Posted inMusic

Elastic Arts stretches out

Chicago arts organization Theatre Y launched in 2006 in Lincoln Square, then moved in February 2023 to 3611 W. Cermak in North Lawndale. “It became really clear,” says artistic director Melissa Lorraine, “as we were starting to open our doors and really trying to communicate that we were here for the community, that music was […]

Posted inMusic

Helping concertgoers breathe easy

Since Ella Williams moved to Chicago in March 2020, she’s become one of the most celebrated indie rockers on the local scene. That year, she released her breakout album as Squirrel Flower through stalwart downstate indie label Polyvinyl. Williams’s arrival came just as COVID-19 brought live music—including Squirrel Flower’s spring 2020 tour—to a halt. COVID […]

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Yvonne Gage is living her best life

On a recent Wednesday night, the Chicago Jazz Soul Collective played one of their frequent gigs at the Jazz Showcase. A few songs in, guest vocalist Yvonne Gage sauntered onstage, smiled, and shifted their dynamic. She sang for a few numbers, filling in for regular vocalist Dee Alexander, and her subtle performances underpinned her polished […]

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The Reader’s guide to World Music Festival Chicago 2023

In July, I attended a community meeting at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater about the city’s plan to turn the Park District facility into a temporary shelter for asylum seekers. A group of protesters, angry that much of the armory’s programming would be relocated or otherwise disrupted, carried bright yellow signs reading “Don’t Displace Us.” […]

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Juggalo family values

The first time she hit me, all 118 pounds of me flew across the ring and onto the hard wet ground. It was just past 3 AM on the third night of my first Gathering of the Juggalos, and I was boxing blindfolded in a makeshift ring with a woman who outweighed me by maybe […]

Posted inPitchfork

A journey into the unknown at Pitchfork

“Free Space: Weather Delay” is a four-word story I didn’t expect to write this past weekend, even though I’d put those words in the center square of a Pitchfork bingo card on my second trip to the festival as the Chicago Reader’s official bingo correspondent. Aside from a flurry of alarm that the dreadful Canadian […]