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Metro hosts a joyful send-off for the late Cynthia Plaster Caster

Legendary artist and writer (and onetime Chicago mayoral candidate) Cynthia Plaster Caster passed away in April after a lengthy illness, but Gossip Wolf isn’t done mourning. Future generations of local musicians and fans won’t get to bask in the splendor of her warm, glowing personality—thankfully her famous plaster casts of the private parts of musicians […]

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Steve Von Till of Neurosis gets stripped-down and cinematic with his solo material

Neurosis have spent more than three decades redefining what heavy metal is and what it can be. They’re a multifaceted beast, moving in many directions depending on where their creative forces guide them and combining sludge metal with prog-rock arrangements, spacey soundscapes, and postrock instrumental layers. The members of the five-piece band frequently break away […]

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Rethinking concert safety

Police and security are meant to keep concertgoers safe, but what happens when they do more harm than good? In summer 2020, as America reckoned with a sickness in its system of law enforcement, so too did the music community interrogate the role of police and hired security at concerts. Like the municipalities that explored […]

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After two years online, historic Chicago house collective the Chosen Few return to Jackson Park for a 30th-anniversary picnic and festival

I can’t imagine summer in Chicago without the Chosen Few Picnic & Festival, and that’s not just because this grassroots house-music gathering is celebrating its 30th annual installment (plus two years online during the pandemic). It’s also because house music—and Chicago—would be very different if it weren’t for the Chosen Few DJ collective. Chicago’s gay […]

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Cult emo experimentalist Weatherday arrives in Chicago

In February, teenage Chicago indie rockers Dwaal Troupe contributed a tender, dusty tune called “Everyone Forgot but You” to Porcelain Songs, a 30-track compilation made by fans of enigmatic Swedish indie-rock project Weatherday. The musicians involved in the comp put it together via Discord, a messaging app and social-media platform that allows young fans to […]

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For his first album in 11 years, dance-music veteran Ron Trent enriches deep house with help from around the world

Chicago dance-music veteran Ron Trent creates deep house that can keep a dance floor jumping for hours while simultaneously maintaining an intoxicating tranquility. Since the early 90s, Trent has built a reputation for appealing both to house heads who treat Marshall Jefferson’s “Move Your Body” as a commandment and drone devotees who thrive on meditative, […]

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Archive dive: On house music

Between Drake’s sleepy Honestly, Nevermind and Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul,” a lot of people have something to say about house music lately. (And while I can’t say I have thoroughly read every discourse posting, I’ve seen almost no instances of anyone mentioning the fact that several music sites reported rumors of Beyoncé working with house […]

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Acoustic guitarist Glenn Jones savors the bittersweetness of memory

Vade Mecum translates from Latin as “go with me.” When Glenn Jones makes such an offer, anyone who appreciates a vivid musical trip shouldn’t think twice. The 68-year-old guitar and banjo player from Cambridge, Massachusetts, began working as a solo acoustic musician in the early 2000s, after spending years playing with surf-meets-experimental-rock combo Cul de […]

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Pravda Records goes the distance

Beginning with Napster and continuing through Spotify, the nemeses of independent record labels have been legion over the past few decades. The deaths of brick-and-mortar retail chains, including Tower and Borders, have made releasing new music even more of an uphill climb. Yet Pravda Records has weathered it all and continues to thrive. The Chicago […]