Posted inOn Culture

Fred Hampton is having a moment

If you’ve seen Judas and the Black Messiah, the multiple-award-winning film about the 1969 murder of Illinois Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton, you’ve got a picture in your head of the 4:30 AM raid in which a drugged and sleeping Hampton was killed by a barrage of police bullets. The raid was carried out […]

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Blue Lick debut with an oblique and deadpan combo of modular synth and spoken word

Multi-instrumentalists Havadine Stone and Ben Baker Billington have played a handful of compelling local shows as the duo Blue Lick since 2017, but they haven’t released any recordings yet—probably because they both keep themselves busy. Stone has dropped solo cassettes on Reserve Matinee and American Dreams Records over the past few years, and Billington (who […]

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Fotocrime and the Austerity Program explore two points on the electronic-music-meets-rock spectrum

On the Jesus Lizard’s 1989 debut EP, Pure, the noise-rock institution were still figuring things out. Working as a trio, the band hadn’t yet discovered their distinctive mutant swing, instead suspending the metallic scrape and twang of their guitars in the flat, mechanical rhythms of a primitive drum machine. But drummer Mac McNeilly joined the […]

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On their debut album, Chicago’s Tobacco City get to the roots of their wistful country

Chicago country five-piece Tobacco City formed to cover Neil Young songs for a Halloween show, but thankfully they’ve since developed their own sound. Like Young, they have a way with plaintive melodies, but their music is rooted in bluesy honky-tonk and earthy, wistful country, with supple, pop-driven harmony vocals. Tobacco City’s surefire rhythm section—drummer Josh […]

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Bnny make David Lynch-ian pop music for mourning

From its first reverb-laden guitar notes, Bnny’s new Everything (Fire Talk) makes me wonder whether the Chicago band have logged some hours watching Twin Peaks. The hushed, ethereal whisper of vocalist and songwriter Jess Viscius channels dream-pop singer Julee Cruise (who sings on the show’s soundtrack), while guitarists Adam Schubert and Timothy Makowski lean into […]