Katinka Kleijn and Lia Kohl Credit: Grittani Creative

Gossip Wolf has always assumed that water and stringed instruments don’t mix, but Katinka Kleijn (who plays in the CSO and the International Contemporary Ensemble) and Lia Kohl (who’s in Mocrep and CabinFever) point out that their cellos are made of the same stuff as many canoes and sailboats! At 7 PM on Saturday, March 16, the duo performs “Water on the Bridge” at Eckhart Park’s natatorium. “We will improvise with cello and water sounds, field recordings, and live electronics by Daniel DeHaan,” says Kleijn, “as well as moving, floating, and swimming with 30 cellos in the pool.”

Since reporting on the rejuvenation of avant-rock/comic-book label Skin Graft Records in 2016, Gossip Wolf has been heartened to watch it keep burping up brain-flaying jams such as last year’s Cheer-Accident epic, Fades. On Friday, March 15, Skin Graft drops the compilation Post Now: Round One: Chicago vs. New York, which features four ensembles from each city, paired off in musical battles (that is, each band gets two songs). The locals are Bobby Conn, Cheer-Accident, Tijuana Hercules, and Lovely Little Girls, while the NY squad includes former Chicagoans the Flying Luttenbachers, recently restarted by leader Weasel Walter after a decade’s dormancy, and a Walter-adjacent project called Cellular Chaos.

You know the old saying: winter isn’t over till the gearheads, avant-garde composers, and experimental-music weirdos come out of their burrows and compete to create the best combo of homemade chili and synthesizer soundtrack! On Sunday, March 17, the Empty Bottle hosts the ninth annual Chili-Synthesizer Cook-Off, with defending champion Whitney Johnson (aka Matchess) battling for the coveted golden peanut trophy against Nick Ciontea (aka synth maker and video artist Brownshoesonly), Alexei Khokhlov, and Alex Beam. Gossip Wolf recommends bringing your own antacids and earplugs.  v

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