October 27, 2004. The Beachwood Inn, a bar on Chicago's near Westside, is full of patrons, but eerily quiet. There is a once-in-a-century spectacular lunar eclipse in the warm night sky and the Boston Red Sox, the most famously hard-luck team in the annals of sport, is about to win the World Series for the first time in 86 years. As St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Edgar Renteria grounds into the final out and the Boston players start whooping and celebrating in the infield, nobody in the Beachwood has much of anything to say. "Huh," one of the bartenders opines. Read more »
Few North American cities can cop to having a musical support system like Chicago's. Just ask Marc Hellner, a wandering solo artist who's made a career out of collaborating with the city's numerous fireflies. Formerly of L'Altra, and one of the founding members of the waylaid Pulseprogramming, Hellner's currently preparing for the release of his new full-length Marriages (Peacefrog), which–despite being a solo record–relies heavily on collaborations with members of bands like Tortoise and Telefon Tel Aviv. Read more »
"Even if we weren't doing music, we'd still be eating chicken." These are the words of KP (MC/producer) from The Pacifics, who cooks up a fresh batch of fried chicken for himself and his longtime crewmates, MC Strike3 and MC/DJ Norman Rockwell, to enjoy every Sunday. While each of these MCs holds down nine-to-fives (some working six days a week), as true friends they keep their schedules clear at least once a week to kick back, get their eat on, and create their thoroughly enjoyable hip-hop.
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Ron Trent recently relocated back to his hometown of Chicago after absorbing the New York City music scene for the past several years. Upon his return, Trent immediately set to the task of applying the Big Apple's enthusiasm to a club night of his own. "My whole thing was to come back to Chicago and bring that energy back home," explains Trent. With the help of his partner, the beautiful and entrepreneurial Sonia Hassan, Trent created Africa Hi-Fi, a third-Friday-of-the-month party that explores African-influenced dance music.
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Josh Deep has only begun to scratch the surface of all he has in store for his label Deeper Soul. At just over a year in existence it has six releases under its belt including original work and remixes from Osunlade, Henrik Schwarz, Alton Miller's G Culture and Chicago jazz musician Kahil El Zabar. Already, Deeper Soul is fulfilling its mission: to release genre-defying music that is not only heard but, more importantly, felt.
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