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.
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
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.