In the late 90s and early 00s, a wave of indie reissues brought 70s psychedelic music that had been made all over the world to new generations of American fans. In Turkey, for instance, a regional style called “Anatolian rock” emerged in the late 60s when mind-blowing artists such as Erkin Koray, 3 Hürel, and […]
Tag: Vol. 50 No. 5
Issue of Nov. 26 – Dec. 9, 2020
Chicago math-rock goofballs Snooze memorialize one of their own with Still
Freewheeling Chicago band Snooze play math rock like they’re trying to be inexplicable. They’re fans of emo, metal, and prog, and though that’s comfortably ordinary in this subgenre, I’d be hard-pressed to think of another such group who’ve opened an EP by segueing quickly from a distorted electronic hodgepodge reminiscent of footwork into a soothing […]
Chicago squares off against New York City on the fourth volume of Mars Williams’s Ayler Xmas project
Among the myriad injuries inflicted upon Americans by COVID-19 (though admittedly one of the mildest) is the impossibility of attending your favorite holiday concert. For the past dozen years, Chicago-based saxophonist Mars Williams has hosted a unique variation on that seasonal tradition. Each December he convenes Witches & Devils, his combo devoted to the music […]
Guido Gamboa transforms everyday sounds into haunting atmospheres on A Droll
For the past few years, Chicagoan Guido Gamboa has been one of the city’s best purveyors of experimental music, though too few people have noticed. He launched his record label, Pentiments, in December 2015 with the release of his debut solo album, Saturday’s Notes, a collage of field recordings and electronics expertly arranged to render […]
New Goo’s patchwork bedroom pop creates its own peculiar giddiness
Chicago singer-songwriter Kelso Ashby makes whimsical bedroom pop as New Goo, stacking lo-fi percussion, spectral synths, and featherweight vocals. On their new self-released album, Picture of a Picture, they draw from the magnetic, euphoric throb of house music, which dovetails with the raw underpinnings in their intimate material. “Tension” cycles among several threadbare drum loops […]
Denmark’s Causa Sui channel guitar legend Gábor Szabó on their latest psychedelic adventure
When things got dark in 2020, some bands leaned into anxiety, loneliness, and rage, but others embraced silver linings—especially if COVID shutdowns allowed them a more relaxed pace of life that helped them refocus and pursue quieter personal interests that might otherwise get pushed to the back burner. And if there’s a musical equivalent to […]
Sour hearken back to thrash metal’s glory days on their self-titled debut
If you blindfolded me and played me the self-titled debut from Aurora thrash band Sour, I’d totally believe it’d been recorded in 1984 with a cassette four-track in a dusty garage. They recall thrash metal’s glory days with guitar shredding that makes you want to skateboard off your roof, drumming that erupts with cavalcades of […]
Daniel Knox’s new single holds up a mirror to a year of unraveling
“Fall Apart” will appear on Daniel Knox’s next album, Won’t You Take Me With You, which is due in January.
Winter is better on the other side of the road
Upcoming events and distractions from our listings coordinator
Dezron Douglas and Brandee Younger address cultural issues from lockdown on Force Majeure
For the past few months, bassist Dezron Douglas and harpist Brandee Younger have dealt with the necessity of social distancing with their own kind of intimate gigs: a series of quietly uplifting performances streamed live through a shared microphone from their Manhattan apartment. Force Majeure collects a dozen of these songs along with brief, perceptive […]
Aluna makes good use of creative control on her solo debut
This summer UK dance-music singer-songwriter Aluna released her solo debut, Renaissance, whose lead track, “I’ve Been Starting to Love All the Things I Hate,” makes a case for pulling ourselves out of the collective malaise of 2020 to find our collective voice. In AlunaGeorge, her duo with producer George Reid, her soprano sometimes crosses into […]
Changes in faces, closing up spaces, and an abolitionist playwright gets more recognition
A departure at PrideArts, an arrival at Second City, and the closing of the Frontier and Understudy; Kristiana Rae Colón wins a new prize.
The Chicago Reader’s 2020 annual (virtual) telethon
Thank you for your support!
A travel guide to your block
The 99% Invisible City takes a second look at familiar cities.
See it Through Your Eyes
A new community photo project highlights the beauty of Logan Square as seen through new and old locals and will be on display at the centerfold of the neighborhood.