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  • Frankie Knuckles brought a Chicago sound to the world

    Frankie Knuckles brought a Chicago sound to the world

    A pioneering legend of Chicago house music has died. Here’s a short excerpt from Greg Kot’s excellent obituary in the Chicago Tribune: Frankie Knuckles, who died Monday at age 59 in Chicago, was not just the “godfather” of Chicago house music. He was a pioneer in the way he cultivated a culture, a sound and a community around dance music that decades later encompasses the world. Now DJs such as Skrillex, Tiesto, Deadmau5 and Afrojack can fill stadiums internationally as … Continue reading

  • House Music in Chicago

    House Music in Chicago

    Opening night at the Power House in October 1986 featuring Frankie Knuckles and J.M. Silk. Continue reading

  • Burning Man – Just Add Couches

    Burning Man – Just Add Couches

    Four friends return to the Burning Man festival to participate, building The Couch Potato Camp, a desert oasis for watching television and sitting on couches. For programming, the Couch Potatoes build a Minute of Fame Booth for festival participants to record themselves on video, to be shown at nightly screenings. Filmed at the 1996 Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada by Joe Winston. This film is a sequel and companion piece to a film Joe shot … Continue reading

  • Burning Man Festival 1995

    Burning Man Festival 1995

    A documentary film about America’s largest countercultural event, held annually in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Participants bring their own food, water and shelter and create a temporary community with very few rules or boundaries. The festival culminates in the burning of a 40-foot tall human effigy, known simply as “the Man.” What’s the point? Is this just indulgence or does it have a deeper meaning? Many who attend are not sure themselves, calling it “a rainbow gathering for … Continue reading

  • American Roots Music Chicago

    American Roots Music Chicago

    “American Roots Music: Chicago” provides a history of Chicago blues, jazz, and folk music through archival photographs and film. Several notable musicians, such as B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Pete Seeger, and Jeff Tweedy reflect on what they’ve inherited from their predecessors. Harold Ramis narrates biographical segments on Louis Armstrong, Ma Rainey, Benny Goodman, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, the Staple Sisters, Willie Dixon, and Big Bill Broonzy. The documentary also covers the rise of folk and polka in Chicago. Other topics include the Great Migration, the rise of radio and phonograph records, electric musical instruments, the National Barn Dance radio program, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. The documentary ends with a sampling of musical genres and venues active in Chicago. Continue reading

  • Elvis Lives!

    Elvis Lives!

    Over 35 years after his death, Elvis Presley remains an American legend and cultural icon, and many of his fans are still cultishly devoted to their King. In honor of what would have been his 78th birthday, we bring you some excerpts from Thomas Corboy’s “Rock ‘n Roll Disciples” (1984), which documented the obsessive community of Elvis fans that congregated around Graceland in Memphis, TN, in the years following the singer’s death in 1977. To see the full documentary, plus … Continue reading

  • The Las Vegas Tapes

    The Las Vegas Tapes

    1976 look at the culture of Las Vegas. Continue reading

  • [Tom Waits interview in Carbondale 1979]

    [Tom Waits interview in Carbondale 1979]

    Interview with Tom Waits backstage at Shryock Auditorium in Carbondale, IL. Municipal forum in Carbondale follows the interview on the tape. Continue reading