CD Take the System Down (CD 987066),
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Take the System Down

  • 1. Fellow Traveler
    2. We Hate Our Condition
    3. White Skin Black Heart
    4. Black Helicopters
    5. Shade Tree Mechanic
    6. Dying Blues
    7. When the Rap Begins to Roll - (Acoustic)
    8. Generation Y
    9. Afrika
    10. Unabomber
    11. Democracy
    12. Desert Storm
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 81

  • Credits
    EngineerBrendan Burke

    Vortis: Mike Weinstein (vocals); G Haad (guitar); Johnny Los (bass); Jim Derogatis (drums, samples).
    Personnel: Jim DeRogatis (drums, sampler).
    Recording information: UberStudio, Chicago, IL (2001).
    Photographer: Marty Perez.
    Vortis is a band that is beyond weird. An entire spectrum of strangeness is bridged with Take the System Down. This is seen in multiple areas, the first of which is the sound. Somewhere between rockabilly, punk, rap, folk-rock, and a slew of other genres, Vortis plays a style that can really only fall under the moniker of punk. Secondly, there are the lyrics. They're politically based, but they aren't necessarily leftist, nor do they pertain to the right. Rather, they're supportive of anyone who is against globalized capitalism. Oh, and then there's some stuff in there about drinking and sex, too. The final part of this montage of unusualness relates to the bandmembers. This is the strangest aspect. Two of the members (guitarist and bassist) are twenty-somethings, no different than many a Chicago punk rocker. The drummer for Vortis, however, is Jim DeRogatis, music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. But that's not the weirdest part. The lead singer, Michael Weinstein (aka Fellow Traveler), is a 59-year-old political philosophy professor at Purdue University, a renowned photography critic, and the author of many papers and books. He's also married to Deena Weinstein, who is a sociologist at DePaul University. Babbling on like a cross between Jello Biafra, Ice Cube, and Iggy Pop, at live shows Weinstein can be found running around the stage, flipping people off and yelling lines like, "f*ck, f*ck, f*ck the human race." Musically, this is nothing new, as Vortis plays sloppy, varied music that never really finds a steady pattern throughout its 12 tracks. Nevertheless, the lyrics do invite some questioning, which is a positive thing, and one can't help but think that the band has got to put on an amazing live show. ~ Kurt Morris

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