A new Chicago indie-rock comp benefits Brave Space Alliance and Black & Pink | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

A new Chicago indie-rock comp benefits Brave Space Alliance and Black & Pink 

Plus: Anna Holmquist of Bad Songwriter Podcast drops an album with their band Ester, and dance-pop act Pixel Grip releases a live MCA recording.

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click to enlarge Stephanie Skora and Zahara Bassett of Brave Space Alliance organize food donations at the organization's Hyde Park headquarters. - PHOTO BY BRAVE SPACE ALLIANCE STAFF
  • Stephanie Skora and Zahara Bassett of Brave Space Alliance organize food donations at the organization's Hyde Park headquarters.
  • Photo by Brave Space Alliance staff

On Saturday, Tenci front woman Jess Shoman released Days Go By, a benefit compilation that features a dazzling array of Chicago indie rockers, including Fran, Sima Cunningham (of Ohmme), Izzy True, Mia Joy, Liam Kazar, and Gia Margaret (who collaborated with Dan Wriggins of Philadelphia band Friendship). Proceeds from the 19-track album go to Black- and trans-led Hyde Park LGBTQ+ center Brave Space Alliance, which provides "for-us by-us resources, programming, and services" on the south and west sides, and to the Chicago chapter of prison-abolition organization Black & Pink, which provides support for queer and trans inmates in Illinois. Shoman has uploaded Days Go By to Bandcamp as a "name your price" album, and you can't give too much for it!

Ester bandleader Anna Holmquist is a kick-ass songwriter, though you might not know it from their hilarious Bad Songwriter Podcast, which features local guests (Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Ratboys' Julia Steiner) sharing their wince-inducing early efforts. Last week, Ester—which includes cellist Katelyn Cohen, guitarist Chris Colson, drummer Raul Cotaquispe, synth player Chris Harris, and bassist Tim Newsum—dropped the album Turn Around, and it's winsome, not wince inducing. Holmquist spills tales of woe and perseverance over atmospheric, jazzy indie pop. When Ester finally play their postponed record-release show at the Hideout, Gossip Wolf will be first in line!

On Friday, February 21, local dance-pop juggernaut Pixel Grip played an epic set as part of the MCA's Soundtrack series. They've since dropped a tasty recording of that show—more than an hour of thumping hot-goth jams, including a deliriously dubbed-out version of "Diamonds" that'll probably remind you what it's like to actually party with your friends in real life. Downloads are available now, and a limited cassette version should be available by May; you can order either via Bandcamp.  v

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

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