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Bloodshot Briefing: Jon Langford's Chicago

By Matt Harness

Several bands in the Bloodshot Records family call Chicago home. Don't you think you ought to know them? Of course you should.

So this week in Bloodshot Briefing we were lucky to lasso the legendary Jon Langford, a true Renaissance man, long enough to ask him some questions for Get To Know Your Chicago Bloodshot Musician. Off we go.

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Name: Jon Langford

Hometown: Chicago via Newport, Wales

Band(s): The Mekons, Waco Brothers, Pine Valley Cosmonauts

Instrument: Guitar, vocals

Neighborhood: Sauganash

Bar: Ginger's Ale House to watch Leeds United.

Record Store: Planet of Sound and Raffi's Record Riot. "Don't ever shop at the big retailers. They exclude bands like mine, so I won't support them."

Best Venues: Hideout, Schubas, Martyrs', FitzGerald's in Berwyn. "So many in Chicago. We are spoiled for choices. So many places for gigs and good crowds. I was down in Nashville this week, and the city just isn't that great for a local scene. Chicago's so unique."

Jukebox Hero: Delilah's and Arturo's Tacos. "I like that crazy border music."

In The Pipeline: Langford recently completed an album with Rosie Flores and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts coming out Bloodshot Records this fall. He's been recording a new Waco Brothers record with Paul Burch in Nashville. Langford's even traveled to our northern neighbor and worked with a Canadian male voice choir. And of course, another Mekons album is on deck for next year.

Chicago Corrupts: At first, Langford believed the city council's proposed ordinance to better regulate club promoters was rooted in good intentions. But as usual, the city stepped over the line and now is trying to create a police-state for the music scene that will cripple most independent operations. "It was about stopping these fly-by-night rap clubs, which was a good thing. The result has been to try and penalize everybody right across the board. Chicago's great in spite of the city. It's a bit like New Orleans, a delicate web of individuals who are supportive and in it for each other. This city doesn't know what it's got. Instead of nurturing it they are stifling it. Bunch of Philistines."

In Action:

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Matt Harness brings you Bloodshot Briefing every Thursday, except when it appears on Friday. He welcomes your comments.




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Posted on May 8, 2009


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