Owl: Qwel and Maker
Owl: Qwel and Maker Credit: Juan Mojica/JAM1photo.com

The first two singles from Owl, the collabo album from MC Qwel and producer Maker, have “leaked” (when your publicist e-mails the tracks to the press, is that really leaking?) to the interwebs. The album features cameos by Typical Cats and 2008 DMC Supremacy champ DJ SPS. It’s accompanied by a comp of remixes and rarities, entitled Remixes & Rarities, as a digital download. Both are out this week on Galapagos 4.

Disappears front man Brian Case is hard at work on a zine. A zine, for those gentle readers too young to remember, is like a blog, but on paper. Titled MILD VILNC, or as Case pronounces, it “Mild Violence,” the quarterly newsprint broadsheet’s inaugural edition will feature interviews with Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, about the making of the band’s classic EVOL, and graphic designer Vaughan Oliver, best known for his iconic album art for the 4AD label. The first issue is due in January.

Chicago native Gary Calhoun James, the main songwriter behind orchestral folk-pop ensemble Box of Baby Birds, recently moved to Austin, Texas. Before leaving town he and the band recorded their third release, a two-song single called Crown of Bees. It’s is now available as a free download courtesy of local website/online music distro Candy Dinner.

Double the Kinsella Watch, double the fun: According to Nate Kinsella, he has rejoined his cousin Tim’s band, Joan of Arc, on drums; the group has a new album in the works. And Tim Kinsella returns to town this week after a three-week retreat in an undisclosed location, where he was finishing up his novel.

Three-fourths of late local “goof rock” outfit Let’s Get Out Of This Terrible Sandwich ShopTony Mendoza, Thea Lux, and Tom Vale—have a new band with Nicole Vitale of Unicycle Loves You, named, refreshingly briefly, Nurse Novels. They opened the release show for Unicycle Loves You’s Mirror Mirror last week at Schubas. Unicycle is currently on a U.S. tour that includes a slot opening for Weezer in Peoria, two dates with Yo Gabba Gabba!, and a week of gigs around CMJ.

Speaking of Candy Dinner, the local website is also busy bringing underheard music of the past to the masses. The jazzy instrumental duo Grey Ghost, made up of formerly local sax man Aram Shelton (Ton Trio, Arrive) and percussionist Johnathan Crawford, released Broad Orations in 2005. The album was originally limited to 100 silk-screened copies, so you probably don’t own one. That can change immediately thanks to the Internet! Candy Dinner is now offering the whole thing as a free download.

Self-proclaimed “America’s Favorite Comedy Musical Game Show” Shame That Tune, which hosted its fourth monthly installment at the Hideout last Friday, is now also a podcast (shamethattune.com/p/podcasts.html); guests read embarrassing entries from their adolescent diaries, which are immediately turned into songs by hosts Abraham Levitan (Baby Teeth) and regular Reader contributor Brian Costello (Johnny & the Limelites). Recent episodes feature Miss Alex White and Peter Andreadis (All City Affairs).

If you haven’t noticed, Gossip Wolf loves free records. AND WE HAVE ANOTHER ONE TO TELL YOU ABOUT! Brand-new local yokels Eiffel Tower have only played a handful of shows, but already the indie-poppers have released a self-titled EP that you don’t have to pay for. Featuring a catchy ode to Billy Joel, entitled “Billy Joel,” it’s available on the band’s Facebook page, facebook.com/eiffeltowerchicago!

Gossip Wolf has ONE MORE THING TO TELL YOU ABOUT: Local agency Billions has hoovered up LA-based Constant Artists, a booking and management shop helmed by longtime Spoon manager Ben Dickey. Dickey represents Explosions in The Sky and Okkervil River, among others, who will now come under the Billions banner.    v

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