Chicago artists, bands release compilation album on vinyl to support local venues during COVID-19

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago-based music nonprofit partnered with local artist and bands, sponsors, and the city's only record-pressing plant to release a new double-vinyl record, which is being sold to support the live music venues struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Local venues, as a result of the pandemic, are closed pretty much indefinitely. There's a phrase going around: "first to close, last to open," said Trey Elder, founder of music nonprofit Quiet Pterodactyl.

Elder said that one of the goals was to showcase the artistic creativity that can come out of the pandemic, since he "did not want to put together a bummer of a pandemic-based record."

"Truly and honestly, the music is all fire. The music is all really really good," Elder said.

The vinyl was pressed at Smashed Plastic, Chicago's only record pressing plant.

Co-owner and founder Andy Weber was ecstatic to produce the Situation Chicago vinyls at his pressing plant in the Belmont Gardens neighborhood, located at the former site of the Hammond organ factory.

"I jumped straight into the deep end and said, 'Yeah, let's do this. We'll figure out a way to make it cost effective. And let's figure out a way to help these venues,'" Weber said.

The album features a wide array of genres and artists, from Wilco bandleader Jeff Tweedy and rock band OKGO to rapper Ric Wilson and producer The Twilite Tone.

Quiet Pterodactyl has also helped create a new initiative called "Save Chicago Music," which allows Chicagoans to donate to independent venues by purchasing meals from local restaurants.

"We have a soft goal of $150,000, we're at about $20,000 now. But the more, the better. These venues really need our help," Elder said.
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