By Mark Bell | September 24, 2011

The Last Mopery Show is just that: the last show to be had at the Mopery “music club” in Chicago. I put “music club” in quotations because, at first glance, it seems like little more than just some loft space above a grocer. Still, if you’ve ever been in a DIY music venue, the Mopery is all too familiar. Crowded, too hot to be comfortable yet having the charm of being the best opportunity to have a good time with like-minded people without the drudgery of a more polished venue. This is the kind of place that musical myths and legends are borne of, and this short documentary/concert film is now part of a historical record to give a face to the tall tales to come.

The documentary is just as down-and-dirty as the venue it captures, more of a first person video recollection with moments of interviewed justifications than a more straightforward documentary. As people in line, in the Mopery or recently done playing reminisce about the venue, the footage is mixed with the various bands on the final evening’s bill rolling through their music. And these bands are quite the eclectic mix, from some more traditional rock-punk stylings to avant garde electro to noise insanity.

For those who have never known of the Mopery, or the bands in the film, it’s more of a curiosity than much else. For those looking to be inspired by some DIY music venue goodness, then soak it all in and get an idea or three. For the people who lived the Mopery experience, are fans of the bands or who played there themselves, this is a time capsule of a venue lost. Again, when folks in Chicago start talking about the Mopery in mythical terms, or through the haze of an alcoholic adventure half-remembered, this will serve as the reality to counterpoint. Not that myths are bad, hardly, but sometimes it’s fun to celebrate how things really were than to dwell on what they are remembered to be.

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