McKenzie Chinn, Jeffrey Michael Austin, and Mykele Deville, aka the Growing Concerns Poetry Collective Credit: Olivia Obineme

As the Growing Concerns Poetry Collective, poet McKenzie Chinn, rapper Mykele Deville, and producer Jeffrey Michael Austin blend “emphatic spoken word, conversational storytelling, and vivid rapping, all set to dreamy ambient beats” (as Lee V. Gaines put it in the Reader in September). The collective celebrated their debut album, We Here: Thank You for Noticing, with two shows at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre in August, and this Friday and Saturday they return to that venue to mark the vinyl release of We Here and the publication of Five Fifths, a poetry collection by Chinn and Deville. The two perform separately and with the collective both nights; also on the bill are soul multi-instrumentalist Sam Trump (Friday) and R&B artist Tasha (Saturday).

In June, Chicago’s Art Leaders of Color Network and the Comfort Station launch the second annual P.O.W.E.R. Project, which transforms the Logan Square space for the month into what they call an “empowerment hub,” with lectures, discussions, happenings, self-care exercises, and more. (“P.O.W.E.R.” stands for “Preparation, Organization, Wonderment, Empowerment, and Resistance.”) Organizers want to find four curators who identify as ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American), each of whom will get a stipend and a budget to plan a week of events. Applications are due via the Comfort Station site by Sunday, February 11.

Chicago’s Gal Gun recently dropped the hook-a-minute cassette Special Music of Emotion via Dumpster Tapes, and Gossip Wolf digs its crunchy power-pop riffs. Fans of Material Issue and Smoking Popes, lend an ear! On Saturday, January 27, Gal Gun play a DIY show with Girl K, Jimmy Floortom, and jangle-pop crew Beach Bunny, whose new single “Sports” is up on Bandcamp. If you’re having issues with romance (or your tennis game), you should have a ball with this catchy jam! E-mail for show details.  v

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