Wild Prairie owners Natasha Rac and Alex Gonzales (left) plan the layout of their new shop (right). Credit: Photos by Jesse Sandwich and Bre McFadden

KStarke Records, the Ukrainian Village shop run by veteran DJ Kevin Starke, closed for good last month. But on Friday, December 22, the storefront at 1109 N. Western will reopen as a new record and clothing shop called Wild Prairie Vinyl & Vintage (co-owner Natasha Rac took the name from the lyrics to “Onion Rings,” a song on the 2001 Molemen compilation Chicago City Limits Vol. 1). Starke sold the business to Rac and Wild Prairie’s other owner, Alex Gonzales, a local DJ who’d worked at KStarke for five years. “One day I wondered if I could not have to pay for records anymore and asked Kevin if I could help out at the shop,” Gonzales says. “Kevin showed me what was good and became a mentor.” Starke included thousands of his shop’s records in the deal, and Gonzales and Rac kept the best for Wild Prairie’s stock. Friday the new store has a soft open, and Saturday it hosts a free daylong party with eight DJs and complimentary Half Acre beer. Regular hours are noon to 7 PM Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 PM on Sunday. “We want a space where people can come and hang out,” Rac says.

This wolf is looking forward to New Year’s Eve at the Hideout with storming soul ensemble the Right Now, whose 2017 full-length Starlight is packed full of radio-ready pop anthems. The evening also includes an acoustic performance from roots rockers the Lucky Dutch and a DJ set from DJRC. Tickets are $20, and Dark Matter Coffee will raffle off prizes; part of the night’s proceeds benefits local suicide prevention nonprofit Hope for the Day.

Are you a Grinch with no patience for Christmas music? Local pop-punks Bash Bang aren’t afraid to roast a few chestnuts—and they get it over with quick! Last week they dropped an 83-second ripper called “Santa’s Gone Punk” that includes lines about the holly jolly fellow’s new neck tattoo and Mohawk. It’s free to download via Bandcamp—and it totally sleighs!  v

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