Posted inBest of Chicago

Best impromptu spiritual-jazz show to celebrate what turned out not to be the end of the pandemic

When the pandemic shut down live music, Chicago gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey began presenting great online gigs via Experimental Sound Studio’s Quarantine Concerts series. I remember the excitement I felt when the gallery made a last-minute, low-key announcement, mostly to friends and supporters, that the sixth of its Sequesterfest livestreaming events would also be open […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago underground heroes Cheer-Accident stay joyously weird on their 24th album, Here Comes the Sunset

When I moved to the Windy City in 1995, “psychedelic” and “progressive rock” were dirty words associated with patchouli-scented hippies. A few local bands were boldly mining this expansive territory, though, including Sabalon Glitz, Frontier, and Cheer-Accident. Led by drummer, singer, keyboardist, and trumpeter Thymme Jones, Cheer-Accident always put on a thrilling, even hilarious live […]

Posted inMusic

Krautrock legend Michael Rother and electronic explorer Vittoria Maccabruni make weird beautiful music on As Long as the Light

I was a wee lad with little journalism experience in 1998, when I interviewed German guitar god Michael Rother, who’d cofounded pioneering experimental rock outfits Neu! and Harmonia in the 70s. Not only did I hit him with a cliched question about his biggest influences, but I also pressed him when he said that no […]

Posted inMusic

Country-rock veterans Ouray keep gigging 40 years after their last album

As I’ve aged, my musical obsessions have shifted a bit. I still enjoy noisier, headier sounds—psychedelia, prog, garage trash, punk, experimental music—but I often want a “peaceful easy feeling” instead, which calls for some heartfelt country rock. I’ve always responded to the groups that put down the genre’s roots, especially the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gene […]