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music

Drag City

THE CHICAGO INDEPENDENT RECORD-LABEL Drag City has two major claims to fame: 1) it discovered critics’ darlings Pavement and Royal Trux, only to weather the inevitable cannibalization of those bands by bigger labels (Matador and Virgin respectively); 2) much as Sub Pop was considered the home of grunge, Drag City is known as a hotbed of lo-fi, the kind of cheaply recorded sound that dates back to the Velvet Underground and was revived by Beat Happening in the mid ’80s. Technically, “lo-fi” refers to the process of recording songs on inexpensive four-tracks, like Liz Phair did before she signed with Matador and became the intelligent sex queen of indie rock. Beyond that, music called lo-fi is often sung by a singer who doesn’t always hit the notes or stay on key, and this singer is usually accompanied by a minimal number of instruments, maybe just guitar.

But the “firm,” as it’s called by

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