Gossip Wolf: An Emperor veteran launches Studious Amplifiers | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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Gossip Wolf: An Emperor veteran launches Studious Amplifiers

Plus: Hoyle Brothers guitarist Brian Wilkie gets a benefit for a stolen pedal steel, garage rockers Circles drop their debut LP, and more.

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Bryant Howe used to design amplifier heads for Emperor Custom Cabinets, and now he tells Gossip Wolf that he's starting a new company, Studious Amplifiers, in his Humboldt Park apartment. He's already got happy customers—endorsing artists include Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Beach Fossils' Dustin Payseur, and Walkmen members Hamilton Leithauser and Paul Maroon. Howe says his amps—available in a variety of wattages, configurations, and finishes—use "high-end, vintage-styled components . . . manufactured here in Chicago using the same methods that they have since the 50s." Sounds like a recipe for (obnoxiously loud) success!

A few months ago Brian Wilkie of Chicago honky-tonk outfit the Hoyle Brothers had his pedal steel and amp stolen from his car, and now his friends are helping him replace them. They're throwing a benefit at the Hideout on Sat 6/14 to raise the money to replace Wilkie's gear, and the bill is stacked with local country acts—among them Rick Sherry's band the Hat Stretchers, the Gin Palace Jesters, and Grit & the Double Knit. This wolf is particularly interested in the dark Tin Pan Alley of the reunited Can.Ky.Ree, as well as the Hoyle Brothers with an all-star supporting cast that includes Bruce Lamont and Robbie Fulks! There's also a raffle and a bake sale; you can donate whatever you can afford, and the event runs from noon till 5:30 PM.

Srini Radhakrishna (France Has the Bomb, Football), Anthony Cozzi (Radar Eyes), Melissa Elias (the Ponys), Christen Thomas (the Empty Bottle), and Ken Coulman (the Holy Ghosts) are local garage rockers Circles, and on Tue 6/24 they drop their debut LP, Shadowgraph, on Diminished Arc Records. They play a release show at the Bottle on Fri 7/11 with Bare Mutants.

Gossip Wolf is sad to report that Bob Abrahamian—soul-music historian and host of the weekly WHPK show Sitting in the Park—died in his Logan Square home last Thursday.

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

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