LOGAN SQUARE — A group of longtime friends and co-owners of Café Mustache are keeping it local with their band Rabble Rabble’s latest album, a “community effort” homemade in Logan Square.
Ralph Darski and Kerry Couch, co-owners of Café Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Ave., had a little help from their friends at Logan Hardware for the production of Darski's latest album — he founded the band around 2007 and Couch, a former Logan Square DIY venue organizer, provided art for the band’s newest album.
“It’s community made,” Couch said of the album, which will be released on Logan Hardware Records, the music label of the eponymous Logan Square record shop and vintage arcade museum. “We’re local businesses but also a support group for each other.”
Darski and Rabble Rabble will celebrate their album launch Friday with a free with RSVP show at Empty Bottle. Darski, Couch and their third partner, James Steiglitz, all Logan Square residents, will also be celebrating Café Mustache’s fourth year in Logan Square in July.
Along with Couch’s work on "Brain Hole," the band’s second album, another friend of the group and regular at Café Mustache, Matt Hilker, provided the main cover artwork. The storefront has been something of a creative hub for the group since all three owners left jobs at Bourgeois Pig Cafe in Lincoln Park to open Café Mustache four years ago, according to Darski and Couch.
Along with partnerships with other Logan Square small businesses like Dill Pickle Food Coop, the Café Mustache owners also trade goods with their friends at Logan Hardware, who often provide vinyl albums to the café’s curated music selection — regularly spinning on the café’s speakers and displayed on the shop’s album rack for free to local bands in the shop.
Community collaboration is a part of the group’s creative process and business model, Couch said: “It’s a learning process — we’re really young and none of us went to business school, but we’ve put down some serious roots here.”
“There’s something about being in close proximity and sharing creative processes. Logan Square is like a little town in that way,” she added. “It would be really lonely and difficult without feeling that we’re with other people in the community doing the same thing.”
Rabble Rabble’s new album "Brain Hole" drops June 13 on Logan Hardware Records with a free with RSVP show at Empty Bottle featuring openers Red Grave, Blasted Diplomats and Vamos DJ.