Monday, September 8, 2014

Pretty Little Empire, Portugal The Man, Outkast at Loufest Sunday Sept 7

This Loufest performance marks 5 years of St. Louis indie rockers Pretty Little Empire. I am fortunate to have been a fan all of those years and having seen them play, in 2009, a place as cozy as CBGB in (St. Louis) to this past Sundays Loufest performance. They always 100% and Sunday was no different. They played new songs "You Don't Want To Be", "Badlands" and "You Don't Want To Be". They also played 'Master Plan" and "Something More". Then Morgan from Bruiser Queen joined them for a few songs. They played a a much faster version faster version of "You Can't Have It All". They closed out their set with "Talking Loud" and even though they played early at 12, the crowd was size-able (including some in shades in strollers!) and enjoyed the Pretty Little Empire 's set.

I was able to hang with photographer Jared Gastreich (who I took a photo of whilst he took photos of Pretty Little Empire)  for a little while while we went over to catch Chicago band Empires set. I have seen the lads in Empires quite a few times and they always put on a great show. It was no exception on Sunday. They played mostly new songs I wasn't familiar with but they sounded good.

Next up I saw Portugal. The Man who has a sizable dedicated crowd as Portugal. The Man. The group played a go for broke type of set as the sun emerged. Within the set I heard them cover Oasis (Don't Look Back In Anger), swill Jack from a fifth and get a little more out of control during the set  as they enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The crowd ate it up. I was first introduced to Portugal. The Man by good friend and new music finder DC  from The Waiting Room Radio Show.

Next up Trombone Shorty who played  set that incorporated old with new proving that just because they are a horn section doesn't mean they can't cover Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day. The younger people in the crowd ate it up.

Outkast  closed out the night and also festival as they reminded people they had been rapping for 20 years now together. They were consumate professionals, even though things got a little raunchy at times which seemed to surprise some of the younger people in the crowd. But having listened to them for 15 years I was not surprised. Most of the time the naught things they do are done with a wink and nod. On Sunday they delivered a tight set of the hits both from Dre and Big Boi solo work as well. They were joined by a full compliment of horns, band, backup singers and of course Sleepy Brown wearing his signature pajamas. The stage production was top class with lasers and  of course Andre's wig. Really glad I got to finally see them play.

All in all Loufest was a more focused in the number of groups and friendly (free bean bags games to play, open space for playing frisbee, free water stand) a good amount of shade and fair (when thought of in festival terms) priced food and beer. I drank $7 Schlafly's and had a big $7 pulled pork sandwich. There was plenty of room to move around and you weren't always on top of other people. It was a great festival experience for me.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Italy based band CRTVTR to swarm US on tour (Starts May 23 in Minneapolis)

I have been following the musical exploits of Italian base indie rock band CRTVTR since their We Need Time ep release in 2009. Cesare Pezzoni (guitar vocals), Fabio Patrone (bass), and Giovanni Stimamiglio on drums comprise CRTVTR. Their newest release,  Here it comes, Tramontane!  made it into my TOP TEN most listened to albums last year. I did a review of the album HERE . They have a song on there that they recorded that has Mike Watt, yes that Mike Watt, on bass. They play a brand of indie rock fueled by 90's eclectic indie guitar music. I can't wait for them to come play Quenchers on May 31 , I will be there, come on out Chicago people. It's not too often that bands I follow abroad end up touring and I am excited to see them play! Please go support this Italian band as they tour a good deal of the midwest. Here are the dates, and you can buy tix HERE
05/23 - Minneapolis, MN @ 331 Club
05/24 - Milwaukee, WI @ Frank's Power Plant
05/25 - Champaign, IL @ Error Records
05/27 - Dayton, OH @ Canal Street Tavern
05/28 - Cleveland, OH @ Now That's Class
05/29 - Wyandotte, MI @ The Rockery
05/30 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Mulligan's Pub
05/31 - Chicago, IL @ Quencher's Saloon
06/01 - Chicago, IL @ Do Divisiopn Fest

 06/02 - Des Moines, IA @ Vaudville Mews
06/03 - Iowa City, IA @ Trumpet Blossom Cafe 
06/04 - Kansas City, KS @ House Show
06/05 - St. Louis, MO @ Schlafly Tap Room 

 06/06 - Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mutts Residency at Township Starts TONIGHT with zforce and The Delta Routine a Chicago Hopes Benefit!!!

My good friends/great guys in Mutts are playing a residency every Monday this month at Township. They guys will be playing some brand spankin new songs and all those great Mutts classics as well . Half of the donations at the door plus half of our merch sales will go to Chicago HOPES. Mutts will be joined by a few friends(zforce and The Delta Routine). Get a free sampler of these bands HERE.
  First show TONIGHT , Monday, February 3rd :
 8pm     zforce
 9pm    The Delta Routine
10pm     Mutts

 Doors open at 7. Cover is a suggested donation of $10. Help support our city's kids. Thanks Mutts and the guys for playing a show for such a great cause. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tom Schraeder performs his album Dear Brooklyn, I'm Sorry... at Windy City Inn, 9pm TONIGHT

This will be a treat to see Tom play his album Dear Brooklyn, I'm Sorry which is a great album and  has one of my favorite songs Tom had done, "To You, My Friend... ". Come on out to the Windy City Inn (2257 Irving Park Rd.), cover is $5.  I love it when bands play a whole album. I will be there! Also playing with Tom will be Gar Clemens playing his album Onion Eyes, which was prdoced by Gabe Liebowitz.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dedicated Ears 2013 Most Listened to Albums/EP's

This past year I downloaded some 500 albums and have listened less and less to the big labels. Love the lo fi production and DIY attitudes. No big surprise that Pretty Little Empire is at the top. I love the way their sound grew. I want to say thanks to all the acts for playing such great music, and also all of the bands that have legal free downloads, I appreciate it. I was fortunate to continue my friendship and musical exchange program with DC and the fine people at The Waiting Room. Also, a big thanks to Tom Schraeder for including me in his Chicago, I love You festival. Also, thanks to August and the people at NOVO for the recommendations as well.
1.  Pretty Little Empire - Pretty Little Empire St. Louis four piece driven by Justin Johnson's every man song-writing and backed up most excellently by William Godfred,  Wade Durbin and Evan O'Neal. My favorite song keeps switching, as it should when dealing with a masterful album. As of late "You Are The One" is my jam. 
2. Lapland - Lapland   Josh Mease vehicle that taps into Josh's jazz influences and dream folk, but as well a electronic touches which work to great effect with his signature style as on the track "Overboard".
3. Ant The Symbol - Anthony Part G: Hardlyworking Truly "alternative hip hop"  is what Richmond based Ant The Symbol is selling, and I am buying. This is the quintessential "set to repeat" album. So many hooks, so little time. "Enter The Symbol" is so, damn, good!
4. Sheep, Dog, Wolf - Egospect  Daniel McBride is Sheep, Dog and Wolf and he hails from New Zealand. Headphones are essential on this album. So many layers, so many instruments and so beautiful melodies as well.  "Egospect", with it's soaring vocals, is my favorite track.
( A TWR Recommendation)
5. Car Seat Headrest - Nervous Young Man  Prolific Car Seat Headrest hails from Williamsburgh and plays quietly as well as extremely loudly. You can hear both kinds in the 15 minute opener "Boxing Day".

6. Queens Of The Stone Age - Like Clockwork  QOTSA can always be counted on to put out a kick ass rock album with very little filler.
7. Clones Of The Queen - Moonlight  Haunting electronic music. Be sure to check out the pretty title track.
8. Ego Ella May - The Tree Jazz influenced R & B from London's Ego Ella May. The hypnotic, swaying track "Rush Hour Crush" is my favorite track.
9. CRTVTR - Here It Comes Tramontane!   The opener "Workers" is a hell of a raucous and melodic song. Genova,  Italy based CRTVTR feature Mike Watt again which is fitting because the sound of this album so resembles those indie/alt guitar albums from the 90's.
10. Not Right - Shut The Fuck Up At The Back (live) Lo, lo, lo fi that is so, so, so right. You won't be able to NOT smile whilst listening to "Anti Social Media". Not you father's punk music. Not Right is Coventry based. 11. Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady  Though not the powerhouse of her last album,this is still a really good album.  How awesome is "Primetime (feat Miguel)".

 12) The Black Atlantic - Enshrine Pretty songs from Geert and the guys. "Amor Fati is my favorite on here.

13. La paloma de fidel - Esperando a Gazotti  Pretty folk songs from Buenos Aires based La Paloma de Fidel. "Las naves" is really nice.
14. Mutts - Object Permanence Mutts are back again with another album you have to listen to. "Prizefighter" was on a permanent loop in my head for many a moon this year. There is a stellar video that they did for the song as well. This song should be on a movie soundtrack. Someone get on that!

15. Kristin Hersh - Spark Meet Gasoline (WorkInProgress) I have been a fan since her Throwing Muses days. I became heavily addicted to her album "Hips and Makers". Love her tone. Check out the goodness that is ""Guadelupe".
16. Curt Oren - Home  If you like your saxophone played in a experimental way, like I do, then you will love  Iowa City based Curt Oren's opening track "No Exit".
17. Baik Eun Sol - A Day's Work  Punk (check), fuzz (check), female vocals (check), South Korea (check?!) Baik Eun Sol is all three.  "나쁜 남자" is my favorite track.
18. Dylan Campbell - Magic  Written and recorded in Mozambique. Quite a few musaical influences on this album by New York based Dylan Campbell. Love the title track.
19. Alex Cook, Hler Kristjansson - The Deacon of Myrka  Ambient, Beautiful classical, contemporary. The strings make the album.  Iceland based Alex Cook, Hlér Kristjánsson and Ensemble have made quite an album here.
20. Rachel Anne - Let The Devil Drink  Dark country, gypsy...  I'm there! Sad and longing tales from Alaska's  Rachel Anne. "Wait For The Sun" is my favorite track.
21. Collage - Pixel Swap Century  Electronic pop from Chicago's Jesse Bustamante. An artist I think more people should check out. With influences of island music and electronic experimentation there is never a dull moment!
22. Laurence Made Me Cry - The Diary Of Me Such beautiful songs. Cardiff is home to Laurence Made Me Cry (aka Joanna Whitby).  (TWR Recommendation)
23. Space Ghost Cowboys - Porcupine  Aaron Maine mines the wheel for Space Ghost Cowboy, as the Reilly Brothers, Sex God and his self titled work.  Off kilter is his music and his plainative vocal style is something I really enjoy. "Memory" is my favorite song here.
24. (the gals of) Redbook - the gals of) Redbook  Girl group of the punk variety from Seattle. (the gals of) Redbook pummels along with a lot of bottom ended.
25. Los Animales Superforros - Copla del Pensamiento   Folk, indie, world, pop and island themes are evident in the nice album by Buenos Aires based Los Animales Superforros.
26. Lizard Kisses - Loving Creatures Feels like i've been listening to Brooklyn duo Lizard Kisses forever. The duo sent me their first EP Sleeping In  2010 and I've been a big fan ever since. The dreamy track "Over and Over" is my favorite.
27. Open Attic - The Manderin EP  Chicago's Open Attic write witty songs that would have been on that underground 90's artist you loved. The honest story telling in 'Manderin' is on my short list for best tracks I've heard this year.
28. Sentidor - doismiletreze  Belo Horizonte based Sentidor play glitchy, triphop. The "Kid A" cover was done nicely.
29. Video Ranger - Cassette Tape 3/13  Punk, Lo fi punk, noise goodness from Omaha's Video Ranger. They had me at trombone. "6:8" is my favorite. 
30. Geronimo! - Buzz Yr Girlfriend Vol. 3   Fuzz, math rock, punk from Chicago based  Geronimo! "Genius Is Dead" is my favorite track. On the excellent label Exploding In Sound.
31. Cold Country - Missing The Muse   Been another great year for Chicago acts. I was introduced to the folk,/country, band Cold Country this year.  And I am glad I was. Check out "What It Takes" for sure.
32. Kelly Latimore - Vinegar and Honey   Experimental, First came across Athens, Georgia based Kellya few years back on the now(sadly) defunct site CLLCT. Beautifully done this album is. "Keeper Of Bees" is my favorite.
33. Вкус Киски - Mokroshelky
What's not to like about punk, grunge,  stoner grrrl group music sung in Russian? "Вуду-сука" is my favorite.
34. Memorygardens - Wavelengths  90's alt rock, shoe-gaze, stoner from Pennsylvaniawith love from one man band ( Tyler Pursel ) Memorygardens.
35.  Los Buscadores del Movimiento Perpetuo - Rendiran Culto ala Muerrte  Metal, slugde, stoner rock fsunf in Spanish from Los Buscadores del Movimiento Perpetuo. Quite a few catch loud tracks on here.
36. Judd Madden - Glacial  More stoner rock, desert doom from Melbourne based Judd Madden.
37. Pure Wild - This Night Is Long My Love Is Strong Alt-folk, alternative from New York based Pure Wild.
38. Tres Von Dingo - Basement Depths Tour Split  Bismarkck based Tres Von Dingo plays alternative, lo fi, fuzz pop.
39. Better Or Best - Something of a Reverie  Alternative, indie, dream pop, electronic from San Diego based Better Best. Thanks to Better Best for the download!
40. Teenage Rage - time to turn the page on teenage rage  My favorite Chicago based vaud-ville, county folk act is back with a short and sweet set of songs.They are truly one of a kind.