Adele

•August 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m not a very big fan of MTV so it’s not a far stretch to say that I’m not too interested in the Video Music Award show they have but I heard they were pretty interesting this year. Lady Gaga was a man? Hmm I guess I missed out but I did have the pleasure of being showed this lovely clip.

Adele has an amazing voice and this performance is truly a thing of beauty and raw talent.
Hope you enjoy it if you watch it.

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It’s almost here North Coasties!

•August 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

North Coast 2010. Photo via NorthbyNorthwestern.com

Well that went fast.
Summer is almost over, kids but you know what that means!!! North Coast Music Festival is right around the corner. Actually 10 days away to be exact, but who’s really counting? (Me!!)

About a week ago the site released the schedule and I have to say I am super satisfied. Obviously I can’t speak for everybody, but I can definitely speak for myself when I say that there aren’t any major conflicts with the performances. 

Like last year, the festival kicks off Friday September 2nd with Orchard Lounge playing at 3:30 pm at the Red Bull stage. After that the weekend just steadily escalates into eargasmic fabulousness. The Hood Internet is after Orchard Lounge on the same stage followed later by electronic jam band Lotus at 7 pm. This will definitely be an hour and a half of vibed-out greatness so I suggest you make your way over there if only for a bit. Friday closes out with David Guetta  at 8:30 pm and Midnight Conspiracy at 9 pm so if you’re a fan of both you can definitely catch a good half hour of both sets, at least.

Saturday is a must for you North Coasties. It starts off earlier than Friday and is jam-packed with greatness all day. I’m extremely happy to see that The Right Now is back this year as one of the three “Toast of the Coast” winners. I saw them last year at the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival and again at North Coast Music Festival and they rocked their set both times. Stefanie Berecz, the lead singer, has an amazingly soulful voice backed by a band full of saxophones, trombones and trumpets. For me, this all spells bliss so I can’t wait to see them again. They kick off Saturday at 12:30 pm. The Right Now is followed by Rubblebucket at 1:30. Rubblebucket is an inde-dance band from Brooklyn and are a perfect follow-up to the Right Now with their trumpet, saxophone, trombones and a ton more brass. They have a refreshingly unique style and rock it onstage, so make it early Saturday for their set.

The New Mastersounds hit it at 2:30 followed by RJD2 with Break Science at 3:30. I haven’t seen RJD2 play with Break Science yet, but I did hear that it’s not really a collaborative effort. Last time they played together apparently RJD2 busted out a couple of tracks and Break Science played his tracks with him, but mid-set RJD2 was done and it was just Break Science. I wasn’t there to observe this myself, so I’m definitely willing to give this set a chance. Especially since RJD2 killed it the last two times I saw him here in Chicago. Big Gigantic hits the stage at 4:30 pm and this is one of the sets I am really looking forward to. Big G killed it at Summer Camp and I can’t wait to see that energy at North Coast. Rusko and Common follow Big G with Sound Tribe and Fatboy Slim ending the night. Whew. I’m a bit tired even just writing about Saturday, but I cannot wait.

Sunday closes the fest out with Bassnectar, Benny Benassi and Thievary Corporation and Bassnectar are playing at the same time on two different stages, so whichever you decide to see is solely up to you. Hitting both for a portion of time is always a good idea. 😉

I hope you are all as stoked as I am for Summer’s Last Stand. I’ll be back after North Coast with details of the best sets…after my brain has a good long rest, that is.

Cheers!!

 
For your listening and viewing pleasure:

You’re hurting my heart dear North Coast

•July 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Pudd can't believe this either.

How ya gonna play me like that North Coast?!

Allow me to explain.

North Coast Music Festival is back in motion this year for their second annual run. To this I say, “Helll yessss!!” The combined efforts of Chicago’s independent promoters React Presents, Silver Wrapper, Cold Grums Productions, Kingtello and Metronome Chicago created an awesome festival last year and I am so happy it has returned. The line up this year is insane with STS9, Bassnectar, David Guetta, The Hood Internet, Fatboy Slim, Rusko, Lotus, Orchard Lounge, the list goes on and on and on, literally.  Not to mention the large amount of after parties that will be taking place after the festival ends each night.

This is where my problem lies!

Friday’s late nights include Wolfgang Gartner w/ SBTRKT at The Mid, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Soul Summit DJs: Dave Mata, Duke Grip and Sloppy White at The Double Door, The Hood Internet with Midnight Conspiracy at The Bottom Lounge, James Zabiela at Sound-Bar and of course STS9 w/ Big Gigantic and Up Until Now (feat. Murphy of STS9) at The Congress Theater.
Whew! Can you handle all of that?

The real issue for this girl right here is on Saturday. Previously, NCMF had Orchard Lounge’s 7-hour set at Smartbar on Saturday September 3 listed as an official NCMF After Party and I totally hopped on that bandwagon because Orchard Lounge always kills it.  But just recently NCMF released a BoomBox and Gramatik show for the same night at the Double Door. As you can see, this definitely isn’t a real “issue” per se, but how does a devoted fan of these three artists choose which show to go to?

Granted, Orchard Lounge frequents Chicago a whole lot more than BoomBox so the potential of seeing them here again in the near future is pretty high. On top of that, I’m not 100% positive but the last time BoomBox came to Chicago for their own show was back in April of 2009 with M02 at Subterranean. That was three years ago! They were here last year for Wicker Park Fest but that’s a one-hour set and in no way compares to them performing their own set at a venue, so this Double Door show on Saturday September 3 is kind of a big deal. Not to mention Gramatik is a Slovenian musical beast signed to the Pretty Lights Music record label and is extremely dope. He meshes electronic and hip-hop beats on a level many artists aim to reach but fall short trying. With all that said, how can you miss out on a BoomBox/Gramatik duo show? Hmmm…you can’t.

But before I put all my eggs in one basket and happily skip on over to the Double Door, it’s extremely important to note that Orchard Lounge’s set is 7 hours long. The show is set to start at 10:00 pm so if you do your math right they’ll be spinning ’till 5:00 am. If I truly was a devoted fan to all of these artists I would see BoomBox and Gramatik at the Double Door and as soon as that show ended I would fly on over to my favorite basement hide-out Smartbar to catch the tail end of Orchard Lounge’s set.

In an ideal world this would work out perfectly and I can swear to you that I will be doing everything in my power on September 3, 2011 to make this exact plan happen. Call me crazy but if you think you’re a true O-lounge/BoomBox/Gramatik fan then I suggest you do the same, man. Watch out!!

 

Wicker Park Fest

•July 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My kind of town

I know I don’t get much cred for pretty much abandoning this blog at long intervals but I think it’s time to get back into it and what better way than with Wicker Park Fest?

If you can recall, last year  BoomBox, Local H, Gaslamp Killer and a grip of other artists took over the stages of the Wicker Park street fest and it was a bit of a rager. Even though BoomBox seemed like they would much rather be somewhere else they still killed their set and made a lot of Chitown fans pretty happy. True to form this year Wicker Park will be bringing in another handful of amazing artists to feed your audio addiction for a mere $5 each day.

The fest kicks off this Saturday July 23rd with Chicago’s own Loyal Divide bringing in some psychedelic electro beats at 1:00 pm at the south stage. It’s pretty early in the day, especially if you were out killing it Friday night, but if you have the energy to get up and roll on over there it would definitely be worth your time.  Also, if electronic music is your thang then the south stage is probably where you’ll want to post up because there is a sick line-up for most of the day.
Over on the center stage another group of Chicago artists the Black Light Saints will be playing at 1:00 pm also. They’ve got a dance rock sound and are pretty dope as well.

If you’re looking to start your day a little later, then head over to the south stage at 3:00 pm for Break Science. These two guys are from Brooklyn, NY and released an EP on the Pretty Lights Music label earlier this year. They’re dope so you don’t want to miss ’em.
>>>

If that isn’t enough to grab the attention of your ears then wait until 8:45 pm when MiMOSA steps onto, yet again, the south stage to end the night. Unfortunately, I missed seeing this man at Summer Camp but I was informed of his dopeness and I would highly recommend catching this extremely cheap show. He has a dubby, pychedelic, crunk sound and I hear he brings a whole lot of energy so I’m positive it will be worth your time.
Flosstradamus will be killing it over on the center stage at the same time while WILD FLAG plays at the north stage. Either way you’ll be making a good decision for yourself if you make your way on over to Wicker Park on Saturday.

Sunday has another nice line-up with Smartbar’s Dollar Disco resident Kid Color hitting the center stage at 4:30 pm. Van Ghost comes on the south stage at 6:15 pm and Midnight Conspiracy is at 6:00 pm at the center stage. Sunday closes out with Digital Tape Machine at 8:30 pm at the center stage. Consisting of members from multiple Chicago groups including Umphrey’s McGee, Strange Arrangement, Liquid Soul, Land of Atlantis, and the Hue they are a great way to close out a raging weekend spent at Wicker Park fest.

If you learned nothing significant here I hope you at least learned that your Saturday and/or Sunday should be spent hanging out at Wicker Park fest. It’s a $5 donation and with the line-up they have set up you probably won’t find anything better.
That said, I’ll leave you with this.

Summer creepin in

•May 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

a thing of greatness

Well, kids it looks like it’s about that time of year again. Yes, the flowers have sprouted and the sun is out a bit longer but that’s not what I’m talkin’ about. No, no Willis.

The time of year is ripe for Summer Camp and thankfully for myself and over 10,000 other campers it’s right around the corner. Wooot.  May 26 will start the Chillicothe, IL  festival off and it will roll on until the 29th. Now, I’m fully aware that there are hundreds of other music festivals all around the country much larger than Summer Camp. Some of them may be ‘better’ but Summer Camp holds a special spot in my heart and this camper is ready to roll.

There are so many things to be excited for in terms of Summer Camp 2011 but when I was asked the question the other day of who I am most excited to see, the answer was…BoomBox. Last year before Summer Camp I was a sad soul who had never heard of BoomBox or heard their soft, mellow notes against  Godchaux’s distinct lyrics and voice. Such a sad soul was I. Thankfully, I had a  chance to hear their live set during the day at S’camp last year and a dj set at night and I was sold for good.

Much to my delight they made a nice stop in Chicago last year for a set at the Wicker Park Fest and killed it. Now, a year later with an album released last June they’re back at S’camp and I couldn’t be more excited. If you made the right decision and bought a S’camp ticket then I better see your face and dancing body kickin’ off S’camp in the best way possible Thursday night in the Vibe Tent with BoomBox. I also better see your sweaty face on Friday at 2.45 p.m. at the MoonShine stage for their live set.

That said, I’ll leave you with this little gem. Enjoy.

Balkan Crazy Style

•April 6, 2011 • 2 Comments

Balkan Beat Box. Photo by Timothy Lloyd via WikiMedia.

Music serves a handful of purposes: to laugh, cry, relax or to simply get dowwwnn.  In my case,  it’s all of the above with a heavy emphasis on the latter.
I love to get down to my favorite beats but there are those amazing instances when I hear music that surges with energy that flows inside and out. As of late, that music has been dubstep.

Then today I heard Balkan Beat Box while sitting at my work desk with my headphones on and I wanted to jump up out of my little swivel chair and get down to “Hermetico” in front of my editor.
Thankfully, I possess a small amount of self-control that helped me keep my dignity.

But on the serious tip this Israeli music group is nicer than nice as far as electro-fusion music is concerned. The group was started by Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat who met each other in Brooklyn, New York as teenagers. As I read, they couldn’t find a genre that fit them, so they created a fabulous genre of their own.
Ori Kaplan is on saxophone while Tamir Muskat is drums, percussion and programming.  As of 2006 the duo included Tomer Yosef who does lead vocals, percussion and samples. The group features a number of other members on instruments for live performances.
Some of their tracks are reminiscent of Beats Antique, which isn’t surprising seeing as though Beats Antique snags musical influences from belly dancing and Indian dance.  Balkan Beat Box is a great deal different though grabbing musical influences from Mediterranean music styles and fusing them with electro, hip hop beats which ultimately equals out to dopeness.

If you can appreciate a purely fresh and new sound that will no doubt get your blood flowing, then check out Balkan Beat Box.  

The track that nearly cost me my job, and dignity, at work:

And one more for good measure:

Chitown Step

•March 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Diplo in Jamaica. Photo by Mad Decent photographer Shane McCauley via WikiMedia.

Ughhh errr…pardon my tardiness for informing some of you of the dopeness that is about to take place this Friday at The Mid.
Now I know a good handful of the people I like to call my friends are well informed; kudos to you.
For those who are unaware [insert sad face], Diplo is coming to the Windy Friday and will be throwing down at the Mid.

Let’s have a little history sesh on this super funky and lovely man. Diplo is a Philadephia-based DJ who also heads and manages the Mad Decent record label. Him and another producer, Switch, are also the producers of the electro-house, reggae fusion creation that is Major Lazer. His mixes span a large range of genres and can’t really be pigeon-holed into one specific category, which makes him and his music all the more interesting.

The Mad Decent record label is home to a handful of dope artists, some including Rusko, Major Lazer, Crookers, Bonde Do Role and, ahem, Andy Milonakis. We’ll let that last one slide, but it’s a pretty nice label.

If you didn’t know about Diplo’s show, don’t worry it’s surprisingly not sold out, yet. Tickets are $25 and with the service charge it comes out to about $30. Now, get your fingers moving and purchase those tickets before they’re all gone!

Click here to be directed to the Mid’s site.

The Mid is a new-ish music venue that opened up not too long ago. It’s a smaller venue which gives it a more personal, cozy feel. It’s located at 306 N. Halsted. Gonna be a good one!

Diplodocus

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