I can’t remember where I first stumbled across the video for I Hate Chicago, but I saw Laura Jane Grace’s name attached to it and the thumbnail was unmistakably Wayne’s World and knew I had to watch it.
In a Chicago Tribune interview with Greg Kot, Grace describes the song was birthed during a particularly horrendous stint of traffic. Having lived briefly in Chicago, I can confirm that Chicago traffic can really bring out the rage in a person. However, I was pretty lost for the first third of the song. It wasn’t until she sings, “This is just another divorce song,” that it all makes sense. A break-up makes you irrational and lash out; even at delicious things like deep dish pizza.
As a result of showing this video to my children, considerable wisdom has been imparted to them:
- The concepts Parody and Spoof have been explained.
- Wayne’s World: if you come to my house, my kids are likely to tell you, “If you’re gonna to spew, spew into this” while handing you an imaginary dixie cup.
- Bohemian Rhapsody: because I Hate Chicago is spoofing Wayne’s World’s parody of Queen’s music video we also showed them the original source material. Within 24 hours, they knew all the words to the song and henceforth would prefer to use the nicknames, “Thunderbolt” and “Lightning”
As far as songs inspired by terrible traffic and/or breaking up, this one is pretty clever. And I know the whole thing is Grace saying all the things she hates, but it’s not an angry song. Sometimes you gotta get angry to feel better.
- If you like I Hate Chicago, listen a few more times and then purchase it.
- Try more of Laura Jane Grace solo, like: Born in Black
- Give Against Me! a try: Black Me Out & True Trans Soul Rebel (Recorded Live on Sound Opinions
I Hate Chicago by Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers, 2018