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 […]
Before Chicago singer-guitarist Molly Madden began performing indie-rock songs as Uma Bloo in 2016, she used that stage name as a burlesque performer. As she told Tribune critic Britt Julious in 2020, burlesque provided her an outlet to explore complex emotions while giving her a confidence she hadn’t felt growing up in a devout Catholic […]
The producers who created footwork’s molten polyrhythms designed them to give dancers the flexibility to switch tactics in the middle of a battle. Yes, there are specific moves (Ghost! Erk n Jerk!), but the ever-changing percussion and bass patterns create a destabilized space where footworkers can “choose their own adventure,” as it were, by adapting […]
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 […]
In the early months of the pandemic, Wandering Boys banjo player Rob Jensen reached out to Matt Clark (of slowcore trio Pinebender and drone duo White/Light) with an invitation to jam. The music they made together planted the seeds for Clark’s new solo endeavor, Otherpeace, a loose group where he’s backed by Jensen (drums), Pinebender […]
Angel Day, 23, is a visual artist, pop musician, and show promoter. They make eclectic underground tracks that draw from experimental dance and hip-hop, using the name Yesterdayneverhappened; they also organize a party called Daybreak, which showcases Black and Black trans artists. In January the Empty Bottle hosted the most recent Daybreak, titled “Frostbite,” whose […]
If an MC has put in enough work that they can wrap a verse around a beat so tightly you can’t separate the two, then the odds are good they’ve accumulated a trunk full of unreleased material in the process. Englewood’s CantBuyDeem is just such a rapper, and he’s strung together a handful of those […]
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 […]
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 […]
I’m a gourmand when it comes to hot dogs and their crustier cousin, the corn dog. When I went to a Chicago Dogs baseball game on $1 hot dog night last summer, I took the special promotion as a challenge and consumed an irresponsible number of wieners. But I also recognize a special tubular meat […]
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. […]
Since 2018, Chicago singer-rapper Jean Deaux has released at least an EP or full-length every year, and there’s hardly a bum note in her growing discography. She harnesses the enticing aesthetics of R&B, reaching for the sublime with whispery percussion, lithe and steamy guitar melodies, supple keyboards in plush, downy drifts, and smokily smoldering vocals […]
“Video Brain Blender” gave me an experience I couldn’t have replicated at home, and that’s exactly what I missed about going to the movies throughout the pandemic.
I generally avoided the Chicago Riverwalk even before the pandemic, but Footnotes gave me a genuinely great reason to spend a night gazing up at Merch Mart.
The dense, iridescent drone of an untold number of singing cicadas seeps into Now, the 2021 sophomore full-length by Damon Locks’s Black Monument Ensemble. In August and September 2020, 11 of the collective’s members gathered to record at Edgewater’s Experimental Sound Studio, both inside and out back in the garden behind the building—and the environmental […]