Posted inMusic

Chicago duo Conjunto Primitivo concoct an irresistible blend of reggaeton and industrial

In March 2020, when I wrote about underground industrial label Chicago Research and the tight-knit community that surrounded it, I heard that local duo Conjunto Primitivo planned to release their debut full-length through the label. Considering how that month ended, I’m not surprised to see that album coming out only now—and I can’t argue with […]

Conversation, creativity, and coping strategies

Chicago musician Mike Vinopal is the bandleader, songwriter, and guitarist of upbeat funk ensemble Local Motive, the lead guitarist of moody rock band Badcandy, and a pet dad. A former special education teacher, and mental health advocate and speaker, his lived experiences with mental health challenges have inspired his fierce dedication to bettering himself and […]

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Chicago guitarist Melody Angel sings blues-rock that celebrates life and demands justice

Chicago guitarist and vocalist Melody Angel combines fiery celebrations of life with equally fearless and uncompromising demands for social justice. Her style of blues-rock mixes genres and influences as freely and as pointedly as her lyrics assault the boundaries between the personal and the political. Angel counts Hendrix and Prince among her idols, and though […]

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Jessica Risker, licensed counselor, singer-songwriter, and host of Music Therapy

Jessica Risker is an experimental singer-songwriter and a licensed clinical counselor. After the COVID-19 pandemic sent Chicago into lockdown in March 2020, Risker merged those pursuits for a podcast called Music Therapy, where she speaks to artists, industry professionals, and fellow therapists about their work, creativity, and mental health. She initially imagined the podcast as […]

Posted inMusic

Back Alley Jazz renews a south-side tradition

In 2018, Back Alley Jazz, an offshoot of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, thrummed the heartstrings of nostalgic south-siders when it resuscitated the popular neighborhood-alley jams that took place in the community from the mid-1960s into the ’70s. Since then, this riff on tradition has become a tradition itself, turning unassuming corridors and street corners […]