Easily Amused: An Interview with the Sass Dragons and Prizzy Prizzy Please

Read it here.

SEE THIS BAND: Pissed Jeans

For the past couple weeks, “False Jessi Part 2” off Pissed Jean‘s latest record, King of Jeans, has become my morning anthem. Suddenly, my day of doing average things such as making coffee, sitting at a computer, typing, commuting, and other verbs that I routinely and somewhat bitterly carry out seem a little more hardcore, a little more badass. The self-deprecation and humor wrought with approaching middle-age growled and howled “I don’t, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t do everything” by frontman Matt Korvette, backed by guitar shreds and rolling drums that pound along with every (de)pressing into my office keyboard– well, it gives me that little boost of relatability and resolve that many find in music. Call Pissed Jeans post-hardcore noise sludge rock, if you will. There’s also a bit of Iggy in there, an inkling of the Jesus Lizard, hell, why not throw in a Motorhead reference, it all comes down to the fact that Pissed Jeans make me want to chug beer, rip off my work clothes, and tear into the crowded pit that will hopefully be well within reach at their show.

Playing the Empty Bottle on Wednesday, April 10th, at 9:30 PM. Cost is $10. HERDS and Cougars open.

You may also read this on Chicago Innerview.

SEE THIS BAND: The xx

In revisiting an old post: These concerned-looking London twenty-year-olds released their self-titled debut album back in August, and it’s an album that delivers alleviation to those missing the anxious bereavements and calamities of all things lust and lost. With singles like “Heart Skipped A Beat” heard over the speakers of an Urban Outfitters or even on the latest episode of 90210, The xx create a sort of minimalist dream pop drenched in R&B drum (machine) beats that echo the sighs, the aches, the deprivations, the cessations, and the relations of being hip, beautiful, and < twenty years old. This music, combined with “new” angst, deems an unreturned text as Armageddon; the possibilities of a Craigslist missed connection infinite, and unrequitedly tragic. Voluminous and throaty whispers between Romy Madly Croft (also on guitar) and Oliver Sim (also on bass) lace through each other as their assured base lines and twangy staccato guitar melodies are backed up by Jamie Smith’s throbbing MPC Sampler; which all together make for visuals of dark, rainy ocean waves observed from a place like an island balcony in the tropics. Needless to say, The xx make music that’s perfect for losing your virginity to…over and over again.

The xx play two sold-out shows at Lincoln Hall on Thursday, April 8th.

You may also read this on Chicago Innerview.

SEE THIS BAND: High On Fire

My metal knowledge extends as far as the lyrics to Wilco’s “Heavy Metal Drummer” along with a few scattered Black Sabbath albums I picked up at suburban garage sales. I’m not going to lie, I’m just acquainting myself with the genre. To me metal used to mean lawn mower and machine-gun sounds, metal bands with their Baroque flourishes, tattoos, beards, and damn-hearty lifestyles the subsequent Beethovens, Mozarts, and pirates of the modern century. In this ignoramus opinion, High On Fire reckons meat and potatoes metal, a throwback to the detuned riffage in the vein of classic Black Sabbath. They don’t need to play blisteringly fast or use crazy time signatures, and the guitar coupled with the intense drumming and gutteral growls a la Lemmy (as many fans and critics have noted), bring forth a massive hard-bitten sound one might not expect from a trio. Their accessibility appeals to unschooled girls like me, and they are exactly what I’d expect from an esteemed stoner-metal band. I can’t wait to “lord it out” with these brawny hellion pirate-men, these dark conquerors of metal, ah yes, a brutal evening awaits.

Playing Friday, April 2nd, at Lincoln Hall. The show starts at 8 PM, cost is $15. Priestess, Black Cobra, and Bison B.C. open.

SEE THIS BAND: Canadian Rifle

Read it here.

SEE THIS BAND: Screeching Weasel

Whether you love to hate them or hate that you love them because they’ve “become what they hate” and  you wonder at times if they now hate themselves, you’ve got to admit that Chicago’s Screeching Weasel has made a significant dent in the pop-punk genre. Their fast, light, and summery melodies (Ben Weasel formed the band with John Jughead in the mid-80’s after seeing the Ramones for the first time) coupled with fun and nimble girl-oriented lyrics have most likely influenced your new favorite pop-punk band in one way or another. After procuring a catalog of solid records, the majority of Screeching Weasel’s scattered and ever-changing line-up (like Ben Weasel, who’s now the author of two books and a sports talk radio host on ESPN 1070) have since moved on to the “real” world, reminding us that’s it’s sad to grow up and grow out of it. But if anything, take the Screeching Weasel tour as a relic, an homage to something that was once so great to you, so go ahead and throw that old leather jacket on one more time.

Playing a sold out show Friday, February 26th, at Reggie’s Rock Club with Lemuria and The Seething Coast.

Also read this on Chicago Innerview.

SEE THIS BAND: Wildbirds & Peacedrums

You’d think after the past decade it would be impossible to do something unique with a bluesy two-piece husband-wife duo, yet Sweden’s Wildbirds & Peacedrums hit that paradoxical g-spot of sounding both primal and sophisticated, straddling the genres of “experimental” pop, folk, and jazz– and in turn prodding many a musical debate. Mariam Wallentin’s gorgeous, dynamically off-kilter voice complements Andreas Werliin’s tribal drumming so captivatingly well that it’s easy to forget that– aside from the occasional electronic drone or skeletal xylophone melody — vocals and percussion are all that’s going on. This complexity stems from the talent and mastery of their given roles, and the broken down simplicity of it all makes for an alluring record and hopefully an an amazing live show.

Opening for St. Vincent at the Metro on Thursday, February 18th.

Also read this on Chicago Innerview.