Dead DIY Space: The Adelphi Theater and the Magic of Chicago Radio

We were huddled around an ancient, double-headed cd-player in the dark projection booth above a grand, sprawling art deco movie theater, cavernous and full of velet, and terra cotta. Around us were gelled stage lights with wires hanging loose and old projectors from every era; scattered about were countless cd-r’s and PBR’s. A tiny, tinny boombox tuned to our frequency way left on the dial served as a monitor. If someone made a golden age hip hop remake of The Brave Little Toaster, this boombox would be the scrappy protagonist discarded and confined to the scrapheap. It let us know we were broadcasting though. A grimy cover of a Green Day song sung in German was fading out.

“I’m Eric lab Rat here with Ruby Aftermath and this is the Black Power White Power Power Hour on Red Line Radio, you just heard Weisse Wolfe and this is the Last Poets with “The White Man’s Got a God Complex”.

It was a dumb joke, obnoxious by intent, mixing music about oppression with music about liberation as if they were at all equal. I probably wouldn’t make it now that I’m a humorless PC punk, but I was more of a provocative asshole back then.

Besides, I was 21, falling in love but too immature to say it, living out my “Pump Up the Volume” dreams, and probably drunk. Besides, I didn’t know enough about nazi bands to stretch it even a half hour. Our station boasted a broadcast range “from Evanston to Uptown” … maybe… if the weather conditions were right. Even if the little tinny boombox in the projection booth was the only one tuned to our show, we were radio pirates.


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Upcoming Chicago Label Showcases: Dumpster Tapes’ Demolición & Tall Pat Records’ Cuddlestock

This Friday, join five Chicago Latinx-fronted garage, punk and psych-rock bands for a celebration of mi gente in the punk community. Organizer & badass Chicana femme and Dumpster Tapes label head Alex Fryer will be playing Latin American and Latinx bands all night and donating $1 of every admission fee to El Rescate, a Humboldt Park independent living center that provides identity-affirming housing to homeless LGBTQ and HIV positive youth.

If you want to know what to expect from brown punks Cabrona, Bruised, Divino Niño, Rai, and Mia Joy Alex wrote an awesome show preview over on Medium. Or just head to Auxiliary Art Center on Friday night and be surprised. Either way, this is exactly the show the north side’s white dominated punk scene needs.

Dumpster Tapes Presents: Demolición
Cabrona, Bruised, Divino Niño, Rai, Mia Joy
Auxiliary Art Center, 3012 W Belmont Ave
Fri, October 14, 7:30pm / BYOB / 21+ / $7


Cuffing season’s fast approaching, sneaking on silent slippered feet and cozy in Uniqlo heattech. Get a headstart on little spoon bliss at Cuddlestock, Tall Pat Records‘ annual garage punk showcase that’s taken on epic proportions through four years of good ass booking, fancy posters, 5758686 shots of Malört, and drunk ass speeches from Pat fueled by the aforementioned Malört. Party with labelmates Jollys, Swimsuit Addition, Bleach Party, and Clearance at The Empty Bottle next month, and try to drink a few glasses of water between the shots, ok?

Tall Pat Records Presents: Cuddlestock
Jollys, Swimsuit Addition, Bleach Party, Clearance
The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave
Fri, November 18, 9pm / 21+ / $8

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