I moved to Chicago, back in 1990, back when I was young, out of college, looking to do something better than live with my parents and do clerical work at a nearby glasses lens manufacturer. I was quite miserable — drinking myself to an early demise, and when the opportunity presented itself, it seemed like an easy decision to jump in a rental van with a few possessions and head mid-west. Some close friends from a high-school magnet art program I’d attended (MCPS Visual Art Center) were driving back to school at the Chicago Art Institute. Why not Chicago? Never been there, but how bad could it be?
My entire experience in the city of meats was saturated with music. I learned to play bass, constantly went to see shows, was friends with and dated musicians. I think almost everyone I knew was at least trying their hand at making music. One of the first performances I attended in Chi-town featured Sun Ra and his Myth-Science Arkestra. Was it at the Cubby Bear? Isn’t that a silly name for a venue? That evening set the stage for the remainder of the five years I spent living there. I don’t think I’d ever seen (or have seen since) anything quite like Sun Ra. I don’t know that I’d even heard his music. Energetic, creative, wild sounds deeply rooted in classical jazz and the universe with a FIRE EATER and dancers for chrissake! When is the last time you saw a real musical PERFORMANCE? That doesn’t include three white guys standing still on stage in torn up jeans wearing t-shirts playing guitars. I want costumes or an act or something. I can’t remember the last time I heard music that moved me to feel that special feeling I used to feel in Chicago all the time. Like I hadn’t heard these sounds before. Like there were endorphins released in my brain because the music was so freakin’ good. I hope I can help expose Beenie and Mimi to sounds that will extend their humanity — make them feel like everything is possible. Because it is, you know. Everything.