Alternative Rock 101!

I miss Q101!  For those of you who don’t know, it was a radio station in Chicago that was on the air from 1992 to this past summer.  Its catchphrase was “Chicago’s Alternative.”  I could always count on Q101 to deliver something with a punch to my radio.  Q101 rocked and it rocked hard.  Yesterday’s playlist was my tribute to Q101.

So what the heck is Alternative Rock?  That term is a pretty big umbrella that covers a lot of different kinds of music.  A couple of the definitions the dictionary provides for “alternative” are:  “Existing outside traditional or established institutions or systems” and “Espousing or reflecting values that are different from those of the establishment or mainstream.”  OK, so alt rock reflects values outside of the mainstream.  The Wikipedia page on Alternative Rock has a nice explanation for this:  “These genres (that make up Alternative Rock) are unified by their collective debt to the style or ethos of punk rock, which laid the groundwork for alternative music in the 1970s.”  Well, punk rock certainly espoused values outside of the mainstream so this makes sense.

OK, enough of the hifalutin’ stuff.  What do I think of when I think of Q101?  I think of the 90’s.  I know some of you youngsters have mentioned you grew up listening to Q101 during the 90’s.  This DJ was in her 30’s, freshly divorced and new to Chicago, during the 90’s.  So what was that like?  IT WAS FREAKIN’ GREAT, THAT’S WHAT IT WAS LIKE!  I would go out and see people dressed like this:

And this:

And sometimes they did stuff like this to their hair:

I went to Berlin, Neo, Exit when it was on Wells Street, I even went to 950 once or twice.  I remember shopping for music and t shirts at Wax Trax! Records on Lincoln Avenue.  I remember going to Berlin on a quiet Sunday night and watching videos with music the likes of which I had never heard before.  I remember dancing to “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails at Neo and someone trying to touch my fresh tattoo.  I remember the last night Exit was open on Wells Street.  I saw a huge whirlpool of bodies swirling counter clockwise to Ministry.  I remember of one of the patrons of Exit telling me you always take off your spikes and studs before entering a mosh pit.  Good times, good times!

So, yeah, when Q101 went off the air it felt like the end of an era to me.  This past Sunday, I was thrilled to share my favorite songs from Q101 with lots of sweaty, brave wimmens with lots of stamina!  They all ROCKED through this entire playlist, including all 4 minutes and 53 seconds of “Jesus Built My Hotrod”! Kudos to you all from DJ Haus O’Whax!

To reward you for your endurance, I present this video.  Trust me, it’s a lot more fun than the original video for “Closer.”


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