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Gossip Wolf: Spektral Quartet crowdfunds modern-classical ringtones

Plus: Dean Ween sits in with a local Ween tribute band, and more.

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Chicago's Spektral Quartet has a treat in the works for folks tired of using the same ol' ringtones. (This Wolf has had "Bananaphone" programmed into a first-generation iPhone for five years.) The guys in Spektral just launched a Kickstarter for a project called "Mobile Miniatures," hoping to raise $8,000 to record really short new-music pieces written to double as cell-phone ringtones, alarms, and alerts. The string quartet has teamed up with 40 composers—including Nico Muhly, Augusta Read Thomas, and David Lang—and aims to release the miniatures to the public on Sat 3/29, celebrating that evening with a concert at Constellation. The Kickstarter campaign ends on Thu 10/3, and you can donate at bit.ly/Spek_minis.

Let's be honest: pretty much every tribute band that's ever existed secretly yearns to share the stage with the artist it's covering. Local Ween cover band the Pod, a five-piece whose lineup includes Tonic Room owner Nick Nepomiachi and Chicago Psych Fest curator Matt Ginsberg, have been playing intermittently since 2000. But their set at Tonic Room on Fri 9/6 featured a purely guavalicious special guest: Dean Ween himself! Though it wasn't a surprise to the band (Nepomiachi flew him in for the show), the crowd was stoked—and so was Dean. It was his first time playing Ween material live since the band broke up in 2012, and though he was supposed to do just five songs, he stayed onstage for most of the band's set—later he called it "one of the brighter moments of the year for me."

On Mon 9/23 sound artist Keith Rankin from Dayton, Ohio, brings his Giant Claw project to LiveWire Lounge for a show with TALsounds (aka Natalie Chami of Good Willsmith) and Den. Rankin has been churning out colorful synth burners for a few years, and the recent cassette Impossible Chew has some giddily cartoonish tunes. You can hear it (and lots more) on his Bandcamp.

Got a tip? Tweet @Gossip_Wolf or e-mail gossipwolf@chicagoreader.com

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