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‘I don’t need fans, I need comrades’

Patrick Haggerty has just made me cry. Though we’re talking over Zoom, a day before the 78-year-old heads out on tour in support of his second record, Blackberry Rose and Other Songs & Sorrows, Haggerty’s passion and concern cut through, creating immediate intimacy despite the digital mediation. I feel lucky to be in conversation with […]

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Blind Arvella Gray

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the Reader on January 7, 1972. It’s been transcribed exactly as it appeared then, and has not been updated to correct typos or conform to the Reader’s current house style.  A blind man singing on the streets. It almost sounds as if it would be outlawed or long […]

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The second-biggest news about Bandcamp this week

Friday, March 4, is the 20th installment of what’s become known as Bandcamp Friday, when Bandcamp passes along its usual share of revenue to the independent artists and labels selling music through the site. But that occasion was overshadowed somewhat this morning, when Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond announced that the company is “joining” Epic Games. […]

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A tribute to Syl and Jimmy Johnson

Chicago shaped Jimmy and Syl Johnson, and the brothers stayed grounded here even as they became global heroes. The singer-guitarists moved up from Mississippi after World War II and played blues and R&B, carving out their own spaces within those sounds. They had outwardly contrasting personalities and their careers took different paths; they worked together […]

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Duranguense: hecho en Chicago

Read in English Un estilo de música, de baile y de vestir. Todo eso es el duranguense, movimiento que surgió en Chicago a principios del siglo 21. El duranguense, un género híbrido que tiene sus raíces en el estado de Durango — ubicado al noroeste de México — y en la música conocida en la […]

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Catholic school house

In November 2021, news broke that filled the Chicago house-music community with pride. Hometown house legends Ten City were nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronica Album for Judgement, their first full-length studio recording since 1994. Many Chicago fans remembered that around the time of the group’s formation in the mid-1980s, their producer, house pioneer […]

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Duranguense: made in Chicago

En Español A style of music, dance, and dress: duranguense, which surged in Chicago at the turn of the 21st century, encompassed all of this. Duranguense is a hybrid genre, with roots in the northwestern Mexican state of Durango as well as the music known in the industry as Regional Mexican—it includes popular genres linked […]