“I’m just skating around town, just basically trying to get my miles in. My goal is up to 14 miles. I think I’m at about 8 right now. So I’m going to take another lap around the city,” said Alex Scott, 26, on a Monday in the early afternoon. “It takes me a couple of […]
Tag: Vol. 52 No. 11
Issue of March 9, 2023
On the cover: ‘The Great Touring Gamble’
Indie musicians are supposed to make their money on the road, but it’s just another source of risk. by Leor Galil
Illustration by Raz Latif.
Find a print copy of the Reader.
Kora master Sona Jobarteh channels traditional Gambian music through a modern mindset
Sona Jobarteh was born in London to a family of Gambian griots, musicians and storytellers who maintain the oral tradition that keeps the histories of their people alive. Jobarteh’s family is one of five in West Africa associated with the kora, an instrument that combines features of a harp and a lute, with a large […]
The news in Gary
Capital B is a fresh Black local-national nonprofit news organization on the scene. It turned one year old this year, and it recently brought its mission of partnering with communities to create a high-quality news and information experience for Black folks to Gary, Indiana. Gary is a rust-belt news desert that notoriously has lost 61 […]
Stockholm trad-metal fiends Century give Chicago a taste of their upcoming The Conquest of Time
Deep in the hell of 2020, the duo Century arose from Stockholm’s metal scene with a four-song self-released demo that was so much fun it could actually give you a brief reprieve from the unrelenting awfulness of that year. MMXX channels the outsize triumphant spirit of such 80s giants as Mercyful Fate and Judas Priest […]
Aria Dean wants you in the hot seat—or cold storage. Her intentions aren’t subtle: you enter her exhibition at the Renaissance Society through aluminum double doors with rubber-trimmed circular windows and step onto a field of black industrial rubber flooring blanketed in nonslip nubbins. Natural light is restricted by a low, hulking perimeter wall, and […]
We Weren’t Invited deal Chicago’s punks a handful of wild cards
Earlier this year I found a live YouTube clip of Chicago punk band We Weren’t Invited made last fall by local music site the Humming Byrd. They’re performing “A Fly on the Wall (Nobody Is Home)” from their EP Flesh Vehicle, Pt. 2, self-released in January. We Weren’t Invited play hardcore, more or less, but […]
Queer gun owners are ‘American as fuck’
Dina fascinated me. So much of the national conversation around gun use and control depicts gun owners as white, conservative, heterosexual men, but here in Chicago was a trans, nonbinary musician and performer who makes songs about pussy, money, weed, and pizza, and who also conceals and carries.
Son Rompe Pera polish up the punk in their cumbia and infuse it with pan-Latinx vibes
The marimba-forward folkloric cumbia of Son Rompe Pera’s 2020 debut album, Batuco, didn’t entirely prepare me for the Mexican quintet’s visceral, madcap live shows. The style of cumbia in which they specialize more typically soundtracks intergenerational family celebrations than crowd surfing and mosh pits. But the group’s new second album, Chimborazo, sheds light on how […]
Review: Sound of Silence
An atmospheric and ambitious haunted-house movie that will call to mind Oculus (2013), Sound of Silence plays like a radio.
Review: Art Talent Show
This funny, thoughtful, verité look at the yearly selection process in Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts manages to pack insights about education, societal shifts, and intellectual differences without getting bogged down in culture war cliches.
Brittany Devon’s ‘quiet subtleness of sureness’
Devon, 30, runs She | Them Productions, a Chicago-based production company dedicated to telling inclusive and original stories.
White people have Emily Dickinson, Mexicans have José Olivarez
The first time I met José Olivarez was in 2018, while organizing with Brown and Proud Press. BPP hosted a series of events we called “Cumbia & Stanzas” where poets shared the stage with DJs. We were so excited to welcome Olivarez, who graciously agreed to be a part of our Pilsen DIY event; this […]
A new compilation recalls a beloved queer performance series in New York’s underground
You know a compilation is “peak New York club” when it features Joey Arias. On Blacklips Bar: Androgyns and Deviants—Industrial Romance for Bruised and Battered Angels, 1992–1995, the cabaret star and former Fiorucci store manager (who’s also executor of Klaus Nomi’s estate) appears right out of the gate with a breathy, aching rendition of “Good […]
Tales of our nights
There’s a tranquil moment of healing in act two, when a teary-eyed Marwa turns to their older brother Yousif and pleads, “I don’t want 17 years to pass.” That instant captures the heartbeat of Layalina (lay-ali-na), a new play at the Goodman that aims to remind us what family can truly mean at best. Layalina […]
The great touring gamble
Elijah Montez launched his psych-pop project, Daydream Review, after moving to Chicago from Austin in 2018. He put together a band to play his material live, and they planned their first tour for March 2020. We all know what happened next. “It kind of derailed where we were at,” Montez says. “We were playing a […]