You think New Year’s Day is just for black-eyed peas, bad hangovers, and college football? Wrong, dear reader. Fuck a Rose Bowl and turn on your radio instead. Beginning at 8 AM, the dusties experts at V103 (“The Only Station the World Steps To”) are sweetening up the airwaves with sexy sound treats not to be missed. It’s like a restorative booze-binge cure for your ears. Featuring mixes from station staples Maurice “Ice” Culpepper and DJ Eric “ET” Taylor, “Steppin’ Into 2011” will feature 18 consecutive hours of soulful, silky steppers music! You can expect to hear some Quiet Storm-era Smokey Robinson. You can expect to hear some Teena Marie (RIP). You can expect to hear some Minnie Riperton. In other words, you can expect to hear the best music ever made.

Speaking of New Year’s Day, local hardcore juggernaut Raw Nerve has a new cassingle, Nervous Habits, due out on punk-as-fuck imprint Youth Attack! Records on 1/1. The label, run by former Charles Bronson singer Mark McCoy, will also be releasing a new Raw Nerve seven-inch later this spring. To celebrate, the band will playing at an undisclosed DIY location in Chicago on January 22 with local heavies Manipulation, Culo, and the Ropes. For exact show information including address and start time, e-mail Raw Nerve guitarist Ryan Lowry at Tell him Gossip Wolf sent you!

The Smith Westerns returned home from a European tour last week and started into the full-on promotional push for their debut for Fat Possum, Dye It Blonde, which is due January 18—the same date their nationwide tour kicks off at the Glasslands in Brooklyn.

Pelican guitarist Laurent Lebec and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their son, Finn Atticus Odin Schroeder-Lebec, on December 22. We know Laurent is an unrepentant metal fan and all, so we can only assume that “Odin” is for the hesher band that wore assless chaps and was the best-worst part of The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. (This Wolf has a very short list of bands that we’d name a cub after—and it begins and ends with W.A.S.P.)

DJ/producer/half of Streetwalker Beau Wanzer has organized a Chili & Synthesizers event January 23 at the Empty Bottle. Wanzer tells Gossip Wolf: “The inspiration is chili and synthesizers, simple and to the pinto. One man, one chili. Each contestant will compose a sonic interpretation of their chili. During each set the audience will taste that performer’s chili and vote at the end whose brew reigns supreme.” Competitors include Wanzer, experimental solo bro/Nihilist Records honcho Andy Ortmann, ambient noise dude Brett Naucke, and electro-minimalist Alex Barnett; winner gets his chili recipe printed in the liner notes of the live recording of the show. The only rules for the show is synthesizers only—no laptops and no MIDI. When asked if this was the dawn of “chili-wave,” chillwave’s spicy update, Wanzer replied, “Anything related to any type of ‘wave’ needs to stop, unless it’s a wave of poo washing away journalists’ urge to create new genres.”

Speaking of hope for the future, Mahjongg front man Hunter Husar announced his bid to run for an aldermanic seat in 2012 via his Facebook page this past weekend. When queried by Gossip Wolf on his prospects, given that there isn’t actually an election that year, Husar consulted with his campaign chief, Ed marszewski (of Lumpen/Co-Prosperity Sphere fame), and clarified that his 2012 campaign is just him getting a start on 2015. Husar’s platform is based on housing: “I’d change zoning laws for abandoned warehouses into work-live instead of just work.” Perhaps more revolutionary is Husar’s pledge to create transparency from his office seat: “I will implant an RFID chip in my neck that will interface with a cheap iPhone drone hack, so that when I’m at work there will always be a broadcast of what I’m doing going online, with a total record of every decision, and annotated [with] very diligently collected data from a variety of state and local agencies. Total transparency.” He’s got our vote!

Chaperone‘s Thomas Des Enfants tells Gossip Wolf he got a haul this Christmas: 30 sample packets of Purpose™ acne-fighting face wash, from his mom. Des Enfants suggests, “If you like your men to smell like salicylic acid, my face is the one for you.” Chaperone headlines the Hideout on January 7.

Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater is all right with us. The lefty six-string slinger and blues singer has played with Magic Sam and Buddy Guy, owned a nightclub in Wicker Park, and been nominated for a Grammy. You probably haven’t done any of those things. “The Chief” will be celebrating his 75th birthday by playing a set at Evanston’s SPACE on January 14 at 8 PM. Before you go to that, you should download “Rock-a-Blues Baby,” the free track Clearwater is offering on his website,, as a holiday gift. YOU ARE WELCOME!