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Venerable jazz guitarist George Freeman celebrates 95 years with a new compilation

Legendary Chicago jazz guitarist George Freeman has been honing his dynamic, explosive style since the 1940s, working with dozens of the genre’s hall of famers, including Charlie Parker, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Gene Ammons, Jimmy McGriff, Buddy Rich, Shirley Scott, and his brothers Von and Bruz Freeman. On Sunday, April 10, Freeman turns 95, and to mark […]

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Young indie rockers Friko celebrate a sophisticated new EP with a springtime show

Friko front man Niko Kapetan is a key player in Chicago’s young indie-rock underground. His band belongs to a tight-knit community that also includes like-minded acts Lifeguard, Post Office Winter, Dwaal Troupe, and Horsegirl—the connections among them are too numerous to list here, but to pick one example, Kapetan helped engineer and produce Horsegirl’s 2020 […]

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Psych-folk project the Singleman Affair debuts album number four at Constellation

Even before local singer-songwriter Dan Schneider released his first album as the Singleman Affair in 2006, his psych-folk solo project had become a fruitful nexus for collaboration. Schneider has not only brought together amazing musicians—including folks from Mucca Pazza, the Cairo Gang, Califone, and Fruit Bats—to perform and record with him, but he’s also regularly […]

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Chicago jangle-pop group CalicoLoco drop their sharpest single yet

Since 2019, local jangle-pop six-piece CalicoLoco have been dropping singles whose smart, rigorous songwriting sensibility reminds Gossip Wolf of 80s UK indie-pop masters such as Prefab Sprout and Aztec Camera. Last month, the band released their sharpest single yet, the emo-tinged, radio-ready “The Bad Hair Day”—and it has to be the catchiest jam about fringe […]

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Garifuna singer Ifeanyi Elswith drops a powerful, poignant Valentine’s Day single

In summer 2020, local Garifuna musician Ifeanyi Elswith released the album Everything Festyle, which Gossip Wolf hailed as a “star-making turn” that feels like “an intimate conversation with the coolest girl on the block.” Needless to say, this wolf has been on the lookout for new tunes from this velvet-voiced singer ever since! Last month, […]

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Synth-pop songwriter Warm Human shines even on odds and ends

Gossip Wolf first took a shine to the synth-pop jams of Meredith Johnston, aka Warm Human, when she dropped her standout debut full-length, Ghastly, in 2019. Over the past few years, Johnston has proved impressively prolific, releasing a string of radio-worthy singles and album-length projects whose tone ping-pongs all over the place—she mixes up misty […]

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Antifolk band Boo Baby drop their long-in-the-works second album

Chicago antifolk unit Boo Baby have been hanging out on the edge of this wolf’s awareness for years, having opened for the likes of local indie darlings Whitney, K Records singer-songwriter Karl Blau, and Chicago-raised outsider artist David Liebe Hart. Boo Baby’s loose-knit indie folk provides a fitting backdrop for the earnest delivery and irreverent […]

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New-music feast the Frequency Festival returns after taking a COVID year

Former Reader staff writer Peter Margasak has been programming the Frequency Series at Constellation since 2013, bringing in artists from across the wide spectrum of experimental and new music for weekly showcases. Since 2016 Margasak has also booked the annual Frequency Festival, which skipped 2021 for obvious reasons; the festival will return for its sixth […]

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Clementine Wink drops the most surreal Hen of the Woods album yet

Clementine Wink is probably best known to Gossip Wolf readers as the bassist for local industrial trio Civic Center, and for good reason—her melodic bass lines often provide the driving heartbeat of the band’s booming, brooding jams. Wink also releases compelling solo music as Hen of the Woods, expertly blending found sounds, sampled recordings, off-kilter […]

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Robert Marovich publishes a new book on King of Gospel James Cleveland

In a 2015 Reader story, critic Peter Margasak called scholar and radio DJ Robert Marovich “one of the foremost authorities on Chicago gospel” and wrote that his then-new book, A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music, “convincingly establishes the city’s crucial role in the origin of the music.” Marovich has since […]