Coming March 30th, a newsletter dedicated to what's new and next in Chicago visual and performing arts.

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Posted inMusic

Lydia Loveless hits new highs on a recent pair of digital singles

Update as of 12/31/21: Both of Lydia Loveless’s concerts at FitzGerald’s have been postponed in deference to the COVID-19 surge. New dates have not yet been announced. In August, Lydia Loveless released two songs digitally that deserve a proper vinyl seven-inch treatment. For the B side, I’d pick “You’re Leaving Me,” a moody country torch song […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago rockers Touched by Ghoul make up for canceling the world with a raucous New Year’s Eve show

Can some people subconsciously sense what the future holds? It’s fun to consider, especially in the context of something as good-natured as the new second album by Chicago art-rockers Touched by Ghoul: it bears the unintentionally prophetic title Cancel the World. Vocalist and guitarist Angela Mullenhour (formerly of Sybris), guitarist Andrea Bauer (formerly of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

‘We would like to help’

We started with a bang. In January, a mob of supporters of the last presidential administration attacked the United States Capitol building in D.C., grabbing lecterns, posting selfies, and leaving a trail of confusion and “released on own recognizance” privilege in their wake. And it’s possible 2021 will end with a whimper. The new Omicron […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The best Chicago books of 2021

Every year, I wonder if Chicago’s literary renaissance will ever start to ebb. No city can keep this up forever, right? But just like last year and the year before, dozens of new fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books by Chicagoans garnered national acclaim in 2021. In no particular order, here are my favorite Chicago books […]

Posted inMusic

Wadada Leo Smith joins forces with guitarists Henry Kaiser and Alex Varty on the aquatic Pacifica Koral Reef

Trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith, who turned 80 earlier this year, is seemingly at the height of his creative life—despite having already catalogued decades of accomplishments across dozens of releases, both in the company of AACM masters and as a bandleader. In May he issued a pair of three-disc sets, one focused on solo […]

Posted inFilm

No superman is an island

Disney used to be best known for its children’s animation. But over the last decade the House of Mouse has become the House of Hulk. Princesses and neotenous animal companions haven’t vanished. In terms of market share and screen dominance, they’ve been shouldered aside by the thundering pectorals and power beams of the Marvel Cinematic […]

Posted inCity Life

More is more

“I will go to a place and prefer to be overdressed. It’s just nice to have fun with things like that,” says 23-year-old Ari Scott, a cello player who’s finishing her master’s degree in music performance at DePaul. “I love to dress up for recitals. It’s a great excuse to go all out and wear […]