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: 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: 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

new music: THE ACADEMIC

reppin: mullingar, ireland // global publishing // 2013 - present

sounds like: getting into one of those ball pits at the discovery zone when you were a kid

last album drop: loose friends (2015 // debut ep)

the academic | photo cred: goldenplec.com

the academic | photo cred: goldenplec.com

featuring: craig fitzgerald (lead vocals + guitar) // matt murtagh (guitar) // stephen murtagh (bass) // dean gavin (drums)

These young millennials are just another reminder of how little I accomplished in life, which sucks for my career, but is awesome for music listening! When a rad band like the academic is getting attention as young as they are, well there is only room for these kids to grow both personally and musically. With just an EP under their belt, having already opened for the likes of The Pixies and Little Green Cars, the story goes back to as far as 2009. Matt, Craig and Stephen had always been jamming and messing around as a band, but things got a bit more serious when dean jumped on board about four years ago. When we are young and stupid, trying to learn and grow, in the moment it doesn’t mean much. As we slowly start to evolve and find the right pieces, all of the sudden that formula of success kicks in earlier than anyone expects. Craig, along with his bandmates, have found that balance of what they like vs. the structure of writing a catchy hook and gaining fans.

the academic | photo cred: nocatgotmytongue.blogspot.com

the academic | photo cred: nocatgotmytongue.blogspot.com

Speaking of finding their sound, this straight up indie rock quartet has some powerful stuff. The track, “different” really got things rolling for them, a song released back in 2015, but written long before that (oh, teenage love). From there, they crushed their debut ep. A fantastic blend of simple builds, rocky riffs and catchy choruses with just enough distortion. You can certainly hear the pop bounce off the indie rock, a pleasing sound that any music fan can really enjoy. Last year, the single “mixtape 2003” came out, proving that there is still some gold in those minds. While there has been a bit of a hiatus in the music last year, I expect some big things for this band. Another year under their belt and the opportunity to continue to evolve and craft their rock/pop sound....stay on these guys.

suggested listening experience: commute to work // hanging with a few friends before heading out to the bars // summertime doing anything

listens: different // sometimes // mixtape 2003 // chasers // thought i told you

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

from the vault: AMERICAN FOOTBALL

reppin: urbana-champaign, il // polyvinyl records

american football (circa 2014) | photo cred: pastemagazine.com

american football (circa 2014) | photo cred: pastemagazine.com

years active: 1997 - 2000, 2014 - present

featuring: mike kinsella (also in Owen) // steve lamos // steve holmes // nate kinsella

nick of american football | photo cred: youtube.com

nick of american football | photo cred: youtube.com

Think back to your middle school days...whether you kept a journal or played your thoughts in your head...that is what these dudes embody. A carefully crafted rock sound with so much meaning it may have made that tiny head of yours explode when you were younger. af is one of those fairy-tales that was amazing from the start but was hidden from the general population for so long. What i can only describe as a beautiful arrangement of mellow, heart-warming and delightful rock, they came and went so fast. The lyrics make you think. The music makes you smile.

With nearly 17 years between albums, these guys did not disappoint. Smooth melodies, that old school emo feel and guitars for days. The 1998 album still sits well with the present music listener, while the new gives us more of the same glory. Sit back and enjoy

new music: DAY WAVE

reppin: oakland, ca // harvest records // 2014 - present

sounds like: reliving your best moments under one of them vintage filters, everything just looks that much more fun and vibrant

day wave | photo cred: popmatters.com

day wave | photo cred: popmatters.com

last album drop: hard to read (march 2016)

featuring: jackson phillips (previously fronted the duo, Carousel) // 25 years old

day wave | photo cred: weallwantsomeone.org

day wave | photo cred: weallwantsomeone.org

After introducing myself to mr. phillips earlier in 2016, I did some reading on that internet about him and see some similarities in our music listening habits (by no means does this correlate with actual making music talent because I have none of that..probably in the negative now that I think about it). Anyway, I think us heavy music lovers really respect the DIY dudes, which is what day wave surely encompasses. So how exactly did he get to this point of talent? Much like fads, memes and food we go through these cycles of what we are into. This is exactly what jackson did in a music listening sense...being exposed to different genres of music depending on variables like age and the weapon of choice (that is instrument for all of you aren’t keeping up). He is rooted in jazz, but slowly morphed to this pop, alt rock sound that is so delicious and comforting in your ears these days. As he explains in his interviews, the progression of being a jazz drummer, then picking up piano followed by experimenting with production and beats led to forming the synth-pop group Carousel.

Sometimes these new ideas just pop into musicians heads and the timing of the market out there as well as where one is in their musical evolution makes sense. Enter day wave...and what is so cool about this project isn’t so much that this is the next step in his musical ladder, but a combination of all his experience and past groups. The balance of soft and shy riffs, lyrics that remind me of the glorious emo days, any 20 something can relate to, and overall laid back vibe make for a fast rising star in the making. Nothing ever gets too heavy or stretched out either, which in my opinion works so well with his vocals. This formula screams less is more, simple is better. There is no right or wrong way to run through his short but loaded track list at the moment, but I would start with “gone” or “drag.” The mellow sounds mixed with that surf pop singing will devour you ever so gently. This dude is young, hungry and already will give you all the good feels...which makes me quite excited to see what his first full length will be all about.

day wave | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

day wave | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

suggested listening experience: bbq and beach action // whenever you are feeling down this will get you back up // a soft start to the day

listens: gone // wasting time // nothing at all // we try but we don’t fit in // stuck // total zombie

dw // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

new music: WILDLIFE CONTROL

reppin: brooklyn, usa // san francisco, usa // 2011 - present

sounds like: an escape to your favorite place (seriously, not just one place for all, your personal happy place).

wildlife control | photo cred: thedeletebin.com

wildlife control | photo cred: thedeletebin.com

last album drop: particles ep (april 2016)

featuring: neil sauh // sumul sauh

That euphoric sound; the blend of the distorted instruments and the complimentary vocals that brings a song to that sot where you feel free...and can let go. Even more, these guys are more than just music. Wildlife Control got their start a short time ago in 2011 and immediately made some noise with their first track, “analog or digital.” The music video went viral and these dudes were officially on the map. That catapulted their status, gained some following out east as they turned it into some light touring across the country. Their self titled album was released in July of 2012...and that is where their unique sound began to take notice. The crafted beats with just enough pop landed them some very positive reviews. Personally, I love the deep and low bass. While getting noticed is one thing, separating from yourself from the rest is special. That is what began to take shape as we fast forward to now.

wildlife control | photo cred: thedelimagazine.com

wildlife control | photo cred: thedelimagazine.com

While there were only a few singles released over the coming years, it was clear that these two were at work trying to create something different. Say hello to one the better 3 song EPs you’ll come across as of recent. Every intro is carefully crafted, the speed of their joints really meshes well with their lyrics and vocals. You can pick up slight sounds of keyboards and other shenanigans that really do a great job of filling out riffs and the song as a whole. It is so obvious how beautifully they evolved from a more poppy sound to their own musical heartbeat. I swear, each time I listen to a track like “subtract” i escape into my place and just start rocking out wherever I am...luckily I don’t sweat like you would at a show. So, this album is composed of three movements, if you will, illusion, subtract and creature. To complement the tracks, they released a 12 minute film (see below), also entitled particles, set to Hyper-lapse videos from users around the world. And god damn, it is out of this world stuff when you match music with video. Looking forward to that next LP gentleman.

suggested listening experience: waking your ass up after a night out on the town // watching the particles video (see above) // whenever you are when the sun is setting 

listens: illusion // subtract // creature // different // analog or digital // spin // darkness

wc // spotify // fb // sc // twitter 

concert shenanigans: SAVOIR ADORE

reppin: brooklyn, usa // nettwerk music group // 2009 - present

sounds like: smelling a fresh bouquet of flowers while floating on clouds...they give you that weightless mental state

savoir adore | photo cred: slapthebass.com

savoir adore | photo cred: slapthebass.com

latest album drop: the love that remains (aug 2016)

featuring: paul hammer // lauren zettler // alex foote // ben marshall // andrew pertes

savoir adore | beat kitchen, chicago | 10.15.16 | @thefaakehipster

savoir adore | beat kitchen, chicago | 10.15.16 | @thefaakehipster

There aren’t many bands out there that just make you smile song after song. Not just the euphoria sounds that get you giggly as you sway back and forth, but how the lyrics mesh and bring even more meaning to the moment. Last night I had the pleasure of seeing these cats at the intimate Beat Kitchen and I am quite bummed that I never got my ass to see them before. Before I get into the crazy rush these guys give you a short yarn of the history here. Paul Hammer has music running through his veins as he is the son of producer, Jan, and became a multi-instrument machine. At NYU (you are def smarter than me dude), he met Deidre Muro and got off an running with fun experiments. First, they wrote and recorded and EP in one weekend (hope you both showered). They soon discovered how delicious their vocals sounded overlapping one another and soon enough a three piece backup band was on the road with them. Deidre moved on in 2014 and Lauren Zettler filled the role.

 Talk about timing...cubs game ends in historic fashion and I get to scoot over at the start of the set. We use recordings vs. live to really understand the quality of bands, and these kids blow you away at the venue. What is a mixture of indie and electro-pop, their upbeat songs never have a bleak moment. I love how the guitars stay simple and play off the keyboards. It meshes with those luscious vocals oh so well. Their latest release, the love that remains, lifts your spirits, gets you dancing a bit and is overall a solid play, front to back. And that is what really matters...whether you throw this group in your earbuds or go see them live, you are going to be so pleased from start to finish.

 

suggested listening experience: gettin close and cuddly // warming yourself up for a night on the town // when you need to get shit done

listens: giants // dreamers // savages // paradise gold // mountains (love won’t burn my heart) // lovers wake // other worlds

sa // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

savoir adore | photo cred: onestowatch.com

savoir adore | photo cred: onestowatch.com

from the vault: BRAND NEW & JIMMY EAT WORLD

with the 2016 edition of Riot Fest Chicago around the corner, i'm doubling down on "from the vault" and bringing you two living legend bands...both these groups define longevity by the way they constantly evolve and recreate their sound

jimmy eat world | photo cred: concart.net

jimmy eat world | photo cred: concart.net

reppin: BN - levvitown, ny // JEW - mesa, az

featuring: BN - jesse lacey // vincent accardi // derrick sherman // brian lane // garrett tierney // JEW - jim adkins // zach lind // tom linton // rick burch // mitch porter

brand new | photo cred: punktastic.com

brand new | photo cred: punktastic.com

jimmy eat world | photo cred: jimmyeatworld.com

jimmy eat world | photo cred: jimmyeatworld.com

years active: BN - 2000 - 2016 (retiring after this year) // JEW - 1993 - present //

listens (thru 2006):

BN - seventy times 7 // logan to government center // jude law and a semester abroad // mix tape // sic transit gloria...glory fades (see video) // okay i believe you, but my tommy gun don't // the quiet things that no one ever knows // sowing season (yeah) // jesus christ // archers

JEW - call it in the air // crush // the middle // sweetness // a praise chorus // bleed american // if you don't don't // hear you me // my sundown // futures // the world you love // polaris

from the vault: HOT ROD CIRCUIT

reppin: auburn, al // new haven, ct

years active: 1997 - 2007, 2011, 2014 - present

featuring: andy jackson // casey prestwood // joe ballaro // mike poorman

hot rod circuit | photo cred: propertyofzack.com

hot rod circuit | photo cred: propertyofzack.com

a few thoughts: try not to sing along to their songs, especially from the album "sorry about tomorrow" // these guys were doing indie rock before we really knew what indie rock was...just listen to the lead guitarist and steel pedal (yes, they are emo too)

listens: at nature's mercy // let's go home // safely // the pharmacist