If you follow the Reader at all, chances are you've read The Secret History of Chicago Music, the long-running "info-strip" by Steve Krakow ("Plastic Crimewave") that digs deep into the city's musical roots and profiles "pivotal Chicago musicians that somehow have not gotten their just dues." The column has run since 2001 and has profiled some 250 artists.
In December, on the eve of the column's fifteenth anniversary, we're publishing My Kind of Sound: The Secret History of Chicago Music, a compendium featuring over 200 of the column's best bits, additional drawings and musings by Steve, and a foreword by Jim DeRogatis.
There is much to discover in this collection; amidst the stories of slighted fame, botched contracts, overdoses, and break-ups, Krakow spotlights the glory that exists in making music. There’s little-known folk duo Hollins and Starr, who recorded a single, perfect LP and promptly disappeared; rock group The Lemon Drops, decimated by their own recording contract; the supergroup Thunderpussy, who toured in a pink school bus and broke up after their bassist quit; and the should-be-famous June Shellene, who opened for the likes of B.B. King and Jefferson Airplane, and waited over forty years to release a solo album.
Krakow’s gigantic love for music and the people who make it is serious and staggering, and the resulting collection is as fun as it is important. Jim DeRogatis of Sound Opinions says it in his foreword: "Those of us who care about the good stuff know what [Krakow] has done, and we love him for it."
Pre-order your copy, signed by Plastic Crimewave, here.