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Hungry for some new music to listen to? Then let me point your attention to the band Material Issue. Although technically not “new” per se, this amazing band formed in 1985 right here in Chicago. In 1991, Material Issue released one of the best pop albums ever, International Pop Overthrow, and broke on to the national music scene. Unfortunately, it seems as if the band had either arrived too early or too late with their fresh take on straight forward pop music. By the time they released their second (and equally great) album, grunge bands like Nirvana and new alternative sounds from the likes of fellow Chicago band The Smashing Pumpkins had taken hold. Sadly, the world never got to see Material Issue recover their popularity as frontman Jim Ellison committed suicide in 1996.

But now Chicagoans have a chance to relive one of pop music’s greatest bands by going to Lincoln Hall on September 17th. The surviving members of Material Issue, now billed Material Re-Issue, are performing for International Pop Overthrow’s 20th anniversary in the city that they call home. And yeah, I know, sometimes these whole “bands without all the original member” reunion things can be kind of… lame. For instance, the Beach Boys without Brian Wilson – or Sublime without Brad Nowell – or Pink Floyd without Floyd! But even a diluted version of Material Issue is worth seeing just to hear some of the best music ever to come out of Chicago.

For more information on the upcoming show at Lincoln Hall go to:

Dave Lauer, intern

One Response

  1. Vessy Mink

    Ahhh, yes, Material Issue!! They were great! I actually used to clean Jim Ellisons house every week back in the day! He was always a sweetheart and it greatly saddened me to hear of his suicide in 96′ I had met him and members of Urge Overkill in 1994/95, when I was the cleaning studio helper at Dress Rehearsals. In 1998 I moved to L.A., and went after my own musical dreams that I am still pursuing to this day:) I had the great honor of meeting Liz Phair at the Raw Bar, where I used to be employed as well. She and Jim Ellison made some beautiful music together. Missing you Jim!


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