• Hugo Reyes has spent that last 10 or 15 year listening to music and going to shows in Chicago. He's also been writing in-depth articles about the emo, punk and hardcore scenes for places like The Alternative (@GetAlternative), Twitter (@hvreyes5) and his Medium page (hugoreyes-36858.medium.com). You can also catch him on the podcast "Watch Me Pod". We're excited to talk with Hugo about his love of music, what he's listening to and writing about and the things he loves about Chicago.
    Time Stamps:
    1:40: We are joined today with Hugo Reyes
    2:15: How'd you get involved in the music scene?
    10: Occasionally a toxic place like Twitter can be a place for good
    11:45: There is so much information at you out there, hard to find bands at times
    15: What was your first a ha punk moment in chicago?
    17:20: Was there anyone along the way in the scene who helped show you the ropes?
    20:45: Pre-pandemic how many shows were you going to a week?
    22:30: How do you choose what you are going to write about?
    29:31: Let's talk about emo - when did the perception of emo change?
    34: As a writer, do you want to write about things you love and feel passionate about, or do you like writing about stuff you don't like?
    39:50: What bands are exciting to you at the moment?
    43: Deep dish or thin crust?
    45: Favorite venue to see shows at?
    46:55: What makes the Chicago music scene unique?
    48:55: Favorite record store?
    51:40: What have you been listening to lately?
    55: Favorite cheap drink?
    57: Brendan Kelly story
    58: Tell us about Watch Me Pod

  • We got the chance to track down Fake Fruit at their recent shows at South By Southwest in Austin earlier this year. And from there, we convinced Hannah D'Amato (vocals & guitar) and Alex Post (guitar) to join us on the show. We talk about their self-titled Fake Fruit debut album, being on the road and, of course, visiting Chicago. Check them out at Sleeping Village on May 9th.Time stamps:1:38: We are joined today by Hannah and Alex of Fake Fruit2:50: How did you start playing music? how did you start working together?4:20: Alex, were you playing music already when you two met?5:10: What helped bridge the musical gap for you?6:15: Can you walk us through the different permutations of Fake Fruit?9:45: Alex, was it weird stepping in to play music you hadn't written?12:20: Have crowds reacted differently than you anticipated to your music?13:30: Has your relationships to your songs changed over the years?14:30: Why did you re-record your record?16:20: Alex, what is the process like now of music being created with a set, steady lineup?18:40: When did it go from this is a fun thing to let's make this a thing?21: Where are we at with the new record?24:45: What was your SXSW experience like?26:50: Did you know the Pitchfork review was happening?29:45: How did the Spanish version of No Mutuals come to be?31:45: Is it easier to control your image and destiny now than it may have been previously?34:45: Oh shit, this is really happening!37:20: When you think of Chicago, what do you think of?39:35: Are you down to try deep dish?42:30: Anything you need to see while you are in Chicago?43:40: How did this tour come together?46:50: What's your go to cheap drink?49:44: What recording or event has had the most profound impact on you wanting to be a musician?53:30: Anything you'd like to plug on your way out?

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  • We've been working really hard to make this one happen! Katie Tuten from The Hideout and Jennifer Estlin from Annoyance Theatre join us to discuss what it's like to own and run their historic venues in Chicago. They also get into detail about how CIVL (the Chicago Independent Venue League) was formed and how it helped all our treasured community venues band together to survive a devastating pandemic and live to tell about it. Our Chicago music community is coming back stronger and more diverse because of women like Katie and Jennifer. Support your local music scene!Time Stamps:1:12: We are joined today by Katie Tuton and Jennifer Estlin1:30: How did you get involved in The Hideout?4:15: We own the bar, one beer at at time6:15: How did you get involved with The Annoyance?11:05: What makes your community so unique (The Annoyance)?12: What about your community (The Hideout)?14:30: When did both hit your stride and feel like "this is going to work"?16:31: Is that community feel unique to Chicago?21:30: Jennifer, do you remember the first time you heard about CIVL?25:20: We should have done this sooner27:15: Get ready to be annoyed! (Know Before You Go)29:55: CIVL has been very action oriented, did that come easily to the group?33: Has joining together through CIVL helped with your interactions with the city?37:45: What is something you've taken away from CIVL that you've brought back to your space?39:45: Is what you thought CIVL was going to be versus what it ended up being different?42:30: What are some ideas that you've taken from the pandemic and decided to implement moving forward?45:50: What was that level of communication like between clubs like prior to CIVL?47:40: What things are you most excited about with your venue in the next year?50: Deep dish vs. thin crust?50:40: Favorite space to see music/a comedy show (aside from your own club)?53: What do you think makes Chicago so unique?55:21: What have you been listening to lately?57:28: Favorite cheap drink?58:45: Anything you'd like to plug on your way out? (edited) 

  • Donnie Biggins wants to book your band. The owner of Chicago music venue Golden Dagger has a lot of experience - he's done it at places like Subterranean, Lincoln Hall, Tonic Room and Fitzgerald's. And he'd also love to have you stop in to his Lincoln Park location to hang out and talk and have a coffee. We talk about all that, plus being sober, playing music and, of course, his favorite things about Chicago.
    Time stamps:
    1:15: We are here with Donnie
    2:10: Tell us about your background, how'd you get started?
    6:10: Did you have different approaches for trying to get booked at different clubs?
    10:10: What is so important to you about bringing the community together?
    11:35: Was there a moment where booking clicked for you?
    13:45: What does a talent buyer do? What's a day in the life?
    17:50: How do you end up at Fitzgerald's?
    25:40: What did your wife say when you told her you were buying a bar?
    31:42: Why was it important for you to rename Tonic Room as Golden Dagger?
    34: Was it hard to take a step back and let Zoe do the booking?
    43:35: What was it like having your first show back at Golden Dagger?
    48:22: How is the community amongst small venue/bar owners?
    51:55: You've celebrated 2 years sober, and you own a bar, care to elaborate?
    60:56: Thick or thin crust pizza?
    62:22: What is your favorite venue to see a show at in Chicago aside from Golden Dagger?
    64:55: What makes Chicago a unique scene to you?
    68:55: Favorite record store?
    70:43: What have you been listening to lately?
    74:23: Favorite cheap drink?
    76:42: Anything you'd like to plug on your way out?

  • No Wristbands! goes to Amsterdam to talk with guitar slinger / teacher mellow fellow Jimmy Tomasello. Jimmy T. recently retired from the Old Town School of Folk Music and he takes the time to tell us what makes the Old Town such a Chicago treasure. From his early days working at the music store, teaching scores of students to play guitar, expanding the course offerings and helping to save the Armitage location, Jimmy T. has made a lasting impression. As always, we talk about things that make Chicago great. Watch for Jimmy to be busking on the streets of Amsterdam soon.
    Time stamps:
    1:10: We are here with Jimmy T today
    2:40: How did you decide to pursue a career in music?
    4:40: How did you start being a music teacher?
    5:30: How did you first experience Old Town?
    8:35: Were you able to create your own classes at Old Town?
    12:05: Right place right time or more to it with your work at Old Town?
    14:40: Was there an approval process for classes at Old Town?
    16: What do you think the benefit of Old Town is?
    17:45: Did they always put on shows?
    20:40: When do you feel like Old Town changed?
    24:12: How did you feel about the talk about closing the Armitage location?
    26:30: Why was it important to keep the Armitage location?
    29:52: A lot of thrash at Old Town, has that always existed, or is it a newer thing?
    31:45: What are some things you are most proud of from your time at Old Town?
    34:45: When do you know it's time to pick the instrument back up?
    39:20: What do you think the future of Old Town is?
    43:21: Thick or thin crust pizza?
    44:08: Favorite venue to see a show?
    46:45: What's your preferred genre of music to play?
    48:26: What do you think makes Chicago unique as a music scene?
    50: Favorite record store?
    52: What have you been listening to lately?
    54: What would be an uncovered Chicago band or album that isn't on people's radar but should be?
    55:30: Favorite cheap drink?
    57:30: Anything you want to plug on your way out of here?

  • Very excited to welcome Julia Steiner of Chicago’s very own Ratboys to the show. We talk about the origin of the band in South Bend, Indiana and the evolution in Chicago. Making music, the 10th anniversary of Happy Birthday, Ratboys and so much more. And of course, we discuss the things she loves about Chicago!
    Time Stamps:
    2: We are here with Julia Steiner from Ratboys
    5:40: You go to Notre Dame and meet Dave. Who brought up playing music together first?
    7:20: South Bend isn't an indie hotbed, how'd you find your community?
    8:40: Natural progression to writing your own music?
    11:30: Have you seen Get Back/did it resonate with you?
    13: Was recording music together another natural progression?
    14:30: How'd you end up in Chicago?
    18:30: Was it scary to tell your parents you were going to do music full time?
    20: What's it like revisiting Happy Birthday, Ratboy?
    23:40: Did any themes show up in revisiting the album that you hadn't thought of in the moment when you recorded it originally 10 years ago?
    26: What are you currently working on/what's your creative process like?
    28:45: Do you feel like Printer's Devil is an evolution from your old work?
    35: How complex was it behind the scenes canceling tours and everything associated with Covid?
    40:45: Who's idea was the Virtual Tour?
    43:40: How long did it take for you to gel with Sean and Marcus?
    51:45: Was there a moment in the past couple of years where you were like "Shit, this is really happening now"?
    56:11: What makes the Chicago music scene special/unique?
    59:30: What is it about the Chicago music scene that helps foster women fronted bands?
    63:45: Deep dish or thin crust?
    65:30: Favorite venue to play in Chicago?
    66:40: What are some Chicago bands you've been digging lately?
    72:42: Do you have a favorite cheap beverage?
    76:10: What are you looking forward to the most with the band next year?

  • Spencer Tweedy joins us to talk about all the cool stuff he has been doing. Finishing up the new Case Oats record with Casey Walker. How he put together the Mirror Sound book project. Playing drums after school with Dad. Learning drums from Glenn Kotche. Playing with Norah Jones and Mavis Staples. Starring in The Tweedy Show. And so much more! Plus lots of things he loves about Chicago.Time Stamps:1:22: Hello Spencer2:02: Case Oats record in the works4:30: How did Covid effect the recording process?6:50: Fun to do this process on your own as a band?9:07: Was Mirror Sound a Covid project as an outlet to be creative during lockdown?12: How'd you go about figuring out who to put in the book?14:50: Have you seen Get Back?17:20: Making music together is almost a commitment22:10: How do you pick projects?26:15: At what point did it get "serious" making music with your dad?30: How much leeway are you given when drumming with people?35:26: Did you feel extra pressure playing music with your dad?38: Did watching Glenn Kotche play drums help shape your drumming style?42: Why is it important for smaller venues to exist and thrive?44:12: What makes the Chicago music scene unique?46:20: Does it feel normal to be playing shows again?50:30: How cool is it knowing Mavis Staples?52:42: How long did it take for it to feel normal inviting people into your home (The Tweedy Show)?55:35: Deep dish or thin crust?57:10: Favorite cheap drink?57:45: Chicago bands that are standing out in your mind?59:50: What have you been listening to lately?61:16: What are you most excited about music wise for yourself or people around you in the next coming year?

  • Kip Berman joins us from the fine state of New Jersey to discuss his time spent leading indie faves The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, as well as his new gig as The Natvral and the new record Tethers. Along the way he explains his love for the Green Bay Packers and classic uniforms - plus his favorite things about Chicago.Time Stamps:1:40: Hi Kip!5: Were you involved in music prior to Pains?8:10: What do you attribute Pains making it as far as they did to?11:10: Did your love of 80's English music contribute to your releasing of 7 inch records?20:42: Was there a specific theme for your albums, or did they just present themselves after the fact?33: How do you deal with the issue/idea that you recorded something a long time before it comes out?38:50: "I don't want to be in a solo project, I just want to be in a band" so is that not happening now?41:20: I don't think he's lying, but I don't think he has access to the truth either45:36: I evaluate my feelings for nfl teams and most sports franchises on their willingness to never change their uniforms50:28: Was it kind of freeing to just do the songs yourself and do whatever you wanted?55:30: "Music says the things you cannot say in real life"66:30: What can we expect on December 6th at Empty Bottle?72:12: Favorite Chicago venue?76:20: Deep dish or thin?78:20: When you think of the Chicago music scene, what do you think about/of?85:20 Favorite cheap beer?

  • Mark Greenberg is a legit nice guy. And that has helped him to live a really cool life in the Chicago music community. We talk about his early days in Chicago with The Coctails, his experience working at the legendary Lounge Ax, playing in Eleventh Dream Day, his dream job as manager at the Wilco Loft and so much more. Time Stamps:1:20: Welcome Mark Greenberg2:02: What brought you to Chicago?3:30: We were so dumb4:10: When did it feel like it was more than just messing around with my friends?5:55: Did you feel like you met your audience right away?6:45: How did you get on Lounge Ax's radar?9:35: How did you get to be the last band to play at Lounge Ax?10:40: Answer the god damn phone!11:45: How did it feel to get behind the velvet rope?12:45: What was a "typical" day at Lounge Ax like?16:02: Did you ever stump for any bands?17:12: Do you have a lot of input on who got to play on what bill?20: Greatest show you saw at Lounge Ax?22:25: What's next for me? How do we go forward from here?24:10: Is Bill Callahan as weird as he seems?27:10: Mayfair Workshop - tell us more about your work here.29:41: You get any sweet bennies out of Coke for doing the commercial?32:10: How did you start working at The Loft?36:33: What is a typical day like working at The Loft?40:55: Were you there for David Berman recording with Jeff Tweedy?42:45: What's it like joining a band almost 2 decades into their run?46:24: How was the recording of Since Grazed affected by Covid?48:15: How do live shows work?49:45: Do you feel like you've gotten better in the studio based on your time at The Loft?53:25: Intonation Music - How did you get involved with that?57: Chicago based questions! - deep or thin crust pizza? favorite cheep drink?59: When you think of Chicago and the Chicago music scene, what does that mean to you?61:04: Favorite record store?62:08: What have you been listening to lately?66:10: Do you ever walk into The Loft and just strum Jeff's guitar?

  • Dylan Slocum, singer, guitarist, songwriter from Spanish Love Songs, joins us to talk about how the band has survived and evolved thru the last 20 months during a global pandemic. We talk about cancelling a tour, surviving a derecho in Iowa, starting a Patreon group, moving to Nashville, working on a new record, what he loves about Chicago and finally beginning the journey back to playing live shows again. Time Stamps:1:15: What's been happening over the past 20 months?3:32: What were those conversations about canceling the tour like?6: You've been on tour for 6 weeks, tour is canceled, where are you going?12:01: If you had to choose, would you prefer to be killed by a Taco Bell awning or a Best Buy "B"?14: Is there a lot of conversation with the band about what we are going to do?16: Tell us about your Patreon20:25: Is there a reason why you'd never done a solo project before?28:30: Do you worry that giving people early access will alter expectations of what the album will be?31: What percent done with the new album are you?38:35: Was there a reason for just doing these 3 shows?47:55: What are some of the things you love about coming to Chicago?53:27: Deep dish or thin crust?54:45: When you think of Chicago/the Chicago music scene, what do you think of?55:42: Favorite venue in Chicago?59: What Chicago bands do you like?63:33: What have you been listening to lately?67: "We're a cowboy band now!"71:45: Favorite cheap drink?

  • Aadam Jacobs joins us to discuss his amazing treasure trove of live recordings. Starting in the mid-1980's, Aadam has documented an incredible portion of the Chicago music scene as the guy in the back with the tape recorder. His archive of shows from iconic Chicago clubs like Lounge Ax, Schubas, Metro, West End and many more includes bands like Husker Du, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Wilco, 11th Dream Day and 1000's more.Time stamps:1:32: how did you get started recording shows?3:10: what was the first show you recorded?4:10: when was the first time you listened to your recording of a show?5:25: how do you keep track of all the shows you've recorded?6:08: are you trying to be inconspicuous when you tape?8:25: was there a show that you felt like you figured out recording?11:45: did your quality get more consistent?14:25: do you become friends with the sound guy?18:00: does recording the show enhance your experience?20:55: is there satisfaction that people in the Chicago community respect what you did?25:00: is this recording obsession satiated by the act of recording?29:35: do you remember "first" shows?31:40: had a good thing going at Metro and I fucked it up35:10: how did your recordings make it to Mogwai?38:00: have you said "no" to bands?39:50: working with Mekons, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Wilco45:40: you've seen & documented so much music46:20: were there bands on the upswing that you identified?49:00: treasure trove of unknown bands51:00: does Aadam like Green?52:55: Material Issue issue54:00: was there only one type of music you recorded?60:55: do you still have the same passion to record?67:10: what's your plan to preserve this archive of shows?75:10: amazing concerts at the Fireside Bowl79:00: favorite show is Chicago?81:30: deep dish or thin crust?83:10: favorite cheap beverage?84:45: favorite record store?89:20: favorite venue to record in?

  • Bob Nastanovich of the bands Pavement and Silver Jews, along with the Three Songs Podcast, and Brokers Tip Records joins us to discuss his career from driving a Manhattan bus to joining Pavement, to owning racehorses, to starting his own podcast, and label. Time Stamps: 2:00: We are here with Bob Nastanovich/Brokers Tip Records10: Music streaming isn't all bad13: Three Songs Podcast20: Let's not judge people on their musical taste23: Is there still a beef with Billy Corgan?/Billy Corgan's prickitude 37: When did you know Pavement was going to be your gig for a while?43: Bob's role in Pavement49: Did Pavement go against the grain?52: What was recording with Pavement like?58: Satisfaction with being a cult hit/critics favorite/reference point for bands today without that ultimate commercial success?63: Silver Jews - Who's idea was it to record songs on Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore's answering machine?65: How did Silver Jews get on Drag City Records?70: David Berman and Dan Koretzky's relationship - what made it work?79: How do you attract such interesting people to yourself?82: Chicago Questions - That was 50 Cent88: Favorite cheap beer?91: Be unselfish

  • Andy Weber Co-Owner/Founder of Smashed Plastic Record Pressing joins us to discuss how he got his start in the record pressing business, why the personal touch matters so much in dealing with artists, how demand is currently outpacing supply by 6+ months, what separates Chicago from other markets, and Smashed Plastics ethos in how they run their company. Time Stamps: 00:30: Intro01:24: Here with Andy with Smashed Plastic04:00: 5 years outta the music game06:25: "let's do something fun in music"08:40: "someone is way ahead of us, this idea is too good to be true, we are not that smart"12:02 Who does what at Smashed Plastic15:00 Important to have touches with all our clients. Important to make people feel like the big guy/philosophy of Smashed Plastic18:20: Smashed Plastic HQ 24:10: Boom of the boutique plants26:30: "There are more record orders out there than there are machines to produce them"30:30: How do I get beyond the velvet rope and start pressing with you?35:40: "Color is king"40:10: If you build it they will come43:30: Shit, we made it45:45: We take a lot of pride in being Chicagoans/what are you digging lately50:15: A day in the life for Andy54:35: Chicago questions

  • Today we have Shawn Campbell the head of CHIRP Radio joining us to discuss what separates local community radio from the big radio stations. CHIRP Radio is Chicago’s only non-commercial community run radio station at 107.1 FM or via the web at http://chirpradio.org/ (chirpradio.org). Shawn dives into her journey through radio, what she learned along the way, what she brought to creating her own radio station and her thoughts on what makes the Chicago local music scene special and unique. Podcast Time Stamps:why the name: 00:40shawn campbell intro : 02:53start of interview: 04:10shawn's thoughts on baseball: 06:10shawn's college & career start: 07:45importance of being on the radio as a program/music director: 13:10evolution of thoughts on radio: 15:45move to wluw: 20:10shawn measuring success with reader personal ads 22:00the start of CHIRP: 24:24shawn's thoughts on what radio should be aka her manifesto 26:45CHIRP elevator pitch: 31:30your show is not for you it's for your audience: 38:50what does Chicago music mean to you: 43:35back to the future (resurgence of singles): 48:00we are in staunch defiance of these trends: 49:20is there a CHIRP 2.0?: 56:30Chicago questions: 59:45final question - house red at the metro: 65:02

  • No Wristbands: We Drink For Free! is a podcast for Chicago music scene fanatics BY Chicago music scene fanatics. With over 40 years of music memories and experiences we are here to champion all things Chicago music - from local bands, to touring bands passing through Chicago, to radio stations, to music venues, to the background players - concert promoters, record pressers, engineers, producers. Each episode runs about 1 hour, and features an in depth interview with someone associated with the Chicago Music Scene. We will be releasing podcasts monthly. If you care about Chicago music, you will love our Podcast.