On a bitterly cold night in early February, the reflections of twinkling string lights are dancing across the polished hardwood floors of Galaxie 2.0, a quasi-DIY space in Ravenswood. The night’s all-ages show is a food drive and fundraiser for the Chicago Food Depository, an organization that distributes 159,000 meals daily to Cook County residents. The five-band lineup has drawn an impressively mixed crowd of suburban punks, hardcore music veterans, and South Side metalheads. Of the five bands playing tonight, four are hardcore bands from around the city and its suburbs. The five members of the one, lonely emo band—Habitats—all hail from either Little Village or West Lawn, neighborhoods on the South Side.
Brenda Phillips and Linda Hall are veteran DJs on WHPK’s Jazz Format. They’re not siblings, but on air they are “The Twins.” They invited me up to the station for the first half hour of their radio show, while they played CDs from their individual collections. This interview was conducted to the tune of Houston Person’s “I Want to Talk About You,” chosen by Brenda, and Oscar Pettiford’s “Bohemia After Dark,” chosen by Linda. The Twins’ show, “Journey Into Jazz,” airs on WHPK 88.5FM every other Sunday from 2pm to 4pm.
We have so many millennia of information recorded in our frickin’ DNA, and all it takes is the right time and place to trigger it,” says saxophonist Isaiah Collier. “Something like that happens for me sonically.”
The avenue it’s on has no name. Little has been written about it. And yet, Sunday Night Jazz at Room 43 stands among the most extraordinary concert series in Chicago.
He was a wordsmith with rhyme
I can’t even take the time
To expose you to half of what he wrote
In her debut album Alone at Last, Tasha—poet, activist, and singer-songwriter—digs into themes of music as healing and radical softness as a political act; the sweatshirts she crafted to sell along with the album are embroidered with “I love myself and hate police.” In an interview with the Weekly, Tasha describes her journey of creating Alone at Last, from self-releasing the Divine Love EP in 2016, to signing with Father/Daughter Records last year, to her debut release this October. Listen to a full version of this interview that aired on SSW Radio, the Weekly’s radio show and podcast:
The last time I went to Café Logan to see the Third Tuesday Jazz Series, a saxophonist played two altos simultaneously. This time, on my way to see the first vocalist ever to perform in the Jazz Series since it opened five years ago, with one of the biggest crowds Café Logan has ever seen, I expected something even more surprising. As it turned out, I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Artists from throughout Chicago will be participating in a new, multi-venue festival this weekend. Decibel Crawl Fest, organized by Beverly native Clyde Moreau, started with the goal of highlighting local artists of color and LGBTQ+- and women-identifying artists, and paying them fairly “in exchange for what they give to inspire us.” The new DIY festival has shows in venues across the city, including Bohemian Grove in McKinley Park. The Weekly spoke with Moreau in Hyde Park about their hopes for the festival and the challenges of pulling together a festival in seven venues with over thirty performers, including ONO and Sasha No Disco. This interview has been edited for length and clarity; listen to an SSW Radio segment that includes Moreau’s interview as well as interviews with Decibel Crawl Fest performers Audra Vidal and Eiigo Groove:
On his first full-length release Hold Your Tongue, Melo Makes Music confronts depression, mental wellness, loneliness, and heartbreak with a sense of self. The South Side rapper might be best known for last year’s “Sleepless,” his song featuring Taylor Bennett, but he’s been evolving as an artist since early songs like “Murphy’s Law” (featuring Ju & Tatiana Hazel) and “Drain U” (featuring Ravyn Lenae). Now, on “Hold your Tongue,” he confronts his inner demons with music—and comes out of the other end with a message of positivity.
Ravi Coltrane is laughing at me. Or maybe with me? I can’t say for sure. However he’s laughing, I don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve asked a stupid question.