John Corbett celebrates his latest book with free barbecue and fantastic bands | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

John Corbett celebrates his latest book with free barbecue and fantastic bands 

Plus: Self-described “Bruce jazz” trio Poplife play a farewell-for-now show, and drummer Spencer Tweedy drops an EP as a front man.

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click to enlarge John Corbett - PHOTO BY JEAN ANDRE ANTOINE
  • John Corbett
  • Photo by Jean Andre Antoine

Gossip Wolf has long enjoyed the illuminating writing of Reader contributor, festival programmer, gallery owner, and record producer John Corbett. Every bookshelf should have copies of A Listener's Guide to Free Improvisation and his crackerjack essay collections Microgroove and Extended Play. Last month, the University of Chicago Press published Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music, in whose 78 chapters Corbett takes a characteristically kaleidoscopic view of the polyester-and-punk decade. On Saturday, April 6, Constellation hosts a book-release party with free barbecue for early arrivals and sets from jazz group Marker (featuring Ken Vandermark and Ohmme's Macie Stewart) and a quartet of Eleventh Dream Day bandmates Rick Rizzo, Janet Bean, and Doug McCombs with longtime Gossip Wolf fave Azita. Maybe they'll team up for a far-out version of "Heart of Glass"—a wolf can dream!

Chicago trio Poplife are the city's finest purveyors of what front man Ben McFadden calls "Bruce jazz" (as far as Gossip Wolf can tell, it's an effervescent mix of yacht rock, boogie, smooth jazz, and adult contemporary). Since January, McFadden and his bandmates—bassist Adam Luksetich and drummer Ed Bornstein, aka postpunk duo Foul Tip—have been celebrating Bruce jazz and adjacent genres at Pop Nice, an event held the first Saturday of every month at Cafe Mustache. The series will continue, but on Saturday, April 6, Poplife play their last Pop Nice—and their last show for at least a year, since Bornstein's family is growing and he's pausing his extracurriculars.

You might know Spencer Tweedy as the drummer for indie rockers the Blisters and the duo Tweedy (aka Spencer and his dad, Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy). Spencer is also an ace front man in his own right, and last week he released the solo EP Sleep Is My God; this wolf especially digs the tender, contemplative "Gold Tooth Kid."  v

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