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.
Ye and Ty Dolla $ign preview ‘Vultures’ at a Chicago listening party full of devotion and contradiction
What’s it like to attend a listening event for the album “Vultures” by Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, in 2024?
Bizarre. At times, admittedly exhilarating. Deeply challenging.
Ye (his legally-changed name since 2021) and collaborator Ty Dolla $ign announced the event on Instagram Feb. 5 and tickets sold out the next day. By the time they arrived at United Center Thursday night, they appeared primed to unveil the first of three joint efforts (the full title of the joint studio album is “Vultures, Volume One,” with volumes two and three announced for release later this year).
For culinary creator and blogger Samantha Mui, food has always been “the center of everything.”
It’s one of the reasons the second-generation Cantonese American launched Thirsty Dumpling, an at-home dumpling-making kit that marries tradition with modern ease.
Every first and third Sunday of the month at the Lincoln Lodge in Logan Square, two pairs of comedians go head-to-head in a battle that asks not only if they’re funny — but can they cook?
The comedy-cooking competition, Sautéed Standup, is a marriage of joke-telling and food television tropes that aims to set audiences on fire without literally burning the place down.
Interview with comedian and Arlington Heights native Matteo Lane about what to expect from his sold-out Al Dente Tour stop at the Chicago Theatre
Riot Fest has officially become Grown-Up Warped Tour.
Yeah, I said it. Riot Fest is Warped Tour for elder millennials—complete with a skate ramp—and the last bastion of whatever an “alternative rock” music festival looked like for Gen X and hip Boomers. So much for no nostalgia in punk. It now revels in it.
My full recap of the 17th edition of the festival and carnival returned to Douglass Park for with headliners The Cure, Death Cab for Cutie/The Postal Service and Foo Fighters.
Passion, collaboration and finding your people are the secrets to the ensemble’s longevity, members say.
The thump of bass and clang of more than a few guitars echoed down Lake Street, signaling Pitchfork Music Festival had returned to Union Park. This year, weekend headliners included The Smile, Big Thief and Bon Iver, and the promise of some serious music discovery with mid-day performers such as Grace Ives, Koffee and Soul Glo—to name a few.
My review of Pitchfork Music Festival 2023
My round-up of Black and brown-owned vintage retailers in Chicago for folks to shop at ahead of Beyonce's Renaissance World Tour stops at Soldier Field.
Black men deserve abundance and joy.
That’s just one sentiment behind Black Men Flower Project (BMFP), an initiative to give Black men their flowers—literally. Simple on its surface, the effort is rooted in mental health advocacy and built on the pillars of art, community, and nature as nurture.
Midwestern food is having a moment. A far cry from the land of mayo-based salads and kitchen-sink casseroles, a number of culinary names have gained momentum since the pandemic’s start, shining a light on the rich history of the cuisine, redefining what it is and putting new faces to who makes it.
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