So you may have heard already, but the Reader's new redesign hits the streets today. The biggest change is obviously the move to a more magazine-like look, which is sure to please those people who are still grumbling that the Reader sold out when we started printing in color. The other biggest change has to do with our music section, which now gets its own cover, more space, and a new name: the B Side.
We'll be using this added space to bring you guys new regular features. For Artist to Artist we look for an interesting pairing of a Chicago musician and an out-of-towner, then put the local in the interviewer's seat for an anything-goes Q&A. This week we got Chicago Afrobeat Project keyboardist Kevin Ford talking to Femi Kuti, eldest son of Fela and an Afrobeat star in his own right.
Each week In Rotation gives a different Reader regular room to gush about three current musical obsessions; then that writer picks someone else to gush over three things; and then that second person picks a third. If that sounds a little confusing, read the picks from assistant music editor Kevin Warwick, then the three from Whistler and Whistler Records co-owner Billy Helmkamp, then the three from Erik Hall of Nomo and In Tall Buildings. You'll get the picture.
We're also keeping some familiar features around. This week's Gossip Wolf dishes news on the recently re-formed English Softhearts and the recently split-up Race, as well as speculation on what Will Butler was really up to on his trip to Poetry magazine's headquarters. This week's music feature, by music editor Philip Montoro, digs deep into the rousing, nerdy metal of Slough Feg, who play tonight at Quenchers. And the Soundboard, formerly known as the List, big-ups shows by Ghe20 Goth1k, David Grubbs, Fielded, Hunx & His Punx, Shannon & the Clams, Grails, Battles, the Dead Milkmen, and more. And though there isn't one this week (long story), my column will still be running regularly, just like before.