“Features a wide array of genres and artists,” ABC 7 News

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“Chicago Artist of the Week: White Mystery,” 93WXRT

Some first and second listens on this week’s show with DovesiDKHOWand Whitney along with Big Beat Chicago Artist of the Week White Mystery. The entire playlist is below and online and you can check out playlists to past Big Beats here.

I mention every week because it’s so important – support the artists you hear on the Big Beat and WXRT by buying their music from, wehever you can, a local, independent, or family-owned music store and, when you head out crate diving, wear a mask and let me know what you find! Connect with me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. My handle on all three of ’em is RyanArnoldRocks.

Your pal,
-Ryan A.

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“Big Beat Chicago Artist of the Week: White Mystery,” WXRT Radio

Click Here to stream the playlist on Spotify.

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“LG chats with musicians Alex White and Glenn Van Dyke,” Queen of S-Mountain

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“Rapper-producer Montana Macks drops a collection of soulful instrumentals,” Chicago Reader

Gossip Wolf first caught wind of local producer-rapper Montana Macks in 2015, when his work appeared all over the Rich Jones EP Pigeons & Waffles. Macks has been a little quiet for the past couple years, but he’s had his hands full working on an instrumental album called Arrivals & Departures. He tells Gossip Wolf that he began working on it when Jones suggested he compile his unreleased material for a beat tape—but because Macks has been recording for around a decade, he has a whole lot of unreleased material. “We collectively went through over 2,500 beats to make these selections,” he says. The tracks collected on Arrivals & Departures have a soulful, sophisticated, and thoroughly relaxing vibe; the album drops Friday, August 7.

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Anni Rossi left for New York in 2010, but Gossip Wolf will always consider her a Chicagoan. After all, her outstanding 2009 full-length, Rockwell, is still the best (if not only) album named after the start-and-stop street that runs north-south the whole length of the city. For the past few years, Rossi has been releasing mixtapes of what she calls “strange pop experiments, curiosities, comedy and characters.” Last week, she dropped the latest installment, a charmingly homemade video mix called House of Rossi. “Most of these songs and videos were captured on my iPad and DV camera in restaurants, airplanes, trains, on tour, with friends or at home,” she says. The mix is streaming on Spotify and YouTube, and Rossi is already on to new projects—including an EP due later this year and a 2021 full-length produced by Bobb Bruno of Best Coast.

 The audio portion of House of Rossi is streaming on Spotify.

Last week local arts nonprofit Quiet Pterodactyl dropped the all-star compilation SituationChicago, which benefits 25 of the city’s music venues. It contains tracks from Jeff Tweedy, White Mystery, Big Silky, Ric Wilson, Girl K, Dee Alexander, the Twilite Tone, and 18 other amazing local acts!  

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“How ‘Situation Chicago’ Is Working to Save Chicago Music Venues,” wttw

These records are being smashed for a good cause. They’re for a new benefit album called, “Situation Chicago” with all proceeds going to 25 Chicago music venues.

Those venues are: Beat Kitchen, Cafe Mustache, Cole’s, Dorian’s Through the Record Shop, Emporium Arcade Bar, Empty Bottle, Fulton Street Collective, GMan Tavern, The Hideout, Liar’s Club, Lincoln Hall, Martyrs’, The Metro, Moe’s Tavern, The Promontory, Reggie’s Rock Club, Schubas Tavern, Silver Room, Sleeping Village, Smartbar, Subterranean, Thalia Hall, Tonic Room, Uncommon Ground and The Whistler.

Started by Trey Elder of nonprofit, Quiet Pterodactyl, the multi-genre album features 25 Chicago artists. Those artists are: Dee Alexander, Ang13 ft. Shockwave, Big $ilky, Bumbac Joe, The Cool Kids, Girl K, Anthony Gravino, Justice Hill, Hood Smoke, Rich Jones, Quinlan Kirchner, Lowdown Brass Band, The Oh Yeah’s, OKGO, Ovef Ow, Poi Dog Pondering, William Steffey, The Streets on Fire, Sam Trump & Acoustic Audile ft. Harold Green, Jeff Tweedy, The Twilite Tone, White Mystery and Ric Wilson (feat. Kiela Adira).

“We’re all in this bizarre situation,” Trey Elder said. “By calling it ‘Situation Chicago,’ we are all in this situation, but this project is how the music industry and how this situation in Chicago how we’re all going to get through this together.”

The project is sponsored by Chicago businesses like Smashed Plastic. The record plant says they’re doing their part to keep the city’s music community alive.

“I look at this music community as an absolute ecosystem,” Andy Weber, co-founder and owner of Smashed Plastic, said. “We can’t have one of those arms break down. It’s essential to be helping the venues because it works for all of us. A lot of the bands that press here, those guys also bartend at these venues and obviously play there as well. It’s also where they sell a lot of their records.”

Proceeds from “Situation Chicago” will go toward local music venues in the city, like Dorian’s. They’re a part of the Chicago Independent Venue League and say they need all the help they can get.

“A lot of you know independent venues owners say ‘first to close last to open.’ It’s not a cliché term,” said Zack Eastman, owner and operator of Dorian’s Through the Record Shop. “It’s the reality. A lot of our space, pretty much all of our spaces don’t have patios, don’t serve food and we don’t have many ways to pivot. It’s independent venues that gives folks a shot is really important.”

The artists involved aren’t getting paid to be on the album. But Justice Hill, one of the featured artists featured on the album, says support between musicians and music venues is synonymous.

“Personally, I feel happy about it,” Hill said. “But I know it’s going to do a lot to support people, so how could I not be behind it, you know.”

While the impact is unknown, Elder says he’s grateful to have created an opportunity to help the future of Chicago’s music scene.“I recognize no matter how many records we sell, I’m not necessarily saving any individual business. But I think we could have a really big impact on helping them get through this time when they’re not.”

Situation Chicago drops Thursday at midnight. Visit the album’s website for more information, including how to buy it.

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Shannon Shaw, Cassie Ramone, Colleen Green, King Tuff and Others React to Burger Records Shutdown

After recent sexual misconduct allegations, Burger Records has now completely shut down. Many musicians have shared their reactions via social media including Shannon Shaw of Shannon and the Clams, Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls, La Luz, King Tuff, Olden Yolk (Shane Butler of Quilt), The Garden, Las Rosas, White Mystery, Colleen Green, Peach Kelli Pop, The Aquadolls, Surfbort, and Bleached. See each of their reactions below.

According to Brooklyn Vegan, fellow label mate Nobunny also issued a statement, saying “I fucked up bad…Nobunny is over.”

Earlier this month, the record label had acknowledged the accusations made against several of the artists on the label regarding sexual misconduct. The record label emphasized a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to allegations against sexual misconduct, and that the accused artists were dropped from the label. All of the earnings made from songs by the artists who had allegedly taken part in sexual misconduct would be donated to organizations of the alleged victim’s choosing.

This led to the company to do some restructuring, with  Jessa Zapor-Gray stepping in for Lee Rickard as the label’s interim president. Grey then stepped down from the position, saying that she would not be able to achieve her “intended goals” with the label. “When I was asked to take over in this capacity, I expected some blowback for my decision to accept but I believed that the opportunity to have a role in effecting real and lasting positive change within the Burger and indie music scenes was worth the risk,” Grey stated.

Co-founder Sean Bohrman then announced the shutdown. “We decided to fold the label,” Bohrman reportedly told the outlet, while responding “nope” when asked if the label would continue as BRGR RCRDS. The label’s social media pages are also now offline.”

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“Cadien Lake James’s greatest moment in Chicago music history” Chicago Reader

Not only is 2020 the Year of Chicago Music, it’s also the 35th year for the nonprofit Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC), which provides business expertise and training to creatives and their organizations citywide. To celebrate, the A&BC has launched the #ChiMusic35 campaign at ChiMusic35.com. It includes a public poll to determine the consensus 35 greatest moments in Chicago music history (the Reader will publish the results on July 23) and a raffle to benefit the A&BC’s work supporting creative communities struggling with the impact of COVID-19 in the city’s disinvested neighborhoods.

Another part of the campaign is this Reader collaboration: a series spotlighting important figures in Chicago music serving as #ChiMusic35 ambassadors. For this final installment, we hear from Cadien Lake James, vocalist and guitarist in prolific indie-rock band Twin Peaks. The group is part of a young garage-band explosion that came out of Chicago around 2010. Their newest release, the four-song EP Side A, consists of material they finished remotely or under socially distanced conditions after the pandemic shutdown in March; it includes contributions from OhmmeV.V. LightbodyLala Lala, and Tom Reeder, and it comes out Friday, July 3.

This interview was conducted by Ayana Contreras, who’s a DJ, a host and producer at WBEZ radio, and a columnist for DownBeat magazine.

Ayana Contreras: What is your favorite Chicago musical moment?

Cadien Lake James: I love the idea that Larry Heard—who was a jazz musician growing up—in 1984, when he was 17 or 18, bought a synthesizer and a drum machine and just dived headfirst into [the house-music] world. Within a week he had made “Washing Machine” and “Can You Feel It,” very groundbreaking singles. Given the influence he ended up having on the club scene in Chicago and house music, and how integral that is to Chicago’s music community, I think that’s a cool moment.

It’s not the easiest thing to draw a correlation with Twin Peaks’ music, but it’s still very influential to me.

Larry Heard’s single “Washing Machine,” released in 1986 under the name Mr. Fingers

How so?

First of all, it’s what I listened to the most traveling on the road around the country. I got into house music, specifically Chicago house, and then discovered how integral it was to an inclusive Chicago music community. . . . I feel like Chicago notoriously had this DIY inclusive scene [when Twin Peaks], White Mystery, the Yolks, and all these bands were cutting our teeth playing shows in Chicago. We made it playing in people’s basements and raw spaces and houses.

And I don’t know if Chicago would have developed that in its garage-rock community if it wasn’t for the organization done by the Chicago house community, setting the precedent that there were spaces to be made to play music that didn’t have to be in venues, and places that were inclusive to everyone.

You kind of tiptoed around this next question without even knowing it. What do you think it is about Chicago that’s made it a place that has continually given birth to music that’s influential around the world?

Well, I mean, it’s so indebted to Black artists. And the Black music community here, whether it was blues or jazz going into rock ‘n’ roll and then the house community, it’s just been an epicenter for the arts, and there’s so many legendary musicians who came out of here. 

Maybe back in the day, with the blues record labels, there was more of an industry presence, but as we entered the 70s, 80s, 90s, there was less of the industry being in Chicago, which I think also created space for artists to collaborate and perform without the competition that you might see in an LA- or New York-based scene, where people are catering to “My big break could come from playing this show, who’s going to be there, who can help my project.”

I think Chicago has been able to just produce so much wonderful music and other art that’s current and pushing ground, which I don’t think [Twin Peaks are] a part of, but it’s still happening in Chicago.

But you could . . . it’s not too late.

Yeah, that’s right.

We’re in the middle of a great big reset.

We’re doing a lot of learning right now.  

Read the article here!

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“People Power” Limited Edition Vinyl

PEOPLE POWER | White Mystery

ALERT! ALERT! White Mystery is selling a LIMITED EDITION vinyl of “People Power”. 100% of the sales will go to financially support venues. The fundraiser “Situationchicago – Music For Independent Venues” is a project made up of venues and artists who have joined together to support Chicago’s local venues! You can support the cause on Situation Chicago’s BandCamp, Instagram, and Facebook. Keep an eye out for more surprises on the way…… Below are the amazing artists and venues that are participating!

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Musicians In The Moment

To celebrate thriving Black culture in Chicago and beyond, we’re amplifying the coolest content creators around. We’re forever grateful to these artists for their voices, truths, and inspiration to White Mystery. Support their art, watch their videos, and seek them out on social media NOW.

Show You Suck

Clint is a pizza punk who always brings snacks to the party. You may remember Show You Suck from White Mystery TV Episode 2 with Cadien James from Twin Peaks. White Mystery has been a big fan of SYS since playing together at a Pitchfork after-party in 2015. For Chicago news and thought pieces, you need to follow Show You Suck on Twitter immediately.

Download Show You Suck and their side project Air Credits on Bandcamp!

Krystal Metcalfe

Krystal is the kind of friend you feel you’ve known your whole life. Her unique blend of rock’n’soul unites her St. Louis roots with her Chicago spirit, and her performances are guaranteed to give you chills! You may recognize Krystal’s voice from the White Mystery Lightscape soundtrack for outdoor sculptures that played music on State Street during Lollapalooza. We met her cousin Mannie Metcalfe when White Mystery opened for Iron & Wine at the Pageant in STL in 2010, and he’s one of our favorite pals on Earth as well. Thank you for blessing us with your friendships, Metcalfes!

Get Krystal Metcalfe “Fearless” on Bandcamp.

JC Brooks &

the Uptown Sound

JC Brooks & the Uptown sound are absolutely unbeatable live, led by the exuberant, endlessly talented JC Brooks. White Mystery first joined forces with them at the Brooklyn Vegan SXSW showcase in 2012, and jammed many times since then. The Chicago Sun Times call these groovy dudes one of the “city’s hottest young bands” and you’d be lucky to experience them.

Support JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound on Bandcamp.

Psalm One

Psalm One is an incredible rapper, poet and artist we first played with at the Girls Rock! Camp jamboree in 2011. She is a talented MC and vocal critic of sexism and racism in the music industry. We’re forever grateful to Cristalle for inviting us backstage when she opened for Insane Clown Posse in 2017. Psalm One rocked the White Mystery Telepathic record release at the Hideout in 2013 and teamed up with the illustrious Angel Davanport as Big $ilky for the 4/20 x 420 x 420 Fest in 2020. Rapper Chicks are badass.

Download Psalm One and Big $ilky on Bandcamp immediately.

Jesse 5k

Jesse 5k is a born and bred Chicagoan introduced to us this year through his performance for Do312 MORE. Jesse 5k is an emerging rapper that blends poetry, psychedelic, spoken word, and hip hop into eye-opening music that blends indie genres. We deeply respect his perspective on being a young Black man in America, and encourage you to dive in with his experiences.

Download Jesse 5k “Grey Skies” on Bandcamp.

Mykele Deville

One part thespian, one part poet, another part musician, and one more part philosopher, Mykele Deville brings change through the depth of his voice. You may recognize Mykele from his groundbreaking record release performance at Thalia Hall not too long ago. Mykele graced us with his presence on White Mystery “WMTV” Episode 4, where Francis and he played video games and talked about politics, which is a great way to share real perspectives. We urge you to check out his recent work, “Maintain.”

Download Mykelle Deville on Bandcamp.

Blacker Face

You may recognize the brilliant Jolene from her DIY literary ‘zine, the Sick Muse. She is a multi-hyphenate super star that shares her truth by all means necessary and lifts up others in the process. White Mystery is blessed to have rocked with her barn-stomping punk’n’soul group Blacker Face at Rock ‘n Roll Market in 2019. Blacker Face will blow your hat off your head with their live performances, and you’ll emerge a changed person.

Download Blacker Face on Bandcamp NOW.

The Black Tones

The Black Tones are Seattle-based twins Eva and Cedric, on guitar and drums respectively. They are a rock’n’roll duo, and White Mystery feels a particular kinship with them as a two-piece sibling band. The Black Tones’ unbeatable grooves are the best parts of garage and surf that only family can knit together so tightly. We love the Black Tones and you should too.

Download the Black Tones Cobain & Corn Bread for a good time.

Joseph Chilliams

When Joseph Chilliams dances, the whole world dances with him. Named Chicago’s “Most Charming Rapper” by VICE Magazine, he founded the iconic Pivot Gang and transformed the profound losses into spiritual, musical magic. We’re honored that Chilliams joined us on White Mystery TV where he and Francis and Joseph bonded playing Super Smash Bros. Chilliams is a gentle soul who’s power comes through his words. You may also be familiar with his equally talented brother and Chicago rapper, Saba.

Right yourself with Chilliams on Soundcloud.


Manasseh Champion aka Doso is an emerging Chicago hip hop artist whose roots run deep with his family’s West Point School of music on the South Shore. You can hear the discipline of his music education flow and transform into freedom of expression. When he was a Music Business student at UIC, Manasseh interned for White Mystery and supported outdoor event production at Rock’n’Roll Market, and Season 1 of WMTV. Now, Doso carves his own path through independently booking shows and creating his own brand.

Download many tracks from Doso on Bandcamp!

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