chicago // SHOWS ON SHOWS ON SHOWS: oct 3 - 15

*a look ahead at some rad shows to kick off october*

explosions in the sky // 10.3 // empty bottle (sold out)

reppin: austin, tx // temporary residence limited // 1999 - present

sounds like: a mural of the world and its secret landscapes that defines us

explosions in the sky | photo cred: rtrfm.com.au

explosions in the sky | photo cred: rtrfm.com.au

A band that has grown from playing small bars and venues to big arenas returns to their roots in Chicago for a special night. A constant evolution of instrumental post-rock, these guys tell a story with every track they write.

listens: your hand in mine // first breath after coma // so long, lonesome

japanese breakfast // 10.4 // subterranean (sold out)

reppin: eugene, or // dead oceans records // 2013 - present

sounds like: walking through a futuristic forest

After spending time in her outfit, Little Big League, Michelle took what she learned from playing and turned into her solo project. Her indie rock/pop sound is a tad on the dark side, yet so fulfilling in an upbeat kind of way. Her latest album, “soft sounds from another planet” has earned her universal acclaim from critics.

listens: everybody wants to love you // road head // diving woman

flor // 10.5 // bottom lounge (tix)

reppin: hood river, or / la, usa // fueled by ramen // 2015 - present

sounds like: sitting down with mother nature and having a deep chat

My ears strongly feel that these kids have put out one of the friendliest sounding debuts in some time. Those vocals, poppy hooks and beats that make you sway will have you loving seeing this band in real life form.

listens: guarded // hold on // warm blood

jr jr // 10.5 // house of blues (interview coming tomorrow) // tix

JR JR | photo cred: Travis Shinn

JR JR | photo cred: Travis Shinn

reppin: detroit, usa // warner // 2010 - present

sounds like: sitting with a group of friends reading an adult children’s book

Sometimes when you are fucking around with friends in a basement, not worrying about what the public thinks...you make music that humans respond to. Easy on the ears, JR JR brings indie pop tunes that make you want to grab onto someone close and hold on tight.

listens: same dark places // gone // if you didn’t see me (then you weren’t on the dance floor)

touche amore // 10.7 // subterranean (tix)

reppin: la, usa // epitaph // 2007 - present

sounds like: a teddy bear shaking you of your fears then holding you close

Lyrics you can hold close to your heart, vocals you can feel in your chest and a post-hardcore that is friendlier on the ears than you may think. Their riffs, energy and emotion have been at the top of their game for nearly ten years now and I cannot wait to see them live again

listens: flowers and you // palm dreams // new halloween

zola jesus // 10.8, thalia hall (tix)

reppin: merrill, wisconsin // sacred bones records // 2006 - present

sounds like: a shark hunting its prey in the depths of the ocean

Nicole has been far and ride and reached deep to bring her tunes to where they are. A voice that haunts you in all the right ways, is just dark enough to keep you hooked and not scare you away...or maybe she will. She is going to light up Thalia

listens: soak // skin // exhumed

zola jesus | photo cred: tunefind.com

zola jesus | photo cred: tunefind.com

conner youngblood // 10.9 // schubas tavern (tix)

reppin: dallas, usa // tunecore // 2012 - present

sounds like: swimming through the air in the middle of a lively forest

conner youngblood | photo cred: stereofox.com

conner youngblood | photo cred: stereofox.com

I had the pleasure of meeting Conner a few years opening for Pell and his ice cream swirl that is ambient and rhythmic pop. For me, it’s a dream, and he can prove it live as he’s put out amazing track after track

listens: australia // everyday // higher

nicolas jaar // 10.10 // concord music hall (tix)

reppin: nyc, usa // other people //2007 - present

sounds like: a safari ride through a disco hall

This dude can make your feet move in a funky way with this out there experimental electronic tracks. Having played the role of DJ, producer, composer and more across soundtracks and explorative concerts. This one should be a good ol’ fun time

listens: mi mujer // el bandino // time for us

yoke lore // 10.10 // lincoln hall (tix)

reppin: Katonah, New York // B3SCI Records // 2013 - present

sounds like: a morning bath in a deep forest spring

Adrian Galvin, formerly of Walk The Moon, throws a stirring style of indie pop into your ears that meets in the middle of true pop and psychedelic. A talented dude who can play all of the instruments with vocals to match, he is amping up the touring.

listens: hold me down // goodpain // only you

r.o.e // 10.12 // emporium arcade wicker park (interview to come) // free show

reppin: brooklyn, usa via chicago // rising over envy music // 2009 - present

sounds like: hanging out in a room with classy carpet on the floor and walls

R.O.E has a flow that immediately stands out from the moment he hits the track. An old school vibe with a new school attitude, you’ll find his smooth flowing raps over soul, R&B, indie and more. Catch him as he returns back home to play some of his latest from “a backpacker named R.O.E”

listens: cruise // good times // the gloves - mathien

rac (remix artist collective) // 10.13 // the metro (tix)

rac | concord music hall, chicago | 11.13.15 | @thefaakehipster

rac | concord music hall, chicago | 11.13.15 | @thefaakehipster

reppin: portland, usa // counter records // 2007 - present

sounds like: having your own personal red carpet runway to do as you please

What started as Andre creating hundreds of remixes across the board of genres has turned into a feel-good dancy project with a tourning band. Mixing in some originals, the dude knows how to make you get up and move while putting a smile on their face. I always have a good time seeing them.

listens: let go // back of the car // i still wanna know

misterwives // 10.15 // the riviera theater (tix)

reppin: grand haven, michigan // interscope // 2010 - present

sounds like: being miniature in a big kids world

Ever since "reflections" dropped this band has been on spanning the spectrum of indie rock and pop. Their latest album, "connect the dots" is ballad after ballad you can easily get up to and sing along with.

listens: reflections // chasing this // our own house

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

chicago // shows on shows on shows: SEPTEMBER 18 - 30

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

naomi punk // the hideout // 9.18 // interview to come!

reppin: olympia, wa // captured tracks records // 2012 - present

sounds like: acid trip jounrneying music (according to travis)

Travis, Neil and Nick like it slow and loud. Crazy song structures, amps that will blow your ears off and attention to detail to boot. These guys want to take you to another dimension.

listens: the spell // cardboard // thru the trees

 

asgeir // bottom lounge // 9.19

reppin: reykjavík, iceland // one little indian // 2012 - present

sounds like: floating on a fluffy bed made of clouds across the ocean

Asgeir follows a trend of delicious voices coming out of the Icelandic region. He mixes bouncy, fun poppy beats into his acoustic goodness that will have you smiling the whole show.

listens: king and cross // unbound // stardust

modern vices // tonic room // 9.20 // interview from april 2017

reppin: chicago, usa // unsigned // 2013 - present

sounds like: crying to the Pet Sounds albums in a moldy basement but at the same time getting off to Joy Division

These dudes are making old school look good these days. Bringing a stylish and unique version of older sounding rock, mixed with pop and killer vocals. This will be as intimate as it gets with them at Tonic Room.

listens: smoke rings // baby // keep me under your arms

modern vices | subterranean & beat kitchen | 2017 | @thefaakehipster

 

el ten eleven // space // 9.21

reppin: la, usa // fake record label // 2002 - present

sounds like:  a collection of waterfalls in the rainforest in the early morning of a summer day

I've been a fan of these two for years as they are one of the most unique bands out there. Doublenbeck and fretless basses, beautiful song structure, crazy loops and no vocals. It is heaven coming out of amps.

listens: fanshawe // my only swerving // bridges

 

kweku collins | the metro, chicago | 3.24.17 | @thefaakehipster

kweku collins | the metro, chicago | 3.24.17 | @thefaakehipster

kweku collins // chop shop // 9.22 // previous story from Oct 2016

reppin: evanston, il // closed sessions // 2015 - present // 19 years old

sounds like: posting up at a campfire in the middle of the big city...the perfect mix of chill, inspiration and the evolving sounds

Not going to beat around the bush here...you need to catch this guy before he jets out of the city around the world. He is next in line to bring a positive flow to hip hop and at such a young age, he has everything in front of him.

listens: international business trip // death of a salesman // vanilla skies

 

davy knowles // space // 9.23

reppin: isle of man (currently resides in chicago) // blix street records // 2007 - present

sounds like:  hanging out in the middle of nowhere with your pickup and dog

davy knowles | space, evanston | 10.21.17 | @thefaakehipster

davy knowles | space, evanston | 10.21.17 | @thefaakehipster

I've said this since the first time I saw this guy shred live...he is easily a one of the best guitariest in the world right now. Both in how he writes and what he can do on the solo side of things. If you like or respect music, you owe it to yourself to see davy live.

listens: ain't no grave // uprising // oxford, ms

 

king gizzard & the lizard wizard // lincoln hall // 9.24 & 25

reppin: melbourne, australia // flightless records // 2010 - present

sounds like: floating through a trippy 3D video of patterns, talking frogs and of course, lizards and wizards

Australian music never ceases to amaze me and at KG&TLW to the list. Killer psychedelic sound to make you groove all night. This seven piece is constantly putting out new music, pushing the envelope as far as what instruments can do. Rule #24: Always see an Aussie band when they are in the states.

listens: work this time // hot wax // sense

 

wild cub // schubas // 9.25

reppin: nashville, usa // mom + pop records // 2011 - present

sounds like: getting in your nicest suit and dancing and sweating like no one is watching 

These brilliant musicians have really nailed a joyous and feel good vibe of indie pop. Having seen them in both the private and festival setting, it is so clear that they can bring you a good time live. Ear friendly sounds for all people!

listens: magic // somewhere // thunder clatter

 

the early november // bottom lounge // 9.26

reppin: hammonton, nj // rise records // 1999 - 2007, 2011 - present

sounds like: having all the fun with that special someone in a pile of leaves on a warm fall day

Yes, these guys are as emo as it gets and maybe they hold a special place in my heart from my high school days. Fuck that. Ace is one of the best songwriters in the game. They continue to evolve their sounds, make beautiful music while still giving you those goosebumps.

listens: boxing timelines // i want to hear you sad // something that produces results // fluxy

 

the california honeydrops // lincoln hall // 9.28

reppin: oakland, ca // tubtone records // 2007 - present

sounds like: that moment you slide under the blanket or hit the shower when it is most needed...instant relief from all of it

With very diverse bandmates from different backgrounds, this soul/R&B/blues group formed with a mission to put smiles on everyone's faces and dance moves in their bodies. Meshing some old school R&B with trendy pop sounds, they are a sight to be seen. Don't miss them.

listens: when it was wrong // brokedown - parts 1 & 2 // crazy girls

 

broken social scene & frightened rabbit // aragon ballroom // 9.29

reppin: bss - toronto, ca // arts & crafts records // 1999 - present //// fr - selkrick, scottland // atlantic records // 2003 - present

sounds like: bss - a time lapse of spring turning to summer in the forest // fr - grabbing your friends, a cigar and sitting around the campfire

While BSS has more band members than most small towns in canada, they have a sound and vibe that is timeless. Only they can combine so many instruments and beautiful voices to make all the sense. Frightened Rabbit makes some of the most beautiful indie rock that you'll put your ears on with lyrics that will make you think in all the right ways. 

listens: bss - anthems for a 17 year old // halfway home //// fr - the woodpile // get out

 

torche // the empty bottle // 9.29

torche | photo cred: bandcamp.torche.com

torche | photo cred: bandcamp.torche.com

reppin: miami, usa // relapse records // 2004 - present

sounds like: a beautiful destruction of an old building turning into a new one

Get ready to bang your head and bring out the metal and stoner rock in you. I've been on these guys for a bit now and they bounce the ping pong ball back and forth between fringe metal and psychedelic rock. On top of it, the vocals just make for such a unique twist...even if you don't enjoy hard rock, I think you will dig these guys given the mesh of sounds.

listens: kicking // loose men // letting go

 

tei shi // lincoln hall // 9.30 // interview to come!

reppin: buenos aires // downtown records // 2013 - present

sounds like: watching flowers bloom in the floweriest of places on this planet

A youngan who has only been at it for a few years has already proved that her voice can take her places over multiple types of genres. And oh man, that voice will just bring you to places in your mind...go check her out and forget about your worries for a bit.

listens: basically // keep running // go slow

 

twinsmith // beat kitchen // 9.30

reppin: omaha, nebraska // saddle creek records // 2012 - present

sounds like:  taking a kayak through a cave with a disco ball

Upbeat, poppy, dancy and friendly kinda vibes these guys give off. There is no shortage of fun when you listen or see them. The beats will make you sway side to side and want to grab on to the person next to you.

listens: you & I // alligator years // matters

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

secret gigs & intimate concerts: SOFAR SOUNDS

reppin: 294 cities worldwide // 2010 - present

the skinny: intimate living room concerts on any given night

1 - go to SoFar Sounds // 2 pick a city // 3 - Do you want to play, attend or host? // 4 - if you get on the list, you'll receive the secret spot and details // 5 - enjoy

show attended: SoFar Chicago on 11.30.16 with hanna ashbrook // cole degenova // mykele deville

mykele deville

mykele deville

It can be a weird feeling walking into a stranger’s apartment, not really knowing too many people. However, this is a bit different than walking into a big ass concert hall in all the right ways. I mean, how many shows do you first hear, “can you please take your shoes off?” You know you are in for a cozy night. A collective group of locals sipping on some beers and anxiously waiting for the first performer. There is a lot of special in the air for music fans on nights like this. We are so used to norm of popping in that new album (aka just clicking play on that streaming service) or anticipating that concert you bought tickets for two months in advance. Trust me, nothing wrong with either of those situations.

cole degenova

cole degenova

We seldom think about the full time musicians who are pumping out jingles and 30 second clips...those kids have some talent. How many times have you sat down next to a talented artist who can just rock out on the acoustic (and no, playing Dave Matthews Band songs does not count). These are dedicated artists who throw their emotions into their lyrics and want to connect with each fan one at a time...you can’t get that in any form of entertainment much these days.

Some nights we need to rage it up. Some nights we want to sit on our ass. What falls between the cracks are those unexpected nights. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend all sorts of concerts, take part in meet and greets and kick it at my friends band practice. Looking at the faces of others and seeing eyes closed with the head swaying, just taking in the sounds. That couple cuddled on the wood floor with all the smiles. The anticipation for that musician to just break form and go all out on those vocals or that rapper to just start freestyling..it is something unique that one does not just fall into. This is what happens when you bring passionate fans and dedicated local artists together. Go out and bag an experience for yourself

new chicago video hotness: Kweku Collins // Post Animals

chicago twitter // fb // ig // sofar sounds yt

new music: CESCHI

reppin: new haven, ct // fake four inc (co-owner)

sounds like: eating fine cheese and wine in the complete wrong setting...but it still taste magically delicious, right?! folk + hip hop = ceschi

latest album drop: broken bones ballad (april, 2015)

featuring: julio francisco ramos

ceschi | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

ceschi | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

I had the honor of seeing one of the most talented, multi-faceted musicians that graces this wonderful Earth earlier this year. As he took the stage before Astronautalis, you knew this rapper was taking the stage...but wait. Then he picks up the guitar and start playing folk songs...WHAT?! Yes, Ceschi is that man that spans these genres and pairs it with his beautiful story telling. Which leads me to a quick side story that totally tells you the kind of dude he is. On Christmas day, 2010, he got a typical delivery of marijuana was his dealer in the form of Christmas presents...makes sense. Little to his knowledge, his dealer saved his own ass by ratting out Ceschi as his recipient (was pulled over for speeding in Chicago, which is when he told the cops), and of course the cops showed up. They were going to arrest his entire family(!), mother, grandparents and kids unless he took the fall. Instead of ratting out his dealer and getting his family in a mess, he obliged and served time in jail. A man of honesty, humility and just god damn awesomeness.

ceschi | photo cred: ghettoblastermagazine.com

ceschi | photo cred: ghettoblastermagazine.com

Head on into Spotify or Soundcloud and put his joints on random. Each one offers a stellar story, mixture of acoustic folk and hip hop beats. His vocals will spit fire much like Astronautalis and before you turn around he’ll be serenading you with that great singing. And finally, the live show...you just don’t see intimate performances quite like he gives these days. In a pretty packed Schubas crowd, he interacted with the audience, got you to sing along and your head banging. I swear, once this guy gets an opening slot for 1000+ venues, he is going to start turning heads by the masses...you just wait. For now, enjoy his tunes in really any setting.

suggested listening experience: when you need a smile after a long day of work // as the sun is setting // when you need to get in the zone

listens: this won’t last forever (hip hop, see video below) // say something (folk) // forever 33 (hip hop) // bite through stone (folk + hip hop) // barely alive (ft. Sage Francis)

ceschi // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc