Friday, April 11, 2014

Go To There: CHIRP Radio Record Fair // Saturday, April 12th

By Sarah Rosenfeld

CHIRP Radio Record Fair // 4.12.2014
Hey Chicago, do you love warm weather and adding to your ever growing vinyl collection?  Of course you do.  Not sure if you've heard this yet, but it's supposed to hit 70 degrees out on Saturday and that is perfect weather to go check out the 12th Annual CHIRP Radio Record Fair and Other Delights.  The event takes place at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Hall from 10am to 7pm. $7 will get you in and it's only $5 if you print off this flyer from the website. You can also get in for an early admission price of $25 if you want to browse before the general public between 8am and 10am.  Parking is free for everyone attending the record fair!

The stacked list of 60 vendors includes Chicago-based record labels such as Hozac Records and Already Dead Tapes & Records as well as many local and regional record stores including Jazzman Vinyl, Saki, Odds & Ends and others who will be selling used, rare, and out-of-print vinyl all day long.

Beer provided by Goose Island and coffee by Dark Matter Coffee along with food from Big Star and Upton's Breakroom will keep you energized for digging through all those crates.  The Other Delights section of the event will feature lots of music-inspired fun including DJ sets by Windy City Soul Club (one of the best soul dance nights in the city) and a music quiz hosted by CHIRP Radio's own Austin Harvey.  Go check it out and tell us about your favorite vinyl finds!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

#TBT SXSW Edition

By Avery Dunn

#TBT to last month when Chicago bands Bring Your Ray Gun and whysowhite played SXSW 2014 in Austin, TX.  Catch the funky whysowhite dudes TONIGHT at Subterranean!  Show starts at 9pm.

Also some HAERTS, Holy Ghost! and Cut Copy shots for your viewing pleasure.

//photos by Avery Dunn//

Bring Your Ray Gun at SXSW on 3.13.2014

whysowhite at SXSW on 3.13.2014

 HAERTS at SXSW on 3.13.2014

Holy Ghost! at SXSW on 3.15.2014

Cut Copy at SXSW on 3.15.2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Record review: Ego - 'DON'T'

By Gene Wagendorf III 

Multi-instrumentalists Dan Rico, Fumo Stromboli and Majik Aeon have been making music together in various groups for what feels like forever. The trio made up the core of the spastic punk band Snacks, while Rico and Aeon also did time as two thirds of excellent pop rock outfit Close Hits. Musical ideas born of those projects continued to develop in the boy's most recent incarnation, as psych/punk group Ego. A pair of excellent cassette releases on Maximum Pelt have paved the way for the band's debut full-length, DON'T.

The album starts in grand fashion with the gargantuan, psychedelic jam that is "Another Friday Night." A whirlpool of percussion and feedback slowly builds momentum, stomping behind Aeon's twisting vocals until the whole thing explodes into a fierce rocker that sets the tone for the rest of the record. Following that are a pair of hypnotically energetic punk tunes, "And Now I'm Feeling Low" and "Slit." The former, sung by Aeon, sounds a little bit like the Buzzcocks got piss drunk and played a show in your basement, while the latter is a rolling pop punk romp that features Rico on vocals.

Majik Aeon takes the reigns again on "Heavy Heavy," a chugging acoustic number that unravels into a beautiful lysergic fit. Aeon's warm drawl sounds full against the taut guitar, and the song rolls on a while before tangling itself up. The string arrangements and sparse melody give the breakdown a bit of a Velvet Underground feel at first, but then a second level of giddiness explodes into a Beatles White Album playfulness. That isn't to compare Ego to either of those legends just yet. It's just a testament to the fact that this trio has done their homework.

A couple more rowdy rock songs lead up to the summery joyride that is "Now I Don't Wanna Know." Aeon lobs his lyrics across what may be the record's most solid hook (no small feat), setting the stage for a series of magnetic guitar solos that range from molten to dreamy. The tempo stumbles smartly near the end, as if the song had exhausted itself partying and crumpled to a satisfying slumber.  That cool peace is intruded on by "Cynical," a snaking, Animal Collective-esque acoustic tune. The choppy strings and vocals are damn near jarring, and a stark contrast to the glammmy sweetness of "Weird Chick at the Dustbowl."

DON'T ends on a high note with "Reprise" and "Automaton." The two tracks next to each other are an interesting couplet, showcasing just how dynamic a band Massive Ego is. That Stromboli, Aeon and Rico are all more than capable on multiple instruments makes it fun to imagine who played what on the instrumental "Reprise." Another lesson learned from their '60s rock predecessors, the song is a lush little ditty that calls back to Aeon's vocal melody on the album's opening track. It's the comedown from the trip that started when the needle dropped, and it's a glorious one. The song seamlessly segues into "Automaton," whose soft drift is like a tropical lullaby. The percussion here is some of the best on the record, at different times booming, subdued, splashy and deadly precise. It makes an ideal playground for some sizzling and wandering guitar work and a nimble little bass line. It's all three Egoists firing on all cylinders; a song that changes pace, style and genre effortlessly, a song that starts by coaxing you to daydream and ends in a beachfront dance party.

'DON'T' is out now on Maximum Pelt Records and available for purchase on vinyl, cassette and digital download here. You can see Ego celebrate the release of 'DON'T' tonight, Thursday, April 3 at The Owl (10pm, FREE, 21+) with label-mates House Sounds. Check out "Now I Don't Wanna Know" below.

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