As far as the national press cared, Chicago’s 1990s indie-rock scene revolved around Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, and Urge Overkill. I won’t say anything one way or the other about the merit of those artists, but their success had the felicitous side effect of persuading major labels to slosh irresponsible amounts of money around the […]
If you’ve paid even the slightest bit of attention to Chicago music over the past, say, 35 years, you’ve surely heard Douglas McCombs. He’s held down the low end for indie-rock legends Eleventh Dream Day since the mid-80s, acted as the heart and soul of postrock pioneers Tortoise since their founding in 1990, and helmed […]
It’s been ten years since Chicago collective Anatomy of Habit released their first record, and a lot has changed since then. Anchored by front man Mark Solotroff, the band came out of the gate with long, complex, layered songs that blend doomy metal, Swans-style noise rock, bleak postpunk, heavy drones, and hypnotic guitar-looping acrobatics. It’s […]
With credits as diverse as Chicago postrock collective Tortoise and free-jazz band Ernest Dawkins’s New Horizons Ensemble, guitarist and composer Jeff Parker owns a unique vocabulary. He’s been able to muster expressions of self within groups and as a bandleader across 30 years of work, and now he offers a new solo dispatch, Forfolks. “Suffolk” […]
Influential drummer and artist John Herndon shares the engrossing story of his upbringing—but mostly in hopes that you’ll give his new solo music a chance.
On Fantasize Your Ghost, Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham make their music a place of trust, discovery, and compassion.
For 19 years, the Chicago Underground Quartet’s first album was their only album—but now longtime collaborators Rob Mazurek, Jeff Parker, and Chad Taylor have recaptured the group’s freewheeling jazz spirit.
Chicago music remains interesting and vital partly because of how local subcultures overlap and intersect. The city has plenty of tight communities of musicians focused on specific sounds, but the borders around those communities are porous; improvising multi-instrumentalists collaborate with rappers, hip-hop producers take in jazz gigs, and rock musicians immerse themselves in hardware-centric underground […]
Indiana-based beat wizard Jlin returns to the stage for Pitchfork Midwinter after courting burnout to finish her second album and score an avant-garde dance performance.
There may be no better musical representation of the adage that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts than instrumental postrock group Tortoise. Nearly 30 years after its inception, the Chicago-born quintet continue to synergize the disparate influences of its members, combining groove-filled, indie-leaning Krautrock with electronic flourishes, jazz sensibilities, global influences, […]
The members of Extraordinary Popular Delusions bring vast and varied experience to this underappreciated ensemble’s regular weekly shows—which follow no rules but their own.
Midwinter runs February 15 through 17 and also includes Oneohtrix Point Never, Grouper, Perfume Genius, DJ Koze, two William Basinski performances, and Tortoise playing all of TNT.
New-music group Ensemble, Et Al. uses tuned percussion that reflects Tortoise’s influence as much as Steve Reich’s.
The Blue Ribbon Glee Club turns ten with a reunion party, old-school beat party Boombastic comes back to Wicker Park, and more.
This week’s featured gig poster was designed by local artist and screen printer Jay Ryan.