This mix has but a few songs inspired by the Windy City throughout the years, yet still provides a telling glance at its history and legacy.
Sweet Home Chicago and Born in Chicago are two very simple tunes in the electric blues style developed in Chicago. The former, originally written by Robert Johnson, may refer to Port Chicago, CA (California is in the original lyrics), where his aunt had a home, but it's become an anthem for the one in Illinois, capturing the simple joys of devotion to one's hometown. Born in Chicago, on the other hand, paints a more dreary picture of the city, telling of the effects of crime on his life-long friends in 1958 and 1961.
Later on in the '60's, Chicago became a rallying point for the hippy counter-culture disillusioned with the American government. The focal point of this was the 1968 Democratic National Convention, where the MC5 played a free concert in the park and The Chicago 7 were accused of conspiracy and inciting to riot. It was the epitome of peaceful idealists trying their best to change the world, and Graham Nash commemorates that in his tribute to the city. Of course, it also helps when you don't have a terribly corrupt mayor in office, as die-hard Cubs fan Steve Goodman will let you know.
The Uglysuit, a band from Oklahoma City, have idolized the city in their song, where they take their mind to fly in spite of the cold. Mat Kearney makes Chicago the centerpiece of a song heavy with Biblical references. On the other hand, for Rogue Wave and Kiki Dee, Chicago is portrayed as a cold, unforgiving place far away from home.
Although 'Poor Places' isn't necessarily about Chicago, it was written by Jeff Tweedy and is sung here by another die-hard Cubs fan, Chris Thile, making it difficult to picture it taking place anywhere else. As usual for a Tweedy composition, it takes a bleak view of the world, one in which fat cats sit in their air conditioned rooms while the poor are out in the humid summer streets. His answer: don't go outside into that world. But