Vivian Carter and James Bracken formed Vee-Jay Records in 1953 to produce the “good music” that listeners of Vivian’s radio broadcasts and customers of her record store in Gary, Indiana, wanted to hear. By “good music,” her audience—largely southern-born African American migrants to the Chicago region—didn’t mean classical or pop. They hungered for electric blues, […]
If England is famous worldwide for two things, it’s the Beatles and Shakespeare. Weaving these two very different artists together in a play may make you cry “zounds!” but methinks there is more in common betwixt these British poets than one may expect. The Chicago Shakespeare Theater is ready to welcome audiences to live shows […]
For two decades, a short stretch of Michigan Avenue hosted a concentration of creative entrepreneurship whose influence on Black popular music is still felt today.
The largest single archive devoted to influential experimental composer John Cage lives in a library at Northwestern—and it goes a lot deeper than its famous Beatles lyric sheets.
The Biscuits began life as decrepit Chuck E. Cheese animatronics in the collection of Logan Arcade proprietor James Zespy—and now they’re lean, mean horror-punk machines.
The B side of this high school band’s lone single got a second life on a 2006 compilation.
A Beatles-themed Haggadah and other atypical ways to celebrate Passover
Current musical obsessions of Cheer-Accident mastermind Thymme Jones, human Top 40 encyclopedia Tony Young, and Reader music editor Philip Montoro
Jack Murphy’s students “couldn’t believe we were going to spend a whole year on this one band that they’d either never heard of or only knew from a Target commercial.”
New reviews and notable screenings in this week’s issue
The second editon of the annual festival opens Saturday at Century 12/CineArts 6 in Evanston.
Joan of Arc celebrate the release of their new LP with two half-hour long covers of a Beatles classic.
The roots music at this year’s Square Roots festival includes Fatoumata Diawara, Glenn Jones, and more.
“Why,” a brilliant slice of experimental rock from Yoko Ono
The Ludwig Drum Factory had its origins in Chicago