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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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Galapagos 4: The Island of Hip-Hop

"We're trying to bring back actual intelligence and reality to [hip-hop]," says Jeff Kuglich, owner and president of Chicago-based label Galapagos 4. Kuglich started the imprint in 1999 with little but a clearly articulated mission: to preserve the integrity of hip-hop music. Sure, it smacked of fresh-from-college idealism, but Kuglich, who was then 22, somehow managed to express his high-minded vision without pretension or arrogance. Read more » 

The Eternals: Sonic Manipulation

Damon Locks and Wayne Montana spent the '90s in the underrated Trenchmouth, helping push the post-rock juggernaut built by pals like Tortoise and others forward into the new millennium. So far, they've spent the 21st century tearing down cozy genre classifications altogether as the brains behind The Eternals.

"By the time Trenchmouth finished," confesses Locks, "we had already become disinterested in playing rock-based music. When The Eternals started, it was our chance to create something different, something we had not heard before."

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