The Imports

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The Imports
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Punk rock, post-punk
Years active1979–1980
MembersBen Krug (Vocals)
Tom Krug (Guitar)
Joe Strell (Bass)
Tom Wall (Drums)
Past membersJohn Krug (Drums)
Alec Dale (Drums)

The Imports were a Chicago punk rock band that formed in 1980. In a response to a solicitation for information on influential people, bands, clubs, zines, etc., for a Chicago Punk History Radio Documentary in 2006, Steve Albini of Big Black listed The C*nts, The Imports, Coolest Retard, Wax Trax, and WZRD. [1] Members of The Imports later went on to play with the Vagueleys, Silly Carmichaels (a pre-Ministry Al Jourgensen project), Sharkey's Machine, ¡Ack-Ack!, The Arms of Someone New, Split Heavens, Sylvia Darling and The Moon Seven Times.

Big Black band

Big Black was an American punk rock band from Evanston, Illinois, active from 1981 to 1987. Founded by singer and guitarist Steve Albini, the band's initial lineup also included guitarist Santiago Durango and bassist Jeff Pezzati, both of Naked Raygun. In 1985, Pezzati was replaced by Dave Riley, who played on Big Black's two full-length studio albums, Atomizer (1986) and Songs About Fucking (1987).

WZRD (FM) radio station at Northeastern Illinois University

WZRD is the student-run radio station at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois, US, founded in 1974. The station serves the Chicago area. The station is licensed by the FCC to Northeastern Illinois University. WZRD broadcasts on a freeform radio format.

Al Jourgensen musician

Allen David Jourgensen is a Cuban-American singer-songwriter, musician and music producer. Closely related with scene surrounding the independent record label Wax Trax! Records, Jourgensen has an active musical career that spans four decades, and is best known as the frontman of the industrial rock band Ministry, which he founded in 1981 and of which he remains the only constant member. He was also primary musician of several Ministry-related projects, such as Revolting Cocks, Lard, Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters, and others. Aside from the aforementioned bands, he has produced and/or recorded with numerous other artists, including The Reverend Horton Heat, Prong, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, The Blackouts, Alan Vega, Iggy Pop, Adrian Sherwood, Jello Biafra and others. Jourgensen is regarded as being one of the most prominent figures of industrial music,</ref> influencing numerous other groups and musicians, both in alternative and industrial-associated acts.

Contents

History

The Imports formed in 1979 in Chicago's South Side Hyde Park neighborhood. The band consisted of Ben Krug (vocals), Tom Krug (guitar) and Joe Strell (bass). The Imports went through a series of drummers including John Krug, Alec Dale, who accompanied the outfit through its transition from punk rock to post-punk, and finally Tom Wall.

Hyde Park, Chicago Community area in Illinois, United States

Hyde Park is a neighborhood and community area on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. It is located on the shore of Lake Michigan seven miles (11 km) south of the Chicago Loop.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands typically produced short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

Post-punk is a broad type of rock music that emerged from the punk movement of the 1970s, in which artists departed from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities and diverse influences. Inspired by punk's energy and DIY ethic but determined to break from rock cliches, artists experimented with sources including electronic music and black styles like dub, funk, free jazz, and disco; novel recording and production techniques; and ideas from art and politics, including critical theory, modernist art, cinema and literature. Communities that produced independent record labels, visual art, multimedia performances and fanzines developed around these pioneering musical scenes, which coalesced in cities such as London, New York, Manchester, Melbourne, Sydney and San Francisco.

During their brief career, the Imports played the nightclub circuit of Chicago's underground music scene, a scene they shared with other Chicago punk rock and/or new wave music bands such as Bohemia, C*nts, Da!, the Dadistics, Epicycle, the Ferraris, Heavy Manners, the Men, Naked Raygun, the Oil Tasters (from Milwaukee), Painter Band, Phil 'n' the Blanks, Poison Squirrel, Skafish, Special Affect, Static Cling, the Subverts (from Rockford), the Sweatermen, the Throbbers, the Trouble Boys, and the Vaguelys. As Ken Mierzwa writes in Ephemeral Creation: Music and Art in Chicago, 1978-1982, "none of the first batch of local bands ever enjoyed more than regional success". [2] The nightclubs in which The Imports played included The Lucky Number, Tuts, Jamie's Elsewhere, and Exit. The majority of The Imports' band members were excluded from these venues on nights when they were not playing on account of being under the legal age for drinking, making it difficult for them to view acts who weren't on the same bill.

New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

Skafish is a Chicago punk band, fronted by Jim Skafish, cousin of Chicago area DJ Bobby Skafish. The band was formed in 1976 and had their first performance that November.

Initially, the Imports played a short pop punk set of originals inspired by late seventies American and British punk acts such as Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Jam. Their repertoire grew to over sixty originals, few of which ran much longer than two minutes. However, soon after their Chicago debut at the club Ann Arkees on March 6, 1980, the Imports gave up their high-intensity pop-punk style for a melancholic, brooding post-punk sound.

Iggy Pop American rock singer-songwriter, musician, and actor

James Newell Osterberg Jr., better known as Iggy Pop, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. Designated the "Godfather of Punk", he was the vocalist of influential proto-punk band the Stooges, who were formed in 1967 and have disbanded and reunited multiple times since. He is well known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics.

New York Dolls American rock band

The New York Dolls were an American hard rock band formed in New York City in 1971. Along with the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, they were one of the first bands of the early punk rock scenes. Although their original line-up fell apart quickly, the band's first two albums—New York Dolls (1973) and Too Much Too Soon (1974)—became among the most popular cult records in rock. The line-up at this time comprised vocalist David Johansen, guitarist Johnny Thunders, bassist Arthur Kane, guitarist and pianist Sylvain Sylvain and drummer Jerry Nolan; the latter two had replaced Rick Rivets and Billy Murcia, respectively, in 1972. On stage, they donned an androgynous wardrobe, wearing high heels, eccentric hats, and satin. Nolan described the group in 1974 as "the Dead End Kids of today".

Ramones American punk rock band

The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are sometimes cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was influential in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Releases

While together, The Imports released only one professional recording: a 7" single on Cirkle Records, published in 1980 with the songs "Visions of Reality" and "Darkness of Light". These songs were recorded on a four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder in the Imports rehearsal space in the basement of the Krug's home in Hyde Park. The recording engineer was Andrew Clark, guitarist and vocalist of the band Epicycle. In order to achieve some manner of separation between tracks, each member of the band was sequestered in his own corner of the basement.

Reel-to-reel audio tape recording

Reel-to-reel or open-reel audio tape recording is a form of magnetic tape audio recording in which the recording medium is held on a reel, rather than being securely contained within a cassette. In use, the supply reel or feed reel containing the tape is mounted on a spindle; the end of the tape is manually pulled out of the reel, threaded through mechanical guides and a tape head assembly, and attached by friction to the hub of a second, initially empty takeup reel.

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