Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ours Go to 11, Volume 8: My Favorite Chicago Rock 'n Roll Artists

A former colleague recently reached out to see if I might want to contribute to In the Loop, a magazine and website primarily focused on music in Chicago.

As time and opportunity allow, I will hopefully cross-post concert reviews, share my opinion on notable new albums, perhaps supply some theater reviews and offer up other pertinent writings.

This new possibility has prompted me to put together this quick-list of My Favorite Chicago Rock 'n Roll Artists.

I was initially going to dub it a ranking of "The Best" Chicago Rock Artists of All-Time, but in seeking some nominations to consider from Facebook friends, I realized that hard-to-argue acts like Curtis Mayfield, Ministry, Shadows of Night, etc., aren't exactly in my wheelhouse. Nor are esteemed hip-hop acts such as Kanye West, Common, Lupe Fiasco, etc.

And even in calling this a list of "rock" acts per my personal tastes, some blues legends seem to merit inclusion, which fans of rap, house, pop, R&B, soul, etc. might see as inconsistent. So feel free to include whoever you want on your list.

I'm not considering as eligible Illinois acts from outside the greater Chicagoland area--Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, etc.--nor those that never spent much of their careers locally, even if born & raised here (the band Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, for example).

Just to reiterate, this is a list ranking my favorites. Hence, any omissions shouldn't be seen as slights, just not as cherished by and/or familiar to me.

Who's on your list? These are my picks:

1. The Smashing Pumpkins
2. Wilco
3. Buddy Guy
4. Styx
5. Smoking Popes
6. Liz Phair
7. Material Issue
8. Chamber Strings
9. Urge Overkill
10. Veruca Salt
11. Off Broadway 

Honorable Mention
Muddy Waters
Curtis Mayfield in & beyond The Impressions
Fall Out Boy
Screeching Weasel
Mike Bloomfield (grew up in Glencoe and cut his teeth in Chicago clubs, though perhaps akin to Tom Morello, not really an artist who spent much of his career in Chicago)

To learn more about any of these artists, see Wikipedia,, YouTube and Spotify. And please, share your list. 

No comments: