The Boss taps Willis Earl Beal | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

The Boss taps Willis Earl Beal 

Springsteen seems to have taken a shine to the local antifolker. Plus: Former IDM artists String Theory return as glitch-pop duo Thirds, local house label Stripped & Chewed kick-starts its first vinyl comp, and more

click to enlarge KEITH HERZIK

Rumor has it that local antifolker Willis Earl Beal got offered a spot opening for Bruce Springsteen in London in July but couldn't accept—no word yet on whether they'll work out another date. Beal's debut LP, Acousmatic Sorcery, was scheduled to come out in March on XL but has been pushed back to April 3—the label says it's adding special features to the vinyl and CD versions. But on Tue 2/21, fans can grab his first seven-inch at a release show at Cole's Bar; it's free and starts at 9:30 PM.

Locals Joshua Davison and Nathan Tucker have been making music together since 1996, first as IDM outfit String Theory (later Thorny Tigers). They built a respectable discography—including a double 12-inch split on Skam and a full-length for Milwaukee imprint Wobblyhead—before forming pop outfit Parks & Gardens with former OK Go guitarist Andrew Duncan. But Davison and Tucker seemed to disappear after P&G self-released their debut, Avec Cloture, in 2008. What happened? Turns out they were busy getting married and having babies—aka becoming Dad Rockers. Anyway, they're back with a new duo project called Thirds, which has sired a full-length of elegant, glitchy adult pop; Plustapes will release it in mid-March.

In the fall, new local house label Stripped & Chewed fired up a Kickstarter campaign to pay for its first vinyl release, Stripped & Chewed Vol 1: Livin' for the City. Dance heads on several continents eventually ponied up nearly five grand. Chicago's Garrett Shrigley (aka Adulture) and UK house dude Lee Dunn (aka Ghosts of Venice) curated the compilation, which includes cuts from Shrigley and Dunn's project SCR, 16-year-old Parisian wunderkind Alec Carlsson, and Chicago producer the Black Madonna (aka Lady Foursquare). It hits decks everywhere March 5.

Bare Mutants finished recording their debut full-length last month and are sussing out label options. Vocalist Jeanine O'Toole says they're mixing with Sanford Parker at Engine Studios this week.

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