A lifelong Southsider, Jeanene is the owner, distributor, promoter (janitor, receptionist, chef) of Sunshine Records, an independent distributor of all things Chicago House and more!! We got together at Lumes Pancake House located at 11601 South Western Avenue on the city's Southside. Over the best friggin' bowl of grits I've ever tasted, we chit-chatted about Chicago House Music.
Sunshine Records does many things but specializes in distributing great music with a primary focus on new artists and Classic Chicago House music. So many times, I have looked for authentic House Music and was never able to buy a single cd. Now, through Jeanene, I have access to the good stash. Trax Records is the part of that...
Wait, you don't know Trax Records? Slap yourself.. We'll wait.
Seriously? TRAX, the original home of house music, gave birth to the biggest movement in club music since the dawn of Disco. TRAX stands in a class by itself, as the quintessential music catalog that defines the house sound.
Basically, if you don't know Trax, you don't know House. And when I say "House" I don't mean techno, electro-punk, dub-step or Booty Bounce! Sorry, I am passionate about this. I digress...
Jeanene's company, Sunshine Records is the middle man between you and the real deal House music. She distributes CD's, music downloads, and apparel. She promotes new artists and hosts events all over the city. She has dedicated her work to preserving good House music for generations. She is the center of my Southside Spotlight:
#1. When did you 1st experience Chicago House?
Jeanene: It would have to be when my sister's friend brought a cassette of House over. We listened to it over and over. Then, the ultimate height of my relationship with House came through WBMX on Friday nights. It didn't get much better than that. I miss WBMX".
#2. What is your favorite House music track of all time and why?
Jeanene: "It's would have to be, '"Your Love."' by Frankie Knuckles. That puts me in my own head space. I just have to hear the first three notes and I am happy instantly. That is my all-time favorite..I could be on a deserted island..that would be the only song I need."
#3. "What's the largest misconception people have about House Music?"
Jeanene: "I hate when there is a type of music that isn't easily identified, people automatically slap the label '"House Music" on it. It could be Underground, Techno,..whatever..those that don't know House just call it that. It isn't fair to the culture of House."
#4. "Describe House Music in one word."
Jeanene: "Happiness. The music makes you happy. It's hard to listen to this music and be pissed off.."
#5. "Who is a new artist that we should give some ear time to?"
"DJ Ceez! He isn't just known for spinning records (hip-hop, deep house, jungle, alternative)but he is a bad-ass battle DJ. Ceez is also deeply involved in the recording and production process. He's from Ft. Lauderdale by the way of Omaha, NE and is the resident DJ for 21st Century Hip Hop, A Chicago Hip-Hop Collective. This brother has been doing his thing for over 20 years. It's safe to say he's legit. To add the icing to the cake, he has a Latin House EP titled "Miami Nights coming out this year! DJ Ceez is Sunshine Records' "Mix of the Month". Check him out because he is really doing great things. House Heads would appreciate it."
Attention, House Heads! Thanks to Jeanene and Sunshine Records, I am able to offer a limited edition, 25th Anniversary "I Love Chicago House" CD featuring 12 of the hottest Chicago House Tracks to the first few readers who can answer the following House trivia questions correctly:
"What was the 1st House Music song ever recorded?
Send your answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me on Twitter @TheRealJoyRene. While you're at it, follow me and Sunshine Records too @Sunrecords1
Yep, you're welcome!