Announcing The Chicago Sonic Coalition

John Yingling

By Whitney Allen

The idea is simple : Gather over 60 Chicago musicians, and put their name in a hat. Publicly draw at random to form over 17 new bands. Give those bands over two months to prepare a 15-20 minute set of new music, then bring those acts in front of a live audience. Throw them together to write and practice songs, push creativity, and get people out of their comfort zones. The execution, however, isn't that easy. How would these people mesh? Would they get along? Could they even get together, let alone write together, or even agree on what to do? Almost everyone involved is in a current, active band. Some even touring as I write this.

The idea supposedly started in Cleveland as a multi-week event under the name “Lottery League”. Milwaukee continued the tradition with a smaller version called “All Messed Up”, then doubled the size for the second year. The more we thought about a Chicago version, the more excited we became. So we put the call out. In less than 48 hours we had a 64 person cap that eventually grew to 68. A reserve list was started. Soon, we had over 75 people involved. We held a show at our beloved Treasure Town, drew the names, and 17 new bands were formed.

Musicians from almost every genre of Chicago's music scene, from noise, to folk, garage rock, and singer-songwriter's came together to form what we'd like to call the “Chicago Sonic Coalition”. They were connected, left to their own devices. Then, the inevitable. Scheduling issues, time, work, tours. Sometimes, despite best intentions, life just gets in the way. There were a few heartbreaking losses of personnel as the weeks began to unravel including members of Mannequin Men, Paper Mice, Wume. A few ridiculously solid bands got broken up into pieces, while some morphed into something just as strong. A few crumbled and will not perform.

What remains, well, you'll just have to see live for yourself.

We stand strong as a community of musicians, artists, and creative thinkers. Recently, our DIY community suffered a heart-breaking and senseless loss of a staple multi-faceted performance space. It will never be replicated. Chicago has many spaces, but we've never been one sit back and pout. With death, comes re-birth. Join us June 16th at 8PM. Currently to be held at “Swerp Mansion”. “Ask a mug”, or e-mail soniccoalition@gmail.com for more info. Donations are highly suggested. So, without further adieu, THE LINEUP :

MORTISTORK (Members of ONO, We Repel Each Other, Disrobe)
ALIEN SHIT (Members of Bad Drugs, Lechuguillas, Paper Mice)
CABIN CRUISER (Members of Heavy Times, Slushy, Magic Milk)
SHIT ON STAGE (Members of Piss Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan and Last King of Poland)
LAGOONS (Al Scorch and Magic Ian)
GROUP HUG (Members of Big Colour, Rodeo, Distant Cities, Bowl of Dust)
WEDDINGS (Members of New Black, Vamos, Heavy Times, and Magic Milk)
GILDED MESS (KG Price w/ Zachary Mark of Battleship)
MOTHER JAGUAR (Members of New Diet, Snacks, Humminbird, and Skymaul)
COUNT KINDNESS (Members of T'Bone, Running, Esoteric Tapioca, Call Me Lightning, and House Sounds)
NATURAL CAUSES (Members of Thunders, Velcro Lewis Group, Toupee, and Bomb Banks)
BLASTED (Members of Absolutely Not / Cinchel / Plastic Boner Band)
…AND MORE.

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