Christen Thomas (second from left) in the band Storm Clouds Credit: Ryan Lowry

Late last week, Metro and Smart Bar announced they’d added a member to their family: talent buyer Christen Thomas! She plays in Chicago posthardcore band Storm Clouds, but more important, she’d been lead talent buyer at the Empty Bottle since 2012—she tells Gossip Wolf that she left at the end of January. Thomas says that part of what inspired her to go for the new job was the team already in place, which includes senior talent buyers Jason Garden and Joe Carsello, an old friend. “Being able to work for someone as respected in the industry and the city as [Metro and Smart Bar owner Joe] Shanahan was really exciting,” Thomas says. “In our discussions leading up to my coming over here, I had a very strong feeling that we all got into the music business for similar reasons.” Thomas will help Garden and Carsello with day-to-day operations and booking; she’ll also take over programming at the Gingerman Tavern, aka GMan, once renovations to its back room wrap up this spring. “It’s a versatile space that we’ll be able to do seated and standing-­room shows in,” she says. “We’re also hoping to create some interesting, community-involving day programming.”

For a few months now, local dream-pop quartet Sexy Fights have been dropping tasty tracks via their Soundcloud page—Gossip Wolf especially digs “The End,” a sophisticated, soulful jam that mixes M83-style synths and old-fashioned R&B belting from singer Jordan Rose Brzezinski. On Friday, March 4, Chicago label FeelTrip releases the band’s debut LP, Too Far Out.

In the year or so since the fancy downtown Virgin Hotel opened its doors, the closest Gossip Wolf has come to staying there has been foraging in the Dumpster. Thanks for the continental breakfast, Mr. Branson! On Friday, March 4, though, this wolf is going straight to the hotel’s 25th floor—that night Reader-­recommended acts Daniel Knox and Homme play a free show.  v

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