Naked Raygun Credit: lemonkopf.1977/FlickR

For a brief time in the 90s, Chicago’s music community took its turn in the national spotlight—Billboard magazine dubbed the city “cutting edge’s new capital” in 1993, as artists like the Smashing Pumpkins, Urge Overkill, and Liz Phair rose to fame. And for those who couldn’t make it to clubs such as Lounge Ax or Double Door (or weren’t old enough to get past security), there was JBTV, a weekly half-hour music show that aired Saturday nights at 11:30 on Channel 66. Thanks to JBTV founder Jerry Bryant and his passion for indie music, viewers were treated to some of the earliest television performances by Green Day, Jeff Buckley, and many others. The Emmy-winning show is still going strong (with multiple time slots on both cable and broadcast TV), but in August, Bryant revealed that he’s facing colorectal cancer. Enter “Strange 90’s: A Benefit for Jerry Bryant,” which Metro hosts with JBTV, Charity Bomb, and WKQX 101.1 FM. Bryant’s informal approach—he gives guests free rein in terms of set lists and interview topics, and invites fans to attend tapings for free—and the show’s understated camera work make JBTV feel less American Bandstand and more like a real-life take on the intimate filmed-in-a-basement format of Wayne’s World. And it’s a testament to Bryant’s deep connection with the city’s music community that so many local and touring artists are involved with the fund-raiser. Tonight’s lineup includes Naked Raygun, Andrew W.K., Plain White T’s, Madina Lake, Lizzy Plapinger, and Matt Walker (who’s played with Morrissey), as well as members of Local H, Kill Hannah, Stabbing Westward, Lovehammers, OURS, Marina City, and Kontrolled Kaos. In keeping with the 90s theme, the sets will include covers of songs by groups, among them Nirvana, Radiohead, and Garbage. All ticket proceeds will go toward Bryant’s cancer treatment.   v

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