You see it in the city's groundbreaking architecture; you taste it in the inventive cuisine; you sense it in the grain of its staunchly eclectic neighborhoods: Chicago, IL, revels in the role of cheerfully unruly cultural hotbed.
And no facet of the mosaic shines quite like the city's legendary, taste-making live music scene. Landmarks are plentiful, ranging from the revered elders you hope will never change, to the brash upstarts surfacing new talent, to the offbeat weirdos that do their own thing.
Relationships between institutions are symbiotic, helping to foster a music community invested in the sum of its parts. Once that characteristic comes into focus, the sprawl of Chicago — both geographically and culturally — feels considerably more captivating than it does daunting. But how to make sense of all that?