This week, I’m taking a pause on the Studios and the Art to spend some time on the Events we held during the first month of Nomadic Studio. On opening night, it was our distinct pleasure to have Steve Albini come and speak to us about moving his Electrical Audio home studio in East Irving Park to the remarkable multi-studio location in Avondale that he’s run since the mid 90s. Electrical Audio, in its multiple incarnations has been the source of 1000s of recordings of 1000s of bands with Steve at the engineer’s helm. The Breeders, the Ex, the Stooges, The New Year, and hundreds of other excellent bands that don’t start with “the” have all made masterworks in the hand-built compound on Belmont. For those that know my history with the studio and its marvelous web forum, the family over at Electrical is very dear to me, and they do great work.
Steve’s a mensch. Aside from all the recording work, and public speaking, he also helps run the wonderful Poverty Alleviation Charities (fka Letters To Santa) spearheaded by his wife, Heather Whinna. He talked at length about building his studio from scratch with a huge crew of punks, having tons of adobe shipped from the southwest, only to have it disintegrate en route from an un-tarped truck, and the joys of owning an anvil. He also pointed out the Rumpus’ “spool table” as the quintessential Chicago basement seating area. It was a blast, and he took tons of questions from the audience.
Much to my regret, of all the things documented throughout the duration of the exhibit, the footage of Steve’s was the only thing lost. Bah. Still, it went out in a tragic pickling accident, and is a story that I’m not going to share here. If I see you in person, get at me. We’re halfway through opening night, and I’ll talk to y’all tomorrow.