Chicago is Mildly Interesting

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Video: Tom Schraeder Cassette Release Party

*MP3: Tom Schraeder - "Pat Baby"

Very Don't Look Back, but still neatly executed. Tom Schraeder releases his new cassette tonight at the Beat Kitchen. Listen to his song "Pat Baby" at the top of the post.

Tom Schraeder MySpace Page

(Jon Graef)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Review: Netherfriends - Calling You Out

Calling You Out (Emergency Umbrella)
Grade: B-

*MP3: Netherfriends - "Nunya (Beeswax)"

If listeners were approaching Netherfriends' debut EP on Emergency Umbrella, Calling You Out, with fresh ears, they'd might marvel at how quickly the influence of Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion has spread to younger bands. Despite the fact that the Chicago-based group has been playing live shows since 2007, the stylistic similarities between the two bands is hard to dispute: Both traffic a shimmering brand of modern psychedelia with vocals that pre-suppose Carl Wilson was really an elf. Not helping matters is Netherfriends' use of vaguely African-sounding percussion and keyboard tones that could double as kaliedoscopic songbirds--both of which are sonic tricks that also appear in the AC playbook.

So what's to prevent one fanbase from sneezing "rip off" in the general direction of the other's burgeoning local following? The answer is simple: Just because you happen to follow closely to one path doesn't mean you have to follow all of their steps completely. On tracks like "Really?" and "Friends with Lofts," the band throws in the pleasing sing-song of Americana-tinged experimentalism to great effect, with the former possessing an incredible appealing keyboard line that apes a yodel.

It's only on the EP's soggy, pop-filled middle that the band dances awkwardly with derivative songwriting, with a trio of dodgy songs, that don't help distinguish Netherfriends from the psych-pop pack. Fortunately, EP closer "Don't Invite Me" helps close Calling You Out on a strong note, an compact epic that incorporates ethereal soundscapes and jutting tempo changes. While Netherfriends make a few slips creatively, there's enough strong material to ensure that any forthcoming full-lengths will earn deserved listens.

Netherfriends MySpace Page

Netherfriends play the Automatic Collective tonight. A donation of five bucks is suggested Here's the lineup:


(Jon Graef)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

VIDEO: Mazes - "Love to Lay"

Mazes - Love To Lay

The 1900s offshoot shoots its first video, and its for "Love to Lay"

Mazes MySpace Page

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Video: Alla on "Chic-a-go-go"

Indeed, as the intro notes, one of the coolest, most eclectic sounding bands in Chicago recently stopped by the "Chic-a-go-go" studios to "play" a song from its most recent release, the Record Store Day exclusive Digs, a mostly covers EP (save for one new song, "Si, Se Puede"). The band is interviewed, and there some pretty hilarious results when the Chic host asks about the origins of the band's name ("So, the next time you're in Tijuana," "The State department says you don't want to go there"). Watch the video at the top of the post. Digs is out now.

Alla MySpace Page

Monday, April 20, 2009

42 songs for 4/20

(Abstraction - "Nuff' Fire")

Jarvis Cocker - "Angela"
Download: Fleet Foxes - "Mykonos"
Download: The Vaselines - "Son of a Gun"
Download: Fucked Up - "No Epiphany" (No Age Remix)
Download: St. Vincent - "The Strangers"
Download: Vacations - "Hassle with Real"
Download: Black Blondie - "Dirty Ashes" (feat. Muja Messiah)
Download: Deerhunter - "Rainwater Cassette Exchange"
Download: Abstract Rude - "Rejuvenation"
Download: Big Quarters - "Barter System"
Download: Bon Iver - "Blood Bank"
Download: Antony and the Johnsons - "Another World"
Download: Vampire Hands - "Safe Word"
Download: New Ruins - "Symptoms"
Download: The 1900s - "Age of Metals"
Download: Pontiak - "Honey"
Download: Winter Gloves - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Download: The Evening Rig - "The Hilltop Pines"
Download: Woodhands - "Electric Avenue"
Download: The Present - "Love Melody"
Download: Witch - "Sweet Sue"
Download: Black Math Horsemen - "Origin of Savagery"
Download: Gospel Gossip - "Pre-Med"
Download: Wye Oak - "Take It In"

Well, technically, 41 songs and a video. But I'm sure that you're not counting. Hope you enjoy this playlist, the 3rd of its kind.

For more songs, go here.

(Jon Graef)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ticket Giveaway: The Whip

Download: The Whip - "Trash"
Download: The Whip - "Dubsex"

Chicago is Mildly Interesting is giving away not one, not two, not three, not five, but FOUR pairs of tickets to tomorrow's show with The Whip at the Congress Theatre. We realize its at the last minute, but that's how we roll. BY THE SEAT OF OUR PANTALOONS! First four people to email will get tix that they can pick-up at will call.

The Whip MySpace Page

Monday, April 6, 2009

Michael Zapruder - "Ads for Feelings"

Download: Michael Zapruder - "Ads for Feelings"

Like an electro-pop Leonard Cohen, but with prog-rock breakdowns, Michael Zapruder combines a mellow, almost sing-speak vocal with a whole host of other nifty production and songwriting tricks to create an engaging, crisp song about the implications of consumerism. Listen to it at the top of the post.

Michael Zapruder MySpace Page