Sound artist Andy Slater on the spring-into-summer sound of 80s freestyle | In Rotation | Chicago Reader

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Sound artist Andy Slater on the spring-into-summer sound of 80s freestyle

Plus: DJ Hannah Viti on Tasha and Audiotree making tender magic together, Reader listings coordinator Salem Collo-Julin on must-have pro-Bernie T-shirts, and more

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A Reader staffer shares three musical obsessions, then asks someone (who asks someone else) to take a turn.

The FeelTrip folks show off their pro-Bernie T-shirt design at the Sanders rally in Grant Park on Saturday, March 7. - SALEM COLLO-JULIN
  • Salem Collo-Julin
  • The FeelTrip folks show off their pro-Bernie T-shirt design at the Sanders rally in Grant Park on Saturday, March 7.

Salem Collo-Julin, Reader listings coordinator

Dwight Yoakam on The Whoopi Goldberg Show in 1992 Whoopi Goldberg hosted a late-night talk show in the early 90s, and Dwight Yoakam was among the lucky guests who got to spend the entire half hour with her. The episode was filmed after they'd acted together in Robert Altman's The Player, and they talk like old friends about drifters, the multicultural origins of country music, and more, punctuated by Yoakam's songs (with pianist Jerry Peters). I get a chill listening to Dwight sing "If There Was a Way" as the credits roll.

Anthony Elms Absorbs My friend Anthony Elms has kept up a blog since 2009 that lists the titles and names of things he's watched and/or listened to. He writes on the blog header, "Only hard copy formats listed (no listings for anything ingested digitally and no listings for things I've organized or worked on or helped host)." He's honest about his obsessions, fearlessly posting about yet another listen to the same Joanna Newsom album or the stretch he spent watching Gossip Girl weekly.

Merch by music people for Bernie I'm not here to tell you who to vote for, but this campaign has created a boom of must-have T-shirts. Local collective FeelTrip made a delightful homage to Raymond Pettibon's Sonic Youth album cover, which I spotted after a local Bernie Sanders appearance. And Asheville's Ecstatic Praxis came out with a Ravers for Bernie number (black-light reactive with glow-in-the-dark ink) that gave my nightlife wardrobe a kick in the patoot. Ecstatic Praxis and I encourage you to google "RAVE act."

Salem is curious what's in the rotation of . . .

Shannon calls herself "the Queen of Freestyle." - COURTESY AER MANAGEMENT
  • Courtesy AER Management
  • Shannon calls herself "the Queen of Freestyle."

Andy Slater, musician and founder of the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists

The Rockford Files I got a voice-controlled TV from the pawn shop, so I can say "Play The Rockford Files" and it does. Composer Mike Post is the genius who scored it, combining hackneyed harmonica, Moog portamentos, and Dobro into funky country danger music hip with dissonant French horns. When Jim Rockford's Firebird peels out to the sound of the drummer's crashes, it's as dirty as the stock they shot it on. The episodes with Isaac Hayes treat us to some smooth tracks he cut with Post, and in episode 17 of season three, Hayes and Lou Gossett Jr. trash a Nazi bar '77 style. It's the greatest moment in television.

  • A sampling of Rockford Files theme music, set to some fine 70s-style stunt driving

The Isley Brothers, "Fire and Rain" I'm no fan of James Taylor, and I'm sure he says the same about me. But he's written one great song: "Fire and Rain." It took the Isleys' version to prove it, though. Bittersweet James can't compete with the emotion in Ronald's voice. He's on the brink of tears—and so am I, every time it plays. Anxious guitar, tape-delayed cries, and pallbearer chants instantly help you forget who wrote this song. I don't cry a lot, but when I do it's with the Isleys.

Shannon, "Let the Music Play" I was going to write about a Hafler Trio live video, but man, it's no longer cold. What does spring-into-summer mean to me? Freestyle! And my favorite track? Shannon's "Let the Music Play." Ever since I saw her on Solid Gold 35 years ago, I've been obsessed. The 12-inch dub mix is the finest club extension you'll ever hear. It's weird, and it kills whatever New Order song you love. Be still my beating heart.

  • The extended dub version of "Let the Music Play"

Andy is curious what's in the rotation of . . .

Chicago singer-songwriter, poet, and activist Tasha - ASHLEIGH DYE
  • Ashleigh Dye
  • Chicago singer-songwriter, poet, and activist Tasha

Hannah Viti, aka DJ and sonic historian Vitigrrl

Tasha's Audiotree Live session Tender musical experiences like this make me feel proud to be from Chicago. Tasha and Audiotree: together, they're magic. This recent collaboration is sure to touch you in all the deepest places. Audiotree takes great care to capture Tasha and her wickedly talented band, and the result is a robust, transcendent sound. This music gives you permission to listen and feel intimately.

Ariel Zetina, MUAs at the End of the World If the world is ending, my dying wish is that MUAs at the End of the World is played loudly on repeat. Whimsical yet hard, the new EP from Chicago producer and DJ Ariel Zetina is music I'd gladly ingest as civilization comes to a close. Her sound lives in the in-between; she pays tribute to the legacy of the club music that raised her while bringing a fresh and uniquely Ariel sound to the forefront.

Glenn Underground's Boiler Room DJ set Sensational and ethereal, this intergalactic deep house music makes your neurons fire in harmonic synchrony. You're a passenger swimming through a spaceship filled with Jell-O, and south-side house producer and DJ Glenn Underground is captain. An elevated ride throughout time and space, this 2014 live mix brings me energy on my most motionless days.  v

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