The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago’s Growing Carp Culture

By JoshMogerman in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 2, 2010 8:00PM

Journey of the Asian Carp: Aquatic invaders, Chicago indie music, NPR...what more could you want?
It has been more than a year since Asian carp threatened to invade Chicago’s waterways and Lake Michigan. Their takeover of the media has been far more of a certainty. But it is becoming clear that the ugly, jumping, invasive fish is making a very real and lasting cultural mark in Chicago. You can see it in quick pop-culture references; like Rahm’s soon-to-be-legendary parting gift and iconic posters. But the fish have been bubbling down into more significant cultural spheres as witnessed by the scars on our local culinary scene and some upcoming documentary projects sure to excite all your fishy fantasies.

The annual Chicago360 festival is back this month featuring an array of fantastic films about life in our town. This year’s theme is “Aliens in the City” and, yup, it features a piece on our most famous aquatic invader. CARP: A Four Letter Word by local filmmaker Jessica Kivnik digs into the carp controversy.

And, we are super-excited about a project that hasn’t even been finished yet. But how could you not be geeked about this combo: Carp, Califone, and NPR?

Califone's Tim Rutili is apparently working with crack audio documentations Elizabeth Meister and Dan Collison on a new Song+Stories project (which previously matched new Sufjan Stevens music with the search for the ivory-billed woodpecker to create one of those “driveway moments” that the WBEZ folks are always going on about at pledge drive time). Journey of the Asian Carp would use a new Califone track to set the mood for an audio exploration of the impacts carp infestation has had on Illinois River communities. The project is set to air on National Public Radio later in the fall. But, since it is an independent affair and there is no big-NPR (hee hee) funding, the producers are raising cash online and today is their deadline to get the piece off the ground. Frankly, we can’t imagine a better way to tell the carp story and will be kicking in some hard-earned personal cash---a Califone carp song to rock our turntables is probably worth the price of admission alone!