Music at the Murphy: Joyful Noise 

click to enlarge Joyful Noise has recently released a cassette by Here We Go Magic - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • Joyful Noise has recently released a cassette by Here We Go Magic
  • Submitted Photo

It’s no secret that the Murphy Art Center is home to some of the city’s most progressive and established artists. New exhibits and studios open there regularly and the crowds on IDADA’s First Fridays continue to grow unabated.

As if all the already existing art and music weren’t enough, two local outfits are preparing to fill the space with exponentially more music. Read on for info about Joyful Noise Recordings’ new space.

We spoke with Joyful Noise Recordings founder Karl Hofstetter about his label’s brand new space in Suite 207 of the Murphy. Part store, part office, part performance space, part gallery and part dog playground, it’s a permanent physical location for Joyful Noise to call home. Hofstetter and Shawn Woolfolk work full time in the space, along with a group of collaborators and part-time employees.

On Kishi Bashi:
“We’re officially opening with Kishi Bashi. We’ve had a couple earlier shows that were soft opening. This is our first major event. It’s going to be really great because he is a solo performer that right now is playing in much larger places. He’s an incredible live performer. It will be really intimate.

“After that, we’ll have Tim Kinsella on First Friday [June 1]. I’ve been a huge fan of his stuff for many years. He’s the creative force behind Joan of Arc and Cap’n Jazz and these legendary Chicago bands that are really important. We’ve released a lot of limited edition stuff from Joan of Arc and his other bands so he’s making a special trip down here.”

On the exhibit space
“We’re displaying Jonathan McAfee’s paintings through June. After that, it’s going to be month to month and we’re going to feature local visual artists that we really like. The openings will always be on First Fridays for that month. We’re also just having regular open hours here from 12-4 p.m. on every work day. People can come in and buy tickets and records.”

On First Fridays
“We’re going to do something every First Friday. The other performances that don’t fall on First Fridays will be when we have an affiliate of a label touring through. We’re definitely not making this a venue — it’s more just for the bands on our label to have a fun, intimate place to play. We might do some more stripped-down sets for bands that have larger ensembles, but we’re not considering this to be a venue that’s going to be having shows all the time. It will be more of a specialty space; in the way that we’re a boutique label, the live venue will be a boutique experience. We’ll have bands that are used to performing in front of several hundred people performing instead for 70 (the capacity of the room).”

On the space:
“The look and feel of the room is kind of Cory Barnes’ project. He’s put a lot of work into this room and continues to. We’ve got plans to make it even cooler.

It sounds great in here. We thought we were going to need soundproofing foam and stuff, but we realized we don’t need it. As long as there are people here; it might be different if it was empty, but we’re expecting every show to be pretty packed.

We’ve had the office here in the Murphy since the beginning of the year; before that we were just running [the label] out of the basement. The other space was on the third floor, but we didn’t realize how much of a pain it was going to be to have all of the boxes (gestures to boxes of records lining the walls) and moving them up all the stairs.”

On the drinks:
“Upland is going to be serving beer here. All of our shows for the foreseeable future will have both beer and be all-ages.”


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