M.I.A. is known for having a keen ear for talent, so it's no surprise she's picked up Chicago expat and Pit Er Pat drummer Butchy Fuego to the man the kit for recent live dates. Fuego, who moved to LA in 2009, has also recently done time with the Boredoms.
The Numero Group's exploration of underheralded local soul will continue this fall with an exhaustive Syl Johnson box, slated for release on October 19. Complete Mythology, a four-disc/six-LP set, will contain 28 singles that originally appeared on local labels Twinight, Federal, Cha-Cha, TMP-Ting, and Special Agent, as well as ten previously unreleased tracks and the entire Is It Because I'm Black and Dresses Too Short albums. "Syl is one of the most important singers in soul's middle class," Numero's Ken Shipley told Gossip Wolf. "That his catalog has been treated with such carelessness is, as a record buyer, heartbreaking and depressing." If you're not a regular V103 listener, you probably know Johnson best for "Different Strokes," one of the most widely sampled songs in hip-hop, making appearances in everything from Public Enemy's "Miuzi Weighs a Ton" to EPMD's "It's My Thing" to De La Soul's "The Magic Number."
On July 15, the Adler Planetarium's Adler After Dark series features two sets from ex-Polyphonic Spree-r Louis Schwadron's band, Sky White Tiger, which sounds like a tripped-out Coldplay and is apparently heavily inspired by astrology. Dropping your five bucks in advance gets you guaranteed good sightlines for the "constellation-based imagery," though Gossip Wolf imagines everyone will do just fine with what's dancing on the back of his own eyelids. More details at adlerplanetarium.org
Local rapper/producer Gaggie just dropped his third mix tape, Calculate and Measure Weight, which features guest production from Xcel, S.K., and Joe Blow, and a cameo by AK from Do or Die. Gaggie's been busy: in the past couple months he's released the track "Walk On" with GLC, produced "So Sexy" off the new Ludacris album, and is hard at work on an album, "The Nu Print," for his own Get It Crackin' label.
Aleksandra Tomaszewska, former front woman for Aleks & the Drummer, debuted her new quartet, Aleks Eva, last Friday at Lincoln Hall. The lineup features Chris
Powell Schreck and Dylan Ryan of Icy Demons and pianist Susan Chalmers.
At press time Matthew Leone, bassist for Roadrunner-signed locals Madina Lake, had gone home from UIC Medical Center after suffering head trauma and broken bones while trying to break up a domestic dispute he encountered when walking to a West Town bar June 29. According to his bandmate and brother Nathan at madinaswan.tumblr.com, he'll return to the hospital for surgery this Friday, "wherein they hope to re-apply the [third] of his skull that has been removed to accommodate the swelling in his brain." Police have charged 33-year-old Justin Pivec with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm; Pivec was also charged with battery for the attack on his wife, who suffered minor injuries. Doctors expect Leone to make a full recovery, but he doesn't have health insurance. Donations can be made to his cause via the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, sweetrelief.org.