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Weird-rock trio Michael Columbia reunite after a 12-year hiatus

Sixteen years ago, Michael Columbia were one of Chicago’s most compelling bands, combining smooth jazz, twitchy progressive rock, the occasional wacky time signature, and sometimes even a pop-adjacent melody. Dave McDonnell (saxophone, keyboards, bass, vocals) and Dylan Ryan (drums) were cozy with several groups linked to local label Obey Your Brain and South Loop recording […]

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Meteor Gem opens its doors to Chicagoland’s trve metalheads

Chicago’s newest record store specializes in all things metal. Meteor Gem occupies a garden-level boutique at 3082 N. Elston, and its stock is so laser-focused on extreme music—including death, doom, black, post-, and progressive metal—that the records in just one subgenre outnumber the entire metal inventory of many local shops. Owner Mikhail Fedyukov has been […]

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Harry James of Chandeliers draws from soul, jazz, and ambient on his solo debut

New Jersey native Harry James Brenner found his footing in Chicago’s music scene partly by playing in art-rock group Chandeliers; he joined in the mid-aughts as a percussionist, and he’s since played keys for them too. The sharply defined clatter of Brenner’s drums has kept Chandeliers’ mercurial instincts from running away with them, giving even […]

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Scott McGaughey of local electronic-music veterans Chandeliers goes solo

If you’ve ever seen Chicago ensemble Chandeliers, you’ve seen Scott McGaughey hunched behind a bunch of black boxes and patch cords. Chandeliers have long taken an ecumenical approach to electronic music, weaving together clattering drum programs, squelchy funk punctuations, and long, proggy melodies; the closest they get to a rule is that hardware, not software, […]

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Chicago’s Chandeliers have spent more than 15 years exploring dance music’s fringes

Electro rockers Chandeliers have been keen on experimentation ever since they emerged from South Loop arts hub Shape Shoppe in 2004. Their debut album, 2008’s The Thrush, uses sharply defined Krautrock percussion, crystalline techno synths, and dreamy psychedelic melodies, but since then the group have guided their progressive, shape-shifting style toward boogie (aka “modern funk”). […]