For our latest edition of Drop Pin, we decided to catch up with local writer and music aficionado Leor Galil. With words that pack your weekly Chicago Reader and a face you can catch at just about any show happening in the city, Galil has emerged as one of the pre-eminent music critics and reporters Chicago has to offer today working both as a contributing writer and the Editor of the Reader's local music scene blog, Gossip Wolf . Over the years, Galil has served as a highly-observant gatekeeper at one of the city's most important publications for culture and art news. Having covered everyone from Chance The Rapper and Chief Keef to White Mystery and Twin Peaks and way beyond, the Washington D.C. native has always managed to stay abreast with the biggest names while thoughtfully keeping an eye on those rising from the ground floor.
As anyone who spends their time chasing interviews and hopping shows across the city can attest, the constant movement certainly introduces you to plenty of hidden gems and Leor is a master of the kind of kitschy, endearing haunts that make the neighborhoods of Chicago what they are. A purveyor of everything from 90s punk stickers to little-known west side footwork DJs, he's a man of many interests which is reflected in an eclectic collection of suggestions to get you out of the house as the snow continues to pile up.
Logan Square Hardware
Logan Hardware, the record store. I love a lot of record stores in town, I feel weird preferring one to all the others because I recommend people check out all of them. Each record store has its own character and I appreciate all of them for their character. I like to make trips out to all of them, not necessarily even to buy anything but to be there, and that’s what I like about record stores in general, they feel less like a place of business and more like a gathering spot. Logan is large enough in particular that you can just sit around for a while. Their selection is really all over the place and I found some stuff I would never have stumbled upon otherwise. For somebody that likes to dig it’s particularly enticing…
The Hideout on Wabansia. I mean, that place is an institution, they just celebrated their 20th year I believe. It still feels like a secret almost, kind of an industrial spot and there isn’t too much around there. The place feels like hanging out in your uncle’s basement, very familiar and low key. In the winter every Wednesday they do this great thing called soup and bread where people in the community cook a big crock of soup and serve for donations, all the money goes to hunger organizations and it’s a great way to gather people in the middle of a time of year where it’s difficult to get people to leave their house. I’m not a bar guy but I love going to that particular bar, it feels like home.
Music Box Theater
The third is The Music Box. That theater is great. Again, it’s a hub for community in a way that a general 12 screen theater just isn’t. They do interesting programming, and for atmosphere the music box is hard to beat. The architecture is gorgeous, the energy of the theater is great, there’s always gonna be people who love going to the movie theater there and it’s great to be surrounded by that. There’s something about going to a theater with other people who want to be there that’s really exciting. Even when the lights are out, there could be 100 people there could be 10 people but you’re sharing that moment. They have great independent films, a lot of great older films. I’m bummed I’m going to be out of town when they play Die Hard, I saw it there a couple years ago and it was awesome.