Tag Archives: Chicago

Breaking Circus: Ice Machine and Smoker’s Paradise, 1986 1987

18 Jun

Digital StillCamera


   Formed in 1986, the band recorded for Homestead Records, this album originally had 12 songs recorded for the project, but the band was informed the label would only pay for six recordings. The band saved the rest for a follow-up EP entitled Smoker’s Paradise, released in 1987.

Any of the tracks listed here could have easily fit right in with one of those great John Hughes films, you know the type; filled with love, teenage angst, rich bratty teens in their prime.

The band broke up in 1987……..

Song of the South

Ancient Axes


Baskets & Clocks

Laid So Low

Took a Hammering


Swept Blood


Gun Shy

Evil Last Night


Chicago’s Gil Coronel, two cassettes from the early 1990s

3 Mar

I love these two tapes. Really primitive songs; almost an ‘outsider’ quality going down here. If you like personal home-spun recordings, these tapes are for you. A 1990s double-bill with like-minded local Wesley Willis would have been a treat. The crowd noises on the ‘Live’ cassette give it a Rupert Pupkin vibe.

Gil, wherever you are, please contact me!

Chevelle Malibu
Step Out with Me
I Want it Rain
Mind Jackin’

Kick it Out!
What’s Up?
Guitar Instrumental
Rock the House

Shellac/Six Finger Satellite/Tar/MX-80 Sound flyer from Chicago ballroom concert

17 Feb

Got to this show 24 hours early by mistake, made the best of it by hitting Chicago record stores for a day. I still can’t believe I got to see MX-80 Sound in concert….

Reaction Formation two cassettes from the late 1980s

24 Mar

The suburban wasteland of Downers Grove, Illinois spawned the band Reaction Formation in the early 1980s, and they eventually became an often-gigged & sometimes-touring juggernaut of youthful free energy. Tuneage ranged from classic Midwestern jangle-pop & indie rock; they were “pop” enough to also appeal to the mid-1980s Chicago Mod scene (Green, The Slugs, 007, I-Spy, The Dig), which was documented very well in the Chicago Reader recently. Guitarist Jim “McGuinn” Slusarek became a national powerhouse in alternative radio (he now resides as Program Director for Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current) & singer Steve Timble became publisher of Time Out Chicago (now at The Wall Street Journal). I remember spending lots of great times with these guys, whether they were opening for Trip Shakespeare in Minneapolis, playing Mod Night at The West End in Chicago, or just partying in Champaign (their eventual home base during college years), they knew how to have a good time.

Here is three tracks from two cassettes; coincidentally they are all songs that became a-sides of their 7″ singles, but using different recordings. Galesburg Bound was recorded at House of Chin’s in Champaign, November 7, 1987.

Suburban Wasteland

Galesburg Bound

Looking at You

Thanks to Jim McGuinn for granting me permission to post these here.

Here is a home demo of a song that Jim did with a drum machine, not really RF as a band, but great nonetheless:

Jackie’s Gone

AMX (a/k/a Material Issue) cassette 1996

2 Aug

Jim Ellison of Material Issue gave me a three-song cassette under the name AMX at the afterparty for Urge Overkill’s last show in Chicago in 1996 (before UO’s eventual reuniting). He wanted to have me put out a 45 under a pseudonym. Unfortunately, Jim died soon after. Two of the songs on the tape made it onto Material Issue’s posthumous Rykodisc CD, one is unreleased.


Quicksand (unreleased)

What if I Killed Your Boyfriend?

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