Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicago musicians head to NYC for CMJ 2010

Posted by Sasha

For six years, the Chicago Showcase at CMJ has brought some of the Windy City’s best music to the Big Apple. If you’re in the New York area this week, the 2010 lineup isn’t one to be missed.

Scott Lucas and the Married Men will play Wednesday the 20th at The Local 269. Lucas of Local H fame explores a softer side of rock with this outfit, carrying the intensity of his primary band into a more personal place. While Local H are known for their instrumental minimalism, Lucas proves that his writing can thrive against the rich Americana backing of the Married Men’s talents, complete with accordion, violin and slide guitar.

The bulk of the showcase will play on Friday, October 22nd, also at The Local 269. Kicking off the evening will be Unicycle Loves You, a dream pop trio caught somewhere between the sounds of the Jesus and Mary Chain and Trompe le Monde-era Pixies. Their latest album, Mirror, Mirror, came out last month and can be purchased and streamed in its entirety on the band’s website.

Nathan Xander & Witchouse, who recently celebrated the release of their new 7” through RWIM, will follow with their bluesy Americana. Xander’s complex and introspective writing evokes the sounds of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Jason Molina alike, swinging from dark folk quiet to jubilant country stomps.

Originally from Florida, the foursome Jonny Rumble moved to Chicago after their homes were destroyed by hurricane Jeanne in 2004. Since then, they’ve gotten up to some trouble, the most recent of which includes the release of their newest LP. The record, entitled simply JR, is a full-on romp through their classic rock-inspired post-punk, tongue-in-cheek and entirely fun. Think of them as the States’ answer to Maximo Park. The record is available as a free download here, where you can also buy it on vinyl.

Tom Schraeder and His Ego will also bring their airy Americana to the mix. This will be Schrader’s second performance at CMJ, having also played at the fourth Chicago showcase. Schraeder’s gentle songwriting evokes alternately the indie-folk stylings of Phosphorescent and Wilco’s layered alt-country.

Also on the 22nd, The Streets On Fire will play Kenny’s Castaways. Their fierce, danceable post-punk plays out dark, desperate and gritty as hell. This is Fancy, their latest album, demonstrates both their bitingly snarky side and their ability to soar to epic heights on swells of static. The record can be streamed and purchased on their website.

Shows are free with a CMJ pass. Check out the rest of the CMJ goings-on here.


  1. Tom Schraeder's music is really good. Their live show is very cool as they have so many people on stage together to watch...or at least they used to. The first time I met him was at his house party. A bunch of musicians later in the night just started jamming. One girl actually played a saw as if it were a violin. It was pretty nuts. Another Chicago band going to CMJ this year is Blah Blah Blah. They're really great. Check em out!


  2. Hey, Paul. Cool story about Tom, and yes, Blah Blah Blah are great. Thanks for the comment.

  3. great article - thanks for the heads up on all the Chicago talent heading to NYC! FYI, the guys from Jonny Rumble are originally from near Detroit, MI; they just lived in FL for a few years.