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The Most Chicago Music News Of The Week: Vic Mensa And Skrillex Wander Through Tokyo's Underworld, And Other Stories

By Justin Freeman in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 26, 2016 7:28PM

It’s been another busy week in Chicago for music. Let’s get right to it and talk about some of the highlights.

Vic Mensa And Skrillex Explore The Seedy Side of Tokyo

Right before performing at Pitchfork last year, Chicago's Vic Mensa dropped a new song called “No Chill” that was co-produced by Skrillex. Almost a year later, they finally made a video for it. The video finds Mensa and Skrillex partying and getting into misadventures in Tokyo as they wander around the city’s neon underbelly. For awhile now, Mensa has been putting out singles like “U Mad” and “Down On My Luck” while he tours and irons out the kinks in his forthcoming debut album, tentatively called Traffic. Still no word when Traffic is coming out, but check out the new video for “No Chill” below.


Photo by Autumn de Wilde

Wilco Will Play Millennium Park. Again

On Aug. 21, Wilco will play Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, their first show in Chicago since headlining Friday night at Pitchfork last year. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Jeff Tweedy said that a new Wilco album is “ready to go this year.” Wilco stealthily released their latest album Star Wars the day before their headlining set at Pitchfork. So it's plausible that the new album could come out without warning right before the show this summer. Tickets went on sale this morning and can be purchased here. Lawn seats are going for $30 while pavillion seats range from $75 to $85. Earlier this week, Wilco performed for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Check out video of that below.


photo via facebook

A Local Post-Punk Band Makes A Bleak Outlook Sound Catchy

Local band Ganser released a new single, "Audrey." Its minimalist piano chords hover over desolate no-wave guitars while a haunting voice lingers in the background, before everything comes together in a rousing chorus that demands the listener's attention. For a song so overwhelmingly bleak, it’s catchy as hell. Ganser is playing DIY venue The Observatory later next month before embarking on a brief tour of the Portland area. Check out “Audrey” below.


photo via facebook

A Local Rapper Channels Kendrick Lamar In His New Single

Saba seems primed to be the next big rapper from Chicago. A close and longtime friend of Chance the Rapper, Saba performed with him on Colbert’s The Late Show late last year, and also guested on Chance’s landmark Acid Rap mixtape a few years ago. In between collaborations with local up-and-comers such as BJ the Chicago Kid and Eryn Allen Kane, Saba’s mixtape Comfort Zone was one of our favorites things from last year. Now, Saba’s newest single “Soap Box” finds him channeling influences such as Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt as he raps furiously over a gritty, electric-guitar-tinged beat. Check out “Soap Box” below.


photo via facebook

Chicago's Andrew Bird Releases Single With Fiona Apple

Earlier this month, Andrew Bird announced that he has a new album coming out this spring and he promised a collaboration with Fiona Apple. Late last night, he delivered on that promise when he shared his newest single “Left Handed Kisses,” a simple, restrained acoustic affair showcasing the two troubadours. Bird also announced tour dates, but none for Chicago—probably because he played a bunch of shows here during his winter residency at Fourth Presbyterian Church a little over two months ago. Check out “Left Hand Kisses” below.