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Scottish hip-hop group Young Fathers embrace their light on Heavy Heavy

Update Tue 9/27: Young Fathers have postponed this show till April 11, 2024. The new date is also at the Vic, and all tickets already bought will be honored or refunded. For about a decade, Scottish trio Young Fathers have been releasing subterranean-sounding experimental hip-hop songs whose strange arrangements combine brawny percussion, squeaky synths, polyphonic […]

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Thantifaxath and Sunless explore two different realms of metal

Toronto-based black-metal trio Thantifaxath (whose members are deliberately anonymous) released a startling, unusual debut album, Sacred White Noise, in 2014. Since then, though, their recorded output has been tantalizingly sparse: just one EP in 2017. So their second full-length, Hive Mind Narcosis, which they released in June on Dark Descent, had plenty of time to […]

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The Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s richly varied program opens doors to musical growth with new alliances

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival may bear the name of a single neighborhood, but it’s a world-class event. The programming draws heavily from local talent, but Chicagoans such as saxophonist Ari Brown and vocalist Dee Alexander have earned international profiles. And the performers from elsewhere include the likes of Detroit drummer Louis Hayes and Philadelphia […]

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Nurtured in two great jazz cities, the Instigation Festival celebrates the tradition’s adventurous offshoots

The Instigation Festival is a semiannual transcontinental series that unites improvising musicians and other artists from Chicago and New Orleans. As it makes its eighth return to the city, it’s become such a tradition that it could just as easily be called the Continuation Festival. Instigation’s programming is split between New Orleans and Chicago, and […]

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The Impromptu Fest celebrates classical music’s fringe with its most ambitious year yet

Update Mon 9/11: Renée Baker’s Modern Black Music Ensemble have canceled their appearance at High Concept Labs on Fri 9/15. Audiovisual artist and turntablist Allen Moore will instead present selections from his project The Black Arcade. Chicago has its fair share of festivals that orbit within the solar system of contemporary classical music, including the […]

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Experimental musicians Bill Nace and Haley Fohr team up for two nights at the Hungry Brain

For more than a decade, Chicago musician Haley Fohr, who also makes music as Circuit des Yeux, has been honing and expanding her craft. She’s taken her transcendent vocal explorations, art-rock ensembles, and live film scores to far-off places around the globe. Just when I thought I’d witnessed her lend her powerful four-octave voice to […]

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Dead Lucid suture together postpunk and psych rock into tantalizing freak-outs

Chicago rock trio Dead Lucid self-released their debut, titled simply EP, in 2016, and since then they’ve tightened up their bedraggled, bluesy psych-rock style by borrowing from classic postpunk. On their self-released third EP, May’s Vision, they summon an austere composure to compress their former fuzz and fury into newly sparse arrangements. The EP’s best […]

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Austin’s Blk Odyssy merges eclectic influences into a fresh take on Black music

Blk Odyssy is the brainchild of singer and producer Juwan Elcock, a New Jersey native who moved to Austin, Texas, in 2015. At first he explored Austin’s Americana scene, but then he carved out a niche in crooning, experimental neosoul rap, using the name Blk Odyssy. Working with guitarist Alejandro Rios, he’s transformed the project […]

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Two of the planet’s heaviest trios team up for the Twins of Evil tour

The Twins of Evil tour brings together two of the heaviest trios on the planet: Japanese shape-shifters Boris, whose nearly four dozen studio releases cover practically every heavy subgenre imaginable, and American sludge pioneers the Melvins, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Each group will play an iconic album from front to back. Boris will […]