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Gossip Wolf: Pure Joy wants to give Chicago a venue that's welcoming to everyone

Plus: Spektral Quartet releases its contemporary-classical ringtones, and Mormon Toasterhead keeps popping

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If you've ever wondered why a city as big and diverse as Chicago doesn't have an all-ages, LGBT-safe, wheelchair-­accessible punk venue, you aren't alone—the folks at local nonprofit Pure Joy are aiming to open one! Jes Skolnik, who sits on Pure Joy's board (you might know her from excellent local punk bands Population and Split Feet), tells Gossip Wolf that the collective is checking out a former warehouse in Belmont Cragin properties in Avondale and Roscoe Village, and hopes to provide not just a show space but also after-school arts workshops, a Chicago-centric record store, and office space for like-minded nonprofits. That's a kick-ass idea this wolf can get behind! If you chip in toward Pure Joy's efforts to hustle up construction materials, a PA system, and a lighting rig, you could score some tasty swag—the premiums on their Indiegogo fund-raising page include sweet T-shirts and vouchers for admission to future shows.

Speaking of crowdfunding, in the fall Gossip Wolf wrote about new-music group Spektral Quartet and its Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,000 for a project called Mobile Miniatures—40 composers would write short pieces that could double as cell-phone ringtones (hence the name). Spektral raised the money and recorded more than 60 miniatures, and on Sat 3/29 it's celebrating its success at Constellation! The release party includes some cool events—Gossip Wolf is looking forward to seeing composers Marcos Balter and Chris Fisher-Lochhead use audience input to whip up ringtones on the fly. Tickets come with a free download of five Mobile Minatures.

Gossip Wolf is hooked on Mormon Toasterhead, the experimental indie-pop project of local 15-year-old Ben Klawans. He recently dropped his second Bandcamp album of 2014, Monument, part of a trilogy that includes February's Memory. He just started working on the third part, Medication: "So far it's nowhere near finished," he says.

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