Disappears at WBEZ

The Chicago band Disappears is sounding better than ever on its third album, Pre Language, with more concise and direct rock songs — not that there was anything wrong with band’s longer krautrock jams and drones on previous records. The presence of Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley as a full-fledged member of the Disappears seems to have given the group a new sense of focus, and a few of the songs have the driving force of Sonic Youth at its most song-oriented.

Disappears slammed out several of the great riffs from its new record Thursday evening (April 12) during a mini-concert at the studios of Chicago Public Radio WBEZ. The show was open only to the station’s High Fidelity members… but everyone else will get a chance to see Disappears Friday night at Lincoln Hall.

On the radio

I was on Chicago Public Radio WBEZ’s “Eight Forty-Eight” show this morning with a story I reported on the original 1902 stage version of The Wizard of Oz. You can stream it or download it here.

AND I will be back on the radio between 2 and 3 p.m. Wednesday (April 29) — on WBEZ’s sister station, Vocalo, WBEW 89.5 FM or http://vocalo.org/stream. I’ll be taking part in a discussion with other bloggers about Chicago’s local music.

The whole show, “I Love Local Music Event: The state of Local Music,” goes from 1-4 p.m. In the first hour, Keith Jackson, Gary musician and cousin of the Jackson 5, discusses “What happened to live music in Gary, Ind., and what does local music really mean to the community?” From 2-3 p.m., I’ll be part of a panel including bloggers from the Chicago Record Project, the Chicago Independent Music Review and FakeshoreDrive. From 3-4 p.m., the topic is “Where to hear and get heard on line?” with Crown Point’s Asteria, Chris Baum on the local artist’s promo site Fanfound, Rob Lambert of WaxFM.com and social media blogger Keidra Cheney. Vocalo will be Twittering about the show at http://twitter.com/Vocalo and taking calls and comments at (888) 635-1112 and at http://vocalo.org.

Talking about Chicago’s ‘Blond Boss’

Chicago Public Radio WBEZ aired Alison Cuddy’s interview with me on the “Eight Forty-Eight” show this morning. I talked about my recent Huffington Post article on William Lorimer, who was known as the “Blond Boss” of the Chicago Republican machine a century ago. Lorimer was kicked out of the U.S. Senate after allegations were reported that he’d obtained his Senate seat through bribery. Sound familiar?

The WBEZ program will be archived online here.

And here’s my Huffington Post article.