WAX TRAX! RECORDS was a huge part of Chicago Industiral/Alternative music history. Both the record label and the store on Lincoln Ave. were legendary institutions and significant to the city's underground culture. One thing Wax Trax! isn't often given credit for is it's impact on young gay people trying to find an identity apart from the mainstream LGBT culture.
For National Coming Out Day, DJ Greg Haus recounted his personal story on Facebook...
"I can thank Wax Trax! Records, along with bands like My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Skinny Puppy for my coming out story. Back when I was in college, I was depressed and distant for an entire summer due to being dumped by my first boyfriend. I looked far more punk/goth/industrial or whatever you want to call it at the time than I do now. I was alone in the car with my mom and dad, traveling on 90/94 to Ann Arbor to visit my aunt and uncle. Not long after we crossed the Michigan border, my parents started questioning me about my music, style of dress, and depressed state. Apparently they had seen an episode of Oprah that said these things were warning signs of something darker.
As the conversation progressed, they asked me point blank "Are you in a Satanic cult?" Naturally, I was shocked by this suggestion. I started crying and without even thinking I said something like "No, I've just been upset because I was dumped by my boyfriend"... I felt the car swerve and swear I thought my Dad was going to drive off the road going 75mph.
I truly believe that Wax Trax! being owned by a gay couple (Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher), and all of the out, queer, and gender non-conforming artists like TKK, Coil, etc. populating the label I loved made me feel comfortable with my sexuality in a way that mainstream LGBT culture simply couldn't at the time. If it wasn't for that, I might not have had the strength to be honest about myself with my parents until years later. Jim and Dannie were out, but their "gayness" didn't define them. It was just a fact of life, which is the way it should be. It's part of the reason the music and the store have such profound, personal meaning for me. Even now I work in a creative environment and still gravitate towards modern music and art that can inspire the next generation of queer weirdos to feel like they have a community when the mainstream might not speak to them. Thanks, Wax Trax Chicago for being this gay boy's icon of hope, even if you never wanted to be." - GH
(NOTE: Greg is pictured above during the same year as this story with the band Front Line Asseembly)
Berlin Nightclub also has a rich history with Wax Trax!, hosting release parties and special events back in the day. Former Berlin DJ/VJ Dion Labriola also created the stop motion animation/live action music video for My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult's classic track "Kooler Than Jesus". It was produced for a $1000 budget. Check it out below...
For the past decade, Greg Haus & Jena Max have been hosting a seasonal series of Wax Trax! Records nights, keeping the history alive for new generations. Earlier this year, Richard and Patrick of Front 242 joined them in the booth for their 10th Anniversary celebration & pre-party for the test screening of the upcoming documentary "Industrial Accident: The Story Of Wax Trax! Records"
You can join us for the fall edition of Wax Trax! Night this Friday, October 13th 9pm-2am, followed by #CosmixFridays multimedia dance party until 4am. We'll also be featuring at TKK artist feature tribute set from 9pm-11pm.
For more info on the label, store, and history, visit www.WaxTraxChicago.com
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GODDESS is a recurring event at Berlin celebrating kings, queens, and everything in between, hosted and curated by KAT SASS & LUCKY STIFF. The theme of tonight's edition is "FIGHT CLUB". Local multimedia artist / musician JACOB BJORGE crafted a killer short film to promote the event... check it out below!
The show starts at 10:30pm, and admission is FREE if you arrive before 11pm! #CosmixFridays with DJ GREG HAUS follows until 4am.
Check out this amazing recap video from our 8th Annual Lollapalooza Side Show, presented by Stardust, Do312, and Redbull. The video was produced by VAM Studio.
Every Stardust Thursday, we bring you exciting events featuring some of the most exciting DJs and performers in Chicago nightlife. Don't miss tonight's Bowie Ball, (8/31/17) co-produced by Heaven Malone!
Legendary recording artist PRINCE was honored this week with a specially developed custom shade of purple by PANTONE called "Love Symbol #2". As explained on the PANTONE WEBSITE, the color was "inspired by his custom-made Yamaha purple piano, which was originally scheduled to go on tour with the performer before his untimely passing at the age of 57. The color pays tribute to Prince’s indelible mark on music, art, fashion and culture."
Tonight (Sunday 8-20-17), we bring you PURPLE REIGN: A TRIBUTE TO PRINCE, celebrating the the legacy of the legendary music icon and his protégés with music & video mixed by DJ Adam El (of the band Sixteen Candles) and Greg Haus 10pm-4am. Admission is FREE!
Berlin's Tuesday & Saturday Co-Resident DJ NEVIN (a.k.a. Nevin S. Hersch / VoxBox) is performing live music from his album & being interviewed on WGN radio 720 AM at 6-7pm today (Fri. 8-18), right after the news. He'll be supported by percussionist Megan Thomas playing congas! You can also watch them from the station's window at 435 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.
His new album, ISLAND STUDY I, is inspired by his experiences on Kauai, Hawaii's Garden Isle. It contains field recordings captured in the rainforest there, and you'll hear the sounds of endangered species nestled in-between Bollywood, techno & experimental beats, wrapped in lush interwoven melodies, and manipulated samples.
NEVIN S HERSCH OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.tonecardsounds.com/
LISTEN & PURCHASE VIA: http://cdbaby.com/cd/nevinshersch
We're kicking off our new blog with DJ Greg Haus' video pick of the week.
Greg's long-running residency, "Cosmix Fridays", is a critically acclaimed, multimedia music & video dance party experience. He loves to find unusual, artistic, but accessible songs and videos to play for the crowd every week.
At the end of July, Grammy Nominated Brooklyn duo SOFI TUKKER released "Fuck They", a tremendous track co-written by Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, with an outrageous video by Grimes collaborator Mac Boucher. Greg saw them perform the unreleased single live at Schubas Tavern earlier this year, and was extremely excited when the studio version dropped.
Greg will be mixing in "Fuck They" tonight for sure during Cosmix Fridays, immediately following his 6th Annual Market Days Robyn party, featuring the music & video of Scandinavian superstar ROBYN 10pm-2am. His full set goes until 4am.
Hey Hey Hello – Market Days are Here Again!
After your fabulous day and eve, taking in the music, food, and drink on North Halsted, head on down to Belmont, make a right and continue on til Berlin!
“This Place Has Everything”
THURSDAY AUGUST 10th
(Voted "Best LGBTQ Dance Party 2017" - Chicago Reader)
presented by Men's Room & Stardust
with DJs Cqqchifruit & Harry Cross
FRIDAY AUGUST 11th
6th Annual Market Days Edition Robyn Party
All Robyn Music and Video 10PM til 2AM
Followed by Cosmix with DJ Greg Haus til 4AM
SATURDAY AUGUST 12th
Drag Matinee | Chicago's Wildest Weekly Drag Show
The Market Days Edition is going to be 'Hot Hot Hot'
10:30PM til Midnight with your Tour Guide Trannika Rex
Featuring Special Guests, Porcelain and The Princess
Followed by Twisted with DJ Nevin til 5AM
SUNDAY AUGUST 13th
Betch, She's Madonna and we have a Bonus Birthday Market Days Edition Ready for Celebration
All Madonna Music and Video All Night
with DJ Riley York til 4AM
Move your Body with All the Beautiful People, Sights and Sounds til the Lights Come Up