Rockin' Our ... Pew?

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 18, 2009 5:40PM

Rich Seng is a master of making music into more than melody. The 35-year-old Chicago producer is the brains behind the epic Rhyme Spitters MC battle series and a number of philanthropically minded compilation albums. With Seng, there’s always a higher purpose.

Perhaps none as high as his latest project, the compilation titled Crosswalk: A Chicago Band Catholic Hymn Compilation. Seng enlisted 21 local artists, including OFFICE, The M’s, Canasta, Detholz and Healthy White Baby, to record their take on a popular Catholic hymn. He raised money to produce and distribute the disc by soliciting businesses in Wicker Park for support. After production costs, all contributions go to organizations that assist victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Crosswalk is a purely pop take on traditional worship music; the lyrics are straight out of the pew hymnal but the arrangements are all indie kid-approved. Our favorites are The M’s jaunty, ‘60s garage-style take on “I Am the Bread of Life,” the infectious, blissed-out blues fuzz of Healthy White Baby’s “Were You There” and Ruth Buzzy’s dark, creaky gothic folk version of “Light of the World.”

Whether you’re interested in the concept or not, it’s an impressive collection of Chicago talent and a project that took Seng five years to complete. The disc is available for free starting today at more than 15 sponsoring businesses in the Wicker Park area, including Reckless Records, Earwax CafĂ© and Sultan’s Market.

Check out the full list of participating businesses after the jump. Each location has 40 copies to give away, so call first to make sure they still have ‘em.

Reckless Records, Wicker Park
1532 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
phone: 773-235-3727
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 10pm
Sunday: 10am - 8pm

Mac's American Food & Drink, Wicker Park
1801 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622-3194
(312) 782-4400

City Soles & Niche, Wicker Park
2001 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

Penelope's, Wicker Park
1913 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
p: 773.395.2351

Las Palmas, Wicker Park
1835 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622-1311
(773) 289-4991

Eye Want, Wicker Park
1543 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 782-1744

Letizia Natural Bakery, Wicker Park
2144 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-1011

Crust Pizza, Wicker Park
2056 W. Division
Chicago, IL 60622

Earwax Cafe, Wicker Park
1561 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622-2009
(773) 772-4019

The Silver Room, Wicker Park
1442 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622-9225
(312) 278-7130

Via Carducci La Sorella, Trattoria, Wicker Park
1928 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622-3146
(773) 252-2244

Spirit Juice, Media Production
11350 S. Harlem Ave
Worth, IL 60482

Gateway Auto Service, Wicker Park
2057 W Division
Chicago, IL 60622
Tel 773.342.7105

Dr. Fretgood Guitar Repair, Humboldt Park
2023B N. California Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60647
(773) 276-2401

Moonshine Bar & Grill, Wicker Park
1824 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622-3113
(773) 862-8686

Sultan's Market, Wicker Park
2057 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647-5413
(773) 235-3072