Posted inMusic

Experimental musicians Bill Nace and Haley Fohr team up for two nights at the Hungry Brain

For more than a decade, Chicago musician Haley Fohr, who also makes music as Circuit des Yeux, has been honing and expanding her craft. She’s taken her transcendent vocal explorations, art-rock ensembles, and live film scores to far-off places around the globe. Just when I thought I’d witnessed her lend her powerful four-octave voice to […]

Posted inMusic

The Impromptu Fest celebrates classical music’s fringe with its most ambitious year yet

Update Mon 9/11: Renée Baker’s Modern Black Music Ensemble have canceled their appearance at High Concept Labs on Fri 9/15. Audiovisual artist and turntablist Allen Moore will instead present selections from his project The Black Arcade. Chicago has its fair share of festivals that orbit within the solar system of contemporary classical music, including the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A new home for experimental literature

“We are identifying ‘micro-movements’ and allowing others to explain them to us,” says Jourdain Barton, a cofounder of Chicago’s TEMPER Press. Born to foster experimental writing, TEMPER emerged from such a micro-movement: a bond shared by Barton and her grad school classmates Geoffrey Billetter and Nat Holtzmann. To them, micro-movements are smaller, unidentified capsules of […]

Posted inMusic

Dead Lucid suture together postpunk and psych rock into tantalizing freak-outs

Chicago rock trio Dead Lucid self-released their debut, titled simply EP, in 2016, and since then they’ve tightened up their bedraggled, bluesy psych-rock style by borrowing from classic postpunk. On their self-released third EP, May’s Vision, they summon an austere composure to compress their former fuzz and fury into newly sparse arrangements. The EP’s best […]

Posted inMusic Review

Austin’s Blk Odyssy merges eclectic influences into a fresh take on Black music

Blk Odyssy is the brainchild of singer and producer Juwan Elcock, a New Jersey native who moved to Austin, Texas, in 2015. At first he explored Austin’s Americana scene, but then he carved out a niche in crooning, experimental neosoul rap, using the name Blk Odyssy. Working with guitarist Alejandro Rios, he’s transformed the project […]

Posted inTheater Review

Cooking With Soul

Near the end of Black Ensemble Theater’s (BET) superb new revue A Taste of Soul, co-emcee Qiana McNary mentions that the show’s creators hope to leave the audience both “full and hungry at the same time.” The show’s central framing device—a television cooking program veering into musical numbers, concurrently leading the audience through the history […]

Posted inTheater Review

Rose’s show

The titular showgirl in Gypsy isn’t necessarily Gypsy Rose Lee, the reluctant vaudeville child star who—per the “musical fable” from Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), Jule Styne (score) and Arthur Laurents (book)—blossoms into an internationally renowned burlesque artist. In the Marriott Theatre’s sturdy production, the stage belongs to Mama Rose (Lucia Spina), the so-called stage mother raised […]

Posted inTheater Review

Between the lines

The title of writer/director Mark Pracht’s second installment to his Four-Color Trilogy, a series about the comic books publishing industry, could easily be mistaken for one of the real-world pre-Code, sultry cheesecake books Pracht’s play centers on. But it’s actually a reference to the markedly un-horny Seduction of the Innocent, German American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham’s […]