Tag Archives: Chicago local music

SEE THIS BAND: Canadian Rifle

Read it here.


Weekend Preview: 1/29, 1/30, 1/31

An (old) picture of the Puking Pearls

I’ve completely dropped the ball this week… FRIDAY night the Alex White-approved Puking Pearls play new songs at the Hideout with Hollows and Punk Band (10 PM, $8). This show has been described as a “hot girl punk show” so if that’s your thing then by all means, GO. And, what can I say, I’m partial to local garage acts– SATURDAY night Cococoma play downtown at Cal’s Liquors with Dumpster Babies and Radar Eyes (10 PM, 21+). On SUNDAY the elusive Pony Boy play a nice old-fashioned rock and roll show at Ronny’s with Michael Michael Motorcycle and three other bands: Cicada Face, Threeville, and Asleep at the Javelin (8 PM, 21+). Three shows, three nights, there you have it.

SEE THESE BANDS: Plastic Crimewave Sound, Sadhu Sadhu

Plastic Crimewave

Steve Krakow (Plastic Crimewave) is an artist, illustrator, musician, purveyor, historian, and connoisseur of all things punk-psychedelia. He writes the “Secret History of Chicago Music”, a bi-weekly column in the Chicago Reader (also the title of the WGN 720AM Nick Digilio Show, which he also co-hosts), curates the Million Tongues festival, edits the Galactic Zoo Dossier, DJs at the Whistler, leads “guitarkestras”, and lives in a personal museum of “60-s freak-out” paraphernalia– so it’s no surprise that he also fronts an acid-space-punk band called Plastic Crimewave Sound. Underlying distorted guitars, in and out kraut musings, and deep vocals bellow out like that of a faceless ringleader in a celestial circus complete with motorcycles, tribal drum circles, and cool kids wearing sunglasses nodding their heads as they paint pictures of throbbing spirals and melting bodies. Please illustrate that Mr. Crimewave.

Sadhu Sadhu photo by Meng Yang

I’ve noticed that psychedelic kraut-inspired minimalist rock is back (if it ever left), especially ’round here in Chicago, and this local trio does it well. Sadhu Sadhu’s musical astral explosions, spun out guitar wah-wahs, and lo-fi riffs bring to mind incense-filled opium dens in exotic lands. Songs about aboriginal walkabouts only add to the fitting band name, definitions of the Hindi word “sadhu” include “mystic”, “ascetic”, and “wandering monk”– although the band does stray from the defined abstinence to overindulge in twenty-minute kaleidoscopes of improvised garage with enough distortion and reverb that rockstars in the sixties might overdose on. They’ve been compared to bands such as Acid Mother’s Temple, but I’m thinking they sound more like Brian Jonestown Massacre when Anton was way into heroin, but in a good way.

Both bands play the Hideout on Jan. 22 as part of the Chicago Metaphysical Circus with Vee Dee, The Great Society Mind Destroyers, Dark Fog, Black Wyrm Seed, and DJ Velcro Lewis.

You may also read it here and here.


SEE THESE BANDS: Tim Kinsella, Disappears

Tim Kinsella

Chicago native Tim Kinsella is a musician, filmmaker, bartender, and legend. To list all of his projects and the revolving collective of people associated with them would result in an endless list, but he is most notably known for singing and playing guitar in Joan of Arc, Make Believe, Capn’ Jazz, and Owls. Kinsella’s solo music is abstract in the way that it challenges the clichés of poet and guitar. Depending on the album, the listener is met with highly experimental electronic noise or pretty melodies cascading lightly over each other to end in wavering riffs backed by faint electronic beats. Kinsella’s familiar, shaky voice leads into simple songs in which bleak, stripped down, still-life albums entitled Field Recording of Dreams, He Sang His Didn’t He Danced His Did, and Crucifix Swastika are painted– best viewed late at night.

Disappears photo by Greg Simpson

Self-described as “CCR via Minor Threat”, Disappears drop reverb and distortion into a slowly spiraling sound of psychedelia that’s drizzled over with bluesy guitar melodies negated by short syncopated ousts of vocals. This built up, gnarled wall of sound somehow manages to remain a simple one, a wall Lou Reed might very well jump out of. It looks like Disappears won’t be Chicago’s best-kept secret much longer, after playing Pitchfork and opening for the Jesus Lizard on New Year’s Eve, Disappears are wasting no time in getting ready for a tour with Tortoise in February. Their latest release, Live Over the Rainbo (recorded in an apartment over the bar), of which you may download for free, along with their past two 7″s, via their blog, proceeds their debut album, Lux, due out in April off Kranky Records.

Both play the Empty Bottle on Jan. 22 with A Tundra, Birthmark, Jeremy Boyle, Lites Alive, Matt Clark, Owen, Pillars & Tongues, The Zoo Wheel, Vacations, The Slick Conditions, and surprise special guests…a Capn Jazz reunion?
You may also read it here and here.

Weekend Preview: 1/15, 1/16, 1/17

Neon Indian photo by Dagny Piasecki

This weekend is filled with release shows, free in-stores, fundraisers, and a mini-fest of all those novel bands you didn’t get to see at Pitchfork last year. FRIDAY night Neon Indian plays a sold-out show at Schubas as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows festival and indie-rock darling Bradford Cox brings his band Atlas Sound to the other site, Lincoln Hall, along with the experimental jazz dub of Icy Demons (10 PM, $15). If you prefer an intimate setting, or one that doesn’t cost anything, then head over to Reckless Records (the Broadway location) at 5 PM to see the Icy Demons play for free.  If you’re willing to spend those few hard-earned dollars, but want them to go to a good cause, join local garage-country-ish favorites Maximum Wage, Tiger Bones, and Tyler Jon Tyler in supporting Girls Rock Chicago at the Empty Bottle (10 PM, $8). SATURDAY night, violinist extraordinaire Owen Pallett, formerly known as Final Fantasy (he changed the name due to possible copyright infringement), plays a sold-out show at Schubas; at 4:30 PM The Bowerbirds play their folk for free at Reckless Records before joining The Rural Alberta Advantage over at Lincoln Hall (10 PM, $15). The Empty Bottle hosts another noble cause, the CHIRP Radio launch party, with music from more local garage favorites The Yolks, Hollows, and Rabble Rabble (10 PM, $8); The Bollweevils  are holding their “Weevilive in Color” DVD release party along with 88 Fingers Louie and Agent Orange at Reggie’s Rock Club (6 PM, $18); and Implodes, Aleks and the Drummer, Maxwell Citron, and Members Only, with DJ J+J+J play the Proximity Magazine release party at the Co-Prosperity Sphere ($10/$8 without a magazine, 9 PM). If you want your music, punk rock specifically, straight-up, froofy frills aside, The Catburglars and Sinks play Ronny’s at 8 PM and Brain Idea plays Cal’s Liquors at 9 PM. On SUNDAY things seem to mellow down a bit — Clues (ex-Arcade Fire, ex-Unicorns) plays Schubas ($15, 9 PM), Lee Fields & the Expressions bring some soul to Lincoln Hall, Reckless Records (the Wicker Park location) offers their last free in-store of the weekend– self-proclaimed “art-pop” by the Pomegranates at 5 PM, and the lovely Califone plays the Hideout ($10, 9 PM). For those who still want to party and/or drug themselves into a new work week, Psychedelic Horseshit’s lo-fi (but don’t tell them that) psych-pop will entertain those at Ronny’s at 9 PM as the King of the Chicago psych-rock scene, Plastic Crimewave, plays the Mopery with a slew of other worthy psych. bands.

Weekend Preview: 1/8, 1/9, 1/10

Mucca Pazza photo by Eric Harvey Brown

This weekend is lookin’ pretty, awfully, and horribly slim, but never fear, the Empty Bottle and the Hideout save the day(s) with a couple of solid shows. On FRIDAY Chicago’s favorite 30-piece marching band Mucca Pazza team up with the punkish curiosities of Paper Mice to transform the Empty Bottle (10 PM, $12)  into an animated circus extravaganza; and you might as well stay in the area because The Windy City Soul Club continue their monthly residency the next night, aiming to spin all your favorites from Motown and beyond for a vinyl incited dance party (10 PM, $5). Also on  SATURDAY is the record release party for husband/wife duo My Gold Mask at the Hideout (9 PM, $8) along with personal favorites, the always theatrical, the ever so eerie, and the all-encompassing of alt. country anguish– The Bitter Tears. And if you must see a show on SUNDAY head back to the Hideout for Das Boton (9 PM, $8). I’ve never listened to this band, but they were a Reader CC and there aren’t any other shows that look enticing, so there you have it.

SEE THIS BAND: Death Ships

Death Ships create a blend of sparkling indie-rock with bits of Wilco-approved country slide guitars and folk pop lyrics that might find you daydreaming on a bright and breezy day– the only things reminiscent of ‘death ships’ being those you find in the passing clouds. Seeds of Devastation is a soundtrack for those mature few whom would like to reflect on life and all her mysterious ways. “Maybe Arkansas” brings airy guitars and honest vocals with lyrics that fall on the brink of ambition and inadequacy, “You get the keys/ I’ll get the car/ How do we get to where were not?” It’s good old-fashioned Iowa-bred Midwest rock, the kind you can bring home to mom, the kind of music that picks you up from the hole you’ve dug, throws you into the back of the car, and drives you home.
(Appearing with I Luv Luv Birds and Worlds Fair at Martyr’s on Jan. 08)
You may also read it here.