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This Week's Top 4 Chicago Music Stories (Besides Kanye's New Album)

By Justin Freeman in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 12, 2016 7:04PM

This week's biggest Chicago music story: After changing his album's name an absurd number of times, beefing with Wiz Khalifa over a misunderstanding, slut-shaming Amber Rose on Twitter, and defending Bill Cosby in all caps, Kanye finally debuted his new album, The Life of Pablo, yesterday afternoon in New York. The whole rollout left us missing the days when Kanye behaving eccentrically led to a discussion about class warfare and systemic racism in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Also, which Pablo is Kanye referring to? We doubt Escobar, but what about Picasso? Petey?

We’ll have a full look at Kanye’s new album later, but while Kanye was being antagonistically Kanye, the local music scene was thriving. Below, we've rounded up the top Chicago music stories of the week.

Wilco Covers David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”


It’s been only a little over a month since the passing of David Bowie, and already an influx of notable musicians have covered his work to pay their respects. Shortly after his death, R&B singer Miguel covered “Space Oddity” out in L.A.; shortly before Bowie's death, local noise band Disappears also released a live album where they covered Bowie’s Low. Wilco was the latest band to pay homage. They also covered Bowie’s iconic “Space Oddity” during a show last week in Brooklyn. Check out the video below.

Chicago-Based GOOD Music Artist Puts Out New Single With Kathleen Hanna

Signed to Kanye’s GOOD Music label, HXLT (pronounced “holt,” kinda like CHVRCHES is pronounced “churches”) has been transformed. Let’s start at the beginning. A year or so ago, he was a party rapper by the name of Hollywood Holt, performing and DJing all over town. Holt has always had a love affair with goth and punk and when he signed to GOOD last year, he decided to fully embrace those aesthetics. Hazy drug raps were replaced with solemn guitars, introspective lyrics and exploratory mixtape covers of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.” HXLT’s new single “Together” finds him paired with Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill. For whatever reason the new single reminds of bands like Husker Du and Sonic Youth. Check it out via NPR.

Presale Tickets To Chicago’s Latin Alt Music Festival Go On Sale Today

It’s backed by Riot Fest, but Ruido Fest has more in common with festivals like Afropunk out in NYC. Afropunk aims to celebrate black artistry and our participation in punk; Ruido Fest does the same for Latinos. This year's dates have already been announced: It’s happening on July 8 through 10 at Adams/Medill Park in Pilsen. Presale tickets go on sale today and start at $99.

No lineup has been announced yet, but last year Rey Pila, a Mexico City synth-pop band, was one of the highlights. No idea if they’re playing again, but check out their single “Fire Away” below.

An Album Called "Shitty Punk Album" Was Actually Rad

The Rapper Chicks—a new rap crew featuring Psalm One, Fluffy, Angel Davanport and ill-esha—released their debut EP, Shitty Punk Album, earlier this week. It's a three-song blitzkrieg featuring an excellent appearance by Three 6 Mafia’s Gangsta Boo. If ever you tire of Beyonce’s “Formation” at some point this weekend, this is what you should put on next. Check out “Rules and Regulations” below.