Michael Shannon
Michael Shannon Credit: Gareth Cattermole

When one-man electro army Jim Magas opened for Tortoise at the Empty Bottle last month, Gossip Wolf couldn’t help but notice Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon (who’s in town costarring in Simpatico at A Red Orchid Theatre) checking out the jams. In fact, after the show we spied him hanging out with Magas and some of the Tortoise guys at the bar! Shannon isn’t Magas’s only thespian admirer either. Last week he got a shout-out from silver-screen star and horror heir Asia Argento, who tweeted to tell him, “I dig your music. A lot.” Dude, no pressure, but do you know Greta Gerwig? Hook us up! Anyway, Magas has a new EP called Music Is Easy that he’s shopping to labels, and he’s posted previews to Soundcloud.

This wolf can’t believe it’s been 35 years since Kate Bush released her debut album, The Kick Inside. “Wuthering Heights” is still such a jam, and Gossip Wolf isn’t the only one who thinks so—on Wed 8/21 the Whistler is throwing a Kate Bush tribute night called Song of Summer to celebrate that LP’s anniversary! Synth-pop outfit Distant Cities, theatrical singer-songwriter Kyle Greer, and pianist Luke McQuillan will perform, and DJs will spin Bush’s hits, covers, remixes, and songs by her disciples.

Gossip Wolf’s colleague Miles Raymer once called John Bellows an “unhinged Chicago folk rocker,” but based on the hopped-up electric sound of his new self-released LP, Fast Hits, he sounds more like a tuneful avant-punk basher these days. Fans of Sebadoh, Mitch Ryder, and Guided by Voices, take note! Bellows is away on an east-coast tour, but Fast Hits is available in a handmade edition of 300 on his website.

Gnarly, mathy Chicago emo four-piece Half Milk played their final show over the weekend in Rockford, but we haven’t necessarily heard the last of them—the band’s brand-new full-length, Kept Mang, is still downloadable for free at bit.ly/keptmang.

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