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The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago and the Empty Bottle present the Yr Blues (Concert) in celebration of the Michael Schmelling: Your Blues exhibition, running October 16 – December 21, 2014 at MoCP. Acts include Cairo Gang, Lucki Eck$, Negative Scanner, Nnamdi’s Sooper Dooper Secret Side Project, Mormon Toasterhead, The Funs and The Drum, with readings by Tim Kinsella and Jimmy Whispers.

During an eighteen month-long commission in his hometown of Chicago, Schmelling explored the musical landscape of the region. The artist has immersed himself headlong into Chicago’s music scene, focusing on the overlooked and off the beaten path, frequenting house party shows and searching out niche and local acts that are not widely known. While photographing at clubs and parties, Schmelling has taken stock of the fluid crossover between music genres in Chicago. Close attention has also been paid to the fans of these varied genres, as well as the performative roles audience members play at the city’s summer festivals and other larger venues. All the while, Schmelling has maintained a careful awareness of Chicago’s rich music history that includes the blues, psychedelic jazz, and house music as well as other major contributions to music. The project’s title, Your Blues, has multiple meanings, at once referring to Schmelling’s insertion of himself into Chicago’s most iconic musical legacy, the blues, while also calling attention to a feeling of DIY individualism that permeates Chicago’s music landscape.

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