Posted inMusic

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 […]

Posted inMusic

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 […]

Posted inMusic

Angel Day, aka producer and vocalist Yesterdayneverhappened and Daybreak party promoter

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 […]

Posted inMusic

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 […]

Posted inMusic

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 […]

Posted inMusic

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. […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best R&B artist on a hot streak

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 […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best use of cicadas on a jazz album

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 […]