Look Who's Making Tracks With Travis | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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Look Who's Making Tracks With Travis

Kid Sister in the studio, plus a Maps & Atlases LP, new dollies by Archer Prewitt, good-bye to Graeme Gibson, and more

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Pop-rap princess Kid Sister has been holed up at the LA home studio of Blink-182 drummer/reality star Travis Barker, working on tracks for his forthcoming solo debut along with Ludacris and other guests and borrowing his setup and engineer to record material for a couple of her own future releases. Barker this week unleashed the first single from his upcoming album, "Jump Down," featuring Chicago's Cool Kids.

Maps & Atlases have kept busy with shows and short-format releases these past four years, but only just released their first long player, Perch Patchwork, on Barsuk in July. This month the beardo-pop quartet issued the record's first video, "Solid Ground," featuring lead singer Dave Davison floating around in a canoe and another dude in the band playing flute. Choice. The spot has already been shown on MTV2's indie-rock show, Subterranean. And Pitchfork's video site recently highlighted a performance clip of their track "The Charm," in which the band gets thoroughly upstaged by an ace drum line of eighth graders from San Francisco's Willie L. Brown Jr. Academy.

Del Rey, who've been laying down epic postrock jams almost since the genre was new, drop their fourth album, Immemorial, on September 28. It's no small victory seeing as last October much of the band's equipment—including five guitars and a number of effects pedals—was stolen from their Humboldt Park practice space. Immemorial will be released on At a Loss Recordings stateside and Golden Antenna in Europe. To celebrate, Del Rey—now a five-piece with engineer Jason Ward on keyboards, guitar, percussion, and "atmospherics"—will headline a release show at Lincoln Hall on October 8, with guests Haymarket Riot and Implodes.

Sea and Cake guitarist and ex-Coctail Archer Prewitt is one of indie rock's most formidable visual artists, having blown countless minds with Sof' Boy, his long-running comic about a relentlessly upbeat marshmallow man on the mean streets of Chicago. Prewitt also creates toys through the Japanese concern Press Pop Gallery, and his recent series, "Great People," so far includes vinyl figurines of synthesizer pioneer BOB Moog and oddball jazzer Raymond Scott. Press Pop has just released number three, a tight-as-can-be Allen Ginsberg doll complete with removable glasses and Uncle Sam top hat. The package, a limited edition of 1,000, also contains a CD of six previously unreleased recordings of Ginsberg reading and singing his own work. The Moog doll is sold out, but the other two are still available at presspop.com.

"Now Baby," featuring Psalm One and MCADaD, is the first single off the forthcoming Pugz Atomz album, The Decade; it drops this week via BBE, the London hip-hop/dance label. The Decade is a comp of previously released "classic" material from (duh) the last ten years, plus some new songs; the whole thing officially comes out October 24.

Affable punk and alt-country legend Jon Langford has a new solo album, Old Devils (Bloodshot), backed by the Zincs' Jim Elkington and Waco Bros Alan Doughty and Joe Camarillo. The October 16 release party at Martyrs' will be a pre-Halloween masked throwdown, with openers Andre Williams & the Gold stars and Langford's fellow Mekon Sally Timms. Nothing to wear? Bloodshot's offering a free downloadable "Old Devil" mask that you can print and cut out at bloodshotrecords.com/resources/old_devils_mask.jpg.

Graeme Gibson, drummer for Disappears and recorder of many local bands, is heading west. At his moving sale this past weekend, Gibson said he's packing up for Portland in part to be closer to his family in British Columbia, though surely his gig in the Portland-based Fruit Bats is part of the appeal.

Correction: In last week's Gossip Wolf we said Box of Baby Birds main songwriter Gary Calhoun James had "recently" moved from Chicago to Austin. In fact he made the move in August 2009. Gossip Wolf is sorry.

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