On today’s episode of Meet Museyon let’s all give a warm welcome to Peter Margasak, our man in Chicago. He’s the guy behind the Chicago Reader’s music-minded Post No Bills blog, and a “brutally honest” critic with an encyclopedic knowledge of music. In Music+Travel Worldwide, he’s your guide to the ins and outs of the city’s legendary jazz scene. Find out more about Peter, and his Windy City travel tips, after the jump…
Home base: Chicago
Day job: Staff writer, Chicago Reader
Last band you saw live: A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Museyon Guides: How would you describe the Chicago sound?
Peter Margasak: What’s great about the Chicago sound is that there isn’t one. Too many styles and approaches are represented here for any single sound to define the city’s music.
MG: Any insider tips for people visiting Chicago?
PM: At the risk of looking boosterish, I’d say picking up the Chicago Reader would provide a good overview of what’s happening here on any given week. Beyond that I think there’s always something worthwhile–whether it’s music, film, or visual art–at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E.Washington St., Chicago), and it’s all free.
MG: What’s your idea of one perfect night out in Chicago?
PM: I’m pretty fond of having dinner at Cafe Lula (2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago; 773-489-9554), although I often feel so full and content afterward that doing something else might spoil the perfection of the meal.
MG: How do you find new music?
PM: The Internet is pretty indispensible along with a handful of specialty mags.
MG: For people just getting into jazz music – where should they begin?
PM: Hard question, but I think Ben Ratliff‘s book “Jazz: A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings,” is pretty spot-on. (Hear a sample from album No. 77, John Coltrane’s ‘Interstellar Space’, below.)
MG: Is there an artist, album or venue that you wish more people knew about?
PM: I feel like much of the music I enjoy is scarcely known–the list would fill a book in itself. I do think Chicago’s Hungry Brain (2319 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago; 773-935-2118) is a great hang for jazz shows. People listen attentively, but the atmosphere is laid back.
MG: What other music scenes would you like to see Museyon visit?
PM: Oslo, Norway. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Photos: Portrait cortesy of Peter Margasak, Hungry Brain by Md2545/Flickr