Filipino black-metal band Deiphago
Filipino black-metal band Deiphago

METAL | Kim Kelly

What’s sure to be one of the most blasphemous and blackened Chicago metal events of 2012 comes to Cafe Lura (3184 N. Milwaukee) on Sat 3/3. The Cathedral of the Black Goat fest brings eight national and international extreme-metal bands to the venue’s small stage. The biggest draw is the first-ever North American performance by Filipino black-metal band Deiphago. Formed in 1989 and revered for their incredibly primitive wall-of-noise approach to black/death metal, Deiphago have put out two full-lengths (most recently 2009’s Filipino Antichrist), several demos, and splits with the likes of Abigail and Necroholocaust. The band’s latest is a split seven-inch of Discharge and Exploited covers with Ontario’s Nuclearhammer, who also play at the Cathedral of the Black Goat. Vaz, drummer for Florida war-metal tyrants Black Witchery, will back founding Deiphago members Sidapa (guitar) and Voltaire 666 (vocals, bass) in a truly unholy alliance.

Further down the bill, established acts such as Black Witchery and Ohio black/death horde Manticore will be joined by newer bands, including Los Angeles cult Ritual Combat and crushing Nashville doom outfit Loss, whose 2011 album Despond (Profound Lore) earned rave reviews and more than a few spots on year-end best-of lists. Local bestial black-metal commandos Black Devotion kick off the evening, and the band’s bassist and vocalist, Myrmydon Antichristus, is pulling double duty as the fest’s mastermind. “Since the show is being played at Cafe Lura (the perfect underground atmosphere for an event of this magnitude) and the club is kind of small, I suggest that locals get there as early as possible if they expect to get in at all,” Myrmydon says. “This exclusive Deiphago show on American soil will be drawing crowds of die-hard underground black-metal fans from all over the country. It is not known if Deiphago will be playing another live show in the U.S., and if they do it will not be for a while.”

The fest is 21+, and tickets are available at Cafe Lura for $20—no presales. Doors are at 5 PM, and you’d be wise to heed Myrmydon’s warning—don’t be late for this upheaval of satanic might. The entire bill, headliner first, is Deiphago, Black Witchery, Nyogthaeblisz, Ritual Combat, Manticore, Loss, Nuclearhammer, and Black Devotion.

Sally Timms's <i>Soundtrack of the Film Hangahar</i>
Sally Timms’s Soundtrack of the Film Hangahar

JAZZ | Peter Margasak

In 1980, five years before she became a member of the Mekons—and almost a decade before the Mekons began to establish their intimate connection to their surrogate hometown of Chicago—Sally Timms was a huge fan of the Buzzcocks, following the band from gig to gig and eventually befriending charismatic leader Pete Shelley. “I would just drive over from Harrogate and turn up at Pete’s pretty squalid back-to-back house that he shared with a variety of people,” she says. “Everyone would drink multiple cups of tea and stay up all night listening to Roxy Music or Jean Michel Jarre records.”

On one visit she mentioned that she and a friend had made up an imaginary language, and that she’d played around with singing it in a faux-operatic voice. On a whim Shelley suggested that they visit a recording studio the next day to get her performance on tape, and before the end of the year he’d released the results on his short-lived Groovy Records label. Billed to Sally Smmit & Her Musicians, Soundtrack of the Film Hangahar—the movie didn’t exist—is a wonderfully strange album, mixing abstract alto warbling, squiggly electronics, erratic garage-sale beats, and exploratory electric guitar. It was recently reissued as part of The Total Groovy, a four-CD box set on Drag City that collects the entire output of the label, including Shelley’s own Sky Yen, a piercing solo synthesizer recording made in 1974. All four volumes are also available individually on vinyl.

“We set up pots and pans as percussion and took along [Pete’s] synths, and he shouted ‘Go,’ which you hear at the start of the second side,” says Timms. Shelley added some effects while mixing the album, but otherwise everything you hear was improvised live. “It was my first experience of recording in a studio, so that in itself was a game changer for me,” says Timms. “I had never thought being a ‘musician’ would be part of my life, or that you could just ‘make a record.'”

Johnny Love
Johnny Love

DANCE | Miles Raymer

Hang around the Chicago music scene for long enough and you’ll see an impressive (and depressing) amount of talent surface, bloom, and then book it to New York or LA, where the entertainment-business infrastructure is considerably more robust. Occasionally, though, somebody comes back. DJ, producer, and thrower of notoriously decadent parties Johnny Love has spent the past six years in LA and New York (and Charlotte, North Carolina, weirdly), but a trip back to the Windy over Thanksgiving convinced him to return.

Love hasn’t finished moving yet, but he’s already back to throwing parties. In a characteristic bit of provocation, he tells me via e-mail that he’s motivated by a desire to “reeducate” crowds who have “devolved into only wanting to hear the most obnoxious banger electro and by-the-numbers brostep.” Given his talent for courting controversy, it’s hardly a shock that he’s collaborating with Ultrademon and Zombelle, whose seapunk movement has attracted a baffling amount of online hate since it appeared on the pop-culture radar a few months ago—the three of them are already friends, which I know because all four of us occasionally play Magic: The Gathering together. Love’s also working with several established local promoters on future events.