Posted inConcert Preview

Will Miller’s Resavoir makes a serene return with a new self-titled album

Resavoir, the experimental jazz project of Chicago multi-instrumentalist and producer Will Miller, returned this month with a new self-titled album on local label International Anthem. As with Resavoir’s 2019 debut, Miller conceived and largely produced the material alone in his home, and the recordings feature contributions from friends and fellow Chicago musicians—among them guitarist and […]

Posted inMusic

Reflection, resilience, and now remembrance in Crossing Borders Music’s focus on Arab string quartets

In 2020, Toronto-based Palestinian-Jordanian composer Shireen Abu Khader founded Dozan World—an offshoot of Dozan wa Awtar Music Establishment, the celebrated choir she established in 2002—as a hub for Levantine composers to share their music. Local chamber-music nonprofit Crossing Borders Music, which specializes in Western classical works by non-Western composers, most recently visited the Dozan catalog […]

Posted inMusic

Improvised music co-op Catalytic Sound holds its fourth annual festival in five cities, including Chicago

For nearly as long as free improvisation has been a musical practice, improvising artists have engaged in collective action to build outlets for their creative expression. Catalytic Sound was formed in 2012 by 30 musicians from Europe and the United States who recognized the necessity to have a shared platform for disseminating information and selling […]

Posted inMusic

Mandy, Indiana conjure the punk-rock city we’d be thrilled to live in

The art-rock of Mandy, Indiana conjures the spirit of May 1968, when French students and workers spent seven weeks in an orgiastic, decentralized uprising against capitalism and state violence. That’s partly because vocalist Valentine Caulfield uses French lyrics to deliver brutal indictments of patriarchy, imperialism, and white supremacy. But it also comes from the unmistakable […]

Posted inMusic

Multidisciplinary artist Eartheater explores rebirth and transformation on Powders

When Eartheater sings, her voice carries like pollen and decaying floral tendrils adrift in a rush of hot wind. The New York-based multidisciplinary artist debuted in 2015 with two releases (Metalepsis and RIP Chrysalis) on local avant-garde electronic label Hausu Mountain. She’s gone on to become one of the biggest names in art-pop, and in […]

Posted inMusic

OutPastMidnight and Doso show Chicago hip-hop’s newest dimensions at Gman

Chicago rapper Doso caught my attention four years ago by tinkering confidently and smoothly with a variety of instrumental styles, and he plays up that skill on October’s Safe Travels (A Rugged Interest, Inc.). He raps over minimal nu-funk (“Holding on Loosely”), sleek and frictionless pop punk (“Upside Down”), and a sentimental ballad built atop […]

Posted inMusic

Sen Morimoto’s Diagnosis points to an antidote for our rotten times

Last month at the ChiTown Movies drive-in, Chicago art-pop musician Sen Morimoto hosted a listening party for his new third album, Diagnosis (City Slang/Sooper), that included a screening of Brian De Palma’s 1974 florid horror-comedy rock opera, Phantom of the Paradise. De Palma’s sui generis skewering of the music industry—of how its financial imperatives corrode […]

Posted inMusic

Local metalcore masters Harm’s Way welcome Common Suffering alongside a reunited Weekend Nachos

Whether playing straightedge powerviolence in their early days or making Godflesh-inspired death metal on 2018’s Rust, Harm’s Way have always been incredibly heavy, aggressive, and mean as hell. In September, the Chicago metalcore outfit released their fifth full-length, Common Suffering (their second for venerable extreme label Metal Blade), where they double down on groovy, industrial-flavored […]