Yes, that’s right, the infamous Chicago based band Nonagon performed live as the headliner to our annual summer extranvaganza, playing live in our studio. The session, which was streamed live over the internet, was lovingly recorded by Mr. Matt Engstrom, and filmed by Mr. Thomas Banks.
Faiz Zeppelin, featuring an all star lineup of PRF Musicians can be seen here performing live in front of a near sellout crowd at The Hideout in Chicago, IL on Saturday April 30th, 2011. Following an opening set from Chicago’s The Columbines, and an amazing 12 year old guest lead singer, Faiz Zeppelin took the stage with a wild abandon, launching into a slammed together run of We’re Gonna Groove, Heartbreaker, and Communication Breakdown. Fists were pumping high in the air.
Chicago rock band Sirs are releasing their first EP tomorrow Saturday, August 20th at the Saki Record Store. Saki is located at 3716 W. Fullerton in the beautiful west side of Chicago, IL. The fun starts at 4 PM with Sidecar Static & Phoenix 68 filling out the bill.
The four song ep is available as a 12″ vinyl record, or a digital download (or both). Here’s the description:
4-Song EP. A disturbed crooner and a loud electric band pile-drive tales of the late capital era into every available earhole. Escape the post-modern refuse pile by burrowing straight down. Don’t dig with your hands; use this slab of 12″ plastic as a tool
Sirs is Tony Jones, and Rob Warmowski, and Andrew Kosinski. Mike Greenlees played drums on the EP.
To paraphrase the patron saint of the PRF, Mr. Albini: “Basements are what drive the music scene in Chicago.” This sprawling city has music happening in subterranean nooks and crannies on every block: Practice spaces, home recording studios, DIY performance spaces, and sometimes, as was the case of Union Rock Yards, all three.
The history of the space at North and Fairfield is spotty and sometimes sordid. From what we were able to ascertain, it had originally been built as a well-sized banquet hall at the turn of the 20th century. At some point in the subsequent decades the hall was split up, with the main floor becoming commercial spaces, the top floor becoming a loft apartment, and the basement…well, the basement knew many purposes.
*Front* Door Photo by Thomas Banks
I truly wish I had a deeper knowledge of the history of what transpired down there. There were names etched in the mortar in the “dungeon” rooms dated in the mid ’70’s. The conduit on the ceiling told of a dozen or more rewiring projects over the years. There was a giant sealed steel door in our practice space that faced underneath the street. Art work and artifacts we discovered in the dank corners left us confused and delighted to the possibilities of their origins.
We do know that in the late 90’s, the spot became a collective known as the Hotel Kafka. The Kafka played host to a bevy of shows and parties at a time when Humboldt Park was truly something of the wild west(side). After the crew with Hotel Kafka moved out, the next tenant brought in a pile of dry wall and subdivided the basement into a dozen or so rooms, creating a serviceable squatter’s motel. By this time a Payless Shoe Store and seasonal tax preparer Jackson Hewitt moved in on the main floor.