Miike Snow As Of “Late”, In Photos

Miike Snow
The Riviera – Chicago, IL
10/11/10

As 2011 readily approaches, artists are quickly churning out tracks, EPs, LPs, deluxe or B-side albums or even a re-mix of their dust covered singles.

Not Miike Snow.

[Read more...]

Is M.I.A. Missing In Action?, or, How 2 Make A Gun W/ UR Hand

M.I.A.
The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL
9/29 & 9/30 – /\/\/\Y/\, out now!

Whether she wants to admit it or not, M.I.A. is a celebrity. Since the (commercial) success of “Paper Planes,” the performance artist turned electro-banger sailed on to create an album which spawns controversy wherever it lands. One of Maya Arulpragasm’s recent music videos (directed by Romain Gavras) caused quite the anger-gasm as the majority of the viewing public failed to understand just exactly what the artist was trying to say. [Read more...]

Sonar Chicago 2010; The Multi-Media Post

Sonar Chicago
Millenium Park & Chicago Cultural Center – Chicago, Il
9/09/10 – 9/11/10

sonar

From SonarChicago.com, “Sónar is the festival of advanced music and multimedia art that takes place at various venues in Barcelona (Spain) in the third week of June since 1994.

Sónar is a pioneering festival that is unique in terms of its format and content: a leading international benchmark thanks to a carefully assembled range of culture that combines entertainment with artistry, the avant garde and experimentation, featuring the most consolidated artists and trends in electronic music and their interactions and hybridisations with other genres…

To date, Sónar has travelled to London (an annual event since 2002), New York, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Frankfurt and Tokyo, among many other destinations, and in late 2010 a special format festival will be held for the first time in the North American city of Chicago, on 9, 10 and 11 September.

Sónar Chicago is the result of an initiative by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs -the public office planning and promoting musical, performance, and visual arts events in Chicago-, the Institut Ramon Llull, -the consortium made up of the Government of Catalonia and the Government of the Balearic Islands-, Advanced Music -the creators of Sónar festival – and AC Entertainment -the promoter of the Bonnaroo festival.”

With that said, here are the artists I was able to experience…
[Read more...]

Young the Giant at Lincoln Hall

Young the Giant
Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
9/09/10 – Young the Giant out 10/26/10

Young the Giant at Lincoln Hall

Young the Giant quickly took the world wide web by storm- topping hypem.com charts in just two days to create a viral fervor that could only be remedied by a 5-track EP (Shake My Hand). The young Californians are gearing up towards their first full length album which drops onto the digital world October 26, 2010. Now seems an exciting time as ever for the young musicians, jetting off to tour with Marina & the Diamonds before their major lp release- and hopefully a headlining tour in the near future. Young the Giant previously opened for Ghostland Observatory, The Whigs and Kings of Leon fresh out of high school. These twenty-somethings are doing something right and we like it.

[Read more...]

Casiokids Atop Electro-pop

Casiokids
Schubas Tavern – Chicago, IL
8/25/10

The Norwegian electro-poppers Casiokids seem fun to listen to, very radio friendly, although with previous pop divas creating their “own” electronic works, I am not sure mainstream America can appreciate the playful energy of Casiokids. The five-piece band littered the small Schubas venue with their various retro-wares and sent the packed room into their finest hipster-shuffle-dance until the end of the up-beat set. There was even an impromptu slide flute solo during one of the songs. The audience and band shared a moment of laughter after. I find it most appealing when the average concert-goer gets a short glimpse in the amount of happiness I’m not sure what brings people to concerts, but not to let go of inhibitions and dance. [Read more...]

$10 Tickets? Nationwide!

Head on over to Live Nation to check and see if there’s a concert near you that the music company is promoting for just $10 and probably some minor, hidden fees.

Rihanna, Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5, Goo Goo Dolls, REO Speedwagon, and even the recent American Idol tour are practically being given away for $10.
You pretty much know what you’re getting from a Rihanna or Maroon 5 show. Good music, great production values… all in all, a good time. In fact, you may spend more on parking than you do on the actual show if you snag a ticket or two from Live Nation’s sweet, sweet promotion!

If you’re quick enough, you can see KISS for $10 in Tinley Park. Just like your dad did- only with less illegal substances.

No Friends Like Netherfriends

Netherfriends
Barry and Sherry – Out Now!
Emergency Umbrella


Only those who are looking- or lucky can find the hidden treasures of the Second City. The best basement vintage stores in Wicker Park, the bro-less bars in Lakeview and those “opening acts” that give the headliner a run for their money. So, when you see Netherfriends… Take my word, come running.

[Read more...]

Re-Introducing: Janelle Monae!

Janelle Monae
Atlantic Records
The ArchAndroid – Out now!

Have you heard? I promise it’s not “the bird” — this time.

It’s Janelle Monae.

[Read more...]

Album ANTICIPATION: MIA

M.I.A. – /\/\/\Y/\
Interscope Records
Out July 13, 2010

Your favorite Sri Lankan, M.I.A., drops her semi-eponymous album /\/\/\Y/\ on July 13th. A few singles have leaked demonstrating the strange evolution from her global party-starter tracks like “Paper Planes” to the electro-industrial “Born Free.”

This new album is set to feature a few of her favorite DJ’s tearing up the track. The newest track to “leak” is this fantastic mess:


[Read more...]

Holy Cow! It’s Holy Ghost!

Holy Ghost!
The Metro – Chicago, IL
5/26/2010

While Holy Ghost! may not be exactly the religious experience you were hoping for, these dance rockers are mid-explosion on the indie scene. Their first single, “Hold On,” is still pushing its way through the blogosphere, catching short glimpses of their future success in previous hits. Shoving the chillwave movement aside, these rockers are steadily forging their way into your most essential summer playlists.

[Read more...]

Aqualung: Life, Liberty & Everything In Between

Aqualung
Verve Forecast
Magnetic North – Out now!

“Well, we’ve accumulated quite a wide range of Scotch.” – Matt Hales (Aqualung), life on the road on the US

[Read more...]

An Horse: Bad Grammar, Good Band

An Horse
Park West – Chicago, IL
05/06/2010An Horse Park West

“Most people in America hate the name. They call it awkward and bland. But I like it. I like the way the words fit together. People who get it — get it.” – Kate Cooper (An Horse)

While the band name is a lesson in bad grammar, An Horse set out to prove they were more than just a quirky band name. The two DIY-Australians have only released their first album (Rearrange Beds) in the past year, and they are slowly but surely gathering some well deserved attention.

The interesting thing is there is no discernable genre the duo could easily fall into, which could be part of the duo’s appeal. More often than not, Kate Cooper’s vocals reminded me of a few songs from Tegan and Sara. Fitting, considering they toured with the Canadian sisters twice now. Currently on tour with Kaki King, the two bands have formed a close knit bond and often cover one another’s songs. The majority of lyrics from An Horse seem conversational, often overlapping or echoing one another. While the on stage banter was cute, it was somewhat distracting from their music- which is not typically jovial, thus preventing the band to maintain any sort of flow. I imagined An Horse playing steadfast and unwavering, holding a steady gallop until the end of their brief set. Still, while the venue was not packed with friends and fans, An Horse filled all of Park West with raucous sound.

An Horse may be relatively new to the music scene here and fresh to your ears, but these two prove they are not amateurs of making solid tunes. Their latest album, Rearrange Beds, is available now. They also just released an EP alternatively titled Beds Rearranged which features remixes from the likes of Tally Hall, TV On the Radio and RAC Collective. You can snag the remix album and a very special An Horse tote bag for only $15! Check out their website for more details.

anhorse.com
myspace.com/anhorse

Click on thumbnails of An Horse to enlarge photos:

Kaki King, Acoustic Queen

Kaki King
Park West – Chicago, Il
05/06/2010


The only female to ever be nominated alongside other great rockers of her generation and described by Rolling Stone as “Van Halen meets Bootsy,” Kaki King is a captivating reminder of how much work artists can put into their music – though many don’t follow suit. There has been a strange change from previous albums to her most current as she abandons the dazzling musicianship she has previously known, for a more explosive, experimental sound. The Georgia native brought her new and old workings to the Chicago scene, exploring this new chapter in her music career and taking us all along for the ride.
[Read more...]

A Fresh Breath Of Air for Aqualung

Aqualung
Schubas Tavern – Chicago, IL
05/06/2010

“I love that about touring; I love that kind of spirit. All of [the songs] change. I mean, we’re seven or eight shows in. They are completely different now than they were three shows ago. It’s sort of an adventure.” – Matt Hales (Aqualung)

What could be better than spending a little time hearing an artist’s inner workings brought to life before your eyes? [Read more...]

Sleigh Bells Slay Chicago Scene

Sleigh Bells
The Metro – Chicago, IL
04/29/2010

Once M.I.A. got her hands on Brooklyn-based team called Sleigh Bells, their unofficial fame has skyrocketed. For a band that has only released a few (insane) tracks, the blogosphere is all about this two piece band. In theory, the band seems extremely inaccessible: combining heavy dub beats with hardcore electric guitars and one previous pop princess? Sounds like a recipe for loud, ear-splitting noise. Yet, in its bizarre execution, I cannot get enough. [Read more...]

Amos Lee, Soul Revisited

Amos Lee
Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
04/26/2010

Amos LeeAmos Lee makes creating music look easy. Lee’s approach is so naturalistic I thought that I could pick up a guitar and just start playing. While it did not really work out for me, Amos Lee presented a performance filled with the best of his folk, a bit of his funk with a few sultry cover songs mingled in-between. Throughout his EPs and full length records, Lee’s sound changes from anything to slow progressive rock to thoughtful alternative folk. His wide range of music can be attributed to his life experiences which he draws from in his honest lyrics.

Lee mentioned to his young and old fans that in a few weeks the singer-songwriter would be returning to the studio to start recording his fourth full length album. While there is no title yet for the upcoming record, Lee provided many new songs from the future release expected this fall. This tour, the “Supply & Demand” tour, is in support of his 2006 album even though he has released another full length album (Last Days At the Lodge) since.

Amos LeeAmos Lee started out the massive show by playing with his band mates (whose names I did not catch). The trio rocked out some of Lee’s younger hits from his debut album and beyond. After a bit of his solo set, Amos donned his best Marvin Gaye impression and introduced “Angel”, the suit clad manifestation of low-down dirty soul with a falsetto voice to match.

“To those of you who brought someone with you tonight… If you don’t know about them yet, now would be the time to know.”

The exchange was a humorous break in between Lee’s down tempo solo set lasting from one of his first singles, “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight” to his most recent and sexiest Last Days At The Lodge single, “Won’t Let Me Go.” Lee even introduced one of his newest acoustic songs, “Flower,” set to be released on his next album.
Amos LeeAmos Lee recounted stories and memories of past tours throughout the lengthy set. One in particular was of his song “Street Corner Preacher” which was originally written by the songwriter with a thought and a steady stomp. The honest words of “Seen It All Before” captured the audience’s hearts with an emotional sincerity that cannot be bought or borrowed. Lee’s world worn thoughts are propelled by a youthful spirit creating a timeless folk alternative.

Here’s the set list:

“Supply and Demand”
“Truth”
“Careless”
“Bottom of the Barrel”
“Across the Ocean”
“El Camino”
“Keep It loose, Keep It Tight”
“Sympathize”
“Flower”
“Black River”
“Street Corner Preacher”
“Won’t Let Me Go”
“Sweet Pea”
“Seen It All Before”
“Night Train”
_____________________
“The Wind”
“Fat Bottom Girls” (Queen Cover)
“Arms Of A Woman”
“Learned A Lot”

As you can see, Amos Lee played through more than enough of his three albums, playing at least half a dozen new songs and one out of the ordinary Boys II Men cover. As soulful as he is thoughtful, Lee gratefully announced he would be signing his merchandise until Lincoln Hall kicked him out. Expect a lot more coverage as his upcoming singles are released.
Amos Lee
www.amoslee.com
www.myspace.com/amoslee

Paper Route Makes Tracks for Windy City

Paper Route Interview
Universal Records
Absence – Out now!

Currently on tour with Owl City, Paper Route has sold out every performance until their upcoming gig at The Aragon Ballroom. When asked what keeps them focused during the hectic hours of touring, band member J.T. Daly sputtered the word “pancakes” more than a few times. Andy Smith had a more resounding answer saying, “Patience, resilience and a willingness to forgive each other.”

Paper Route is ready and set to amaze the soon-to-be sold out show on April 30th. I got the chance to chat with multi-instrumentalists Andy Smith and J.T. Daly of Paper Route who discussed their past albums, future writing and what’s in store for the massive show at the end of the April.
[Read more...]

M.I.A. New Track “Born Free” Leaked!

M.I.A Born FreeOne of the coolest Serbians in the world introduced me to M.I.A. soon after her Billboard chart topping album Kala was released. I have been hooked ever since that night of drunken revelry. After the overexposure of “Paper Planes” to mainstream T.V. and radio hit (years after its initial release), I decided to keep my distance with respect. M.I.A. is an artist that you cannot just forget about, nor did I want to dislike her music. Let’s face it, I was tired of hearing “Paper Planes” on every radio station and ring tone!

However, M.I.A. continued to prove her capabilities to stay afloat in the music industry without relying on that one single to give her buoyancy. After working a bit with the award-winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire, and spending some time to raise her newborn son (10 points if you know his name), M.I.A. unveiled her own record label (N.E.E.T.). The new label already houses four amazing artists: Sleigh Bell, Blaqstarr, Rye Rye and the recently signed Jamie Martinez.

Even though I refuse to get a Twitter, I will admit to “stalking” M.I.A. since she (quietly) leaked a new track a while back (“There’s Space For Ol Dat I See”). While the mini music video looked like it was shot from a Macbook, the song was an exciting foreshadowing of an upcoming album. While the release may still be completely unannounced or expected this year, fans are getting pumped to hear a sound unlike anything they heard before.

M.I.AAnother track was leaked unofficially (read: not by M.I.A). The track is cleverly titled “Born Free.” It is truly a new insight into what M.I.A. has been up to in the studio. With plenty of drive, the new single sounds more like a rebellious anthem in the style of The White Stripes or Arcade Fire. Definitely not a bad thing coming from M.I.A. combined with DJs like A-Trak, Diplo or Switch. I should probably cave and get a Twitter account to follow M.I.A. easier and keep up as more releases are (eventually) leaked.

If you have a heart condition, please ask your doctor if you can listen to this new hit. Otherwise, enjoy!

“Born Free” – M.I.A.

twitter.com/_M_I_A_
miauk.com

(M.I.A.’s son is named Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman)

Making The Video: On Set Interview With AM Taxi

AM Taxi “Fed Up”
Music Video Shoot – Chicago, IL
March 31, 2010

AM TAXI: EXCLUSIVE ON SET INTERVIEW

AM Taxi

With blessings from the perfect spring weather, AM Taxi relaxed inside dilapidated convent ready to shoot their first music video after being exclusively signed to Virgin Records. An exciting time for the Chicago-based band, AM Taxi had the chance to talk about their history in the Windy City as well as their current U.S. tour leading straight to their sets at this year’s Warped Tour.

Read the interview and see more photos from the set of AM Taxi’s new music video “Fed Up” after the jump…

[Read more...]

Corinne Bailey Rae’s Resilient Return With ‘The Sea’

Corinne Bailey Rae
Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 22, 2010

Corinne Bailey Rae Chicago 13

Yet another West End artist fresh from Coachella, Corinne Bailey Rae brought an intimate show to the thousand-plus audience at the Vic Theatre. Once the five piece touring band walked on stage, the quiet murmur quickly became loud cheers lasting till Rae finished singing “Are You Here,” the starting song from The Sea. Waves of pastel green and violet light flooded the stage and flowed out into the audience as “Paris Nights/New York Mornings” sent the cozy crowd into a dancing mood.

More photos of Corinne Bailey Rae and the set list after the jump…

[Read more...]

Hot Chip: Standing Room Only With This British Band

Hot Chip
Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 19, 2010

Hot Chip Chicago 10

Fresh off the Coachella bill and ready for their five-stop U.S. tour, English electro-synthpop band Hot Chip started the night off with a standing ovation before the blokes could even manage to crank out their first note. The sextet’s fourth album, One Life Stand, was just released at the start of this past February. The fans who packed the sold out gig at Chicago’s historic Riviera Theatre were finally getting their chance to witness Hot Chip in all their electronic pop glory. The band’s newly released record was fully represented alongside many of Hot Chip’s biggest hits from previous albums The Warning and Made In The Dark. Hot Chip gave Chicago a spectacular performance. But then, what else would you expect from these overseas musicians?

More photos of Hot Chip after the jump…

[Read more...]

Third Time’s The Charm For The xx

The xx
Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 19, 2010

The xx Chicago

Fresh from their (well reviewed) performance at Coachella, The xx opened for an excited crowd at The Riviera. The xx have played a total of three times in Chicago: The Bottom Lounge last fall, Lincoln Hall double show in early April and now The Riviera Theatre opening for Hot Chip. I caught two out of three of these shows, however I have found that The xx make a “better” opener than headlining act. Now I’m not saying they are unworthy as a headliner. I spent all night at Lincoln Hall covering their first headlining tour at Lincoln Hall. However, there was something wildly realized at this performance at the Riviera. And we like it.

More photos of The xx after the jump…

[Read more...]

Treasure Fingers: I Could Have Danced All Night!

Treasure Fingers
Spy Bar – Chicago, IL
4/15/2010

Treasure Fingers Spy BarFor a guy that does not like to dance himself, the DJ known as Treasure Fingers sure brought plenty of his best disco-funk for a packed Chicago crowd to “shake it cross the dance floor” to!

This particular Thursday at Spy Bar was the opening night for Limelight and a new set of rules for a new party. The opening night festivities included great sets from resident DJs: True Villain and Midnight Conspiracy. Spy Bar proved they know how to throw a party when some of the best dressed are in attendance who were ready to have their minds blown from the killer sound system any audiophile would die for.

[Read more...]

Aeroplane’s First Show in Chicago!

Aeroplane
Smart Bar – Chicago, IL
4/14/2010

Aeroplane smart bar chicagoUsually I rag on Smart Bar, but something was different this Wednesday night.

Spring was in the air? No, that couldn’t be it.
Smart Bar had $5 vodka and Jack Daniel’s specials? No dice.

Oh yeah, the fantastic DJ duo Aeroplane was spinning pretty much the whole night. From about 11 PM on, the Belgium duo spent most of the night playing anything from old school Grace Jones to tracks not even the hippest hipster has heard. The best news I heard the entire night was that this was Aeroplane’s first trip to Chicago… EVER! So the night owls who stayed out until closing got a mega dose of what Aeroplane is playing at Coachella this year. Aeroplane was more than stoked to test out the best of their Italo-disco before dishing it out at the most major festival of the West.

Free tracks galore after the jump…

Aeroplane smart bar chicagoMore than once have I mentioned that April and May are IT for amazing concerts in Chicago. I cannot count the number of fantastic singer-songwriters, bands and DJs who have played through Chicago in April, gearing up for the many upcoming festivals like Coachella, Bonaroo and even Lollapalooza or Pitchfork. I mean, Thom Yorke (of Radiohead… Do I really need to mention this) played less than a dozen shows this month – two here in Chicago- with his new Atoms For Peace side project. Yorke’s local shows were less than a week away from their headlining gig at Coachella.

But, I digress. Aeroplane decided Chicago was their ONLY stop before playing Coachella this weekend. Their premier was a show you did not want to miss. The crowd’s energy for their nu-wave disco kept them there until Smart Bar was forcing the crowd to leave. Aeroplane could have played until the end of the NEXT day, and there would still be people there moving and grooving, myself included.

Last summer I really got into the electronic scene last year thanks to my roommate at the time who was a DJ. (Hi, Tom!) Anywho, I remembered hearing a few Aeroplane tracks, but at the time couldn’t find tracks for me to download and play on the go.

Not a problem anymore! Every once in a while, Aeroplane used to release a short mix that they’ve been working on, streamlining the best of disco with the best underground hits of today. I guess they had a New Year’s resolution to release a better mix every month, because that is exactly what they have been doing. Although we’re still (eagerly) awaiting a new mix in April, the Belgians have released hot mix after hot mix since September of last year. Each 45-minute mix growing exponentially in their skills to bind genres you never though imaginable (like Shychild leading into a Yeasayer song in March’s 2010 Mix).

aeroplane coverAeroplane is easily sending me back into an electronic phase with all the disco hits spinning. With a discography as long as their Myspace page (check it)… you know there’s a hidden gem of a track somewhere in there for you!

soundcloud.com/aeroplane/tracks (Free downloads of all their mega mixes)
myspace.com/aeroplanemusiclove

The xx Sell Out… In the Good Way

The xx
Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
04/08/2010

I am all kinds of caught up in the hype The xx has achieved thus far. I mean, selling out TWO shows at the same venue in one night? On their first headlining tour?AND they will be back on April 19th with Hot Chip? The xx have found a recipe for success. Each song evokes distant emotions which are subtly brought back to life on stage. Their live set varies in slight ways, however it was pretty much like listening to the album over Lincoln Hall’s soundsystem.

Random fact: What do bands Hot Chip, Burial, Four Tet and The xx have in common? They are all alumni of the Elliot School in London.

More about The xx’s simple stylings and photos after the jump [Read more...]

Nosaj Thing, jj: Swing and A Miss

Nosaj Thing, jj
Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
04/08/2010

Lincoln Hall broke the super sold out show into two smaller, but equal shows: one early show featuring Nosaj Thing and one late show featuring jj. Both openers could have used something more in their sets, yet seemed slightly “doomed” from the get-go.

[Read more...]

The Low Anthem’s First Ever Headlining Tour!

The Low Anthem
Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
04/06/2010

The Low Anthem just started their first headlining tour on March 11th in Pittsburg. Hopefully you will get a chance to see the foursome play before the release of an upcoming album- rumored to be a live album! The Low Anthem’s recent full length album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, was recorded at their new studio located inside an old, abandoned pasta sauce factory (that they pretend is haunted.) I guess March was a big month for The Low Anthem, because they released a 7” vinyl simply titled after the single, ”Charlie Darwin.” The vinyl features several live tracks as B-sides including “Sally Where’d You Get Your Liquor From” and “Don’t let Nobody Turn You Around” which were previously unreleased. The Low Anthem also got a chance to show off at SXSW!

[Read more...]

Nathaniel Rateliff Silently Serenades Chicago

Nathaniel Rateliff
Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
04/06/2010

nathaniel-rateliff-silently-serenades-chicagoI was excited to see my first artist that hails from Missouri. I mean, I grew up in Southeast Missouri, but Nataniel Rateliff grew up in the teeny town of Bay, Missouri. Population just a hair larger than 50. He used his early years to discover his creative passion for the guitar and drums, often citing his small town as to how he became interested in creating music. Rateliff is still relatively new to his own solo work, having previously toured in a small band called The Wheel. They all are even sometimes billed as Nathaniel Rateliff and The Wheel. The Wheel’s album, Desire and Dissolving Men was released this past year. While having a similar sound, it is not his own, individual musings. Nathaniel Rateliff’s debut album, In Memory of Loss, will be released on April 27th, 2010.

As the crowd shuffled into the venue, they were quick to quiet down to listen to Rateliff’s voice. It sounds so similar to other singer-songwriters, but not the songwriters of his time. I feel like he has more of a music connection with the artists of folk or alternative genre in the 70′s and 80′s. His worn, slightly raspy voice While his songs sound simple, his lyrics resonated within Lincoln Hall and the audience’s minds. There was a sense of quiet reflection the music which kept the growing crowd silently stirring. The short set was very well received, with a few latecomers in the audience asking each other who the artist was.

This show really hit close to home for me. His music reminds me of the summer days of my youth, having nothing to do but explore finding hidden caves or seeing how high I could climb. The images that flooded my mind of my childhood were spooky almost as if Rateliff was conjuring up memories of troubled, but simpler times. Nathaniel Rateliff is still a relatively new, up and coming artist- even with The Wheel at his side. Yet, he is a definite reminder that creative, inspiring individuals can seemingly show up out of no where.

Nathaniel Rateliff is currently on tour with The Low Anthem until late Fall of this year. I found a session Rateliff & The Wheel did on Daytrotter which gives you a very similar look into how he sounds live, compared with the tracks on his upcoming album, In Memory of Loss. It took me two days to realize that Rateliff’s voice sounds similar to a worn, folk version of the lead singer of Kings of leon. Really, give it a listen:

http://www.daytrotter.com/dt/nathaniel-rateliff-and-the-wheel-concert/20030992-37382165.html

nathaniel-rateliff-silently-serenades-chicago

www.nathanielrateliff.com/home/

 

Oh My God, Charlie Darwin Album Review

The Low Anthem
Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
Nonesuch Records

Releasing their third album in June 2009, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, The Low Anthem continues to create pure folk with its gritty vocals and foot-stomping good tunes. Their sound has not changed much, keeping true to their unique style of recording and playing together. In my live review, the band played musical chairs (unknowingly) as they all played many of the same instruments littering the House of Blues stage.

The album does lose some drive as most tracks do not flow into one another- outside of “To The Ghosts Who Write History Books” followed by the gospel–like “Omgcd.” Brilliant. The track “Home I’ll Never Be” is one of the few tracks that has the drive almost necessary to make this album complete. If The Low Anthem had plugged other tracks into the Darwin album like the almost-too-melancholy “Ticket Taker,” it would certainly not be on repeat right now.

In their live sets, concert goers are able to see the variety of the instruments they use, many of which are featured in the song “Music Box,” an ethereal look into The Low Anthem’s layered music. The album is also a shining view into the bands live sets. Full of energy and pure passion for music making, The Low Anthem’s live sets are almost eerily similar to the Darwin album. There is no auto-tune or cross processing muddying the waters. Oh My God , Charlie Darwin is a brilliant reminder of what happens when a quartet of multi-instrumentalists get together and jam out.

The Low Anthem is currently on tour throughout the US, hitting up a few festivals across the sea in August and September. They are more than phenomenal live, featuring previously unreleased songs and covers out the wazoo. Also, they play a saw.

And something like that is meant to be seen!

 

www.thelowanthem.com

www.myspace.com/lowanthem

Miike Snow Knows Pop, Ignores Pop

Miike Snow
The Metro – Chicago, IL
04/04/2010

Within months of the release of their debut self-titled album, Miike Snow has collected fans from all over the US and UK. I am 99% certain that anyone reading this article is familiar with their previous work. Most notably, their work co-writing and producing (as Bloodshy & Avant) the track “Toxic,” made famous by Britney Spears. Coincidentally, the single was Britney Spears’ one and only Grammy award win.

Yet, I am surprised at how far the Swedes from Miike Snow have come.

[Read more...]

Making The Video: On Set With AM Taxi

AM Taxi “Fed Up”
Music Video Shoot – Chicago, IL
March 31, 2010

amtaxi

Chicago’s local music scene has been pretty quiet over the winter months, working silently on new material to premier once the sun comes out to play. On the warmest (high of 81 degrees!) and most pleasant days in March (of course, it was the last day of the month), Chicago-based AM Taxi sent a wave of pop/rock throughout Chicago’s Pilsen district at the filming of their newest music video. Over the next few days, we’ll take you behind-the-scenes of AM Taxi’s latest music video for their new single “Fed Up” via production still shots, band interviews, and more!

More on the Chicago punk rockers AM Taxi after the jump…

[Read more...]

Album Review: Corinne Bailey Rae ‘The Sea’

Corinne Bailey Rae
The Sea
Capitol Records

corinne-bailey-rae-the-sea

Corinne Bailey Rae is a brilliant English singer-songwriter with a golden set of pipes. Her breakout self-titled album released in 2006 (Corinne Bailey Rae) was followed by a very successful world tour over the following year. However, disheartening personal events after the tour caused the Leeds native to become a recluse for the better part of two years. Rae’s recently released sophomore album The Sea (January 2010) is deeply impassioned and nearly naked at times, yet rings true with the celebration of life, love, and everything in between.

More on the recent record The Sea and Corinne Bailey Rae’s upcoming North American tour after the jump…

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A Night With The Quin Twins, Tegan And Sara

Tegan and Sara
Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
March 26, 2010

Tegan and Sara Chicago 6

The twins Tegan and Sara Quin have been writing music together since the age of 15. Yet this is the first major time in their career when the two have collaborated and actually written together. Whereas most teenagers are lost in the turmoil that is young love and the pressures of growing up, Tegan and Sara were chronicling their teenage lives in their high school’s makeshift studio. Over the next few years, tender lyrics like, “Got time to wander to waste and to whine / But when it comes to you / It seems like I just can’t find the time” would form into the album that jump started their future career.

More photos of Tegan and Sara after the jump…

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Steel Train Rolls Through Chicago Full Steam Ahead

Steel Train
Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
March 26, 2010

Steel Train Chicago 2

I know, I know. I was fooled as well. Steel Train is actually five young rockers made from skin and flesh. While the name may be misleading, these guys know how to play rock music and then some. Some may consider it a mix up of traditional rock or even punk music, but it has definitely been run through pop re-workings, keeping quirky songs like “I Feel Weird” stuck in your head.

More photos of Steel Train after the jump…

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