There’s two opportunities to spend all your money today if you’re a music lover! Delmark Records (the oldest continuously operating jazz and blues independent record label in the U.S.) opens the vaults for a warehouse sale today, offering vintage office and recording equipment, CDs, vinyl, and more (open until 5 PM, 4121 N. Rockwell). And […]
It’s sad when a talented band’s closest brush with fame is almost finishing a soundtrack for a movie that never existed, ending up with nothing but demos where one of the guitars is out of tune. To make matters worse, they’d recorded under a new name that almost nobody knew. The history of recorded music […]
I’ve long admired Chicago indie label Star Creature Universal Vibrations for its efforts to push the synth-heavy sounds of boogie and modern funk and bolster the international underground community that loves them. The label focuses on contemporary artists and releases, but it also maintains an indispensable archival project in the form of its ongoing Chicago […]
Chicago shaped Jimmy and Syl Johnson, and the brothers stayed grounded here even as they became global heroes. The singer-guitarists moved up from Mississippi after World War II and played blues and R&B, carving out their own spaces within those sounds. They had outwardly contrasting personalities and their careers took different paths; they worked together […]
It’s a common misconception that true, filthy rock ’n’ roll died in the early 80s after being eclipsed by new wave, whose shiny commercial sound piled on the gated reverb, drum machines, keytars, and New Romantic vocals. In fact, noisy rock and garage punk flourished underground during that era, thanks to the likes of the […]
Streaming your favorite artists’ music is the least helpful way to support them. But they can’t abandon those platforms, because we won’t.
A couple years ago, Chicago archival label Numero Group launched Cabinet of Curiosities, a compilation series focused on fringe private-press releases of yore. A lot of the strange music they’ve reissued under this banner intensely evokes the eras in which its creators lived, and Cabinet of Curiosities comps are unified less by genre than by […]
Correction: This item has been updated to include details about Renaldo Domino’s new Colemine Records single “No Laggin’ and Draggin’,” whose upcoming release the show celebrates. In a just and perfect world, Renaldo Domino would be as widely revered as legendary Chicago soul greats Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, and Gene Chandler. In my opinion, the […]
Chicago soul-funk band Pieces of Peace didn’t put out their only album till 35 years after they broke up.
In ye olde late 90s, American Primitive fingerstyle guitar by the likes of Robbie Basho, Sandy Bull, and Peter Walker seemed to come back into fashion, possibly because the founder and overlord of the genre, John Fahey, was making some very cool new experimental records. After Fahey died in 2001, adept pickers such as Jack […]
On his 1976 album Mother Earth’s Plantasia, composer Mort Garson captures some of the most inventive sounds and most radical notions of the mid-70s. Specifically, he made his goofy and endearing compositions solely on the relatively new Moog synthesizer, and he intended that they be played for plants to help them grow. Inspired by his […]
You can’t talk about San Jose slowcore trio Duster in 2019 without talking about their fan base—whose numbers surged after the band broke up in 2001. During the five years the group existed, they released two albums and a few seven-inches (mostly through Seattle indie Up Records) filled with grainy, sedate rock, recorded onto stolen […]
Current musical obsessions of Clay Frankel of Twin Peaks, Pitch Perfect publicist Jacob Daneman, and Reader intern Andrea Michelson
If the 80s had been a perfect decade for music, we wouldn’t have the overproduced, radio-friendly power pop of Eddie Money or Bryan Adams still getting pumped over the airwaves—instead, we’d have the fun, catchy anthems of Julian Leal. The Romeoville native, who now lives in Plainfield, never reached the mainstream heights he deserved, probably […]
Radio Free Honduras celebrate their first album in five years, outstanding rapper Xavier Holliday releases his swan song, and more.