Throwback Thursday: The World’s First Skyscraper

Chicago has long been well known for its stunning skylines and innovative take on architecture. However what few people know is that Chicago is actually the birthplace of the modern day skyscraper.

Designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney in 1884, The Home Insurance Building opened its doors a year later at the intersection of LaSalle and Adams. Consisting of 10 stories and standing at 138 feet in height, The Home Insurance Building has come to be known as the world’s first skyscraper. It was the first building of its kind whose frame held structural steel, though the majority of it consisted of wrought iron and cast.

Historians attribute the construction of The Home Insurance Building to the architectural boom that took place in Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871. As a result of the aforementioned fire, 3.3 square miles of the cityscape was left destroyed, and since the majority of its buildings back then were made of wood, nearly all of them burned down in the flames. With the majority of the city rotting in rubble, Chicago underwent one of the most famous architectural booms in history; one that would spur its economy as well as reshape the cities’ architectural outlook.

Replacing the wood structures that stood on Chicago’s grounds before the fire, the newer buildings were made out of stone, steel and iron. Building in this manner was considered to be ahead of its time and The Home Insurance Building served as a prime example of this new style of architecture. The Home Insurance Building became one of Jenney’s crowning architectural achievements, and it also spawned an entire generation of architects and engineers dubbed as “The Chicago School.”

This generation, which consisted of famous architects such as Daniel Burnham, continued to lay the groundwork for what the modern day skyscraper would eventually become. Though New York City eventually surpassed Chicago as the hub of architectural innovation, Chicago remains as the city that laid the groundwork for any and all innovation that followed. Chicago will forever remain the birthplace of the modern day skyscraper. Sadly, The Home Insurance Building was demolished in 1931 and the LaSalle Bank Building now stands in its place.

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Throwback Thursday: the Rolling Stones Record in Chicago

Chicago is a dynamic city filled with all kinds of draw ins from its history, architecture and especially music. Birthplace of house music, countless talented artists and jive with a bustling blues culture here in particular, it welcomes quite a variety of icons and artists to the city for its inspiring quality and treasure troves of figure heads to work. This weeks Throwback Thursday for June we remember the Rolling Stones passing through Chicago to leave their mark in music history!

When Starting their first tour in the United States the Rolling Stones first arrive in New York, June 1st, 1964;just a few months after the Beatles make their US debut. Following a few radio and television appearances and live performances the Stones note the absolute highlight of their trip: Recording at Chess Records on Michigan Ave. Owned by two Polish brothers Leonard and Phil Chess, it is home to many legendary blues artists such as Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, and most notably Muddy Waters. These Chicago Blues artists have been the driving force in the creation of the Rolling Stones. It is there they recorded some of their first hit singles to top American charts, already being popular in England.

June 10th, 1964 the Rolling Stones land in Chicago to record in the US for the first time at Chess Records Studio, the leading Blues recording label in the 50’s and 60’s. Legend has it that Muddy Waters was there himself to help the artists unpack. “2120 South Michigan Ave was hallowed ground. We got there on a last-minute arrangement by Andrew Oldham (manager)”, Keith Richards wrote in Life Magazine. “There in the perfect sound studio, in the room where everything we listened to was made, perhaps out of relief or just the fact that people like Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry and Willie Dixon were wandering in and out, we recorded 14 tracks in two days“. The studio would be later immortalized by the dedicated song 2120 South Michigan Ave.

It was in these two days their EP Five by Five and much of their second studio album 12×5, that both featured the address title track, were recorded. Keith Richards was quoted saying, “Everyone in England at the time was incapable… No one could get a really good funky American sound which is what WE were after. The best move we could possibly do was get to America as quickly as possible and record there”. Coming out of the sessions also is their hit single Its All Over Now that claimed their name to fame in the US. Other notable songs would include Time Is on My Side, Look What You Done and Down the Road Apiece. They would later return to Chess months later in November 1964, during their second US tour, where Kieth Richards lays down the riff to the legendary (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.

Between sessions the Rolling Stones hold a press conference June 11 on Michigan Ave in front of the Tribune building. Mick Jagger was noted stating, “We have changed a bit since we got famous. I mean, how would you like to sing the same seven numbers every night? I may not be much of a singer but there is no artistry in that. Still, we do have fun as well“. Police later arrived to break up the press conference but not before jeering, “Get outta here or I’ll lock up the whole goddamned bunch“. The Rolling Stones never returned to Chess Record but held a big roll in bringing the Chicago Blues sound to mainstream audiences.

Rolling Stones in font of Tribune Building

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Throwback Thursday: Chicago’s First “L” Service

Thus begins the weekly historical section of Ever Evolved popularly titled Throwback Thursday. We will use this section every week to highlight a specific historical event pertinent to the city’s upbringing and colorful past.

On June 6th 1892 the private company Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit (later renamed South Side Elevated Railroad) conducted their first ever L ride that morning at 7AM. The trains spanned from Congress to 39th street, now the south section of the Green Line, and extended to Jackson Park shortly after. The portion of the elevated line that ran between State and Wabash became to be known as the Alley “L”.

South Side Elevated Railroad Train at Indiana Ave Station

The early train car models featured wooden varnished and cushioned seats. Rides cost a nickel, ran for 24 hours, were lit by gas lamps and the steam-powered locomotives pulled the trains. Customers would have to deal with some steam, smoke and cinders from the engine but this was normal for the time period and the technology.

In fear of people falling of the platforms and onto the tracks they installed railings. Unfortunately these were cumbersome and did not always line up with the trains sliding into the station. After a short while they were removed. The Lake Street Elevated Railroad, today as the west section of the Green Line, was completed a year after just in time for the 1893 Worlds Fair held in Chicago.

Lake Street Elevated Railroad train pulled by steam-powered locomotive

In 1895 the Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad added their services to Logan Square, Humbolt Park (demolished), Garfield Park (replaced) and Douglas Park areas branching off from downtown Chicago. Parts of this line is used now as the Blue and Pink Lines. It is the first of Chicago’s transit lines to be electrically powered and the first non-exhibition rapid transit system powered by electric traction motors in the United States. This technology was demonstrated on the “intramural railway” at the World Fair in Chicago.

The Northwestern Elevated Railroad emerged in 1900 with the original deadline being 1899 but construction temporarily halted two years prior due to financial backing issues. After an inaugural run declaring it unsafe, the company defiantly ran a train to the Loop, transferring onto Lake Street Elevated to avoid police. Eventually the company and the city reached an agreement. This line ran from the Loop to Wilson with a branch extending to Ravenswood and Albany Park. The branch now operates as the Brown Line while the main line to Wilson operates as the Red and Purple.

Chicago Rapid Transit Map

The merging of the South Side Elevated, Lake Street Elevated, Metropolitan West Side and Northwestern Elevated Railroad private companies created the Chicago Elevated Railways Collateral Trust (CER). Laying down the ground work for Chicago Rapid Trasit Company (CRT) in 1924, they continued under private ownership. After the opening of the subway system in 1943, by 1947 it merged into the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) we know today following a public takeover. Since its start over, 125 years later the CTA sees more than a million riders daily and has a combined 224.1 miles of rail. The rails are now electric, cleaner, and quieter.

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Essse Guey All Day (Music Video)

Everybody has an artist they listen to all day on repeat no matter how many times they have heard them. Come across ESSSE Guey and you might find yourself in a similar predicament. Fusing a bit of Hispanic culture and lyricism into Hip Hop he adds a unique touch to his already outlandish persona. A persona that videographer Lonnie Edwards captures nicely, again through imagery with a second music video project for ESSSE following his V.I.M.M. (Let It Reign) music video.

Linking up with fellow Chicago Hip Hop head who recently released his own EP dubbed Pure Noon, RhymSter hits the first verse heavy after letting the beat run off. ESSSE ends it strong with a catchy flow leaving you feeling like hitting that replay button. He releases this track as his first single off his forthcoming project DREAMWORXXX which, judging by this song, is likely to be filled with plenty raw and authentic hip hop and nothing less. No official release dates yet so lets stay updated on his links & browse his latest releases.

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Turn Heretic with Kleavr Music

From heretics to heathens, life seems to be a bit more fun on that edge of perspectives. Not following a certain set of rules or religions can have its perks. The people that come with that lifestyle bring certain characteristics to life that add to the curiousness of being a human, just as Kleavr does with his music. You cannot practice heresy with synths and violins, unless you are a clockwork orange variety, so we have heavy bass music to place in background of our heathenism.

From Chicago, Stay Gold Promotions DJ and producer Kleavr has been making a big name for himself getting recognized by fellow heathens like 12th Planet and Borgore and others and rightly so. Almost relentless with music releases you have countless tracks from just the start of the new year alone to get wild to. Consistency is key when building a career path and Kleavr got that down to key. From collabs to remixes and originals there is no scarcity in music to be deprived from and he is set to release more as we speak… or read.

From the start of the year, as he has been, Kleavr continues to drop track after track starting with a collab with STOY dubbed Salad Fingers following a bootleg remix of Liquid Strangers’ Ripple to end out the last year. He follows up with more collaborations with Kentucky artist Tantrum, turning out to be a powerful duo as they rock the stage together at shows. His most recent releases have been hitting Borgore’s BuyGore label, most prominently and recently, his EP the Heretic has been getting much buzz around the local dubstep community following a single release Fury Blade, another piece with Tantrum on Buygore. Even more so his music has been getting him booked in places like Montreal, Denver, Philidelphia, LA and more; exited to see how this artists progresses as he grabs hold of new opportunites everyday.

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Elevatd Brings It Like This Will Never End

Elevatd and on fire with new releases, this Chicago duo is going on a music spree on their playlist. Since the new year they have been giving us more and more content from their exclusive live sets. If you frequent their shows you would have bragging rights to hearing them first. However with recent guest features on podcast radios like Lost In The Sauce, The XO and OTODAYO, online fans are getting lucky. Following their halloween remix and original releases Elevatd has been busy both on and off stage.

Between performing at spots like Liquid in Madison, Corcord Music Hall in Chicago, Radiance Afters in Milwaukee and again with YehMe2, they have been hitting podcasts where you can get an idea of how they throw down at live shows. This includes exclusive IDs’, some of which were recently released like Save Me featuring Micah Martin who was featured on their Curse Them All track back when they announced a rebranding. Another one includes a collaboration with locals SNOOF for Super 7 record label which speaks for artists like NGHTMRE, TJR, Z-Trip, Grandtheft and more. Lastly and most recently they release Bring It Like, another heavy bass track, like This Will Never End, includes a catchy hook to accompany monstrous bass drops.

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Goodsex Gives Us Joy and Groovy Vibes

Goodsex is just here to show you how good you already are and it shows! Aside from all the great puns that you and I both have running through our minds, it is important to realize the power of music and the message it can send to its listeners. This Chicago duo takes that idea an extra mile sending positive messages and high vibes to their fans in each song they put out. From their originals to their remixes, all their songs do is make you believe in love!

Their latest project comes to fruition after a simple request of their fans. From their EP With Friends Vol. 1 the duo has a song called Joy and they ask their audience to send in footage of themselves enjoying life! The end result is a music video compilation of people having the time of their lives and you just cannot help but wiggle around and smile at the expression of life and love. This follows a remix collaboration of Birthday Sex with another familiar Chicago duo Birthdayy Partyy and a remake of a classic funk pop song Reach Out Of The Darkness by Friend & Lover. Their cycle of feel good lyrics and tunes makes a great playlist for people to get together and we think that’s So Groovy. It is most admirable creating a lifestyle through music that makes others feel good regardless of who they are.

GoodSex – Joy feat. Desi Valentine (Original Mix) [MUSIC VIDEO]

Hey friends, here is our fan submitted music video for our first single ‘Joy’ THANK YOU so much for the love that created this video celebrating your JOY! 📸: Sharp Balloon

Posted by GoodSex on Friday, February 22, 2019

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RhymSter and Edmur Quinn Capture a Nocturnal Vibe on “Pure Noon”

Ever Evolved MC RhymSter is back again and with a vengeance with his first release of 2019 entitled Pure Noon. This 5-track offering — which includes a bonus track at the end — sees RhymSter and producer Edmur Quinn finding their pocket by utilizing a lo-fi, nocturnal sound.

The EP kicks off with a banger Maintainin where RhymSter takes his listeners to school by flexing his lyrical muscle over a bright and soulful instrumental. However the pace of the EP immediately slows down after with I Will which manifests itself as the perfect soundtrack for a night-time drive soaked in self-reflection. The closing 2 tracks N.Y.S.M. and Wait For It follow in a similar vein before things pick back up again on the bonus track Watch Out.

Lyrically RhymSter is poignant as usual. On the more hard hitting cuts his wordplay is witty and his delivery is sharp. On the slower, more subdued tracks he is more introspective and personal. He shows himself to be a truly multi-faceted artist over the course of these five tracks. On the production side of things Edmur Quinn presents a diverse palette here while simultaneously maintaining the concise cohesiveness of the project. Tracks such as Maintainin’ and Watch Out are hard hitting boom-bap cuts while I Will and Wait For It are much more moody and lo-fi.

The features on here deliver as well. FAFA, who is featured on Wait For It, croons with sincerity over a gorgeous jazzy guitar. JaiTheArtist shows up on the back end of I Will and her vocals sound angelic floating in the background. RhymSter and Edmur Quinn kept it simple on this project. However in between RhymSter’s witty lyricism and Edmur Quinn’s diverse array of instrumentals, their formula proved to be quite effective.

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Mother Nature Keeps It Simple (Music Video)

If you have not heard of the refreshing girl power duo that is Mother Nature go look them up on YouTube right now. Charisma, lyricism, fun, artistic chemistry – these two have all of that. The Chicago native powerhouse duo comprised of emcees Klevah Knox and T.R.U.T.H. dropped the visual to their single Simple, which is from their upcoming 2019 EP titled Pressure. If the rest of their record is anything sonically like this first single Simple, then I think these two talents will really propel themselves forward in 2019!

The visual done by New Trash has the two ladies in black and white checkerboard pants and multi colored tops. They start off performing in front of a changing green screen with kids as their gaffers, directors, cinematographers, and lighting crew! The hook to this song is super catchy: “I do not do what you’re doing, bitch you’re simple!… I am me and you are you, bitch you’re simple!” Then the visual progresses from there with a verse and a bridge from Klevah Knox and a verse from T.R.U.T.H keeping the high energy, fun, and intensity through out. I am excited to hear and see the rest of Pressure from Mother Nature in 2019. They represent something truly positive for hip hop and their image and sound as artists is what I want to be around to write about.

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Rich Jones No Clue (Music Video)

Well if you missed it the first time it is back around and you get the visual sensation of it too. Others may get to reminisce their initial response to this track but whether it is heard it now or then, it is timeless. No Clue featuring Mykele Deville comes back on the radar as Rich Jones releases a nonchalant music video for this laid back track. Strolling around being natural not thinking bout next year or even next week with No clue how happy to be. This work follows his The Shoulder To Lean On EP and Dangerous/Rainy Days releases that are just as replay-able with their infectious hip hop, R&B, Rock & Soul vibe that can hit any listeners ears in the right spot. Get in tune.

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