The Wonder Years at Riot Fest on Sunday / photo by KPL

Editor's Note
Welcome to issue #28 of Chicago Crowd Surfer! Whoa what a week we had surfers. We hit up all three days of Riot Fest and we have a full report for you. Before that madness we went to the first day of Trouble in Paradise fest at The Empty Bottle and took in some great Chicago bands: Ethers, Negative Scanner and FACS. This was a massive release week, we didn’t even know where to begin. Noname dropped her new album and it’s THE BEST! Along with new albums from indie legends Low, New York noise crew Guerilla Toss and the Scottish rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks, who are all coming through Chicago very soon! Check out our recommended shows at the end of the issue for more info. This issue is jammed packed surfers. Enjoy!

Keep Seeing Live Music!


beach bunny fun.JPG

riot fest

Douglas Park

September 14th - 16th

The crowd during Beach Bunny / all photos by KPL (unless noted)

Riot Fest year 14 was a smashing success. The first time in years it wasn’t a mud fest. The rain was traded for sunny heat all day every day. Here’s a rundown of who we saw, what went right, and what kinda didn’t. . .


Speedy Ortiz

The fest kicked off right with Sadie Dupuis and the band opening with a thirty minute burner of a set. Sweaty and steamy, we all got a taste of the heat that would permeate through the entire weekend. Didn’t seem to bother Speedy Ortiz as they slayed the swelter with their off kilter indie rock.


Liz Phair

Riot Fest has always been known for nostalgia acts, and Liz Phair has been hitting the road hard  in celebration of the 25th anniversary of her debut classic Exit To Guyville. She pulled in quite the crowd for the two o’clock set time, which drew some complaints from Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, who have been opening for her on the current tour:  “I don’t understand why she’s not headlining.” A member of the Chicago music scene of the early and mid 90’s, Phair did deserve a better slot, but she rocked it out all the same delivering killer versions of “Supernova”, “Fuck and Run” and “Extraordinary”

Pussy Riot

What Pussy Riot lack in musical pedigree they make up for in unabashed political savagery. With just a DJ and a ton of back up dancers, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova ran from one side of the stage to the other spitting the lyrics to a rather tame crowd. (They probably didn’t know what to expect and were a bit taken aback by the rocaus energy pouring from the stage.) Tolokonnikova started the set by issuing an ultimatum with a massive banner that the poisoning of Pyotr Verzilov—a Pussy Riot member who was poisoned in Russia last week (the group claims it was an assassination attempt)—will not go unpunished. 

Archie Powell & The Exports

These local rockers have been around for nearly a decade now and have the chops to prove it. In his pink shorts suit and humorous banter, Archie Powell tried to beat the heat with his upbeat brand of rock n’ roll. If you get a chance, have a shot of Malort and shout along to “A Waltz For Old Jeppson” the next time these guys play.


The Front Bottoms

The day’s best sing along set belonged to these New Jersey brats who have made a name for themselves with their wise ass lyrics and driving folky rock beat.  Shouting along to “Twin Size Mattress” and “Au Revoir (Adios)” got all the midday slumps out of our system.


Matt and Kim

With an army of balloon blowers (they had the audience blow up tons of balloons before their set started) Matt and Kim rolled through all their hits. This was the dancing set of the day. The roaring crowd never stopped moving as the two encouraged all the bad behaviour they could. It wasn’t a shock to see them on the bill at Riot Fest, but they were one of the question mark acts of the day. Would the Riot Fest crowd embrace the electronic rock this real life couple produce? Emphatically, yes.

Flogging Molly

The Celtic Punk giants have been going strong for nearly thirty years now, and nothing gets the feet moving like some accordion and tin whistle.  They’ve been doing this for twenty five years now, and every show is a complete blast. Frontman Dave King is a consummate showman who never seems to have an off night. If you’ve never heard them (where have you been and what are you listening to?) you should get some Guiness and blast them as you consume round after glorious, dark round. We sang, we danced, we conquered. And also may have done a bit too much partying . . .



Sometimes a set goes off the rails and then your fest coverage goes out the window. You forget to take any pictures or notes and instead start pounding Tacate’s. Sean Daley (Slug), unfortunately, could never get the audience into it, and it was a damn disappointment. He’s one of the best spitters out there, and it was pretty clear the crowd was there for Cypress Hill, who were the next set on the Radicals Stage. It set the tone for the whole rest of the night, and we just let the fest take us for a ride. We caught bits and pieces of sets from Bleachers, Dropkick Murphys and Weezer but ultimately ended up chilling under a tree and having a much needed dinner before the long bus ride to the casa.


Beach Bunny

Total Chaos

This local indie act started off day two with their breezy brand of rock. Lilli Trifilio commented on how nervous she was: “I’ve never been to Riot Fest,” she confessed to the couple hundred who had come out early. “I’m super nervous.” But it didn’t show as they ran through a bunch of their new EP Prom Queen, and the crowd answered in kind, dancing away the midday heat, forming a pit and even crowd surfing through a couple of their raucous numbers.  If you’ve never heard Beach Bunny, check ‘em out here. They are headlining at Emporium on October 17th. Get there. They’re worth it!

It’s been twenty odd years since Total Chaos opened for FEAR at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS and my friends and I got chased through the streets by some skinheads after we spit on them. Ah, youth. This set brought me back. The circle pit, the fists in the air, the shouting along to the politically charged lyrics; it all brought back the liberty spikes and studded trench coats of my teenage years. These guys are punk rock vets, and if they make it back through Chicago and you grew up on punk rock, you have to make that show.


Mannequin Pussy

Badflower hit the Radicals Stage with all they had and were rewarded with a few new fans by the end of their short set. Frontman Josh Katz impressed with his vocal range and bassist Alex Espiritu was clearly having a great time as he was all over the stage. Halfway between emo and hard rock, this LA quartet has been around a few years but seem to be coming into their own only recently.  

Marisa Dabice and the guys know how to bring it, and their torcher of a set was the highlight of early Saturday. Most of the crowd seemed to be waiting for Bully but were rewarded with tune after tune as Mannequin Pussy burned through a massive amount of their catalog. Dabice said they were trying to set a Riot Fest record for how many songs were played in one set. There wasn’t even one hoot or holler as she stripped off her red coat down to her purple bra, which was a testament to how far the Riot crowd has come. Respect was paid to the way she wanted to perform, and that can make all the difference. (We had Nnamdi sighting #27 during this set. We see that dude everywhere! Riding his bike down Milwaukee, at shows, at fests, at the bar; the man is constantly on the move!)


Twin Peaks

This was the set we were looking forward to the most, and Alicia Bognanno and the band didn’t disappoint. They drew quite a crowd to the Rise Stage, and we all shouted along with her as the sun formed a glowing aura around her, showing her as the rock n’ roll angel we all know she is.


These kings of the local scene blew up a couple years back and haven’t stopped their rise to prominence. Theirs was the set of the day for sure. They brought along a full horn section and percussionist to back their jangly guitar driven rock, and it filled out their sound perfectly. A constant stream of crowd surfers made its way over the dancing throng down front as the boys tore through their catalog including hits “Making Breakfast”, “Walk To The One You Love”, and “I Found A New Way.” A friend even crawled around the stage in a dog suit during their cover of “What Up Dog?”; it was a party Twin Peaks style. They are heading out on an Australian tour this Fall, but we expect them to play a homecoming show when they return. 


What is there to say about GWAR? Either they’re your bag or they aren’t. Blood, maggot juice, and sperm soak the crowd from head to toe. We were far from the spray zone, but the evidence was all around us the rest of the night. A fixture at Riot Fest, we were happy to see them finally get a night set. It’s gotta be hot as hell under all those prosthetics and costumes. Heavy metal in its most theatrical form, GWAR can play this fest for the rest of their careers!

The Jesus Lizard

After having to miss their reunion show at the Metro last Winter, we were overjoyed to see them on the lineup; and David Yow didn’t skimp on the theatrics. He stagedove twice and crowd surfed almost to the sound board and back while the audience held up his mic cable.  It was a killer set by these post rock legends.



It didn’t take long for Beck to roll out the hits as he started with “Devil’s Haircut”, “Loser” and “The New Pollution” before heading into his new material off last year’s Colors. (At which point we hightailed it over to see Andrew WK but made it back as Gary Numan joined him onstage for a version of the classic “Cars” before Beck reprised “Where It’s At” to cap the encore.) Many questioned this headlining choice for Riot Fest, but it seemed the crowd was all into it, as it was the largest end of night crowd we’ve seen since NIN a couple years back. 

Andrew WK

Andrew WK

Partying, inspirational motivation, and plenty of love to go around; Andrew WK has played every outdoor Riot Fest and was finally rewarded with this headlining spot. His three guitarists were spot on with every solo, and the large crowd that skipped out on Beck were rewarded with plenty of head banging and boozy bashing. His brand of hard rock was the perfect end to a loooong day in Douglas Park.



No Small Children

Alyse Vellturo’s indie rock project started out the sweaty Sunday with her brand of simple affecting grace. “How are you?!” a fan screamed as she made her way to the stage. “Very nervous,” she answered. “How about you?” But she had no reason to be, as the early afternoon audience wrapped their metaphorical arms around her and the band, and by set end it felt like we were all good friends.

This Southern California trio came to rock, matching sundresses and all. The three are all teachers and they have some kick ass videos you should check out. Their popy punk rock is all fluff, but it’s damn fine fun.


Beach Goons

With only some singles and a new EP under their belt, this young San Diego based trio came to spread some punk rock joy. The crowd obliged forming the smallest, tightest pit of the weekend. These guys have a future together for sure; their tight brand of pop punk is highly infectious. Check them out here.



There was a large turnout to see the first Chicago set from this young Canadian quartet. Of course most were probably on hand due to frontman Finn Wolfhard’s acting career, but they can all hold their own musically. Why they covered Twin Peaks with their fourth tune was a bit puzzling, but they launched into a couple of unrecorded new ones right after and all was forgiven. It was distinctly odd that we didn’t see one Stranger Things t-shirt all day. Does the artist t-shirt rule extend to acting projects?

Kevin Devine


After a morning spent with mainly young artists, it was oddly refreshing to see veteran musicians in Kevin Devine and The Goddamn Band. He’s been around the block a few times, and his brand of emo folk rock is right up our alley. However, he really didn’t play much old material, sticking to some newer tunes for the too-short, half hour set. (We would have loved to have seen them play “Another Bag of Bones” or “Me & My Friends”.) Although, he did give us “Brother’s Blood” to end the set. Guess we’ll just have to make it out the next time he rolls through Chicago.

FEAR’s album The Record really hasn’t aged will in the nearly four decade since it was released. And it was kind of a shock when they announced they would be playing the album in full. Full of misogyny and homophobia, Lee Ving’s lyrics fall flat of their humorous intent in today's climate. Even with classics like “I Love Living In The City” and “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones”, it lost it’s steam when he went into tunes like “Gimmie Some Action” and “Fresh Flesh”. What was funny or eye rolling in 1981 just isn’t anymore.


One of the craziest set of the day. Oakland’s SWMRS were no joke, and the crowd agreed. They know how to get down and rock the fuck out. However, singer Cole Becker made sure to keep them honest with a diatribe on consent directed at what appeared to be a situation that had developed down front. Even with “Get Consent” as part of Riot Fest’s motto it didn’t seem that everyone had gotten the message. It didn’t stop the moshing however, and a steady stream of crowd surfers were being pulled out of the front by the adept security team.

Suicidal Tendencies

Mike Muir led the crowd in a mid-set chant of “ST! ST! ST!” before Suicidal Tendencies launched into another of their thrashy tune. Legends of speedy thrash metal, Suicidal Tendencies have been a staple of the scene since their inception in 1980 and continue to impress. Even if Muir is the only original member, they still keep it real with their brand of metal straight out of Venice, California. And it’s always a pleasure to see Slayer hero, Dave Lombardo, destroy behind the drums.  


The Wonder Years

Debbie Harry sauntered onstage in full eighties gear complete with a neon green wig. Without any ado, they dove right in with new wave classic “One Way Or Another”. She battled the sun the whole set with an umbrella, even walking behind Matt Katz-Bohan’s keys set up for some shady relief. They rolled through many of their hits with “Hanging On The Telephone”, “Call Me” and “The Tide Is High” before ending with a kind of lackluster “Heart Of Glass”. We don’t blame you Debbie, we were done with the sun by then as well.

A sunset set from the fine men from Philly was the right way to cap a long gruelling day. Their inspirational tunes had us singing and shouting along. Frontman Dan Campbell was highly appreciative of the crowds enthusiasm—“We’ve been coming to this festival for a long time and it’s always the fucking best. We love this city.”—before going right into hit “Cigarettes & Saints”. They swing through Chicago all the time, and hopefully they come through one more time this Winter before heading back to the studio to gift us with more of their impactful emo.

Run The Jewels

Killer Mike and El P are this moment’s lords of underground hip hop. If you don’t know who they are, you haven’t been paying attention. With three albums in three years (‘13 - ‘16), and countless festival appearances, they have been making a name for themselves. Yet my hip hop loving uber driver still had no idea who they were. They made sure make everyone in the crowd was aware of their presence on the scene through this scorcher of a set (my fifth time seeing them). By the end of the set, everyone knew who they were and what they stood for. They are RTJ and they take no shit!

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What a fest! What a three days of craziness on the Southside! See you next year Riot Fest! It’ll be your 15th anniversary so we’re sure you’ll go all out!


Trouble in paradise night 1:

FACS / Negative Scanner /

Ethers / James Elkington

The Empty Bottle

September 13th

When we heard that Chicago-based Trouble in Mind Records, and Chapel Hill-based label Paradise of Bachelors were teaming up for a festival at our favorite venue, The Empty Bottle, we were beyond pumped. However—and quite unfortunately—it happened to coincide with Riot Fest, but we managed to figure out how to make it out to the first night of the fest and still catch three of Trouble’s acts along with one of Paradise’s.

It’s always a bit hard to predict when a show at The Bottle will start, and this time we were a bit off as DB and I arrived in the middle of James Elkington’s set. The solo performer was a rather kick ass guitar player and had a classical strumming style that will fill you with warmth from your toes to your ears. We caught the last four or five tunes which was enough to leave us impressed with his vocal tones and connection to his instrument. Signed to Paradise of Bachelors in 2015, he has a couple records out with the imprint. (You can find ‘em here.)  He is currently opening for Jeff Tweedy—yes, that Jeff Tweedy—on Tweedy’s solo tour.

We are unhappy to report that we slept on Ether’s debut album which dropped in late August, but you can check it out here. Trust us, it’s a good one. They took the stage soon after Elkington and ran through a handful of tunes off their new record. Guitarist and singer Bo Hansen (formerly of Heavy Times) proved to the crowd that he knows how to write a hook that will stick with you, and Mary McKane’s organ added a seventies feel to the straight up rock the quartet threw our way. Their set was over before we knew it, but we’ll be reporting on them again soon. They don’t have any current shows planned in the city that we could find, but we’ll let you know when they do!

Chicago post punks Negative Scanner were up next, and shortly after coming to the stage, it became apparent that Rebecca Valeriano-Flores petite frame belies her attitude and performance. A ball of energy, she screamed and yoweled through their short songs (only one tune on new LP Nose Picker is over three minutes, find it here), while Nick Beaudoin, Tom Cassling and Matthew Revers backed her up with their post punk speed and deft handling of their instruments.  It’s a no wonder that their set was a bit under half an hour. They crammed a massive amount of tunes into that time and any more might have caused their hands to fall off.

The evenings headliners FACS had to make a lineup change after recording their debut, bringing in scene-veteran Alianna Kalaba to replace departed bassist Jonathan van Herik. We’ve seen them since and Kalaba makes a fine addition to the spare lineup with Noah Leger on drums and Brian Case on guitar. The destructive force of Leger’s drumming was impressive, leaving Case plenty of room to play over the top with repetitive chord structures that are dizzying at their best. Pink and purple lighting added a mystery to the set that lasted throughout. They are playing the Revolution Oktoberfest Party next Saturday the 29th! Get there early to check out this talented local act. They are on at 4PM. See the full lineup here.


Check out both labels for more great artists: Trouble in Mind Paradise of Bachelors


room 25

With her distinctive smooth flow and deeply personal lyrics, Noname has produced one of the best, if not THE BEST, hip hop album to drop this year. Chicago native Fatimah Nyeema Warner has been rapping under the moniker Noname for eight years now and came into her own with her debut full length Telefone. But she has reached another level with this collection of confessional low-key grooves. This is hip hop at its most focused and real. There’s no posturing here, no smack talk, no fakeness; just a tour through her life with all its wrinkles and flaws and glories. An exploration of what it is like to be a black woman rapper in this city, this country, this world. Full of references one would only get if they live here, Room 25 is a quintessential Chicago record. One that will go down as a classic in the scene and will undoubtedly make her a household name, even if she doesn’t want to have one.


It appears she is launching a tour that will take her to Australia and back. Hopefully she’ll stop at home for a show after her whirlwind US tour winds down.


alejandro escovedo
the crossing
yep roc

As timely as records can get, Alejandro Escovedo’s The Crossing tells the story of two boys who make the journey to America: One from Mexico who crosses the border into Texas and the other from Italy, who emigrated to the United States in hopes of a better life. Both find a culture closed off to them and less than accepting. It’s a difficult and distinct album. Not an easy listen, but it is an important one.  A rock ‘n roll journey through the backwater towns and brightly lit cities that dot the landscape of this country, following these two unaccepted souls until they make the decision to be outcasts in their own right.

Escovedo has a long musical history starting out with early punk act The Nuns (who opened for The Sex Pistols at one point) and ending up in Austin’s country rock pioneers Rank and File. He has been a journeyman guitarist since the late seventies and has had a prolific solo career. The Crossing is his thirteenth studio album and was recorded in Italy with Don Antonio. Antonio Gramienteri, guitarist of Don Antonio co wrote the album.


Unfortunately he just rolled through Old Town School of Folk Music at the end of August and we don’t expect him back anytime soon.


the goon sax
we’re not talking

This Australian trio has turned a corner with their sophomore album, showing a maturity that belies their age. Their low-fi sound is still intact and the subject matter is still based in the stresses and uncertainty of young modern life; however, there are a few tunes such as ballad “Strange Light” and repetitive piano tune “Now You Pretend” that show the odd potential they have. There is more to them than the jangly indie pop from debut Up to Anything, they just may not be sure themselves exactly where they are headed, but we can’t wait to see.


They are swinging through the Empty Bottle on October 30th. Get tix here for only $10!


double negative
sub pop

Double Negative is possibly the crunchiest, somberist and least accessible record this trio has put out in their 25 year career, which may be why we dig the hell out of it. Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker, and Steve Garrington have been consistently putting out their brand of sparse, unflinching, gorgeous indie rock since their debut in ‘94 and this new one takes it even farther, with a deeper and more distorted base than ever before. It’s music for those late night, lights off, sleep deprived benders. As dark as dark can get.


The trio is playing Rockefeller Chapel on November 16th. You can scoop up tix here for $25 ($11 student).

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Guerilla toss
twisted crystal

Taming a bit of their crazy edge, New York’s experimental rock gurus Guerilla Toss release their most accessible record to date. Taking from funk, go-go and new wave they craft a collage of musical snippets from decades of influences.  Kassie Carlson’s vocals dip and dive through the funky drums, the buzz and beeps of synths, and distorted guitar creates a wave of sound that doesn’t have many equals. This is for those future themed parties you’ve always wanted to host. An amalgamation of the last century of music all crammed into one place, that will make you dance your ass off.


The Hideout is hosting them this Saturday! Tix are only $12 and can be purchased here.

the tallest man on earth.jpg

the tallest man on earth
when the bird sees solid ground
Rivers / Birds , awal

Amateur ornithologist Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth, has completed his 2018 project When The Bird Sees The Solid Ground. It’s a 5 song EP, of which each song has already been released as a single throughout the year. Each song was released with an accompanying video, and each seem to serve a specific purpose to Kristian. It’s an interesting move for the Swedish folkster, and yet seems like the most logical next move. The Tallest Man on Earth started as a solo project that seemed not of this time – a weathered, strained voice pierced through a single acoustic guitar not unlike Dylan. He then flirted with more ambitious arrangements, and eventually recruited a full band and implemented lush studio work for 2015’s supremely underrated Dark Bird is Home. After that, Kristian retreated to his woodland cabin, keeping warm with only his beard and by furrowing his brows… I assume.

Then in 2017, we saw a rebirth of sorts. The Tallest Man on Earth became a multimedia artist. With A Light in Demos, Kristian got back to his roots of rugged releases. Not satisfied with just a collection of audio pleasures this time, the 2017 series was comprised of quickly shot videos of one take tracks, often written not long before the recording. There are some covers to show you where he takes influence from, and some personal notes to glimpse where he’s going, but it was a bold move overall. When you hit the mainstream, you don’t typically take a hard left. With 2018’s series, The Tallest Man on Earth is again experimenting with his method. He’s using a bit more production with the songs and the videos. He’s fine-tuning his passion, and while the songs aren’t too drastic of a sonic change, they feel charged with energy.

We can expect big things from this Swede, and I’m going to have to scalp some tickets to his sold out double feature at Thalia Hall this November (17th and 18th). It’ll be a solo show this time, and we can expect some combination of video accompaniment – he directed his own videos for both series, so the guy takes multimedia seriously.

If the trend continues, the third video series might end up as a folk-musical about birds being lost in the darkness and suffering from tremendous loss. It’ll be a big production, and will probably be Off-Broadway for years to come. I’ll fucking love it, and will gladly pay full price before he retreats into a phoenix like phase again.



lala lala

The countdown begins! Only a week till Lillie West releases The Lamb, her second full length under the Lala Lala moniker. “Dove” is the third single and if the rest the album is this good . . . . let’s just say we’ll be praising it for months.

They are having an album release party at The Empty Bottle on Friday September 28th. You can get tickets here. Only $8! Do it! Let’s sell it out and support local music!

aphex twin
collapse ep

It’s been a long 4 years since Richard D. James came back with his Aphex Twin project’s Syro. That record started a series of releases that never quite seemed like the Aphex Twin we last saw in 2001’s Drukqs. In 2018, however, we got a return to form with the Collapse EP. Glitchy beats and boyish charm abound in the 29 minutes. Most of my favorite Aphex Twin tracks feature handbrake genre switches, and there are plenty of those here. James uses them to the fullest throughout the EP, recalling his best work of the 90s while introducing new ideas that he explored between 2001 and 2018. It’s probably my favorite of his work under any moniker in the last 17 years.

too real

Holy shit these guys are mad as hell! This is FIDLAR at their most sincere. Gone are the songs about cheap beer and fighting and in its place is some angry ass political punk rock with some glossy electronics thrown in. Maybe it’s time they had something to say.

FIDLAR was just at the Vic last week. Read all about it last week’s issue!

kurt vile

This near ten minute epic tune from folk rocks resident troubadour is the second single from his just announced new album Bottle It In, which is set to drop October 12th from Matador.

Vile is hitting the Riv just in time for Christmas on December 22nd. Tix are going for $36 you can pick some up here.

adrienne lenker.jpg

adrianne lenker

The second single off the Big Thief singers new solo album is more of her perfect emotive blend of graceful storytelling and fuzzy harmonics. The new album is entitled abysskiss and drops October 5th from Saddle Creek.

Just announced! She is hitting Lincoln Hall February 20th 2019. Tix are $18 and available here.



  • First Aid Kit - Tender Offerings EP

  • girl in red - chapter 1 EP

  • Cursive - Under The Rainbow

  • Lana Del Rey - Mariners Apartment Complex

  • Sleigh Bells - Holly

  • Ben Howard - Another Friday Night / Hot Heavy Summer / Sister

  • Fucked Up - House of Keys

  • Haley Heynderickx, Max Garciá Conover - Slow Talkin’

  • Cypress Hill - Crazy

  • Rival Sons - Do Your Worst

  • The Smashing Pumpkins - Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)  


We Were Promised Jetpacks / The More I Sleep the Less I Dream / We Were Promised Jetpacks

The Scottish quartet returns with their first album in four years and a more mature, filled out sound. Wonderfully executed, The More I Sleep the Less I Dream is quite a journey through their ever evolving lives.

They are coming through next week on Tuesday September 25th and Wednesday September 26th at Lincoln Hall. You can get tix here for $22.


Lyrics Born / Quite a Life / Mobile Home

Cutting his rhyming teeth in the Southern California scene in the early 90’s Lyrics Born, real name Tsutomu Shimura, has been a staple in the underground hip hop scene for decades. His new album comes with plenty of funkified beats and soul based production. He even has a few features from the likes of Sister Sparrow, Aloe Blacc and funk masters Galactic.

It doesn’t look like the Berkeley MC is not heading through Chicago on his Fall tour.


Dilly Dally / Heaven / Partisan

Garage rock and shoegaze crash together to form the sound that DILLY DALLY delivers, with Katie Monks snarling vocals and plenty of fuzzy distortion to wash it all down. Rising to overcome a near breakup after their debut it’s no wonder this one is all about trying to find hope in this crushing world.

They just swung through, opening for FIDLAR, and we covered it last issue. CCS #27.


Black Belt Eagle Scout / Mother of My Children / Saddle Creek

A melancholic ode to trials and disillusionment, Katherine Paul’s debut is filled with foggy feelings and bewildering beauty. She wrote the album during a break up and as her indigenous relatives were protesting at Standing Rock. It’s a heartbreaking look at the emotions that can run through any of us when experiencing overwhelming loss.

She came through Beat Kitchen on September 2nd and we missed out. Hopefully she’ll be back this Winter.


Jump, Little Children / Sparrow / Jump Two

The first album in fourteen years from this Charleston indie folk act is everything we could have hoped for. Lyrically gorgeous - their harmonies make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end - Sparrow is an accomplishment in it’s simplistic yet lush arrangements, a fitting return to the spotlight for a band that we wish never would have gone away.

City Winery is hosting an album release party on October 1st. You can score some tix here.



KAMI , Smoko Ono / Very Slight / Very Slight

Active Bird Community / Amends / Barsuk

Slothrust / The Pact / Dangerbird

Bob Moses / Battle Lines / Domino

Jungle / For Ever / XL

6LACK / East Atlanta Love Letter / LVRN , Interscope

Paul Weller / True Meanings / Solid Bonds , Parlophone

Orbital / Monsters Exist  / ACP 

Richard Thompson / 13 Rivers / Richard Thompson , New West

Asleep At The Wheel / New Routes / Bismeaux , Thirty Tigers

Marc Ribot / Songs Of Resistance 1942 - 2018 / Noise , Anti

The Dirty Nil / Master Volume / The Dirty Nil , Dine Alone

Innanet James / Keep It Clean / Highres ,  Rostrum

Emma Ruth Rundle / On Dark Horses / Sargent House


  •  Red Bull Music Fest’s lineup came out this week and it’s full of Chicago hip hop and R&B acts plus much more.

  • Ticketmaster may be in deep shit. The Toronto Star published a report on Wednesday about their second hand ticket broker business. Warning: this may anger you. Read about it here.

  • New layout coming in a couple weeks! Be on the lookout for our new calendar! Till then here is your recommended shows of the week….


Thursday September 20th
Cut Worms / Glyders / Jungle Green
Schubas      9PM $15  Get Tix here.

Flint Eastwood / Tunde Olaniran / Appleby
Beat Kitchen   7PM $13 Scoop up tix here.

Friday September 21st
Goose Island Block Party:
TV On The Radio / Sunflower Bean / Mick Jenkins / Ric Wilson / Deeper / Glitter Moneyyy
Goose Island Brewery: Entrance at Fulton and Walcott    5PM $10 suggested donation

Diet Cig / Illuminati Hotties / Tasha
Lincoln Hall    9PM $16  Scoop up some tix here.

Lowdown Brass Band (15th anniversary show) / The Right Now /  Shiro Schwarz
Sleeping Village    9PM $12 ($15 door) Get those tix right here.

Saturday September 22nd
Goose Island Block Party:
Drive-By Truckers / The Hold Steady / Lillie Mae / Daddy Issues / Joan of Arc Band / Fran
Goose Island Brewery: Entrance at Fulton and Walcott    3PM $10 suggested donation

Joey Purp / Kami / Z Money
Thalia Hall 8:30PM doors $18 Tix here.

Guerilla Toss / Sarah Squirm / Good Willsmith / DJ B-Trip
The Hideout    9PM $12   Get Tix here.

Your Smith (FKA Caroline Smith) / Baum
Sleeping Village    9PM $20. Get Tix here.

Slaughter Beach /  Dog / Gladie / Sonny Falls
Beat Kitchen    8PM $15 Get those tix here.

Sunday September 23rd
Miranda Winters (of Melkbelly] / Joe & Linda [of 'Not For You'] / Mia Joy
Schubas    9PM $10     Grab some tix right here.

Monday September 24th
Blitzen Trapper / Candace
Lincoln Hall   8PM $25  Pick up some tix.   

Tuesday September 25th

We Were Promised Jetpacks / Jenn Champion  
Lincoln Hall    8PM $22  Get your tix here.

Emma Ruth Rundle / Jaye Jayle / Trevor de Brauw
Empty Bottle   8:30PM doors $13 ($15 doors)  Tix available here.

Courtney Marie Andrews / Samantha Crain /  David Huckfelt (The Pines)
The Hideout    9PM $12  Get tix here.

Wednesday September 26th
Shakey Graves / The Wild Reeds
The Riv 8Pm $30 Grab some tix here.

落日飛車 Sunset Rollercoaster / Divino Niño / Kachi
Empty Bottle   8:30PM doors $10   Tix available here.

Modern Vices / Girl K / Spendtime Palace / The Brazen Youth
Emporium - Wicker Park    8PM FREE

See you at the show Chicago! 

Been inspired by a recent musical experience? Excited about an upcoming show? shoot us an email to GET STARTED.

Being a contributor has never been easier. All you have to do is enjoy music, have a good time and tell others about it. We are a community sourced web mag, that means our experts are music lovers in your community. Yes, you are an expert music lover. (We know because you are reading this site) Our goal here is to encourage people to see live music, and have a good time doing it. Get clever with how you would like to contribute, but here are some ideas:

  • See a show and write about what made it great for you (and snap a couple pics)

  • Tell people about CCS

  • Listen to a new album and write a review

  • Share the weekly issue post

  • Buy us a ticket to see a show - we will try to cover the show if you can’t go!

  • Post to our social media sites about news in the local music scene

  • Help us make a connection to acquire:

    • Press passes

    • Photo passes

    • Promo materials (buttons, stickers, gear, flyers…)

With any contribution, we request email submissions by the following Wednesday morning  (ex. If you see a Friday show, submit 4 days later; ex. Listen to a new album on Tuesday, submit the next day). Please let us know that you want to contribute so we can get you into that week’s issue. You can totally submit a review later than Wednesday, and we may include it. Not to put the pressure on, but we are a weekly mag so we like to keep content current.


P.S. If you want a little extra confidence, we really do want to hear from you and expand our community. I am not a trained writer, and personally think my reviews need a good deal of improvement. I keep writing to get better, and people are still reading it!