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Chicago Sounds in the 80s: Underground Incubator

Tue, Mar 6, 2012

Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot

Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot

Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot—two of the finest and best-recognized pop music writers in the nation—sit down with living legends from Chicago’s musical movements of the 1980s including Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry) and ‘Godfather of House’ DJ Frankie Knuckles, to explore the music and politics of the decade. Presented in conjunction with the MCA exhibition This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

Based in Chicago, Sound Opinions is hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, who for over a decade were dedicated competitors at Chicago’s two daily newspapers—Jim at the Chicago Sun-Times and Greg at the Chicago Tribune. Today, Jim writes about music for WBEZ.org and teaches criticism at Columbia College. Every week, Sound Opinions fires up smart and spirited discussions about a wide range of popular music, from indie rock to classic rock, hip hop to R&B, and every genre under the sun.

Presented by Chicago Public Media – WBEZ 91.5FM. WBEZ’s Off-Air Event Series extends your listening experience to nights on the town – come see what you’ve been hearing and celebrate Chicago! Each month promises to be different and something not to miss.

Chris Connelly moved to Chicago from Edinburgh in 1987 at the invitation of Al Jourgenson to join the Revolting Cocks, and sibling band, Ministry. Since then, he has collaborated with members of Killing Joke, Public image Limited, Rollins Band, KMFDM, Cabaret Voltaire, Sonic Youth, Current 93, Cindytalk & Garbage, and more recently he has been collaborating with Meshell N’Degeocello. Chris has released 13 solo albums since 1990, the latest of which “Artificial Madness” came out on Relapse records in 2011. Chris has authored a book of poetry, “confessions of the highest bidder”; a biography, “concrete bulletproof, invisible & fried”; and a novel, “Ed Royal.


Frankie Knuckles is universally credited as a pioneer of dance music and was famously crowned “The Godfather of House Music” for his role in creating modern dance music’s global DJ culture. During his tenure in Chicago, Knuckles worked at the groundbreaking nightclub, The Warehouse. He won a Grammy Award in 1997 for “Remixer of the Year,” and has worked with mainstream pop and R&B superstars, such as Diana Ross, and The Pet Shop Boys. Throughout the 1990s, Knuckles had a string of DJ residencies at some of the world’s most famous clubs, including New York City’s Sound Factory, and Splash; Montreal’s Club Stereo; and Pacha in Ibiza. In 2010, Knuckles produced iconic house music vocalist Jamie Principle’s new album project, yielding two number-one hits in 2011 with a remake of “Your Love,” and a new hit “l’ll Take You There” reaching the top of the charts.

Santiago Durango was a founding member of seminal Chicago punk band Silver Abuse. In 1979, Durango started Naked Raygun by singling out Marko Pezzati as the second member of the band based solely on the clothes Pezzati was wearing. In 1982, Durango left Naked Raygun to join Steve Albini’s band, Big Black. After his stint with Big Black, Durango attended law school. In his first case, he recovered the penis plaster casts of a number of music and television stars, including that of Jimi Hendrix, which Cynthia Plastercaster’s former manager had refused to return to her. During the trial, one of the most important rulings in the annals of American law was handed down by the judge; namely, that the penis is not a trade secret. Durango currently works as an appellate defender in Illinois.