Category Archives: Greater Music World

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: 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.

SEE THIS BAND: Kurt Vile

It’s nice to know that guys who remind me of my awkward high school boy-crush– the one who made lo-fi albums on cassette tapes with lots of pedal effects and loopage– can make it all the way to Matador Records. Kurt Vile, “Philly’s constant hitmaker”, started out writing dreamy bedroom pop comprised mainly of melodic, crystal-clear guitar pickings, pretty layers of poetry, and gentle electro-background beats. Now– either playing solo or with his backing band conveniently called The Violators– he’s turning into somewhat of a musical chameleon, and his stylings retain the sensibilities of Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen while fusing polished experimental tracks with fuzzy psych-folk and shrouds of lo-fi angsty pop. It’s these fluctuations that have critics gushing about what’s to come, and ensuring the opening slot for an array of bands including Dinosaur Jr., the Black Keys, and most recently, Fucked Up.

Opening for Fucked Up at the Empty Bottle on Saturday, February 13th.

SEE THIS BAND: Once I partied with King Khan…

It was Halloween 2008, I was a flapper girl. I was hosting the film crew at the Bottom Lounge and after the show Khan’s manager asked me if I knew of any parties going on, so I told him about one, not expecting them to go. As my luck would have it, the “party” was dead (two people drunkenly dancing to something awful like Kelly Clarkson dead) and to my horror King Khan, BBQ, Women, the whole crew arrived– and they were unbelievably disappointed. I think I ruined their one-night in Chicago, but in the long-run it turned out alright, because Khan decided to make the best of it with a dance party. Mark Sultan “BBQ” sat on the couch and complained, but the rest of us had a real swell time. I went home before they did, and I wonder if those who threw the party even knew who had swung by. Such nice folks, go see their showKing Khan & BBQ Show play tomorrow at the Logan Square Auditorium. Those Darlins open. Show starts at 10 PM.

SEE THIS BAND: The xx

Back in August, four (now three) very concerned looking twenty year olds from London released a hit self-titled album speaking to those who miss the anxious bereavements and calamities of all things lust and lost. With singles such as “Heart Skipped A Beat” heard over the speakers of 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 the “new” angst, deems an unreturned text as Armageddon; the possibilities of a Craigslist missed connection infinite, yet tragic, because you. will. never. know.
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 a sold-out show at the Bottom Lounge on December 1st. They open for Friendly Fires. Show starts at 8 PM.