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Overlooked ska and reggae treasure Charles 'Organaire' Cameron drops his first vinyl in decades

Plus: BLVD Records gets back into gear, and Analogue celebrates its first year with a free show.

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Since 1976 Chicago has been home to overlooked ska and reggae treasure Charles "Organaire" Cameron. The 72-year-old bandleader, singer, and harmonica player grew up in Jamaica and recorded in the 60s with the likes of Bob Marley, Toots & the Maytals, and Jimmy Cliff. He hadn't released music on CD in nearly ten years or on vinyl in decades till 2014—earlier this year he went to Minneapolis to record with young band the Prizefighters, and with the help of Reader contributor Chema Skandal, Jump Up Records, and Colibri Recordings (a Mexican label dedicated to Jamaican music), he's made three new seven-inches. The third of those (plus a CD of all six tracks) drops Fri 12/12, and the record-release show that night at Mayne Stage doubles as a send-off for Cameron's three-week European tour with the Prizefighters.

The holiday season is a great time to catch up with folks you've been missing—so we at Gossip Wolf are stoked that one of our favorite local labels, BLVD Records, is back in the saddle. For much of 2014, label honchos Melissa Geils and Eric Marsh were on what they call a "life/work hiatus," but earlier this week BLVD released Exhausted, the debut LP from hardcore weirdos Den, who'll celebrate with a record-release show with Oozing Wound at Cole's on Sat 12/13. The label throws a Christmas party at the Hideout on Sat 12/27 with giveaways, BLVD DJs, and live sets from Den, Fake Limbs, and Blizzard Babies, and in the New Year it plans to release music from Savage Sister, Staring Problem, Astrobrite, and Denmark's Foreign Resort.

Logan Square bar Analogue celebrates its first anniversary Thu 12/11, and the lineup is right up this wolf's alley; local garage-pop favorites Bare Mutants headline and lo-fi indie rockers Clearance open. The show's free, so you can save your Lincolns for $5 fried-chicken sandwiches and $1 Buds.

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