Sun rises, Steve Krakow announces several new projects | Bleader

Sun rises, Steve Krakow announces several new projects


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Steve Krakow in his lair.
  • Steve Krakow "in his lair."
Steve Krakow is one of the busiest people I know. On top of performing with the psych-rock outfit Plastic Crimewave Sound, the rarely convened but ridiculously huge Vision Celestial Guitarkestra, and who even knows how many side projects (avant-prog trio Moonrises, ambient duo Solar Fox, et cetera), he researches, writes, and illustrates the Reader's Secret History of Chicago Music, publishes the vertiginously deep Galactic Zoo Dossier magazine (and runs a companion Drag City imprint, Galactic Zoo Disk), and regularly draws caricatures of concertgoers at the Empty Bottle for five bucks a pop. He's also the only person I've ever met whose Wikipedia entry describes him (accurately) as living in a "lair."

Yesterday Steve sent out an e-mail announcing a pair of new endeavors. The bigger of the two is a new record label—"record" as in vinyl records—called Galactic Archives. Krakow will operate it in cooperation with Logan Hardware, which between its collection of vintage video games and pinball machines and its deep crates of genre music—the kind of stuff that usually gets only a cursory overview at most retailers—has become probably my favorite record store in town. Krakow says that the label will be issuing small runs of "thee cream of the crop in rare archival psychedelic/experimental/folk/whatevs recordings, as well as archiving the current freaks of tomorrow." The first two releases will be a collection of live recordings and demos from the extremely amazing and obscure psych-pop act Simply Saucer from Hamilton, Ontario, and an LP from Moonrises. Krakow says he hopes to get the Moonrises vinyl out by the time of their show at the Empty Bottle on January 16.

Krakow's also issuing a new mix tape—"tape" as in cassette tape—of "under-appreciated Chicago tunes, from funk to garage, psych to soul" that he's covered in past Secret Histories. The tape's coming out on the in-house cassette label of the local Impala Gallery. Impala co-owner Dave Mata will be giving copies of the tape away at an upcoming installment of his DJ residency at Logan Square hipster den Bonny's, but he's not sure which.

If you're in the market for one of Krakow's caricatures, he'll be at the Bottle tonight. If you're in the mood to check out yet another Krakow musical project, you can catch Solar Fox on Friday at Enemy in Wicker Park opening for Boredoms/DMBQ guitarist Shinji Masuko. If you want to check out how killer Simply Saucer is, you can listen to their scorcher "Dance the Mutation" below.

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