The Yiddish language originated in the 900s and peaked in the early 1940s with around 11 million speakers, primarily in Europe’s Ashkenazi Jewish communities. But of the six million Jewish people murdered by the Nazis during World War II, 85 percent of them were Yiddish speakers. Just as the worldwide Jewish population has not yet […]
Before there was Wicked, there was Children of Eden, and before there was Beyoncé, there was Destiny’s Child. Michelle Williams, Bey’s former bandmate, stars in this concert presentation of Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz’s 1991 musical based on the book of Genesis. (Not his first foray into biblical musicals; he also wrote Godspell 20 years earlier.) […]
Neurosis have spent more than three decades redefining what heavy metal is and what it can be. They’re a multifaceted beast, moving in many directions depending on where their creative forces guide them and combining sludge metal with prog-rock arrangements, spacey soundscapes, and postrock instrumental layers. The members of the five-piece band frequently break away […]
I love Third Coast Percussion—I ranked their 2018 release Paddle to the Sea number one on my list of the best Chicago albums of the 2010s—and I’m a big fan of Jlin. So when I heard that TCP had commissioned music from my favorite experimental footwork producer, I started counting down the days till they’d […]
Prolific experimental percussionist and electronic musician Claire Rousay has created a sprawling body of work that clunks and patters somewhere between noise and silence, music and abstraction. Her new release, Everything Perfect Is Already Here (out April 22 on Shelter Press), consists of two 15-minute ambient explorations that rustle and dissolve in gentle lyrical spasms. […]
For roughly a decade, Chicago multi-instrumentalist Whitney Johnson maintained a fairly steady developmental arc with her solo project, Matchess. Her songs, which comprised layers of viola, organ, tape loops, drum machine, and voice, progressively materialized out of a murky, analog fog; the hooky, propulsive tracks on the 2018 release Sacracorpa glided like a lucid dream […]
When you’re ensconced in a circle of 29 piccolos, no one can hear you scream. New York-based flutist and TAK Ensemble cofounder Laura Cocks re-creates this otherworldly sonic scenario in David Bird’s “Atolls,” the first piece off their new debut solo album, Field Anatomies (Carrier). Bird says his piece derived the auxiliary performers’ pitches by […]
Listen to a raw and raucous Nirvana concert at Metro in 1990. Hear Slint performing a knockout cover of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” at Club Dreamerz. Check out a rare live set from local postpunks End Result, or New York’s ESG in 1984 at Lakeview’s long-defunct countercultural nightclub Medusa’s. Or peruse more than 1,000 […]
Multi-instrumentalist Wendy Eisenberg plays in lots of different settings, but no matter what they’re doing, their music always carries a tinge of no-wave. It’s perhaps easier to hear in their rock-centered projects, Birthing Hips and Editrix, but a dash of off-kilter flair seeps into even the low-key ensemble affair of Eisenberg’s 2019 record Auto. With […]
Bassist Trevor Dunn has forged relationships with polyglot saxophonist and composer John Zorn, avant-garde reedist Ben Goldberg, and scads of other jazz-world luminaries. He plays on Diatom Ribbons, a career-defining 2019 record by jazz keyboardist Kris Davis, but his contributions have largely gone unheralded, subsumed in the overall greatness of the album. Despite these accomplishments, […]
The style and sound of experimental music don’t hew to geographic regions. And Buck Gooter, a noisy duo from Harrisonburg, Virginia, perhaps best exemplify the concept. Convened in the early aughts, after Terry Turtle and Billy Brett met working at local restaurant the Little Grill Collective (known for hosting an early-career Old Crow Medicine Show […]
Jean-Luc Guionnet’s relationship to music is complicated, and it shows. As a youth, he drew while his father played saxophone, and he didn’t much like what he heard. When he changed his mind during his teens and started making his own music, his first instruments were keyboards, spliced tape, and drums; he only came around […]
Chicago label Parlour Tapes recently released four experimental solo cassettes from its four founders.
Like doesn’t necessarily breed like—just ask all the friends for whom I’ve tried (and failed) to play cupid. But similarity is bliss for underground labels Deathbomb Arc and Hausu Mountain, which collaborated to release the compilation Arc Mountain on May 7. Based respectively in Los Angeles and Chicago, these eclectic, irreverent labels might be separated […]
This week’s featured gig poster was created by illustrator and musician Rei Alvarez, who lives in Richmond, Virginia.