PHOTOS OF THE M'S BY KURT SWANSON
Towards the end of the summer of 2000, sweating in a dingy basement in the middle of Chicago's Ukranian Village neighborhood, surrounded by cables and homemade soundproofing; four young men set up some microphones and recorded a song. Within a week, they had completed five more, and pushed themselves out the door to Cal's Liquors deep in the heart of the Chicago Loop. In post-modern fashion, they called themselves The M's. This new group set up on the concrete floor in the corner of the packaged liquor store-come concert hall, and proceeded to blow minds. The overwheling success of this first show urged the group to go back underground, hone their craft, and emerge as an actual band.
Two years and thirty some odd songs later, the M's decided it was time to step into the daylight. They walked down the street to Semaphore Studios and produced a four-song EP complete with hairy riffs, heavy breathing and blasting horns. The sound was gloriously unique, melodious, trashy and as dirty as the basement from which the song came. More and more Chicagoans listened to the recordings, and as people started to take notice, promoters caught the vibe. The M's were added to bills with groups as varied as The French Kicks, Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Wilco, Rainer Maria, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Electric Six, and The Walkmen. Chicago label Brilliante agreed to re-release the first four songs under their growing banner, and the momentum continued to build.~centerstage.com