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

chicago // shows on shows on shows: SEPTEMBER 1 - 15

*a new feature focusing on all the groovy shows coming up in chicago*

 diarrhea planet | lincoln hall, chicago | 12.30.15 | @thefaakehipster

diarrhea planet | lincoln hall, chicago | 12.30.15 | @thefaakehipster

Dent May // 9.2 - The Hideout // tickets

reppin: la, usa by way of jackson, mississippi // car park records // 2007 - present

sounds like: the opening scene of a weird, yet classy movie

last album drop: across the universe (may 2017)

Mr. May got his start a while back playing in the power pop group, The Rockwells. Since then, he has brought his southern charm and influence to LA, bringing a unique sound to the forefront. His latest album tells the story of adjust to life in the new big city.

listens: born too late // meet me in the garden // face down in the gutter of your life

Middle Kids // 9.6 - Lincoln Hall // tickets

 middle kids | photo cred: rolling stone aus

middle kids | photo cred: rolling stone aus

reppin: sydney, australia // EMI & Domino Records // 2016 - present

sounds like: taking a camper into the woods and hanging by the campfire

last album drop: middle kids EP (feb 2017)

These kids only have a few singles under their belt, as well as an EP, but they are doing all the right things as they hit the states for their first run. This 3 piece has a solid alt rock, indie sound with vocals by Hannah that make you smile. Catch this show as you can as they may be playing much bigger venues the next time around.

listens: edge of town // your love // never start

Diarrhea Planet // 9.8 - Wurst Fest // tickets

reppin: nashville, usa // dine alone records // 2009 - present

sounds like: the happiest fucking moshpit you’ve ever been in

last album: turn to gold (june 2016)

you have not heard anything like these dudes before. 6 dudes, 4 guitars whaling in your face and a whole lot of good feels and smiles. These live shows are full of constant energy, shredding solos on solos on solos. They will be crazy fun, don’t miss them.

listens: separations // lite dream // life pass

 diarrhea planet | lincoln hall, chicago | 12.30.15 | @thefaakehipster

diarrhea planet | lincoln hall, chicago | 12.30.15 | @thefaakehipster

Ducktails & Varsity // 9.8 - Empty Bottle // tickets

reppin: ducktails - ridgewood, nj // domino records // 2006 - present //// varsity - chicago, usa // unsigned // 2013 - present

sounds like: both bands - a never ending dance floor with all the lights you need 

last album drop: dt-  st. catherine (july 2015) // varsity - self titled (2015) 

ducktails will soothe your soul to goovy indie rock tunes all night long. They threw themselves in a blender with the ingredients of chillwave and lo-fi pop rock. Varsity will give you the same kind of vibes, expect sub in Stephanie’s wonderful running vocals. You got a great pair of bands for a cruising kind of chill night.

listens: dt - killin the vibe // headbanging in the mirror // light a candle //// varsity - so sad, so sad // cult of personality // settle down

Geographer // 9.10 - Schubas // tickets

reppin: san fran, ca // roll call records // 2007 - present

sounds like: hanging around in outer space, just chillin

last album drop: ghost modern (march 2015)

Mike has been doing his thing for some time and has absolutely nailed this indie rocky electric sound. He’s Berklee graduated, has supported many big acts and played a big bucket of festivals. Him and the live band will be a dancy good time.

listens: kites // verona // read my mind

Royal Canoe // 9.12 - subterranean // tickets

reppin: winnipeg, canananada // nevado music // 2010 - present

sounds like: floating through a light rainstorm

last album drop: Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit (sept 2016)

These kids bring the funk dance vibes and it is pretty freaking awesome. If you happen to see them live, you’ll see some different instruments on stage serenating you with the type of pop sound that makes you move.

listens: bathtubs // fussin’ // exodus of the year

Strand of Oaks // 9.14 SPACE // tickets

reppin: goshen, in // dead oceans records // 2003 - present

sounds like: going into one of those bouncy houses with speakers blaring from all angles

 stef chura | empty bottle, chicago | 5.4.17 | @thefaakehipster

stef chura | empty bottle, chicago | 5.4.17 | @thefaakehipster

last album drop: hard love (feb 2017)

I’ve seen this bearded man a few times and he never disappoints. He always brings a ton of energy to his shows, it’s super easy on the ears and you’ll want to sing along. One time he brought his mom out to sing, so yea.

listens: goshen ‘97 // everything // hard love

Stef Chura // 9.14 - Subterranean // previously blogged about // tickets

Death Valley Girls // 9.15, Empty Bottle // tickets

reppin:  la, usa // burger records // 2014 - present

sounds like: a sweaty sweaty face shaking back and forth in slow motion

last album drop: glow in the dark (june 2016)

Self described gutter rock, these three chicks and a dude put on a hell of a party. It’s trippy, it’s garage and you want to rock out and drop your jaw just to stare at the same time. They live up to how wild rock n’ roll should be.

listens: disco // glow in the dark // no reason

Riot Fest  // 9.15 - 17 // Douglas Park

new music: JACOB BANKS

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

 jacob banks | photo cred: next2shine.com

jacob banks | photo cred: next2shine.com

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

last album drop: the paradox (july 2015)

 jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: jacob

This man is here on this blue and green marble to do one thing: save soul. Without soul we have nothing in music. Jacob Banks hails from Nigeria and scooted over to the UK at the young age of 13 where he explored just about every creative arts form. He can hit the keys, strum the guitar and oh baby, can he get those pipes going. He expanded his gift of belting sounds out to writing songs about six years ago and we should all be thankful someone put him in the studio to do just that. He earned his stripes the hard way too, hitting all the open mics he could back home, something that flourished into a career that has begun to take him around the world. What impresses me about this man is his ability to tell stories with his writing. As he described to Billboard, regarding the music video for his tune “Unholy War,” “This video depicts how the world gives people shit for things that are out of their control and the sacrifices people make to keep their magic alive.”

 jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

When an individual like Jacob can not only have a commanding vocal presence, the deep ties to society make him even more relevant in my eyes. He has this delicious and nutritious mix of soul, r&b with toppings that include hip-hop and even some good ol’ rock. You can hear the 80s creeping into the 2010s and even some influence form his home country in Africa. This man is only 26 mind you and quite seasoned in the array of styles he can produce. As each song funnels its way into your ears, it will move your body in so many different ways and despite what the lyrics may write out, the sound alone will put smiles on your face.

 jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

The first time I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Banks grace me with his presence was at a private showcase at SXSW this year. After lighting up a nice J of Cali’s finest with some new homies, we crept to the back of the small crowd and preceded to drop our jaws...and they just would not close shut. He gives you goosebumps with his range of vocals.. His band makes the hairs on your arms stand up straight. The chills are there in all the right ways. While he has only released a few singles on top of his 2015 release, there is no ceiling in sight for this man. His blends of genres and youth of his career can only allow this man to grow musically. Take a seat, throw on his tunes, and melt into that thing because you won’t need to move anytime soon.

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

wtfaylttg (Why The Fuck Aren't You Listening To These Guys): DOOMTREE

*a new feature giving you the legends who have been doing there thing for awhile, better than most*

reppin: minneapolis, mn // doomtree records // 2007 - present

sounds like: a rare and hard to find roller coaster theme park misplaced in the flatlands of the midwest

 doomtree | photo cred: kelly loverud

doomtree | photo cred: kelly loverud

discography: false hopes (2007) // doomtree (2008) // FH:XV (2009) // No Kings (2011) // All Hands (2015)

featuring: P.O.S // Cecil Otter // SIMS // Dessa // Mike Mictlan // Lazerbeak // Paper Tiger

THE OVERVIEW

 doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

The beautiful, poetic history of hip-hop has taken twists and turns over the decades, sprouting into sub-genres and extending the boundaries of how we take in a beat. Within that, artists from their respective cities are always holding their region close while expanding their minds as they work with others across the globe. With all the members of Doomtree hailing from the land of Minneapolis, I have never come across a group of individuals who can combine their styles, flow and personalities to spit out some of the most unique hip hop your ears will come across. They lay their foundation with the electronic production of Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak, constantly pushing the envelope of creating holistic tracks with so many flavors. While we see most artists in this genre couple off for a song or an album, there is a supremely special asset to what makes these humans go: consistency. Each of their solo careers has allowed them to come together collectively and keep chugging along, working to outdo what they did last.

THE HISTORY

The story begins in the upper north with a bunch of kids just fucking around in school, not knowing what the future holds. There was talent swirling around the group, a group that favored different genres and clashed in style. Whether it was playing in a punk band, listening to jazz and funk of getting down with blues, rock and soul, they sprinkled a bit of everything in the mix. That didn’t matter to them, they loved it. Once the tracks started coming off the tongues and table tops, they started booking the local shows. The friends showed up at first, then word spread and the live sets got bigger and bigger. How the heck can 7 people continue to make a little cash to keep themselves going? So, they turned their group into a business, churning out merchandise, creating a lifestyle….all out of a mother’s basement. Not only were they pushing Doomtree, they started releasing their own records, to this date over 50 in total. They’ve conquered a DIY attitude, finding the right people to work with and creating something from nothing when needed. While all the Doomtreers are constantly touring and putting out new music, whenever they all come together for shows and tours, they sell that place out with dedicated fans who want to pour their hearts our with them.

 doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

THE FIRST BIG MOMENT

After taking some time for the group to settle in on its final members, it did not take long for Doomtree to branch outside of their hometown. That third record, “No Kings” is what really put them on the map in my opinion. With bumping joints like “No Way,” “Team The Best Team,” “Little Mercy,” and their anthem, “Bangarang,” fans knew it wouldn’t be long until the secret got out. Just about every track on that album creates a unique flow with ever changing rhythms and beats that mold to whoever is rapping. And it is not just me. The album received critical acclaim and started appearing on “top lists” as the next best groups to come. We saw some great music come from the members for their solo projects as well, giving further proof to them growing separately and coming together as a group. When they take the stage at whatever venue they are rocking, the crowd goes nuts, sings along and the energy and vibe reaches all time highs. You can tell how much fun they are having on stage and it spreads like a virus across the room.

THE SUSTAINED SUCCESS

 doomtree | photo cred: ben lafond

doomtree | photo cred: ben lafond

Looping back to that word, consistency, with this crew gives me all the confirmation that Doomtree is here to stay. Not only do they have a rap group, but a record label, a press label, international distribution...a foundation that will lead to bigger and better things in the future. They can spit about anything from love, loss and friends to video games and good times, they have lyrics with purpose. They are never pushing to get their tracks on the radio, but separate themselves from the pack and continue to win fans over one at a time. The raddest part...they are so good and true to their fans. If you catch them walking down the street or having a beer, they’ll kick it with you. Never seeing themselves above anyone, the authenticity of not only their sound, but them as humans, is really rare with such talented artists.

WHAT'S NEXT

It has been a few years since “All Hands,” their latest release in 2015 filled with special treats like “Final Boss,” “Gray Duck,” “Generator,” and “Heavy Rescue.” The fact that they may be awhile off their next release is not a bad thing. The members are pushing along, hitting the road and striving to open up new doors in both opportunities and music exploration. P.O.S will be hitting the entire country this fall and winter while Dessa will be rocking out at Riot Fest. While they all have their solo careers, it is so clear that their individual growth has led to each album topping the last.

suggested listening experience: cruising in your ride // party time // getting hot and heavy

listens: bangarang // slow burn // final boss // team the best team // no way // bolt cutter // spill me up // gray duck // heavy rescue // little mercy

dt // spotfiy // ig // twitter // fb // sc

Lollapalooza 2017 - Recommended Up & Comers Based On Your Mood

Wake up. Get a good stretch. Maybe a little work out. Take a shower that won't matter later. Get yourself a hearty breakfast, you'll need it. Strap on those shoes that you are okay getting dirty and get ready for a hell of a 4 days. Lollapalooza 2017 is here to take over Chicago and it is time to strap in and let the good times roll.

 Lollapalooza 2016 | @thefaakehipster

Lollapalooza 2016 | @thefaakehipster

where: chicago, usa // grant park

when: august 3 - 6

7 stages // 176 bands..ish

Faake Hipster Lollapalooza 2016 Recommendations

For the second time, Lolla is bringing us 4 great days of music with genres all across the board. How the heck are you going to work out your schedule? Plan as much as you want, but it will probably blow up in your face. Not to worry, I am here to crunch those numbers, travel the vast depths of the internet and streaming services and supply you with the latest in the newest music and best acts. But, I don't just want you to see these acts, I want you to experience them, to feel them. Even if you go one day, it is a long one filled with all types of music. So, whether you want to keep it super chill or maybe get your dancing shoes on, we are going to break down this year's recommendations by mood. Your key:

Rock Out (RO) // get ready to have your face melted

Fuck You, I Just Want To Dance (FUCKDANCE) // Time to sweat your face off

Twist One Up (TOU) // Get ready to have your face lifted

Netflix & Chill (N&C) // I just want to sit down and not do anything with my face

Previously Blogged About (**) // Wrote about their faces earlier

 

THE ROSTER

The Spotify Playlist

 white reaper | beat kitchen, chicago | 5.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

white reaper | beat kitchen, chicago | 5.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

Thursday //

Kweku Collins** // White Reaper**  // The O'My's** // Middle Kids // The Drums

Kweku Collins // TOU // evanston, il // 12, Pepsi // sounds like: posting up at a campfire in the middle of the big city

White Reaper // RO // louisville // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like: rocking out in the basement all night long with your best friends, leaving at sunrise and not having a fucking care in the world

The O'My's // N&C // chicago // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: putting on suspenders, a bow tie, a top hat or that vintage 50s dress with your derby hat, then looking in the mirror and saying damnnnn I look good

Middle Kids // N&C // sydney // 2:50, Pepsi // sounds like: walking through the forests in the northern woods of wisconsin 

The Drums // FUCKDANCE // nyc // 3:30, Lake Shore // sounds like: you dancing by yourself in the middle of a disco dance floor and being totally cool with it

 

Friday // 

 mondo cozmo | shazam private party, chicago | 4.6.17

mondo cozmo | shazam private party, chicago | 4.6.17

SAINt JHN // San Holo // Mondo Cozmo // PUP // Mura Masa // Whitney**

SAINt JHN // TOU // brooklyn // 12:50, Pepsi // sounds like: taking a glorious, smooth shower in the coolest hotel room in Vegas

San Holo // FUCKDANCE // netherlands // 1:15, Perry's // sounds like: going through one of those installments where mirrors are everywhere reflecting off one another

Mondo Cozmo // RO // philadelphia // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: watching a city plant grow in your patio

PUP // RO // toronto // 2, Tito's // sounds like: taping yourself going out the other night and watching it the next day at 10 times to speed

Mura Masa // FUCKDANCE // guernsey // 4, Pepsi // sounds like: walking through a stripped down city in a tropical setting

Whitney // N&C // chicago // 7:45, Pepsi // sounds like: cruising in your cadillac...bright lights, big city and chill - 45ish years ago

 

Saturday //

The Shelters // Ron Gallo** // Jacob Banks // LÉON // Colony House // Royal Blood

 the shelters | beat kitchen, chicago | 4.12.17

the shelters | beat kitchen, chicago | 4.12.17

The Shelters // RO // la, usa // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like: living your life through a classic style microphone 

Ron Gallo // RO // nashville + philadelphia // 2:10, BMI // sounds like: giving the finger to those kids that bullied you later than life with a smile

Jacob Banks // TOU // birmingham, uk // 2:15, Tito's // sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from the bad

LÉON // N&C // stockholm // 4, Pepsi // sounds like: laying in the perfectly crafted bed made of clouds and marshmallows

 ron gallo | subterranen, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

ron gallo | subterranen, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

Colony House // FUCKDANCE // franklin, tennessee // 4, BMI // sounds like:

Royal Blood // RO // brighton, uk // 5:15, lake shore // sounds like: a fight for supremacy among animals in the deep jungles of south america

 

Sunday // 

Grace Mitchell // VANT // Lo Moon // noname // Car Seat Headrest // flor 

Grace Mitchell // RO // portland // 12:15, Tito's // sounds like: your fuzzy night leading into the even more fuzzy morning

VANT // RO // london // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like:  the soundtrack to looking back on a good day with your friends....all smiles

Lo Moon // N&C // la, usa // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: a casual trip into outerspace

noname // TOU // chicago // 2:50, Pepsi // sounds like: the most rocking, soulful lullaby you'll ever need

Car Seat Headrest // RO + N&C // seattle via leesburg // 3, Bud Light // sounds like: a night out in the middle of nowhere america with the sun setting on you

 

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

nothing // fb // spotfiy // sc // twitter // ig

new music: SURF CURSE

reppin: la, usa // 2012 - present  // danger collective records

sounds like: a leisurely stroll down the beach behind a vintage filter

 surf curse | empty bottle, chicago | 4.25.17 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

surf curse | empty bottle, chicago | 4.25.17 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

last album drop: nothing yet (jan 2017)

featuring: jacob // nick

 surf curse | photo cred: thescenestar.typepad.com

surf curse | photo cred: thescenestar.typepad.com

The simple things in life...they are relatable, understandable, beautiful and at the core just want to be your friend. When surf curse hits the stage with two skinny, young looking dudes you start to possibly wonder what they can tangle together with a simple drum kit, a guitar and two voices. When they start playing, just close your eyes and the answer will come to you in a pleasant, lo-fi, bouncy beach sound that will have you vibing for days. This duo, hailing from LA via henderson, NV has tied the laces and put on the hat to what is a punk surfer rock band. I’m across the board on getting all sorts of music in my ears, but oh boy, is there something just beautiful about two humans composing a simple arrangement that brings more energy and emotion than five piece bands. After forming sometime in 2012/13 and often splitting time between coasts, they put out their EP “Sad Boys” in 2013 and have been hard tour dudes ever since. Drawing inspiration from a lot of their favorite movies like Dazed and Confused, they almost like to create their own soundtrack to it. They have played in just about every city and hit a ton of musical festivals to boot. Both “sad boys” and their first full length, “buds” had this deep, fast punk vibe to them, moving quickly from song to song with light and airy vocals. Just give “I’m Not Making Out You” a listen and try and not scoot around and dance in your apartment...impossible!

 surf curse | empty bottle, chicago | 4.25.17 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

surf curse | empty bottle, chicago | 4.25.17 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

What I can certainly notice is this shift in in your face surfer punk to this more mellow, lo-fi jam on their latest album, “nothing yet.” When the lead track, christine f, hits your ears, it starts with a simple drum intro coupled with nick’s vocals and then boom, the guitar hits and all of the sudden, so quickly, you just get the vibe. Sing along lyrics, a relaxed yet energetic collection of riffs, swift drums, and guitar picking throughout that equates to this euphoria sound with depth. You can’t help but bounce around and feel happy hearing them play. When they hit the stage live, sometimes with an extra musician to pick up those extra notes, their ease in their composure mixed with the organized thrashing along of their instruments. As you get deeper into their latest album, pay close attention to the lyrics taking jabs at personal experiences that seem to have shaped the music they play today. In fact, those lyrics, in the simplistic form they are in, are pretty relatable on anyone’s level. There will be a sense of comfort because of their melodic approach combined with that feeling of being a kid again makes for a great time.

suggested listening experience: bike rides and walks down the street // beach hangs // backyard bbqs

listens: christine f // i’m not making out with you // freaks // heathers // all is lost // the strange and the kind // doom generation // forever dumb

surf curse // fb // spotify // sc // twitter // ig 

concert shenanigans: WHITE REAPER

reppin: louisville, ky // polyvinyl records // 2014 - present

sounds like: rocking out in the basement all night long with your best friends, leaving at sunrise and not having a fucking care in the world

 white reaper | photo cred: leoweekly.com

white reaper | photo cred: leoweekly.com

last album drop: the world’s best american rock band (april 2017)

featuring: tony // ryan // sam // nick

 white reaper | beat kitchen, chicago | 5.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

white reaper | beat kitchen, chicago | 5.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

You walk into a sold out, sweaty, rock club venue, Beat Kitchen in this instance, and the crowd doesn’t quite as the band gets on stage. They start to roar louder and shift closer to the front for prime positioning. Then, these baby faced kids come on and all of the sudden the room explodes. Kids are crowd surfing immediately, the mosh-pit forms and all hell breaks loose in the most joyous way possible. Ladies and gentleman, this is what rock n’ roll is all about. This is White Reaper. Nobody gave a shit that it was Cinco De Mayo, we just wanted to live like we were in high school again...those moments where we could hit up a show on a Friday night and not give a shit about what is going on in their life and what others think, just let loose. The energy and emotion that spread from those speakers to the back of the crowd were immediately felt. Tony’s bubbly vocals, the poppy yet gritty guitar licks and powerful drums take us all on an hour plus magical journey.

White Reaper began just three short years ago and they already have licked their chops to 2 EPs and 2 full-lengths, all layered with powerful and simple depth. That straight up rock n’ roll approach is certainly felt in the lyrics about partying, love and just having a good ol’ time. So how did these young dudes come to blend that rock party vibe of the 70s with a modern sprinkle of rock that makes you want to get up and dance? The formula has seemed to be lots and lots of touring combined with powering out tunes in the studio. Practice makes perfect they say. That has amounted to not just a solid live show, but carefully crafted tracks that know when to pick you up and drop you into the mosh pit. They are loud. They are fast. And it will all suck you in.

Opening with the title track off their first album, “The World’s Best American Band,” it is evident that they know how to set the tone right from the start. The pit immediately ensued, the crowd surfing began and it was rock n’ roll mayhem from there. Classic rock in 2017 just pumping out of the amps and it is so clear that their good times on stage translate to fluidly to the crowd. There doesn’t have to be much talking, but more drinking beers and getting onto the next track. Instant classics like “Eagle Beach,” “Judy French,” “Make Me Wanna Die,” are treats to us humans as we kick around and sing all the lyrics with Tony. All in all you have about 250 happy campers at the end of night, sweaty, smelly and ready to do it all over again with them next time. While the White Reaper dudes may think they are regressing and continuing to lose brain cells, I say stick at it, because you are making a lot of kids believers and those vibes will keep spreading.

suggested listening experience: any party on any day or night // time to suck it up and get that project done before the deadline // waking up in the morning

listens: judy french // world’s best american band // make me wanna die // eagle beach // little silver cross // sheila // tell me // crystal pistol

wr // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

concert shenanigans: NAUGHTY PROFESSOR & BASSEL AND THE SUPERNATURALS @ Taste of Randolph

reppin: np - new orleans, usa // 2011 - present //  b&ts - chicago, usa // 2008 - present

sounds like: np - a monster truck gracefully crashing into something. You can appreciate the beauty of it

b&ts - we are the movie Wet Hot American Summer on repeat. Constant trolling and very animated bunch. Good times and good vibes

last/upcoming album drop: np - identity (june 2017) // b&ts - elements (feb 2017)

 naughty professor | taste of randolph, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

naughty professor | taste of randolph, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: np - ian // (tenor sax) // john (trumpet) // bill (guitar) // nick (alto and baritone sax) // sam (drums) // noah (bass) 

b&ts - bassel // brandon // philip // stevenson //  mason // caleb // thomas // corbin //  sean // juan // leslie

Taste of Randolph - Chicago

What they say about summertime Chi is true, it really does not get much better in this country. The beach (there is even a freaking festival on the beach now), street festivals, music everywhere, big festivals and more. A staple has landed right at the beginning of the summer madness and they call it, The Taste of Randolph. Located in the heart of the West Loop, it was first known as the place to flock towards to get the best eats in the city….all of those glorious tacos and sausages. Now, it has become clear that music is the leading force of this ginormous street fest, gathering some musically talented bands and acts from across the states. A clear winner and up there with West Fest, Green Fest, Wicker Park and DoDivision...let’s not forget Logan Square Arts Festival as well.

The year 2017 featured the likes of rock/almost jam band Moon Taxi, Here Come The Mummies (a collection of talented studio musicians who yes, dress as mummies), electronic bossman Robert DeLong, the chill of the chilliest Slow Magic and dance kings !!! (Chk Chk Chk) as well as some smaller known acts. I got to kick it with two in particular: Soulfunk act, Bassel and the Supernaturals as well as jazzy “future-funk” outfit, Naughty Professor. Ladies and gentleman, these are two ridiculously musically technical acts that make jaws drop as you stand in place just observing the ear awesomeness. No, you will not hear them in the latest top 40 rotation, but they are the types of bands needed to progress and push out the borders of music. First up, Ohio born, Chicago living and Syrian raised, Mr. Bassel:

Bassel and the Supernaturals

Lets first focus on your unique sound and vibes that Bassel and Supernaturals is. What past experiences in music brought you to create this soulful funky sound?

 bassel & the supernaturals | taste of randolph, chicago | 6.16.17 | @thefaakehipster

bassel & the supernaturals | taste of randolph, chicago | 6.16.17 | @thefaakehipster

We play like a neo-soul type of music. I was a drummer, playing violin in the indie rock music scene in Ohio. I was into a lot of forms of indie rocks. Denali, Mile Marker, a lot of early Death Cab for Cutie. I moved to Chicago seven years ago and that is where I started getting into more of the soul music. I got really deep into Andrew Bird and Sufjan Stevens beforehand and when I got to Chicago and it was a really good time to reflect on what I thought what made music timeless and what resonated with me. It all came back to that soulful connection to the music. I got really hooked on Otis Reading in particular and that led me down a whole path: Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, you name it. What all these artists have in common is that emotional connection to the music and their ability to tell a story doing it. Their music, tone, lyrics, everything, you just feel so connected to it. And it was very powerful for me. It taught me to find an emotional element to everything I was doing. It was less about writing soul music, but writing music from the soul. It is also just a ton of fun to play as well.

A lot of bands are always striving to be unique - live show, sound, promo, etc. You guys have a positive twist on it. I take it you are from Syria...which i think turns heads given the political climate now. What do you want to teach your fans about why you do what you do?

More than anything it is about people getting really nervous confronting the issues in Syria, being all political. What is so powerful about music is that ability for music to break down that wall and make that connection to those types of issues. The personal connection that we have to this issue has been unbelievably powerful. Beyond just festivals and clubs we play colleges and cultural centers, churches that are more focused on creating a conversation around this. And what is a common thread in so many of these spaces is that so many people have cared about this issues but they feel nervous about how little they know or don’t know different organizations. By creating a space where we can be open about that and not force any issues down anyone’s throat and just tell a story and talk about the organizations that who are doing good work and find that connection and personalize it. Not as a far away distance issues and it is something that affects us all.

The lyrics...real life situations, love, losing those close to you. How do you want your fans to take in your words and react to them?

We get a lot of questions if lyrics are specific to a person or friend or whatever. It is about emotions that connect to different experiences, that is how I enjoy writing. Love or loss...loss of a friend, dear item, that emotion that brings those experiences together. Being able to personalize those emotions and you feel the colors and the songs and you can interpret that with your own environment and who you are.

Y’all are about to go hit the stage on a nice summer day. What is the mission of your live set. When you make eye contact with a fan or are trying to make new fans...what do you want the audience to get out of it?

It’s creating an infectious energy on the stage, more than anything it starts there. I mean, it is great when you make eye contact with somebody and you know they are feeling it. I love to just energize my band. The more fun we are having on stage, the more fun everyone will have. I’ve learned to spend more time doing that and less time focusing on this person and that person. It has to translate to the audience

I always use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, what would you use?

We are the movie Wet Hot American Summer on repeat. Constant trolling and very animated bunch. Good times and good vibes.

Naughty Professor

How did you guys land on your sound, being a larger group with some diverse personalities?

So, we all met in music school in New Orleans and at a time when we were all checking a lot of different music out and growing as musicians...currently we are all between 25-28. So, we all met around 7 years ago. Over the course of the first year or two, we kind of landed on this sound...pretty bombastic and aggressive and still somewhat dynamic with some jazz sensibilities. We def leave space for every member to take a solo and guide the band one way or another.

So live, do you all do a lot of interpretation on your set?

Most of what we do is planned out, but we do leave space for a solo section so we can change it up a bit.

 naughty professor | taste of randolph, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

naughty professor | taste of randolph, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

Me: That is refreshing to hear, being away from the mainstream genres, but you all aren’t afraid to be different among the general audience.

There are some lyrics involved, are there any stories and personal experiences involved with that? Or is more about the music and the solos you want fans to engage with?

So the band has usually been instrumental until this new album we are putting out next week actually. We decided to recruit seven singers and have five instrumental tracks. Until recently we never performed with a vocalist. Now, we have lyrics, but we did not actually write any of the lyrics. We sent the tracks to vocalists we liked and asked them to pick songs they like and write their take on it. It is a collaborative process, which I like, but none of us in the band are really singers or strong lyrical writers. We let the professionals write that.

While lyrics a central component for you, I’m sure the live show is where you focus on gaining those new fans. When you play live, what is your goal at the end of the day.

That’s a good question. Some things that set us apart from other groups are the amount of energy we have performing and just how much fun we are having on stage. There is some room to improvise our sets so it makes it a bit more free flowing, interact with one another. People have told me that they don’t really pay attention to the genre of music we play, but because of how we are on-stage, they are now believers. It really brings it home for them. I know there are some people that are jazz nerds like us and those nerding out...then there is the common music fan, and this is the perfect place to play.

I always use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, what would you use?

Ahhhh put me on the spot a little bit haha. I would hope we sound like a monster truck gracefully crashing into something. You can appreciate the beauty of it.

np // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

b&ts // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

concert shenanigans: ESCORT

reppin: brooklyn, usa // escort records // 2006 - present

sounds like: being up all night and having a story to tell at each place you land at

 escort | 6.12.17 | the empty bottle, chicago | @thefaakehipster

escort | 6.12.17 | the empty bottle, chicago | @thefaakehipster

last album drop: animal nature (oct 2015)

featuring: adeline // dan // eugene

 escort | 6.12.17 | the empty bottle, chicago | @thefaakehipster

escort | 6.12.17 | the empty bottle, chicago | @thefaakehipster

Got your dancing shoes on? Okay, good. These funky dance warriors have been killing it for over 10 years now and at first sight of them live, your feet will move. They have no choice to even if your brain says no. A delicious blend of funk, pop, soul and just good ol’ beats, Escort is a plate of dancy good times that don’t stop. Back in the early 2000s, Dan and Eugene were rocking out to some house samples when they decided to start making some records with the spirit of those samples. While certainly floating in that “disco” territory, there is a fresh, new vibe with them that destroys any “old feels.” There sound is current while throwing a variety of slow and upbeat jams in your face. Popping them in your ears, gives you an immediate sense of confidence and feeling that you want to dance like nobody's watching...and trust me because I have been caught doing it.

 escort | 6.12.17 | the empty bottle, chicago | @thefaakehipster

escort | 6.12.17 | the empty bottle, chicago | @thefaakehipster

Let’s scoot back in time just a few days as they took the Empty Bottle stage on a hot ass Monday night. It did not stop the humans from piling in as well. Their presence was immediately felt as the bass line kicked in, the sequenced dancing ensued and it was just a straight up party from there. For a little over an hour, the heat continued to build, the sweat poured off everyone, but no one seemed to care. Arms flailing about and smiles all around as they moved from track to track. When a band can grab an audience like that, you can see the look in everyone’s eyes and the connection is felt. While Escort does not land in the category of new music, they are a go to in any sort of “i just want to dance” situation. Real humans playing real instruments that make you want to get groovy.

suggested listening experience: any and all dance parties // any and all after parties // walking down the sidewalk like no one's watching

listens: cocaine blues // body talk // actor out of work // animal nature // if you say so // barbarians // starlight

escort // fb // spotify // sc // twitter // ig

concert shenanigans: HINDS presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: madrid // mom + pop music // 2011 - present

sounds like: waking up in the morning with the covers everywhere, the room a mess and not having a recollection of what happened last night...which is exactly what you wanted

 hinds | the empty bottle | chicago

hinds | the empty bottle | chicago

latest album drop: leave me alone (sept, 2016)

featuring: carlotta (vox, guitar) // ana (vox, guitar) // ade (bass) // amber (drums)

As Thursday, May 25th in the year 2017 slowly seeped into the afternoon, the sun shined from the clouds for what I think was the first time during the week. It was like a breath of fresh air and an obvious sign that some band, somewhere in Chicago needed to rock out and take advantage of it. They called that band Hinds, hailing from the Madrid...four girls ready to take their fans to a place of pure bliss. Suddenly night was upon us and as I pulled up to the Empty Bottle, the line bent around the legendary corner and kept going further back. Red Bull Sound Select is always snagging bands and artists on the rise for their shows and this was no different. Despite the wait and the length of the human snake line, there were smiles across everyone’s face. Fresh off their tour with Chicago’s own Twin Peaks, everyone was ready for a good time.

 hinds | the empty bottle, chicago | 5.25.17 | @redbullsoundselect

hinds | the empty bottle, chicago | 5.25.17 | @redbullsoundselect

To get you in the space to experience Hinds, we must go back to 2011 when carlotta and ana were a duo named Deers. After a little hiatus they came back with amber and ade and introduced the world to their tracks “bamboo” and “trippy gum.” A well balanced mixture of lo-fi rock, punk sprinkled with some pop and thrown in the blender with some garage rock. They have a look to them that screams “fucking listen to us, we are fun.” After their first few releases in 2014 and 2015, they galloped around Europe with the likes of The Black Lips and The Vaccines. I could only assume something special was brewing, even only having a few songs under their belts. Their earlier songs give reason to believe that they were set on their sound and ready to venture across the pond to take the states by storm. Suddenly, when you mentioned “Hinds” after their 2016 release, Leave Me Alone, ears began to perk a bit more

As midnight came upon us, the sold out crowd began to get louder in anticipation for their faces to be melted. And once they took the stage, it was almost as if for a little over an hour, we could all forget about the bullshit we deal with on the daily. The blanketed of smooth sounds of carlotta’s and ana’s guitar mixed with amber’s piercing drums and ade’s super groovy bass lines settled on top of the audience. That warmth was immediately spread throughout us happy humans. Carlotta’s and Ana’s vocals play off one another so well as it amps up the crowd...and a few of the Twin Peaks dudes even chimed in. As ana gave a shout out to the delicious Old Style beer, it was then that I realized, they were having way more fun than the attendees and nothing is better than that. They moved through their new classics like “garden” and “bamboo” and even threw a newbie at us. Whether you were still and just soaking in the tasty ear treats, or getting your feet off the ground (and many were), there was something for every happy human there. Hinds + RBSS = well done.

suggested listening experience: summertime cruising in the big city // when you need a smile after a long day // just hanging with your homies

listens: bamboo // san diego // garden // chili town // castigadas en el granero // warts // easy

hinds // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

concert shenanigans: STEF CHURA

reppin: detroit, usa // urinal cake records // 2012 - present

sounds like: sitting on one of those white picket fences in the middle of nowhere, lighting up a cigarette and sinking into your "space"

 stef chura | the empty bottle, chicago | 5.4.17 | @thefaakehipster

stef chura | the empty bottle, chicago | 5.4.17 | @thefaakehipster

last album drop: messes (jan, 2017)

featuring: stef // ryan // alex

 stef chura | the empty bottle, chicago | 5.4.17 | @thefaakehipster

stef chura | the empty bottle, chicago | 5.4.17 | @thefaakehipster

In the midst of a jam packed concert week at the beginning of May, I walked into my favorite sweaty rock club in Chicago, The Empty Bottle, to take in lady rocker Stef Chura. Hailing from detroit, much like most of us midwesteners, she wears her emotions on her sleeves. Her latest album, "messes," is a true emotional rollercoaster of life, lessons and what humans can learn from simply fucking up. I love her quote she told somebody at some point when the album was released: “It’s about emotional mess, not physical mess,” Chura says. These are two very different things, something we all experience and music can teach us a lot about funneling both types of emotions. Now, the actual music she is making definitely portrays that up and down sort of feel...grungy, off-tuned guitars, yet very clean and poppy (weird, I know). Vocals that honestly I cannot describe as she combines words and sometimes makes it hard to understand what she is saying. In a really good way. She really nails the whole blending of pop and garage rock worlds.

Her message with this debut album are quite simple: don't be afraid to fuck up because it is the only way we can succeed later on. Life never goes as planned and the sooner we figure that out and let go of fears of trying to do everything right all the time, the quicker we can be free. Stef is no stranger to music as she has been in and out of bands for almost ten years now. Each song in "messes" really hits on different different types of feelings, coming together in a montage of attitudes and beliefs. Something for everyone to relate to. It makes sense that her debut is full of these lessons as it was years of experiences that built up to it.   

 stef chura | the empty bottle, chicago | 5.4.17 | @thefaakehipster

stef chura | the empty bottle, chicago | 5.4.17 | @thefaakehipster

The garage rock, slightly pop vibe seeps through her vocals and guitars. Her set appears simplistic with three band members, but it really is layered with depth as the album comes to life. Her vocals and tangled guitar riffs makes you think about what can be right in the world for a few moments. Again, that calmness seems to take over from a physical standpoint, but you can see and hear the emotion in her vocals as she moves through the set list. I was luckily enough to be surrounded by a decent size, yet responsive crowd that was really paying attention. The journey is just getting started for Stef and I dig how she has created an identity for herself already. Be interested in how this one evolves over the coming year with new music to come.

suggested listening experience: alone time // weekend bike rides // chill session with a few friends

listens: spotted gold // slow motion // you // thin // faded heart // messes // human being

stef chura // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

new music: KAIYDO

reppin: orlando, fl // unsigned // 2016 - present

sounds like: riding down the street on a summer day with a fluffy, comfy cloud as your ride

upcoming album release: tba, 2017

featuring: keiondre boone // 20 years old

 Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

There was something about the sunny day in April a few weeks back as I rolled up to the Bottom Lounge that seemed perfectly fitting in meeting Kaiydo. The vibes of Chicago spring day matched the sounds coming into my earbuds from none other than the 20 year old himself. Bouncy beats that make you smile, a flow that fills you with hearty goodness and lyrics that make you forget about all your worries. While Southern hip hop is big, bold and in your face, Kaiydo appears to be building his tunes on the other side of the spectrum. There is something that is inviting about his songs...maybe it’s the ultra summer vibe each one of his songs is lit up with. It’s the creativity right off that bat that brings you in for the hug and makes you say, “I want to get up and vibe to whatever this fresh new track this is.” Each one of his singles out there has a intro that immediately perks the ears as he lures you into an amazing hook that you can listen to over and over.

While chatting Kaiydo up for a few before the show as we set-up a few promo shots, it became clear why this kid leans towards the different and unique. The chill personality shines through as he goes with the flow. Then, all the sudden it starts to make sense. The colorful graphics he uses for each song really do represent the relatable lyrics in his young career. They are fun and sometimes goofy, yet clearly represent the hard work he is putting in early in his career. This dude really did make a bang right out of the gate. He has dates lined up at the likes of Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and Firefly...not bad for a first timer tour. And sometimes, for your first tour, you have to roll around in a Dodge mini-van with your manager and crew because that is what it takes.

 Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Again, these vibes were perfect for Pigeons & Planes “No Ceilings” Tour with a very talented lineup featuring Boogie, Kemba, Michael Christmas and Kaiydo. For just the man himself and his DJ, there was a ton of energy brought to the table in his live set. For someone who only has a handful of shows under his belt, he can get the crowd involved and use the stage in his entirety. While there were some in the crowd who knew a few of his tracks, most probably did not, but everyone had one thing in common: bouncing to the beat. The dope part of all of this...he is freaking 20 years old! It is kinda hard to ignore this kid at the moment as he has our eyes and ears at attention. If he keeps the good vibes with him, he’ll keep opening up opportunities for himself and continue to grow as a rapper.

suggested listening experience: playing video games or any chill hang // party time! // literally doing anything during the summer

listens: fruit punch // arcade // reflections // jumpin // lottery // red freestyle

kaiydo // fb // twitter // ig // spotify // sc

concert shenanigans: SUNDARA KARMA

reppin: reading, berkshire, uk // 2010 - present // rca records

sounds like: strapping in for the smoothest and dreamiest rollercoaster ride of your life

 sundara karma | photo cred: musicfestivalnews.net

sundara karma | photo cred: musicfestivalnews.net

latest album drop: youth is only ever fun in retrospect (jan 2017)

featuring: oscar // dom // ally // haydn

 sundara karma | subterranean, chicago | 4.18.17 | @thefaakehipster

sundara karma | subterranean, chicago | 4.18.17 | @thefaakehipster

On a brisk spring day in early 2016 (that could be a lie, but roll with it) I came across these brit pop rockers on the bus on the way to work. An immediate feel of comfort and ease draped over me as the intro of “loveblood” kicked in. Then Ally’s voice held me like a little baby as his range was shown and I was sold on the spot. From there it has been a year of anticipation to see them live, which I finally did in mid-April. First, let’s take you back across the pond as there were numerous human beings who had been rocking out to SK well before we heard of them. These baby faced 21 year olds have been together for some time, but the songs really only track back to 2014. However, their sound seems to have always been a full and pure pop rock, something they seem to continue to perfect as time goes. What I love the most about these young dudes is their range within the rock sound. They can lullaby you and then come back, punch you in the face while you get lost in the haze of a more powerful rock tune. While their musical style is somewhat straightforward and simple, it is so full and head-banging at the same time.

 sundara karma | subterranean, chicago | 4.18.17 | @thefaakehipster

sundara karma | subterranean, chicago | 4.18.17 | @thefaakehipster

You figure these young millennials (can you even file millennials to 21 year olds right now) would chat your ear off on stage, and kind of bask in the love being thrown at them. Nope, sorry. Moving swiftly through their tracks, they bring a sound to the live stage that can match their recordings with more emotion and energy. Crisp guitars, a clean bass with drums to match and then those vocals….dreamy. Those catchy choruses that are in your headphones are even more enjoyable live as you can see the emotion in the guy’s faces while you jump up and down with your friends. There is an obvious raise in vocals all over the place as they get into their heavy hitters like “a young understanding,” “flame” and “loveblood.” Once it is all said and done you are exhausted from moving your body and singing along, yet so calm in the feels that ran through you during the set. There are big things to come for this group, especially if they stay true to their sound.

suggested listening experience: anywhere you can freely move your body to rock out // long transit rides // make out sessions

listens: loveblood // a young understanding // happy family // she said // flame // deep relief

sk // twitter // ig // spotify // fb // sc

new music/album release: SAINT SLUMBER

reppin: small town, jersey, usa // 2016 - present // unsigned

sounds like: a caterpillar turned butterfly slowly ascending from your cocoon in the middle of a vivid forest

 saint slumber

saint slumber

latest album drop: YOUTH//1 ep (f*cking today!)

featuring: joshua // aaron // matt

Okay, so that is a weird and “high-statement” to say about a band, but for a debut ep from seasoned musicians, I expect nothing less. The impression that ensued a few minutes in had to do with the type of tunes you come across, if you are to split them down two lanes. There are those tunes that give you the singular ability to make you feel something in that moment, while others have a sound that builds on a longer timeline and takes you to a vast area that allows your imagination to run. This is the latter and I love it. These three make you feel warm in all the right ways with their balance of rock and electronic beats. Quick story: They were once upon a time ago named Dawns, and I saw them play at a tiny place they call Berlin in Manhattan, and they were really good and now they are even better. End story. Now, these guys are starting a new story, and being unsigned gives them all creative freedom a band could want. This is so evident as you move through these five songs that gives one all the feels.

 saint slumber

saint slumber

When COOL kicks in, the bass is clearly heard and you notice the careful placement of instruments. They are spaced out properly to let themselves be heard at the right moments. YOUTH really slows things down and gets super trippy and electronic with vocals effects. When the guitar comes in for the kiss at the end it really adds another tasty treat. HUMAN brings more keyboards to the party with lyrics of crazy depth, but with a simple message in the story. It’s one of those songs that is sweet as is, but probably on another level in person. Next up we travel to GETAWAY, which wants to give you a hug with a more mellow vibe. I can only guess that it is meant to set up the anticipation for the final song, which it accomplishes. NEED brings her home with a powerful beat and crazy good build up to the last half of the track, perfectly fitting with the lyrics. This EP -->  a volcanic eruption of eargasm(s).

suggested listening experience: in the office to drown out your shit colleagues // chill weeknight with some friends // deep thinking alone time

YOUTH//1: spotify // soundcloud

ss // fb // twitter // ig

new music: DEAP VALLY

reppin: la, usa // cooking vinyl records // 2011 - present

sounds like: rebelling against who the fuck ever you have a problem with and giving them finger with a smile

 lindsey & julie | photo cred: milkccater.com

lindsey & julie | photo cred: milkccater.com

last album drop: femejism (sept 2016)

featuring: lindsey troy (guitar, vocals) // julie edwards (drums and vocals)

 julie of deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

julie of deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

There is a sense of just pure rock bliss when you listen to lindsey and julie melting your eardrums through the speakers. Almost that sense that they are in your living room or your phone playing a set just for you. Born just a crisp six years ago, these ladies hit the studio early in 2012 to record their debut track, “Gonna Make My Own Money,” and were London a month later making their debut across the pond. I know, fuck our lives, right? But, fortunately when we all see that fuck our lives moment, usually on the other end there are musicians turning out crazy good music. Jump to year later and their four song EP, “Get Deap” is released followed quickly by their debut LP, “Sistrionix.” That landed them some rave reviews and support for some very well known groups into the next year. Finally, they followed up a great opener to an even better sophomore release, “Femejism” back in the fall of 2016 and have not looked back at this point.

 deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

 deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

I haven’t had a chance to talk to these two yet, but it seems like they were shot out of cannon with the attention they have gotten since femegism and very deservedly so. The range of their sound, yet at the core just blues/garage rock n’ roll has landed them on tour with the likes of The Vaccines, Marylin Mason, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wolfmother. I usually dig into two paths of a group’s sound early on...can you continuously evolve your sound to stay current or build on the depth of the sound you own. Julie and Lindsey are the latter and they are just getting started. There blues riffs carry into their choruses so well. That dirty garage rock will kick in at exactly when you need it to give them a good balance. With both ladies killing it on the vocals, there is something to be said about there straight up “fuck you guys” lyrics (And I am not ashamed of my sex life // Although I wish it were better // I am not ashamed I am no one's wife // Although the idea does sound kind of nice). Telling it like it is: “i said come on everybody, listen up // there is no time like the present. And finally, the live set...holy shit. A glam 80s rock look, two girls, lights and beers. Those recordings are channeled through the PA, if not better than the actual recordings because you get that expressiveness in their voices, axe and drums. If you are in concert seeing mode, go check these two out at the nearest festival or wherever they are playing. You will not be disappointed.

suggested listening experience: sunny saturday daytime bbq // a fuck you day at the office // physical activity (would not recommend marathons, they’ll get the heart rate going too fast)

listens: royal jelly // smile more // gonnawanna // little baby beauty queen // baby i can hell // walk of shame // end of the world // lies

dv // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

concert shenanigans: PETER OREN

reppin: columbus, indiana // 2009 - present

sounds like: a walk through the redwoods forest with the most comforting breeze at your back

 peter oren | the hideout, chicago | 3.29.17 | @thefaakehipster

peter oren | the hideout, chicago | 3.29.17 | @thefaakehipster

next album drop: new album drops in fall 2017

featuring: peter oren

 peter oren | the hideout, chicago | 3.29.17 | @thefaakehipster

peter oren | the hideout, chicago | 3.29.17 | @thefaakehipster

Okay, close your eyes real quick, click on your streaming music of choice, type in peter oren and listen. Waiiitttt, do all that stuff then close your eyes. Let Mr. Oren’s ridiculous, luscious, deep woody mahogany/oak; piercing to the point of soothing vocals take you to your happy place. Seriously it is that good. Now go look at a picture of him...that voice came out of that 25 year old dude, yup. I had a chance to sit down with Peter for a little and the kid could not be more excited to make music. This smart dude quit college, is humble and wants to get to know his fans. He protests for what he believes in and knows how to write a sad song that still makes you feel fuzzy inside. Oh, he also hitchhiked in Norway alone at 19 because that is totally normal. Oh, and he also does not have a residence at the moment. What I am trying to get at is Peter is passionate about what he believes in and he is all in on the music he writes. And it is damn good.

 peter oren | photo cred: headphonenation.net

peter oren | photo cred: headphonenation.net

I came across Peter on a limb as I have a serious problem in the sense that I have to go to 4 shows a week. I knew immediately there was something special to his simple acoustic sound blended with those deep vocals. When he comes on, the room goes quiet and everyone is attentive. You can tell he feeds off the engaged crowd and throws a little something extra in at the right moments. Whether you are with friends and are in jaw dropping mode, or with that significant other holding their hand, you’ll heart will warm. It is not just his singing voice that will carry him far, but his ability to get those ears perked, his songwriting and his overall aroma. There really isn’t much like this dude out there.

suggested listening experience: a glass of whiskey and a fireplace // getting home after the longest day ever // that moment when you just need to forget

listens: lake crescent // in a bind // leviathan // wilderness // french press // C.A.F.O. // living by the light

po // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

new music: SALT CATHEDRAL

reppin: brooklyn, usa via columbia // unsigned

sounds like: being on an outdoor dance floor in the middle of the rainforest

 salt cathedral | photo cred: villagevoice.com

salt cathedral | photo cred: villagevoice.com

latest album drop: “big waves / small waves” debut album out in 2017

featuring: juli (hooli) // nico

 salt cathedral | photo cred: newyorklatinculture.com

salt cathedral | photo cred: newyorklatinculture.com

Where did these two come from? I mean, I know they are posted up in NYC, but they shot out of a cannon last year and are very much set to make that “boom” noise this year. Before we get into their completely revamped sound, we must go back to 2014 (probably earlier, my sources are thin) to set the story up. Once a rock outfit they were called Il Abanico with a very in your face guitar pop sound. Whatever caused the change of heart, I do not know; but they made a name switch and introduced more of a dancey vibe with synths and keyboards. Originally from Columbia, these two put the weird in music and are not apologizing for it. Their last EP was out in 2014, “Oom Vet,” was exactly that weirdness we all need in our ears. Crazy samples mixed with that soothing voice of Juli wrapped in between slower, groovier beats. Fast forward to now...you better believe they are getting weirder, groovier and….weirder. The good weird, duh.

I'll admit it, just about every "with it" publication that I can think of has already written about these two...and for good reason because they are quite tasty. They have over 250 shows under their belt and will be heading to a few festivals this summer. From what I gathered with the latest tunes, picture yourself in a Jamaican Dance Hall with a slew of different collaborators from Assassin to Lee Scratch Perry to Matisyahu. The pop gets your feet moving and then you are all the sudden taken into this tropical sort of vibe, and yes, Juli’s vocals are still soothing as fuck. I sadly left SXSW before they performed but was told by a birdie they killed it with the performance, energy and lights...the full package if you will. I think it is time to sink your teeth into this duo because something tells me they have just scratched the surface of weird...and I like weird.

 salt cathedral | photo cred: saltcathedralmusic.com

salt cathedral | photo cred: saltcathedralmusic.com

suggested listening experience: anything on the dance floor // strolling through the street on a summer day // beach hanging

concert shenanigans: SXSW 2017 Recap In Pictures

reppin: austin, tx

when: march 10 - 19 (was there from the 10th - 16th)

sounds like: a cluster-fuck of pure bliss, hurt feet and happy hearts

experience: 1st time ever - repping my actual job with tactify and sharetapes

artists featured: Wyclef Jean // Thee Oh Sees // The Aces // TI // SHAED // Jacob Banks // LOLO // Lewis Del Mar // Jimmy Eat World // Low Cut Connie // Dawg Yawp