Chicago comp says we’re still in the same Situation, still caring for one another | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Chicago comp says we’re still in the same Situation, still caring for one another



Last July, local arts and music nonprofit Quiet Pterodactyl put together a sprawling compilation called Situation Chicago to support local music venues struggling during the pandemic. Almost a year later, with another few hundred thousand Americans dead and live music as we once knew it still mostly impossible, the organization has put together a sequel—this time raising money that will go directly to musicians through the CIVL Save Emergency Relief Fund. Situation Chicago 2 is half an hour shorter than its 83-minute predecessor and features only 12 tracks instead of 25—a nod, perhaps, to the exhaustion that’s afflicting everyone after more than a year of COVID. But this leaner offering still encompasses an impressive mix of Chicago bands in a variety of genres: the bluegrass-tinged folk of Umphrey’s McGee on “Great American” (with banjo great Béla Fleck), the knotted, jazzy postrock of Jeff Parker on “Slippin’ Into Darkness,” the inimitable, horn-driven slogging doom funk of Gramps the Vamp on “Doomed Star,” the laid-back flow of rapper Robust on “Don’t Know Why.” The closing track, Justice Hill’s “If and When It Ends,” is a remix of the aching Auto-Tuned ballad that opened the first comp, transformed into a repetitive footwork stagger by Chicago DJ Hon3ybun. “If I ever get out get out get out get out if I ever get out get out, I ain’t ever coming home,” Hill sings in an interminable loop, as if he’s been stuck in the same box so long he can barely imagine breaking free. With any luck, getting out of that box won’t feel like a pipe dream for much longer—as great as Situation Chicago 2 is, we’re all going to be very sad if there’s a need for a volume three.   v

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