A beautiful thing about Chicago's vibrant underground music scene is how many people are out there trying to document it—people like John Yingling
(who's officially heading to China!
) and attorney-by-day, videographer-by-night Sei Jin Lee
. Yet another music documentary project has come to the table, the aptly named Chicago Underground Music Archive
, which is headed up by Notes & Bolts
founder Kriss Stress, along with Hanna Johnson (who plays in scuzzy punk band Lil Tits) and Melissa Manfredi. The goal here is to record as many live sets around town as possible and share them, for free, with the world. The archive currently holds mostly stuff from this year, with a few performances available from 2011 and 2012, but submissions are being taken from any era. Johnson's husband, Andrew Martinec (formerly of noise rockers Bad Drugs
) has been recording live sets in basements and warehouses for years (one of his recordings eventually became a live Running release on Catholic Tapes
), and Stress tells me that a goal is to tap into his terabyte of live music and eventually upload his collection to the archive. The archive seems to be growing every day, and I'd suggest heading over there to download their just-uploaded recordings of this weekend's Rotted Tooth Fest
Anyone can submit recorded material to the Chicago Underground Music Archive. The only guidelines are that the band has to be from Chicago, and the recording has to be somewhat listenable. Their Facebook has show updates and new recordings.
Luca Cimarusti writes about local music on Thursday.