Archive for the 'Chicago-based' Category

29
Mar
15

25 Years of Local H…

Historical topics that pique my interest are captivating. A narrative written in autobiographical-like form, one that I feel almost eternally invested in, becomes an essential consumption. It’s a feat to last in the music game. You and your band released more than one record, you’re ahead of most. You’ve found enough grit and semi-success to last a decade, congratulations because you’re doing something right. The former Chicagoans of the Year, Local H, on the verge of unleashing their 8th LP, Hey Killer, have survived 25 years. But if my speakers and I are the judge, survived isn’t what Local H has done, they’ve thrived.

The band gets the significance of this milestone. On their Facebook page, they’re offering up stories of the past, studio tweaks, demos not many have heard, and tidbits on how certain songs became to be. As of now, they’re up to “Pack Up The Cats”, their third full length released in ’98.

Before “All the Kids Are Right” became the perfectly crafted story song it is, Scott looked to none other than Cheap Trick for inspiration and took his already written “Lead Pipe Cinch” and reworked it. Below, one example of the brilliant historical artifacts on display as the best duo in the game invite you to experience 25 Years of Local H:

 

 

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22
Feb
15

Local H’s The Misanthrope…

 

The hardest working duo in the game, Local H, are unleashing their 8th LP in April, Hey Killer. Through their Pledge Music campaign, we’ve been sprinkled with a song here or there; snippets are rather appetizing and keep up the anticipation. The public can now take in their hard hitting “The Misanthrope”. Not one hint of Scott slowing down, and their new drummer, Ryan, hits harder than your mom after you failed her again.

 

20
Dec
14

Top 3 EPs of ’14 In No Order…

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Perhaps it’s the inability to focus on much for long. Or maybe I only have limited patience for a whole record before wanting to aurally ingest another vibe. Regardless, the EP is a preferred format. Many of my favorite extended plays have been introductions to acts. A sampler — or a track or two — can only go so far. If the act hits hard, I want more. The EP gives you enough to not tire of that artist before a proper full length is released. The material that the EP provides, especially those artists who may be debuting themselves on record, aren’t providing you with filler — sometimes the debut EP is the best thing the band ever does. It’s 4-6 tracks that don’t stop. What’s below are two absolute favorite artists in EP format and a newcomer to me.

sElf :: Super Fake Nice

Matt Mahaffey of one man jam fame sElf has been teasing us with “Super Fake Nice” for a minute. It ended up being an EP, one six songs deep and housing five new ones. Rewind 14 years ago, and Gizmodgery and its toys took over my speakers. Now in 2014, I have an official sElf release to monopolize my ears. From the opener, “Runaway”, with its smile inducing melody and shoulder shake inducing bounce, to the closer, “Splitting Atoms”, with its SPM-era fuzz and driving guitars, lies six classical sElf numbers bristling with Matt’s recipe for my aural satiety. His fusion of 80s beats and rhymes, an adulation for Prince, sugary pop sensibilities, and a 19 year old solid track record make Super Fake Nice an automatic go-to for 2014.

Forgotten Species :: Hades Fades

A debut EP from one of the most trusted names in my musical catalog. Blake Smith, a co-creator of Chicago staples Fig Dish, Caviar, and the Prairie Cartel, has unveiled his latest concoction: Forgotten Species. The Hades Fades EP is self-described “noise-pop”. A barrage of distorted cacophony care of ear plug inducing guitars is laced throughout the five tracks, sure. But interwoven amongst the fuzz and Brit influences are pure pop songs, ones that Blake has been writing for two decades. It’s not that he has a formula that he’s repeated with four previous acts, it’s the man knows how to construct songs that matter. Tracks I’ve been repeating since ’95. One part wit and charm through well penned lyricism; two parts rock; one part Chicago hustle.

Tourist :: Patterns EP

Soulful house, music that the right church, one that wants to lose themselves in celestial, gospel-like lyrical patterns could embrace, if their pews were sturdy enough. Tourist, a London-based DJ/producer welcomed himself into my speakers this year. Four tracks, all pulsating with an eruption of beats as a foundation as minimalist yet powerful vocals evoking a better tomorrow drive me into one of the most played EPs of 2014.

 

 

 

 

26
Nov
14

Local H Wants You to Join Them In the Studio, kinda…

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How many of your favorite acts are still gettin’ after it? They still stepping on stage and giving their all? Consistently churning out new, quality music for you to enjoy? Local H, Chicago’s hardest working act, is back at it again. The duo is stepping into the studio to create their 8th full length record. But this time, they want to make it interactive — giving us a chance to experience their chemistry and output as they progress through the record. Using Pledge Music, Scott and Ryan are offering this unique experience:

 

And this time we want you to join us. Be there when we start recording on December 3rd at Electrical Audio and Million Yen Studios right here in Chicago. You’ll get exclusive access to the entire process with updates from the studio, rough mixes, and whatever else may happen.

Depending on what you pledge/donate, Local H is offering unique incentives. My girl doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to absolutely love the used and sweaty Batman and Robin costume my $400 pledge just bought us. Check your options…

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/localh

 

We live in a time where this opportunity exists. According to Steve Albini, the man behind Electrical Audio studios, the music industry is in a great place. If you haven’t, you owe it to yourself to read his current thoughts on why this is a great time to be involved in any facet of the industry:

Steve Albini on the surprisingly sturdy state of the music industry

14
Apr
14

Lorde’s ‘Team’ reimagined by Local H…

“I remember going down a Lorde rabbit hole on YouTube last summer, and the song that really stuck with me was ‘Team.’ The lyrics killed me. They were everything I’d been wanting to hear someone say in a pop song. I sorta teared up a little. I tried playing an acoustic version at a show in January, but quickly realized that the song was an anthem and should be rocked out. Besides, acoustic Lorde is the Boss’s territory now.”

We already know Local H is recreating others’ songs for their Awesome Mixtape #2. Today one of those renditions surfaces in the form of a studio video. Chicago’s duo chose ‘Team’ off Lorde’s 2013 Pure Heroine LP. Check the debut studio track from the newly reincarnated Local H…

 

26
Mar
14

Local H’s Awesome Mixtape #2 & Chamberlin…

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I consider myself lucky when it comes to music. One of my favorite groups is still together and making waves. Consistently — when there isn’t a word on Local H for months, don’t fret; significant news is lurking around the corner.

“Rather than wait until we have enough songs for a full length, we just wanna record the songs as they come to try and capture that energy when it’s new and exciting,” explains Local H frontman Scott Lucas. “We also want to record the odd cover here and there for our next ‘Awesome Mix Tape’ EP.”

If we can get anything as half as good as “Wolf Like Me” and H’s take on Concrete Blonde’s “Joey”, consider me counting down the days until the follow-up to Local H’s Awesome Mixtape #1.

Alternative Nation.net also speaks of a Scott Lucas/Jimmy Chamberlin get together to score the 1925 silent film “Battleship Potemkin”.

On May 2nd, Lucas will team up with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (formerly of The Smashing Pumpkins) and bassist Matt Ulery under the band name Mary Shelley for a unique live performance during CIMM (Chicago International Music & Movies Fest). The trio will score Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film masterpiece “Battleship Potemkin” at 1st Ward (2033 W. North Ave.).

18
Jan
14

Greg Kot’s Dance Meets Grammys Preview…

Someone with influence can cause me to do some uncharacteristic-like phenomena. It’s Saturday morning, the weather is right, the go-to let’s set this weekend off right vibe is upbeat. Party anthems perhaps. Instead, I start rockin’ a soundtrack. Specifically, Saturday Night Fever. The antecedent? Greg Kot, the go-to Chicago rock critic for the Chicago Tribune.

In his “Will Daft Punk Teach the Grammys How to Dance?” article, he drops historical science on dance music being recognized by the Grammys. Noting how influential sounds like Chicago house and Detroit techno didn’t even make a ripple on the Grammy’s radar. It’s a concise, yet fairly comprehensive look on how for decades this yearly ceremony straight up snubbed dance music, electronica to my generation, EDM to today’s. Kot notes how “best dance recording” didn’t come into play until ’98. It took until 2005 for “best dance/electronica album” to hit the masses. Like Kot, and I’d guess many others, we are hoping that Daft Punk shows this antiquated awards show a 2-step…

Will Daft Punk Teach the Grammys How to Dance




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