Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Very pleased to announce that Post Animal has joined the PolyVinyl label ,
Overflowing with riffs and reckless abandon, Post Animal is a psych-rock five-piece from the tightly knit Chicago music scene.
Since forming in 2015, the band has developed a loyal fanbase, howling from the depths of sweaty basement shows and packed rock clubs. Since forming in 2015, the band has developed a loyal fanbase, howling from the depths of sweaty basement shows and packed rock clubs. True to their DIY roots, the band has booked numerous tours and self-released two EPs, which have garnered them coverage from the likes of NME, Paper Mag, Vice, and PASTE.

Boasting the individual talents of Dalton Allison, Jake Hirshland, Javi Reyes, Wesley Toledo, Matt Williams, and Joe Keery (currently an inactive contributing member), Post Animal has toured and performed with the likes of White Reaper, Twin Peaks, and Wavves.
Check out the group’s two EPs as well as the new single “Special Moment” (video below) right now!
Get to know the band & then keep yr eyes peeled for more Post Animal news soon!

Post Animal

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Chicago rockers Melkbelly are as close as family thats because they are. Frontwoman Miranda Winters is married to guitarist Bart Winters, brother Liam plays bass, and they’re rounded out by chosen fam, friend and drummer James Wetzel. The detail is only relevant because it speaks to the sense of connectedness at the heart of their pure punk physicality:  Debut album “Nothing Valley” shreds, as evidenced in the first few seconds of the knife-sharp opener “Off The Lot.” If experimental, messy rock ‘n’ roll is your bag, look no further.

If “Nothing Valley” were a real place, it’d be mossy, verdant, and a little bit strange.

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Melkbelly, was formed by vets of Chicago’s experimental and DIY scene champions, organized noise and thoughtful freneticism on its debut full-length, “Nothing Valley,” fusing dreamy vocal lines and cantankerous guitar racket. Its songs clang and bang in stripped-down production that highlights the band’s sharp edges; multi-faceted slabs of sound serve harmonious, such immediate songs. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the band members’ tastes run obscure as they tell us, “bands and musicians that draw on a sense of adventure.” The quartet’s membership overlaps with several Chicago noise and experimental bands and art collectives.

An efficient one-day recording session resulted in Melkbelly’s first EP, 2014’s “Pennsylvania,” which opened the door to touring and opening slots for Speedy Ortiz, Magik Markers and Built to Spill, The Chicago Reader calling Melkbelly “one of the most exciting new sounds out of Chicago.” Next, Melkbelly got back to writing and working, recording a pair of 7-inches with Dave Vettraino at Chicago’s Public House where it had made its first recordings ever for Public House’s Digital Singles Series and a Public House compilation tape. The sessions gave the band a chance to deepen its collaboration with Vettraino.

Miranda writes most of Melkbelly’s tunes on guitar and brings them to the band who puts them through the ringer, where they morph into a Melkbelly arrangement. Often, however, the band will take a guitar riff or two from an open jam recorded at practice and spin it into a song.
“Nothing Valley” was recorded in early 2016 in Vettraino’s basement studio to 8-track analog tape. Fresh off a West Coast tour, the band let the hours on the road and missed art tourism opportunities at Spiral Jetty shape the songs as well as the recording process itself, writing half the album material in the studio. “Nothing Valley” breezes gust fresh and forcefully.

Ratboys have always been a good band. But, with GN, they became a great one. The way in which they blend alt-country with buzzy, borderline pop-punk shouldn’t work, but it totally does. Julia sings and plays guitar Dave does everything else. I didn’t think it was possible to top their debut album, but their growth is hard to ignore on their second release. This album peels off its layers bit by bit with every listen.  Ratboys combines folksy roots, guitar rifts, and uncommon lyricism with a mesmerizing lead. Among one of my favorite albums of the year, easily

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Last summer, Chicago’s Ratboys released its debut album AOID, though that simple statement betrays how much work went into it. The band was initially launched as an acoustic duo, with Julia Steiner and Dave Sagan slowly building a membership around their songs, which took five full years to congeal. Now, Ratboys are moving at a quicker pace, as evinced by its latest single, “Not Again, the video for the song below, which sees Ratboys garage jam—inside Chicago DIY space, Gnarnia—turn into a paint-balloon war. It’s a video that gets a little messy, but shows that Ratboys are still doing a great job of crafting county-inspired indie jams.

“Not Again”, is the new single from Ratboys – available digitally from Topshelf Records.  Julia Steiner commented on the video for the latest single .Released April 8th, 2016.

Ratboys are
vocals/guitar – julia steiner
guitar – dave sagan
bass/drums – will lange

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Since Jason Molina‘s death in 2013, there have been some memorable and intimate releases. In 2016, Secretly Canadian released The Townes Van Zandt Covers (I’ll Be Here In the Morning/Tower Song). It came as no surprise that Molina should be drawn to these songs. His melancholic sad tones seemed well suited to those Townes songs who, like Molina, also battled with alcoholism.

The latest offering from Secretly Canadian may be a less obvious connection – The Black Sabbath Covers 7″.  Although Molina was in the punk band Spineriders in the late ’80s and early ’90s this isn’t a return to those days, instead, the two tracks Solitude and Snowblind were recorded in the late ’90s, with just voice and acoustic guitar. He makes them both his own although they are no sooner started then they’re over – combined they come in at just under 3:30 minutes but this does allow the b-side to be adorned with an etching of a black ram by the brilliant Rhode Island artist and musician William Schaff.

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When Jason Molina took on another artist’s song, he willed his own universe into it, his own personal and artistic mythology. Be it Conway Twitty or Townes Van Zandt, their blues were infused with Molina’s own entrancing blues. This pair of newly discovered, home-recorded Black Sabbath covers is no different. Molina, a through-and-through fan of metal (seek out his high school metal band the Spineriders‘ album if you haven’t yet) peels back the sinister and stoned elements of Sabbath, zeroing in on the loneliness and brooding. He takes “Solitude,” from 1971’s unfuckwithable Master of Reality — and one of Sabbath’s more mystical, near-proggy songs — and doubles down on the title. Molina extracts Ozzy Osbourne’s gorgeously cooed vocal performance and transforms it into a high and lonesome sound, a desert campfire howler. And on his cover of “Snowblind,” from 1972’s Vol. 4, it becomes obvious what a guitar hero Sabbath’s Tony Iommi was for Molina.

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Few bands have managed to stake out a career as creatively compelling, long-running, and vital as Wilco. Where in their catalog do you start? . For 23 years, Chicago’s Wilco have explored the intricacies and contradictions of American rock’n’roll . Wilco has released ten studio albums, a live double album, and four collaborations: three with Billy Bragg and one with The Minus 5. with a once-in-a-generation songwriter, and a killer live show. It’s not too late to hear what you’ve been missing out on.

While you might have trouble naming some songs, you’ve probably heard of Wilco. It might be because your significant other put them on a mix CD in college, your guitarist friend can’t stop raving about Nels Cline or maybe you saw some smug jamoke on Twitter refer to them as “dad-rock” and you wrote them off. If you dismissed them for any one of those reasons or just haven’t gotten to it yet, you’ve been missing out, because few bands have managed to stake out a career as creatively compelling, long-running, and vital as the band Wilco.

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Now in their 23rd year, the Chicago mainstays have amassed ten albums that constantly tweaked and sometimes reinvented their distinctly Midwestern brand of rock’n’roll. Sometimes they took from roots and Americana (1994’s A.M. and 1996’s Being There), other times they drew inspiration from Jim O’Rourke and Chicago’s vast late ’90s-early aughts experimental scene (2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and 2004’s A Ghost Is Born) while elsewhere, they found a solid palate in golden ’70s rock (2007’s Sky Blue Sky). Despite all the dabbling in other sounds, whims, and moods, Wilco have always been consistently themselves thanks to bandleader and frontman Jeff Tweedy’s affecting, humane, and sometimes cryptic songwriting.

Because there’s decades of material packed into ten proper studio albums, not to mention a wealth of live material (2005’s Kicking Television is one of the better live albums since the start of the millennium), a handful of full-length collaborations with UK folk troubadour Billy Bragg, and a treasure’s trove of B-sides, outtakes, and unreleased material in 2014’s box set Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014, it’s a probably intimidating to ask to dive right into Wilco’s catalog without any help. So in honor of Jeff Tweedy’s first solo album Together At Last, a cheekily-titled collection of re-recorded acoustic Wilco cuts as well as selections from his other projects Golden Smog and Loose Fur that’s out now via Anti- Records. 

One thing’s for certain and it’s that most fans will probably have a different answer on which Wilco album to start with: some will argue to just go from the beginning with A.M. and Being There, others will recommend Sam Jones’ revealing 2002 film I Am Trying To Break Your Heart which documents the laborious and obstacle-filled making of breakthrough 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, while certain people will just tell you to listen to the guitar solos on “Impossible Germany.” Wilco’s a very accessible band so all these answers would get you on the right track (on albums alone, I’d say start with Summerteeth or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot).

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But, breaking their discography into distinct sides of the band shows how multi-faceted Wilco have been over almost a quarter of a century. Because they’re a group that still plays their entire discography live (no, seriously, they play near every song at their yearly Chicago “Winterlude” residencies), this obviously isn’t a complete list—your favorite song might not be on here. Also, even if you’re not going to figure out what Tweedy meant when he sang “take off your Band-Aid ’cause I don’t believe in touchdowns” on “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart,” you’ll hopefully consider yourself an “American aquarium drinker” by the end of it.

The earliest Wilco albums— A.M.,Being There and Summerteeth—contain songs that still rank among their most energetic and undeniably infectious.

Wilco formed in 1994 out of the breakup of Uncle Tupelo, the still-influential but long-defunct Belleville, Illinois alt-country band Tweedy started with songwriter Jay Farrar (who went on to front Son Volt) and drummer Mike Heidorn. Other Tupelo members like bassist John Stirratt, latter-day drummer Ken Coomer, and guitarist Max Johnston joined Wilco while Heidorn reunited with Farrar for Son Volt’s first album Trace. Wilco’s A.M. rollicked with a countryfied stomp, songs like “I Must Be High,” “Casino Queen,” and “Box Full of Letters” standing out. But it wasn’t until Wilco’s sophomore double album Being There that the twangy rockers they were churning out really began to pop: “Monday,” “I Got You (At The End of the Century,” and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” are still fierce and fantastic.

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While Wilco would trade much of gritty, rough-hewn twang for synths and Beatles-indebted pop exuberance on their third album Summerteeth, the energy from their earlier oeuvre never left. Where the bubblegum melodies of “I’m Always In Love” and “Candyfloss” anchored Summerteeth, Tweedy’s ear for a good hook kept going: few things are catchier than “Kamera” off Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or the underrated “The Late Greats” off A Ghost Is Born. We could keep going on and on to Star Wars and Schmilco too.

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Wilco can do the overdriven as well as any American rock band, often times the highest points of the band’s catalog are found in the quieter moments. “Misunderstood,” the first song off Being There, is probably one of the best encapsulations of the inclusive and relatable nature of Wilco’s songs. Tweedy’s opening lines, “When you’re back in your old neighborhood/The cigarettes taste so good/But you’re so misunderstood” couldn’t be a better outcast calling card. Elsewhere, on another Being There highlight like the cathartic “Sunken Treasure” he earnestly sings, “Music is my savior, and I was maimed by rock and roll” and it undeniably works.

Throughout Wilco’s albums, the softer songs have always been the emotional centerpieces from “Via Chicago” or “How To Fight Loneliness” on Summerteeth and “Ashes of American Flags” on Yankee Hotel Foxtrotto just name a couple. Live, no Wilco set would feel complete to certain fans without the the Billy Bragg collaboration “California Stars” to close the set or the inclusion of one of the two most subtle stunners on A Ghost Is Born: “Company In My Back” or “Muzzle of Bees.”

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The tumultuous recording process surrounding Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has long been Wilco mythology: the label drama, the conflict between then-member Jay Bennett and Jeff Tweedy, how the band pioneered streaming culture by putting the album on their website months-in-advance, etc. But perhaps the most important factor into the album was largely not focused on in Sam Jones’ excellent documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart and that’s Chicago experimental mainstay and Loose Fur cofounder Jim O’Rourke, who ended up mixing and changing the whole direction of the project. Thanks to O’Rourke as well as Wilco’s new drummer Glenn Kotche (also a member of Loose Fur and an local experimental music veteran), the songs became deconstructed, a little weirder, and a little wonkier. O’Rourke would go on to co-produce Wilco’s next album “A Ghost Is Born,” which darkly expands and deconstructs even more the studio experiments and successes from Foxtrot. It’s the most brooding Wilco album and a lot of Wilco fans will say it’s their best.

While that album’s “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious songs Wilco have drawn up, with its 10 plus-minutes of a cathartic, Krautrock-freakout, the band continued to keep that adventurous spirit alive in their later albums. “Bull Black Nova” off Wilco (The Album) accomplishes this with smoldering guitars but perhaps the best encapsulation comes from “Art of Almost,” the bonkers opener from 2011’s The Whole Love. Jeff Tweedy explained that song last year, “‘Art of Almost’ is this strange combination of all the different members putting their mark on something and having it still somehow hold up and be a thing. Live, it just gets kind of more and more intense.”

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On the 2007 press cycle for Sky Blue Sky, Wilco’s sixth album, Jeff Tweedy talked with the Wall Street Journal about his favorite albums from the ’70s citing Wings, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, and the Clash. In previous interviews, he’s also mentioned his love for Television’s Marquee Moon, T. Rex’s Beard of Stars, and Talking Heads’ Fear of Music. You can find traces of each throughout Wilco’s discography but it was on Sky Blue Sky, the first studio album with the current Wilco lineup (adding guitarist Nels Cline and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone), that was their sunniest, most ’70s-inspired effort yet. While not as frenetic as the twang rockers from their early catalog, these tracks like “Handshake Drugs” and “Impossible Germany” are just as compelling even though they unfold in a much more relaxed way. These kind of Wilco songs with warm guitars and lush arrangements are found throughout their 10 albums, with songs like “The Whole Love,” “Hummingbird,” and “Dawned On Me” rounding it out.

Wilco’s latest offerings, 2015’s Star Wars and 2016’s Schmilco, not just in their goofball titles alone were as close a sonic equivalent to Jeff Tweedy’s stage banter as you can get: irreverent and to-the-point. They dropped Stars Wars without warning releasing it for free on their website and its album cover was a painting of a cat that hangs in the kitchen of the band’s Northwest Chicago studio The Loft. 

Compared to the rest of Wilco’s discography, these two albums are slightly off-kilter (a curveball blast of dissonant noise called “EKG” kicks off Star Wars), but there’s an energy that channels the reckless nature of their beginnings. Star Wars highlight “Random Name Generator” exudes some T. Rex-indebted swagger while the wonky “Common Sense” boasts perhaps the most subtly challenging arrangement of Wilco’s catalog, showing a band still able to change it up. But most importantly, the current iteration of the band has been locked in for a over a decade. There’s an effortlessness and fun to these new songs that were hinted at during some of the band’s highlights like Foxtrot cut “Heavy Metal Drummer” and the suburban sad-sack rocker “Hate It Here” off Sky Blue Sky.While the band’s come a long way from the cigarette-tinged twang that coloured A.M., the Wilco of 2017 shows no signs of letting things get stale.

 

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Melkbelly is a promising 4 piece noise-rock band from Chicago, They are known for their frantic arrangements, toothed melodies, and blaring live show this is the fun part, when a promising band seems to emerge fully formed, from out of nowhere, with a great debut album. Consider Melkbelly, the affably disruptive Chicago quartet of singer-guitarist Miranda Winters, guitarist Bart Winters (her husband), bassist Liam Winters (his brother) and drummer James Wetzel. Cramming what should be an unworkable heap of concepts and sounds into a deliciously volatile 35 minutes, Nothing Valley is a bracing blend of scraping noise and tender melody, not unlike the recipe used by Speedy Ortiz. Melkbelly emerge fully formed, from out of nowhere, with a great debut album. Melkbelly are an affably disruptive Chicago band comprising singer-guitarist Miranda Winters, guitarist Bart Winters (her husband), bassist Liam Winters (his brother) and drummer James Wetzel. Cramming what should be an unworkable heap of concepts and sounds into a deliciously volatile 35 minutes,

Appropriately, it’s issued on the Carpark Records imprint Wax Nine, supervised by Speedy boss Sadie Dupuis. Nothing Valley captures the exciting details of the guitars and drums, yet leaves Winters’s voice just fuzzy enough to induce uncertainty

we’ve entered a new month and you know what the means: two more tracks from Sweet ’17 SinglesListen to “With You” and “Just Because” . These Chicago garage-rockers Twin Peaks are currently releasing music as part of their ‘Sweet ’17’ singles club.

The idea is to launch a new single every month until the end of the year and since we’re near the end of the year, that means that there’s only a couple of tracks to fit in before the end of 2017. So for the month of November – the penultimate stop on their quest – they’ve released ‘With You’ and a B-side, ‘Just Because’.

‘With You’ is a jangly, summery number with a few quips and dark lyrics embedded in there for good measure (“you’re just so ruthless, you’re just what I need”). Meanwhile, ‘Just Because’ features drum machines and wolf whistling among its hazy stomp.

Earlier in the year, Twin Peaks also released a track for Amazon’s Songs of Summer playlist, ‘Who It’s Gonna Be’.

A sampling of our 2017 releases to stream (or download for ONE MEASLY DOLLAR!) ~ More great stuff packed up for 2018, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter over at: troubleinmindrecs.com

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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