Peg is the first bar cat to live at the Empty Bottle since 2009. Credit: Courtesy Bruce Finkelman

Gossip Wolf was shocked to realize it’s been almost 12 years since the Empty Bottle’s beloved house cat Radley died, ending a long career patrolling the venue’s nooks and crannies and soaking up enough shows for nine lives. In March the Bottle reopened on a limited schedule (with dine-in seating for Pizza Friendly Pizza next door), and while concerts have yet to resume, cat people already have reason to celebrate. A few months ago, Bottle staff adopted a sweet-tempered tabby named Peg from Oak Park shelter Animal Care League, and now you can say hello! This wolf has made a few visits, and Peg seems right at home. She’s currently accepting visitors from 4:30 PM till 9:30 PM Wednesday through Sunday—that is, whenever the bar’s open. You can also e-mail her at

COVID-19 hasn’t made much of a dent in the productivity of singer-songwriter Dan Whitaker, front man of hardworking country jammers the Shinebenders. In addition to hosting semiregular gigs (solo or with the band) via Facebook and YouTube, in January he dropped Movin’ On With You, a ramblingly romantic Dylan-esque solo album he recorded in 1999 but never properly released. Fans looking to pull on their cowboy boots and dance in person will soon have their chance too: Dan and the ‘Benders have several upcoming patio gigs, including Saturday, April 10, at Phyllis’ Musical Inn and Friday, April 23, at the Montrose Saloon.

On Friday, April 2, heavy Chicago shoegaze trio Lume will drop their third album, False Calm. Their mystical, cavernous songs can pull you into a trance—something they do especially well on the lulling “Somatic.” False Calm is the first release from Ohmstead, a label and collective with a recording studio in Humboldt Park; member Adrian Kobziar engineered and mixed False Calm. The folks at Ohmstead also aim to release films, books, and anything else they find artistically fulfilling.  v

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