Things slowed down a bit at CCS this week in preparation of the onslaught of early summer releases right around the corner, but we did take the time to check out last Saturday’s Chirp Record Fair with performances from local acts as diverse as Ovef Ow, Baby Money, Thair and DPCD. Along with the comedy/music stylings of Groovebox! Check out this week’s interviews with folker Emily Nott and electronic label-runner and musician Radius Etc, who both have records coming out this Friday (and Release Parties this weekend!) Local artists showed up in force again this week with new records from rappers Malci and Tink, as well as a Mutts retrospective, and the Blue Note debut of award-winning vibraphonist and Chicago native Joel Ross; plus- the last single from killer trio Dehd before their new record Water hits airwaves this week. It’s all inside, Surfers, so hit up the playlist and dig on in to catch up on all of last week's musical happenings. And don’t forget to check out the calendar section to pick out a show to get your ass to this week!
Keep Seeing Live Music!
“There is nothing simpler than an unaccompanied ballad singer just singing their heart out. It helps me to understand and navigate the complex areas of life, and I hope it does that for others as well.” - Emily Nott
⬐ SHOWS ⬎
chirp record fair
Plumbers Union Hall
Ovef Ow / 📷 : KPL
Every year, Chirp Radio puts on a massive record fair in Plumbers Union Hall with two floors of vendors, labels, performances from local musicians, and music and community organizations all coming together under one roof. This year, the 17th-annual Chirp Record Fair brought out a diverse crowd who combed the crates for deals while taking in some great acts from around the city. We arrived just in time to take in the first act on the slate for the day in DPCD. Skipping over the first floor vendors for their thirty minute set was the best decision as Alec Watson and his cohortes acoustic, indie folk was the perfect accompaniment to our morning coffee and complimentary donut from Metropolis. Watson’s easy stage presence and the flowing layers of acoustic guitar were at odds with the bright surrounding of the Plumbers Hall bar area, but they made the best of it with tunes from the excellent Good Visions as well as a few newer tunes.
We hit the main floor and instantly felt overwhelmed at the pure amount of music for sale. Records from every era were up for grabs from rare and collectable prints to $2 bargain bin crates covered every inch of the space. Not really collectors per-se, we ventured over to the local labels tables and found our friends at Midwest Action, Shuga Records, and No Trend to name a few, and we made some new friends and connections before making it back downstairs for the fantastic Thair. The lead singer of alt R&B excellence Astro Samurai branched out last year with a solo project that captures his experience as a queer person of color in Chicago. As Thair, he makes music for boys who “look and feel like him.” Weaving looped vocals with canned beats from his laptop, the very talented singer/songwriter impressed the meager crowd with a few tunes from his Summer Luhh EP, getting a few dancers to come forth from the early afternoon shoppers. (You should get to Beat Kitchen on June 9th to witness the fabulousness of Thair. Tix are on sale for $10.)
We headed back upstairs in search of a Mother’s Day gift which we found at the Bric-A-Brac table in the form of an original tin figurine set from The Beatle’s Help era and just in time to catch the legendary Reggio The Hoofer. A Chicago mainstay Reggio is a tap dancing god who went from subway performer to world renowned talent and teacher who has been a part of the community for almost thirty years. He took the stage and then the aisles between the vendor tables, drawing countless photo and video opportunities for the shoppers as he hoofed it around the floor before returning to the stage for a soft shoe to “Mr. Bojangles.” A rare treat, seeing Reggio tap, made the whole day just that much sunnier.
Ovef Ow was set to go on next, but as we made our way down we spotted Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Kraków) who writes the Secret History of Chicago Music for The Reader, a column we have enjoyed for many years. He was hawking a hard copy collection of his column from the first years, and we were lucky enough to have him sign the one we purchased. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, you should take some time to be enlightened by his well-researched, entertaining, and informative column and the great artwork he does for each one. Finally making it back downstairs for the rock excellence that is Ovef Ow, we settled in with a Half Acre Pony for the last half of the Chicago quartet’s surf-rock, vibes-ridden set. Midwest Action just put out their Crash the Party 7” in February, and it’s worth a listen or two- or ten. If you need help pronouncing the name, just leave out most of the consonants in, “Whoa, Jeff, Wow.” Their next Chicago gig is at Chop Shop on Sunday June 16th with a ton of other local talent at the 2nd annual What’s For Brek-Fest! Tix are only $10 for a dozen bands!
Next up was the part comedy, part beat machine, part ingenious on the fly song creator Groovebox. Dylan Carey has been performing under the moniker for five years all over the city, and his mix of improv songs with audience interaction is a hit anywhere he goes. Carey had his work cut out for him with the tired shoppers relaxing on the benches, but his infectious enthusiasm soon made fans out of anyone who stopped by to witness his unique blend of danceable music and laughs. He can be seen around town at various comedy clubs and venues. Be on the lookout!
Making our way around the lower floor tables, we spoke with a great children's writing program in 826CHI and the excellent women manning the Girl’s Rock! Chicago table. A program concentrating on instructing girls in the creation of rock n roll, the non-profit organization is growing and has put on shows at Thalia Hall and Lincoln Hall in the past. They have a fundraiser showcase and carnival coming up at Sleeping Village featuring White Mystery, Half Gringa, and Baby Money on Sunday May 19th! Tix are only $12!
The main vendor floor drew us back in with our search for a friend’s birthday gift, and we stumbled upon a reprint of local mainstay Dehd’s first LP and EP packaged as one vinyl from Shuga Records, a find we gladly scooped up for our lucky friend before heading to see our last act the day in Baby Money. Without the Down Payments, Baby Money is only Pamela Maurer with a guitar and a mic, but she is just as arresting solo as with her band behind her. Excellent as always, Baby Money rocked us out the door with hits from her Shy City collection and beyond.
We wish we could have stayed for Charming Hokum, The Jellies, and Alex White’s DJ Set, but sometimes life has to be lived, and not all of it can be spent shopping for records and catching bands. (However, wouldn’t life be grand it that was everyday?!) Thanks to Chirp Radio and all the bands for making this an event to remember! See ya next year!
NEWS & NOTES
Summer music fest lineups are coming out hot and heavy! This week we got the lineups for West Fest, Logan Arts Fest, and the House of Vans Summer Concert Series! All of these lineups are absolutely, 100% a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Don’t trust us? Just click on the links and see for yourself! 2019 is shaping up to be one of the best street fest music lineup years of all time! Be on the lookout for our Street Fest Guide, coming to you just in time for the kick-off of the season.
Need more Chicago music news?
Lots of SOLD OUT shows this week that are not included here
+ Local ^ All Ages
THURSDAY May 9th
My Brightest Diamond / Tunde Olaniran @ Lincoln Hall 8PM $17 ($20 doors)
BRONCHO / Kirin J Callinan / Planet What @ Bottom Lounge 8PM $20
ÌFÉ / Sonorama DJs @ Sleeping Village 8PM $15 ($18 doors)
PERTURBATOR / Gost / Replicant @ Thalia Hall 7:30PM $25 - $32
Wear Your Wounds / Uniform / Unmanned Ship @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM $15
Adam Melchor @ The Hideout 9PM $12
Lady Parts Justice League Presents Do Re #MeToo @ Metro 8PM $24 - $29
Willy Watson / Kate Rhudy @ Old Town School of Folk Music 8PM $25
Kind Country / Growler @ Martyrs 9PM $12
FRIDAY May 10th
+ Dehd (Record Release) / The Hecks / Mavis The Dog @ Empty Bottle 9PM doors $10 ($12doors)
+ Walking Bicycles / Absolutely Not / Pylons / Shimmer @ The Hideout 9PM $10
Jessica Pratt / Joseph Shabason @ Sleeping Village 9PM $15
Matthew Logan Vasquez / Frances Cone / PR Newman @ Schubas 9PM $14
Live From the Rock Room Fest featuring Smoking Popes @ Bottom Lounge 8PM $22
Della Mae / Rachel Baiman Band @ Old Town School of Folk Music 8PM $22
The Lemonheads / Tommy Stinson @ Thalia Hall 7:30PM $25
The Ars Nova / Next Planet / Psycles @ Martyrs 9PM $10 ($12 doors)
Higher Brothers @ Concord 8PM doors $20
SATURDAY May 11th
+ Emily Nott (Album Release) / Can I Get An Amen @ Cafe Mustache 9PM $10 cover
+ Mystery Actions (7” Release) / The Evictions / The Ridgelands @ East Room 8PM $5 cover
+ The North 41 @ Schubas 10PM $20
+ Bongripper / Like Rats / Aurora L'Orealis @ Sleeping Village 8:30PM $18
Tacocat / Sammi Lanzetta @ Lincoln Hall 9PM $15 ($18 doors)
Bright Light Social Hour / Walker Lukens @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM $15
Hellogoodbye / Hala / Family of Geniuses @ Chop Shop 8:30PM $17
^ Laundry Day / The King of Mars @ Subterranean 6PM $12
Harbour / Spirit of the Bear @ Beat Kitchen 10PM $10
Live From the Rock Room Fest featuring Smoking Popes @ Bottom Lounge 8PM $22
The Dandy Warhols / Cosmonauts @ Metro 7:30PM $24
Railroad Earth @ The Vic 8PM $27.50
The Sugarhill Gang / DJ Shon Dervis @ City Winery 7PM $38 - $48
Eli “Paperboy” Reed / GA-20 @ SPACE 10PM $15 - $25
Dale Watson / Kelly Willis @ Old Town School of Folk Music 5PM & 8PM $30
Black Coffee / Ron Carroll / David Sabat @ Concord 9PM $35
SUNDAY May 12th
Henry Jamison / Saint Sister @ Schubas 7:30PM $15
King Dude / Kate Clover / Maggot Heart @ Beat Kitchen 9PM $13
Deonte Baker / Brandon James / Kevin Lamont / DJ Wizzard @ Reggies 7PM $10
Gangstagrass @ SPACE 7:30PM $17 - $27
Tech N9ne / Krizz Kaliko @ Patio Theatre 8PM $26 - $45
MONDAY May 13th
+ Woongi (Record Release) / Liam Lazar / Blush Scars @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM doors FREE
L'Impératrice / Pearl & The Oysters @ Lincoln Hall 8PM $15 ($20 doors)
Johnny Marr @ The Vic 7:30PM $35 - $45
TUESDAY May 14th
+ Ester / Faux Co. / Cold Country and more! @ The Hideout 9PM $8
+ V.V. Lightbody / The Dove & The Wolf / Michelle Blades / Mia Joy @ Sleeping Village 9PM $5
Acid Dad / Basement Family / Waltzer @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM doors $10
+ Salt Water Tap / Cait Arq / Long Lost @ Uncommon Ground Lakeview 8PM $10 cover - RSVP.
Tim Hecker & The Konoyo Ensemble / Kara-Lis Coverdale @ Thalia Hall 8PM doors $25 - $35
^ Mogli / Josin @ Schubas 7:30PM $15
WEDNESDAY May 15th
+ The Shades / Meagan Hickman / Sarah Marie Young / Morgan Pirtle @ Sleeping Village 7:30PM $10
Lou Tides (of TEEN) / NIIKA @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM doors $10
Samiam / Off With Their Heads / Kali Masi @ Chop Shop 8PM $20
See you at the show Chicago!