Busy drummer Ben Billington releases music from two of his bazillion bands | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

Busy drummer Ben Billington releases music from two of his bazillion bands 

Plus: Black digital media platform the TRiiBE crowdfunds new projects, and Pivot Gang cofounder Frsh Waters headlines this month’s All Smiles.

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click to enlarge Drummer Ben Baker Billington and some of his electric friends - CHESTER ALAMO
  • Drummer Ben Baker Billington and some of his electric friends
  • Chester Alamo

Chicago drummer Ben Baker Billington has some of the busiest sticks in town. He always has his fingers in a whole icebox of musical pies—he plays in Ono and free-jazz trio Tiger Hatchery, for instance, and used to be in dearly departed Doors-y three-piece Moonrises. Last week his synth project Quicksails dropped a new EP called The Bright via Italian label Gang of Ducks that's full of bloopy electroacoustic weirdness, as well as remixes by Brett Naucke and Khaki Blazer (aka Pat Modugno of Moth Cock). As if that weren't enough, on Saturday, February 24, he'll headline the Hideout as part of improv squad ADT, celebrating the new Hausu Mountain release Insecurities.

Northwestern alums Tiffany Walden and Morgan Elise Johnson founded digital media platform the TRiiBE (whose core team also includes Web developer and designer David Elutilo) with the goal of "reshaping the narrative of Black Chicago through journalism and art." Last week in the Reader they debuted a monthly multimedia series called the Block Beat, which aims to root Chicago musicians in places that matter to them—in this case, they interviewed Vic Mensa in his teenage hangout Hyde Park Records. The TRiiBE are also crowdfunding upcoming work, including documentary and multimedia projects on Chicago's Black Hebrew communities and the neglected culture of the west side. The TRiiBE's Indiegogo campaign ends next month (not long after their first-birthday celebration on March 10), so don't be shy about donating ASAP!

Gossip Wolf has somehow missed all the recent shows by Pivot Gang cofounder Frsh Waters, but fortunately there's another chance to catch up with him this week. On Friday, February 23, he headlines All Smiles, Rich Jones's monthly hip-hop series at Tonic Room. Mr. Jackson and JBro Bugatti open; DJ Elliven spins all night, and Lynzie Jazzsun hosts. Tickets are $10, and the show starts at 9 PM.  v

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

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