After 3 years at Chicago Tribune, I turned freelance in Jan. 2020. Here, you'll find clips centering music/culture as they pertain to sociopolitical movements & identity; radio & podcast appearances.
PLAYING CHICAGO: With Debut LP ‘Spirit Tamer,’ Mia Joy Invites You Into Her Sacred World—On Her Terms
For Mia Joy, journeying into the insular, mystic world captured on her debut LP Spirit Tamer has been her life’s work. A meditation on the connection to self, creating and debunking personal myth, enduring changes post-heartache, and believing in the promise of discovering anew, Joy’s nearly three-year undertaking writing and recording the project is detailed across its 10 tracks.
I chat with Joy about her debut, nerding out over astrology, and the importance of setting boundaries and standing firm in your convictions as an artist.
With the announcement that Lollapalooza is coming back at full capacity, Chicago’s summer festival season seems to be coming back in full swing. This may be welcome news for some artists and festivalgoers who missed out last year because of the pandemic. But at least two local music writers are nervous about these large crowds. Guests: Leor Galil, Music Writer, Chicago Reader (@imLeor) Jessi Roti, Chicago Columnist, Audiofemme (@JessitaylorRO)
PLAYING CHICAGO: Bodies of Water LP Takes Moontype from Solo Bedroom Songwriting to Chicago’s Most Hyped Rock Trio
Interview with Margaret McCarthy of Moontype, one of Chicago’s most hyped rock trios
PLAYING CHICAGO: A week after global protests calling for Justice at Spotify, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers Chicago Chapter sees more action ahead
“We got music. We got rhythm. Don’t exploit us with your algorithm!”
That was just one of the slogans chanted by dozens of musicians and supporters outside of Spotify’s Chicago offices on Monday, March 15. Organized by the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, Justice at Spotify was an hour-long demonstration calling for the streaming giant to pay artists a penny-per-stream, among other demands and material interests, to help build more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive music communities.
Before he joined Queen, before he was named the first openly gay artist to have an album debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, Adam Lambert was the breakout star of season eight of “American Idol” in 2009.
In 2010, on his premiere solo tour as a bonafide pop artist, Lambert played more than 100 shows across four continents. “Glam Nation Live” puts a magnifying glass on the singer’s budding stardom — and how he cemented his nickname, “Glambert.”
Spring is just around the corner – but this is Chicago. Anything can happen. It has snowed in April here (cue Prince). Luckily, neither the lingering chill in the air nor the ongoing pandemic can stop the city’s creative pulse. There are dozens of releases from exciting, rising musicians set to bloom later with the season – until then, these songs (some of which you might’ve missed in the last year) have been keeping us warm and dancing while the rest of winter melts away.
I chat with singer-songwriter Piwa about her latest single “Bass Down,” her brief fling with NBC’s 'The Voice', how her cellphone served as a gateway to music production and more.
PLAYING CHICAGO: Waltzer Brings Debut LP Time Traveler to Noonchorus for One-of-a-Kind Album Release
My latest column for Audiofemme:
I talked to my new favorite band Waltzer, fronted by the great Sophie Sputnik, about self-worth, taking root in the community, their debut LP ‘Time Traveler’, ‘Spice World’ and much more.
You won’t find any talk of “Wonderwall” here.
Though Noel Gallagher is known for his work in behemoth Britpop act Oasis, “The Great Songwriters” host Paul Toogood focuses on Gallagher’s 2017 album with his band, the High Flying Birds, “Who Built the Moon?” That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Four songs, three of them post-Oasis, are performed as part of a conversation about the songwriter’s 30-plus-year career.
Renowned music critics and hosts of Sound Opinions, Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, invite me on this week's episode for the Buried Treasures segment. Listen to the three of us share some of our favorite new songs flying underneath the mainstream radar that you need to hear. I recommend Waltzer's "Lantern" and Chappell Roan's "Pink Pony Club."
An oft-wigged and glittered, latex and leather-wrapped Midwestern daughter, Emily Blue is a pop star, period.
I chat with the Chicago-based singer-songwriter about love, loss, pop music, and her search for queer utopia on forthcoming project 'The Afterlove.'
February is jam-packed with events, so it can be hard to keep track of everything going on. In this week alone, there’s events for Chicago Theatre Week, Valentine’s Day, the All Star Weekend and Black History Month.
Reset checks in with freelance journalist Jessi Roti for her recommendations on what to see, hear and eat in and around Chicago this weekend.
Things to see
1. The Allure of Matter: Material Art From China - From gun powder to hair, this exhibition showcases 48 two- and three-dimen...
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WGN-Radio//Sept. 7, 2018: Intrepid reporter Jessi Roti from the Chicago Tribune joins Mark Caro and Chris Jones on air to deliver the goods on Riot Fest’s disorganized lineup.
I discuss Yeah Yeah Yeahs' debut LP "Fever to Tell" as part of Liner Notes' musical storytelling series at GMan Tavern//September 6, 2018.
Liner Notes was a monthly storytelling series where writers, musicians, and members of the arts community reflect on the albums that changed their lives—for better, or for worse.
Chicago journalist Jessi Roti makes her Dynasty Podcasts debut, in an interview recorded at Virgin Hotels in Chicago.
Roti recalls how Almost Famous served as career inspiration at an early age, and reveals how veteran Chicago music journalist Greg Kot became a mentor early in her journey. The writer also shares her approach to choosing and pitching a story concept at the Chicago Tribune, and speaks on the challenges of being a journalist in Chicago’s ever-changing and frequently perilous media industry.