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…]

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…]

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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Space Cowboy Lands in U.S. with Futuristic Sounds

Space Cowboy - Digital Rock Star

If you remember Fatboy Slim from the 90s (“The Rockafeller Skank” and “Weapon of Choice”), then consider yourself a little bit more familiar with the up and coming Space Cowboy. Featured under Fatboy Slim’s label for years, Space Cowboy has finally hit U.S. shores with tracks featuring some of the hottest artists of the time.

More about his debut US album Digital Rock Star after the jump…

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Inside the Life of Party Rockers LMFAO

In between taking naps and working on their next album, LMFAO tells us all from the start of the uncle/nephew team to what is in store for future concert goers. Their sold-out tour will be stopping and dropping at over 30 cities across the nation. Did you get your ticket to the party?

lmfao

I was lucky enough to catch LMFAO in between naps on the road to their Saint Louis show before the weekend. The native California duo have also started their own clothing line, exclusively sold at partyrocklife.com. LMFAO can almost always be found wearing something new from the brand. The super chill Red Foo, uncle to Sky Blu, spent some time to talk about the past, present and future of their lifestyle brand: Party rock.

Dead Hub: Well, let’s just start with you guys. What gave you the idea to form a group with a family member?

Red Foo: We’ve always been doing music together for a long time, but we were both solo artists. We did a few tracks together… and then we both took a trip to Miami. I mean, we’re like best friends. We were playing basketball and making music, and after we came back from the WMC, then we just decided to just be groupie’s group!

Read more about what LMFAO had to say after the jump…

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