WAX TRAX! – FREE ARCHIVE GALLERY & SHOP / HOUSE OF VANS
WAX TRAX! – Free Archive Gallery & Shop
House of Vans Chicago
With live performances by The Dead Milkmen,
Youth Code, Caustic and The San Andreas Fault.
Also included: Martin Atkins and his DJ set from the Goose Island Park from Taste of Chicago
Wax Trax! and House of Vans.
A perfect relationship, even it’s just for one night only.
The real estate given over to Wax Trax! was splendid- a separate room to showcase the vinyl for sale, the posters from the ceiling, and still room for all the archival imagery on display in crafty and oh so presentable in exhibit form along the brick walls and outside into the main entrance.
Special thanks has to go to Glenn Russell for taking the time to present the rare bits and unpublished items from the Wax Trax! vaults.
To say this was a massive undertaking would be an understatement. All the items from the Wax Trax! history were on easily identifiable display, documenting the story of Wax Trax! Records, making it the perfect companion piece to the 2018 documentary “Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records”.
Hard to take the time to view all the cool collectibles on display, since in each mounted case had to be at least 40 to 50 items.
Nevertheless, it’s still magical and comforting to see them up on the brick walls of House of Vans as a whole, letting it be known how revered and iconic the Wax Trax! label still is, and howl important the label means to the Wax Trax! faithful to present day.
Alongside the store and exhibit items were also three VHS kiosks set up with all the popular singles from Wax Trax! back in the day: if you wanted to check Laibach’s “Geburt Einer Nation” in all it’s performance art glory- yes, that was amongst the many singles presented in the kiosks, along with outtakes from the Wax Trax! documentary as well.
If that wasn’t enough, Julia Nash and Mark Skilicorn brought out the Wax Trax! sign from the Damen store-
Hung proudly from the entrance into the pop up shop with all the vinyl goodies and memorabilia.
I could go on and on about all things Wax Trax!, and still I haven’t had a chance to also interject about all the T shirts that were for sale as well.
Put it this way- the Wax Trax! label was presented proudly at this one of a kind event at House of Vans, and to have The Dead Milkmen headline the show as part of the festivities was icing on the cake.
These guys are still the awkward party animals they always were- a little older and rough around the edges, but no matter.
Fun and crowd interaction is their middle name, and the place went apeshit when they sung their hit “Punk Rock Girl” in all its glory.
L.A.’s Youth Code were up before The Dead Milkmen, and Sara Taylor never disappoints.
A riveting and IN YOUR FACE live performer, she fits the mold of caustic industrial angst and might- times ten.
The duo, consisting of her partner Ryan George, have their finger on the pulse of everything that is relevant in our insane world of today: racism, sexism, animal cruelty, political disbelief, you name it.
It’s front and center, and done with heart and might and anger with Youth Code.
Can’t say enough about Sara and Ryan.
Absolutely adore these guys, and love photographing them time and time again.
Caustic and The San Andreas Fault opened the show, and kept things moving along with their own unique styles and approach.
Had to say: I didn’t want the evening to end.
Taking it all in from the pit and the front of the stage, constantly looking to the Wax Trax! sign hung towards the back…so reassuring. So evident. So comforting.
Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer