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Guitarists Ryley Walker and Bill MacKay whip up some sorely needed holiday cheer

Plus: Timbuck2Forever returns to Metro to honor the fallen Chicago DJ, Macabre host their 19th annual Holiday of Horror at Reggie’s, and more.

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Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker - PAUL CRISANTI
  • Paul Crisanti
  • Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker

The disastrous Trump transition and ridiculous weather have sapped this wolf's holiday spirit. Luckily, on Thursday, December 22, at the Hideout, local guitarists Ryley Walker and Bill MacKay headline what they're calling a "Holiday Feel Good Real Good Night of Live Music & Cheer," which also features a reading from playwright Gabriel Wallace, a set from pianist Charles Joseph Smith, and new full-band jams from singer-songwriter Azita.

This time last year, Chicago's hip-hop community was mourning turntablist and WGCI on-air personality Timothy Jones, aka DJ Timbuck2—he was 34 when he died of renal cancer on December 19. Among the many things Jones did for the local scene was host Beauty Bar's weekly Timbuck2uesdays, and in his memory Metro hosted a massive version called Timbuck2Forever. Mano, Just Blaze, Nonstop, Boi Jeanius, and Rude One were among the DJs spinning, and the likes of Twista, Juice, and De La Soul made surprise cameos. Timbuck2Forever has become an annual gathering, and it returns to Metro on Tuesday, December 27—whoever ends up performing, you won't want to miss it!

On Friday, December 23, Chicago "murder metal" veterans Macabre host their 19th annual Holiday of Horror in both venues at Reggie's; also on the bill are northwest-Indiana death metallers Dysphoria (reuniting for their first show in 20 years) and apparently unkillable local "trio" Maggot Twat, described in 2009 by the Reader's Monica Kendrick as "ridiculously catchy gross-out metal." She says MT's two human band members treat dummy drummer Dick Pancakes as an "all-purpose punch line and abuse receptacle"—at least he doesn't have feelings to hurt!

In May, this wolf mentioned an upcoming seven-­inch by Chicago darkwave act Staring Problem on local label Modern Tapes, and this month it finally dropped! The Ghost EP features the band's signature ringing guitars and gloomy vocals.   v

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