Three Chicago clubs loom large over the history of dance music: The Warehouse, The Power Plant and The Music Box. The Warehouse was the first–from 1977 until he left to open The Power Plant in 1982, Frankie Knuckles was its king, turning dancers inside out with his New York-style mixing skills. When Knuckles left, The Warehouse's owners opened The Music Box and hired the late Ron Hardy, whose thirst for innovation was matched only by his penchant for excess. Read more »
Many people have tried to steal the Deadly Dragon Sound System name, and a few have succeeded. But DJ Rik Shaw wants to set the record straight.
Rik Shaw, born Richard Warfield Smith, founded the DJ collective and dub night, Deadly Dragon Sound System, in 1993. Smith and four "compatriots"--John Herndon, Bundy K. Brown and Casey Rice of Tortoise, as well as a DJ by the name of Jeremy Freeman--hosted the weekly event at a shopworn Chicago venue called the Empty Bottle, playing a unique blend of reggae classics, dancehall hits, jungle and hip-hop.
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Some people turn off the television in disgust, bitch about it for hours on end, then turn it right back on again. Ed Marszewski, the mover behind the Lumpen Media Group's outstanding muckraking, does something about it. For 15 years solid, Lumpen has dedicated itself to speaking truth to power, and it's armed itself with a variety of imaginative ways to do it, including the long-running magazine of the same name, a gripload of video and art festivals, DVD and CD compilations from its own Lumptronic label and much more. 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 »
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 »
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