Oracledang

THE SECRET LIE

By J.J. Colagrande
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The American music festival is not what it seems—not even Shakedown Street. You can’t have light without shadow. You can say the ideal music festival would go down a certain way. I can say this place is all about peace signs and harmony and it’s all-good, but it’s a lie. There’s violence and poison and… »

THE ECONONY OF THE SHOW

By J.J. Colagrande
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An economy feeding on ganja gooballs has no need for Alan Greenspan. Besides, the unemployment rate at The Show’s a remarkable zero. There’s work. Not for the sixty thousand plus from the area. They’re the custies. The twenty thousand heads who’ve dropped down on Chicago are the ones working. We work three kinds of industries:… »

MIKEY THE TAPER STRIKES BACK

By J.J. Colagrande
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There’s nothing wrong with the taper sections. In the taper pits I get to sit around with old friends, people I’ve known for years. We catch up in the taper pits, talk about gear. We have a unique understanding of the sound, man. Us tapers can talk about the tiniest moments from festivals past. We… »

THELONIOUS INTERVIEWS MELODY RAIN

By J.J. Colagrande
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Are you having fun? Yeah, I’m having fun. Sky’s bringing me down a little. What do you think of Chi-town? Chicago’s hella cool. I like the way the breeze rolls off the lake… What drugs are you on? Man, I don’t even know. We we’re on Adderall then we got them OC’s from you…we must-a… »

THELONIOUS INTERVIEWS GERI ABOUT SEWING

By J.J. Colagrande
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Geri loves to sew—shortie’s always sewing. Tell me, sista—who taught you? Before I came to sewing I first started crocheting, back in the day, before I met Curtis. I was like fourteen, living in Hialeah with mi familia. My Nana taught me. And you dug it like what? I dug it and it came to… »

THELONIOUS EXPLAINS THE SHOW

By J.J. Colagrande
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It’s dope. Everyone bouncing around the room. Everyone running out-of-control, like antelopes. Getting down on the get down. I hate having to explain it. The music’s all sorts of sorts of music too. Don’t make me put a label on it. Besides, music festivals are so much more than the music. It’s the journey it… »

A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

By J.J. Colagrande
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There’s no place like an American music festival. And to be in Chicago, right in the middle of the east and west, it’s so apropos. Soldier’s Field to boot—just the metaphoric beauty of a music festival being at Soldier’s Field: all of us heads are warriors. This is a community we have here, another world,… »

THELONIOUS WAXES ABOUT SCALPERS

By J.J. Colagrande
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Whatevs, whatevs, scalpers are not headz. They’re cockroaches. Bet they’d survive a nuclear holocaust and Shiite too. You know scalpers hustle tickets from headz. As cars are backed up trying to get into The Lot those punk-ass scalpers hold signs requesting tickets. Headz always have extra tickets, someone can’t make it, a last minute cancellation,… »

CRYSTALS AND WRITING

By J.J. Colagrande
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“You know why amethysts are purple?” Keith didn’t let her answer. “Because Bacchus, the god of wine, one day he was bent, you know, on a bender, probably with a jug of Sangiovese in tow. He’s raging drunk and pissed at all mortals, probably just sick of living, you can imagine.” He played the dork… »

GLASS PIPES

By J.J. Colagrande
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For sale or trade at the glassblower’s table are chillums, spoons, Sherlocks, and bubblers. Chillums are skinny funnel pipes smoked by placing the bottom of the tube between the index and middle finger then clasping the hand tight. If held correctly an airtight pocket forms and the smoke is sucked through the thumb and index… »

THELONIOUS ON GLASSPIPES

By J.J. Colagrande
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It’s a conversation starter—you might hear me say, yo, holmes, who blew this? And if the pipe was a Snoddie or blown by an apprentice of Snoddie, it’s like Louie the Fourteenth cognac, man—that head gets mad respect when packing a Snoddie. Dude’s probably from Eugene—the place is Zion for glassblowers—that’s where Snodgrass had his… »

A BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE??

By J.J. Colagrande
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“So tell me about your friend,” KC said. “Sky?” Keith looked nervous. “She’s into politics. She cares about things.” “You two know each other long?” asked KC. “Oh, yeah, years. We’ve a lot of history together. First loves and all that. There was a little lull there. We took a break, her idea.” Keith raised… »

HIP-HOP BATTLE

By J.J. Colagrande
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Thelonious looked around the hip-hop scene. A few backpackers assembled on the outskirts of the area. These locals stood locked and loaded with EP demos, tapes and fliers promoting after parties. They took advantage of the foot traffic from the one block proximity to Shakedown Street. Backpackers were always promoting something. Teflon did not stand… »

RASTAFARI BRETHREN CIRLCE

By J.J. Colagrande
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THELONIOUS HOROWITZ A big hole in Rasta ideology is Haile Selassie. How can anyone make a man divine in the sense of a black liberator who first of all never claimed to be one, and secondly, who sought exile in a white land. For a brief period of time Ethiopia was colonized by Mussolini and… »

BEER VENDERS ON SHAKEDOWN

By J.J. Colagrande
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Beer venders are scattered all over Shakedown. One head perches on the side of the aisle, a huge red cooler wide open. Another beer vender works up the aisle a bit. Another head wheels around a blue cooler. With one hand he holds a cardboard Red Stripe sign torn off a six-pack, meaning Red Strip… »