A few weeks back Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco served as principal for a day at his old south-side middle school, Crown Community Academy. But Lupe's got even bigger education plans, FOR THE ENTIRE INTERNET, having recently started a book club. He's hosting lectures on each selection on his Ustream page, and the reading list so far has featured Huey P. Newton's Revolutionary Suicide, W.E.B. DuBois's biography of John Brown, and Chris Hedges's Empire of Illusion (which, sayeth Lupe, "has a good pace"). May Gossip Wolf suggest that Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life might be apropos, given that Lasers has been pushed almost a full year beyond its initial anticipated release date? It's now slated for March 2011.
Last weekend's two-day Caveman-a-Go-Go fest was booked by Bottom Lounge co-owner Mike Miller and featured some fine acts: Andre Williams, local masked rockers the Goblins, and former Billy Childish associates the Masonics, who Miller flew over from Merry Olde England for just one show—their first-ever gig in Chicago. While attendance at the fest seemed paltry to Gossip Wolf, crowd enthusiasm, measured in busted dance moves, was considerable, and according to Miller, there are future Caveman fests to follow. One attendee on Saturday was definitely stoked: Masonics superfan Ian Adams (of Maximum Wage), who loaned a red Burns Nu-Sonic ax to front man Micky Hampshire for his entire set.
Speaking of caves and garages, Permanent Records store and label dude Lance Barresi has joined Heavy Times, whose songs sound like they're coming from a garage at the back of a deep dark cave. Barresi makes his debut as bassist when the band plays Logan Square dive Crown Liquors on December 2.
True story: Gossip Wolf was once in a clubby-industrial band called KeyMaster. We had some "Join in the Chant" beats that freaked goths majorly. We played a few sets at Medusa's and even got signed to Wax Trax!, but our first single, "Whitey Dreadlock Headache," had some uncleared samples from Dario Argento movies and our furry asses got seriously sued. Industrial-strength bummer! Anyway, Chicago/New York duo Gatekeeper have picked up where we left off, conjuring a sonic world that reminds us of the late 80s, when house music ruled the night and Ministry and Revolting Cocks were running the rock scene with their LinnDrums and cowboy hats. Gatekeeper's new EP, Giza, hits the streets December 13, courtesy of British label Merok.
Kill Hannah bassist and DJ-about-town Greg Corner has named his new-ish Saturday night residency in the Debonair basement Come as You Are. Corner insists the title isn't a tip of the hat to the grunge revival, and there is no theme to the night beyond the always subjective "good music."
Another vinyl-only record store? H+ Records has tentative plans to open brick-and-mortar style in the South Loop in 2011. There's already a web store up and running at hplusrecords.com—though in a cart-before-the-horse move all they're stocking so far is T-shirts (and a manifesto) for their nonexistent store.
These days it seems like there are almost as many gig-poster operations in town as there are bands. About a dozen of them will be showing their stuff at Inkbomb: 2010 Rock Poster Festival, which starts at noon on December 4 at the Empty Bottle. Nones, Galactic Inmate (see the List), Blue Ribbon Glee Club, and others are throwing down sets; Nones' Erin Page, also a poster artist, will be doing double duty.
Sound Opinions, the syndicated rock 'n' roll talk show hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, has been throwing extracurricular fund-raisers beyond the regular quarterly 'BEZ pledge drive. Their next one is a screening of D.A. Pennebaker's classic Dylan doc Dont Look Back on December 2 at the Music Box, which should bring out the olds and their billfolds. Though if they're seriously trying to collect ducats, Gossip Wolf suggests they just show Avatar instead.