Salvation (top) and Den both have new albums this week. Credit: Photos by Ryan Bardsley and Matt Maniscalco

Autumn in Chicago is a grind of shitty weather and grim anticipation of enforced holiday cheer, so it always puts Gossip Wolf in a noise-rock mood. Luckily, two of the city’s most effective practitioners, Den and Salvation, drop fresh ordnance this week! Den’s new album, Iron Desert, features a trench full of festering, gangrenous grooves such as standout cut “Taste for Blood.” They celebrate at a local DIY venue on Friday, November 22, with Barren Heir, Mayor Daley, and Lilac; e-mail for details. Salvation’s new full-length, Year of the Fly, kicks off with the densely agitated cacophony of “Slit My Throat” and only goes downhill (quite delightfully) from there! On Wednesday, November 27, they play on a stacked Empty Bottle bill that also includes Ganser, No Men, and Luggage, who release Shift that day.

Gossip Wolf hasn’t been inside Edgewater’s beautiful, bouldery Epworth United Methodist Church, but churches being what they are, the acoustics are doubtless majestic. On Saturday, November 23, a slew of local avant-garde and improvising artists perform there for the Chicago Experimental Music Festival, including self-described “power ambient duo” Magick Potion, static-obsessed noise project Malice Coltrane, and violist Johanna Brock. Tickets are cash only at the door, and the organizers warn that “no backpacks, messenger bags, or bags will be allowed into the venue.”

If you fondly remember Sidekick Kato from their glory days of all-ages Fireside Bowl shows, or if you missed their 2018 reunion gig at Chop Shop, you’re in luck! On Friday, November 22, the Des Plaines “drunk emo” band return to Chop Shop for another reunion set. Few histories of 90s emo mention Sidekick Kato, but they had a special place in it, issuing two albums on vital local label Johann’s Face. And 1996’s scrappy 1st Class Chump has aged better than lots of mid-90s pop punk!  v

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