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Gossip Wolf: Songs for plants

Garfield Park Conservatory hosts an unusual sing-along. Plus: Houses remix Kings of Leon, and Hot Stylz jump back in the game.

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This Wolf has read that plants are partial to the bass frequencies of house music, but we haven't heard about somebody writing songs for our green friends since Stevie Wonder "branched out" with Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants in 1979. Anyway, mutton­chopped tubaist Mark Messing, leader of local gonzo marching band Mucca Pazza, has composed some tunes about the plants at the Garfield Park Conservatory—and he wants everyone to sing along. Literally! At 6 PM on Wed 7/18, the conservatory will open eight "Sing to a Plant" stations—at the saguaro cactus, at the 300-year-old cycads, et cetera. Other kid-friendly activities begin at 4 PM: you can make a moss microphone, join a campfire sing-along, watch the Giant Inchworm Parade by Messing's Opera-Matic troupe, and more. The free event also features "song leaders," including members of the Pilgrim Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir, to help keep folks in tune. See garfieldconservatory.org for more.

Last week Chicago-bred electronic duo Houses dropped a curious track on Soundcloud; a remix of Kings of Leon's "Pyro." Turns out the southern rockers are fans of Houses, and last year they asked multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Dexter Tortoriello to contribute to a remix collection. (It was shelved, says Tortoriello, because Kings of Leon only liked one track—the Houses remix.) In other Houses news, Tortoriello and vocalist Megan Messina are shopping a new album; they moved to LA last month and into a new, um, house.

Last fall local hip-hop act Hot Stylz released their first mixtape in two years, Where Y'all Been At? It's a good question: the trio hit the Billboard charts with the 2007 single "Lookin' Boy," landed a deal with Swagg Team (Yung Joc's Jive imprint), and toured with Soulja Boy in 2008. Ball and Raydio G of Hot Stylz say the group took a break from the biz for personal reasons, but its members continued producing beats. Now Hot Stylz are wrapping up a self-titled mixtape and a few weeks from inking a deal with Soulja Boy's label, SODMG.

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