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As music fans across Chicago and beyond mourn the loss of live music, the industry has been left wondering what comes next. In our 8th month of the Pandemic, everyone from musicians, to fans, to venue workers have felt the devastating effects of these unprecedented times. Though the network of live music has come to a halt, the community of caring, generous, motivated Chicago creatives continues to uplift and support one another. situationchicago, created by Trey Elder of the Quiet Pterodactyl non-profit, has become a shining example of the resilience of the music community. Featuring 25 Chicago musicians, this project is a massive collaboration of creative energy aiming to support local venues struggling during the Pandemic. “The situationchicago project was a direct response to the pandemic and the unknown closure times of our venues. 2020 was originally supposed to be events-driven for Quiet Pterodactyl, so when those events were cancelled, it just felt right to brainstorm to see what else we could do to help the music community in it’s time of need. “First to close, last to open” is a phrase that summarizes the current state of music venues, theaters…anywhere people gather indoors to enjoy the arts…and it’s not looking good that they will be able to re-open anywhere close to functioning capacity soon.”
Available via Bandcamp, situationchicago has created a 25 track vinyl record with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the venues needing it the most. From Jeff Tweedy, to Rick Wilson, to OK Go, this record supports a meaningful cause on top of being an awesome compilation of the city’s music. “We wanted to represent different music styles and parts of the city, as well as a variety of “bigger name” and local, up and coming, amazing talent that Chicago has to offer. Some we already had personal connections with, some were recommended by the music venues that are also a part of the project, and others were just artists we had appreciated from afar. All of the artists were excited to be able to give back to these venues they all know and play (have played) in. Smaller, local venues are the lifeblood of where artists develop their craft, and many of Chicago’s venues have been supporting the diverse scene here for decades.”
Posted 11.15.20 Permalink to this story
Upon speaking with featured artists Girl K, Rich Jones, and Miss Alex White of White Mystery, it seems these artists were equally as passionate about the mission as Trey was when he created situationchicago. Rich Jones speaks to situationchicago saying that “It resonates because it’s us using our music as a way to sustain many of the venues that have hosted us over the years. Also pretty cool to have a collection of songs featuring multiple generations of artists, many of whom myself and others are indebted to in regard to the groundwork they laid for us to have what we enjoy today.”
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!Posted 08.06.20 Permalink to this story
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.Posted 08.04.20 Permalink to this story
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!(more…) Posted 07.06.20 Permalink to this story