Northern Soul: An influential British musical moment in electronic music culture

“The northern soul scene, to me, was like an eighth wonder of the world. You’re looking at the depressed north of England, where there wasn’t a great deal there apart from steelworks and coalmines. You had people doing this boring repetitive work during the week; and hard work, too. And when they went out on a weekend, they really wanted to go out. Going out until 11 o’clock to the local pub just wasn’t going to be good enough. When the whole rave thing went ballistic it felt like northern soul twenty years on. Lots of people getting off their heads, dancing to fast music and this love attitude. House is this generation’s version of northern soul…” – Ian Dewhirst, northern soul DJ ~1999 [From Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The … Read More

New art site! Also, you can support pit bull rescue by buying an art print

I’ve finally gotten together my visual art portfolio site (lizmcleanknight.com) and figured it would be great to launch it with a campaign that supports Pit Bull Awareness Month (October). Buy an art print and support pit bull rescue! This marker drawing is of Charlotte, an insanely sweet pit bull terrier whom I adopted from Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue in 2011. From now until the end of 2013, I will donate 10% of the proceeds from sales of the archival art prints of Charlotte through Society6 to Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue. [Read More] {Buy an art print from Society6} The smallest size (8″ x 10″) starts at just $19, and you can choose from larger sizes as well. We’re getting close to the gifty season, and it would be … Read More

“How Buildings Learn” A documentary on the evolution of buildings

Right–well, you may have noticed as of late I’ve been on an architecture kick for my consumable media consumption activities. I stumbled upon this 1997 BBC series that tracks how certain buildings adapt to future uses, and how others totally fail at future flexibility–most often the victims of egocentric architects and rigid expectations of future behavior of their users. Above is the first episode, “Flow” which gives an introduction to presenter Stewart Brand’s thesis, which is loosely that buildings need to learn and adapt. The rest in the series are embedded after the jump. Stewart Brand is quite the character, as it turns out. From his official biography, we see he’s been part of things like the Whole Earth Catalog (one of the first hippie lifestyle companies), which … Read More

“Wired Fridays” will feature Chicago DJs prominent in the industry every Friday beginning in January

The 2013 series of Wired Fridays in Chicago will be showcasing Chicago DJ-slash-promoters who have been passionately sharing their highly-specific tastes within their chosen branches of electronic music through their events, radio shows, workshops, and personal performances–albeit with the discerning eye of a curator who has been immersed in local musical culture long enough to be able to sift through the sand to find the gems. What’s really exciting about this particular debut lineup is that every performer has contributed to Chicago’s electronic music culture in a very significant yet personal way over the years they’ve been in the industry. Unlike certain major festivals that seem to rely on headlining those global-trekking-performers who appeal to the most people to generate the highest revenue (and, if they get it … Read More

Tweets from this week: Ableton Push controller, Back to the Future, Star Wars honestly reviewed, Litiginous Apple, Halloween action

Velocity, yo. Ableton Push controller. http://t.co/jYx8s7Ws 21:06:00, 2012-10-27 http://t.co/DKVsqbIg 10:26:45, 2012-10-28 Charlotte the Pitbull: Third Place for Best Costume at Wicker Park’s Booapalooza http://t.co/LKsgN6Su 10:29:44, 2012-10-28 Reggie Destin: Skate in Paradise http://t.co/VAsGJL9z 14:08:43, 2012-10-28 Cool idea to send along with a donation….. a placemat you can color in and send in as a placemat. For… https://t.co/L3NRv9hC 21:02:43, 2012-10-28 Windows 8: Yes it’s that bad. “Anyone who defines ‘real work’ as typing and mousing won’t like Windows 8 one bit.” http://t.co/7Su35PEF 16:14:42, 2012-10-29 Crowdsourced laws in Finland http://t.co/pa1g3DLh Right, so what do we need these politicians to do, again? 16:58:45, 2012-10-29 Apparently Marty McFly is also getting on I90 going south as well… https://t.co/xsQl5zMk 18:18:41, 2012-10-29 Spending the week in Toledo OH, so I thought I’d do some historical research … Read More

“Pump Up the Volume” Documentary on how Chicago House Changed the World

Yes, it’s by the BBC and they really go on about UK Garage at the end, but there are some real gems of insights and great interviews here. Set aside a few hours, even if you think you know the history of Chicago House. This one is really well done. If you prefer books, check out “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: A History of the Disc Jockey”. Buy four and give them away to your friends that love electronic music but need schooling on where it came from.

Last few days to fund RPG "Always / Never / Now"

It’s the last few days to fund a futuristic role playing game that I contributed one of my Quantazelle to the promotional video. Here’s part of what I wrote over on my Quantazelle site: “Always / Never / Now” is a storytelling game adventure that’s somewhere between James Bond and William Gibson in its action and intrigue. There’s a the street samurai with the metal legs and the one-time-professional bodyguard with the metal arms to the the cat burglar with the reckless guile, in over his head. Always/Never/Now translates these characters into ready-to-play action heroes on a mission that stands to change their dystopian future forever. The designer, Will Hindmarch, an old friend, asked me for a track to use for the promotional video that was kind of … Read More

[Wed. Nov 16] Frequencity Release Party

This is the release party for the latest free compilation on my label. Come out and listen to live PAs from five artists who are on the compilation. Chicago-based innovative electronic music label subVariant will release a free-to-download compliation called Frequencity featuring quality songs from Chicagoland musicians. Earlier this year subVariant released a public call for electronic music from area musicians, without restriction on the genre. In response, a dozen tracks were chosen that represented high quality perspectives on the medium from a talented group of musicians. On Wednesday, November 16, five of the artists will play at Darkroom (2210 W Chicago Ave Chicago): XYZR_KX, Belmont & Clark, Beanbake, Foe Paw, and [esc]APE. Facebook Event Page