Monday, March 15, 2010
Chicago is a city filled with beer, blues, and suburbs. In the 1960s, Chicago's garage music scene exploded with a plethora of blues influenced, pot laden, beer fueled rock and roll. The kids in these bands grew their hair long to piss off their church going Ozzy and Harriet families. They went down to the South side and listened to blues musicians spill their whiskey soaked guts across the strings of misshapen guitars, and they channeled rebellion into three minute songs about girls. Chicago garage rock from the 1960s postures and snarls in a very blue collar, matter of fact way. Listen to a band like The Shadows of Night fight their way through three chords, and you can hear the sound of youthful discovery that is powerfully raw and uniquely Chicago. These kids were growing up in the most segregated city in the United States, home to the stockyards, riots, and quiet ranch house hamlets; these were kids born of absurdity, middle class ethics, and impending violence. This isn't the music of the streets, this is the music of observation, of white kids on the fringes of suburbia, mimicking squalor, and trying to understand the foreignness of the black man's blues.