Doug Kaplan, Natalie Chami, and Max Allison of Good Willsmith onstage at the Empty Bottle in 2016 Credit: Courtesy the artist

Improvising drone trio Good Willsmith—aka Natalie Chami of TALsounds and Hausu Mountain cofounders Max Allison and Doug Kaplan—dropped their previous release, a collaboration with avant-pop duo Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa called Exit Future Heart, in 2018. Somehow that seems like decades ago, but if any local band can bend the laws of spacetime, it’s Good Willsmith. Two weeks ago Hausu Mountain finally released a new Good Willsmith album: the live tape HausLive 2, recorded from the audience by band pal Joel Berk during an April 2019 set at Sleeping Village. It’s nearly 30 minutes of captivating acid-rock synergy, with an elevated incidence of proggy riffs—and “Third Eyebrow” and “The Burning Orphanage Sidequest” could give Pink Floyd’s most zonked-out early-70s jams a run for their money. Allison says the band are “using this live album release as a springboard for music that will see the light of day sometime in the future.”

Jason Shanley, aka ambient musician Cinchel, seems to release an exquisitely designed project whenever this wolf is in the mood for contemplative, otherworldly sounds. Shanley’s new tape, Arcane Object (released last week by an experimental Chicago cassette label also called Arcane Object), consists of two half-hour tracks from separate universes. “String Line Distance” floats soft tones on a gorgeous river of feedback, while “Long-Standing Nightmare” blurs and congeals Shanley’s guitar into a howling digital storm. The Bandcamp download is “name your price,” and each $20 cassette comes in a unique box with preserved leaves, an art booklet, stickers, and a card printed on handmade paper.

In the mid-90s, Braid’s Bob Nanna briefly led local emo band Orwell, with Demetrio Maguigad and Sean O’Brien (both from Gainer) and Fred Popolo and Billy Smith (both from Haymarket Riot). Last week, Orwell dropped a comp of rare and unreleased material called 1995—a must-have for midwestern-emo obsessives!  v

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