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Chicago's dance-music community says good-bye to Phil Free Art

Plus: Jack Black drops in on Mikal Cronin at the Bottle, Marc Arcuri makes "disco grunge" as Orphan Schlitz, and more.

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Gossip Wolf is sad to report that Phillip Pelipada—better known to Chicago's dance-music community as Phil Free Art—died last week at age 44. Pelipada was well-known in town for his inimitable positivity, for giving out copies of his intricately hand-drawn rave zine, Free Art, and for DJing scorching sets of house, freestyle, and jungle in clubs and on Vocalo and WHPK, among other places. Pelipada posted several DJ sets to Mixcloud—this wolf is particularly fond of "Do I Still Play Hardcore," an expert blend of pile-driving mid-90s happy hardcore and gabber.

The School of Rock was definitely in session at the Empty Bottle on Sun 9/13, when Gossip Wolf spied Tenacious D front man and big-time movie actor Jack Black rocking out to Mikal Cronin. Mr. Black played pool and took photo-booth pics with regulars almost till last call.

Gossip Wolf occasionally gets a package from Marc "Bubblebath" Arcuri, the garage-rock goofball who fronts the English Softhearts. The latest was from his new "disco grunge" project, Orphan Schlitz, which he says "Rips off Buck Dharma's solo material, Independent Worm Saloon-era Butthole Surfers, and Foetus." This wolf can't recommend its fuzzy, lo-fi clamor enough. You can stream these odd jams on Orphan Schlitz's Soundcloud or buy a cassette from Arcuri via Facebook.

Billy Yost formed the Kickback in 2006 at the University of South Dakota, then moved this killer indie-pop band to Chicago in '09. They're finally dropping their first full-length, Sorry All Over the Place, via Jullian Records. Spoon drummer Jim Eno produced the high-spirited album, which comes out Friday, September 18—and on Thursday the Kickback celebrate at the Hideout.  v

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