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This article appeared on the Pitchfork website:

The Mekons. Photo by Kristine Larson. Courtesy of Music Box Films.

The Mekons. Photo by Kristine Larson. Courtesy of Music Box Films.

How Chicago Became the Epicenter of the Alt-Country Boom in 1998

A chronicle of the city’s country music history, highlighting the ’90s scene that mixed punk ethics with honky-tonk traditions.

“I shoulda moved to New York city but I never was that cool
I just languished in the Midwest like some old romantic fool”
Freakwater, “My Old Drunk Friend

Even those who watched grunge die have a hard time pinpointing the time of death. The exact date when the grim reaper placed its bony finger on the first disaffected, flannel-shirt-wearing stereotype remains lost to a cold stew of opinions and a confluence of corporate maneuvers. Here lies grunge: Interred in a crypt engraved both with Kurt Cobain’s opening line of In Uteroand a sketch of Korn playing Lollapalooza in 1997. 

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