Black Squirrel Records owner Michael Dedmon welcomes customers to the shop. Credit: Courtesy Black Squirrel Records

On February 20, Michael Dedmon opened Evanston’s newest music store, Black Squirrel Records. Dedmon is a dedicated record fiend who began buying up entire collections a decade ago, and so far all of Black Squirrel’s stock has come directly from his personal holdings. The store’s inventory includes rock, reggae, electronic music, jazz, soul, country, blues, and world music. Dedmon says a neighbor of his owns the 450-square-foot storefront at 1620 Greenleaf Street, and he’s wanted to open a record store there for a few years. When it became available about a month ago, he secured a short-term rental with the hope of transforming it into a long-term endeavor. For now he mostly runs the place himself, with a little help from a friend and his friend’s daughter. “Everyone who walks in has a smile on their face,” Dedmon says. “Or I think they do, because they have masks on.”

Gossip Wolf has long hailed the virtuosic string shredding, herculean productivity, and synergetic programming of Chicago’s Spektral Quartet. During the COVID-induced absence of concerts, violinists Clara Lyon and Maeve Feinberg, violist Doyle Armbrust, and cellist Russell Rolen have continued to engage their audience via a series of Zoom Q&A sessions called New Music Help Desk. In keeping with the quartet’s collaborative sprit, previous events have included composers Alex Temple, Allison Loggins-Hull, and Chris Fisher-Lochhead, and the next one features Pulitzer-winning Chinese composer Du Yun. It’s on Friday, March 5, at 3 PM, and though it’s free to attend, you must register at Spektral’s website.

  • Spektral Quartet hosted a New Music Help Desk with composer Alex Temple in May 2020.

After he lost his job last fall, Sueves singer-guitarist Joe Schorgl moved to Cleveland to build a recording and art studio. This wolf will miss seeing his gig posters around town, but the Sueves are still going strong—Schorgl will release the trio’s frenetic new album, Tears of Joy, via his Magicatalog label on Friday, March 5.  v

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