Chicago’s venerable bastion of left-field literature, Quimby’s Bookstore at 1854 W. North Ave., has a couple of notable music-related events coming up soon, starting with a celebration on Saturday of the new book Brick Through the Window: An Oral History of Punk Rock, New Wave & Noise in Milwaukee, 1964-1984.
This worthy tome — I read, enjoyed and blurbed an advance copy — celebrates the underground scene in our nearest, coolest neighboring burg, recounting in oral-history form the sounds and community built by bands such as the Violent Femmes, Die Kreuzen, Plasticland and Oil Tasters, as well as introducing many of the scene’s most memorable characters.
Coauthors Steven Nodine and Eric Beaumont will celebrate the publication with a discussion, book signing and recordings of the music in the book at a free event starting at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Next up, Damon Krakowski will read from his new book The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World at another free event starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
The veteran writer, publisher, drummer, member of Damon and Naomi, and co-founder of the mighty Galaxie 500 pauses in the book to ponder some of the big questions posed by the seismic shift from an analog to a digital universe. As he puts these queries:
“Are our devices leaving us lost in our own headspace even as they pinpoint our location? Does the long reach of digital communication come at the sacrifice of our ability to gauge social distance? Do streaming media discourage us from listening closely? And are we hearing each other fully in this new environment?”
Krukoswksi will be joined at Quimby’s by fellow analog afficiandoes Steve Albini of Shellac, Big Black, and Electrical Audio fame and Bob Weston of Mission of Burma, Shellac, Volcano Suns and Chicago Mastering Service.
Finally, Quimby’s will once again co-sponsor the eighth annual Chicago Zine Fest next Friday and Saturday May 5 and 6. The event isn’t only about music, of course — name an esoteric passion, and there probably is a zine devoted to it — but adventurous sounds always are well-represented.
A full list of events can be found on the website linked above, some of them taking place at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport, 3129 S. Morgan St., and Plumbers Union Hall, 1340 W Washington Blvd. Quimby’s will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the latter locale at noon on May 6 with a panel called “Ever Evolving Bastion of Freakdom: A Retrospective of Quimby’s” (same name as the oral history the store published last year) featuring Zine Fest co-organizer Alex Nall, store founder Steven Svymbersky, store manager and zinestar Liz Mason, Neil Brideau of Radiator Comics, and artist/photographer Oscar Arriola.
Much more info on all of the above at quimbys.com.