A few brief notes from a harried blogger:
– Last night’s Erin McKeown show at Schuba’s was a blast whose double aftereffect I’m still feeling: I’m still all charged up from it and at the same time rather crestfallen that it’s over. This show was quite different from her appearance last year on the same stage–as one of my companions put it, the brainy chanteuse of Distillation and Grand gave way to the brainy rocker of We Will Become Like Birds for this one–but no less exhilarating. McKeown played almost everything from the new album, recast some old favorites in new tempos, and generally poured her heart out all over the stage. This was not surprising, but the opening act was: Chicago-based folk singer and guitarist Rachel Ries was just captivating with her melodious waterfall of a voice and a very disarming stage presence. Her brand-new album is available here.
– Hooray–as promised, the Chicago Reader recently beefed up its on-line presence, adding features, reviews, and in fact all content to its website, here. The current issue of the free Chicago weekly notably contains a short story by local writer Kevin Guilfoile, of Coudal Partners and Cast of Shadows fame, that comes from a new anthology of Chicago Noir fiction. It’s available as a PDF.
– Memo to Random House production: If you must divide “Mussoliniesque”–especially at a page break–the only acceptable division is “Mussolini-esque.” Truly.