Posted inMusic

Chicago trio Gosh Diggity sharpen their lo-fi pop sound on Runaway Rocketboy

Chicago trio Gosh Diggity have drawn a bead on the chemistry that gave a hard-to-pin-down magnetism to the solo lo-fi electronics projects—among them Say Hi and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone—that occupied a special place in 2000s indie pop. Gosh Diggity’s early EPs, 2019’s banana brains and 2020’s Bedtime for Bonzos, radiate skinned-knee shambolic glee […]

Posted inMusic

Oakland’s Kowloon Walled City return after six years with a noise-rock masterpiece

Oakland’s Kowloon Walled City formed in 2007 as an intense postmetal outfit who tipped their hat to fellow Oaklanders Neurosis, who’d helped pioneer the fusion of hardcore and sludge. During the 14 years since, the band have slowly pulled back on the aggression and fury, settling into creeping, deliberately paced noise rock. Kowloon Walled City’s […]

Posted inMusic

Austin doom outfit Monte Luna takes their dazed and heavy doom on the road

In 2016, Austin doom unit Monte Luna dropped their debut demo—a self-titled release with just one self-titled track more than 20 minutes long—and just a few months later followed it with their powerful first EP, The Hound. These served as appetizers for their self-titled 2017 full-length debut, which exuded confidence and showcased a trippy heaviness […]

Posted inMusic

Wind player and polymath Douglas R. Ewart convenes a trio to honor AACM elders

In September, Experimental Sound Studio opened a retrospective exhibit by Chicago woodwind player and multidisciplinary artist Douglas R. Ewart in its Audible Gallery at 5925 N. Ravenswood. His paintings, collages, sculptures, masks, musical instruments, and more will be on view via small-group appointment until Sunday, December 12. On Saturday, October 16, at 7 PM, Ewart’s trio […]

Posted inMusic

LOWERLIPDRIP’s brief catalog packs a lot of experimental hip-hop power

Experimental Chicago hip-hop duo LOWERLIPDRIP released four digital singles between 2019 and May 2020, each consisting of two tracks that overflow with freewheeling glee and unpredictable stylistic shifts. Those singles not only helped establish LLD as a local force to watch but also caught the attention of b4, a recently established imprint of venerable UK […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago underground rap roundup

Amid the wall-to-wall media coverage of Kanye West’s promotional events for Donda in August, you could be forgiven for imagining that the only notable new Chicago hip-hop release had come from a billionaire who hired crews to rebuild his childhood home in the middle of Soldier Field. That’s far from the case, of course, though […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago joins seven other cities on two continents to host the Catalytic Sound Festival

Avant-garde jazz musicians have been uniting to better control their opportunities to perform, record, and engage with their communities at least since the 1960s, when the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) first convened in Chicago and the shorter-lived Jazz Composers Guild (which included Carla Bley, Sun Ra, Bill Dixon, and Archie Shepp) […]

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 […]