Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Angel Olsen and her band made it clear they’ll be very comfortable opening for Arcade Fire later this year. They began with “High & Wild” from 2014’s “Burn Your Fire For No Witness”, expanding from a roots-rock ramble to a gnarly climax built around a bluesy power chord riff. From there they launched directly into “Shut Up Kiss Me,” a song that grips you as urgently as its subject matter demands, from its bracing rock ‘n’ roll cadence to Olsen’s howling, bellowing, tour-de-force vocal performance. Two more straight-up rockers followed, with “Acrobat,” the hushed intro from Olsen’s 2012 debut “Half Way Home”, serving as a bridge to the set’s less visceral but even more compelling second half.

Olsen spent her last three songs unfurling three tracks from the back half of My Woman in sequence. There was “Sister,” the eight-minute epic that serves as the album’s centerpiece, building slowly from a low-key Roy Orbison-via-Velvet Underground ballad into the kind of glorious guitar symphony I wish Wilco was still writing. There was “Those Were The Days,” a song that imagines what Bonnie Raitt’s attempt at dream-pop might sound like, extended into a beautiful series of peaks and valleys. And there was “Woman,” another eight-minute swoon that begins as a weepy country ballad before going full Joplin and, ultimately, taking its sweet time descending from the mountaintop. These songs gave the audience a chance to sit back and appreciate what Angel Olsen’s band members bring to the table. It’s one thing to burn through some rock songs with power and fury, and it’s quite another to make such lengthy excursions surge and soar.

Angel Olsen performs in Chicago for Pitchfork Music Festival 2017

thanks Stereogum

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With Untouchable, Kelly has raised the stakes even more than his previous album “Goes Missing”, now fully embracing some of the more outwardly power-pop sensibilities he’d hinted at in previous records.

Kelly has become synonymous with L.A. fuzz-punk contemporaries like Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, and has played in projects with both men. What’s remarkable about Kelly, though, is his confidence in his voice, and it’s a primary focal point throughout Untouchable. Kelly’s vocals are amped up to the forefront, a move that makes for more memorable, hummable moments, as is evident right out of the gate on LP opener “Broken Record.” The song’s slow-burn guitar progression is just monotonous enough to invite Kelly’s meandering melodies to enchant the vibe, as he sings “I took to making circles round the world/every time I run through/I take to making circles round some girl/Like a broken record I hear myself put it in a tune.”

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Continuing onto the fantastic “Real Enough to Believe,” Kelly homes in on a perfectly proportioned ‘60s pop format, fully welcoming the dreaded “derivative” song. Rather than being careful to avoid direct aural influences from his favorite styles of music, Kelly embraces the nuances of decades of rock ‘n’ roll and reinvents it in his own smorgasbord of cool. “Real Enough to Believe,” against all odds, rivals the brilliant standout track “Be What You Are” from Goes Missing, a feat that once seemed near-impossible.

Untouchable revels in a generally lo-fi mix that sits well with the record’s found-sound ambiance, in another nod to Kelly’s nomadic muses. “That’s When It’s Over” writhes in a mid-song homage to “Hey Joe,” with Kelly’s scintillating guitar solos saluting both Hendrix and the wormy noodling of the Dead. Perched in the thick of the album’s more thoughtful tunes, “That’s When It’s Over” is a juggernaut of energy that perfectly splits the record into two parts. The song’s breakneck riffing explodes with a full head of steam, chugging along atop motorik drums and Kelly crooning, hooting and hollering to a repeated refrain of “In the heart of her heart, she don’t care.”

In its more tender moments, Untouchable unloads heavier pseudo-ballads like the titletrack. With little more than a reverb-y acoustic guitar and a plunky bass backing, Kelly lets his gorgeous voice take even more of a central role, stripped of the blistering leads that permeate most of the album. “Will It To Be” follows suit near the end of the record, a twisted ballad that finds Kelly cooing “I’m holding back now/but I’m getting closer/I am pretending I don’t need to know or even care at all.” The song’s moody, Velvet Undergroundian darkness comes through despite its Fleetwood Mac facade, with rhythmic instruments set deep and foreboding under Kelly’s fluttering melodies.

The magic moments found on Untouchable speak to Kelly’s swaggering confidence—as if that weren’t perhaps alluded to enough in the album’s very title. As a result, the ambitiousness of his work seems increasingly more destined to join the canon of timeless pop from which The Cairo Gang’s songs find their roots.

The spiny tingle of excitement, the building anticipation of ritual! Chord progressions in the key of the heart! Star-crossed breakthroughs and guitars cross-talking with a bejeweled ennui throughout interrelationships .

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A fabulous little pop record full of Byrdsian harmonies, lashings of jangly guitars all of which have been recorded in what appears to be a sewer pipe. If you like the idea of Tom Petty fronting Orange Juice then this is most certainly for you. A contemporary of fellow fuzz-punk contemporaries Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, The Cairo Gang’s Emmett Kelly returns with a new project under his own moniker. There’s an unmistakable confidence in his voice, and it’s a primary focal point throughout this record. While the band’s 2015 LP Goes Missing utilized a nomadic recording process to help shape a record that sounded equally as mired in wanderlust, “Untouchable” revels in a generally lo-fi mix that sits well with its found-sound ambiance—another nod to Kelly’s nomadic muses. Overall, Kelly has raised the stakes on this album, fully embracing some of the more outwardly power-pop sensibilities he’d hinted at in previous records

Band Members The Cairo Gang is:
Emmett Kelly
Ryan Weinstein
Sam Wagster
Gillian Lisée
Marc Riordan

Whitney’s cover of Lion’s poppy 1975 song “ You’ve Got A Woman” from their recently announced covers EP, is a sumptuous take on the Dutch duo’s tune that’s also one of Whitney’s more sensual efforts.

The same can be said for their new video, which pares images of afternoon swimming and dimly lit lovemaking with the Chicago band’s indie-pop slow jam. It’s all fairly low-key and a lot of the images are fleeting, but they’re fairly illustrative in showing a whirlwind romance that has as many ups and downs as your standard episode of a soap opera. The video’s duo might not actually spend a lifetime together, but there’s enough going on to make it feel that way.

“You’ve Got A Woman (Lion Cover)” from the upcoming 12” out June 2nd, 2017 on Secretly Canadian Records.  
Available on 12” and Digital: https://whitney.lnk.to/covers

Ever since they wrote Light Upon The Lake as Chicago froze around them during winter 2014, Whitney have tried to make the kind of songs they’d be jealous of if someone else got there first. “You’ve Got A Woman,” released on the B-side of Dutch duo Lion‘s 1975 psych-pop 7″ But I Do, is precisely one of those songs. “As soon as I heard it, I wished I’d written the vocal melody; it’s so catchy and powerful,” says singing drummer Julien Ehrlich. Whitney’s version is rich, instantaneous and deep in groove. There’s trademark brass from Will Miller, wandering lead from guitarist Max Kakacek and bursts of strings. Like “No Woman,” “Golden Days,” and the rest of last year’s debut, it’s brushed with longing, nostalgia and serves to slow down time.

Unlike Lion, Whitney make it their A-side. Flip the 12″ and you’ll find Dolly Parton‘s “Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can),” a short, tearful love song hewn from piano, brass, guitar and Julian’s falsetto. You’ve heard him sing it before, live, sat on the lip of the stage accompanied by Max on guitar.

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Having whetted appetites with not one but two increasingly well received EP’s last year, Illinois’ Trevor Sensor is set to release his debut album later this year.

As ever with Trevor Sensor it’s the heartfelt vocal and clever lyricism that shines. If the rest of the album sounds this good, it could just be one of the year’s finest and most intriguing debuts.

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Creepoid is a dreamy rock band who use shoegaze and grunge to create a heavy, expansive sound. When Philadelphia foursome Creepoid (Anna and Pat Troxell, Pete Joe Urban and Sean Miller) convened last winter and recorded the EP Yellow Life Giver, they did not foresee the blog buzz coming their way. That’s not the case on the rock band’s debut LP, Horse Heaven, which features more defined melodies, intimate female-male vocals and instrumentals that burst at the seams.

Creepoid took the stage. They played as if they were reviving the grunge-filled chaos of Sonic Youth circa ’93, but with the finesse of mid-period Creation Records shoegaze acts like Swervedriver or Slowdive. The sound was full of fury, but the dual vocals of guitarist Sean Miller and bassist Anna Troxell soared like an airy wave that enveloped the listener in a blanket of sweet nothings.”

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Band Members
Sean Miller – Guitar/Vocals
Anna Troxell – Bass/Vocals
Pat Troxell – Drums
Pete Joe Urban – Guitar

Just added in the store: Two Roadcase Recordings of Wilco at The Chicago Theatre on February. 23rd & 26th from the band’s sold-out four-night run. These live recordings are also available as a bundle really are the next best thing to being there, so download and listen . Hear a preview of “We Aren’t the World (Safety Girl)” now.

P.S. Spring show posters are also available, too. Get a free Chicago Roadcase bundle when you buy any 2017 Winterlude Poster. 

Recorded live at The Chicago Theatre in Chicago, IL. 23/02/2017. Audio: Stan Doty & Warner Swain. Artwork: Jeff Tweedy & Lawrence Azerrad. Photo: Zoran Orlic. Thanks to everyone at The Chicago Theatre, MSG Entertainment and Jam Productions. (p) 2017 dBpm Records

Roadcase Recorded live at The Chicago Theater on February 23rd, 2017.

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