WEEK OF 9/20/2019

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Decibel Crawl Fest

September 22nd

Sex No Babies / all 📷 : Kyle Land

In its second year, Decibel Crawl Fest hit last weekend for three days of local acts in venues across the city. With three shows to choose from on Friday and Saturday and two on Sunday, there was plenty of Chicago talent on display. Catching the Sunday show at Outer Sound was a particular treat, as an eclectic mix of artists lit up the sparse DIY venue for a marathon night of passionate tunes boiled over into the late night ether. The small, eclectic crowd was all energy for a good part of the night, with each performer getting their own cheering section, including many of the artists who stuck around long after their sets were finished or showed early to check out the magic being produced by their peers.

Blunt Corner kicked off the night; the jammy rock of Danny Rincon and friends was the perfect appetizer to whet the musical palette for the onslaught to come. The only stringed instrument of the act lit into quite a bit of new material, expected to be released soon on a new record (including funky burner “Pass The Bud”) and dug into a Jeff Buckley cover mid-set that really developed a passionate core by the end jam where the drummer lost his ride cymbal to the power of his strikes. It literally popped off its stand and clattered to the floor, but the drummer paid no mind, pounding out to the end with vigor and determination. Keep an eye out for this funky, bluesy rock machine at your local venue.

Standing at the mic with an intensity that belied his between-song banter, Boys V.S. Girls ferociously hit the concrete floor with homegrown beats, powerful lyrics, and intoxicating tunes littered with life experiences of a young gay black man. With new album Nothing Ever Happens Here on its way in a few weeks, he leaned hard on the new material, but it was the whole crowd sing-along to closer “Demons” that was the clear highlight of Boys V.S. Girls’ stellar set. We chanted along, “I was just fighting my demons, and now I’ve got all of these reasons...”

Chicago is stacked with amazing musicians, so when three prolific artists come together to create they can produce a new power. Sex No Babies contains the magic of beat machine Bento Box, the energy of Glad Matches (Matthew Gladly), and the intensity of vetern ryhme-spitter Rahim Salaam mix to produce some of the most fierce hip-hop to hit these ears in quite some time. Filled to the brim with Salaam’s passion and the musical talents of the two vets of the scene, Sex No Babies is going places. Rocking the DIY and club scenes since 2016 with Salaam as the lynchpin, Sex No Babies’ new crew is a Chicago supergroup of epic proportions, creating some of the sickest grooves and thought-provoking rhymes out there. A new project is on its way from this latest version of the band: scene one starts the musical sorcery October 21st. Praise Art!     

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Rapper and beat-maker extraordinaire, Malci, is a master of infectious exuberance. He checks all the right boxes to fall into the local legend category: excellent beats, wordsmith rhymes, a healthy sense of humor onstage, and some of the sickest mixer skills we’ve witnessed in quite some time. While the relaxed atmosphere of the space lent itself to his unique brand of banter, and the line of familiar faces up front gave it a family practice sort of feel; he still gave it his all, letting all his vigor for life show through. Ending his set with stand out track “Stan Getz,” he had every one of us on the verge.  Part of the Why? record crew, Malci is a rising star in the local scene and deserves a star-turn soon. With new record Papaya!, he hit a whole new level this summer, and it’ll be no surprise when Why? takes off in the very near future. 

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Experimental electronic music has always been Chicago’s bread and butter when it comes to getting down, and the late night moves were provided by producer Ariel Zetina who powered the room down to a steady groove with her repetitive beat masterpieces. Getting the past-midnight crew moving, Zetina displayed why she has landed some in demand opening acts. Filling the too-short set with new tunes she plans to release soon, the talented computer mistress was building each tune live and mixing them on the fly. Zetina produces serious groove music for the completely mind-warped... All the more reason to just let our feet do the talking. 

Thanks to Decibel Crawl Fest and organizer Clyde Moreau for the unforgettable evening.   

-Kyle Land 

You can catch Boys V.S. Girls  opening for SuperKnova this Saturday September 28th at the Subterranean

Get a load of Malci with The Curls this Saturday September 28th at Cole’s

Check out Ariel Zetina opening for Grün Wasser at Sleeping Village on October 3rd, and a Halloween late show at Thalia Hall opening for Silent Servant. 

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Praise Art!