Local label Not Normal Tapes has been on the Reader‘s radar for a few years, and it’s been releasing eardrum-­obliterating hardcore punk—on LP, 45 and cassette—since 2008. We’re especially fond of their recent seven-inch reissue of the cassette demo from brutalist Chicago hardcore “war perverts” Gas Rag, whose blink-and-your-nose-is-broken mosh-pit slayers have this wolf totally seein’ red! Anyway, to celebrate its fifth anniversary, the label is pumping out 12 new cassingles, including stompers from Bloomington’s CHUD, NYC hardcore killers Deformity, and Milwaukee’s Failed Mutilation. In June the label is throwing two anniversary shows at DIY spots in Chicago and northwest Indiana, with lineups featuring punk acts from across the U.S. and Canada—among them locals Broken Prayer, Tensions, and Basement Family.

This wolf has a thing for Paths I & II, a new double cassette by blackened Chicago punks Cracked Vessel—the crusty blastbeats and piercing wails on the first song from Path I, “Bitten by the Hand of Winter,” just about sum up the past three months. The three-piece recorded this stuff in summer 2012 and posted it to Bandcamp in January; they made just 50 of the cassettes. You can get one at the release party on Wed 3/19, which also features doomy punks Old Fuck, who recently dropped their second self-titled tape. E-mail diseasedaudio­@yahoo.com for show info.

Local dance-music advocate Teen Witch, Chicago collective FeelTrip, and Johnny Love’s posse the Opaque Project have launched Soft Leather, a “pansexual dress-to-sweat party” at new Logan Square speakeasy East Room. The party debuts Fri 3/14 with DJ sets by “techno-­sleaze button-­pusher” Deathface, Teen Witch Fan Club, former Mahjongg front man Hunter Husar, and someone named 300lb Bench Press—plus photographer Todd Diederich will be taking pics. It starts at 10 PM, and it’s free!

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