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All-ages and DIY shows in Chicago

I recently wrote a piece on all-ages shows and DIY venues in Chicago for Medill. The article went online Tuesday, and comes with a (brief) sister piece about the history of all-ages and DIY shows in America, a video and slideshow of a couple of venues and a handful of graphs and photos of these shows.

Normally, I’m not one for self-promoting on my blog here, but I can’t help but get this story out there. As a friend who organizes DIY shows in Boston posted on my Facebook wall said: “This community has gone horribly under-appreciated for many years.” And that can be said for the DIY and all-ages community country-wide, not just in Chicago.

Growing up in the DC Metro area spoiled me. The very moment I wanted to see a concert by a band I loved, I was able to go. For the most part, I never had to worry about age restrictions holding me back from seeing a musician or act. It wasn’t until I moved to the Boston area that I understood how lucky I was being able to see bands I enjoyed as a teen, and how thoroughly odd it is that there are roadblocks for kids who want to see music in so many cities across the country.

I’ve got to say thanks to everyone I interviewed for this piece. Without them, I couldn’t have put together the article. So, thank you Kevin from the All-ages Movement Project, Todd P., Matt from Schubas, Jim Grimes, Efrat from Chicago’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department and Ian MacKaye.

Most of all, I’d like to thank the people who opened their basements and living rooms to me (and countless strangers) and allowed me to document what happened there. So, to Jason at Enemy, Christine at Ottoman Empire and, most of all, Matt (and co.) at Strangelight, thank you.

Here’s a little clip of a performance by Algernon Cadwallader at Strangelight before I began to work on this piece. Enjoy:

[vimeovid id=”9261206″]

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