Tuesday, May 13, 2008

posters now for sale!

individual posters are available as well as two volumns of bound posters
for more info and to purchase posters
contact me at rarrarpress@yahoo.com
or go to The Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts
at 1104 s. wabash 2nd floor office, open monday-friday 9:30 - 4:30 http://www.colum.edu/Book_and_Paper/

Thursday, May 1, 2008

hope to see you at the opening!

april 29th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

the posters are almost all up

Thursday, April 17, 2008

reminder... the project is opening may 2

May 2 to June 13

623 S. Wabash, 1st Floor, Chicago, IL 60605
Gallery Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Opening reception: May 2, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

poster 29 dillinger escape plan 2004

april 15th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

Kyle Reynolds
It was a long day of picking up dog and cat shit at the shelter. My two best friends picked me up and we headed straight for the Fireside. No booze or dope for the night but I didn’t even care, I was just happy to get the hell out of work. We arrived to the show and there was already a huge line. My friends’ mom let us borrow her credit card to get tickets online so we didn’t have to worry about it selling out. SWEET! We got in and soon Planes Mistaken For Stars hit the stage. Great name but what a shitty band! A pit had already started. It was going to be a long night. Next up was Decahedron, who was so much better. At the end of their set they picked up two laptops, smashed them and talked about how technology was destroying music. They threw the broken pieces into the audience, who started smashing them even more. A kid right behind me was waving a big piece around until a bouncer came and kicked him out. What a fucking dickhead! By then the heat was starting to get to me. It had to have been 100 degrees in there. It was sold out and everywhere I looked someone was smoking a cigarette. The next band was The Bronx, who totally fucking slayed everyone’s faces off. The kids went wild! Everyone was dancing and going nuts. After one of the songs the singer talked about taking a piss and seeing a fly in the bathroom. He wondered “what the fuck are you doing in the dirty ass Fireside Bowl bathroom when there are hundreds of bbq’s going down outside.” He then dedicated the next song to the fly. Fucking awesome! The rest of the set was totally amazing. They finished and I made my way up to the front to see who I came to see, The Dillinger Escape Plan. They hit the stage and opened with Panasonic Youth, a new song. They sounded like how a riot looks. The kids went fucking crazy! I had never seen anything like it. My life was changed forever. I feared for my life that night. They put danger back into Rock n’ Roll that night (which is missing a lot these days but to me is a main part of rock). The guitar player was swinging his guitar around so much that he sliced a kids face open. He had blood dripping down his face. He turned to me and said, “this is the best night of my life!” wow, it felt so good to be alive. The band just kept tearing through song after song. The guitar player ripped down a tile from the ceiling with his pointy guitar head. I don’t know how my body was surviving all the heat. My friend yelled out to me “it’s so hot in here my eye lids are sweating.” I realized that mine were too. I didn’t even think that was possible and too this day I haven’t experience that again. The band did an encore and I knew that I had just seen the best show in my life. I felt completely changed. After all these years of going to show I can honestly say that I have only seen one better show than that. But that’s a whole other band and a whole different all ages venue. That will be shut down probably by the time you’re reading this. Thanks for all the wonderful memories mister Fireside Bowl. R.I.P.

poster 27 teen idols 2001

april 15th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

Nicholas Rouley
“Teen Idols were headlining one of those early shows that began at something like 4 or 5, with 6 bands on the bill. I remember several shows like that where I’d be at the fireside for something insane like 7 hours straight. Anyway, Joey Ramone had just passed away and when the Teen Idols were almost done with their set they told the crowd to stick around for something special. Then members from all the other bands came up on stage and everyone began playing Ramones covers. The entire place was singing along, pumping their fists, just paying tribute and having fun. Although it may sound a little corny and clich├ęd and I remember thinking how punk rock it was to be at the fireside watching this moment take place.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

poster 30- they really loved music

april 10, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

said by craig olson of Traluma and Rollo Tomasi

"I distinctly remember my first show there. It was August 5th 1995, a hot sunny day. We had played Champaign the night before. We rolled up and were hanging outside before the show. Sonny from the V.S.S. was sitting on the sidewalk just chilling out, so we struck up a conversation. The anticipation of the show was almost as exciting as playing itself. The bill: Braid, V.S.S. Traluma, and International Hoodwink. I had arrived!! I couldn't sleep after that show I was so hopped up on adrenaline from playing to people who were there because they really loved music. "

Monday, April 7, 2008

poster 26- holy grail

april 6th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

said by craig olson of Traluma and Rollo Tomasi
"A lot of the young kids I talked to towards the end of its run viewed a show at the bowl as the proverbial 'holy grail" of the Chicago punk/indie scene."

poster 28- geodesic cave

april 6th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

My First Fireside Bowl by Grant Reynolds

I’d been living in Chicago for about a year before my friend Jared took me with him to a Fireside show. It was my first time and really I was pretty disinterested in the bands on stage, most of which I had probably never heard of at the time. I was, however, thrilled by the building itself. Still young to the city I was a fresh receptor to its varied stimuli, its mysteries shedding themselves to me daily and by the minute. Walking into the Fireside Bowl that night was the urban equivalent of repelling down into some long lost geodesic cave. There was no way any band could have competed with the experience.
After spending some time checking the place out I came across an abandoned box of zines at a merch table in the back. I dug through to the bottom for something good, but the only thing to hold my attention was a tattered copy of something called Burn Collector by someone named Al Burian. It was the eighth issue, particularly thick, with a nice weight to it. The yellow cover had been softened from use and held the blanket texture of long circulated dollar bills or paper having been run through the washing machine. The dog-eared pages were already starting to let go of the staples binding them together, giving off a wafting history of many good reads. I knew I had to have it, but I’d already spent the last of my money at the door. Surveying the room I noted everyone else’s interest was being funneled toward the stage opposite me. I casually slipped the zine into my back pocket and walked away, rejoining the crowd to watch the rest of the show.
It wasn’t until a few months later that I actually opened and read my stolen find. With my first year of art school coming to a close I saw myself returning home to Peoria, where my dad had already secured me a summertime job working the cash register at some dismal little drug store. It was a miserable existence and the absence of Chicago in me was almost greater than its presence when I’d lived there. It seemed that nothing in the world could be as terrible as the circumstances befalling me. But when I began to read those first few pages of Burn Collector #8 I not only recognized the author as he toiled at his own terrible job, but also realized things could certainly always get much, much worse. Still years away from my own experiences of living on other people’s couches, of joblessness and hopelessness fueled only by coffee and handfuls of the other roommates’ food, Al’s words gave off an exoticism, something I would only later understand as the residue of biting humor left from hard times. Like a byproduct leftover from processing the natural resource of menial labor, the best stories have always come from the worst positions in life.
Soon after that Al and I became pen pals, trading zines and comics throughout the years, until he, too, moved to Chicago. Then working together on The Skeleton News, a local underground paper, we became friends and eventually collaborators on our own sci-fi comic, Singularity. The comic brought us closer still, and unfurled into long meandering walks around the city. We had both been butting our heads against something dreadful in our lives, a dead end or maybe a fork in the road, but neither had an answer as to what it might be, much less how to get around it. All that mattered was that there was someone else who understood.
And then, just like that, Al moved away again, back to North Carolina. There wasn’t much in the way of planning, he just made up his mind and left the next day. I guess he’d found a way to get around that something blocking his path. The last time I saw him we were sitting across from each other in a coffee shop, mostly not talking, as he waited for his ride to Chapel Hill to pick him up.
Now, of course, there are no shows at the Fireside Bowl, only bowling. And much like before, when I’d left Chicago that first time for a summer to go back to Peoria, I can feel his absence as I sit alone in the coffee shop, across the table from me, slouched in the booth: an Al Burian-shaped hole.

postcard for gallery show

april 6th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

my first time printing a photograph using photopolymer.

mark your calenders for may 2nd!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

poster 24- nothing but gravel

april 1st, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

i moved to indiana from 2000-2003, this was also the period when the city was threatening to demolish the fireside. they wanted to expand the park that was next door. every time i would come back home and go to a show this is what brian would say to me.

poster 25- brian peterson

april 1st, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

said by angel ledezma

Monday, March 31, 2008

poster 23- team dresch & god is my co-pilot 1995

march 29th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

this is my memory. this show was also when i realized i shouldn't be in the middle of a pit with my grandfather's canon camera. oops.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

poster 21 traitors v.s. a pack of angry riot grrrls

march 25, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

told by Francisco of the traitors.
i was at this show too. it was the traitors, murder city devils and the peechees. all the riot grrrls were there to see molly, from bratmobile, play drums for the peechees. the traitors were their usual obnoxious sassy selves but the riot grrrls didn't get the joke and ended up trying to beat up billy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

sweater weather flyers

given to me by Paul Obrecht, bass player of sweater weather

Saturday, March 22, 2008

poster 22- wesley willis takes a dump

march 22, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

told to me by Francisco
"When I was working at the fireside. Wesley Willis was going to play that night so he was there early before the doors opened, soundcheck and shit.

I was bartending that night and I was setting everything up. When I went into the bathroom. Hell on earth appeared. I got to see Wesley wiping his ass. Paper in one hand, Diet Pepsi in the other."

poster 20- music & energy & life

march 21, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

said by paul from chicago's finest, sweater weather

The fireside was one of my favorite places in Chicago. Sure, we bitched about it, the crappy stage, the asymmetrical sound, the myriad mediocre bands. But, as you know, it pumped new music and new musical life and energy into Chicago just about every damn night of every damn week for years. When kids today talk to me about how they like indie rock and read pitchfork, I sound like a freaking grandpa when I try to explain how out of your way you had to go in the 90s to find people doing their own thing for the sake of the thing itself. The fireside gave us all a place to do it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

mark your calenders

more photos from other people

moto in 2003 by paul

rainer maria in 2002 by Lauren Solarski

Rival Schools by
James Trevenen

Monday, March 17, 2008

poster 19 bad idea scott action

march 16th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

told to me by joe from sidekick kato

the longest poster so far, almost ran out of A's

Saturday, March 15, 2008

poster 18- skin graft

march 14, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

said during a conversation with Chloe from aids wolf/ seripop

poster 17 dillinger 4 & arrivals 2002

march 14, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

Living in Milwaukee, I only got to go the Fireside a few times. The best show I ever saw there was The Dillinger 4 and The Arrivals (ironic that now Paddy is in both bands) in the spring of 2002. I was going to the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh at the time, so we drove all the way down to see D4 cause we had been spinning ‘Situationist Comedy’ on the Oshkosh radio station all semester. I just remember it being of the rowdiest most fun crowds I've ever been a part of. I think I only knew the words to like one D4 song at the time, so when they played it I went nuts, and the rest of the time I was going just as nuts...and then a giant drunk, sweaty, naked man landed on me while crowd surfing. It was great!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

poster 16- history

march 9th, originally uploaded by rebecca ann rakstad.

My first show at the Fireside…
It was the summer before my freshman year in high school, so that would make it summer of 2000. I was 13 years old. I was taking classes at the Art Institute, and I met this guy Andrew who had a Lawrence Arms patch on his bag. He told me he was going to see them at the Fireside Bowl and that I should meet him there. I don’t think he knew I was only 13. I lied to my parents about who I was going with, and took the red line to Fullerton and then took the bus there. When I walked through the bar to get to the show, a guy with a big neck tattoo offered to buy me a beer. He didn't know I was 13 either. There was a guy there who I would later become great friends with who ran a mailing list, I can't remember the name of it though. His name is Bobby, and he went by the moniker JimBobLove. He was really into the fireside and promoting shows there and hanging out with people. I later became his stand-in for the mailing list, taking down people's email addresses to send them the weekly local show list. It was so hot and sweaty inside but nobody cared at all. I remember going to the bathroom and seeing a purple condom in the toilet. Why anyone would have sex in that bathroom is completely beyond me. The show was great, but I never saw or heard from Andrew again.
I get kind of mad when I go by the fireside and it is still there. I wish it was gone, or still as awesome as it used to be.
I was at a Dillinger Escape Plan show where they tore down ceiling panels. I felt like I witnessed history. I felt like every show at the fireside I was witnessing history. And I think I did.