It's a sad and unfortunately typical story: a musician gets seriously ill, and without health insurance racks up astronomical medical bills. Last year guitarist Letha Rodman-Melchior of New York's defunct Ruby Falls (she now lives in North Carolina) was diagnosed with melanoma and breast cancer, and she and her husband, garage icon Dan Melchior-Rodman, are having trouble paying for her treatment. Fortunately Chicago's large-hearted garage-rock scene is stepping up to help these out-of-towners: Hozac honcho Todd Killings and Coffin Pricks guitarist Ryan Weinstein have organized a shit-hot benefit show Mon 1/2 at the Crown Tap Room. "Todd and I had been aware of what was going on with them, but only recently had Dan reached out publicly for help," Weinstein says. "We discussed it one night and saw it as a chance to set something up." They've wrangled a lineup that includes the Pricks and newish garage group E+, which features members of Disappears and Verma plus Reader music-listings dude Luca Cimarusti on drums. Defunct scuzz rockers Screaming Yellow Zonkers will reunite to headline. Donations can also be made at melchiorfund.blogspot.com.
Cloudbirds, a CSNY-tastic project from Josh Chicoine, Joey King, and Glenn Rischke—all formerly of the M's—recently self-released their self-titled debut album, and you can cop it for free from their Bandcamp, bit.ly/cloudbirds. Director Chris Batte made a behind-the-scenes video for "Ripples," which has footage of the band recording with Stan Wood. Cloudbirds open for Plants & Animals on Thu 1/12 at Schubas as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows festival.
Pilsen trio Wimps describe their jumpy yet desolate pop tunes as "surf goth," but this Wolf thinks they're more like a "surf zombie" band; they make tunes so catchy it's easy to get infected! Gossip Wolf isn't the only mammal in town who thinks so. New local cassette label Teen River will release Wimps' debut recording, Dune Park, on Fri 12/30. The band will celebrate its release with a DIY show that night; e-mail email@example.com for details.
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