Chicago’s Intonation Music Workshop, a music-tutoring program for youngsters, knows rock ‘n’ roll is a circus and is admitting as much: on Saturday it hosts a Rock-N-Pop Circus at Lincoln Hall! It showcases six student bands—Six in the Mix, Neon Chicks, Scorps, Dangerous Rockstars, the Pop Tots, and Motsuk—and features plenty of other attractions for the kiddies, like rock-star face painting and a punk hairstyling booth. (This Wolf recommends a back-fur devil lock, if you’ve got the hair to pull it off.) Perhaps most enticing for your little one: a musical petting zoo! Sadly, there won’t be a tiny goat playing sax, but kids can try their hands at keyboards, drums, and other instruments. The event starts at 3 PM; advance tickets are $5, $20 for the whole fam.
Chicago-born Steve Coleman might very well be the most ambitious jazz whiz you’ve never heard of. At times his sweet, frantic compositions remind this Wolf of a more famous Coleman, and Steve even has his own musical organizing principle to rival Ornette’s unexplainable theory of harmolodics: M-Base. Honestly, this Wolf doesn’t know a “basic array of structured extemporizations” from a pair of diet tampons, but his tunes sound so special you don’t need to know about M-Base to appreciate the music! On March 28, Coleman and his long-running group Five Elements will play a free show at the Chicago Cultural Center; it’ll be the local debut of material from his acclaimed 2010 album, Harvesting Semblances and Affinities (Pi).
Praying for Saint Patrick’s Day festivities to finally end? Tired of stepping over corned-beef vomit and drunk chicks in green tights? With any luck March 17—aka the actual Saint Paddy’s Day—will be the last time you see a “My parents went to Ireland and all I got was this basket of snakes” T-shirt, at least till next year. Mahoney’s Pub & Grille is hosting a final blowout with performances by the City of Chicago Pipers, Fitz & the Celts, and Sean Cleland & the Cook County Reelers. (Bet they won’t be the only ones reeling!) It’s free and starts at 5 PM, just in time for happy hour!
Did you know that once upon a time Gossip Wolf and Miles Davis were tight bros? Don’t believe it? Crack open his amazing autobiography, Miles, for the evidence. He called this Wolf a furry motherfucker because one “quiet night” we crashed his Ferrari. It’s hard to brake with such big feet! Anyway, since January the Auditiorium Theatre of Roosevelt University has been celebrating the “birth of the cool” (Miles was born in Illinois 85 years ago) with the Miles Davis Festival. So far it’s featured a plethora of performances at hip spots like the Green Mill and Jazz Showcase. When the fest wraps up in mid-April, this Wolf will be “kind of blue,” but it’s not over yet! On March 31 several former Davis collaborators—trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight, bassist Darryl Jones (who tours with a little band called the Rolling Stones)—will pay tribute to Bitches Brew at Martyrs’.
In May local label Rainbow Body will reissue Fazo IV: La Kvalito de Speguloj, a record by Robert A.A. Lowe (aka Lichens) that’s been out of print on vinyl for almost an entire year. In July ’09 RAAL was all “GTGB” on Chicago, and is now treating Brooklynites to his patented “talking to you, but watching for someone cooler over your shoulder” move. He’s not the only former Chicagoan and Rainbow Body artist there, either: Adam Griffin, of Night Gallery and Golden Birthday, recently left for Brooklyn, where the other half of Night Gallery, Aaron David Ross, already lives.
You know who still networks on MySpace? Diplo! You may know him as the guy your favorite DJ rips off, or as M.I.A.’s ex-boyfriend; he’s also the brawn behind the Mad Decent label. He’s finally come to his senses and signed some Chi-boogie talent: Dawn Golden & Rosy Cross. Despite the name, it’s not two aging disco divas but just one dude—Dexter Tortoriello of Houses. Apparently “someone” tweeted Diplo a DG & RC track, and in October he hit up Tortoriello on MySpace, where the message landed amid porn spam and friend requests from Berwyn emo bands. “It was unreal. I had just seen his Blackberry commercial,” says Tortoriello. Mad Decent releases the debut DG & RC EP, Blow, on April 12. Tortoriello tells Gossip Wolf, “I initially was very surprised by Diplo’s interest in the project. But the more I get to know him, the weirder he gets and the more I understand his attraction to it.”