Best reinvention of an old medium | Best of Chicago 2011 | Music & Nightlife | Chicago Reader

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Best reinvention of an old medium 


It's hard to imagine that cassettes were once considered a threat to the music industry. Major music moguls couldn't care less about the format these days, but tapes provide pragmatic solutions for independent labels looking to get off the ground, and it feels like a new local cassette-focused label finds its way into the world every month (GoldTimers, Retrograde Tapes, Hyperdelic). Cassettes have also become the go-to medium for the DIY inclined, giving people the ability to control every part of the creative process. Best of all, they've been reimagined as a cool new canvas where artists can express themselves, and the resulting tapes show a great range of artistic concepts. Some labels have zeroed in on a precise, consistent aesthetic and presentation, while others go where their whims take them. There's a lot of inventive packaging out there, but Plustapes took the cake with Sundancer's The Music & Language of Wolves—almost a third of the cassettes were packaged in actual taxidermied wolf heads. —Leor Galil

Critics' Picks

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Best beer inspired by a Chicago band

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Best bar for drinking on pocket change

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Best local band that's been around forever

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)