WBEZ | House music http://www.wbez.org/tags/house-music Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Illinois report card grades schools across the state http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-31/morning-shift-illinois-report-card-grades-schools <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/school report cards by evmaiden.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois released its school report cards Thursday, so we dig into which schools are improving and how student populations are changing. We also take a look at childhood obesity rates in Illinois and hear house music from Chicago&#39;s own DJ Lady D. (Photo: Flickr/hpeguk)</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-illinois-school-report-cards-release/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-illinois-school-report-cards-release.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-illinois-school-report-cards-release" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Illinois report card grades schools across the state" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 08:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-31/morning-shift-illinois-report-card-grades-schools EDM has grown so popular, the dance music is hitting the campaign trail http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/edm-has-grown-so-popular-dance-music-hitting-campaign-trail-103568 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/TeamBaysideHighAtTheMidOliverPangbornPhotographer.jpg" style="margin: 5px; height: 400px; width: 600px; " title="Team Bayside High at The Mid (Photo by Oliver Pangborn)" /></p><p>First came disco, then house music and then raves.&nbsp;Now there&rsquo;s a new generation dancing to the latest incarnation of EDM.&nbsp;The acronym may sound more like a disease to puzzled parents.&nbsp;But EDM, or electronic dance music, has grown so popular, some political campaigns are using it to woo young voters. And&nbsp;Chicago&rsquo;s playing a major role in that scene.</p><p>Over on the Southwest Side, scores of teens are dancing wildly into the wee hours.&nbsp;They&rsquo;re scantily clad, wearing knee-high fake-fur boots in all colors of the rainbow, and some are draped in neon shorts, bracelets and bikini tops. Others wield glow sticks.</p><p>They&rsquo;re dancing in a bare-bones vacant space with a DJ booth and pulsating lights.&nbsp;The beat is unrelenting and throbbing.</p><p>&quot;Right now we&rsquo;re throwing it in a burned out arcade,&quot; says the 20-year-old underground promoter throwing this illicit rave, who goes by the name of Sub Vice. &quot;There&rsquo;s only four decent venues in Chicago, and the cops know about all of them. So it&rsquo;s either a crackhouse or some large box that the cops know about before you&rsquo;ve put it up on your infoline.&quot;</p><p>&quot;What people don&rsquo;t realize is like this is their Nirvana,&quot; says Zach Partin, publicist for the well-known EDM promoter React Presents. &quot;This is their &lsquo;90s, you know, that was going on at the time. This is their alternative culture.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GlowKidsTwoOliverPangbornPhotographer_0.jpg" style="height: 266px; width: 400px; margin: 5px; float: right;" title="Glow kids (Photo by Oliver Pangborn)" />And much like grunge in the &lsquo;90s, EDM has moved beyond the underground and exploded into the mainstream, topping charts the world over.</p><p>Massive festivals such as Chicago&rsquo;s North Coast and Spring Awakening and the Ultra in Miami attract hundreds of thousands each year.&nbsp;Established venues like the Congress, Metro and The Mid sell out DJ-oriented shows in Chicago.&nbsp;EDM artists are even tapped to do commercials for companies like HP and Kmart.</p><p>A friend, DJ Greg Corner, says the craze started taking hold a few years ago.&nbsp;Corner helped launch Dark Wave Disco, one of the first indie-electro parties held at venues.</p><p>&quot;It probably started in 2008,&quot; Corner says. &quot;I would say the next wave started kinda taking over, and it&rsquo;s the biggest it&rsquo;s ever been, hands down. It&rsquo;s never been this big.&quot;</p><p>Back in the day, in the &lsquo;80s, if you wanted to hear house music you had to venture underground to warehouses and private homes. Very few venues booked DJ acts as headliners outside of some exceptions like Smart Bar.</p><p>&quot;Back then, it was very renegade,&quot; he says. As a teen, to avoid age limits at those clubs, Corner started DJ&rsquo;ing parties in his home.&nbsp;Some locations at the time were even deeper underground, as he learned from a promoter:</p><p>&quot;I go to South Michigan Avenue, and I&rsquo;m like &#39;Where&rsquo;s the party?&#39; He&rsquo;s like, &#39;I don&rsquo;t know yet.&#39; I&rsquo;m like &#39;What do you mean?&#39; ... So we went into this office complex. Took an elevator up and they&rsquo;re going, using a screwdriver, opening doors to like these office rooms, and they found one with electricity and it&rsquo;s like, &#39;This is where the party is&#39;.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/KidInMaskOliverPangbornPhotographer.jpg" style="float: left; height: 233px; width: 350px; margin: 5px;" title="Young people wearing elaborate makeup and neon are part of EDM culture. (Photo by Oliver Pangborn)" />Nearly 20 years later, EDM is so mainstream, DJs are playing it for politicians.&nbsp;In&nbsp; 2011, Corner was asked to DJ President Obama&rsquo;s 50th birthday, and later, events for Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton.</p><p>Some political campaigns are even turning to EDM to attract younger voters. Along with videos by actors, musicians and politicians, the Obama campaign&#39;s YouTube site features a PSA by DJs. The group in the video, DJs for Obama, includes noted artists like Steve Aoki, and they&#39;re holding events and Tweeting, too.</p><p>DJ Mikul Wing of Midnight Conspiracy thinks the music&rsquo;s popularity is a reaction to the current economic and political climate.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s just a good, fun thing,&quot; he says. &quot;It&rsquo;s like an escape from the realities of the world that&rsquo;s out there ... and that&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s driven the direction it&rsquo;s really gone.&quot;</p><p>What&rsquo;s also helped the music go viral is the internet.</p><p>Rick Carrico of the Chicago DJ/Producer duo Team Bayside High says artist often give their tracks away for free on the web, where they&rsquo;re easily discovered and shared. The duo&nbsp;posted their remix of Matt and Kim&rsquo;s &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s Go&rdquo; and got 15,000 plays within a week.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RaveKidsNeonOliverPangbornPhotographer.jpg" style="float: right; border-width: 5px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; height: 250px; width: 375px; " title="Rave kids (Photo by Oliver Pangborn)" />Carrico says the web inspires fans to try it themselves.</p><p>&quot;Everybody can throw an event now, via the internet, promote it, and anybody can create a track. So you&rsquo;ll have people everyday figuring this out and starting to do it. You&rsquo;re going to have tons of people &hellip; It allowed the masses to do what at a certain point only a few were able do.&quot;</p><p>The promoter Sub Vice is a good example. He started going to parties at 13 and then threw his own events, like this Southwest Side rave. He says the music and party vibe are what make this so important.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s just sounds terrible to old people and that&rsquo;s always a plus,&quot; he adds.&nbsp;</p><p>One of the people here dancing is a 19-year-old woman who goes by the name of Gizmo. She says she hits EDM parties like this weekly.</p><p>&quot;You get to come a big group of people that you know, and they&rsquo;re your friends. I mean, friends isn&rsquo;t even the right word for it &ndash; it&rsquo;s family.&quot;</p><p>She takes one quick breath before she jumps back on the dance floor.</p><p><em>NOTE: Music in this story included &quot;Steve Jobs,&quot; featuring Angger Dimas, by Steve Aoki (from Wonderland album); &quot;Circus&nbsp;Bells,&quot; by Robert Armani; &quot;Earthquakey People,&quot; featuring Rivers Cuomo, by Steve Aoki; &quot;Sentinel (Original Mix),&quot; by Midnight Conspiracy; and Matt and Kim&nbsp;-&nbsp;&quot;Let&#39;s Go (Team Bayside High Remix)&quot;, by Team Bayside High.</em></p></p> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/edm-has-grown-so-popular-dance-music-hitting-campaign-trail-103568 House music and culture at The Chosen Few festival http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-07/house-music-and-culture-chosen-few-festival-100728 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5994_Chosen%20Few%201-scr.jpg" style="width: 600px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; height: 448px;" title="The Chosen Few Old School Reunion and Picnic 2012 (Alison Cuddy)" /></div><p>Chicago&#39;s summer calendar is jam-packed with high-profile music festivals, from Lollapalooza to this weekend&#39;s Pitchfork. But The Chosen Few, one of the city&#39;s bigger and longer-running music events, is still little known outside house music circles and the city&#39;s South Side.<br /><br />&quot;We were here at 3:30 and by five o&#39;clock the line was about a block long,&quot; Taft Parsons said.</p><p>That would be 5 a.m., by the way. Parsons and his wife, Sherida, have been coming to The Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic for 12 years - since they were both medical students.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>The day-long house music festival takes place every 4th of July weekend in Jackson Park. Most attendees bring food and supplies and camp out for the whole day.</p><p>This year the Parsons have brought a posse with them - 14 of their friends from Detroit, Mich. - four tents in all.</p><p>&quot;Yeah, we had to walk it in so we strategized and had our men do all the heavy lifting,&quot; Sherida Parsons said. &quot;And the women, we just carried light bags. It worked out.&quot;</p><p>Her husband said they come for the music - after all, Chicago is the home of house.</p><p>&quot;Chicago-style house music is very unique,&quot; Taft Parsons said. &quot;It&#39;s different from what you hear in New York or Detroit. It has heavy disco undertones. So that&#39;s one of the things that makes it unique as a music festival itself.&quot;</p><p>The picnic was started in 1990 by The Chosen Few, a DJ collective founded by brothers Wayne Williams and Jesse Saunders - the same guys who are known for bringing house music out of the gay clubs and into the South Side club scene.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5993_Alan%20King-scr.jpg" style="width: 250px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left; height: 204px;" title="Chosen Few DJ Alan King (Alison Cuddy)" /></div><p>Alan King is an original member - he says the picnic was their way to reconnect with friends and family.</p><p>&quot;You know we started literally with 40 or 50 people in the park, and to see what it has grown into makes it very special,&quot; King said.</p><p>About 50,000 were in attendance this year. But King said they try to keep the original vibe in place.</p><p>&quot;It really has a family reunion atmosphere to it, which we work very hard to preserve,&quot; he said. &quot;You get to see people you haven&#39;t seen since high school or college, your fraternity brothers and sorority sisters. It really is the most enjoyable event I get involved with.&quot;</p><p>These days the fest has corporate sponsors and celebrity hosts.&nbsp; But most people are still there to dance. When Alan King spins, he gets the crowd going.&nbsp; Thousands of people danced in front of the stage, and as he brought the music level up and down, chanted in unison.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5996_Deleasha%20Carter%20and%20Marcus-scr.jpg" style="height: 187px; width: 250px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" title="Deleshea Carter and Marcus, The Chosen Few 2012 (Alison Cuddy)" /></div><p>But not everyone in Jackson Park is feeling the love. Deleshea Carter is from California.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m not used to the culture, so all of this is new to me,&quot; she said.</p><p>When asked what&#39;s different Carter says &quot;The music! It&#39;s that constant same beat that makes you want to beat your head into the ground,&quot; adding that she&#39;s there mainly for her boyfriend, Marcus.</p><p>But he thinks she&#39;s missing the point: &quot;It&#39;s not about what I want you to do &#39;cuz I&#39;m not the music. The music is telling you what to do,&quot; Marcus said.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5998_Kalehsa%20Byrd%20and%20Nathan%20Leonard-scr.jpg" style="height: 268px; width: 200px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Kalesha Byrd and Nathan Leonard, The Chosen Few 2012 (Alison Cuddy)" /></div><p>Palatine residents Kalesha Byrd and Nathan Leonard grew up around house, so they&#39;re familiar with its beat. But they think it&#39;s the sense of community that makes the festival such a great time.</p><p>&quot;I see people of all shapes, sizes, forms and colors just having a great time,&quot; Leonard said. &quot;And you really don&#39;t get to see that anymore.&quot;</p><p>And even though this is their first time at the Chosen Few, from the sounds of it, they&#39;re hooked.</p><p>&quot;Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, good music!&quot; Leonard said.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;I love it. I&#39;m coming back next year!&quot; Byrd said.</p><p>By the way WBEZ blogger Lee Bey took some great photos at The Chosen Few: check them out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-07/bey-takes-holiday-architecture-finds-house-100705">here.</a><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 09 Jul 2012 16:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-07/house-music-and-culture-chosen-few-festival-100728 House music legend shaped by childhood in Auburn Gresham http://www.wbez.org/content/house-music-legend-shaped-childhood-auburn-gresham <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-12/DJ-AG.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/33533410?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no"></iframe></p><p>Growing up in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, DJ Farley "Jackmaster" Funk says he and his friends would sneak into bars and taverns like the Green Bunny on 77<sup>th</sup> and Halsted to see the “grown ladies in high heels” and smell the cigarette smoke and liquor. “We didn’t know what the smell was,” he recalls. “But we knew it was a grown-folks smell.”</p><p>Funk is now a house music legend and sought-after entertainer, filling clubs and headlining a show at Millennium Park earlier this year. He credits the neighborhood of his youth with shaping his musical tastes and helping him forge the professional connections that would later help him break into the music biz. “Auburn Gresham was the place we were able to hone our skills in so many different areas,” he says.</p><p>All this week, we're spending time in the South Side community, getting to know a few of the people who live, work, and play there. We get started with DJ Jackmaster Funk, who describes how his upbringing in Auburn Gresham planted the seeds of his musical future.</p><p>Auburn Gresham, Chicago <em>received support from the Chicago Community Trust's Local Reporting Initiative.</em></p></p> Mon, 12 Dec 2011 14:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/house-music-legend-shaped-childhood-auburn-gresham DJ Series: Adulture seeks to help expedite a house music revival http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-06/dj-series-adulture-seeks-help-expedite-house-music-revival-86157 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-06/Adulture.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Garrett Shrigley is one of the bright, new faces on Chicago’s house music scene. Behind the decks he goes by <a href="http://adulture.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Adulture</a>. The DJ and producer performed on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, and spoke to host Alison Cuddy about the music he’s adding to the house music canon and the state of the overall scene.<br> <br> Adulture spins Sunday nights at <a href="http://www.smartbarchicago.com/" target="_blank">Smart Bar</a>, and the third Friday of every month at <a href="http://thebeautybar.com/chicago/" target="_blank">Beauty Bar</a> in Chicago.</p><p><u><strong>Adulture's Mini-Set:</strong></u><br> Paul Johnson, "It's a Love Thang," <em>Groove I Have</em> (Moody Recordings)<br> Black Science Orchestra, "New Jersey Deep," <em>New Jersey Deep</em> 12" (Junior Boy's Own)<br> Untitled 1, "SiL"<br> Second City Rhythm, "You Got Me" (Second City Recordings)<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 06 May 2011 14:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-06/dj-series-adulture-seeks-help-expedite-house-music-revival-86157