Matt Jencik Credit: Photo by Melissa Grubbs

Almost three years ago, this wolf went gaga for the hushed, elegiac drones on Weird Times, the solo debut from Implodes guitarist Matt Jencik, who’s also recently toured in Slint and Circuit des Yeux. On Friday, December 13, French/UK label Hands in the Dark drops Jencik’s follow-up, Dream Character, and it’s similarly excellent—an evocative, nocturnal journey that’s simultaneously connected to daily life and to the obscure illogic of dreams. “I had a few experiences with lucid dreaming in the morning that would spill into my waking hours,” Jencik says of the album’s gestation. “I was coincidentally reading about the influence of dreams on surrealism and the concept of ‘dream characters,’ which can be the dream representation of different people, fears, and anxieties blended into a single person.”

  • The video for Matt Jencik’s “Dead Comet Return,” directed by Ben Chlapek

If you’ve shopped at Experimental Sound Studio’s Experimental Garage Sale, then you know that the local arts organization recruits plenty of delightful oddballs to hawk their wares—who attract more delightful oddballs to buy them! On Sunday, December 8, ESS travels to Albany Park brewpub Twisted Hippo for an Experimental Holiday Market, with goods from instrument makers, labels, and other music-minded folk, including Mississippi Records, Synth City, Smashed Plastic, and postpunk imprint Chicago Research. Admission is $5 (or pay what you can), and every dollar gets you a raffle ticket.

Chicago rappers Ruby Watson and Joshua Virtue teamed up as Free Snacks in summer 2018, and they’ve been releasing some of the city’s most vital hip-hop through their Why? Records label. Free Snacks have leveled up in that short time, and on their second album in 12 months, last month’s Fast Food, Watson and Virtue trade witty, animated verses so cleanly they sound like they’ve been doing it for decades. On Saturday, December 7, they headline a release party at a DIY space; e-mail for details.  v

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