City of Djinn wed psychedelic drone rock to Arabic tradition | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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City of Djinn wed psychedelic drone rock to Arabic tradition

Plus: Good Kids Mad City throw a beach party to commemorate the 1919 race riots, and the Hideout hosts a fund-raiser and launch party for Pussypedia.

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Micah Bezold and Marwan Kamel of City of Djinn - KAMAL ABOUL-HOSN
  • Kamal Aboul-Hosn
  • Micah Bezold and Marwan Kamel of City of Djinn

Correction (Wed 7/24, 1 PM): The Tree performing at the Peace Beach Party is not the Tree this column described (and linked to a story about).

Marwan Kamel and Micah Bezold, aka local duo City of Djinn, have been playing together for more than ten years, including a stretch in underrated doom-crust band Al-Thawra that produced several excellent recordings. They met jamming after hours with North African musicians at a Tunisian restaurant where Kamel worked and Bezold was a regular. Kamel describes City of Djinn as "post-tarab," and their long-form psychedelic drone rock draws from experimental music as well as traditional Arabic maqam. In 2015, the duo dropped the sublime Ether and Red Sulphur via downstate label Somnimage, and on Friday, July 26, they're finally following it up (on the same label) with a self-titled album full of dazzling cuts that meander languidly around complex, beautiful melodies. On Sunday, July 28, City of Djinn celebrate at the Empty Bottle with openers Naxö, Swim Ignorant Fire, and Mikel Boyd & Drekka.

Last year, Chicago students of color formed antiviolence organization Good Kids Mad City after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. GKMC's goals include providing activities for urban youth, and on Saturday, July 27, it's throwing a Peace Beach Party to honor recent victims of gun violence and the Black Chicagoans who died in the Red Summer race riots of 1919. The music lineup includes superstar-in-waiting Queen Key and WGN producer DJ Cash Era, and the party runs from 4 to 9 PM at 31st Street Beach. Registration is free at

On Tuesday, July 30, the Hideout hosts a fund-raiser and launch party for Pussypedia, a volunteer-run encyclopedia of the vagina assembled by more than 200 people on three continents. Cofounder Zoe Mendelson will demo the site, and the festivities also feature a covers set from Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart of Ohmme, comedy from Sarah Squirm, and a DJ set by Cqqchifruit. The party starts at 8 PM, and admission is a $10 suggested donation.  v

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