Self-taught Atlanta musician and visual artist Lonnie Holley has accrued ardent supporters since he dropped his first recordings earlier in the decade. Tonight he rolls into town with Animal Collective as the supporting act on their national tour. Due from Jagjaguwar in September, Holley’s new album MITH was cut in various sessions around the globe—from […]
Three years can be an eternity in the course of a young, razor-sharp punk band, but on their bristling new album Nose Picker (Trouble in Mind) Chicago’s Negative Scanner sound almost as if they’ve been on ice since the release of their blistering self-titled 2015 debut. I mean that as a compliment; the sense of […]
In a recent feature published in the New York Times Lindsey Jordan, who makes music under the name Snail Mail, said of the material she wrote for her debut full-length Lush (Matador), “The songs all had to have that moment for me where I feel like when I was playing live I could cry.” Though […]
Baltimore pedal-steel guitarist Susan Alcorn occupies a world unto herself in numerous ways that make the sounds she creates unlike anything else out there. Thanks to her parents, she was surrounded by music during her childhood in Florida, and she eventually took up the guitar. During a stint in Chicago in the mid-70s she became […]
Update: According to an Instagram post by Experimental Sound Studio, Greg Fox’s flight to Chicago has been canceled. He will no longer conduct his workshop at ESS or perform at the Hideout. Drummer Greg Fox has been duly celebrated over the last decade for his mind-melting work with a range of heavy projects including Liturgy, […]
In March, days before the launch of a tour planned to support his band’s 12th album, Romance (Joyful Noise), Oneida drummer Jon Colpitts—better known by his stage name, Kid Millions—was hospitalized following a serious car accident in Los Angeles. The tour was canceled, and though his Oneida bandmates announced that he was expected to make […]
One of the most wonderful phenomena in the world of improvised music is that players can come together with little more than an introduction and proceed to create work in which they rapidly forge common ground. Few words need to be spoken, as sound transcends all manner of cultural differences. Chilean trumpeter Benjamín Vergara, whom […]
Circuit des Yeux, Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, Irreversible Entanglements, and This Is Not This Heat don’t sell tickets like Fleet Foxes, but they help keep the Pitchfork Music Festival interesting.
Louisville, Kentucky, outfit the Other Years carry on a vibrant old-time music tradition that summons the spirit and soul of rural mountain music, but the melodic sophistication and instrumental polish they bring make it sound utterly contemporary despite its appealing rusticity. The duo, composed of fiddler Anna Krippenstapel (who’s been working in Freakwater for the […]
Wilder Maker is a sophisticated New York quintet helmed by a crew of indie-rock veterans with broad interests, including songwriter and front man Gabriel Birnbaum, who’s previously played with the Ethiopian-inspired Debo Band. Though I’m not sure if his earlier affiliation was inspired by a love of Paul Simon’s Graceland, most of the songs on […]
Singer and songwriter Caleb Willitz has forged a beguiling sound that seems like it only could have emerged from Chicago. With each performance he works with a shifting cast of musicians and ends up reshaping his poetic folk-rock songs. As with last year’s Home (Peace of Coal), most of his bands feature top-notch improvisational voices […]
Despite its profound and ongoing influence across a wide spectrum of musicians, the work of composer Morton Feldman is rarely performed in Chicago. That dearth can be explained in part by the durational intensity of many of his greatest works—which often clock in at more than an hour, and demand intense concentration and focus from […]
Drummer Nate Smith has taken his time as a bandleader. Last year the 43-year-old musician dropped Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere (Ropeadope), his second album and debut as a bandleader, which shows that his patience has yielded serious dividends. The record is a product of a superior musician and careful thinker who has absorbed ideas and […]
The Instant Award in Improvised Music, funded by an anonymous donor, recognizes the art form as a practice unto itself.
In recent years Jayhawks front man Gary Louris has found increasing success writing songs for other artists, both on his own and with a slew of collaborators. In 2006 he composed four tunes with members of the Dixie Chicks for their album Taking the Long Way Home, and he’s since penned songs for that group’s […]