Archive for June, 2013


Mounties’ If This Dance Catches On…

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I ordered this backpack for my daily excursions. When it’s available, I also want to order the Mounties record — an inevitably catchy, shake your body rock extravaganza from the triple threat: Hawksley Workman, Steve Bays, and Ryan Dahle. The trio has already entranced us with “Headphones”, a groovy rocker drawing you again and again to the repeat button. With “If This Dance Catches On”, they’re pounding away with a hip swinging rhythm and chugging guitar line as the boys harmonize about one of life’s greatest actions: dancing and strutting your future salmon dance.


What Do You Want Me to Say?!

And I thought Bike to Work Day started my morning right. No, this did:

The Dismemberment Plan announce new album Uncanney Valley

The spastic, never know what you might get rockers from D.C are finally releasing a new record come October. As of now, I’m blessed with the D-Plan hitting both of my go-to spots for shows in 2013. But for others, my hope is D-Plan is on a mission from god and is getting the band back together and a national tour is in the works.

Travis Morrison, the frontman for the Dismemberment Plan, is now married. His wife only knew him as a nerdy computer programmer — she spoke of lightly hearing he might have been in a big band way back when. Little did she know he was a rock god in the right circles. Her account here…

What It’s Like to Marry a Rock Star


You Don’t Love Me!

If it scares you, do it.

Awhile back, the dusty soul sound intimidated me. Where would I begin? It’s a cavernous journey, one catalog that almost is infinite. Once you feel like you have a hold on it, you realize the smokin’ sound has a hold on you. So many specific sounds, a plethora of labels and artists, does anyone know how many of those existed in the genre’s heyday?

That endless journey of soul-searching only benefits the listener. Constantly, although I am not an archeologist and dig through the crates, I’m turned onto a new song, perhaps a new artist’s catalog. Today’s fine gentleman I acquainted myself with is Tommy Raye and his version of “You Don’t Love Me”.

Grab a gal, sway back and forth with her, and breathe in this uplifting number’s smokin’ aura…


The show must not go on…

Crushed by a tank and reduced to rubble, treated worse than she treats every other stranger . Shit isn’t right. But it goes down. Unfortunately, potentially to the underrated 90s-early ’00s punky popsters Harvey Danger.

Two years ago, I was basking in the glory of this song for months. It was my go-to track, not for when I was being reduced to rubble, more when I wanted to get roused up and excited. As dark as heartbreak can be, it can also be a new beginning, a chance to see a whole other side of life. You’ve missed out on her due to being that one’s live dart board.

The uplifting, incessant beat pushes as Sean Nelson’s vocals wail beautifully…

Harvey Danger :: The Show Must Not Go On


It’s a cruel, cruel summer…

The following two things are well coveted around here:

1. Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” — not only a pop, summer staple, but it was also expertly placed in the ultimate uplifter of the 80s: Karate Kid

2. Scott Lucas — the former Chicagoan of the year for his sometimes raucous cacophony and always professionally constructed rock songs with Local H.

The frontman of Local H plays lead in his solo efforts, Scott Lucas & the Married Men, a septet creating easy listening love songs. Lucas excels when composing numbers about previous relationships. For proof, revisit Local H’s 12 Angry Months. As a true rock and roll professional, Scott crafts his rendition of other people’s songs effortlessly. Flawlessly.

A song like “Cruel Summer” shouldn’t be touched; it’s perfect, its associations, the mood it creates, etc. are what make up a timeless number. On 6/25, SL&tMM release the Cruel Summer EP, one consisting of six songs, including their rework of Bananarama’s ode to hot streets. But leave it to Lucas to open me up to the idea of a summer staple reinterpreted…


I like the way you work it! No Diggity!

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Bring something fresh to your play on someone else’s song. Yea, if you’re a musician and you can play another act’s song, cool; the band bringing their own formula and mixture to a cover is creating a shift, one where ears perk up and this freshness garners attention.

The A.V. Club picks 25 songs a year for acts visiting their studio to cover. You’re the first act of the year, you have your pick of 25 cuts; step into the studio late, maybe you’re left with only a few select tracks that have yet to be covered. Cue JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, the soulful punk outfit outta Chicago, an act bold enough to step to Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”. The quintet bring the funk, bringing a frenetic aura that permeates through their rendition of Blackstreet’s classic.

Sure, some songs shouldn’t be stepped to. But I like the way Chicago’s punky soulsters work it…

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound :: No Diggity 

Upcoming Shows:


June 2013