30 DAYS IN CHICAGO Preview presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: chicago, usa // red bull sound select

sounds like: a mountain bike race - strap yourself in for a wild time, but stop to enjoy the view here and there

Music is such a beautiful part of life. It is worldly, it brings us together and spans the spectrum amongst the types of feels it gives us humans. That amazing principal of life is going to shine here in Chicago during the cold month of November. Summer is over and the leaves are changing colors, which usually can bring a cloud of “shit, I have to be inside for 5 months now” kind of thinking. Fuck that. In this city, we are strong souls who deal with winter to embrace summer, but staying inside is just not an option this month.

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It is time to embrace what music has to offer this month. Red Bull Sound Select is taking over just about every venue in Chicago with genres spanning the spectrum. It is an amazing chance for any music lover, no matter what level you are, to come together and be amazed by some of the best up and comers this country (and a few international) have to offer. Along with myself, my beautiful, singing girlfriend Cait and some close friends will be covering just about half of the shows.

So, if you have been closed minded about some new tunes, or simply have not had time to listen, open your ears. If you have never floated your ears into a genre, it is time to explore the unknown. And what I feel is above all, if you feel like you have not felt something in some time, take a chance on experiencing your emotions in the live setting.

To sort through the wide range of talented artists, here is your key:

Rock Out // get ready to have your face melted

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

Twist One Up // Get ready to have your face lifted

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

 

whitney // NE-HI // mt. Joy // nov 2 // metro // sold out // whitney blog post, nov 2016

reppin: chicago // chicago // phili

whitney | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

whitney | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

netflix & chill

What to expect: overall, one of the more solid lineups of the month from bottom to top. Groovy folk and indie rock beats, delicious vocals all around. While Whitney wowed the world with a nearly perfect album last year, get there early to check out fast rising Mt. Joy and drown in there swaying folk rock. NE-HI will step it up just a tad and get those feet moving over their lo-fi indie rock

spotify: whitney // NE-HI // mt. joy

kehlani // nov 3 // the riviera // sold out

reppin: oakland, ca // atlantic records // 2009 - present

fuck you i want to dance

From the start of every track, kehlani’s voice takes over in such a natural way over just about any beat. Having spent some time in the teen group, Poplyfe, she has matured extremely quickly at the young age of 22. Mixing pop with R&B and soul, she is so worth the watch

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

mitzki // hazel english // nov 7 // lincoln hall // sold out

reppin: nyc // oakland, ca

twist one up

Soothing indie and lo-fi rock at its finest from some stellar female fronted groups will be rocking out at lincoln hall next week. This gig features some incredible song writers that will have you closing your eyes and begging for more. Miya Folick will also be performing so be sure to get there for the openers!

spotify: mitski // hazel english

hazel english | photo cred: newsickmusic.com

hazel english | photo cred: newsickmusic.com

ibeyi // nov 10 // metro // tickets

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

twist one up

These sisters smother you in a dark poppy sound against their melodic soft vocals. Having lived in so many different places, they offer a wide range of influence and sing in numerous languages. They have certainly separated themselves from the pack and will be a sight to see at the legendary metro.

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

sabrina claudio // nov 12 // schubas // sold out

reppin: la, usa // sc entertainment // 2016 - present

netflix & chill

The mixture of pop, indie and r&b/soul will have you at your knees. And holy shit, sabrina’s voice stands out from the rest. The music makes you sway side to side giving you positive and upbeat feels. It will be an amazing setting in the intimate schubas venue as we approach the halfway mark of the month

pell | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.11.15 | @thefaakehipster

pell | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.11.15 | @thefaakehipster

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

parquet courts // meat wave // nov 15 // the empty bottle // sold out

reppin: brooklyn, usa // chicago, usa

rock out

For all you head bangers out there, it is time to come out and show it off. Parquet Courts brings a funky feel to their post/punk-rock sound as they have released all sorts of music. Meat Wave will be taking the stage before them, a fast paced Chicago punk group that leaves everything on the stage

spotify: pc // mw

amine // pell // nov 18 // metro // sold out (pell blog post, may 2016)

reppin: portland // new orleans

twist one up

Two truly young, talented wrappers will grace the stage this night. Amine has that song “caroline” streaming hundreds of millions of times across the internet and offers up a smooth flow. I’ve been a huge fan of Pell for some time, who brings soul, funk and jazz to his tracks with his incredible rapping ability. You’ll be hearing about these two a lot more in the near future.

spotify: amine // pell

lizzo // nov 19 // thalia hall // sold out

reppin: detroit // atlantic records // 2012 - present

fuck you I just want to dance

I don’t know if I have come across a rapper that has the blends of beautiful vocals and rapping in awhile. It is almost like she is singing as she raps with a demanding yet welcoming voice. Bouncing around from Houston to Minneapolis to Detroit, you can hear the midwest vibes, soul train fever and southern beats. This is going to be a party.

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

noname // buddy // nov 21 // concord music hall // sold out

reppin: chicago, usa // compton, cali

twist one up

If you haven’t come across noname yet I am honestly jealous as her flow and soft beats are mouth watering. She bleeds Chicago hip hop and soul. Then there is Buddy who brings the west coast vibes, the kid who has worked with just about every big name in the genre. This is going to be a fun, upbeat show.

spotify: noname // buddy

jacob banks | sxsw, 2017 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, 2017 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks // nov 22 // lincoln hall // tickets (jacob banks blog post, aug 2017)

reppin: birmingham, uk via nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present

netflix & chill

Probably my favorite soul singer in the game, this dude mixes it up with blues and R&B with vocals that are out of this world. Only in his mid-20s, this dude has so much in front of him. Let him sooth you as somehow this show is not sold out, so go!

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

kweku collins // nov 25 // space // sold out (previous blog post, oct 2016)

reppin: evanston, il // closed sessions // 2015 - present

kweku collins | metro, chicago | 3.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

kweku collins | metro, chicago | 3.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

twist one up

A kid on the rise fast, playing in his hometown during an incredible music month. It does not get much better than this. Kweku raps from the heart about issues that matter to the world. He also has delicious rapping vocals and a flow to match

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

jungle // nov 27 // metro // metro // tickets

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

twist one up

You’ve certainly heard their track, “busy earnin,’ all over the place. This neo-soul band creates an almost electronic, chill-wave feel filled out with soul. They have a worldwide vibe having their album chart just about everywhere. Again, how is this not sold out!

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

xavier omar // nov 28 // chop shop // sold out

reppin: san antonio, tx // soulection // 2012 - present

netflix & chill

I am really stoked to close out the month with Xavier. He has dreamy soulful vocals that almost give you that 90s feel with modern beats. I love his funky beats, melodic verses and honest lyrics. Watch out for this dude and his next album

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

encouraging your ears to discover new sounds

Go see live music

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: 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: 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