ISSUE #57 / April 25, 2019

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Blood People
Great Reactor EP

The second EP from Chicago punks Blood People is a serious affair with five super-charged tunes that brings their hard rocking punk to the public with a sneer and a growl.   

Their next local spot is the Turnspit farewell show at Beat Kitchen on June 15th. Tix are $10.

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Beauty Queen
Out of Touch EP

Katie Iannitello produces some chill as hell indie-pop with debut EP Out of Touch. Her lilting vocals flow over a lush synth pop style that will be perfect for the humid, hazy days on the horizon.  

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The Wonder Years
Live From Maida Vale

Philly-based band The Wonder Years plays 4 songs from their 2018 album Sister Cities on their Record Store Day exclusive album Live From Maida Vale. Just like Sister Cities, the live album begins with the mournful song “Raining in Kyoto,” a song about someone passing and the singer not being able to be there because they are on the other side of the world. Although the song is sad to hear on its original album, to hear it live and raw with the thrashing guitars and drums against lead singer Dan Campbell’s pleading vocals, gives the song an extra pull on listeners heart strings because of the vulnerability that vocals give off live versus in studio recordings.  “Pyramids of Salt,” another somber song, brings Campbell’s vocals to a yell, almost angry at himself while he sings, “ I drew a line in the sand with these worthless fucking hands” while the guitars play along the melody of his vocals as he pleads in his lyrics. “Sister Cities,” a happier tone, talks about being in a foreign place in South America, as lyrics set the scene near the Andes mountains. A hard rock melody with lyrics describe the band as feeling like a stray dog being taken in by a city filled with warmth.  The album ends with a slower melody- electric guitar drones into a high pitch while Campbell’s vocals flow back and forth from almost quiet to yelling. “The Ocean Grew Hands To Hold Me” transitions from a soft lull to a loud thrash, with Campbell leaving the band to finish the song after he sings. While a very sad EP, hearing it live makes listeners so much more in tune with the band’s message and emotion behind their songs.


The Wonder Years will be at the Aragon Ballroom on July 24th for the Sad Summer Festival. Tix are $35.

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Another Sky
The Cracks

This stand alone single from London based Another Sky displays Catrin Vincent’s incredible deep androgynous vocals above the swirling mist of dark indie rock.


Kevin Morby
Oh My god

The final single from Kansas City mainstay Kevin Morby’s new record Oh My God, out this Friday April 26th, finds the folk rocker in prime form.

Morby is at Thalia Hall for a two night run in June. On the 7th: $25 - $30 tix. On the 8th: $25 - $30 tix.

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Lil Dicky

Promoting Earth Day with this very silly yet serious message to help donate to save the Earth, Lil Dicky’s song “Earth,” features various artists playing living creatures, plants, and even single-celled creatures to give audiences an idea of how intertwined everything is here on this big, blue planet. With a tropical beat and autotuned features such as Ariana Grande, Snoop Dogg, Kevin Hart, Sia, and many more, this lyrical transition between artists has a humorous tone, especially seeing which artist is portraying which living creature in the music video. The song finishes up promoting website welovetheearth.org, giving more information on how humans can save the planet, and also where to donate.  


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Pusha T

Cut from last year’s DAYTONA for reasons that are known to music makers above my paygrade, “Sociopath” leaked to Reddit, and then everywhere else, kicking off one of those modern games of copyright whack-a-mole that labels play with the fans of the artists they represent. Crisp, ringing piano keys rattle between bulging pools of black plasticine bass. T’s flow is snapping, toothy, and ready to bite the hand that feeds. An impatient, soul-tired vibe permeates the track, a fact clarified by an astounding interlude where T resists the urge to backhand a grown-ass Kanye West when he requests that the master beat-maker and MC define a “charcuterie board.” A sassy feature by the Kash Doll and her lush croon helps roll this bread-maker to the bank. Is it too early to start making a list of hot summer jams? Because I don’t see this cycling out of rotation for me this year.


No Chicago dates for Mr. T at the moment.


Warren Dunes
Welcome to Warren Dunes EP

The Seattle scene has produced another band of vets in Warren Dunes. Made up of prolific solo artist Julia Massey and scene veteran brothers Jared and Dominic Cortese, their debut EP Welcome to Warren Dunes is filled with earnest and honest indie-rock vibes.

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Self Defense Family  
Performative Guilt

This four song EP from Albany, NY punk experimenters Self Defense Family follows last year’s excellent Have You Considered Punk Music. Constantly evolving and tinkering with the genre, Performative Guilt, may be their most accessible recording in quite awhile.


Stand Atlantic

A pop rock radio hit for sure, “MakeDamnSure” shows the varied appeal of Sydney natives Stand Atlantic.

They are on the bill for the Sad Summer Festival at Aragon on July 24th. Tix are $35.

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The Dangerous Summer
Way Down

The first single off the reunion record from Maryland’s The Dangerous Summer.  The long-awaited Mother Nature is due to drop June 14th.

Cobra Lounge is hosting the trio on May 26th. Tix are $17.


Japanese Rooms EP

Glam-rock is on the rebound, and these trash-talking misfits from Atlanta are set to spearhead a new rise in garage rock abandon. Starbenders new EP Japanese Rooms is for all those rockers out there who are ready for a new era in sweaty, bouncing freedom.

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Modest Mouse
I’m Still Here

Another Record Store Day release, “I’m Still Here” is a short and sweet new song from West Coast rock band Modest Mouse. With a continuous guitar and drum melody, and lyrics that prove to fans that as times passes by, the band is still here and still making rock music.  Hopefully fans will get an album or at least an EP, because it sounds like the band still has got their indie rock groove.


Modest Mouse with be with The Black Keys at the United Center on September 27th. Tickets start at $39.50 and are bought here


other notable JAMS from THIS WEEK