Jungle Green / photo by JCB

Editor's Note
Welcome to Issue #29 of Chicago Crowd Surfer! This is starting to become a pattern. We’ve got another massive issue for your consumption. With a huge release week and plenty of show reviews there is something for everyone’s taste. We were lucky enough to get to spend some time with The Curls, check out our interview with one of Chicago’s most eclectic acts. We welcome our newest contributor NBL with a review of J. Cole at Allstate, while LPL spent the weekend at the Do312 Block Party. JCB caught Cut Worms at Schubas and we made a trip to Lincoln Hall last week for Natalie Prass and the incomparable Stella Donnelly! And there is a great big collection of albums that came out last week. Check out if your favorite band released something you missed and when they are coming to Chicago! Enjoy the read Surfers and see you next week!

Keep Seeing Live Music!



the curls

Click the pic to read their interview

with KPL


j. cole

Allstate Arena

September 22nd

 J. Cole on his “KOD” tour / all photos by NBL

In April, hip hop artist J.Cole released his 5th studio album out of thin air to shock his fans. I was literally on spotify that morning when I received the notification that his new album was out and was immediately excited to listen to what J. Cole had in store for the fans.  The KOD album, which has three initialisms (Kids On Drugs, King Overdose, and Kill Our Demons), is his interpretation to new age hip hop artists, his personal battle with addiction, and how to overcome his wrongs.  On his “KOD” tour, J.Cole performed hits from across his discography to a packed Allstate Arena filled with fans that have been deeply impacted by his music since his start: “Nobody’s Perfect” (featuring Missy Elliot) from his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story, “Power Trip” (featuring Miguel) from Born Sinner, “No Role Modelz” from 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and “Neighbors” off of his 4th album 4 Your Eyez Only.  J.Cole is a North Carolina bred hip hop artist—notice I didn’t say born because he was born on a military base in Germany—who gave Jay-Z his demo album and was signed onto Roc Nation.

Although I wasn’t allowed to bring my Nikon into the venue, I used my iPhone to get shots of his performance, record some of his songs, and captured him speaking to the audience about the three meanings behind KOD.  He broke his title down into the three meanings starting with Kids on Drugs, telling the audience that whether it’s money, sex, or even drugs themselves, we all have an addiction to something that helps us cope and get through everyday hardships.  In KOD, J.Cole speaks more of his mother’s addiction to alcohol and hearing her cries, while dealing with his stepfather’s infidelity, as well as dealing with his own anger towards the man who’s been hurting her.  King Overdose, the second initialism, is the artist personifying his addiction. (In the album there is a feature from an enigmatic artist called kiLL edward, and, after doing tons of research, I found out that kiLL edwards is actually J.Cole himself embodying his addicted character.)  Lastley, Kill Our Demons, in which J.Cole said, “It’s when you look at your bullshit right in the face and you overcome it.” In a new age, hip hop world filled with Soundcloud artists who take drugs in various pill forms and talk about whatever their minds can make up just to get famous, there are artists who work hard and enjoy showing off their craft to devoted fans.  The KOD concert was both fun and emotional, as well as the album itself.  Influenced by hip hop, a hint of rock, and rhythm and blues, J.Cole had a full band alongside his DJ, giving the audience a taste of raw instruments as he portrayed his raw emotions.  

Through the violinists playing alongside trap drums, female vocalists isolating higher keys, guitar players soloing introductions to his next song, J.Cole presented a variety of raw sounds to his performance and excelled than just simply a rapper and a DJ. He also had large projectors alongside him, illuminating the three meanings to KOD as well as showcasing images—some funny and some controversial—to his songs. Fans literally knew every note to his songs, and I felt like that every event in J.Cole’s life that were told through his lyrics where related to by a fan’s own life story.  J. Cole moved across the stage pouring his energy onto the audience and into his lyrics. Whether it was his new music or some of his oldies, he performed every song like it was the first time.  During his most controversial song, “1985”—a song meant to diss a fellow hip hop artist who dissed J.Cole first—J.Cole told the DJ to stop the track and he rapped a capella. The fan-filled Allstate Arena sang along with him. Like a chorus to a preacher, everyone followed his flow.

The 24-song show ended with his most popular song from his third album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, “No Role Modelz”. (It’s a fan’s favorite, old and new.)  J.Cole gave an amazing performance that fans from all walks of life enjoyed. His lyrical talent holds no boundary, along with a variety of production sounds that is fitting to a broad artistic mindset like his. This is a show that I would love to see again, but I am looking forward to what he will bring in the future as he continues to tell audiences the story of his life.      


J.Cole is still touring North America

Lastly, remember how I mentioned earlier that J.Cole is from North Carolina? Well, he is throwing a festival in April 2019 called Dreamville Festival in order to raise money for his foundation (Dreamville Foundation) that he created to provide support for his hometown, Fayetteville, which was affected by Hurricane Florence.


312 Block party

Goose Island Brewery

September 21st & 22nd

“Empty Kegs” alongside one of the bar lines at Goose Island Brewery / all photos by LPL

How could we pass up this lineup? Thirteen excellent acts and over 20 Goose Island brews, plus a pen with goats wearing flannels, all for only a $10 donation to one of 5 local charities - Project Fierce, Chicago Canine Rescue, Urban Rivers, Planned Parenthood Illinois, and RefugeeOne. Yeah, this was a no brainer. That being said, this is a fest for the seasoned fester. With such a solid bill, the website suggested we arrive early in order to gain entry before capacity, as people tend not to leave . They weren’t kidding.  On Friday they hit capacity by 7:30pm. Saturday they were letting people in one-in-one-out by 6:00, and shut gates by 7:30. I mean, I suppose you can’t expect a $10 cover for DBT to be an easy entry. Goose Island met my expectations this weekend with their brews and the acts were all great as well. The stages were crowded for even the earliest sets of each day, and most people were paying attention too. Not normal for a street fest, but this was a block party.



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seepeoples / the terms

Elbo Room

September 21st

 SeepeopleS/ all photos by ATD

The basement of the Elbo Room contained a sparse crowd at 8pm on this particular Friday night. No worries though, we are a group of laidback ladies, and we were perfectly happy to settle ourselves into a corner booth to people watch and take in the developing atmosphere. Eventually we realized that the light attendance was likely due to the fact that the start time had been pushed back by an hour. But, as the clock ticked closer to 9, the first band began to set up, and people started to slowly file in.

The Terms

The Terms

First to the stage was a trio that went by the name The Terms. With just a set of keys/synth, a bass, and a drum kit I wasn’t sure how well they’d be able to hold my attention (I like a lot of moving parts), but they surprised me with a complexity that I wouldn’t normally attribute to a band of this size. In the simplest terms (no pun intended!) I’d describe them as a piano-pop rock band. (Think Ben Folds with an edge.) But with every song they played, a new influence bubbled to the surface. There were tones of classic rock like Queen, alternative rock such as Panic! At the Disco, and pop icons in the vein of Elton John. In fact, one of my favorite tracks they played that night was an Elton John inspired dance number called “Relay”. It was one of those songs that you could feel in your bones, and that kept your feet moving. I fell in love with this band’s energy and heart. There was care and thought put into every note of their melodies and every word of their lyrics. I was later delighted to find out that their live sound translated incredibly well onto recorded tracks as this is a band that you’d definitely want to keep in your pocket when on the go. Sadly, there aren’t many digital tracks available online. I really hope that this changes soon.

My friends and I had the pleasure of being able to chat a little bit with The Terms’s bassist Pat Diaz right after their set. He explained to us that The Terms was the pet project of vocalist/keyboardist Marjan Agicic and that The Terms had only existed as a band for about 6 months. “I actually just met this drummer about two weeks ago,” shared Diaz regarding drummer Jerijah Sanders. Upon a little bit of further research, I learned that The Terms is the result of almost 15 years of singer-songwriter Agicic’s hard work and creative drive. It became clear to me then where this band’s feeling of “heart” came from. A decade and some change of creative fermentation, that’s where. I hope that The Terms stick around the scene for a while. I think that there is a real chance for success here if they can gain some traction. Thank you, Marjan, for sharing your music with us that night. It was a real pleasure.

(I promised Pat that I would throw a shout out to his own “baby band” called Hamsterdam. He described it as a “video game jam band”. Upon giving it a listen, I would agree with his assessment. If 16-bit prog rock is your thing, I suggest that you check them out too.)

Apparently, this was supposed to be a four-band evening, but one of the bands was running late, and another never showed. So (san middling act) headliners SeepeopleS were next to take the stage. My gut reaction to this rock group was immediate attraction. They carried themselves with a confident humility that suggested that they were there of the people for the people. Drums, keys, bass, synth, loop tracks, vocals, and a megaphone made up their menagerie of musical tools. Moments into their first song, I knew that I had my work cut out for me. Self-described as “the original anti-genre musical act”, SeepeopleS is unlike any other band I’ve ever heard before in the very best way possible. These guys didn’t “play” music, they manifested it. The rich, dreamy mania of their sound was built upon a foundation of ethereal electronics, anti-establishment pop, and animated rock. There were a few moments during their set where they experienced some technical difficulties with the sound. Bandleader Will Bradford apologized profusely for the interruption, but to be honest, I think that everyone in attendance was too entranced to care. As my friend, Emily, put it, “I don’t think I would have even noticed if they didn’t point it out.”

One of the vibes I got from SeepeopleS was that they were a band that had been on the grind for quite some time. And after some digging, I found my suspicions to be correct. With roots in Portland, Maine, these guys have been creating music for about 17 years. They have shared the stage with bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Franz Ferdinand, and Presidents of the United States. They have even hosted musician Jon Fishman as a guest member during a set they played at a recent political rally. (They seem to have a politically rich background.) Nominated for multiple awards, featured in several soundtracks for film and tv productions, and having released 5 full length albums and 3 EPs, SeepeopleS has without a doubt had a fruitful career.

Given SeepeopleS’s plump resume, I am surprised that there weren’t more people there to see them. But, then again, the lineup was thrown into disarray last minute, and there did seemed to be more people filing in just as their set was coming to an end. I have a feeling that there might have been a bigger audience if their set had been on time.

The third band (The Edwards, I believe) finally showed up just as SeepeopleS was finishing packing up their equipment. It was minutes before midnight by the time this third band took the stage, and I had to head out before their set in order to catch my train back to Wisconsin. (Sorry, The Edwards! I hope your set went wonderfully.) As I packed up my notebook and gathered my belongings, I kept thinking about how I would sum up the evening. I finally settled on a moment that I had had with my friend Angie earlier that night. At one point during SeepeopleS’s set we had locked eyes just long enough for her to mouth an enthusiastic “Wow!” at me. It wasn’t a profound assessment, but, per our evening, it was a very astute one.

SeepeopleS is currently still touring the US for their most recent album Hate. From the looks of it though, it seems that they are pretty active on the tour circuit in general. Chances are they will (hopefully!) come back through Chicago at some point. I am not aware of any upcoming shows for The Terms at the moment, but it appears that they post their dates on their facebook page. I highly suggest you give them a “like”, and turn out for one of their shows sometime soon.


Cut Worms (1).jpg

Cut worms / glyders / jungle green


September 20th

Cut Worms / all photos by JCB

What if Captain Beefheart teamed up with Michael Fassbender’s titular character in Frank, and they stole Geordi from Star Trek’s shades? The band might sound like Chicago’s own Jungle Green. These guys are the definition of overload. I don’t think the audience could keep up with the constant instrument switching, let alone make sense of Andrew Smith singing love songs from under the benches or wearing the trash cans around like Pyramid Head from Silent Hill. The country-influenced indie rock is good stuff, regardless of the antics. I personally enjoyed “Turn My Poor Heart From Blue… in the key of E minor.” As Andrew put it, “Some people say they’re the new Led Zeppelin, but they don’t really like labels. They’re their own band.”



I honestly don’t have much concrete information to give you about this band. They’re a local four piece that plays wonderfully laid back, jangly country rock music and the occasional Kinks-style rocker. I could go into why I had such a great time during the set, but it would be akin to remembering a dream. I was there specifically to see Cut Worms, but 2 songs into Glyders set and I was sucked into the portal that is bassist Eliza Weber’s bolo tie. I was no longer in the dimly lit back room of Schubas, but wandering West Texas with Harry Dean Stanton, who was played by guitarist/vocalist Joshua Condon. We traveled together for a long time. Sometimes we just let the dusty, atmospheric sounds of that daunting desert envelop us. Sometimes we would stop at a vast ravine, and he would whisper tales of past wanderers. Most of the tales reminded me of a man in black, and a gunslinger forever in pursuit, but I can’t remember it all. I need to see this band again. I need to pass through the bolo tie to hear more of the story.

Sometimes you know you’re going to be in the mood for some weeknight music a couple days ahead. What do you do? Well if you’re reading this, then you probably check our site weekly for ideas. Good for you – you’re a smart cookie. But if you write for this site… Well, you check out local venues and the start listening to everything. And thus, I found Cut Worms on a Monday night. I immediately fell in love with Max Clarke’s vintage sound, and bought the tickets for his Thursday night show at Schubas Tavern.

Retro pop is not a new invention, and Cut Worms certainly has a decent pool of competition for the niche genre, but Max has really captured the heart and soul of what made the 60s so timeless. Just like the Everly Brothers before him, he serenades and croons over lost loves with soda shop ballads and jangly doo wops. But he also has a flair for gritty rockers (relatively speaking) just like the Kinks, on songs like “Cash for Gold”. With his wonderfully warm tenor, he beckons the audience closer yet doesn’t come off as overbearing. If Glyders was a dimensional warp, Cut Worms was a DeLorean time machine. I felt like I was wearing a pair of my grandpa’s old shoes. It was familiar like a greatest hits record, yet made for another time. On stage, it was mostly about the music. Clarke didn’t have a flair for dramatics, which shouldn’t surprise when we name drop the influence of the Everly Bros. While the every smiling drummer bounced from side to side and the bassist was having the time of his life thumping away for a packed house, Max stood front and center, stoic and serious. The sound he crafted in a 45 minute set was long past its prime, but it holds the attention of folks born 30+ years too late.


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Natalie prass / stella donnelly

Lincoln Hall

September 19th

Natalie Prass / all photos by KPL

If you didn’t make it out to Lincoln Hall last Wednesday you missed out! These women put on a fantastic show for the loyal fans who turned up for the two wonderful singer/songwriters. The venue was rather empty when we showed up a mere ten minutes to showtime so we snagged a front row spot, a rarity for us, for what we were sure would be a great opening slot by the Australian solo songstress Stella Donnelly.

Stella Donnelly

Stella Donnelly

She strolled onstage looking quite different than the denim clad women we encountered at The Empty Bottle back in March (Issue #4). Her hair in a shoulder length bob and some arty printed pants, she scooped up her peach fender, plugged in and said hello to the smallish crowd that had gathered up to the stage. She wasted no time, treating us to renditions of most of her recorded material off her excellent EP Thrush Metal. Get it here. As well as some new tunes we hadn’t heard before.

Donnelly said she never expected the EP to go anywhere, but it has since made her into an indie darling and she’s going to “ride this wave for all it’s worth.” Before beginning her affecting tune “Boys Will Be Boys” she said she wrote it about how this happened to a friend of hers who was sexually assaulted and no one would believe her friend. However, she never expected the reaction she has gotten to the song because she wrote it several years ago, before the Me Too movement began. It is a perfectly written tune and shows off why her performative grace and astounding simplistic song structures make her one of this years rising stars. We wouldn’t be surprised to see her next project shoot her even farther into the mainstream. She ended the set with smile and a big thanks, unplugged her peach fender and headed back stage with it, as if she were about to go busk outside. Thanks for another gorgeous set Stella Donnelly. Come back to Chicago soon!

After a quick ten minutes or so, Natalie Prass bounded onstage in a yellow collared dress with her band in tow. Her new album The Future And The Past is full of dancy disco influences (find it here.), but she split the set rather evenly between her first record and the new one. Giving us some reworked versions of the highlight tracks off her 2015 self titled hit while keeping it fresh with the new funky dance tunes that color where she is at now as a performer. This was the second night of the tour and they seemed to be working out some kinks in the set, but she still put on an inspired performance. Working the crowd and singing from her heart right out her vocal chords.

Mid set she sat solo at the keys and performed the fantastic ballad “Far From You” which was inspired by Karen Carpenter, a hero of hers, and if there was a dry eye in the house they have no emotions. The band came back for two reworked hits in “Why Don’t You Believe In Me” and “My Baby Don’t Understand Me” before brightening things up with her breakout single “Short Court Style” to close out the set. Her encore was short lived, but charming, with a version of the fifties styled musical number “It Is You.” A fitting end to her outstanding performance. If you get the chance, see her the next time she rolls through. It’s worth every cent.



Mountain man
magic ship

No one thought we would get another Mountain Man album after the folk trio of Amelia Meath, Molly Erin Sarlé, and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig put out a fantastic debut in 2010 with Made The Harbor. It’s lush harmonies and simple song structures reminded music lovers that sometimes uncomplicated music can be astounding. So we were excited to learn that, after an eight year hiatus, Meath (of Sylvan Esso) had gotten the girls back together to create fourteen tunes of beautiful contemplation and graceful life living joy. Whether acapella or accompanied by a single guitar, their three voices build and flow and travel around and through one another to form cohesive vocals that are gorgeous at their least and flabbergasting at their peaks. A reminder that sometimes the human voice is the most affecting instrument of all.  


This trio is coming through Old Town School of Folk Music on October 30th! Get tix here for only $25.


art of doubt
mmi , crystal math , bmg

Twenty years in and these Canadian rockers are still destroying our image of them. Stripping away quite a bit of the glossy pop influences that have taken over their last several records, Art of Doubt is a rough around the edges, dark themed collection of tunes that feels just right for the times. Emily Haines vocals still take center stage, but there is more of a strained tone—an uncomfortableness—that persists throughout. Don’t be mistaken though, it’s on purpose, and the effect works incredibly well. With titles like “Now Or Never”, “No Lights on the Horizon” and “Dark Saturday”, you start to get the picture. This is music for the here and now, where desperation and the search for emotive meaning has taken the place of the gloss and pomp of early aughts. Metric has grabbed the times by the throat and are gently squeezing it until we finally notice that we all can’t breathe anymore.   


Metric is coming through March 22, 2019 at The Aragon. Tix go on sale Friday 9/29 at Noon and you can get em here.


the art of pretending to swim

Vast and expansive, Conor O’Brien’s newest effort as Villagers is more eclectic than any before. There’s pop, folk, indie, R&B and country influences all wrapped up into this record. Formed a decade ago, this Irish outfit delivers a powerful blend that surpases their Indie Folk genre designation by a mile. From opener “Again” (which explodes midtune with layer upon layer of sound) to the electronic smoothness of “Real Go-Getter” on to the more traditional closing ballad “Ada”, this is a fantastic set of tunes that show you why Villagers sell out shows all over Europe. Four albums in, and it really seems like O’Brien and crew have found their legs. We can’t wait to see where they run to next.


It doesn’t look like they have a stateside tour planned soon. Currently they are on a comprehensive European run.


christine and the queens

Pop songstress, producer, choreographer, and dancer Héloïse Letissier—also known as Christine and the Queens (from her penchant for using drag queens in her performances)—made a splash with her 2014 debut Chaleur Humaine (Christine and the Queens stateside) and continues her progression to pop stardom with this sophomore release, simply titled Chris. This collection of tunes resumes her trend of releasing two different versions of her songs in French and English which adds more testament to her crossover appeal. Fully written and produced by Letissier, Chris is full of influences from 80’s and 90’s pop and art rock that only gets more complicated and interesting with multiple listens. From the spare beats and religious questions that pepper “Doesn’t Matter” to the fun funkiness that backs “Goya Soda”, this is a pure testament to Letissier’s star power and how far one woman can push her career on her own. If this is twenty first century pop then the future looks damn fine from here.


It seems she is just hitting the East and West Coast on her current tour. Hopefully there is another stateside run soon.


richard swift
the hex
secretly candian

Posthumous records are never easily received. Especially when it is material fully recorded by the artist before they left this world. Richard Swift had intended to release this album before he passed away this July at the age of 41. It was finished, but he didn’t get to see it drop. There’s an injustice to that which haunts The Hex; but it is surpassed by the shear beauty and devastating emotions that cover every track. A sort of neo-indie-soul sound hides Swift’s vocals in a ghostly way. As if he was already slipping away from the soundtrack of life, leaving these layered beauties in his wake.

Swift was not just a musician but a very talented producer as well. He worked with such acts as The Shins, Damien Jurado, David Bazan, Foxygen, Jessie Baylin, Nathaniel Rateliff, Lucius, Lonnie Holley, The Mynabirds, Wake Owl, Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, Gardens & Villa, Cayucas, and Guster. That is an amazing list of artists and you can hear his fingerprints on a good many of their records. This is a fitting conclusion to a talented career that ended far too soon.  Hopefully it can inspire future artists to take as many chances as possible and live a life unfettered from how others think you should be.


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joyce manor
million dollars to kill me

One of those bands that pulls out your inner teenager, Joyce Manor has been floating through our playlists since 2014’s Never Hungover Again. Their sing along confessional lyrics and catchy rock hooks are always good for a smile of recognition, while their ballads such as new cut “I’m Not The One” reminds us of how we could sit in our highschool friends’ basement and listen to records over and over. While Million Dollars To Kill Me is a bit more mature than the previous installments to their growing catalog, they still have odes to the romantic (“Think I’m Still In Love With You”) and hummable nods to the growing youth gap (“Friends We Met Online”) that pick up where the five of them left off with their last album Cody.


They are bringing their off-kilter power pop to The Vic on October 20th. Grab some tix here.


piano & a microphone 1983
npg , warner bros.

However you may feel about the Prince Estate releasing unheard material, you can’t deny that you are at least a little happy to soak in this amazing piece of musical iconography. It’s exactly as the title suggests; a recording session in 1983 with Prince solo at a piano singing his Minneapolis-bred heart out. There are fabulous versions of some of his classics (Purple Rain, International Lover, 17 days, Strange Relationship), an Aretha cover (Mary, Don’t You Weep), a Joni Mitchell cover (A Case Of You), and three unreleased tunes that he perhaps intended for others or one day for himself on this record. As fans, we are overjoyed to be able to soak in this 34 minutes of beauty (which he most likely never wanted out there) created by one of the great geniuses of rock n roll. Especially in this intimate form. It’s a rare gift. Listen to this now. You can spare thirty minutes of your life.


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adam’s house cat
town burned down

Before Drive By Truckers, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley were members of Adam’s House Cat, a band they formed in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 1985. Their recordings from 1990 where lost soon after they split, but, 18 years in to the new century, they have unearthed the full album and remixed it for our listening pleasure. Town Burned Down is an early portrait of what Hood and Cooley were up to  before forming the seminal Southern Rock outfit DBT. In a lot of ways this really could be considered the first DBT album as there isn’t a whole lot of difference in the sound. Hood’s gravelly vocals hang on the hard seventies southern rock and country influenced jams, and Cooley’s guitar reveals shades of the mature work that is now a given part of his musical career. Just like their long catalog of DBT songs, there are heartfelt tunes about Southern life (“Cemeteries” and “6 O’Clock Train”) and serious subject matter (“Child Abuse” and “Shot Rang Out”). Plus a couple of love songs thrown in for good measure. If you’re a DBT fan, this is required listening. If you’ve never heard them before, you should start with Town Burned Down and then check out the rest of their catalog. It’s worth it.  


DBT just played last weekend at the DO312 Block Party. Check out LPL’s review!


the curls
bad boi

A creepy crawly tune just in time for October. The protagonist of this one leaves your skin crawling as much as the off kilter mid-tune breakout. One of several singles they’ve dropped off their forthcoming spring album. We can’t wait!

Check out our interview with Mick and Jan of The Curls at the top of this issue!

The Curls are hitting the Owl on October 3rd with Rob Jacobs and Bill MacKay and are at The Empty Bottle on October 30th with The Hecks and The Goon Sax! Get tix to that one here.

jessie reyez
dear yessie

Propelled to popularity through prominent features and pure talent, this Toronto raised Columbian has been dropping singles all year, and this is the best of the lot. It’s no wonder that she was able to tap into Eminem’s fan base with two features on Kamikaze. (Which we did not report on. He is in no need of our help, and frankly neither is she.) This is just damn good music, so we thought we’d let ya know.

Ms. Reyez is coming to Lincoln Hall on November 13th. You can get tix here.  How is this not sold out yet, Chicago?!

lana del rey
venice bitch

If you would have told us a year ago that Lana Del Rey would release a nine minute plus epic off a new album reportedly titled “Norman Fucking Rockwell” we would have told you there was no way. But when Jack Antonoff (St. Vincent , Lorde) gets involved you know it’s for real and most likely going to be crazy good.

We expect her to hit the road this Winter after the album drops. Expect a date in early 2019 to show up soon.

greta van fleet
lover, leaver

Hard rock has its saviors. The third single from upcoming Anthem of the Peaceful Army makes the Zeppelin comparisons hard to shrug off. The thing is, they are phenomenal in their own right. So party on and throw on some Greta Van Fleet.

These kids already sold out the Aragon for two nights on December 12th and 14th! There are a crap ton of tix available from third party sites. So if you really wanna go you’ll have to fork over that dough!

charly bliss

New York indie rockers Charly Bliss have always had a heavily 90’s influenced vibe, but new single “Heaven” could have come straight from the age of flannel and combat boots. A great fall tune for those leaf changing drives through Wisconsin.

They are opening for Death Cab For Cutie at the Auditorium Theatre October 7th. That show is sold out as well. Check out the third party sites if you really want to make it there.


more jams from this week

  • Shakey Graves - Night Owl Sessions

  • HEALTH , Soccer Mommy - MASS GRAVE

  • Action Bronson - White Bronco

  • Keller Williams - Fat B

  • Rhye - Hymn

  • Kero Kero Bonito - Make Believe

  • Tyler the Creator - Peach Fuzz

  • bülow - Two Punks In Love

  • Chris Cornell - When Bad Does Good

new releases we missed

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Christopher Pellnat / Liftoff / Christopher Pellnat

Take a listen to this distinctive set of solo tunes from The Warp/The Weft guitarist. We dug it, and think you will too! Check it out here!

Pellnat isn’t making a trip to Chicago soon, but when he does we’ll let you know.


Particle / Accelerator / Particle

The instrumental funky electro jam outfit delivers nine tracks of pure, pumped up rock. Accelerator is the perfect title for this non-stop journey from their brains straight into our ears.

They’re stopping by Martyr’s on October 18th. Get those tix here and dance your ass off!


San Holo / album 1 / bitbird

Dutch producer Sander van Dijck isn’t your typical bass drop electronic musician. He is pushing the boundaries of the genre by incorporating everything from acoustic guitar to folk and blues influences. A genre on the brink of too much repetition needs an artist like San Holo to push it to whole new levels. The best electronic music to come out this year, van Dijck’s debut shows more promise than his contemporaries.

He was here last Fall but doesn’t have any Chicago dates at this time.


Lonnie Holley / MITH / Jagjaguwar

A deeply political and artistically affecting record from the man who started playing music just a few years back after a well respected visual art career. Take look into his story, listen to this amazing piece of work several times (it needs the listens, there is no way you could catch all of it in one), and take in the complicated beauty of what he’s trying to do.

No Chicago dates for this artist who we would travel long distances to see. He is playing St. Louis December 1st. Road trip anyone?


Liars / Titles With The Word Fountain / Mute Artists

Angus Andrews has always released compelling, oddly disturbing music, and this new record is exactly on par. A very long (hour and eighteen minute) epic that is the first music Andrews has released without co-founding member Aaron Hemphill. Weird and balls to the wall, this collection of 29 songs is without a doubt the strangest listen this week.

Currently on tour in Australia, Liars doesn’t have any Chicago dates anytime soon.


St. Lucia / Hyperion / Columbia , Sony

After months of build up and five singles, we finally got the new album from Jean-Philip Grobler’s Brooklyn based project. Some of the pure 80’s elements of his previous tunes have been stripped away, but that core is still there. He builds around it on this one with some lush horn, string sections and modern pop hooks. This is a crazy good live band so you should . . .

Get tix to see them at the Concord on October 3rd! How is this not sold out, Chicago?!



Mutual Benefit / Thunder Follows the Light / Mutual Benefit , Transgressive

Jordan Lee is bringing his show to The Empty Bottle on December 1st. Scoop up some tix here.

William Fitzsimmons / Mission Bell / William Fitzsimmons , Nettwerk

The Story So Far / Proper Dose / Pure Noise

These California emo kids just sold out two nights at the Metro! Nov. 8th and 9th! Good luck finding tix!

Lauren Balthrop / This Time Around / Lauren Balthrop , Tone Tree

Brockhampton / iridescence / Question Everything , RCA

Grab som tix here for this hip hop collectives show at the Aragon on October 28th! 

Jagwar Twin / Subject to Flooding / Original Mind

John Bonamassa / Redemption / J&R Adventures

This classic blues rock man is coming to The Chicago Theatre on March 8th and 9th, 2019. Scoop up tix here. 

Black Honey / Black Honey / Foxfive

Carl Broemel / Wished Out / Stocks in Asia , Thirty Tigers

The My Morning Jacket guitarist and co songwriter brings his solo project to Lincoln Hall on November 11th. Grab some tix here.

Anthony David / Hello Like Before: The Songs of Bill Withers / Shanachie

He’s bringing his renditions of these classic tunes to City Winery on November 26th! Pick up tix here!

Christian Sands / Facing Dragons / Mack Avenue

This talented pianist is playing Hyde Park Jazz Fest this Saturday! 8:30 PM on the Wagner Stage!

Father / Awful Swim / Father , RCA

The Atlanta MC is dropping by Reggie’s on November 2nd!  Get your tix here.

Lydia Luce / Azalea / Lydia Luce , Tone Tree

Lupe Fiasco / DROGAS WAVE / 1st and 15th , Thirty Tigers

Lupe is bringing his show to House of Blues on October 9th. Score those tix here.


  • The Revolution Oktoberfest is here! This Friday and Saturday! Get to Milwaukee and California! What else do you have to do?! Here is the schedule . . . See you there Surfers!!!


FRIDAY - 9/28
8:45 PM Whitney
7:00 PM EX HEX
5:30 PM Frankie Cosmos
4:00 PM Pixel Grip

8:30 PM King Khan And The Shrines
7:00 PM Melkbelly
5:30 PM Kikagaku Moyo / 幾何学模様
4:00 PM FACS
2:45 PM White Mystery
1:30 PM Los Gold Fire

  • And Bandcamp has weighed in on some politics this year! This Friday, September 29th they will donate 100% of their profits to The Voting Rights Project. Check it out here! So go to Bandcamp this Friday and spend some of your well earned cash supporting your favorite bands while giving back!  

  • Without further ado, here are our recommended shows of the week . . .


Thursday September 27th
Red Fang / Big Business / Dead Now / Tight Night
The Empty Bottle     8:30PM (doors) $30    Buy some tix here.   

Michigan Rattlers (Album Release) / Al Scorch
The Hideout    9PM $12  Get some tix right here.

Friday September 28th
Revolution Oktoberfest
Whitney / Ex Hex / Frankie Cosmos / Pixel Grip
Milwaukee and California     4PM - 10PM $5 suggested donation

Lala Lala (Record Release) / Dehd / Choral Reefr
The Empty Bottle     9PM doors $8 ($10 at door)   You should get tix here.

Cautious Clay / Victor!
Schubas    7PM $18 ($20 doors)   Buy tix here. 

Fruition / Daniel Rodriguez of Elephant Revival
Martyr’s     9PM $17.50 ($20 doors)  Get tix here.

Swingin’ Utters / The Last Gang
Cobra Lounge   8:30PM $16   Grab tix here.

Saturday September 29th
Revolution Oktoberfest
King Khan and the Shrines / Melkbelly / Kikagaku Moyo / FACS / White Mystery / Los Gold Fires

Milwaukee and California  1:30PM-10PM $5 suggested donation

Dead Sara / Welles
Beat Kitchen   8PM $12 Grab tix here.

Sunday September 30th
Børns / Twin Shadow
Aragon Ballroom    7PM $37.50 Buy tix here. 

Madeleine Peyroux
Thalia Hall   6:30PM doors   $36 - $65 Get some tix here.

Monday October 1st
Half Gringa / Beams / Ester
The Empty Bottle     8:30PM doors FREE

Dream Wife / Russo / Girl K
Schubas    8PM $12 ($14 doors)  Get your tix here.

Jump, Little Children / Michael Flynn
City Winery    8PM $25 - $35   Scoop up some tix here.



Tuesday October 2nd
STRFKR (10th anniversary tour)
Lincoln Hall    8PM $25 Score tix here.

Amyl and the Sniffers / MAMA / Muff Divers / DJ Ronnie James Deia
The Empty Bottle     8:30PM doors $10 ($12 doors)  Get some tix here.

Active Bird Community / Samia
Schubas     9PM $10 ($12 doors)  Grab some tix here.

Pears / Still Alive / The Eradicator / Salvation
Beat Kitchen   8PM $11  Pick up tix here.


Wednesday October 3rd
STRFKR (10th anniversary tour)
Lincoln Hall    8PM $25  Buy tix here.

Ben Howard / Wye Oak
The Riv      8PM $45 Score some tix here.

Fickle Friends / bülow
Beat Kitchen    8PM $15  Get some tix here.

St. Lucia / Now, Now
Concord      7PM doors $32   Pick up tix here.

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:

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