Gossip Wolf: The Empty Bottle seals the deal on Pilsen's Thalia Hall | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

Gossip Wolf: The Empty Bottle seals the deal on Pilsen's Thalia Hall 

Plus: Weasel Walter comes back through town with Cellular Chaos, and Acquaintances are ready to meet you.

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Thalia Hall

Thalia Hall

Matt Watts

Last week Empty Bottle owner Bruce Finkelman closed a deal to buy Thalia Hall, a four-story landmark building near the 18th Street Pink Line stop in Pilsen. Finkelman says all six of Thalia Hall's storefronts will be commercial spaces, and the corner storefront will become a tavern called Dusek's (named after John Dusek, who founded Thalia Hall in 1892); its basement will be a separate bar, the Punch House, specializing in punch cocktails. Thalia Hall's theater, based on a Prague opera house, will host live events—Finkelman isn't yet sure how often, but he expects to see action there "sometime this year."

Drummer and guitarist extraordinaire Weasel Walter (former Flying Luttenbachers bandleader and former Chicagoan—he left in 2003) still has the tireless work ethic and insane chops that made him such an important part of the city's no-wave and improvised-music scenes. He recently toured with the ferociously technical Behold the Arctopus (where he plays drums) and added guitar splatter to Retrovirus, a live album by no-wave icon Lydia Lunch (which he released on his label, UgExplode). Another of Walter's combos, male-female punk quartet Cellular Chaos, hits the Burlington with Mayor Daley on Sat 7/6, and the band should be bringing tour copies of a forthcoming self-titled LP—which, based on a sneak preview at Walter's Bandcamp, features a generous helping of his satisfyingly strangulated guitar stylings.

Catchy new quintet Acquaintances straddle loping, echoey space garage and late-90s Sonic Youth, and their lineup features a few scene veterans you probably already know, among them Jered Gummere (Ponys, Bare Mutants), Justin Sinkovich (Poison Arrows, Atombomb­pocketknife), and Patrick Morris (Poison Arrows, Don Caballero). They're booking a tour now, and their self-titled debut LP (on Epitonic and File 13 Records) is planned for Tue 8/6.

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

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