Posted inMusic

The blues has become part of Chicago’s DNA

Blues music thrives on live interaction between performer and audience, but for nearly a year and a half, that’s been in short supply. Clubs are caught between “waiting to reopen” and “slowly coming back,” and Millennium Park has been largely quiet—for two Junes running, the city has canceled the Chicago Blues Festival. Our blues artists […]

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Jupiter & Okwess capture the musical anarchy of their performances on Na Kozonga

My first impression of Jupiter Bokondji and his band Okwess was that their sound resembled Fishbone filtered through traditional African music. That’s not to say that the players in this Congolese ensemble actually take any cues from the legendary ska-punk band—rather, both groups combine African rhythms with rock, funk, and the occasional jazzy flourish. Jupiter […]

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The Reigning Sound blend vintage soul and folk-rock textures into infectious garage rock

Memphis musicians enjoy a well-deserved reputation for having more going on beneath the surface than they initially let on. Alex Chilton, Tav Falco, and Jim Dickinson are known for putting a trashy stamp on roots music in their songwriting, but they also incorporate outside influences at unpredictable times. Such is also the case with the […]

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Multimedia genius Saul Williams returns with the electronic-flavored new Encrypted & Vulnerable

Saul Williams is a one-man multimedia juggernaut: he’s had successful careers as a screenwriter and actor, but he’s earned his greatest fame as a poet and MC. His new sixth studio album, Encrypted and Vulnerable (Pirates Blend), includes a track whose title aptly sums up his musical evolution: “Experiment.” Though Williams’s first major recording was […]