A former Chicago underground documentarian goes international | Bleader

A former Chicago underground documentarian goes international


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John Yingling
  • Nathan Christ
  • John Yingling
John Yingling, originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, made a pretty big splash during his years in Chicago, videotaping countless shows and documenting the underground scene on his blog Gonzo Chicago. He raised money for equipment and made it his mission to capture every show he could in high-quality video, and somehow managed to miss almost nothing. Last year, a change in career took Yingling to Missoula, Montana, of all places. It didn't take long for him to discover the punk rock scene there, which he also painstakingly documented, all while doing his best to keep his finger on the Chicago pulse from halfway across the country. For the past year, Yingling's Twitter and Facebook feeds have been ambiguously hinting at how "something big" was in the works, and a few weeks ago, he finally told everyone what it was: he was planning to take his project to China. His Indiegogo donation site has already earned an impressive amount of cash—support has come from not only local musicians, like members of Toupee and Ono, but people from across the world as well, including Alex Huntai of Dirty Beaches—and it ends on Saturday.

The name of Yingling's new series is The World Underground, and what he plans to do in China is the same thing he's done here and in Montana: get to know the people who make underground music happen, and share what he's found with the world. His goal for the project is $6,000—most of which will go towards travel and more equipment—and so far he's racked up over $4,000. There are about 60 hours left for the campaign, so if you're interested, head over to his Indiegogo site and check out his pitch video and the donation perks. I'd also recommend checking out his website if you're not familiar with his work, and see what he's capable of on even a limited budget.

Luca Cimarusti writes about local music on Thursday.

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