Dan O’Conor is best known as the Great Lake Jumper, but he’s also a Chicago-based artist and owns T-shirt company Dtox Designs. Raised in the north suburbs, O’Conor began going to concerts in the city in the early 80s, and his passion for live music led him to a career in the music and media […]
On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade, unceremoniously stripping away half of the population’s right to bodily autonomy and therefore full citizenship. While the ensuing backlash helped shape the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections, downgrading the “red wave” that political pundits and mainstream media had told us […]
Jeremy Nutzman, who makes music as Velvet Negroni, was adopted by a white evangelical Christian family (he’s Black) and grew up taking rigorous piano lessons. His parents forbid him to listen to secular music, and to say they were strict about it is an understatement: in a 2019 interview with the Fader, Nutzman described dismantling […]
Many in Chicagoland have pitched in to help Ukrainian refugees and send aid.
For many of us, the early days of the pandemic meant lost time and opportunities, but for Royal Thunder, that long, lonely period sparked a rebirth. Formed in 2004, the Atlanta band had made a name for themselves with a mix of heavy psych, bluesy hard rock, prog, and more—but they’d split up just before […]
By the time singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Earl Livingston released his first full-length album as Son Little in 2015, he’d already worked with genre-bending artists such as the Roots and RJD2 and produced the 2015 Mavis Staples EP Your Good Fortune (he also wrote its first two tracks). In keeping with the musical openness of […]
The Yiddish language originated in the 900s and peaked in the early 1940s with around 11 million speakers, primarily in Europe’s Ashkenazi Jewish communities. But of the six million Jewish people murdered by the Nazis during World War II, 85 percent of them were Yiddish speakers. Just as the worldwide Jewish population has not yet […]
When Elder emerged in Massachusetts in the mid-2000s, they worshiped at the altar of stoner-doom heavyweights such as Sleep and Eyehategod. But in the years since, they’ve emerged from behind the weed to establish a voice of their own. By their fifth LP, 2020’s Omens, most of the band had relocated to Berlin, and as […]
New York singer-songwriter Danielle Ponder has been involved in music for much of her life, but after her brother received a 20-year prison sentence due to a “three strikes” policy, she became an advocate for justice and pursued a legal career. She landed in the public defender’s office in her hometown of Rochester, first as […]
The People Issue’s class of 2022 showcases folks from many walks of life. As subjects, their common thread is an incessant need to create welcoming spaces for other individuals like them, enact change, further their craft, do good, and in one instance, amplify the representation of stoner lesbians in graphic novels. Read profiles of 21 people by and as told to 15 Chicago Reader writers.
Michael and Helen Cameron launched Uncommon Ground in 1991 as a tiny coffeehouse at Grace and Clark near Wrigley Field, eventually expanding it into a full-service restaurant and music venue. In 2007 they added a second location on Devon, which they recently closed to spend more time with family. In 2014 the original Uncommon Ground […]
Michigan trio Cloud Rat have grown steadily from their solid grindcore foundations into one of the most boundary-pushing outfits in a generation of heavy punk-driven bands. They’ve put out more than 20 releases since forming in 2009, but this prolificacy hasn’t been accompanied by a holding pattern in their songwriting—their records feel increasingly packed with […]
Sarah Shook is best known as the singer and guitarist for rowdy country band Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, but Cruel Liars, the debut album from their latest project, the darker and more intimate Mightmare, proves that pigeonholing them would be a grave mistake. Shook grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household where their exposure […]
Plenty of bands do a lot with compact lineups, but few can match the huge black-hole vortex of sound that Petbrick creates. The London-based duo of British multi-instrumentalist and producer Wayne Adams and legendary Brazilian metal drummer Iggor Cavalera came together a few years ago with a plan to make “horrible noise” without compromise. But […]
The term “world music” has never been adequate to the task we’ve set it—even in its most benign reading, it implies a division between the listener and the rest of the world. And if that listener is in the United States, our country’s global hegemony in popular music colors the term’s meaning too. Americans don’t […]