Chicago has long been a hotbed for independent record labels, with heavy hitters like Drag City, Thrill Jockey, and Touch and Go leading a pack of smaller imprints that run into the dozens. This week Kevin Warwick surveys the current label scene in town, focusing on a diverse quartet of relative upstarts: HoZac, Chocolate Industries, Peira, and Not Normal Tapes.
Gossip Wolf is especially punk this week, featuring local punks Running, reunited midwest punks Planes Mistaken for Stars, and aptly named Fugazi cover band Instrument (who play a benefit for Girls Rock! Chicago this weekend). The latest installment of In Rotation features picks from Cheer-Accident’s Dudley Bayne, multi-instrumentalist Boris Hauf, and Reader music editor Philip Montoro. A new Secret History of Chicago Music profiles versatile but anonymous journeyman Dean Milano. And Soundboard offers live picks that include Drake, Iggy Azelea, Doug Paisley, and more—plus a guide to the first big outdoor festival of the season, this weekend’s Do-Division Street Fest.