Aftermaths 2: The Noise in Indonesia

At the Voice of Valley festival in West Virginia last year, my friend J. Guy Laughlin was telling me about the noise scene he had become involved with while living in Indonesia, describing wild stuff being played at these shows popping up in all sorts of tiny spaces and strange corners. Less than two months later, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi. It was the deadliest earthquake of last year and one of the fastest earthquakes ever recorded.

The Aftermaths series is intended to do the double duty: illuminating exciting music scenes while raising awareness and money for climate disaster. A compilation that could hip Western ears to a bunch of really sick music happening in Indonesia while also raising some money for people affected by the disaster seemed ideal, so I hit J. Guy up to see if he could help me source some tracks. Graciously, he did.

Shortly after, Sean Stellfox got involved and did a lot of the heavy lifting reaching out to artists and getting music sent my way. He also made the savvy suggestion that I reach out to Insitu Records since I was interested in some getting some gamelan music on this compilation (I’m really obsessed with gamelan music).

The result is a sprawling compilation of harsh noise, industrial music, improv, synth jams, and gamelan featuring musicians either living in, born in, or significantly connected to Indonesia. The artist Ayam Kaili was directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami in September, and it took a few days before other folks in the scene heard from him.

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100% Pro​-​Monarchist X​-​tra Kone Radio

Your host is positively thrilled to serve up the first item on Groove Cafe’s 2019 menu, the phenomenal digital album/radio broadcast by Goodiepal & Pals, 100% Pro​-​Monarchist X​-​tra Kone Radio. It’s a mind-boggling two hours of, as the tag says, “pure anti-totalitarian communism straight to your radio.”

That means talk about Denmark’s racist refugee policy and the long tail of colonialism, blistering tekno rock in that’s sort of sounds like Henry Cow, musings on Gabber, demented electronic jams, anti–police poetry, and a half-hour of totally warped free music. It’s a journey, very worth your $10. Hell, play it on the actual radio if you want. I’m sure the Pals would appreciate that.

The collaboration between Goodiepal and Groove Cafe started when I put together a screening of The Goodiepal Equation at Digital Art Demo Space here in Chicago. While listening to an episode of the podcast featuring GP&PLS, I learned that the band is traveling Europe to work with refugees seeking asylum (state-sanctioned or otherwise) in the EU. That podcast is really worth listening to for some information about their activism. They talk about buying phone cards to refugees can contact their families and shoes for when the refugees must run from police, of the members of the bands who can’t tour with the GP&PLS since they are forbidden from leaving the refugee camps where they wait in legal purgatory.

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Aftermaths: Chicago Stands with Puerto Rico

Hello and welcome to Groove Cafe. You’ve stepped in because you want to learn a little more about this big compilation Aftermaths.

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Aftermaths is a digitally released compilation featuring 40 Chicago artists. There’s ambient music, improvised house, deep fried rock, free jazz, footwork, and ONO, the most important band in America. Lots of other stuff too. You don’t need to listen to it all in a big 3-hour chunk. Start anywhere and keep your ears open.

This is a fundraiser so let’s talk money. This compilation was released digitally, keeping overhead minimal. Thanks to a kind donation to Groove Cafe a few months ago, there was a small budget for mastering and art.

The vast majority of the revenue from this compilation is going to ISER Caribe, who has a really cool mission of helping Puerto Rico rebuild in a sustainable way. Some of the revenue will be reserved for a few months as a small budget for mastering another fundraiser album. If another album never materializes, that money will just get donated to ISER Caribe.

Groove Cafe will post the exact amount of money raised at various points in the near and longer-term future to Twitter, as well as receipts of donation to ISER Caribe.

Aftermaths is the first release on the new Groove Cafe music label. All releases on this label will be released as fundraisers for a specific organization doing important work. Albums by individual artists will split revenue between the artist and an organization of their choosing. Again, a small portion will be reserved for Groove Cafe costs.

What does music have to do with a hurricane?

There are three reasons why a sprawling compilation full of awe-inspiring artists across genres works well to aid a hurricane relief effort that’s almost a year old.

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Groove du Jour: Long Live the Hideout

Hey groovy people, long time no see. Host has been hard at work on an exciting Groove Cafe project that’s a little more than some text, but don’t you worry there’s plenty more to be published!

The Chicago Reader broke some upsetting yet unsurprising news this week that Live Nation is planning on bringing a number of new venues to the imminent Lincoln Yards development helmed by Sterling Bay. Guess what, it’s evil shit!

Lincoln Yards? That’s Sterline Bay’s new name for the area by North and Elston here in Chicago that the Sanitation Department currently inhabits. It’s also (much more importantly) home to The Hideout, the best above-board venue in the city. You know what Live Nation’s plans don’t include? The Hideout staying put.

Instead, we’ll get up to five new venues, owned by the behemoth monopoly Live Nation, which also owns TicketMaster and conducts a whole bunch of shady business on behalf of the superstar live acts it represents. Live Nation is an incredibly terrible corporation and we may well be fighting it (and Rahm) on behalf of our beloved Hideout Inn.

Long live The Hideout! #LongLiveTheHideout! Here are some of the really interesting things the Hideout has been up to the past few years under the leadership of young, savvy, darling talent buyer Sullivan Roger Davis.

Helltrap Nightmare

The only good comedy under the sun?? Sarah Sherman has made a name for herself in Chicago, largely thanks to her exquisitely programmed night of alternative comedy and weird music.

The Hideout Dance Party

This has been happening for a long time, but it’s always one of the best dance nights in the city. Every Saturday, like clock work, you’ll freaks, queer folk, and run of the mill party people boogieing beneath the taxidermized fish. There are few especially notable parties that happen under this general Hideout Dance Party banner.

Ariel’s Party is hosted by club music mangler and DISCWOMAN affiliate Ariel Zetina. These are great showcases for the paradigm smashing experimental side of Midwest dance music.

Midnight Resonance is the dance arm of the Resonance Series, which means this is where you’ll get your more noise-adjacent folks or legendary experimentalists.

Resonance Series

This was one of Sullivan’s first big contributions when he started booking at the Hideout, and in the past year (or more? probably more) he’s brought Ben Baker Billington into the fold. Top notch out there music, month after month after month.

Month-Long Residencies

This post really only scratches the surface, admittedly, but might as well shout out the residencies that The Hideout hosts. Every now again, a certain artist will play every Tuesday of a given month with a variety of collaborators. This one was either from a Bitchin’ Bajas residency or a Natural Information Society residency. Idk!