My name is Leor Galil, and if you’ve glanced at this paper’s music coverage this past decade my name should be a little familiar to you. I’m the staff writer who spends all his time covering the ins and outs of Chicago music. From reviews of projects from local rappers who are just beginning to establish themselves to lengthy profiles of under-appreciated artists who I think should headline stadiums to snapshots of musical scenes that show what makes those communities distinctive and special. I cover it all.
I’m part of a small team of Reader staffers who work tirelessly to ensure this newspaper’s music coverage is indispensable. (I’d like to give a quick shout-out to those coworkers: editors Philip Montoro and Jamie Ludwig, and listings coordinator Micco Caporale.)
I tend to get effusive when it comes to discussing the Reader’s music journalism. Before I thought I could even pursue music journalism, Reader stories reached me all the way on the East Coast. The stories I did read back in the mid-to-late 2000s were a gold standard—and not just to me either. It seemed for as long as Da Capo’s Best Music Writing book series was in print, each year had to include a Reader story. Even the responses to Reader music stories from people in the community have become a thing of legend; a January1994 letter to the editor from Chicago underground icon and respected recording engineer Steve Albini about Bill Wyman’s year-in-review column for 1993 elicited a torrent of responses from readers for a couple months. (Albini’s letter still goes viral every so often.)
Recently, I wrote about the history of this paper’s music journalism for the second Reader 50th anniversary issue. I got 4,000 words to work with, but that still didn’t feel like enough room to describe how the music coverage expanded and transformed in those first few decades, never mind how those of us who worked under challenging circumstances that rattled the entire news industry continued to write irreplicable stories that get to the heart of what it’s like experiencing music in this city. Throughout these changes, the Reader has encouraged its music journalists to explore musical undercurrents before mainstream society would know what to do with them, and then communicate what makes that album, musician, or venue special with a volume of words that could occasionally fill a novella.
The Reader always felt like it covered every molecule of music in this city, partly because no one else could do it like this newspaper. That remains true now.
Part of our music coverage involves, of course, concerts: specifically telling you who you should take the time to see. Even if you’re not looking to know what our deep bench of freelance critics thinks is the best show to go to one week to the next, our listings for upcoming concerts remains a crucial guide.
In addition to the Daily Reader, Early Warnings is the way to keep on top of all the must-see gigs that are upcoming. This bonus weekly email is sent out Tuesday evening, right as local clubs fill us in on all the updates for their show calendars. If you haven’t signed up for Early Warnings yet, well, now’s a great time to do that!
Thank you so much for joining us! We’re thrilled to have readers like you, who share our love for this City!
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