Listening to Chicago’s Indie Music Scene in 1992

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The New TV Show”shiny girlsis partly set in Chicago’s indie club scene circa 1992.

  • Kirby (played by Elisabeth Moss) watches his mother’s punk shows and even has a Lounge Ax (RIP) poster on his wall.
  • It made us wonder how people from the 1992 scene remember its highlights 30 years later and watch the show.

Why is this important: Chicago’s alternative and indie-rock scene exploded in the 1990s, with bands like Smash pumpkins and Hardware problem (among others) becoming major exports.

What they say : “OMG, I screamed when I saw the posters of Lounge Ax in his apartment on the show!” Lounge Ax co-owner Susan Miller Tweedy told Axios. “They did an amazing job recreating these posters! These were totally fake and looked totally real!”

The sound of Chicago: “It was really varied back then,” Eleventh Dream Day and Cocktails musician Mark Greenberg told Axios.

  • “Jeff [Tweedy] was still in Uncle Tupelo and played a lot in Chicago, but there was also math rock and post-rock and early insurgent country.”

Big picture: Independent Music Archivist Aadam Jacobs – aka the “recording guy” – says: “I went to 157 shows in 1992 and there were still so many great ones that I missed.”

Jacobs’ best shows of 1992:

🥁 Tortoise’s first show (as Mosquito), April 13th at Lounge Ax

🎤 Last Volcano Sun concert, January 24th at Lounge Ax

🎸 Last time I saw Pixies was January 31 at the University of Chicago

🎧 Yo La Tengo, April 25 and 26 at Lounge Ax

💒 The wedding gift, May 2 at Metro

🛣 Pavement, four times around the Midwest in one week

💌 My Bloody Valentine, June 24 in Vic

🪖 Troubles, January and October at Lounge Ax

🍹 Trenchmouth and The Cocktails all the time!

🥩 Red Red Meat and The Slugs almost all the time!

Memorable shows: Greenberg agrees with Jacobs but adds two more Lounge Ax shows to his favorites list:

🐠 “In October 1992, Lungfish opened for Walt Mink and we just fell in love with their CD and I played it every night in the club for about five years.”

🎸 In November 1992 solo rockabilly band Hasil Adkins played two sold-out shows at the Lounge Axe. He “threw his guitar on the floor and it bounced and cut [Reader critic] Bill Meyer’s head”, sending blood everywhere.

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