Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

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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.”


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:

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.


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.”


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.



Trevor Sensor has to date released two excellent EPs . Since playing those to EPs to death, I’ve been looking forward for his full-length LP. Seems we’re getting close. Check out the video and see what Sensor says about the tune. I really dig this dude.he has an incredible passion in his vocal , So I’m Looking forward to much more.

“The Money Gets Bigger” was produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, IL. The song features Rado on organ and backing vocals with Julien Ehrlich (drums & backing vocals) and Max Kakacek(bass) of Whitney as his rhythm section.

Sensor explains the inspiration behind this song is, “An observation of America – the horrors that occur in a society at large, and behind the closed doors of dysfunctional family homes. It’s a need for something – the yearning to be somebody people admire and adore in a world that seems void of significance. To find meaning in the limelight, and the despair we all feel when we are not the chosen ones to bask in it. In America, this is our brass ring – to be applauded for our supposed efforts and be beloved by strangers.”

Twin Peaks with Eric Holland at WFUV

Twin Peaks regard the musical growth shown on their third album, “Down in Heaven”, as a matter of course. In fact, doing what comes naturally has served these young Chicago rockers well. They followed their debut, Sunken, three years ago, with a more nuanced sophomore release, “Wild Onion”. Now with the release of “Down In Heaven”, Twin Peaks’ recordings show a burgeoning ensemble making increasingly thoughtful recordings.

Guitarist and singer Cadien Lake James and bassist and vocalist Jack Dolan represented their mates in the interview. They cautioned against positioning them as having moved beyond their wild youth. Twin Peaks is keen to get their kicks on the road while embracing all the phases and changes of the talented group. Listen where Twin Peaks are at right now in this WFUV Live session.

Twin Peaks performs “Holding Roses” live in Studio A. Recorded 5.24.16.

Twin Peaks performs “Walk to the One You Love” live in Studio A. Recorded 5.24.16.


With Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Langhorne Slim) at the production helm, Alio stretches well beyond Fort Frances‘ Americana roots to unlock the potential that’s been building for the past two years with louder guitars, jubilant horns and dueling rhythm sections.