Groovy and Free with Jonathan Wilson

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

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

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

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

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

featuring: jonathan spencer wilson

the experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS BAND BLANKETS YOU IN A SNUGGLY CACOON OF FOLK ROCK

30 Days in Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

concert shenanigans: JULIE BYRNE

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

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

latest album drop: not even happiness (jan 2017)

featuring: julie and her guitar

julie bryne | photo cred: orindal.limitedrun.com

julie bryne | photo cred: orindal.limitedrun.com

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

julie byrne | schubas, chicago | 7.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

julie byrne | schubas, chicago | 7.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

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

julie bryne | photo cred: drukenwerewolf.com

julie bryne | photo cred: drukenwerewolf.com

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

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

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

jb // bandcamp // spotfiy // sc

concert shenanigans: 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: THE SOIL & THE SUN

reppin: grand rapids, mi 

sounds like: that game you played when you were a child at day camp with the big colorful parachute looking sheet...the moment when it was as inflated as it gets and you smiled

the soil & the sun | photo cred: localspins.com

the soil & the sun | photo cred: localspins.com

latest album drop: “actual replica, vol 1” (may, 2016 // 2 song ep)

featuring: benjamin // alex // ashley // kellen

When you think of soil and how the sun makes it grow, well, that is exactly how this band has grown. What started as a duo in 2008 has spurred out of the soil to a seven-piece and has settled into a four-bagger. Personally, i could care less how many folks are in this band because they make some of the most pleasant sounding music around. Think 70s psychedelic sound with a shift into more of a melodic mixture of upbeat sounds, yet still some dark moments. They were able to accomplish a ton with their first two albums in just a tiny home studio, with very little musical experience. Their latest 2014 release, “meridian,” allowed them to up their recording and equipment game, and their sound certainly matches that. While they are laid back at the core, the complexity in overlapping vocals and melodies make for a bigger sound than may appear...and i dig that.

Take your pick as far as the type of sound. Want some soul...listen to “How Long.” Want some folk all up in your face...give “Are You?” a shot. Want to go a little darker...then “Samyaza” is at your fingertips. While this group may be ameatur in the standards of the big ass music industry, they have done so much with so little resources. Their two newest joints released in may entitled “actual replica, vol 1” take you more into pop territory and are quite pleasing on the ear muscles. All in all you have a pleasant sounding group of humans no matter which way you look at it and you should be listening right meow

suggested listening experience: a nice long road trip // hanging out with your boo // enjoying a late morning sunday brunch

listens: are you? // throughout the night // how long // samyaza

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

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