Stomping Grounds: Chicago, IL by Sam Prekop of The Sea & Cake

samprekopThe Sea and Cake has been a mainstay for Chicago’s post-rock music scene since 1994.  A supergroup of sorts featuring members of Shrimp Boat, Cocktails, and Tortoise, The Sea and Cake has become a solid outlet generating eight albums since it’s conception and becoming a launching point for solo careers from both guitarist, Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt.  The group released their eighth album Car Alarm this year through Thrill Jockey.  Sam Prekop highlights the strengths of the Second City.

1. What’s your town’s nickname?
Chicagoland is a bizarrely popular nickname. I can’t say I’m into it.
2. What’s your nickname for your town?
When bummed about being in Chicago, I refer to it as Chicagoland.
3. Why do you live there?
I’m in Pilsen which started as a Czech community, hence the name, and now is the epicenter of the Mexican community. It’s a great part of town hasn’t really changed all that much in years, still a lot of old Chicago still intact.
4. What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
The art museum here is world class despite its somewhat stodgy curators, but the permanent collection is hard to beat.
5. What is your favorite local event/festival?
The marathon here is quite excellent, and it goes right by my place.
6. What is the best time of year to be there?
Spring and fall, which each last what seems like a day or two before it’s either hideously cold or unbearably hot.
7. Who is your favorite local celebrity/personality?
8. What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
I’d have to say the Hideout, which is on a somewhat desolate street, easy to park.  It’s quite small and the actual bar is not in the live room which makes for good listening. I’d say it’s cozy in the best sense. One of the best shows I’ve seen there was by a band that barely exists, Flashlights. Exquisite.
9. What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
There a place down the street, Pollo Express, that specializes in, well, chicken. It’s impossibly great.
10. What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
I always like Dusty Groove, however it’s not a shop where you would make a “find” but they carry loads of stuff that no one else would have, an especially impressive Brazilian selection.
11. What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
The Chicago Reader has always been important for it’s music coverage and say they still have the best critics in tow