Guitarist Yonatan Gat and the Eastern Medicine Singers combine avant-garde jazz and rock with Native American music

The Eastern Medicine Singers are a traditional Algonquin drum and vocal group based in Rhode Island. They sing mostly in several Algonquian languages, some of which are nearly extinct, and their dedication to keeping their culture alive and thriving manifests itself not only in their strictly traditional performances but also in their adventurous innovation. A familiar presence at powwows, in concert halls, and on the festival circuit, they played South by Southwest in 2017, where New York-based Israeli avant-garde guitarist and composer Yonatan Gat (also of rock trio Monotonix) spontaneously joined them onstage. This led to a creative partnership, and this summer that partnership produced the collaborative album Medicine Singers. It’s the first release on Stone Tapes, a imprint of Indiana label Joyful Noise run by Gat, and its artistic vision was shaped with insight and guidance from Eastern Medicine Singers founder and bandleader Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson. 

The album ensemble, called simply “the Medicine Singers,” combines the Eastern Medicine Singers with group of musicians that includes Gat, Thor Harris and Christopher Pravdica of Swans, Chicago-born trumpeter Jaimie Branch (who passed away in August), drummer Ikue Mori, ambient-music pioneer Laraaji, and Ryan Olson of midwest rock ensemble Gayngs. The music mixes traditional Native drum songs with heavy psych, electronica, spiritual jazz, and rock, and the languages in its lyrics include Ojibwe and the Algonquian Massachusett dialect (which Jamieson told the Fader that only ten people in the world speak). That description doesn’t do it justice, though—with its startling freshness and constant twists and turns, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. “Sunrise (Rumble)” is a swaggering take on the 1958 classic “Rumble” by Link Wray (who was part Shawnee), and its huge, thundering heartbeat commands a reverent awe. “Sanctuary” has a playful jazz breakdown featuring Branch, Laraaji, and experimental composer Gelbart. 

Gat and Olson produced the record, and they know when to focus on the avant-garde big guns and when to let the richness and variety of songs and singers take center stage. On “Sunset,” for instance, Gat’s spiraling, shimmering guitar break works like a futuristic echo of the singers’ cry to the sun, and then he steps back as their voices return. The Medicine Singers project is a mutually transformative meeting of cultures with a sound that’s big enough to fill a forest—in the friendly confines of the Empty Bottle, it should be overwhelming.

Medicine Singers Sun 10/2, 8:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, sold out online but some tickets available at the door, 21+

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Get the Chicago Reader in print every other week

Next issue

The next print issue is the issue of September 29, 2022. It will be distributed to locations beginning Wednesday morning, September 28, and continuing through Thursday night, September 29.

Distribution map

The Chicago Reader is published in print every other week and distributed free to the 1,100 locations on this map (which can also be opened in a separate window or tab). Copies are available free of charge—while supplies last.

The latest issue

The most recent issue is the issue of September 15, 2022. It is the Reader‘s big Fall Theater & Arts Preview special issue. Some copies may still be available at some locations. You can also always download a free PDF of the print issue or browse the online version.

Many Reader boxes including downtown and transit line locations will be restocked on the Wednesday following each issue date.

Never miss a copy! Paid print subscriptions are available for 12 issues, 26 issues, and for 52 issues from the Reader Store.

Chicago Reader 2022 print issue dates

The Chicago Reader is published in print every other week. Issues are dated Thursday. Distribution usually happens Wednesday morning through Thursday night of the issue date. Upcoming print issue dates through December 2022 are:

9/29/202210/13/202210/27/202211/10/202211/24/202212/8/202212/22/2022

Download the full 2022 editorial calendar is here (PDF).

See our information page for advertising opportunities.

2023 print issue dates

The first print issue in 2023 will be published three weeks after the 12/22/2022 issue, the final issue of 2022. The print issue dates through June 2023 are:

1/12/20231/26/20232/9/20232/23/20233/9/20233/23/20234/6/20234/20/20235/4/20235/18/20236/1/20236/15/20236/29/2023

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Guitarist Yonatan Gat and the Eastern Medicine Singers combine avant-garde jazz and rock with Native American musicMonica Kendrickon September 27, 2022 at 5:00 pm

The Eastern Medicine Singers are a traditional Algonquin drum and vocal group based in Rhode Island. They sing mostly in several Algonquian languages, some of which are nearly extinct, and their dedication to keeping their culture alive and thriving manifests itself not only in their strictly traditional performances but also in their adventurous innovation. A familiar presence at powwows, in concert halls, and on the festival circuit, they played South by Southwest in 2017, where New York-based Israeli avant-garde guitarist and composer Yonatan Gat (also of rock trio Monotonix) spontaneously joined them onstage. This led to a creative partnership, and this summer that partnership produced the collaborative album Medicine Singers. It’s the first release on Stone Tapes, a imprint of Indiana label Joyful Noise run by Gat, and its artistic vision was shaped with insight and guidance from Eastern Medicine Singers founder and bandleader Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson. 

The album ensemble, called simply “the Medicine Singers,” combines the Eastern Medicine Singers with group of musicians that includes Gat, Thor Harris and Christopher Pravdica of Swans, Chicago-born trumpeter Jaimie Branch (who passed away in August), drummer Ikue Mori, ambient-music pioneer Laraaji, and Ryan Olson of midwest rock ensemble Gayngs. The music mixes traditional Native drum songs with heavy psych, electronica, spiritual jazz, and rock, and the languages in its lyrics include Ojibwe and the Algonquian Massachusett dialect (which Jamieson told the Fader that only ten people in the world speak). That description doesn’t do it justice, though—with its startling freshness and constant twists and turns, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. “Sunrise (Rumble)” is a swaggering take on the 1958 classic “Rumble” by Link Wray (who was part Shawnee), and its huge, thundering heartbeat commands a reverent awe. “Sanctuary” has a playful jazz breakdown featuring Branch, Laraaji, and experimental composer Gelbart. 

Gat and Olson produced the record, and they know when to focus on the avant-garde big guns and when to let the richness and variety of songs and singers take center stage. On “Sunset,” for instance, Gat’s spiraling, shimmering guitar break works like a futuristic echo of the singers’ cry to the sun, and then he steps back as their voices return. The Medicine Singers project is a mutually transformative meeting of cultures with a sound that’s big enough to fill a forest—in the friendly confines of the Empty Bottle, it should be overwhelming.

Medicine Singers Sun 10/2, 8:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, sold out online but some tickets available at the door, 21+

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Get the Chicago Reader in print every other weekChicago Readeron September 27, 2022 at 5:07 pm

Next issue

The next print issue is the issue of September 29, 2022. It will be distributed to locations beginning Wednesday morning, September 28, and continuing through Thursday night, September 29.

Distribution map

The Chicago Reader is published in print every other week and distributed free to the 1,100 locations on this map (which can also be opened in a separate window or tab). Copies are available free of charge—while supplies last.

The latest issue

The most recent issue is the issue of September 15, 2022. It is the Reader‘s big Fall Theater & Arts Preview special issue. Some copies may still be available at some locations. You can also always download a free PDF of the print issue or browse the online version.

Many Reader boxes including downtown and transit line locations will be restocked on the Wednesday following each issue date.

Never miss a copy! Paid print subscriptions are available for 12 issues, 26 issues, and for 52 issues from the Reader Store.

Chicago Reader 2022 print issue dates

The Chicago Reader is published in print every other week. Issues are dated Thursday. Distribution usually happens Wednesday morning through Thursday night of the issue date. Upcoming print issue dates through December 2022 are:

9/29/202210/13/202210/27/202211/10/202211/24/202212/8/202212/22/2022

Download the full 2022 editorial calendar is here (PDF).

See our information page for advertising opportunities.

2023 print issue dates

The first print issue in 2023 will be published three weeks after the 12/22/2022 issue, the final issue of 2022. The print issue dates through June 2023 are:

1/12/20231/26/20232/9/20232/23/20233/9/20233/23/20234/6/20234/20/20235/4/20235/18/20236/1/20236/15/20236/29/2023

Related


Enrique Limón named Editor in Chief of Chicago Reader

Limón will start October 3.


[PRESS RELEASE] Baim stepping down as Reader publisher end of 2022


Chicago Reader hires social justice reporter

Debbie-Marie Brown fills this position made possible by grant funding from the Field Foundation.

Read More

Bulls’ Alex Caruso can’t change uniform number to honor Bill Russell

Alex Caruso did his research in trying to change his No. 6 jersey last month, but found out there were roadblocks.

Following the death of NBA legend Bill Russell in July, the NBA announced that the Hall of Famer’s No. 6 would be permanently retired. Players currently wearing that number were grandfathered in, but Caruso wanted to honor Russell by making the switch.

One problem … make that 75 of them.

“The NBA told me I couldn’t because I was in the top 75 of jersey sales. So that’s like a rule, which, shout-out to me,” Caruso said smirking and pretending to pat himself on the back. “No, I looked into it and obviously want to do nothing but honor him and his legacy and what he stood for. He’s one of the pioneers, a racial advocate for the game of basketball in general and just an all-around great person.

“Probably next year I’ll look into getting another number.”

All players in the NBA will wear a No. 6 patch on their uniforms next season. Caruso will be the last player in franchise history to wear No. 6 for the Bulls.

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Bears put WR Byron Pringle on IR after injuring calf against Texans

Wide receiver Byron Pringle’s slow start with the Bears hit another roadblock. He exited with a calf injury after just two snaps against the Texans on Sunday, and it was severe enough for the team to put him on injured reserve.

That knocks Pringle out for at least the next four games, meaning he can’t return any sooner than the Oct. 30 game at the Cowboys.

He has two catches for 33 yards and played just 26 snaps over the first three games. His most extended playing time was getting 34% of the snaps against the Packers in Week 2 and he was no higher than fourth in the pecking order at receiver behind Darnell Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown and Dante Pettis.

Pringle, 28, was general manager Ryan Poles’ second-most expensive addition in free agency this year. He signed a one-year, $4 million deal after catching 42 passes for 568 yards and five touchdowns with the Chiefs last season.

Very little has gone right since he signed, though.

Pringle was arrested on misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving on a suspended license in April, prompting Poles to say, “I know him very well. It’s not a reflection of who he is at all. You don’t want your guys in the news at all. At that point, it’s disappointing.”

Pringle has also been hurt for most of his time with the Bears. He injured his quad muscle early in training camp and was out most of the preseason.

The Bears already have wide receiver N’Keal Harry on injured reserve with a sprained ankle. He is eligible to return next week against the Vikings, but that’s probably unrealistic.

The Bears signed linebacker Joe Thomas from their practice squad to fill Pringle’s roster spot. Thomas played 26 snaps against the Texans and made five tackles.

It could be a positive for the Bears that they put Pringle on IR, but kept running back David Montgomery on the active roster.

Montgomery left the Texans game with an ankle injury, and coach Matt Eberflus declined comment when asked if it was severe enough to warrant putting him on IR. Eberflus described Montgomery as “day-to-day” and said it was plausible that he could play against the Giants on Sunday.

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The great and the bad in the Chicago Bears victory over the TexansTodd Welteron September 27, 2022 at 5:30 pm

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The Chicago Bears picked up their second victory of this season on a game-winning field goal by Cairo Santos.

The kick spoiled a chance for former Bears head coach Lovie Smith to finally get a win over his former team. Instead, the Houston Texans remain winless while the Chicago Bears are 2-1 on the season.

The Bears should feel fortunate to be above .500. The passing game struggled mightily for the second consecutive game. The Chicago Bears gained just 82 yards through the air and averaged 3.7 yards per pass play.

Quarterback Justin Fields once again did not play well. We will discuss him in more detail in a little bit.

The Texans gashed the Chicago Bears’ run defense in the first half. The defense settled down in the second half and yielded just 92 yards on the ground. The Bears were able to get off the field on third down and had two turnovers.

The Chicago Bears picked up the victory thanks to two great performances but nearly lost because of one bad performance. The Bears also got an unexpectedly good performance that also helped key the team to victory

Khalil Herbert was great running the ball.

Herbert rushed for 157 yards on 20 carries. He scored a pair of touchdowns and averaged 7.9 yards a carry. His outstanding performance was needed especially with Fields struggling (again, we will get to him later).

His strong day was also needed after starting running back David Montgomery left the game with an injury with 8:40 left in the first quarter.

Herbert busted a 52-yard gain with 11:25 in the third quarter that was part of a drive that led to his second touchdown of the game.

Have a day, @JuiceHerbert !!

?: #HOUvsCHI on CBS pic.twitter.com/bj6NxD1V3u

— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 25, 2022

The offensive line has struggled in pass protection but they have been outstanding run blocking. Herbert took advantage of the holes his line provided. The Chicago Bears needed every single yard he gained to win.

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Crossed Off: Sometimes a Chicago Bears win feels like a loss

The Chicago Bears are running into future problems quickly

The Chicago Bears emerge from Week 3 lucky to be 2-1. They found a way to not blow the easiest game of the regular season at home get another one over former Bears coach Lovie Smith. The game wasn’t pretty, but many wins in the NFL show promise for the winning team are like that. Quarterback Justin Fields has regressed in this offense had another bad week. I don’t think he has a prayer this season he wasn’t the only Bears player who wanted to go back to Week 1.

Bad weeks happen. Look at the Dow Jones the Kansas City Chiefs. They laid one down against lowly Indianapolis Colts. Patrick Mahomes made Matt Ryan‘s style of quarterbacking obsolete in 2018 a winner Sunday. But for Fields, a pattern is starting to form. He threw a wobbler that would make Nathan Peterman ashamed two despicable interceptions against the Houston Texans. He and the rest of the Bears’ offense would have been actually awesome in days of the T-formation look lost in the passing game. It was so bad they had to warm the punter up  run the ball on third and long all day.

#Bears OC Luke Getsy has called run plays on third-and-17, third-and-10 and third-and-6

Fields admitted after the game Matt Nagy’s offense was preferable to Luke Getsy’s he needed to work on checking the ball down whenever he feels pressure. It sounds like Fields is throwing the white flag showing signs of reaching maturity in this Bears’ offense. Bears fans can eat it on this one didn’t want to hear it at the time, but this outcome was predicted in the training camp.

Most common outcomes for 1st offense in team drills today is scramble or check down.

Sunday’s game was the first time it felt like Fields’ career destiny actually was shot from the moment the Bears took him in the draft might not be the Bears franchise quarterback of the future. Fans certainly expressed those feelings on social media. And it feels like the hopes of having a Super Bowl contender in the next few seasons might be lost without a legitimate passing game. The Bears’ best chance of moving the ball in Week 4 is to move the game to where Hurricane Ian is headed to in the Carolina’s on Sunday is to run run run.

Something Has Invigorated The Smith

Other than the offensive passing attack and Kyler Gordon the Chicago Bears should feel pretty good about themselves this week. The running game was the best it’s been since the 1970’s, which is telling pretty spectacular. Running back Khalil Herbert did a monster job following David Montgomery’s injury.

Chicago’s 186 rushing yards in the first half is the highest halftime total dating back to the start of the 1970 season. The previous first-half mark was 168 yards on Oct. 10, 2010 at Carolina.

The Bears’ defense made a serious case for why Ryan Pace should have drafted Davis Mills over Fields for most of the game came up with big plays when the game was on the line. No player has exemplified head coach Matt Eberflus’ patented H.I.T.S. system as Roquan Smith did in Week 3. Smith, recovering from the embarrassment at Lambeau the week before a hip injury, had one of his best performances with the Bears.

Smith had two tackles for loss and an interception that set up the game-winning field goal. He led the defense that was missing a starting linebacker and their only good best cornerback, Jaylon Johnson. It was nice to see Smith actually do something other than tackle for gain bring the defense to life.

The Chicago Bears need to take that Giants leap

The Chicago Bears overall performance has me stocking up on cases of Miller Lite before the beer shortage hits wasn’t flashy, but they got the job done. They’ll have more chances to beat the seriously bad teams in their easy schedule to take advantage of other bad quarterback situations this year.

Kyler Gordon needs to show improvement in Week 4 against the Giants. The rookie corner is the type of defender Fields could use as an opponent to build confidence has had a couple of concerning weeks. Fortunately for him, his head coach lives in denial Daniel Jones probably won’t have the capability to target him. Eberflus gave him a vote of unearned trust after the game to a skeptical press core.

Will the Bears be back if Gordon can help the Bears shut down the Giants’ offense and notch a third win this season? Probably in the literal sense of the way Papa Bear George Halas imaged a good football team would be in the 1930s not, but the Chicago Bears might have found a formula to keep themselves in the wild-card chase longer than the national media expected.

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REPORT: Chicago Bears place wide receiver on injured reserve

The Chicago Bears lost a wide receiver to the injured reserve

The Chicago Bears continue to have injury issues at the wide receiver position. Bears rookie Velus Jones Jr. hasn’t played a snap in the regular season as he’s recovering from a hamstring injury. N’Keal Harry, who the Bears traded for this offseason, has been out with an ankle injury. Reports coming out Tuesday were not good for wide receiver Byron Pringle.

Per Adam Schefter, Pringle has been placed on the Bears’ injured reserve for a calf injury.

Bears placed WR Byron Pringle on injured reserve due to a calf injury and signed LB Joe Thomas off their practice squad.

Pringle sustained the injury against the Houston Texans in Week 3. Pringle has two catches for 33 yards this season. Pringle, who scored five touchdowns with the Kansas City in 2021, signed a one-year contract with the Bears for this season. His loss is another blow to the offense, which is struggling to pass the ball downfield this season. Pringle will be out for at least four weeks with the IR designation.

For More Great Chicago Sports Content

Follow us on Twitter at @chicitysports23 for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Chicago sports news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE

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