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Gossip Wolf: Thick Cuts from Roach Beach

Former Catfish Haven front man George Hunter has a new, Internet-free project. Plus: Chris “Professor” Black plugs into High Spirits, and Bloodiest bassist Ben Clarke wraps up a record and moves east

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Catfish Haven is long gone, but the band's songbird and front man, George Hunter, is back in the saddle with a new project: Roach Beach. (Not to be confused with the delicious sandwich meat roast beef.) The group played their first show earlier this month at Pancho's, and they're planning to infest other local venues in the fall. So far the only way to hear Roach Beach is live; Hunter doesn't use e-mail and apparently doesn't believe in the Internet—neither he nor his latest endeavor has a page on Facebook, MySpace, or Bandcamp. Anyone who wants to know more should head to the Lincoln Park Whole Foods, where Hunter works at the meat counter; ask him about the band next time you buy some steaks.

Local metal polymath Chris "Professor" Black plays a role in acclaimed bands such as Dawnbringer, Pharaoh, Superchrist, and Nachtmystium. This month he's revving up another one of his projects, the populist/positivist hard-rock act High Spirits, to support the Mon 8/22 release of their studio debut, Another Night, on Black's Planet Metal label. On Fri 8/19 they open for local thrashers Diamond Plate (celebrating the release of their Earache debut, Generation Why?) at Reggie's Rock Club, and on Sat 8/20 they play the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest, hitting the north stage at the unmetal time of 3 PM.

Ben Clarke, who lays down the four-string boom for local supergroup Bloodiest, is mixing his new solo album at Chicago's Pieholden Studios before moving to the happening burg of New Haven, Connecticut. The record features a mishmash of mighty musicians, including guitarist Emmett Kelly of Cairo Gang and Bonnie "Prince" Billy fame, Lindsay Powell of Fielded and Ga'an, Johnny Caluya of Verma, and David Vandervelde. On Fri 8/19, Clarke will play a farewell set at the Hideout as Psychic Friends, with Vandervelde headlining. "It's really just kind of a party," he says. Talk about heading out of town in style!

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