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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Interview Fri Aug 31 2012

Chicago's Up-And-Coming: Interview with Cold Blue Kid

Atmospheric. Hauntingly mesmerizing. These fresh, layered indie rock sounds from up-and-coming Chicago band Cold Blue Kid can be found on both albums they've recorded, from their self-titled debut released in 2010, to the more cultivated Mimic, released in February of this past year. I got a chance to chat with frontman Alex Longoria about Cold Blue Kid's history, namesake, and what the future holds for the dynamic group.

Cold Blue Kid's music has a unique, innovative sound, but also one that is also grounded in stability. The dreamy, fuzzy backdrops combined with darker rock elements and experimentation with different instruments leads to the culmination of a soothing soundtrack featuring all that is good in the world of indie folk rock. Songs range from introspective, comprised of languid beats, to summery, synth-induced rock.

"I'm always writing music. I feel like I have journals, and journals, because I always wrote. Maybe they are not full songs, but I went back and took these abstract obscure words and put them together," Longoria stated of his song-writing method.

The group's namesake actually came from a phrase that his mother stated back when Longoria was in the hospital.

"When I was born, I was a really sick kid. I had pneumonia and I was in an incubator. This was a time before cell phones, and my mom would not leave the hospital. Finally the doctors said 'look, you need to go home.' My mom was on her way out the door and she hears 'cold blue, cold blue,' and had this gut feeling that it was her son, and she ran back into the room and sure enough there were all these doctors and nurses around. It wasn't until later that I realized she must have meant 'code blue,'" Longoria noted.

Cold Blue Kid's formation began from more dire circumstances; Longoria found himself without a job and disintegrating from the rock outfit he was a part of prior to Cold Blue Kid. Seeing a fork in the road as he mentioned that the situation was a blessing in disguise, Longoria turned his apartment's third bedroom into a recording studio.

"I spent every Friday and Saturday, Thursday nights and during the day, locked in there with all these instruments and bottles of Jack Daniels, and so I made this album, finished it and I put it online," he stated.

Quickly, the album began to gain ground in a far more immediate nature than Longoria expected. "All of a sudden, it was tripped out in the first four weeks on MySpace. I understand when something goes viral, but like all of a sudden people were just like sending me messages, and the thing is, I almost felt like I was cheating because I didn't have a full band at the time," Longoria mentioned.

Cold Blue Kid's newfound praise led to Longoria seeking out band members in December of 2010 to boost the group's signature sound even further. Eager to fill the spots of sounds he was envisioning, he placed ads in Craigslist and found individuals who appreciated Cold Blue Kid's initial sound. "Having a skeleton, having a foundation to say 'hey people, come and join me' works out so much better than me saying 'hey, I got some songs you guys want to hear," Longoria noted. By discerning the group's signature sound early on, Mimic showcased the sound as becoming bigger, bolder, and more captivating than before.

The group's sound has been influenced by many of Longoria's favorite rock outfits, from the Smashing Pumpkins, to Broken Social Scene (who Longoria actually shared Cold Blue Kid's music with recently), Radiohead, Sonic Youth, and folk music such as Fleetwood Mac. Longoria frequently works late into the night to communicate Cold Blue Kid's identity to media outlets.

"I stay up a lot of nights until one in the morning just emailing blogs," Longoria mentioned. "We actually shot down a few records deals, and I booked the tour on my own."

Cold Blue Kid's next steps are continuing to tour and play concerts around the city, from festivals to show sets, with plans to release another album. You can catch Cold Blue Kid in Chicago this weekend at Ravenswood Remix, a two-day music and art festival set at 4100 North Ravenswood Avenue. With a $5 suggested admission fee that contributes to Hamilton Elementary School art programs, Cold Blue Kid will play their set at 12:45pm this Sunday, September 2.

"With music, it's weird because it isn't a guarantee, but I feel like everything I'm doing is right. I feel like all the signs are go," Longoria stated.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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