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Thax Around Town

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 19, 2006 8:22PM

Today’s Daily Northwestern delves a bit into the man, the myth and the poetry of Chicago’s own Thax Douglas.

2006_01_thax.jpgKnown to almost everyone who’s ever set foot in a Chicago rock club, Thax can be found reading his poetry before the start of shows throughout the city. The piece explores how Thax’s poetry readings took off at the dearly departed Lounge Ax, though Thax himself said in an interview at Glorious Noise that the first poem he read for a band was in 1994 at a Stamen show.

The article also mentions a film by University of Chicago student Alex McKenzie simply titled Thax. We spoke with Alex via e-mail today and he said he’s editing the 70-90 minute film himself and plans on a May completion date as it is part of his Cinema Studies B.A. project. You can view a preview trailer of the film here that features the Hideout’s Tim Tuten and Thax’s mom.

While some might disagree, Chicagoist thinks Thax is an important part of the Chicago music scene. His performances symbolize the often complicated, symbiotic relationship between performer and audience. Yet his presence as an astute observer who prides himself on his outsider status was never more apparent than it was last year when he posted this commentary in response to scenester chatter surrounding his “breakup” with Wilco.

Those interested in owning a copy of Thax’s CD Where The Earth May Roll To Next can visit the Tight Ship Records website or track down Thax at a show this weekend as he’ll be happy to sell you one.

Image: Thax reading poetry before Thunderbirds Are Now! at Intonation Fest