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Both Sides Now: A CHIRP Vinyl Listening Bar

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Schubas
3159 N. Southport
Chicago , IL 60657
(773) 525-2508

21+


Step into a realm where the music takes center stage and vinyl records reign supreme.

Introducing Both Sides Now: A CHIRP Vinyl Listening Bar -- a monthly oasis for music aficionados and introverts alike. Nestled in the cozy upstairs room of Schubas Tavern, this unique event happens every first Wednesday of the month.

Join us upstairs at Schubas! The decks start spinning at 7:30pm.

This month's menu comes from DJ Alex Gilbert: "Scene Change: Moments of Evolution".

Aretha Franklin once said, "Music changes, and I'm gonna change right along with it." But sometimes it's the change itself—in circumstance, in location, in relationship, in life—that helps to make the music what it is. This will be a reflection on several artists, focusing on specific moments in their careers where they embraced (and encouraged) notable changes within their life and their music. These albums are documents of those specific times; like photographs, they're snapshots of one stage in their evolution.

Rickie Lee Jones - Girl at Her Volcano EP (1983)

In 1979 Rickie Lee Jones released her breakout self-titled debut to critical acclaim, following it up in 1981 with Pirates, partially chronicling her difficult break-up with Tom Waits in the wake of her unexpected success. Two years later, Jones self-produced (and drew the cover art for) this EP of mostly jazz and pop standards, featuring both live and studio recordings of songs about relationships and lost love. Obviously there was some personal processing still happening then, as seen by the post-breakup song "Hey, Bub" (the one original track), and the decision to include a cover of Waits' "Rainbow Sleeves," recorded in 1978 when they were still together. Jones needed a change. That would come in the form of her kicking an intense drug habit, then promptly moving to Paris to work on her next full album and get her life back together. Girl at Her Volcano gives us a peek into a moment of immense growth, both artistically and personally, and the result is beautifully bittersweet.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland - Keyboard Fantasies (1986)

Upon initial release, this self-produced, cassette-only album sold just a handful of copies. At the time, Canadian (though born and raised in Philadelphia) musician and singer Beverly Glenn-Copeland had released two albums of bluesy folk music, and had a job writing songs and performing for children's television programs. Partly in reaction to the restrictions of writing for kids, Keyboard Fantasies went in an intentionally drastic new musical direction. Glenn-Copeland combined his burgeoning passion for new technology (only using a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and Roland TR-707 drum machine) with his love of the serene Canadian landscape in which it was written. The result is an ethereal new age electronic album that calls to mind the peacefulness of Ontario's woods and lakes, the meditative positivity of Glenn-Copeland's Buddhist practices, and the soulful rhythms of a parent trying to lull their child to sleep. Perhaps the most notable aspect of Keyboard Fantasies is that it didn't gain widespread recognition until 30 years after its first release, only beginning to garner acclaim in late 2015 when an influential Japanese music collector drew attention to it— introducing it to a welcoming new audience. This album was not only created during a period of marked musical change, but has had a huge change in how it's been received over the years, as has Glenn-Copeland himself, coming out as a trans man in the early 2000s. It's exciting to see an artist's career being refreshed and reignited, prompting further evolution for a musician who, now at 80, still has more to offer the world.

Sam Prekop - Sam Prekop (1999)

Local musician Sam Prekop may still be best known for his tenure with Chicago post-rock mainstays The Sea and Cake. He put out four albums with them in the 90s before releasing his self-titled solo debut in 1999. This is an album that couldn't have been made at any other time, blending the jazz-leaning indie rock of TSAC with breezy hints of Brazilian pop and mellow arrangements that foreshadow Prekop's decidedly more ambient solo work yet to come. It's a reminder that change (in this case, striking out on your own) can be fruitful. And I have to mention the players— it's a who's who of local heavy hitters: Prekop's TSAC bandmate Archer Prewitt, Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground), Joshua Abrams (Town & Country, Natural Information Society), Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground, Exploding Star Orchestra), and Jim O'Rourke on production. Prekop has made a lot of great records over the past several decades, but this one holds up as one of his finest.

Joni Mitchell - Shine (2007)

A singer-songwriter with a longer and more acclaimed career than most, Joni Mitchell got her start in the 1960s, performing in small Canadian nightclubs and coffee shops. She achieved widespread fame starting in the late 60s with a series of iconic folk albums, embraced jazz and an expanding roster of collaborators throughout the 70s, explored more pop-oriented and electronic sounds during the 80s, and experienced a resurgence in the 90s, releasing celebrated albums that called back to her early work. In 2002, Mitchell officially retired from music, frustrated about the state of the industry, which is why her release of 2007's Shine was such a surprise. Her first album of original music in a decade (and her last to date), Shine provided an outlet for a restless soul to say her piece about the environment, the war in Iraq, and to find a bit of solace in a tumultuous world. With Joni Mitchell's recent resurgence back into the spotlight, it seems only appropriate to revisit this lush, late masterpiece from an artist who's been a true changemaker over the past half a century.

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