Leave the City: On Relocating GLONO HQ…

The Flag of the City of ChicagoIt breaks my heart to leave the city. I’ve got a lot of great reasons for leaving, but it’s still a sad day.

You might not realize that Glorious Noise was actually conceived and born in Michigan. Many drunken conversations at a dumpy Victorian apartment on Portsmouth Place in Grand Rapids throughout the late 90s led to our humble launch on February 6, 2001. By that July I was living in Chicago along with most of the other founders of the site.

I love Chicago. It’s a great city for people who love music. I remember before I moved here, visiting a friend and flipping through the Reader wondering how you even decide what to do when there are so many great shows happening every week.

Glorious Noise grew up in Chicago. Despite the fact that our contributors are scattered around the globe, we’ve always been a Chicago site. Attitude-wise, if not necessarily regionally focused. The Chicago attitude is straightforward and unpretentious, smart and direct, opinionated and funny. We’re tough, but we’ve got heart. Approachable to strangers. Even the prettiest girls in Chicago eat hotdogs and drink beer. What more could you want in a town?

Your priorities change as you get older. Being able to go to a cool rock show on a Tuesday night becomes less exciting and more of a burden. I just want to watch “Project Runway” and order in Thai food—is that so wrong? And, of course, having a kid compounds all of that.

I want my kid to grow up in a place more like where I grew up. Not exactly like where I grew up, but a combination of big city (liberal, diverse, cultured) and small city (good public schools, reasonable housing, less traffic). So we’re moving to a college town: Ann Arbor.

And it’s not as if Ann Arbor doesn’t have its own rock and roll credentials. Birthplace of Iggy Pop, home of the MC5. Seger, the Rationals, et al. Plus, there’s the SDS, White Panthers, and all those historical crazies, too. And there are lots of cool venues in the area that I’ll be checking out as I get settled.

I’ll miss my friends in Chicago. There’s still a hefty GLONO contingent here: Johnny Loftus, AMP, the Quasars, half of the original Riviera, Jude, Vit… It’s an easy four-hour drive, so I’ll be back. But I think I’ll probably miss living here. And I’ll miss lots of stuff I haven’t taken advantage of as much as I could’ve. That’s how it goes. It’s time for something new.

So you can expect the new GLONO “Funhouse” HQ to officially open for business on September 1. Feel free to send us any tips on the area. We’ll be new in town, so let us know where we all the cool places are. Is it true that you cannot actually get Thai food delivered? If so, I might starve to death. Wish me luck.

I don’t anticipate much changing with the site. I could’ve just moved without mentioning any of this and you probably wouldn’t have noticed. But I wanted to say goodbye. I’ve really loved living here, and Chicago has made me who I am today. It’s a great town, and living here has made me a better, stronger person. It’s time for me to leave, but I’m glad as hell that I lived here. It’s been a great nine years. So thanks. To everybody along the way. It was a good time.

The The Chicago contingent of the Glorious Noise posse, January 2002.

The Chicago contingent of the Glorious Noise posse, January 2002.

MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Leave the City” from What Comes After The Blues.

Previously: Good Night Chicago: A Brief History by Derek Phillips (2008).

21 thoughts on “Leave the City: On Relocating GLONO HQ…”

  1. Good luck on the new adventure and I’m sorry I wasn’t there to pack up HQ. Maybe we should have had a fire sale on t-shirts and CDs?

  2. Miss you already you jerk. Ann Arbor is a fantastic pick, you’re on to something big. I look forward to visiting and being horrified at how young everyone looks when we crash a welcome-week house party. Thanks for everything you’ve done for us in Chicago. Best of luck Browns, we’ll see you soon.

  3. “Tis a shame and a sin that Chicago is losing you, Jake. Even tho’ your reasons are probably valid and all that, we’re gonna miss you in Chicago. Good luck!!

  4. Ann Arbor awaits with bated breath, Jake. We’ve got the Blind Pig, The Ark, and Michigan Theater, plus lots of good venues in Detroit to choose from. Remember Pine Knob? They call it “DTE Music Theatre” or some such shit now, but that’s better than calling it the “Dunkin Donuts Ampitheatre” or something (I guess…). Much closer here than it was in Kzoo, so perfectly reasonable for a weekday evening jaunt. Finally, I’ll just add that Billy Talbot, bass player in Crazy Horse, is from Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor’s closest neighbor.

    We’ll be waiting for you here. With bells on.

  5. Jonathan – Unfortunately, the Canterbury House is long gone. But the memories remain… particularly those of a young singer songwriter presenting his wares back around 1968…

  6. It won’t be long now, Jake Brown. The Grand Rapids curse may be slow, but it’s certain. You’re moving back to Michigan now, but wait – in another few years, you’ll think, “It would be so awesome to have a Yesterdog anytime I want”…

  7. good luck with the thai food. when i left a year ago to move back to chicago there really wasn’t a thai place in A2 that delivered… i used to joke how i could make a killing doing a renegade thai delivery service. dear god, how i missed good, cheap thai when i lived there.

    at any rate… best tacos pastor around are at the little mexican shack at the southeast corner of carpenter and packard. fiesta something? can’t remember the name.

    pizza is generally terrible there(ypsi/arbor is home to both Domino’s and Little Caesars. hello?). i bought a pizza stone and learned to make my own.

    my favorite korean food was at Seoul Garden near the mall, but i also loved Bells Diner which was a family-owned and run half korean/half breakfast place on stadium on the west side… not super great food, but loved the ambiance. it’s right next to stadium hardware… best hardware store around.

    out of town:

    go check out the common grill in chelsea for a fancy night out. it’s loud, but it’s good and a good bang for the buck.

    slow’s bbq in detroit is worth the trip alone. another super awesome splurge downtown is Roast.

    plan to avoid pretty much everything on main street in ann arbor with the exception of the jolly pumpkin place. it’s all overpriced and mediocre.

    oh, and hippy hash at the fleetwood. disgusting, yet delicious!

    i’m glad to be back in chicago after my stint in A2, but i do still occasionally get nostalgic for it. it would really be a great place to grow up. good luck.

    oh, and you’re free to use my renegade thai delivery idea.

    maybe you can help get more decent bands to actually visit ann arbor… it always seemed to me all the good shows were in pontiac.

  8. Best of luck, Jake and Jolie. There’s no community like the GloNo community. Hope to see us all together again soon.

  9. Jake,

    A fan of Grand Rapids Rocks. It recently disappeared, what happened? Will it be coming back?


    Doug Taylor

  10. I think a college town is an ideal place to be. Lots of cultural diversity without big city hassles. Best wishes to your family!

  11. FYI: Great place for food. Casey’s Bar and Grill

    Casey’s Tavern is located on the southeast corner of Depot Street and 5th Avenue in Ann Arbor, across from the train station.

    Pastrami sandwich is great!


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