Not Normal Tapes gives itself a year to live | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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Not Normal Tapes gives itself a year to live

Plus: Rabble Rabble reunite to benefit Resilience, and beat-scene mainstay Uncle El celebrates a new album at Emporium.

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Ralph Rivera of Not Normal Tapes - JENNY KLJUCARIC
  • Jenny Kljucaric
  • Ralph Rivera of Not Normal Tapes

After 11 years in business, Not Normal Tapes has become synonymous with Chicago and Northwestern Indiana hardcore and punk (and more recently hip-hop). Reader writers have covered many of NNT's blistering releases, including tapes from Gas Rag and CB Radio Gorgeous, as well as the label's expertly curated events, including the Infestational fest in 2016 and its awesome anniversary shows. Last week, founder Ralph Rivera announced in a heartfelt entry on NNT's blog that the label will wind down over the next year and close in October 2020, but not before a final burst of activity: "We've got about eight releases left in us," says Rivera, "ending with the same hyperlocalized focus that we kicked off on." Congrats, Not Normal! You'll leave a mighty legacy!

It's been three years since acid-fried grunge punks Rabble Rabble called it a day, but guitarist Matt Ciarleglio tells Gossip Wolf that the Rabbles will "get the band back together—just for the night—to play some freaky songs" at the Empty Bottle on Monday, October 28. The free show is a benefit for Chicago nonprofit Resilience, which advocates for survivors of sexual violence, and the Bottle will donate $3 per attendee (as well as accepting donations at the door). The lineup also features the Sueves, Peel, Vamos, and DJ sets from Absolutely Not.

Chicago producer Uncle El has been making hip-hop beats since the late 90s: he began rapping as a student at Roger C. Sullivan High School, then started producing tracks so he and his friends would have something to rap over. He's now a major player in Chicago's beat scene, helping present two regular showcases for experimental, hip-hop-influenced electronic music: Open Beats and Push Beats. And on Thursday, October 24, he plays a free release party at Emporium in Wicker Park to support his new album on ETC Records, Now U C Me? Sam000 (aka Sam Trump), Radius, and Sev Seveer open.  v

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