Say good-bye to DIY space Strangelight | Bleader

Say good-bye to DIY space Strangelight


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Logan Square DIY venue Strangelight will host one last show on Friday. Matt Harmon, John Harmon, and Zach Weinberg, who live in and run the space, are moving out. The three are also members of soon-to-be-defunct postpunk band Cloud Mouth, and they'll play their last local club gig on Saturday (opening for CSTVT at Beat Kitchen) before heading to southeast Asia for a short tour.

The news of Friday's show is bittersweet for me. Not only is Strangelight the subject of the first piece I wrote for the Reader, but the venue is the first DIY space I went to after moving to Chicago a couple years ago. I wrote about the great lengths the Harmon brothers—Weinberg had yet to move in—went through to put on shows in their basement and the conviviality they extended to folks who came to catch some music, but I left out my own anecdote.

When I first went to Strangelight to film Philly emo upstarts Algernon Cadwallader on a blustery February evening (some video I shot is below), I showed up a tad early—earlier than some of the bands. Rather than toss me back into the cold, Matt Harmon let me hang out in his living room and chatted with me as I thumbed through his record collection. Telling that story now, I can sound like a guest who took far too much advantage of a host I'd just met, but Matt didn't seem to mind too much. The kindness he and his brother extended to me and others was such a huge improvement over what I'd experienced at a DIY space in Boston I used to go to for shows—a dingy basement venue, its tenants were more inclined to watch Korean porn VHS tapes they kept in a shopping cart than interact with strangers entering their home—that it made an impression on me.

I've since made a point of seeing every show I could at Strangelight, and needless to say I'll miss it. The New Yorker, Canadian Rifle, and Itto will help say good-bye to the space on Friday night, and the show kicks off at 8 PM; for an address and other details e-mail

Algernon Cadwallader, "Some Kind of Cadwallader,"
from Leor Galil.

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