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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Local musicians come together for Griffin Rodriguez

Posted By on 08.07.13 at 11:36 AM

Griffin Rodriguez
As reported in this week's Gossip Wolf, bassist, bandleader, producer, and longtime Chicagoan Griffin Rodriguez sustained serious neck and brain injuries in a bicycle accident last Tuesday in Los Angeles, where he now lives. His condition has stabilized enough that he's no longer in the ICU at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, but he will remain hospitalized for a couple more weeks, where painstaking rehabilitation will begin. Like many musicians, Rodriguez lacks health insurance, so his medical costs will be significant. Last week an online fund-raising campaign was started to defray expenses, and this Saturday a hastily organized benefit will take place at Constellation, with all proceeds going to Rodriguez.

The Gossip Wolf item mentioned two of Rodriguez's bands (Icy Demons and Bablicon) and his involvement in the recording studio Shape Shoppe, but it would have required a year's worth of columns to list all of the Chicago musicians (some who still live and work here and many who have moved away) who've worked with Rodriguez and benefited from his kindness, generosity, and skill. A partial list of his engineering and producing credits includes Josephine Foster, Jason Adasiewicz, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Herculaneum, Horse's Ha, Josh Berman, Jason Stein, Orso, Baby Teeth, Ted Sirota, and Nicole Mitchell, among many others. He also worked as a sound engineer at HotHouse for many years. So, not surprisingly, a nice lineup has quickly emerged for Saturday's event. Constellation had already had an improvising trio with guitarist Joe Morris, bassist Joshua Abrams, and reedist David Boykin on the books, and that unit will now be joined by performances by Tim Kinsella, Cairo Gang, and My Silence (the trio of Mike Reed, Jason Stein, and Nick Butcher joined here by Cave's Cooper Crain and cellist Tomeka Reid). Additionally, Damon Locks, Wayne Montana, and Justus Roe will DJ throughout the evening. I program a weekly series at Constellation, and this weekend's concert—a show on Sunday featuring members of Bitchin Bajas and other musicians performing Terry Riley's In C and Steve Reich's Pendulum Music—will also function as a benefit for Rodriguez, with all proceeds going to his recovery expenses.

Today's playlist:

Mickey Champion, Bam-a-Lam: The R&B Recordings 1950-1962 (Ace)
Om, Advaitic Songs (Drag City)
Trembling Bells Featuring Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Marble Downs (Honest Jon's)
Stan Kenton, New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm (Capitol)
Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream (RCA)

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