Jimmy Whispers corn-dog whispering on an episode of Chic-a-Go-Go

Gossip Wolf wouldn’t go door-to-door with a boom box to spread the word about very many local artists, but in the case of Jimmy Whispers we might have to. Whispers, aka the solo project of Light Pollution main man James Cicero, has virtually no Internet presence—just a Chic-a-Go-Go video from last year where he sings into a corn dog—and it’s driving us bonkers! Maybe you’ve seen his street art pasted up around the city, though: sharks with giant teeth, ice cream cones, Chicago Bulls insignia, and handguns, all emblazoned with the phrase “Summer in Pain.” This summer he left copies of a Summer in Pain zine in record-store doorways, filled with ruminations on broken romance, the attempt to transcend pain through forgiveness, Chicago’s gun violence, and “a heartbeat crying out through the distortion in this burnt out fucked up universe.” Whispers let us check out his obsessive lo-fi pop hymns—he’s looking for a label, so they’re still unreleased—and they’re like the zine and street art in song form. Recording with an iPhone and accompanying himself with tones and beats from a cheesy funeral-home organ, he sounds like a mix of Daniel Johnston and Kirk Franklin. Whispers plays two shows this week: at Schubas on Sat 12/15 opening for Prince Rama and at the Whistler on Wed 12/19.

The blogs got to buzzing late last week when Chicago-born comedian (and former 30 Rock and SNL writer) Hannibal Buress dropped his first rap song, “Gibberish Rap.” Turns out it’s a cut from a forthcoming mixtape called Charcuteries and Champagne by Chicago DJ and producer Tony Trimm (aka Tony Kim). Buress hosts the mixtape, which includes Trimm remixes for Serengeti, Why?, and Doseone, plus unreleased tunes from Advance Base, Daedalus, and Void Pedal. Trimm says he’s aiming for a release date next week.

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