Monday, June 1, 2020

My Kind of Sound: The Secret History of Chicago Music Compendium by Plastic Crimewave aka Steve Krakow

(2015, Curbside Splendor) Mr. Krakow's deep dives into eccentric and obscure (and not so obscure) Chicagoland musicians in jazz, rock, blues, pop, gospel, country garage, psyche, punk, new wave, experimental,  metal and genres unknown is a joy to behold. A few of this cartoon portrait-meets crate digging detective biographical portrait entries are too short (this collection is arranged alphabetically so some some early strips from before he got his groove right turn up in the middle) and sometimes the text is a little cramped, but every one of these is illustrated with a striking figure somewhat reminiscent of R. Crumb's blues portraits, but with  a little more drama and whimsy. I wish the book was published way bigger to spotlight the art and give the hand-lettered biographies room to breath, but there is something solid and almost hymnal-like to this physical book that makes it feel important and holy. And it is.

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