Music.Defined. Turns 5

I never thought we’d make it this far. Honestly, when I started Music.Defined. it was mostly out of spite, which explains the terrible name. Looking back it was the right decision, branching out on my own, but I probably could’ve done a better job that first year (or four). It’s been a real delight sharing new music with all of you, and I hope that if you’re in the Chicago area you’ll consider coming out to Beat Kitchen on 4/25 to party with Benny Bassett, Molehill, and Cousin Dud, put together with the help of Harmonica Dunn. These were three of the earliest connections I made in Chicago, and I’m thrilled that they’re still making music and agreed to play this show. You can RSVP for FREE tickets here!

When I first moved to Chicago I knew I wanted to write about something, and music seemed like a natural fit. I didn’t have any resources or connections, so I scrolled through Craigslist and found a like-minded individual who was looking for help covering the Chicago music scene. I did a lot of work on Chicago Tunes, writing about 75% of the posts during my year or so there. Eventually I burned out on doing most of the work but still having to answer to the “Editor,” so I handed in my resignation and started my own site on April 7, 2011. You can see what the old site is up to here.

On April 8th my first review was up: Molehill played Bottom Lounge and they blew the roof off the place and created a fan for life. It’s also a great honor to call them my friends because they’re a solid group of dudes who really want to make great music whether it leads to fame and fortune or not.

Benny Bassett I met a little further down the line when I was doing the Hasty Revelations project (which Molehill also took part in). Ben showed up with his band Vintage Blue, song unfinished. He had a notepad with some lyrics and they worked the whole thing out in a little under an hour. That song never did appear on a Vintage Blue recording, but it is a minor hit at his solo live shows, and will appear on his upcoming EP These Dreams. He’s a bit supporter of other local bands, and a San Francisco 49ers fan, so we have a lot in common.

Cousin Dud, was a bit of an oddity at first. I went and saw them at Viaduct Theater, which is now Constellation. I was asked to go see them without knowing anything about them, with some other bands I also didn’t know-one I liked (Brother George), the other I have no recollection of. As soon as I heard “South Dakota, pt 3” I was hooked. Sadly, I kinda fell out of touch with them for a couple years, but found them again when they put out Workinggirl’s Dud. The band’s last two releases have both been great, with Sad Moments In Modern Music landing in my Top Albums of 2015. They don’t have much of a following yet, but I’m hoping that turns around-they’re probably the best local band you’re not listening to right now.

These three are just a small chunk of a larger Chicago music community that has been very good to MD over the years. A lot of my favorite bands have broken up or started with new lineups since 2011, which is sad but inevitable. If you want to check out some of my favorite music that I’ve covered since the beginning, I made a Spotify playlist featuring bands from Chicago, Brooklyn, and Nashville that deserve to be heard.

Can’t wait for this show to happen so I can thank as many of you as possible in person! I hope to continue doing this as long as I have time for it. Writing about music (and taking photographs more recently) has been much more than a hobby for me and I’m happy to be sharing it with people like you.

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