Major League Music – #8 Chicago White Sox

Chicago – Sufjan Stevens

In 1917, the Chicago White Sox won their second World Series Title.  Their star player back then was a guy called Shoeless Joe Jackson.  He was called that because he once went out to bat shoeless, as he had blisters and as was the crudity of the baseball fans back then, someone heckled him and called him “A Shoeless Son of A Gun” and it stuck.  You may have heard of Shoeless Joe, as he was played in the film ‘Field of Dreams’ by Ray Liotta (R.I.P) about 70 years later or so.  Oh and continuing the ‘players named after items of clothing theme’, the head coach of the White Sox in 1917 was the amazingly named Pants Rowland.

It would be 87 years before the White Sox won the World Series again, that period is second longest period between championships in baseball history.  The longest is well over 100 years (held by the other team in Chicago, The Cubs, although they had a curse put on them, so at least they had an excuse for not winning).  In 2005, the White Sox soared to victory thrashing the Houston Astros 4 nil.  The series was famous for hosting the longest individual game in World Series history, with the Sox winning in an incredible 14th innings.

In the 1980s two major genres of music saw their growth in and around Chicago.  The first one was house music, which started when DJs like Steve ‘Silk Hurley and Frankie Knuckles started messing about with disco records to give them a deeper bassline.

Jack Your Body – Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley (1986, RCA Records)

The second genre that exploded in Chicago was industrial, when the Wax Trax! Label started putting out records by the likes KMFDM, Front 242 and most influentially Ministry.  The early Ministry records had a greater dance edge than some of their later works.

Cold Life – Ministry (1982, Wax Trax! Records)

Elsewhere Chicago has spawned a number of decent guitar bands over the years, but as we’re going to revisit Chicago when the Cubs roll into town, we will look at them then.  So instead, I’m going to talk about friend of Barak Obama, Chancellor Bennett or Chance the Rapper to his friends.

No Problem – Chance The Rapper (2016, Self Released)

This weeks new band plucked from obscurity by the method of a random Google search are apparently all about ‘channelling their inner Jesus and Mary Chain and scuzzy fuzzy drone attacks’ – but as ever, we will be the judge of that…Ladies and Gents, here’s Horsegirl.

Billy – Horsegirl (2021, Matador Records)

Next week its the turn of Baltimore.

1 Comment

  1. JC says:

    On the baseball front……a visit to both stadia in Chicago is on my bucket list.

    And I’m typing these words struggling to stop yawning as I was up till after 3am watching the Jays overcome the White Sox…and it’s only a few hours now till the third and final game of the series.


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