Tag Archives: Chicago music
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.
Also read this on Chicago Innerview.
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.
Also read this on Chicago Innerview.
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.
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.
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.
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.