In 2019, singer-songwriter Savanna Dickhut caught Gossip Wolf’s ear with “Southsider,” the debut single by her project Burr Oak—it details the heartbreaking end of a relationship over folky indie pop. Last March, Dickhut was set to tour as keyboardist in local darlings Varsity, but COVID-19 curtailed those plans and gave her plenty of time to work on her debut full-length, Late Bloomer, which hit streaming services last week (and is up for preorder on cassette via Burr Oak’s Bandcamp). The album’s standout tracks—including “FOMO” and the dreamy, new wave-inflected “The Crowd”—are sparkling, immaculately constructed jams that pack an understated emotional wallop. On Saturday, August 7, Burr Oak plays a release show at Schubas with support from Max Subar and Morinda.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown arrived last March, Experimental Sound Studio has kept fans of improvised and new music glued to their screens with outstanding programming. But a constant cornucopia of adventurous music doesn’t come cheap—the nonprofit pays performers and curators and funds studio scholarships, among other things. On Saturday, August 14, ESS hosts Halycon Chorus: A Homecoming Fundraiser in its garden at 5925 N. Ravenswood, featuring a live interview with and an exclusive screening of new work from Art Ensemble of Chicago cofounder Roscoe Mitchell plus performances by Natural Information Society, Junius Paul, and Ben LaMar Gay. In-person tickets range from $70 to $150, and though the livestream is technically free, donations are gladly accepted.
- Recent releases by artists performing live at Experimental Sound Studio’s Halcyon Chorus fundraiser
On Sunday, August 8, Chicago hip-hop preservationists Renegades of Funk host the annual Battle for the Eagle at the Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square. This free celebration of hip-hop’s fundamental elements, which runs from noon till 8 PM, will include graffiti artists, dancers, DJs, and a set by the Microphone Misfitz. v
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