Spotted last weekend at Austra's sold-out Beauty Bar show: Michael Shawn Crahan, aka "Clown," percussionist for Iowa's most popular masked metal band, Slipknot. The bearded rocker—who when out of costume bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Steve Earle—is a superfan of Austra singer Katie Stelmanis. Some time ago Crahan sent Stelmanis an admiring letter, and the two have become fast friends. Stelmanis could not confirm that any Slipknot-Austra collaboration is happening "yet." Also in attendance: a bachelorette party.
Pitchfork Santa is coming early this year! Gossip Wolf hears that a certain act booked for the Pitchfork Music Festival in July will make a guest appearance during a headlining set at this weekend's HoZac Blackout. Perhaps Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator will interrupt the Spits by jumping around onstage yelling "Swaaaaag!" But this Wolf's furry money is on Neko Case dropping in on Boston old punx the Nervous Eaters—she covered their unhit "Loretta" on her 2004 live album The Tigers Have Spoken. But then there's always the chance that fellow old punk and Massachusetts resident Thurston Moore (see also: Sonic Youth) will put in a cameo. This Wolf hopes it's either or both, 'cause a DJ Shadow-Nobunny mashup sounds like a new tier of hell.
National Book Award winner Patti Smith invaded Chicago over the weekend. According to this Wolf's Facebook friends, the punk icon and former local—her first memory is walking in Humboldt Park—spent a good chunk of time in Logan Square. Smith was spotted supping with pals at Lula Cafe on Saturday and taking Polaroids of her old block on Kedzie on Sunday. —Jessica Hopper and J.R. Nelson
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