Chicago has been a significant breeding ground for all kinds of music, from gospel to improvised jazz--and so it was with alternative rock. The genre was huge in Chicago and the FM radio station Q101 was at the epicenter. But now, almost 20 years since the alternative rock explosion, record sales are down and alternative is no longer the relevant cultural or artistic category.
Sunday, Q101, "Chicago’s alternative," officially changed to an all-news format. That switch came after former Tribune Company executive Randy Michaels purchased the station in June. Brooke Hunter, a DJ at the station during its alternative-rock heyday, and Joe Shanahan, owner of Metro and Smart Bar in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, joined Eight Forty-Eight to talk about the glory days of Q101 and the future of alternative music.