Cinematic Stories with Tycho - Lollapalooza 2018

reppin: sacramento, ca // ghostly international // 2002 - present

sounds like: a collection of dreams within a bigger dream that is the story you want to read

 scott hansen | photo cred: timeout.com

scott hansen | photo cred: timeout.com

latest album drop: epoch (2016)

featuring: scott hansen // live band - zac brown // ryan o’connor // billy kim

 tycho | concord music hall, chicago | 8.1.18 | lollapalooza | @thefaakehipster

tycho | concord music hall, chicago | 8.1.18 | lollapalooza | @thefaakehipster

The one of a kind festival that is Lollapalooza has dropped itself in the middle of Chicago. The hot, humid sun has never felt so good. Being in the middle of thousand of people never sucked so good. And what matters the most...getting lost in the music..dancing your face off...letting your emotions come out like never before. But don’t forget. Lolla has spread itself like a virus throughout the city and at every venue, every night, there is another memory to be made. Enter Tycho. Concord Music Hall. August 1st.

 tycho | concord music hall, chicago | 8.1.18 | lollapalooza | @thefaakehipster

tycho | concord music hall, chicago | 8.1.18 | lollapalooza | @thefaakehipster

Tycho aka ISO50 aka Scott Hansen hails from Sacramento, California and has been at the music making thing for nearly 20 years. And he sure as hell does not look 40. Scott started out solo and since Tycho’s inception he has released four ambient, chill, progressive, future-sound, lo-fi albums. Each its own little treasure. The downtempo vibe puts you in the mood to just open your mind and let the music in. Over the years he has gained a dedicated following, but even more so the music speaks for itself. He was nominated for a grammy with his latest effort, Epoch, in 2017.

So let’s set the stage for one of the kick off after shows of Lolla 2018. The venue is sold out. The anticipation throughout the crowd can be felt as the wait seems like forever. But once Scott comes out with his live band, the show kicks off. No need to talk, just let the music speak for itself. And that is much of the beauty as the set goes on. There is no talking, just playing. The tunes start slow and soft, happy and sweet. They reel you in as they move swiftly from song to song. You can see how focused they are on stage, each in their own little zone bringing the crowd every detailed element. Singing? I love a good voice, but the way these tunes are composed there is no need for one. There are no choruses and verses, just a beautiful cinematic approach to their set. The backdrop provides another layer to their show composed of designs and landscapes that match the music. And then it all comes together. Each song it’s own chapter. And all together, a whole story is told. A unique experience that you all need to go see in your own.

suggested listening experience: when you need to think // after a long day of work // hanging with the one you love

listens: awake // epoch // hours // a walk // daydream // melanie // division

tycho // fb // spotify // ig // twitter

Priests Is Only Praying For Raw Power

reppin: dc, usa // sister polygon records // 2012 - present

sounds like: anarchist planting flowers on a busy city block while it’s raining

 priests | lincoln hall, chicago | 5.1.18 | @thefaakehipster

priests | lincoln hall, chicago | 5.1.18 | @thefaakehipster

latest album drop: nothing feels natural (jan 2017)

featuring: katie // daniele // taylor // gl

 priests | lincoln hall, chicago | 5.1.18 | @thefaakehipster

priests | lincoln hall, chicago | 5.1.18 | @thefaakehipster

The DC music scene has been alive and well for some time now, giving us tunes of all sorts from house to hip hop to punk rock. Priests hails from this exact place and started getting some attention from the very close knit punk crew after releasing some pleasing 7” vinyls. They stitched together a few EPs that are super raw and more energetic (somehow) when Katie, their singer, spills out her organic emotions. After those few years of EPs, they released their debut album last year, nothing feels natural, to stellar response and reviews.

The mixtures of sounds and rhythms that they bring to the table is just the start of what is a fun and wild package on stage. While they are rooted in punk they sprinkle tastes of west coast surfer rock, thrash punk and shades of alternative that give them such a unique feel to listen to. So when you throw them on it sounds like a riot in your headphones, which is exactly what they are going for. Taylor’s guitar is filled with delightful and dark riffs while Daniele tends to keep a blistering rhythm throughout, making you want to move your limbs all over the place, even in public.

Just this week, they rolled into warm (yes, that’s right) Chicago to fans at Lincoln Hall and gave us all a reason to live. I had heard how passionate and raw their shows are and they definitely did not disappoint. You can see every member of this band getting into it and giving it their all no matter how the crowd was responding. In all honesty, Katie just kind of lets go, not giving a shit, and will pour her heart and soul into the mic. With an album over a year behind them, it will be fun to see how their new tunes evolve as I am sure the fan base will be growing and growing.

suggested listening experience: day hanging with the friends // let off some steam // when you need to get moving

listens: jj // appropriate // nothing feels natural // nicki // pink white house // and breeding // no big bang

priests // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // bc

Post Animal and the Rock Revival

reppin: chicago, usa // polyvinyl records // 2014 - present

sounds like: a cut off black sabbath t-shirt making love with a trippy kaleidoscope while running around with a blindfold on

 post animal | photo cred: consequence of sound

post animal | photo cred: consequence of sound

latest album drop: when i think of you in a castle (april 20, 2018)

featuring: dalton // jake // javi // wesley // matt // joe (not a full time member because he's on that show, uh, stranger things)

 post animal | subterranean, chicago | 7.11.17 | @thefaakehipster

post animal | subterranean, chicago | 7.11.17 | @thefaakehipster

You look around for music on that internet these days and a disturbing trend sometimes pops up…”rock is dead.” I say fuck that noiseeeee. While rock music in general may not be as mainstream and appreciated, it’s making an under the radar comeback and that does no harm to any human ears. But why is this so important? Every genre of music deserves appreciation and love, but rock digs deep in it’s sound, lyrics and the overall experience of a live show. The energized and moshing crowd just waiting to crowd surf. The beauty and angst that is sang or screamed. The axe’s shredding and movement of bands. Enter Post Animal. Raised on some good ol’ Chicago roots, mixed with the psychedelic vibe of the 70s and hit over the head with heavy Black Sabbath riffs, there really is something special brewing here.

 post animal | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.28.18 | @thefaakehipster

post animal | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.28.18 | @thefaakehipster

These dudes got together 4 short years ago, which turns out to be prime time to be alive and playing music as a band. Getting the stamp of approval from other chicago outfits like The Orwells, NE-HI, Whitney and Twin Peaks is not a bad start. And from the start, they have been on point with glorious tunes and some of the best album titles you’ll come across (“Post Animal Perform The Most Curious Water Activities” just to name one). Since that debut album back in 2015, they have signed to the amazing Polyvinyl Records, released their most recent album the other week and are on a massive country spanning tour throughout the states. They’ll be hitting the likes of Shaky Knees, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza to name a few.

Their latest effort is anything to mess around with. If you want something upbeat and groovy, check out “ralphie.” If you want to get rockier and heavier, “gelatin mode” will blow your head off. But, if you like it soft and soothing, “special moment,” is for you. This album really has everything. On top of that, they just came back through Chicago and blew the lid off Lincoln Hall. Once you layer their music on top of seeing them live you’ll understand the amazing and positive energy flowing through the crowd and see how badly everyone wants to crowd surf. These guys are just getting started and you’ll be hearing more and more about them all summer long. Long live rock.

suggested listening experience: twist and burn // road tripping // new music for your parents if they were alive in the 70s

listens: ralphie // when i get home // special moment // gelatin mode // lonely jones // alabaster // tire eyes

pa // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // bc

Khruangbin and Their Engine Flying High

reppin: houston, tx // late night tales records // 2013 - present

sounds like: living in the jungle of thailand surrounded by egyptian imagery

 khruangbin | photo cred: Mary Chang, Vulture

khruangbin | photo cred: Mary Chang, Vulture

latest album drop: con todo el mundo (jan 2018)

featuring: laura // mark // DJ

 khruangbin | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.19.18 | @thefaakehipster

khruangbin | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.19.18 | @thefaakehipster

Once in awhile you come across a group that no matter how you break it down, they are just different and unique and sound like a flower blossoming into another baby flower who is having other babies. Back in 2010, Mark and Laura hopped on a tour and started making some tunes together who were soon joined by DJ, the chill drummer who had played with Mark for years. This birthed “Engine Fly” which translates from English to Khruangbin, which is Thai. So, how did it all come to be? When you come across something this far out, you must look at the influences of these kids and what is most notable is the worldly feel. When they were out on the open road throwing some cassettes in the car, specks of Thai funk from the 60s fused with southeast Asian rock, funk and pop. Intertwine that with some dirty South vibes and you get this wonderful group.

 khruangbin | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.19.18 | @thefaakehipster

khruangbin | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.19.18 | @thefaakehipster

Stepping into the first of two sold out shows at Lincoln Hall in the city of Chicago, you could feel the light and cheerful vibe of the audience. It soon suddenly got super focused and ready to drop jaws as they gracefully took the stage. Going right into their tunes, the twangy and flowy rock was spewing out of the amps, wrapping a soft and warm blanket around the crowd. My first thought was how sensual the sound and stage presence was..they were feeding off the crowd vibes as much as we were digging the music. They certainly let their instruments do the singing for most of the show as Laura stares you down while giving us heavy bass, DJ holds his chill composure and Mark lets his axe go wild. Their songs have a very interesting setup...it is almost like there are songs within songs giving you enough of one vibe until the pace and volume picks up and starts to blow you away. Solo chunk followed by solo chunk keeps you on your toes.

..the twangy and flowy rock was spewing out of the amps, wrapping a soft and warm blanket around the crowd.

It is way fun seeing these kids live and not being able to help yourself bounce to the trippy beats. The buildups in their songs are fun and allow you to let loose. The sensual softness mixed with the psychedelic rock is such a great balance to keep your ears happy. Do yourself a favor and catch them when they are in your town and snag some tickets quick because it will sell out!

suggested listening experience: put on the open road // twist and smoke // sunny day hanging

listens: white gloves // lady and man // people everywhere (still alive) // two fist and an elephant // maria también // cómo me quieres // mr white

k // twitter // fb // spotify // ig

Groovy and Free with Jonathan Wilson

reppin: forest city, nc // bella union records / 1995 - present

sounds like: jumping around on a huge, fluffy, just out of the oven slice of bread

 jonathan wilson | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.2.18 | @thefaakehipster

jonathan wilson | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.2.18 | @thefaakehipster

latest/upcoming album drop: rare bird (march 2, 2018)

featuring: jonathan spencer wilson

the experience

 jonathan wilson | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.2.18 | @thefaakehipster

jonathan wilson | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.2.18 | @thefaakehipster

The chill, long haired dude that is Mr. Jonathan Spencer Wilson may have been rocking out since 1995, but his energy and vibe makes you feel like he just came onto the scene yesterday. Hailing from the east side of the country and now residing on the cali side, Jonathan leans on his heavy musical heritage as influence to his sound. Landing somewhere in between folk and psychedelic rock, he does a killer job of blending the two genres. While having released six of his own albums, the latest being “rare birds” just last month, he is a musician through and through. You’ll find his name everywhere from producing Father John Misty albums to contributing to artists like Elvis Castello. It is no wonder he is able to thrive and continue to evolve his sound.

Taking the stage at Lincoln Hall in Chicago just this past weekend, he was awaited by some dedicated fans who felt his vibes right away. Getting right into it, he rages between that heavy rock sound and the soft feels of the folky..even sometimes country sounding riffs. You can certainly here nods to the classic rock era (think Fleetwood Mac/Pink Floyd), while his soothing and meshy vocals move from song to song. He gives the venue a groovy vibe and his free thinking mind, which show through to his sound, is felt throughout the crowd. While some of his lyrics have a foundation of pain, you can tell how he tries to bring that out in a positive way, especially since the music is so easy on the ars  

Landing somewhere in between folk and psychedelic rock, he does a killer job of blending the two genres.
 jonathan wilson | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.2.18 | @thefaakehipster

jonathan wilson | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.2.18 | @thefaakehipster

You can tell this dude has been making tunes for years as his studies and dedication has spanned from rock to pop. This most recent album is a stark example of the many moods he can portray, but with one overall theme. The balance of his tunes speak happiness and you can feel it throughout the crowd. Go check this dude out while he is cruising through the country.

suggested listening experience: waking up on a lazy saturday // getting some work done wherever you are // road trippin

listens: desert raven // over the midnight // loving you // trafalgar square // me // there’s a light

jw // spotify // fb // twitter // ig

Radio Moscow: For the Ears and the Eyes

reppin: story city, iowa // alive naturalsound // 2003 - present

sounds like: falling through a wormhole with the biggest speakers surrounding you and no end

 radio moscow | reggie's rock club, chicago | 7.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

radio moscow | reggie's rock club, chicago | 7.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

latest/upcoming album drop: new beginnings (sept 2017)

featuring: parker // anthony // paul

February Tour

Reggie's Rock Club 2/11 - Chicago Tickets

 radio moscow | reggie's rock club, chicago | 7.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

radio moscow | reggie's rock club, chicago | 7.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

Throw on some bell bottoms, roll up a J, maybe grow a mustache and find yourself the closest time machine or Delorean and set the time for 1968. Once you arrive in whatever venue it is, Radio Moscow will be upon you, melting your face with their psychedelic rock sound. But wait, they are from the future? Yes, back to 2018, we are living in a world where the foundation of the psychedelic sound is still alive and well. Hailing from smack dab middle of Iowa, Story City, they have been spinning their wheels for nearly 15 years at this point and sound better than ever. Believe it or not, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys was pivotal in getting their first written tunes signed by Alive Naturalsound. Since the year of their first release in 2007 they have released 5 solid albums and show no signs of stopping.

That raw sound brings you in, keeps you there and sets up camp. It is comforting, yet face-melting, pulling and pushing at the same time.

Setting their roots in the likes of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Jeff Beck Group, Pretty Things, The Who and more, it is evident that the blues, classic rock and psychedelic riffs are raw and loud. That raw sound brings you in, keeps you there and sets up camp. It is comforting, yet face-melting, pulling and pushing at the same time. You don’t quite want to mosh-pit but you sure as shit want to drop your jaw or get your head banging. They bring down the house live, but don’t brag about it on stage, going about their business and letting the instruments and amps speak for themselves.

 radio moscow | reggie's rock club, chicago | 7.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

radio moscow | reggie's rock club, chicago | 7.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

I personally love coming across bands like this, that can somehow put a fresh take on the classic music that is so pivotal in music history. Bands that put as much pride into their artwork and creating the full, well rounded experience. This coming Sunday, in Chicago, they’ll be taking the stage at Reggie’s, just like they did this past July. If you have the night free, I highly recommend scooting over and experiencing them yourself, be it here or the few remaining dates on their short mini tour

suggested listening experience: a cold, dark night after a long day of work // summertime cookout // late night party time

listens: new beginnings // 250 miles // broke down // frustrating sound // i just don’t know // so alone

rm // twitter // fb // spotify // ig 

TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS FEST 2018: a recap

reppin: chicago, usa // 5 days of music and comedy // jan 2018

sounds like: a winter urban wonderland with a side of beer 

featuring: ron gallo // diane coffee // rayland baxter // hinds

Hey Chicagoans..we are some lucky humans when it comes to the want to explore music in this city. On any given night there are nearly two dozen shows of touring bands around town amongst the thousands of local outfits that stretch to the suburbs. This city overflows the brim of pint glasses with music and we can’t get enough of it. Nothing could be more apparent as Tomorrow Never Knows Fest came back for another killer year in the dead of winter. Not often do you hear the word “festival” during this time of the year...in fact, few dare to put together such a stellar event in January, but the Music God’s answered for this one. Schubas and Lincoln Hall have been pouring live music into our ears for years (Schubas just kicked off their 30th year) and they are way up their on the finest venues in the city list. For a decade now, TNK has brought us up and coming indie artists and bands, comedians and a hell of a fun time for a few days. This year was no different and probably one of the bigger ones as nearly every venue was sold out on the nightly.

 tomorrow never knows fest // lincoln hall, chicago // jan 2018 // @thefaakehipster

tomorrow never knows fest // lincoln hall, chicago // jan 2018 // @thefaakehipster

I was fortunate enough to catch the latter half of the festivities, planting my booty over at Lincoln Hall for three incredible, yet very different shows this past weekend. In short, we saw two upbeat, moving around type of shows sandwiched in between a nice chill one. Earlier in the week, the likes of Allan Raymond, Yumi Zouma, Cuco brought some music love to our ears as I sadly could not attend. However, the weekend capped off the fest in all the right ways.   

 

Ron Gallo // Diane Coffee

 ron gallo // tnk fest // lincoln hall, chicago // 1.19.18 // @thefaakehipster

ron gallo // tnk fest // lincoln hall, chicago // 1.19.18 // @thefaakehipster

Friday night featured two rocking talents, Ron Gallo who shreds the guitar and has funnier jokes than you followed by the eccentric Diane Coffee.  I’ve written about Ron before, as he has frequented Chicago over the past year and he gets better and funnier every time he comes through. His rock n’ roll presence, given his personality, is almost funny since he is, well, a pretty hilarious dude. Having no recognition for the norm, he hops around stage, shreds the guitar and gives the audience a ton of energy. The heavy distortion and overalls attire round out a killer set every time. Diane Coffee closed out the night with his band and trio of chorus singers. Man does this dude have a wide range of vocals coming from his mouth hole, Flamboyant and eccentric, there is never a dull moment with him. It is even hard to put his music into one genre, but it is a ton of fun to watch.

rg // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // start with "Young Lady, You're Scaring Me"

dc // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // start with "Hymn"

Rayland Baxter

 rayland baxter // tnk fest // lincoln hall, chicago // 1.20.18 // @thefaakehipster

rayland baxter // tnk fest // lincoln hall, chicago // 1.20.18 // @thefaakehipster

The meaty part of the sandwich was the one and only, the chill, Rayland Baxter. Armed with his guitar and two of his friends on the drums and keys, he gives off a sing-a-long type of vibe that casts a happy spell on you. His alternative/indie/folk is persistent and loud, yet relaxing at the same time. He really set the tone by opening with the classic, “Ol’ McDonalld” which garnered a few laughs. Hailing from Nashville, you can even hear a tad of country twang in him, but is unique and sets himself apart when it comes to the songwriting. It was a true delight to watch and hear Rayland play, especially with some tracks off the killer album, feathers & fishHooks, his debut from 2012. His latest album, Imaginary Man, although a few years old, is still a super ear friendly listen. If you got to check out No Age or Typhoon that night by the way, I salute you for hitting up an equally as dope show.

rb // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // start with "olivia"

Hinds

And finally, to cap off the weekend, Hinds jetted over from Madrid to have some fun with us Chicagoans. They may as well call this city their second home having played here numerous times in such a short timespan the past year or two. They also befriended Chicago’s own Twin Peaks while touring with them which will get the green light of approval just about anywhere on the music spectrum. Four fun chicks who can party better than you do come out onto the stage and the smiles are infectious. Their messy grungy sound blends so well with the layered vocals, their personality and ability to work the stage. The blanket of happiness is felt throughout the crowd as the constant jumping up and down means, yes, I like this and am having fun. They have a new album coming out April 6th, I Don’t Run (pre-order), and I have sneaky suspicious feeling that we will all be hearing a lot more from these ladies in the months to come.

hinds // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // start with "Bamboo"

////

As a super fan of music, I always think about what I want out of getting to show. These type of weeks it is clear that a diverse schedule of musicians and bands can bring together a diverse group of people who all have a common goal of feeling something, forgetting something, remembering something. Whatever it is for you, it is one of the best feelings in the world. Cheers to Tomorrow Never Knows.

 hinds // tnk fest // lincoln hall, chicago // 1.21.18 // @thefaakehipster

hinds // tnk fest // lincoln hall, chicago // 1.21.18 // @thefaakehipster

THE NUDE PARTY: concert shenanigans

reppin: boone, nc // unsigned // 2013 - present

sounds like: getting sucked into the TV (time portal style) into a 1976 rock show somewhere in the UK and never coming back

 the nude party | the empty bottle, chicago | 1.16.18 | @thefaakehipster

the nude party | the empty bottle, chicago | 1.16.18 | @thefaakehipster

latest album drop: hot tub EP (jan 2016)

featuring: alec // shaun // don // patton // connor // austin

 the nude party | the empty bottle, chicago | 1.16.18 | @thefaakehipster

the nude party | the empty bottle, chicago | 1.16.18 | @thefaakehipster

When you are drowning in the winter that is Chicago, there are few medications to get you to summer time. Mine is fucking rock n’ roll in a steamy club. I don’t care if I have to button up for 2 minutes of being outside...and it is even more worth it when you are going to see the psychedelic pop-rock outfit The Nude Party. A bunch of baby faced dudes who really know how to bring the 70s rock vibe to current times. A beautiful thing about this city, not matter what the weather, is the fact that you can dip over to a local venue on a random Tuesday and catch a quality touring band. As Cait and I settled in with our beers, let’s take a look at how these guys got here.

North Carolina, from what I hear, is pretty big and out in Boone there is a lot of nowhere with nothing to do and a whole lot of trouble to get into. This gave these six a lot of time to have some fun and get on top of their British Invasion-ish, rock n’ roll that they planted in their country town. Lucky for them, word spreads when your shows are pretty crazy and what started as getting chased off by the cops was slowly turning into hitting the road and finding one off shows. Despite what you may think, these guys do play with their clothes on, but they have a bare-bones sound that makes them super unique and special live. All of them appear to be talented musicians and have a very cohesive and great understanding when they are up there playing live.

With members of Chicago’s own Post Animal and Twin Peaks in attention, it is clear that these guys get the stamp of approval from the midwest. Blazing through their set, there was little talk and all of the playing. Blaring solos in just about every song, delicious touches like the 12 string electric and a bongo drum to beat there was no escaping this enticing sound. They do such a great job of channeling that old school psychedelic sound with those poppy melodies that make you want to groove. And groove we did. I would keep an ear out for these guys as they continue to build up a fan base and tour the country. And if you are feeling it, I guess, go get nude at one of their shows because they obviously will not mind.

 the nude party | the empty bottle, chicago | 1.16.18 | @thefaakehipster

the nude party | the empty bottle, chicago | 1.16.18 | @thefaakehipster

suggested listening experience: getting ready for the weekend // summertime outside hangs // getting together with your squad and hanging out

listens: time to go // life’s a joke // one more mile // i wanna be your man // pistol (listen on spotify)

tnp // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

JUNGLE: Day 27 - 30 Days in Chicago presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: london, uk // XL Recordings // 2013 - present

sounds like: walking upside-down in a disco ball in the middle of...you guessed it, a jungle

 jungle | metro, chicago | day 27 - 30 days in chicago | 11.27.17 | @thefaakehipster

jungle | metro, chicago | day 27 - 30 days in chicago | 11.27.17 | @thefaakehipster

latest album drop: jungle (july 2014)

featuring: josh // tom // fraser // george // dominic // andro // rudi

IMG_20171130_165722_990.jpg

Landing at the Metro the other night was not your typical winter walk into the venue. Jungle was in town as the last gigs of 30 Days in Chicago were coming to an end and it was indeed a jungle in there. Plants, trees, lights and more set the vibe as we walked up the stairs to another sold out night. This band knows how to get you in the mood, put you in there world. And if you let it happen make sure you stretch because there is no way you are not moving during a set with Jungle. After the openers took the stage, the lights dimmed and it was time to grab someone and throw your hands in the air.

Jungle lands between funky disco and far-out rock. They move so fluidly from song to song as you can clearly tell how much fun they are having onstage. That energy is clearly pouring into the people. Any way you look the smiles are on faces and the feet are moving. Jungle consists of 7 members, each of which is one a mission to come together as one. And it is pretty sweet...they all sound like one big cohesive melodic setup, all knowing what they have to do. Hailing from London, you can hear bits of that England psychedelic rock, but what shines is the disco-funk and tropical beats. They are just enough disco to make it their own though, curating a solid, modern sound.

IMG_20171129_165114_761.jpg

The four that front the group on-stage all sound like once voice singing in unison, it really is something to see. They move together, hitting each note and blanket the crowd with their voices over the funky beat. As 30 Days comes to a close tonight, it is pretty unreal to look back and see what has been accomplished here. This wasn’t a month of rock or hip hop, it was a month of feels, experiences and reasons to want to live. When you look at how the crowd responded to every show I was at, look at the band, the atmosphere was contagious and the vibes were about togetherness. It was a damn good month.

suggested listening experience: party grooving with your friends // late night hangs // early morning commutes 

listens: busy earnin' // time // the heat // drops // julia // lucky i got what i want     

jungle // fb // ig // spotify // sc 

JACOB BANKS: Day 23 - 30 Days in Chicago presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: birmingham, uk by way of nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present // 26 years old

sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from all the bad

 jacob banks | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.22.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.22.17 | @thefaakehipster

latest album drop: the paradox (july 2015)

 jacob banks | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.22.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.22.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: jacob

Rarely do we come across musicians that belt out truth and honestly like their lives depend on it on stage. There is a fine line when it comes to the difference between putting on a show and pouring your emotions and well being into a performance. Jacob Banks is on the right side of that, the latter of course and he is oh so smooth at doing it. Jacob has started to span the globe with his soulful voice and I have been lucky enough to catch him a few times, including a ridiculous performance at SXSW 2017. Yes, in that specific instance I inhaled some equally ridiculous California home grown bud, but in my defense, it was delicious. Chicago, which was built on blues and soul, was graced with Mr. Banks right before turkey time last week and those who made it to the sold out crowd were not disappointed.

As I mentioned in a previous post of JB, he is here on this marble for one reason: to save soul. His voice is powerful, the scratchiness equates to the passion and truth in what he sings. The band spans the spectrum of rock, blues and r&b, forming a well rounded band that will knock your socks off. Jacob took us from song to song, often breaking with a funny phrase or horrible joke that we all laughed at. One thing is for certain: he commands the stage and gets as close to our hearts as he can. Looking around the audience you could see some kids almost crying and at other moments letting it all go. You sure as hell could not just sit there silently.

Even though Jacob is a soul singer, he looks like a rock star out there, especially when he picks up the axe. His roots in Africa and Europe as shown throughout his tracks and you can feel the culture hit you in the live show. Cait and I were grooving all night and the whole audience was feeling it. No matter where you are located you can expect a show full of feels and musical treats that will leave you satisfied.   

suggested listening experience: making sweet sweet love // cruising along on something with wheels // getting ready for the evening

listens: unholy war // worthy // chainsmoking // silver lining // monster // sink or swim // mercy

jb // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

AMINÉ & PELL: Day 18 - 30 Days in Chicago presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: amine - portland // republic records // 2014 - present //// pell - nola, usa // independent // 2013 - present

 pell | metro, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.18.20 | @thefaakehipster

pell | metro, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.18.20 | @thefaakehipster

sounds like: amine - a bubble bath in the middle of a clam city intersection // pell - the smartest kid in the classroom who's into the coolest tunes and then snatches your girl

last albums drop: amine - good for you (july 2017) // pell - LIMBO EP (nov 2015)

featuring: amine - adam // pell - jared

you’re beautiful...i know!

The chanting back and forth between the hyped Amine and engaging crowd was almost a euphoria of what a concert should entail. The Sound Select scene was in full force again at the Metro and it is safe to say that the energy in both the performers and diverse crowd was on top display. Another sold out house of all ages just ready to dance their faces off all night. It was not just a show about the hip hop sound, but infused with jazz, rock, soul, funk and much more. Cait and I just arrived in time to see Pell take the stage as you could feel the crowd was ready to bust out their dancing feet and let the good times roll.

 amine | metro, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.18.20 | @thefaakehipster

amine | metro, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.18.20 | @thefaakehipster

First up was up and comer Pell who is the perfect example of how you mix hip hop with the sounds of your hometown. The foundation of his music spans the spectrum in what New Orleans music has to offer and when he put his flow on top of it, it is quite salivating. Having bused out into the scene in 2014 with an incredible album, “floating while dreaming,” he has since dropped track after track that make you move in different ways. There is one theme to it all...the positive energy, no matter what the lyrics, are spun into an energetic and close-knit kinda set. Whether it was his new track “chirpin,” the dancy and funky “queso,” or the poplar “Eleven:11,” he nails every note as he runs side to side on stage. Not many artists can command a stage as he does with just a drummer. Jared is truly a young, unique musician with a ton in front of him and my favorite part about him is that he is always level with his fans, feeding off their energy.

No matter how you try to pronounce Amine, he is still going to blow your ears away with his unique style, stage presence and ability to get a crowd moving. Much like Pell, being hip hop first, there is so much more in types of sound beneath the surface. His honest and happy vibes can be felt throughout and it is so apparent how much the crowd responds to each one of this tracks. If you can tell how much fun that artist or band is having up there, then it is almost impossible for the audience to not match that. Backed by a DJ, drummer, guitarist and keyboardist, Amine takes you on a honest journey through honest and confident lyrics. At one moment you think it is a Sublime cover as his guitarist adds a whole other dimension, but then the next he goes R&B and starts belting out those high notes. A true rapper and singer, he’ll keep you on your toes dancing. You can tell that everyone in that building was surrounded by the emotion of his tracks the whole set. One of the better nights of 30 Days so far.

suggested listening experience: party down time // road tripping with friends // weekday pick me up

listens: amine - caroline // spice girls // veggies // yellow // wedding crashers // heebiejeebies // squeeze //// pell - eleven:11 // got it like that (remix) // queso // basic beach // chirpin’ // patience // monday morning

amine // fb // spotify // sc // ig // twitter //// pell // fb // spotify // sc // ig // twitter

PARQUET COURTS & BUILT TO SPILL: Day 15, 30 Days in Chicago presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: bts - boise, id // warner // 1992 - present //// pc - brooklyn, usa // 30th century // 2010 - present

sounds like: bts - the most rock n' roll inspector gadget // pc - a funky fine dining table with the most unique centerpiece

 parquet courts | empty bottle. chicago | 11.15.17 | 30 days in chicago

parquet courts | empty bottle. chicago | 11.15.17 | 30 days in chicago

last album drop: bts - untethered moon (april 2015) //// pc - milano (oct 2017)

featuring: bts - doug // steve // jason //// pc - a savage // austin // sean // max

*photos by Koury Angelo

 meat wave | empty bottle. chicago | 11.15.17 | 30 days in chicago

meat wave | empty bottle. chicago | 11.15.17 | 30 days in chicago

When the cold sets upon the busy streets of this city, there are few safe havens we feel good at. Towards the of that list for Cait and I are sweaty rock clubs. The atmosphere is bubbly, the cheap beers are always flowing and the music is good and loud. Empty’s only 30 Days show was already a doozy and it got better with the last minute addition of indie rock legends Built to Spill. And oh boy oh boy was there a rock storm a brewing last night. The convergence new and old punk and indie rock was felt through the music air waves, bringing the cold night to life. After arriving and weaving our way through the sold out house to snag a few beers, Built to Spill (maybe the best band names around) graced the stage.

Doug, their lead singer and vocalist has been around the block a few times, writing all sorts of music and playing all sorts of gigs with numerous members over the 25 year life span of the band. You better believe they know how to go about their business, shifting from song to song with ease so our ears can continue to be dazzled. The technical rock sound is progressive and was way ahead of its time back in the day, but at the same time they know how to make it sound smooth. The next thing to stand out is Doug’s creamy and delightful voice, surprising yet blended just right with their sound. Those early 2000s indie punk vibes still ring modern and current as Doug solos throughout just about every song. The shredding, riffs and tempo of each song makes your body move in so many different ways, sometimes making you want to straight up dance. Who knows how much longer these guys will be performing, so get out and catch them before it is too late.

Bringing the night to a close was the 4 piece rock outfit from Brooklyn, Parquet Courts. The songs are intricate and compiled of a vast arrangement of song structures, keeping you on your toes for what is next. The hilarious dudes were quite entertaining between sets, bringing a friendly vibe to the crowd and good laughs in between songs. Their riffs are The vocals range from talking to singing to screaming, allowing the audience to get moving in a moshpit when needed or simply just wanting to groove. While the sound is very much a modern indie one, you can see influences from the early 60s psychedelic era and even all the way up to late 70s punk, rock n roll. Every track truly sounds different and it is special to watch. A packed house, free pizza, solid beers and better people made for a great night. Next up: Amine and Pell @ the Metro.

suggested listening experience: walking around town from spot to spot // saturday sunny hangs // chill nights

listens : bts - carry the zero // living zoo // liar // car // goin’ against your mind // else //// pc - human performance // uncast shadow of a southern myth // dust // outside // berlin got blurry // soul and cigarette

bts // spotify // fb // twitter //// pc // spotify // fb

IBEYI: Day 10, 30 Days in Chicago presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: cuba, venezuela, france // XL recordings // 2013 - present

sounds like: hanging out in one of those rooms with carpet on the walls in all sorts of patterns

 ibeyi | metro, chicago | 11.10.17 | 30 Days in Chicago | photo cred: bryan allen lamb

ibeyi | metro, chicago | 11.10.17 | 30 Days in Chicago | photo cred: bryan allen lamb

last album drop: ash (sept 2017)

featuring: lisa-kainde // naomi

**photos by Adam Kredow & Bryan Allen Lamb

 ibeyi | metro, chicago | 11.10.17 | 30 Days in Chicago | photo cred: adam kredow

ibeyi | metro, chicago | 11.10.17 | 30 Days in Chicago | photo cred: adam kredow

When the cold sets upon this city magical things tend to happen. I know that sounds ass backwards as those of us in Chicago are snuggled up with the heat turned high asking where the fuck summer is. But, when you want something in the cold in this city, you go and get it and experience it and soak it all in. What stood out amongst the whole night was the energy on stage and in the crowd as well as the want to come together as humans. That makes so much sense when you look at the pieces at play this past Friday night. Ibeyi hails from...well just about all over. They were born in Paris and bounced back and forth from Cuba, having picked up different cultures and letting anything from French and Afro-cuban fused with jazz and other beats out the headphones. Having come from a musical family, they picked up percussion instruments like cajon and bata drum.

What followed with the sold out crowd was truly a sight and blessing. Once the sisters took the stage, you could feel the common energy throughout. For just two of them out there, smiles and all, it is almost like they command you to get involved with the show. Their presence is intoxicating as their jazzy, tribal and pop like sound blast through the amplifiers. Not only do they sing, they speak with their bodies, constantly moving, something that is tough for anyone in the audience not to do. That sound has some depth to it, whether you can understand what language they are singing in or not. Aw yes, they do sing in 4 languages and it sounds good in freaking all of them. Whether it is like an upbeat track like “river” or a lullaby like “away away,” they have it all.

A night with Ibeyi is like watching a story unfold in front of your ears and eyes. Lisa-Kainde and Naomi take you on a journey of their life through a world sound of music. They want you to have fun, to feel what they are feeling and become stronger and more powerful through it. Take a chance on some different music because it will challenge you in the best way.

suggested listening experience: making out with your partner // cleaning the apartment or other apartment activities // chill party

listens: river // away away // deathless // me voy // i wanna be like you // waves

ibeyi // fb // twitter // ig // spotify // sc

MIYA FOLICK: Day 7, 30 Days in Chicago presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: la, usa // interscope // 2014 - present

 miya folick | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.7.17 | 30 Days In Chicago | photo cred: Jules Ameel

miya folick | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.7.17 | 30 Days In Chicago | photo cred: Jules Ameel

sounds like: dancing through a flat prairie field as the sun is setting seeing miles each direction

last album drop: give it to me EP (nov 2017)

featuring: miya

 miya folick | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.7.17 | 30 Days In Chicago | photo cred: Jules Ameel

miya folick | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.7.17 | 30 Days In Chicago | photo cred: Jules Ameel

Good things come to those who go see music live. Another sold out night was upon us at the beautiful Lincoln Hall in the heart of Lincoln Park, Chicago. The mood was set for an intimate evening of female fronted bands, all bringing their twist to a rock concert. While Hazel English brings soothing lo-fi rock and Mitski has a deeper, piercing sound, my favorite of the evening was Miya Folick. The young Miya was raised as a Buddhist, something that you can feel through her tunes, tired to find her calling in sports, but was just not into it. So, it was then time for college at NYU, and again, it wasn’t her thing. Finally, she returned home to LA, picked up an axe, started learning and found her band on Tinder. Pretty traditional, “how my band started,” story eh?

With the band ready to roll and Miya taking the stage, you could immediately feel her presence surging through you. She lands somewhere in the middle of the two providing us humans with an imaginative space to go into and at the next moment, shattering our world in the right way. As the drums slowly began and the guitars moved through the amps, we were taken over by a dreamy rock sound sprinkled with some Cali surfer vibes. The chord progression is fun whether you are swaying side to side or jamming out, just so smooth. Miya’s voice can wale better than most and what makes it a treat is that she is always matching the aggression of the song. She steps it up a notch as her body speaks as much as her voice, drawing you in even closer.

The best thing about the entire set was the silence of the audience, waiting and anticipating the next song to take them out of reality. Miya has an incredible way to command a crowd and hands down is just a true performer out there. She can take you to a dream like state one second then have you wanting to start a mosh pit the next. Let’s just thank the music gods that Miya didn’t end up a basketball player because for one, I can’t wait to see her again.

suggested listening experience: rainy dark night hanging with yourself // out on the open road // the work commute

listens: talking with strangers // strange darling // i got drunk // god is a woman // trouble adjusting // oceans

mf // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

POLIÇA: 30 Days in Chicago, Day 5 presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: minneapolis, mn // mom + pop music // 2011 - present

sounds like: up in the clouds in a protective happy bubble with the dark and stormy surrounding you

 poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster 

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster 

last album drop: untitled crushers (march 2016)

 poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: channy // chris // ben // drew // ryan

As the cold really set in this past weekend, a lucky crowd was provided a warm environment both in temperature and feels in the brand spanking new House of Vans. Opening earlier this year, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few shows, but things really came full circle as Poliça took the stage. Prior to their dreamy and dark performance, record lovers were shuffling through the record fair and enjoying all the beers Goose Island could feed you. A skatepark by day, the place transforms into a “southern vibes” Austin-like venue. A big warehouse, tall ceiling, a clear view to the stage forming a truly intimate setting. After Ohmee got some music in us, the synth-pop act, Poliça, hailing from the true midwest in minneapolis, made you smile while giving you goosebumps at the same time.

Poliça features the soft voiced Channy along with two drummers, a bassist and a producer that creates a balanced dream like pop and a deep dark synth vibe. The band has worked with the likes of Bon Iver and Doomtree through their existence, most likely contributing to the wide range of sounds and feels they’ll spill into your system. Off the bat, you can get a feel for Channy’s luscious and soft vocals, often adding effects to add depth to each tune. One song is uplifting, putting you in a more imaginative, uplifting sort of mood while the next may put a dark dagger into your spine and lift the arm hairs on you. There is pretty much no choice but to put your attention forward and let them pull you into their world. I love how they move from song to song, often with little chit chat, so you can become fully engulfed in the show.

 poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

The balance of synth, R&B and electronic sounds is pretty mesmerizing, and put me in a slow groovy kind of mood. The lyrics are powerful as well, balancing between being pretty straightforward, yet metaphorical. “Flic flac, you’re a habit to me” is one of my favorite’s from their track, “lime habit” off their latest release. Songs like that inject you with the dark side of life, but more of an uplifing beat at the same time. The constant pull in each direction makes them such a unique act overall and one you should definitely check out when you have the time. Next up: Mitski and Hazel English tomorrow.

suggested listening experience: getting cozy during a cold, dark night // making sweet, sweet love // twisting one up

listens: lime habit // lately // lay your cards out // amongster // dark star // wandering star

poliça // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

WHITNEY: 30 Days in Chicago, Day 2 presented by Red Bull Sound Select

THIS BAND BLANKETS YOU IN A SNUGGLY CACOON OF FOLK ROCK

30 Days in Chicago

reppin: chicago, usa // secretly canadian records // 2015 - present

sounds like: walking through a tall grass daisy field with the sun setting

 julien | metro, chicago | 30 Days in Chicago | 11.2.17 | photo cred: Maria Jose Govea // Red Bull Content Pool

julien | metro, chicago | 30 Days in Chicago | 11.2.17 | photo cred: Maria Jose Govea // Red Bull Content Pool

last album drop: light upon the lake (june 2016)

featuring: max // julien // will // josiah // malcolm // print // charles

As the rain subsided for the evening of about 4 amazing shows, you had a feeling something special was in the air with music in Chicago. As Cait and I scooted over from The Vic after seeing Japandroids and Cloud Nothings, being sure to scarf down a hot dog on the way, we made it just in time to see Chicago’s own Whitney. Night 2 of 30 Days was nothing short of a jammy, honest, good vibes kinda time. Whitney was birthed from the too soon end of Smith Westerns and the dudes quickly found a folky rock sound that pierces your soul with those beautiful red roses of light. They have taken over the country by storm, creating a consensus top album last year, something they can deliver in such a heartwarming way on the stage.

Julien fronts this tasty ear treats of a band and plays the drums, so while the setup may throw you off, the backbone of the band brings an even keel feel to the live show. It is almost like they are in the practice room, but have an audience of 1000+ watching them. That kind of vibe can make every single person feel even to the stage, rather than below it, as it allows the music to take over your body in such a graceful wa. His voice is airy, high and light and hugs you as they move from song to song. Max and his constant plucking and soloing throughout each song really makes those feet move. Malcolm and his “jimmy legs” brings the keys and a good amount of energy to match. The twangy sound, sometimes leaning over towards bluesy, has a clear sound to it, but is not predictable by any means. Will and his brass trumpet really rounds out the sound and lets that imagination run and those happy feels to take over.

 whitney | metro, chicago | 30 Days in Chicago | 11.2.17 | photo cred: Maria Jose Govea // Red Bull Content Pool

whitney | metro, chicago | 30 Days in Chicago | 11.2.17 | photo cred: Maria Jose Govea // Red Bull Content Pool

The folk, soul, blues and indie rock that Whitney puts out to world can really bring together a ton of different humans from all sorts of backgrounds. There turly was a blanket of positive energy floating around the Metro last night and it is safe to say that seeing this band can lift your spirits in just about any way. Day 2 of 30 Days: in the books.

suggested listening experience: headin somewhere on any types of wheels // when you are trying to kick it with your dad who only listens to AM radio // early start to the day

listens: no woman // light upon the lake // golden days // dave’s song // no matter where we go

whitney // fb // spotify // ig // twitter

*photos by Maria Jose Govea // Red Bull Content Pool

concert shenanigans: JULIE BYRNE

reppin: buffalo, ny // da da bing records // 2012 - present

sounds like: watching bright, colorful leaves come off a tree on a warm fall day

latest album drop: not even happiness (jan 2017)

featuring: julie and her guitar

 julie bryne | photo cred: orindal.limitedrun.com

julie bryne | photo cred: orindal.limitedrun.com

You can feel the anticipation as we all know it is time for the headlining act. Finally, Julie slowly walks from the back of the crowd, drink in hand, to the Schubas stage, winding through the crowd. The conversations begin to dwindle as the light applause begins...not because no one is excited, but more so given the beautiful, mellow set that is about to begin. People...when Julie plucks those first notes on her acoustic up and down the fretboard, it comes through so crystal clear, simple and smooth. Then, her voice. Holy shit. It demands your ears no matter what you are doing. She sings so effortlessly, like waves gliding into the beachside at night. Julie’s deep, warming vocals, combined with guitar and keys are likened to pouring creamer into coffee. Her voice drags in such a beautiful way that the words kind of blend into one another...much like watching the creamer slowly take over. If her voice is the creamer, then the coffee is her folk melodies. When you finally stir it all together, you have a sweet, creamy cup of songs.

 julie byrne | schubas, chicago | 7.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

julie byrne | schubas, chicago | 7.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

Julie prides herself on more of a fingerstyle sort of guitar playing, which meshes with her singing so fluidly. Being raised in the humble city of Buffalo and having a father dedicated to guitar playing, she naturally rooted herself in music. In fact, her father developed multiple sclerosis and she took it upon herself to honor the legacy of his playing and build something upon it. It is so obvious as you can hear and feel the heart and soul pour out of her mouth and guitar, creating beautiful melodies. Having bounced around in cities like Chicago, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Seattle, she is well rounded in culture and the music that comes with it. This path has led to the release of her latest album, “not even happiness,” which was so fittingly recorded in a cabin in New Hampshire. These nine tracks have earned the album universal acclaim and will sway your emotions across the spectrum.

 julie bryne | photo cred: drukenwerewolf.com

julie bryne | photo cred: drukenwerewolf.com

Whether you have her in your ears or within your line of sight in the flesh, close your eyes as your listen. She will allow your mind to drift into a vast open pasture of imagination that will hug you, comfort you and think of turning all that negative energy into positive light. Digging deeper into her lyrics, which are full of metaphors and self reflection, travels, love and lost, there is something for everyone to relate to and interpret through their own life. While Julie’s music falls under the contemporary folk nature, there is no doubt she stands out with her powerful, soothing voice. You can hold onto yourself, or someone close to you, but either way, after giving this album a listen, you will be able to dig down into that soul of yours and come out fresher and better.

suggested listening experience: laying around the apartment // cuddling with the one you love // soothing whatever pain you have

listens: follow my voice // natural blue // sleepwalker // morning dove // melting grid // prism song

jb // bandcamp // spotfiy // sc

concert shenanigans: DUCKTAILS

*guest contributor - tony scianna*

reppin: ridgewood, nj // domino records // 2006 - present

sounds like: the haze near the end of a long road trip as you look out the car window at the state of nothingness.

 matt mondaline | photo cred: factmag.com

matt mondaline | photo cred: factmag.com

last album drop: “St. Catherine” (2015) – “Jersey Devil” expected to drop Oct 2017

featuring: matt

 ducktails | empty bottle, chicago | 9.8.17 | @tonyscianno

ducktails | empty bottle, chicago | 9.8.17 | @tonyscianno

It was quickly approaching midnight when a tall, hipster-esque, dark haired man with glasses took the stage at The Empty Bottle – a small, yet intimate, indie music venue/bar. His attire was as casual as his demeanor: a plain white t shirt and plain jeans, with a natural saunter. He looked like he could have just been part of the crowd – which he was during the two opening acts, local bands “Dogs at Large” and “Varsity”. It was hard to miss Matt walking around and being social before he took the stage. His presence was undeniable, but it was also natural. He fit in with us as much as we fit in with him. Seeing your favorite musicians casually hanging out like any other person is one of the coolest experiences that comes with seeing indie music live. By time he took the stage it didn’t feel like some bigger than life person was in front of us; it felt like watching your friend, who happens to be incredibly talented, have fun and play music. That is the vibe Matt likes to create at his live shows – something he accomplishes through his presentation as well as his music.

After spending time as the founding guitarist of indie pop powerhouse “Real Estate”, Matt decided to take his dreamy, hypnotic, Jersey jangle pop guitar riffs and venture off on his own. Ducktails is a solo project, something Matt takes to heart with his live performances. Unlike the two opening acts, Matt didn’t have a band playing with him. It was just him and his guitar. But it wasn’t a stripped down, acoustic performance. Matt used a pedal to control pre-recorded bass, drum, and synthesizer tracks while he played electric guitar and sang over the prerecorded tracks. Almost in the same way a DJ will use pre-recorded tracks and scratch or improvise over them. He even comments during the show, saying, “I used to play with a band, now I’m trying this. DJ’s do it, why can’t I?”

 ducktails | photo cred: lpr.com

ducktails | photo cred: lpr.com

Ducktails’ music is breezy and hypnotic – it allows you to let go and get lost in your own head. Before you know it, you’re relaxed and not thinking about the trials and tribulations of daily life. It highlights music’s wonderful ability to make you feel like nothing else really matters except for enjoying what is in front of you. Matt wants to keep the good vibes going. He blatantly says that in his biggest hit, “Killin’ the Vibe” when he urges others around him to “don’t go killin’, killin’ the vibe”. Matt wants his shows to be fun and inviting. He invites us to join him on a metaphorical cruise through the jersey shore – soaking in the sun with good friends.

During the show, he had a slideshow of photos playing on a screen in the background. The photos seemed random and obscure – almost as if it was an inside joke. But he explained that they are photos he took as he’s journeyed around the country. The way the photos masked his face and projected over his plain white t shirt presented a beautiful image of unity between his music and his life. He’s showing us who and what he is, all on his own. A mirage of photos, music, and his own vulnerability. And he’s inviting all of us along for the ride.   

suggested listening experience: laying in your bed at the end of a long day // after a hike with your best friends // lazy Sundays at the beach

listens: map to the stars // killin’ the vibe // headbanging in the mirror // light a candle // hamilton road // surreal exposure // ivy covered house // the disney afternoon

dt // spotify // ig // twitter // fb // sc

concert shenanigans: HOUSE OF VANS

reppin: chicago, usa // 2017 - present

rocks like: high school punk rock shows when you were growing up

 house of vans, chicago | 6.22.17

house of vans, chicago | 6.22.17

upcoming shows: check out the upcoming shows right here

featuring: The Lawrence Arms // Dillinger Four // Toys That Kill

When I was in high school I attended these rocking punk shows at the local knights of columbus in arlington heights. Every Friday we would get in someone’s ride, light up a cigarette and go to chill with old friends and make new ones It was a place that not only had rad local and touring outfits, but somewhere you felt accepted. And when the first note was struck, all those awkward days in school that week and the feeling of not being accepted went out the door with noise. You would throw yourself in the moshpit, perhaps get up to crowd surf while possibly hitting your head against the ceiling panels, but again, nothing mattered. In the summer of 2017, House of Vans has landed in Chicago and is bringing back those nostalgia feels just about every Thursday.

 chris of the lawrence arms | house of vans, chicago | 6.22.17

chris of the lawrence arms | house of vans, chicago | 6.22.17

This hot, June Thursday in particular, I rolled up to HOV to see a line around the block. The buzz was building for a stellar showcase of punk rock legends that are Toys that Kill, Dillinger Four and Chicago’s own The Lawrence Arms. The set-up has no shortage of a venue that knows what its people want. Lots of space, easy beer lines and a food truck to boot. You could tell the good vibes were setting in as it was so easy to approach some strangers, strike up a conversation and share the love of the night. From the first chord, the energy was brought high and tight, lead by Toys that Kill. It was not even 8PM and the mosh pits were starting...we all have a little steam to blow, eh? Next up was Dillinger Four, who brought the same type of in your face energy. They rolled through some classic like "doublewhiskeycokenoise" and "gainsville" to an enthusiastic crowd that did not stop moving despite the heat.

As the headliner was ready to take the stage, mostly all of us had sweat right through our shirts and our foreheads glistened...but nobody gave a shit. The Lawrence Arms brings such a great balance of bouncey bass eighth notes with pleasant vocals to match, fast solos and just a good ol’ time. They had about 18 years of music, give or take, to pack into the set and did not disappoint. These “older” guys brought the heat for a good hour, non-stop and you could tell they were loving it just as much as the fans. There were a few particular occasions where I took a stroll around and could see the smiles on just about everyone's faces. That, my friends, is the story of a successful night of music.

 toys that kill | house of vans, chicago | 6.22.17

toys that kill | house of vans, chicago | 6.22.17

Even before I had my license, I made my parents drop me off at shows in the city (no idea how I convinced them, they were quite conservative). Back in those high school days, you would have this mindset that you needed to be loved and approved by others in order to make it through the day, at least some of us felt like that. But as we grow, become wise, try to grab onto our careers and make it through life...you being to realize that the only people that need to accept you is yourself and those that actually love you for who you are. While we may have all grown and become adult like since those high school local show days, that feeling of having your worries fly out the window for a few hours is still pure bliss.

House of Vans Chicago // 113 North Elizabeth St.

concert shenanigans: NOTHING

reppin: philadelphia, usa // relapse records // 2010 - present

sounds like: walking through a rainy rainforest and coming across two snakes getting ready for battle

 nothing | photo cred: overblown.co.uk

nothing | photo cred: overblown.co.uk

last album drop: vertigo flowers (may 2016)

featuring: domenic // brandon // kyle // nick

 nothing | beat kitchen, chicago | 6.11.17 | @thefaakehipster

nothing | beat kitchen, chicago | 6.11.17 | @thefaakehipster

As you snake your way through the dedicated and anxious crowd before Nothing takes the stage, make sure you have little clothing and ventilation. It is going to get hot and sweaty in all the right ways. Nothing, hailing from phili, blends an old school punk sound with a fuzzy, almost 90s vibe, that creates this a simplistic depth of rock n roll. Coming from a hardcore punk background, founding member domenic found himself in a weird and violent time. He ended up stabbing another man in a fight and spent a few years in jail. There was a ton of soul searching after that, some very trying times, but the struggle started to pay off when he was began writing music again. This led to the creation of Nothing, where the demo “poshlost” came out in 2011 and embarked on some lineup changes throughout the next few years. They have since released full lengths: guilty of everything in 2014 and tired of tomorrow last year.

To me, this is where music counts in life. We all go through dark times and if you have never had a day where you can’t find a reason to get up, you honestly have not lived. I have struggles day in and day out, be it the littlest of issues or the big picture problems that make you want to pull out your hair. What cures me is not only my love for music, the sounds that put me in a certain place and the lyrics that I can relate you...but the blood, sweat and tears musicians put into their craft. Embrace the good and bad and allow it to turn you into a better person. Music can be that driver if you allow yourself to open up...and good things and wishes coming true can in fact follow.

 nothing | beat kitchen, chicago | 6.11.17 | @thefaakehipster

nothing | beat kitchen, chicago | 6.11.17 | @thefaakehipster

I hit the Beat Kitchen on a packed Sunday night to watch these dudes rock out. They land between this strung out, beautiful mellow vibe and blurry haze of guitar that bounces off dom’s vocals like a beach ball hitting your head. As the noise moves from the amps to your ears you flow back between some modern day indie sound and 90s nostalgia in all the good ways. They opened with the furious “vertigo flowers,” a song that is not a depressing to me, rather a reality that no one gives a shit about you, but you. Lyrics seem close and dear to these guys as they have some short and sweet verses that compact the feels of life together. The rest of their set comprised of some very loud energy that the crowd took with ease. That back and forth of slowing the vibe down in tracks like “the dead are dumb” and feverish riffs like “dig” will have you on a each end of the indie punk rock spectrum. These fun dudes are worth seeing for a night of pure bliss and emotion.

suggested listening experience: a rainy afternoon // on the way home from work after a long day // cuddle session

listens: vertigo flowers // dig // fever queen // eaten by worms // the dead are dumb // hymn to pillory // A.C.D

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