Open Mike Eagle’s new album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, is heavily influenced by the legacy of the Robert Taylor Homes, a former public housing project on the South Side of Chicago, which was unceremoniously torn down in 2007. (Today, all that remains at the site is a barren field.) Mike grew up in Chicago and often spent time with family living in the Homes. Upon revisiting the city and the former site of the Homes later in life, he was struck by the lack of commemoration for the thousands of residents who lived and died in the Homes. The realization that nothing remained in that space inspired the theme of the album.
For the inaugural episode of AV Docs, The A.V. Club spent a day with Open Mike Eagle at the site of the former Homes in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, exploring its legacy to understand the inspiration behind his new album.