For the better part of a year, CalArts School of Art alum Jim Snyder (Art BFA 05) has dedicated his free time to a special music project: Arranging and recording a punk rock tribute to Chicago Transit Authority.
With friend Mike Wendland, the duo have cast themselves as Los Angeles Transit Authority, an homage to the forerunner of the 1970s band Chicago, whose first release in 1969 was the self-titled Chicago Transit Authority. “Neither Mike nor I can remember exactly when we fell in love with this totally ahead of its time debut double album, but it’s been a big influence on both of us musically,” writes Snyder in an email.
With an attention to detail that’s sometimes missing from the punk music genre—from meticulously transcribing horn arrangements for guitar to tweaking song structures—Los Angeles Transit Authority pays proper tribute to each song (just a lot louder, harder and faster). “Chicago was loud and rockin’, but also progressive and harmonically sophisticated, and our tribute strives for the same,” notes Snyder.
In keeping with the mantra WWCD (What would Chicago do?), they are currently working on a project to release the recording on “heavy duty 180 gram American vinyl.”
Until the release of the record, we’ve posted a video of the Los Angeles Transit Authority’s Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is? above, and Chicago’s version, below: