Since I finished digitizing my CD collection, I’ve turned to my boxes of cassettes featuring bootleg concerts. (Bootlegs, by the way, are live recordings, not pirated, and don’t constitute theft.)
One of the perks is rediscovering music I’ve loved in the past, but have let drop out of my internal jukebox. Take, for example, Material Issue. I was a big fan early on, and the International Pop Overthrow album was a favorite for quite a while. They were standard bearers of that muscular kind of Chicago power pop – great hooks and harmonies, strong beats, master showmen. Take a listen to a gem from a 1992 concert, the first single from their second album:
(If you’d like the whole show, Power Pop Criminals has you covered.)
Sadly, most of Material Issue’s stuff is out of print. The surviving members of the band (Jim Ellison passed away, tragically, in 1996) released a 20th anniversary edition of the first album this year. I urge you to pick it up.