Credit: Keith Herzik

Internationally popular local party-pumpers the Hood Internet are turning over a new leaf with their new album. Speaking exclusively to Gossip Wolf, STV SLV says the album (tentatively titled “Feat”) is almost wrapped up and is free of mashups and samples (gasp!)—because it’s an all-original album brimming with collaborations. “Like the Postal Service, but with e-mail,” says SLV. Justin Peroff (Broken Social Scene), Elizabeth Harper (Class Actress), Das Racist, and Ivan Howard of Gayngs pitch in, as do locals BBU and My Gold Mask and the ever-ubiquitous “more.” (Our furry fingers are crossed for a Michael McDonald cameo! This Wolf loves his silky voice!) SLV says the album is due out in spring, but the label is yet to be determined.

The Modern Day Rippers are putting the finishing touches on their debut album, “Rip It Up in a Modern Way,” at uQbar Audio in Avondale with ex-Homocore Chicago organizer/engineer Mark Frietas. The band features folks from a slew of local punk/garage bands: Germ (of the Rotten Fruits) on vocals, Richard Bastard (of Hotlips Messiah) on bass, Chris Shitface (ex-Brothers in Crime) on guitar, and Tommy (of the Turbo Vamps) on drums. The album comes out via Machete Records in spring 2011. Freitas is also currently producing the debut Mickey full-length, which is due out via Hozac in late February or early March.

Last weekend during her headlining set at the Bottle, pop producer MNDR (aka Amanda Warner) gushed about the Chi-Boogie being her second home and “the best town of all the towns.” Brooklyn-based Warner was planning on spending a month here to put together a backing band for her tour supporting Chromeo, but now she says she expects to use the city as her home base for the first half of the year. Speaking to Gossip Wolf, Warner said that New York is so expensive, musicians can’t afford to take off and tour, plus Chicago is “the best music city.” Still no word yet on who exactly is going to fill the ranks of her band, but Warner was seen chatting excitedly with two members of Mahjongg. Canadian openers AUSTRA told Gossip Wolf that they had driven ten hours from Toronto just to play with MNDR, so they could have a chance to talk in person about a future collaboration or having Warner produce their second album. The band just signed to Domino. MNDR is currently finishing working on her album with producer Mark Ronson.

Melissa Geils, best known to local record shoppers as a manager at Laurie’s Planet of Sound, has started a new label called Boulevard Records with fellow music geeks Eric Marsh and Alex Fource Stimes. Geils tells Gossip Wolf that their first releases will be a reissue of Crush, the long out-of-print 2001 debut LP by Michigan shoegaze band Astrobrite, and the new S/T album by local rock freak-out specialists VeeDee. Both vinyl-only releases will include digital downloads and should be on store shelves by February 2011.

Local house music legend Paul Johnson was seriously hurt in an accident late last week and is suffering from a “broken hip and spine,” according to a statement on the artist’s Facebook page. Johnson didn’t perform his DJ set at Metro’s Smart Bar on December 22, and at the last minute the show was turned into a benefit, featuring performances by Farley Jackmaster Funk, Glenn Underground, and Gantman. Johnson has been a scene fixture since 1990, releasing floor-filling classics like “Get Get Down,” doing remixes for Destiny’s Child and CeCe Peniston, and getting shouted out as a “Teacher” by Daft Punk. If you’d like to make a donation, you can do so via Paypal at

After a mere seven years, garage rock power-trio Hot Machines finally have a debut album in the works. The band—Jered Gummere of the Ponys, drummer Matt Williams of Lover!, and Alex White of White Mystery—are currently holed up in Gummere’s home studio, recording tracks for an as-yet-unnamed LP for In the Red Records, slated to hit stores early summer 2011. Lover! also have two new releases of their own on the way—Reverse the Curse, a new LP, and Lost in the Mix, a compilation of singles on German label Red Lounge Records—and are embarking on a European tour in January. On New Year’s Day at the Empty Bottle, Hot Machines support a “secret,” disgusting-bunny-mask-wearing headliner—who also happens to be opening for Big Freedia at the Bottle on New Year’s Eve.