Gossip Wolf has long admired local country-music craftsman Dan Whitaker, whose considerable discography includes folk-tinged solo work and recordings with his combo the Shinebenders that combine hillbilly jazz, country blues, honky-tonk stompers, and working-class ballads about booze, trucks, and lost love. By the end of this month, Whitaker will have relocated to Martindale, Texas (between Austin and San Antonio), where he’ll set up camp while looking for more permanent digs in the Lone Star State. Whitaker has retired the Shinebenders name, and now his main outlet is a trio with two members of that band: bassist Tim Anderson (formerly known as Earl “T-Bone” Powers) and drummer Eric Niffenegger (formerly Chase Jackson). Anderson is moving to Texas too and will continue to play with Whitaker, but Niffenegger is staying behind. To Chicago fans who love dancin’ up a storm to Whitaker’s epic sets—he often plays more than one local watering hole in a single night—this is surely sad news. Before the day of departure arrives, Whitaker’s trio will perform at Lawrence Peters’s Happy Hour at the Hideout on Friday, June 17, and at the Taste of Highland Park on Friday, June 24.
Dan Whitaker’s latest album, released last summer, features his trio with Anderson and Niffenegger.
Gossip Wolf has a hard time imagining Chicago nightlife without Emporium. Since opening its original Wicker Park location in 2012, the barcade has hosted countless underground rock, hip-hop, and electronic acts, including garage-rock royalty White Mystery and a reunion of influential 90s Chicago hip-hop collective Nacrobats. Emporium now operates three locations in Chicago (the others are in Logan Square and Fulton Market), plus two more in the Bay Area and a sixth in Las Vegas! On Thursday, June 16, the Wicker Park barcade hosts the first of a series of parties celebrating Emporium’s tenth anniversary, and it’s a doozy: Chicago hip-hop favorites the Cool Kids headline, and futuristic duo Air Credits open (this wolf hopes Air Credits’ rapper, ShowYouSuck, will also perform something from his new solo album, 2Comfy, 2Cozy, 2Casual). The show starts at 8 PM; tickets cost $20.
The 2022 Cool Kids album Before Shit Got Weird
Last Friday, Chicago emo upstart Snow Ellet dropped the power-pop-tinged EP Glory Days, whose tunes hit every available sweet spot! On Wednesday, June 15, Snow Ellet will celebrate the release by headlining a show at Beat Kitchen; Arcadia Grey and Gosh Diggity open. Tickets cost $12; the show is 17 and up and begins at 8 PM.