Posted inCity Life

Chicago Reader’s Nonprofit Guide for 2023

Around this time of the year you’ll begin to hear the phrase “the giving season.” It’s the moment when donation-dependent organizations ramp up their campaigns in the hopes of being included in the gifting air that comes in on a wind of mailers, calls, and fundraisers. For the Nonprofit Issue, we thought it would be […]

Posted inGossip Wolf

Partywatcher honors his Dominican roots with his first all-Spanish release

For seven years, Chicago musician Jochy Saldivar has been releasing suave R&B-inflected pop as Partywatcher, and this Friday he drops the EP El Tipo, his first release sung entirely in Spanish. The new EP also breaks stylistically from Partywatcher’s 2022 EP, Moreno, which leans heavily on 80s synth pop dosed with reggaeton; by contrast, El […]

Posted inFeature

The Reader’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

1 Chicago stepping lessons from award-winning south sider Shaun Ballentine of Effortless Stepping. —Salem Collo-Julin Open group lessons Wednesdays at 7 PM, Effortless Stepping Studio, 1850 E. 79th. $20 per person, 21+ only. For private lesson rates or information about having Ballentine do a stepping class at your event, message through Instagram or Facebook.  2 […]

Posted inGossip Wolf

The inimitable but intermittent Roctober roars back with a hefty double issue

When Gossip Wolf checked in a few years back with Reader contributor, Chic-a-Go-Go cofounder, and Promontory talent buyer Jake Austen, he’d just rebooted his wide-ranging, infectiously enthusiastic, and absurdly thorough music and culture zine, Roctober, originally launched more than 30 years ago. Issue 52 arrived in fall 2020 after a seven-year hiatus, but the wait […]

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 inGossip Wolf

Cellist and sound artist Dorothy Carlos brings My Ideal Is Windy to the Lincoln Park Conservatory

Gossip Wolf’s first exposure to newly local cellist and sound artist Dorothy Carlos was via her 2022 cassette Circuit Sphere (American Dreams), which features five stunning tracks of her cello alternating with synthesizer lines performed on instruments designed and built by Brian Oakes, aka United Sound Systems. The Reader’s Leor Galil hailed her work on […]

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 inGossip Wolf

Indie rockers Soft and Dumb pause work on their next album to drop an acoustic EP

Chicago indie rockers Elena “Lanie” Buenrostro and Travis Newgren, better known as Soft and Dumb, have spent much of the past year writing and recording their forthcoming sophomore album. A few weeks ago, frustrated by the length of that process, the duo paused work on the LP to record a handful of fast-and-loose songs on […]

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 […]