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Posted inMusic

Fire-damaged venue Golden Dagger raises funds to help it reopen

Independent Lincoln Park music venue, bar, and coffeehouse Golden Dagger (previously known as Tonic Room) suffered damage from a fire on Friday, November 26. Owner Donnie Biggins says an employee on-site called him just after noon that day to report she smelled smoke. “Luckily no one was really buying coffee. The tenants upstairs weren’t home,” […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago’s record stores make for minimally miserable Black Friday destinations

Record Store Day usually takes place in the spring (well, before the pandemic it did), but in 2011 its organizers launched a Black Friday spin-off. Since then I’ve become increasingly weary of this invented retail holiday. Even though RSD promotes independent brick-and-mortar music shops—unquestionably a good idea—its list of special releases has become saturated with […]

Posted inMusic

Blues and soul-blues group Mzz Reese & Reese’s Pieces will hit your sweet spot

Singer Mzz Reese has become a Chicagoland favorite for her burnished alto voice, expansive blues and soul-blues repertoire, and playfully flirtatious, warm-hearted stage presence. But what really sets her apart is the professionalism of her show. Reese and her band—waggishly christened Reese’s Pieces—charge through a tightly constructed set consisting of well-known standards and too-often-neglected soul […]

Posted inMusic

David Weathersby, documentary filmmaker

David Weathersby is a filmmaker and founder of video production company City Vanguard, which focuses on documentaries about underrepresented communities of color. In 2018, he received a Black Excellence Award for The Color of Art from the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, and in 2019, his documentary Thee Debauchery Ball won the audience award […]

Posted inMusic

Round Trip Records opens its brick-and-mortar shop after almost two years of pandemic delays

Chicago has a brand-new record store: Round Trip Records in North Park! Co-owner Paul Nixon says the shop has been in the works since November 2019, when he left his longtime gig at Laurie’s Planet of Sound. Shortly he and Round Trip co-owner David Baker started selling records online and at the Chicagoland Record & CD […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago rockers Kirby Grip explore low earth orbit on Portrait of Bliss

Chicago rockers Kirby Grip debuted in 2019 with American Cheese, an upbeat EP that animated its clean power-pop hooks with excitable emo propulsion. American Cheese standout “Chopped Party,” though, adopted a space-rock sound paired with stargazing lyrics, hinting at a direction Kirby Grip are now exploring in earnest on the new self-released full-length Portrait of […]