Sen Morimoto Credit: Photo by Dennis Elliot

The Hideout has hired art-pop mastermind and Sooper Records co-owner Sen Morimoto as its new talent buyer. He replaces Sullivan Davis, who began training him last week. “The Hideout’s got such a great legacy, and people really love what it’s about and stands for, and I hope I can maintain that reputation,” Morimoto says. He appeared on the radar of Hideout co-owners Tim and Katie Tuten early this month, and they quickly hired him. Morimoto wants to book more artists of color at the club, as well as more younger musicians—and the gradual rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has boosted the odds that the Hideout will host in-person concerts in 2021. Morimoto may even hit the road himself, despite his new job, though he says that’s likely at least a year away: “Once touring happens, we’ll have to see what comes about.” The Tutens, Morimoto says, “have been super supportive in the process of sorting that out. They told me from the jump that they understand I’m an artist and that comes first.”

Aubrey Ann Howard and Christopher Keener of the Keener FamilyCredit: Photo by the Keener Family

Ever since local psychedelic country collective the Keener Family released their debut EP, Tender Beast, last December, Gossip Wolf has been eager to hear more from this self-described “bootgaze” crew. In May, the group—basically front man and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Keener and a pool of collaborators—dropped a lovingly despondent cover of “Down the Drain” (originally by Ben Clarke of Quarter Mile Thunder), and a three-song EP of new tracks, Hold Me Close, finally arrives on Friday, December 18, via nonprofit Chicago label Park Service. The Keener Family’s rich melodies float languorously atop warm guitars and strings heavy with reverb—guest players include Mute Duo steel guitar wizard Sam Wagster and keyboardist Alex DeGroot, who’s appeared on several albums with Zola Jesus.  v

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