Sen Morimoto Debuts ‘Diagnosis’ At ChiTown Movies
Written by Morgan Ciocca on November 3, 2023
Before the release of his highly-anticipated third solo album Diagnosis, Chicago artist Sen Morimoto held a listening party at ChiTown Movies, a drive-in theater in Pilsen.
Vocalo digital producer Morgan Ciocca attended the Oct. 22 listening party, and spoke to Morimoto, a few collaborators and other attendees about the album.
Sen Morimoto’s Diagnosis was released on Nov. 3, but the album debuted nearly two weeks prior during its listening party at Chicago’s only drive-in movie theater, ChiTown Movies.
Situated near the river in Pilsen, the drive-in broadcasted Morimoto’s forthcoming album on their radio frequency like they usually do with films. The songs were accompanied by music videos and visualizers projected on the big screen, and was cheered on by attendees honking their horns as they sat and listened in their cars.
Sen Morimoto and the Sooper Records team sold advance copies of Diagnosis on CD and vinyl at the listening party. Morgan Ciocca/Vocalo Radio
Morimoto said he’s always felt listening in the car is the best way to listen to music, and got the idea to host his listening party at the drive-in from his partner, fellow Chicago artist and frequent collaborator KAINA.
“I asked him what his ideal situation would be for this album, what his best intention would be,” KAINA recalled. “And he said, ‘I just wish that everyone could sit in the car together and listen to it.’ And I thought, ‘The drive-in!’”
“Just getting to deliver it that way to people first is kind of the most exciting thing,” Morimoto said.
Morimoto notes Diagnosis is a rock-based album, though he swivels through sounds twinged with jazz, punk, hip-hop and more throughout its 13 tracks. The album directly questions the ways capitalism has affected essentially every aspect of human life, especially in the midst of what he refers to as existential crises, like the climate crisis, the pandemic, social unrest and political misinformation — posing love as a potential solution from its opening track.
The listening party was followed up by a screening of Phantom of the Paradise, a 1974 comedy horror rock opera critiquing the perils of the music industry. The film loosely inspired the album’s music videos, and shares similar thematic visions to Diagnosis.
Many of Morimoto’s friends and collaborators attended the listening party, as well as supporters who were ecstatic to hear the album for the first time.
Diagnosis was released on all platforms Friday, Nov. 3. Sen Morimoto will be performing the album at Thalia Hall on Saturday, Nov. 25. Find more information at thaliahallchicago.com.
RELATED: Sen Morimoto Gives Listeners His ‘Diagnosis’
KEEP UP WITH SEN MORIMOTO ON INSTAGRAM.
Audio editing and production, written introduction and photography by Morgan Ciocca
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