Posted inMusic

Natural Information Society and the Separatist Party usher in a brave new year at Constellation

Constellation hasn’t hosted a New Year’s Eve bash since the Sun Ra Arkestra’s legendary fete in 2017. This year, the intimate venue ushers in 2023 with homegrown talents who could be considered Constellation all-stars. The evening is headlined by Natural Information Society, led by multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams; the five-piece ensemble realizes his teeming compositions (often […]

Posted inMusic

Plantasia puts down roots at the Garfield Park Conservatory for its third installment

Bridging the ultrasynthetic and hyperorganic, Mort Garson’s album Mother Earth’s Plantasia is a Moog-powered salve “for plants . . . and the people who love them,” as the cover art notes. Since its 1976 release, Plantasia has become cultural canon, attracting reissues of varying legitimacy and providing grist for several exhaustive cultural critiques. After New […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago explorers Bitchin Bajas to pay homage to Sun Ra

Last fall Chicago drone explorers Bitchin Bajas released a cassette of synthesizer-only Sun Ra covers called Switched on Ra (Drag City). The trio of Cooper Crain, Rob Frye, and Dan Quinlivan combine feel-good vibes with versatility and flexibility—they’ve shape-shifted into a free-jazz-inspired combo on Frye’s 2021 solo LP, Exoplanet (Astral Spirits), and leaned into their […]

Posted inMusic

Versatile instrumental trio Bitchin Bajas unspool new material at their first concert since 2019

For the past decade, local trio Bitchin Bajas have exemplified the virtues of patience and versatility. All three members play synthesizers, Cooper Crain and Daniel Quinlivan play organ, and Rob Frye plays woodwinds and percussion. They create plush, pulsing instrumentals with melodies that evolve at such a leisurely pace that you might not notice the […]

Posted inMusic

Haley Fohr joins forces with Bitchin Bajas on Jacqueline, her second album as alter-ego Jackie Lynn

A few years ago, Haley Fohr, who makes experimental rock music under the name Circuit des Yeux, introduced a new project where she inhabited a drifter-turned-drug-pusher alter ego named Jackie Lynn. Her 2016 album under that name mixed dejected pop and stripped-down electronics with off-kilter alt-country; its second half in particular had a mysterious, dangerous […]