gramaphone Records, which has been selling quality vinyl on Chicago's Northside since 1969. The store has embraced the city's love of jazz and blues and has played an integral part in the explosion of house and hip-hop music thereafter. And even with vinyl sales steadily declining these days, 12"s remain the store's staple product. Read more » 

Koncept and Meiotic: House City

Frankie Knuckles and Marshall Jefferson. Green Velvet and DJ Heather. Trax and Dust Traxx. If you like electronic music and didn't know that Chicago is House City you've been living under a rock or had amnesia for the past 2 years. But Ol' Mama Disco begat two children to the modern dance era: house and techno. While the latter is more commonly associated with the city of Detroit, the entire Midwest shares a passion for pounding drums, and Chi-town is no exception.

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