Emily Blue Credit: Shan Khan / Audiotree

Last August, Emily Blue dropped *69, a glossy, idea-packed EP whose five tunes burst with pulsing electro beats and walloping synth-pop choruses—a small surprise to Gossip Wolf, since she’s best known as the effervescent-voiced singer of catchy local indie-rock band Tara Terra. But a few listens to Blue’s radio-ready solo jams, such as “Microscope” and “Falling in Love,” make it clear that she can translate her razor-sharp hooks into any musical language! On Friday, March 29, Midwest Action drops a CD reissue of *69 with four new songs, and Blue celebrates with a set at Chop Shop on Friday, April 5. And don’t despair, Tara Terra fans! On Sunday, April 7, they play Sleeping Village for their first show since 2017—it’s a release party for the new EP Couch Surfer, Lover.

Local singer-songwriter Marian Runk writes uncannily vivid lyrics. The lovely country- and folk-inflected songs on her recent debut album, A Few Feet From the Ground, make it easy to picture her characters: the undertaker with a bad toupee in the sparse, dusty “Crowell,” for instance, and the lovelorn snow goose pining for a missing companion in the moving ballad “The Loneliest Birds.” On Friday, March 29, she plays the Hungry Brain on a bill with Joybird, the project of fiddler Jess McIntosh, who released the similarly folky (and excellent) Landing this month.

Nonprofit south-side community radio station WHPK celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and on Friday, March 29, it hosts a benefit show at the Empty Bottle! Wild avant-rockers Blacker Face headline—they’ve been burning up DIY spaces for years, and Gossip Wolf’s heard whispers that they’ve got a full-length coming this year. Also playing are pop singer Violet (who fronts dark rock outfit Doctor Death Crush) and art-rockers Pete Willson & the Rooks. WHPK DJs spin between sets, and the folks behind ace Chicago zine The Sick Muse will be in the house with copies of their new issue!  v

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