Inspired by dreamlike fantasies and nightmarish terrors, Chicago artist Chemise Cagoule debuted today the enchanting music video for the trippy lo-fi single "Violet."
The video, directed by Ryan Nanni and starring underground artists Jazzeppi Zanaughtti and Ben Morino, features a compilation of glamorously gritty scenes from a sex club, tour performances, frigid waters and frozen Indiana Dunes--suitable for the trippy dream-pop track.
Previously anonymous to the world, Chemise Cagoule was recently revealed to be the alter ego of local artist Jack Collier. The name 'Chemise Cagoule' comes from the term for a medieval nightdress of the Catholic church that was created to prevent pleasurable sex, which piqued Collier's interest in history, fashion, religion and sexuality.
If you haven't listened to local favorite Dastardly yet, I am here to urge you to do so. With a unique sound that is unparalleled and unable to be located anywhere else, their music has only grown richer and more innovative with each release, keeping us listeners hooked on the offerings from this four-member outfit. Lilting accordion ballads from the talented Sarah Morgan permeate their one-of-a-kind sound, blending Americana with folk undertones, while frontman Gabe Liebowitz embodies the unique persona of each song, within it, a delicate story to tell. Themes of despair, struggle, and triumph abound amid vocal accents that constantly surprise, from exquisite harmonies, to urgent speeches, and even a bit of yodeling.
After a three year hiatus, the group is back with a more unique sound than ever before, as they took a break to hone in on their music and refocus. Liebowitz, who is also a music producer, has merged his passion for production with the creation of Dastardly's tunes, and has allowed Dastardly to create vibrant, cinematic ballads for their new material. Dastardly has released their newest single, and its music video. "The Hollow" begins with an ethereal, haunting opener, which leads into lush harmonies and beautiful accordion, string, and guitar backings. This intriguing storyline is showcased amid gaze-catching shots and dancers. A dreamscape is created effortlessly, drawing you into their unique world of music. Here, Dastardly emerges, more confident in their unique craft than ever before.
Take a listen to "The Hollow" and catch the mesmerizing music video below. If you dig what you hear, they'll be playing Lincoln Hall on July 10, so mark that date on your calendar: you won't want to miss their hometown show after what is poised to be such a triumphant return.
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound Core members: Kevin Marks (far left, drums), JC Brooks (center in red, vocals) and Billy Bungeroth (far right, guitar). (photo by Marisa Klug-Morataya)
Today it's going to hit 70 freaking degrees here in Chicago, and it goes without saying that we're a bit psyched. Not only is it the perfect weather for ice cream and "sick days," but we also have a rocking exclusive video debut to share from our friends, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. The band's latest single, "You Can't Break Me," was just released in time for SXSW. The video (directed by Chris Hershman) is a rollicking anthem perfect for rewarding yourself for surviving the Chicago winter. Let's face it, we have a lot to celebrate today, right?
As JC says "It ain't too cold in the city I love/ You can't break me." Roll those windows down, and sing along.
The hardcore punk scene in Washington DC gave birth to some relentless musicians. Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, and Fugazi barely scratch the surface what the area offered. It was a sonic rebellion that truly refused to conform. Music Journalist Scott Crawford and photographer/videographer Jim Saah united to take a look at the scene with Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90). The film features unseen performances and interviews with the people who created and helped the era thrive. Crawford explores the DIY aesthetics of the hardcore punk scene, from the self released records to booking their own shows. There is an undeniable sense of determination that lead the DC community to create music, regardless of what the typical or mainstream thought of it.
Salad Days is a must see documentary for music fans. It will be screening in Chicago at Brew and View at The Vic, 3145 N Sheffield Ave., for only two nights, Saturday March 28 and Sunday the 29. Tickets are currently available for $7.These will be the only Chicago area screenings, so jump on these show to take a look at an influential and important American music scene.
Those lovable musical scamps, Archie Powell and the Exports, have brought some cheer to the video-sphere with a new song and video for their holiday tune: "Mom's Still Mad (We Got Drunk Last Christmas)." Enjoy it with your loved ones this year (or from the safety of your old room while you hide from said loved ones). And hey, don't forget the Malört.
For some people, Christmastime is year-round. I'm not talking about your aunt with the entire room of her house devoted to the holiday, I mean Christmas music fanatics. They're always on the hunt for that rare holiday single, that obscure recording deserving of more attention.
A new documentary shines a thousand strings of lights on the holiday music collecting community. Jingle Bell Rocks, directed by Mitchell Kezin, talk with collectors from around the country, including Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons of RUN-D.M.C, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, filmmaker John Waters, and radio host/musicologist Dr. Demento. Locally, Andy Cirzan, vice president of Jam Productions and guest host on the annual "Sound Opinions" holiday show, is interviewed extensively.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of Prince's hit "Purple Rain," Forest Park musician Pat Battle recorded a remix of the song, titled "SixTwentyFive." The video, directed by Ian Hitre, the video stars four local dancers lip-syncing and dancing to the classic.
Spot the timely movie and song samples in there, too.
Chicago indie pop group The Kickback released a video this week for the song "Sting's Teacher Years." The video really harkens back to the olde days of MTV videos full of stop-motion camera tricks, and a clever, though simple effect.
Thanks to Kickstarter, you can enjoy this tune on the band's new LP, Sorry All Over The Place, due out this summer.
ShowYouSuck dives into a world of VHS in the video for his latest song, "All Wavy Everything." He's playing with Kid Sister -- who hasn't been heard from that much lately, though her latest video has her going full Jamaican -- at Reggies Friday night, along with Syd tha Kid, Angel and Mr. E. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, which opens at 8:30pm.
Students at Kenwood Academy High School on the South Side put together their own version of Pharrell's contagious "Happy" video showing off, among other things: their Billy the Bronco mascot, the swim team, some twerking faculty, student dancers, and the school choir singing their own rendition of the song at the end. If you need a pick-me-up, definitely take a look:
Local "progressive sci-fi yacht metal" outfit Royale has released a video for its new single "1981."
Drummer Nate Bauman put together the video using clips by designer and animator Mike Winklemann, aka Beeple, who collaborates with Flying Lotus and whose Creative Commons-licensed animations have been used by such acts as Amon Tobin, deadmau5, Skrillex and more. Bauman says that after he contacted Beeple, "He ended up sharing his whole catalog of animations to use under one condition. He said, 'You have to promise me one thing; that you'll have fun.'"
"Initially, I immediately thought of something you'd typically see on CN and Adult Swim," Bauman explained. "Then I remembered Daft Punk's initial popular videos. Even Queens of the Stone Age have done multiple videos with animated characters. The foundation of the video is this man hooked to a chair in laboratory with scientists conducting experiments on his brain. With each psychedelic cut and transition, we are seeing through the eyes & brain of this poor man being experimented on. "
You can stream "1981" and listen to more from Royale on SoundCloud.
Franklin Park, native Jan Terri is either someone completely unknown to you or an internet superstar you treasure. To me, it can't be truly Halloween in Chicago without an annual viewing of Jan's video for her song, "Get Down Goblin." So, enjoy:
With friends who can goon for the camera, a rock star can always pull off an entertaining music video. In the case of JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, the band's connection with "New Girl" star Jake Johnson and "Parks and Recreation" actress Aubrey Plaza means that their new video for "Rouse Yourself" (off of their latest album, Howl) is clever and cute all at once. Check it out.
When yours hosts are Chicago garage-rockers Summer Girlfriends, palm trees are chopped down, black beach clothes are worn, and everybody eventually winds up back in the garage rocking out.
Such is the case in the band's new music video, which premiered yesterday on Loud Loop Press, for "Goth Beach Party", off their debut album Shockwaves, released earlier this year on Addenda Records.
Watch the video below, and don't miss Summer Girlfriends at Lincoln Hall this Thursday at the launch party for CHIRP Radio's brand new website. Outer Minds, Heavy Times, and Sidecar Static also perform. Tickets are $12, and the show begins at 8pm. Lincoln Hall is located at 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.
The music video is still thriving in the Internet age, despite the fact that MTV and VH1 have long given up their role as purveyors of the medium. For proof, check out the new video for local favorites The Sea and Cake's latest single "On and On", off their most recent Thrill Jockey release, Runner.
The band enlisted Japanese artist Naomi Nagata to create a stop-motion animation using lines and patterns made with sand on a Japanese paper scroll, resulting in a visual experience not unlike watching the waveform generator in your iTunes library.
Milwaukee's Field Report were the last band into A.V. Club's "A.V. Undercover: Season Three" cover series, which meant that they had no choice but to cover Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago," the only remaining song on the list. They took it in an even dreamier direction than the original.
Next Tuesday, Oct. 2, is the season finale of A.V. Undercover, and the last performance in the "little round room" in River North. A special guest will cover Kansas' "Carry On My Wayward Son." Stay tuned.
Since 1997, LAMPO has presented experimental music and intermedia events to adventurous Chicago audiences. Find out about upcoming shows at lampo.org, and hear more about LAMPO from Director Andrew Fenchel on WBEZ.
About The Grid
This video is part of a series profiling Chicago businesses, subcultures and landscapes. These short, lyrical documentaries aspire to be art cinema, ethnographies, and experiments in form. Producer Ben Kolak's directorial debut, Scrappers, scrappersmovie.com, won Best Documentary at the Chicago Underground Film Festival and made Roger Ebert's list of top documentaries for 2010. Sound recordist and editor Alex Inglizian does sound for LAMPO and is chief engineer at Experimental Sound Studio. Graphic Designer Akemi Hong is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's graduate program in Visual Communication Design.
The Grid is funded in part by the Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation Digital Media Production Fund.
If you're wondering what accordions and animated chalk animals have in common, they're both alive and well in the latest video showcasing the wistful, cabaret sounds of Ami Saraiya & The Outcome. The song, "I'm Pregnant," off of the band's latest album, Soundproof Box, made its debut at their show last night at Lincoln Hall, but we're very pleased to be the first to bring it to you online. It's a pleasant way to daydream yourself through a rainy Thursday, don't you think?
Lil Mouse is a 13-year-old rapper from the Wild 100s. He's already recorded several videos, the first when he was still 12. His latest track, "Get Smoked," has attracted attention for its glorification of popping pills, selling drugs, having sex, shooting people and other activities not usually associated with barely teenaged kids.
The video for "Give It Away," the latest single off Andrew Bird's album Break It Yourself, features a living piñata pouring candy out of himself at a children's birthday party -- ultimately inviting the birthday boy to deliver a death blow across his chest with a stick. It's a good metaphor for the song's lyrics dealing with giving away one's love for free, but in practice it's a rather odd and disquieting image. The fact that the parents and most (but not all )of the kids are white and the piñata man is brown(-paper)-skinned adds another, different form of tension to the imagery.
What do you think? Does the heartwarming ending save the video from being creepy?
Today ex-Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha debuted a video for the track "To Who Knows Where", the first from his upcoming album Look to the Sky, to be released worldwide September 18th. This track marks the first solo material we've heard from Iha since 1998's Let It Come Down (that is, if we're not counting his soundtrack score for 2005's Linda Linda Linda). The video was influenced by David Bowie's The Man Who Fell To Earth and was filmed in Joshua Tree, California. The album is already available for pre-order here and the first 100 pre-orders come with a Polaroid and button hand-made by Iha himself.
Among a set list that included "Street Spirit", "Karma Police" and even a tease of R.E.M.'s "The One I Love", Radiohead premiered a new song titled "Full Stop" last night during their show at Tinley Park's First Midwest Amphitheater. Previously, a muddled fan recording of the song being played during a sound check in Cincinatti spread like wildfire across the internet last week. Here's a full video of the song performed last night, as best as I could manage from my seat near the back.
Safety Fifth, the new album by Mucca Pazza, Chicago's number one punk marching band, comes out June 12 on Electric Cowbell Records. That very night, they'll be celebrating with a concert at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Tickets are $15 online or at the door -- if there are any left. Above is a music video for "Boss Taurus" off the album (is that a "Bitchin' Camaro" allusion?)
Motown soul meets retro funk flavor and epitomizes the problem with labels and genre, in a sound that can only be best described as Mayer Hawthorne. The singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist will be taking the stage at the Park West on May 17, sharing some of the revamped vintage goodness that his latest album, How Do You Do, is filled with.
Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, not far from the Motor City, it isn't hard to tell where a great deal of his influence stems from. Influence aside, there's no doubt he's been doing something fresh from the vine since his debut album, A Strange Arrangement, released back in 2009. There's an air of confidence in his latest tracks from How Do You Do, however, that sounds like the perfect balance between the music of the good ol' days and a sound, style, and presentation of something not yet explored.
Tickets are sold out, but a limited quantity can be found at Stubhub.com. The Park West is located at 322 W. Armitage Ave. Music begins at 7:30pm with The Stepkids. 18+.
Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, is an upcoming documentary by Ice-T about the roots, culture and artistry of rap and hip hop. The film includes interviews with dozens of artists from both the new school and old school, including Chicagoans Common and Kanye West.
Meanwhile, local music video producer Konee Rok has put together a documentary of his own: The Rebirth of Chicago Cool, telling the story of how nightclub owner Joe Russo came back to Chicago to open The Shrine.
If you're looking for some last-minute plans tonight, check out this music video for Perfume Genius' "Hood" off his sophomore release Put Your Back N 2 It on Matador Records, and you won't be able to resist catching his show at Schubas tonight. The video features gay porn star Arpad Miklos, who is shown doing everything from brushing the emotional singer's hair and applying his lipstick to dressing up as Freddy Krueger.
Perfume Genius plays tonight at Schubas, 3159 North Southport Avenue. The show is $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and starts at 8 pm. Parenthetical Girls open. 21+.
Muddy Waters would have turned 97 on April 4. In 1974, the very first episode of "Soundstage" on PBS featured a "blues summit," featuring Muddy joined by an all-star band: Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Dr. John, Buddy Miles, Junior Wells, Nick Gravenites, Johnny Winter and Mike Bloomfield (as well as an uncredited Pinetop Perkins). Here it is in its entirety.
Though it was released last fall, the video for A Lull's song "Some Love" is perfectly timed for a cloudy, cold Valentine's Day. Enjoy a dream-pop road trip, complete with dancing, bonfires, and fireworks (and a little sexiness, too). [You can decide if nudes rendered in spray paint is NSFW or not.] "Some Love" is the title track of their forthcoming EP available for free download from their website.
Like the tune? Also enjoy a remix version, perfect for slow jams:
Yep, Chicago expats OK Go were in a commercial during the Super Bowl. This time around, they performed "Needing/Getting" in and with a Chevy Sonic -- using various appendages attached to the car to play instruments and other constructions set up along a rambling desert track. The commercial took months of planning and four days of shooting, and apparently 1,000 instruments were spread out over the two-mile course.
Well, this explains Wilco's unexpected appearance in a recent Popeye comic strip: the band's latest music video is a black-and-white cartoon featuring Popeye, Olive Oyl, Swee' Pea, Wimpy and Bluto. In it, Olive falls for Jeff Tweedy while Bluto and Popeye vie for her attention.
The video for "Dawned On Me" off The Whole Love is the first new Popeye cartoon since the character's 75th anniversary in 2004, and the first hand-drawn Popeye cartoon in more than 30 years. Apparently the band's collaboration with King Features Syndicate was the brainchild of director Darren Romanelli. There's a website for the collaboration, wilcospinach.com, that offers a free download of a live version of "Dawned On Me," and also seems to hint that actual cans of Wilco brand spinach may be in the offing. Not going to hold my breath on that one.
Local, self-described "Ballroom Rock" dreamboats Blah Blah Blah released a new music video this week, and it's SO DAMN CHICAGO! Look! The Bloomingdale Trail! The Flat Iron! Reckless Records! Union Station! If January's got you hating Chicago, watch this video. It'll fix you right up.
Nick Lowe and Mavis Staples joined Wilco for a rendition of The Band's classic "The Weight" as the finale at Wilco's date at the Civic Opera House back in December. Here's footage of them all rehearsing it backstage before the show.
Local emcees J. Arthur and DotKom combine their drive, talents, and roots in the soulful and gritty sounds that make up their style, to create the hip-hop duo known as The Whoevers. They've earned the respect of listeners from the tops of several stages in the city, including one at Wicker Park Fest this past year.
With the digital release of their first album, Renovations, back in September, The Whoevers are wrapping up their biggest year yet, with their midnight release of the music video for "Spectacular Vernacular," the second track off the EP.
Local music blogger and general music fan GONZO CHICAGO recently released a video he created comprising of the best clips from the best shows he went to in 2011. If it doesn't get you psyched about our bubbling underground scene, I don't know what will:
While you're at it, check out the original entry on his blog, GONZO CHICAGO. It's definitely a blog to keep on your radar if you're into music. And since you're here, I'm gonna assume you are.
Neon bright Chicago MC Kid Sister just dropped her video for the remix of Gucci Rag Top featuring fellow Fools Gold MC Danny Brown. The remix Xzibit Pimps the original track into a Missy Elliot sampling Rick Rubin-esque 808s and gated guitar party shaker as Kid Sister and Danny Brown engage in a battle of who's sexual libido is best represented by their choice of vehicular transportation.
You may be familiar with CeaseFire Chicago (we've written about itpreviously) but Brad Cole, who lost a brother to gun violence, is hoping to raise awareness about the organization's efforts with a new song and music video. He teamed up with hip-hop artist Staff Johnson, and brothers Baron and Jason Harper (members of the local band Scattered Trees) who also lost family members to gun violence in the last year. They created "Killin' Your Brother," and we're happy to premiere the video here on Gapers Block today.
Overshadowed by Jeff Tweedy's Black Eyed Peas covers at the @MayorEmanuel book release party, Wilco released a video this week for the new song "Born Alone" from the band's forthcoming album, The Whole Love. It was directed by Mark Greenberg, proprietor of Mayfair Workshop and a member of The Coctails. GB contributor Dave Elfving interviewed Greenberg in 2005 about music-making and odd instruments. Greenberg is credited as an assistant producer on the album, so it's possible some of those instruments are woven into the background.
Rising indie stars Paper Thick Walls are set to release their debut music video "Orange Tree" at Schubas on Friday and if you've been following them on Facebook at all, you know they're pretty darn pumped about it. Lucky for anxious Gapers Block readers, we've got an exclusive first look at the new music video. The video, which was directed by Kevin Pickman and Stefeni Tormanen, is simple and sweet with the obligatory owl usage. It suits the kitsch-less-catch of "Orange Tree" and more importantly finally answers the age old question of what two Indie kids would do if they were stuck in a tent all night.
Lead singers Kate Schell and Eric Michaels make loving their light and breezy harmonies easy by blending lyrics with an assortment of pleasantly interesting instruments such as the trumpet, upright bass and fiddle. With their soft voices and deep instrumental backgrounds, they give slight deja vu to The Stars; they are the kind of band meant to perform a NPR tiny desk concert.
Although none of the band members are originally from Chicago, they are headquartered here or, as the band puts it, "stuck for the time being" like the dysfunctional family that they are. (For more on their complex connections, read playground misnomer's interview with the band.). With the backing of sound engineer Mike Hagler (Neko Case and Wilco) and performances at SXSW, NXNE and Summer Fest already under their belts, it looks like this Chicago-trapped band is set to become a Chicago favorite.
Paper Thick Walls fans have two options for seeing the band perform this weekend. They will perform along with Dastardly and Sleeping in the Aviary on Friday at Schubas. Show starts at 9pm and tickets are a steal for eight bucks. Fans can get an even better deal by stopping by the Paper Machete show at The Horseshoe (4115 N. Lincoln Ave.) on Saturday at 3pm for a free show. Live it up, Chicago!
Kanye and Jay-Z aren't the only hip-hop dream doubleteam right now. The other is Common and Nas, whose "Ghetto Dreams" has been rocking turntables and booming out of cars for the past month. The official video just debuted; thanks to Fake Shore Drive for the tip.
"Ghetto Dreams" is on Common's forthcoming album, The Dreamer, The Believer, due out Nov. 22.
Kent Lambert's Roommate has been hard at work through Chicago for years now, dating back to 2001 but really coming alive on 2006's Songs the Animals Taught Us. This year's Guilty Rainbow showcases Lambert and band finding a delicate groove in their lo-fi electronic style. With "August Song", the album reaches a point of despair buried in organic textures of synths, programming, violin, vibraphone and, of course, a Buchla Music Easel. Former Chicagoan Jodie Mack (now teaching animation at Dartmouth) worked on its mesmerizing and trippy video that Gapers Block has the pleasure of premiering... right now.
Roommate opens for the Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum at Quenchers on Thursday, the 28th. The show's 21+ and starts at 9PM. Quenchers is at the corner of Western & Fullerton.
Squat The Condos is an eclectic band combining bubble gum pop, and early '90s garage pop on their recent free debut EP We Should Be Together. The band has a knack for creating get melodies and it makes their EP a fun summer listen.
Squat The Condos recently recorded a session in their living room for the wonderful Coach Potato series. They performed my favorite track from the EP "Missing You" which the most catchy track I've heard in awhile.
It is sunny outside, still early in the week, and many of us are sitting behind a desk in a drab cubicle. I think a temporary cure to this office illness may be Oklahoma's J.D. McPherson. He put out his debut album "Signs and Signifiers" last fall on Chicago's Hi-Style Records and is now touring Europe.
McPherson's "North Side Gal" always gets my foot tapping and my chair swiveling, and eases my workplace blues.
It's Cinco de Mayo, and what better way to celebrate than with Cheap Trick and a mariachi band? Actually, I can think of a number of better ways, but the "mashup" version of "Surrender" nobody was asking for has happened anyway.
It sounds to me like there's a pretty interesting mariachi version of the song hiding in there. Unfortunately, this is a promo for Hornitos Tequila's Mariachi Mashup contest (bands! enter to win!) so a couple of different takes have been awkwardly blended together. Maybe once the contest is over we'll get a clean version of it.
Well, maybe just YouTube... Canasta is filming a video for their song "Mexico City" this Saturday, and they need your help. The band is looking for 30-40 extras to appear in the video. If you're interested, contact email@example.com and be ready to spend Saturday afternoon dressed in black in a West Lincoln Park warehouse space. You know, like you usually do.
The Grid is a series profiling Chicago businesses, subcultures and landscapes. These short, lyrical documentaries aspire to be art cinema, ethnographies and experiments in form. Ben Kolak and Brian Ashby's directorial debut, Scrappers, won Best Documentary at the 2010 Chicago Underground Film Festival and made Roger Ebert's top 10 list of documentary films in 2010. Editor Dave Nagel is a recent University of Chicago graduate.
Kill Hannah debuted the first single from their upcoming latest album, Wake Up the Sleepers, on Bandcamp today. "Promise Me" is available as a four-track digital album, with the album version and three alternate versions, for $1.99. The band promises "other goodies" later in the week. [via]
Today underage Chicago rockers The Smith Westerns released this video for their Britpoppy tune "Weekend," the first single off their upcoming album Dye It Blonde. Frontman Cullen Omori may coo about "a girl like you" on this upbeat track, but the fairer sex is nowhere to be seen in the video, directed by Focus Creeps. Instead, the band roams malls and convenience stores, browsing DVDs and overdosing on sugary snacks, during a typical day in their life in the suburbs--that is, until the video culminates with a ritualistic tree-chopping and the trippy, context-less image of a microphone dripping with honey, hinting that there may be more to this simple day than meets the eye.
Whenever you go to a really amazing show, there's nothing better than re-living it, whether it be through photos, critic reviews, or just saying "remember when" with your friends who were there. Fans who rang in 2010 with Girl Talk (or anyone who's ever seen Girl Talk perform) are in for a special treat since JP Coakley made a short film documenting the show, including a unique look at Gregg Gillis and friends prepping for it. Check out the film below; Parts two and three are after the jump.
Could OK Go's music videos get anymoreimpressive? The answer is yes. For "White Knuckles," the latest single off their newest album, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, the native Chicago band teams up with some "friends" in the form of incredibly well trained canines for another single-take endeavor.
Watch it, share it with your friends, and then watch it again and see all those things you didn't notice the first time around.
Thrill Jockey's Oval released a new video for his track "Ah!" late last week. Directed by Darko Dragicevic, the video features ballet dancer Isabelle Rune. "Ah!" appears on the Oval's new album, O which was released today, September 7th.
My favorite discovery of the summer has been the local duo Houses. They have been lighting fires around the internet all summer with their single "Endless Spring" and a couple of collaborations with Teen Daze. Now the duo has signed with Lefse Records, home to Neon Indian, Dominant Legs, How To Dress Well, and others, and plan to release their debut album, All Night, on October 19th.
The story of Houses is a story of a lay-off, a two-weeks notice, and an adventure that landed two Chicagoans in a little cabin in Papaikou, Hawaii. The sounds and lyrics on their debut album reflect this journey. The duo just released a video for the song "Endless Spring", and I am sure they have big plans for the fall.
From Chicago mixmasters The Hood Internet and rapper extraordinaire Kid Static comes the official video for "Chi City," a collaborative song that'll be on a new 7" release due out September 7th on Whistler/TTD records. Note the (now kind of nostalgic and wistful) Olympics-themed hijinks and some rad (do not try at home) stunts around town. This video has nothing but love for Chi-town.
If you want to party down with the boys, get your tickets to their release party going down at Lincoln Hall on September 11th. 18+ Tickets $10. Music starts at 10:30pm with The Hood Internet, Kid Static, DVAS, Kid Color, and Just Desserts.
Since March, A.V. Club Chicago has been producing A.V. Undercover, a weekly video of bands covering one of their favorite songs. Here's The Swell Season covering Neutral Milk Hotel's "Two-Headed Boy" when they were in town in July for a show at Ravinia:
Not really, of course. But our favorite whistling violinist accompanies the comedian/actor/burlesque vamp/now singer on the song "I'm Sorry" off her upcoming album, Cho-Dependent. The album features Cho working with a wide range of indie-rock superstars, from Ani DiFranco to Grant Lee Buffalo to Tegan and Sarah. It's due out Aug. 24, and is available for preorder now.
Chicago-based Americana band Dastardly have released a live performance video for their song, "Villain." The video can be viewed below. Dastardly play Lincoln Hall (2424 N Lincoln) this Saturday, June 19 with Aktar Aktar and Automata. The show is at 10pm, $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
Hey Champ released their latest music video yesterday for the song "Neverest," the lead single off their impending debut album, Star. While the video is technically safe for work, I still wouldn't watch it at the office. Lead singer Saam Hagshenas even looks a little freaked out in it himself. See for yourself below.
The guys have been traveling quite a bit lately, but you can see them live and in person when they play After Dark at the Art Institute on June 25, or at Wicker Park Fest on July 31 at. Star is due out July 13.
The guys in Skybox have been busy. The very same day they played as part of Schubas' Tomorrow Never Knows fest last month, they filmed this music video for "In A Dream," the lead single off their new album Morning After Cuts (which was released two days later).
Step inside the mind of our hero in this Japanese-style monster fight. Let's just say things get weird.
Now, consider that "Boom Dynamite" was released in January of 2008, while "Boom Boom Pow" was released as a single in March of 2009. The lawsuit contends that Phoenix Phenom sent their song to Black Eyed Peas' label Interscope in hopes of getting Fergie to sing with Batts. Whether the band ever heard the song is unknown, but it'd be hard to argue that there's no similarity between the former and the latter. We'll see how far the lawsuit goes.
For a band that has been around a few years, released and album and ep, it seems like there has be something almost gimmicky to launch you into something bigger. Case in point would be Ok Go and their treadmills. The band was good, and everyone in the city knew it, but it took that video to transform then into the superstars they are today. Well, The Fold have taken a similar approach, but this time in the form a hilarious parody song. Posted on youtube (and available for free download on the band's site) just three weeks ago, their Miley Cyrus parody already has over 200,000 views and the song is currently burning up the airwaves in Detroit. Could this be the bands big break? I don't know, but I love watching this video!
The Fold will be a part of The Metro's Songs From A Scene on December 26th with Lucky Boys Confusion, The Action Blast & The Attraction.
We've mentioned before how cool we think Spencer Tweedy (teenage son of Wilco extradionare Jeff Tweedy) is, and now he has something else under his belt to brag about.
Beck has been doing these one day "Record Club" sessions described as an "informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day." Back in June that album was Skip Spence's Oar and in house that day were Leslie Feist, Jamie Lidell and the members of Wilco... including one, Spencer Tweedy. The "club" has been posting a song a week (to keep you wanting more I suppose), and this week's release is a kickass version of "Weighted Down" (video below).
Slightly disturbing and funky as hell, Charlie Deets has returned with the video for the first single from his forthcoming album, The Power of Suggestion. "Skinny Girls With C's" is video filled not with skinny girls, but really the exact opposite. The album will be released via Paribus Records on February 14th.
I was just wondering the other day: What ever happened to OK Go? Turns out they've just been hiding out in a studio somewhere, recording their new album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, out Dec. 1. Here's the psychedelidonkeykong video by Tim Nackashi for their first single, "WTF?"
Pretty damn cool, no? Wondering HTF OKGO WTFed? Here's Damien and Tim to explain:
The David Lynch Foundation's DLF.TV interviews Billy Corgan about his music past and present, sits in on drummer auditions, and uncovers the story behind Corgan's song "Eye" from the Lost Highway soundtrack. Check out the video here.
Pearl Jam's new album, Backspacer, doesn't come out until next month (September 20th to be exact), but right now you can watch a documentary on the making of the new record on MySpace Music. The ten minute short was directed by Danny Clinch and produced by Three on the Tree. You can preview the band's current single, "The Fixer," on MySpace as well. Also, don't forget they roll through town next week with two shows at the United Center on August 23 and 24. Tickets are $66.
TheMDR recently visited Flashpoint Academy to produce the video for their single "foreign tongue" -- the video was staged, filmed and recorded by Flashpoint students working with the pros. Other than the aspect ratio being a little wonky on YouTube, it turned out pretty well:
BBU (aka either Bin Laden Blowin' Up or Black, Brown and Ugly) have a hit on their hands with "Chi Don't Dance." Check it out:
BBU is performing with Hood Internet and the Life During Wartime DJs at UR Magazine's Dickfork night at Darkroom, 2210 W. Chicago Ave. The show starts at 9pm and is free before 11pm with RSVP or all night if you have a Pitchfork ticket or wristband (it's $5 after 11 if you don't). 21+
Classically trained pianist turned house music producer Kate Simko released her new ep "Take You There" on Ghostly International this week as a 12" and digital release. Kate's smooth beat and detail ear have produced another set of irresistible track that play as nicely on sun-drenched patios as they do in deep secluded basement. You can download an exclusive track from the ep at RCD LBL right now. Kate is listing a show on July 25th at an undisclosed location on her myspace page, but does have a confirmed show scheduled at Sonotheque on August 22nd.
A while back I had the lovely opportunity to attend the VBS (Vice Magazine's television station) taping of Soft Focus, the interview series where Ian Svenonius sits down with artist and other luminaries of their respective industries and has a conversation in front of a live audience. We just got word that the conversation with Steve Albini that was taped that night is now up at VBS.
You can check out the video of the interview here, and watch as Albini has a delightfully sarcastic (and sometimes awkward) conversation with Svenonius. And make sure to check out the most recent work that Albini had a hand in, Jarvis Cocker's latest release, Further Complications. It's some of Cocker's most innovative work in a long time, already one of my favorite albums of the year, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I think a large part of this album is due to him (thankfully) working with Albini.
It may not be the most natural pairing, but Yea Big & Kid Static has teamed up with French animator, comic artist and illustrator, Ronald Grandpey to create a fascinating animated video for the second single from their new album The Future's Looking Grim. The world premiere of "Stomp The Pedal" took place in Barcelona, Spain late last month, during a small illustration/comics festival. The video is basically a series of pencil drawings and the entire process was documented here.
The Future's Looking Grim is now available digitally on iTunes, Amazon and eMusic, and physical copies can be purchased directly through YB & KS's myspace page.
I Fight Dragons combine your favorite sounds and images from those Nintendo days gone by with a vibrant and infectious sense of indie pop. Their debut ep, Cool is Just a Number, is available for free on their website (when you sign-up for their newsletter), and is filled with this creative mixture. The band just released a new video for the song "Money" which was directed by Boram Encargado Kim, and just watching it makes my thumbs throb!
Check out former Cash Money Records member Mikkey Halsted in this very cool Liquor Store video. Mikkey originally came up with Kanye and has even been called an inspiration by Lil Wayne. The song itself was inspired by a liquor store on 71st and Halsted, and Mikkey makes it pretty clear what he thinks of these establishments. The desertification of low-income neighborhoods has long been a problem in Chicago, leaving many communities with corner shops and fast food joints instead of grocery stores and restaurants. Even before the video came out, the song was already stirring up trouble. Many of these corner liquor stores sell mixtapes of local artists, and their owners had taken offense to Mikkey's criticism. For some time Mikkey, and anyone associated with him, were banned from selling their CDs at a number of stores on the south side. Controversy ensued, but it has mostly blown over by now. Anyways, enjoy the video.
Over the last few years, David Cohen's made a career by staying current and exercising his right to compromise with technology's past. To his fans and Chicago's DIY community, he is known as Diode Milliampere, a solo artist with more than a knack for making music from obsolete hardware.