Calendar

 
Sat, Mar 28 - 9pm - $12adv/$15door
Most bands have dreams of fame and fortune; however MELODIME is not like most bands. Their blend of energetic guitars and pianos play an integral role in their rock sound that is a perfect fit for festivals, college events, and the best live music venues. Not only is their cross-genre alternative rock sound creative, they also operate a charity organization. Their foundation, called Now I Play Along Too, provides music instruments and education to those less fortunate. It's been said many times that MELODIME is what's missing in the music industry today - a band that tells stories from the heart; seamlessly blends the musical past with the sounds of the future; and isn't just performing for the good of their band. They're on a mission to inspire audiences and make a difference in the world.
Wild Skies is a 6-piece folk/Americana band from Chicago delivering sincere songwriting, soaring harmonies and foot-stomping folk flavor.
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Mon, Mar 30 - 8pm -$7
New Candy Store Prophets are a group of Chicago pop veterans - Phil Angotti (Idea- Beatle Brothers) John San Juan (Hushdrops) Jason Walker, Tim Fowler, Anthony Illarde (Chamber Strings) and Cathy Norden (old Town School of Folk) all Monkee fanatics, First assembled to play the premier of the Boyce and Hart movie in Chicago the NCSP have added more songs to their Monkees set- list , so you better get ready- they're coming to your town!!!!
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Tue, Mar 31 - 8pm - $8
LAST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH - TIX AVAILABLE AT DOOR, NIGHT OF ONLY - The Moth StorySLAMs are open to anyone with a five-minute story to tell on the night's theme. Half an hour before the show, we put the names of all the folks who want to tell a story in a hat. At the start of the show, we start picking names. The 10 featured stories are scored by teams of judges selected from the audience. Each Storyslam generates a Storyslam winner. After ten slams, the winners face off in our Grandslam Championships. Come sign up to tell a story, or just to enjoy the show!
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Wed, Apr 1 - 8pm - $7
There are a rare number of musical artists which are capable of having their listeners make an emotional investment into their work to such a degree that they travel on a journey together. To an artist this emotional bond between their work and their audience is a sign of truly meaningful music. New artist Craig Scott, has this potential to make his audience connect with his work. Scott has created five original gripping songs for his first EP -- Push & Pull.His music is heavily inspired by some of the greatest names in melodic modern rock. Scott draws from talented musicians like John Rzeznick and the Goo Goo Dolls, Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty, the Counting Crows and Bruce Springsteen. Craig Scott's work on this EP would not be out of place when compared to artists in this genre as they all share a rock solid sound as the basis for their work. And you may even hear him honoring the craft of these artists with an occasional cover song.Craig Scott has been described as an electrifying new musician with a captivating style. Scott, who is a singer, a songwriter and a musician, recorded his EP with Marc Loren of 42 Street Recording Studios in his home city. During recording Scott explained that it was his goal to "convey what's on my live show on tape". Bottling the energy of a live show in front of a wild audience in the studio is no small task. It was, however, a challenge worthy of a talented artist like Scott. Having transcendent lyrics which come from a truly genuine place helped in the creation of this quality EP. As did Craig's diverse and layered vocal talents from weathered soprano to soaring falsetto. The end result are raw and edgy songs interspersed with jazz which are both relatable and enjoyable."Push and Pull" is the perfect introduction to the musical talents of Craig Scott. The EP showcases a raw and honest set of melodies which will no doubt create a new legion of fans for the troubadour.
Chicago native, singer-songwriter Britt Dignan has the ability to capture your heart with a talent for writing meaningful lyrics placed smoothly over slick Acoustic melodies and impromptu jams. He paints a picture with his folky story telling, soulful rooted voice and extraordinary stage presence, placed a top a high energized passion and love for music!
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Thu, Apr 2 - 9:30pm - No Cover
free
A night of drinking, dancing, socializing, networking and non-stop music since 1991. For die hard rockabilly devotees and civilian music fans. Over the last decade, this highly organized vibrant jam session, held the first Thursday of every month at Martyrs', has become rockabilly central for many of the musicians & fans of Chicago's American roots scene. Although the monthly jam is devoted to rockabilly, the Big C Jamboree has also offered the span of '40's-'50's Amereicn roots music from Hillbilly Boogie to Western Swing, Jump Blues and 1st generation Rock-n-Roll. The night is run swiftly and simply: a host band performs a short set, followed by a myriad of roots musicians who do 3 songs each. The party like atmosphere includes socializing, drinking & dancing galore while the rotating line-up onstage usually features the raucous sounds of pompadoured rockabilly musicians wailing away on upright basses and hallow-bodied electric guitars; and there's NEVER a cover! It's one of the most dedicated evenings of music in the city.
By infusing 1950's-inspired rock n' roll with an edgy, modern twist, Chicago-based foursome, Them Guilty Aces breaks down the barriers of tradition. Featuring stylized, rockabilly undertones and cool, melodic beats, TGA creates a dynamic sound and a unique showcase. With lively favorites, upbeat B-sides of the past, and powerful original tunes, TGA gets the crowd onto the dance floor every time.
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Fri, Apr 3 - 8pm - $10
It's a pop song, chopped up with some soul, thrown over a bed of soft guitar chords, and sang raw. At 24, Gina Venier stylishly combines her soulful blues roots with pop influences to create an original sound that defies fitting into a genre. Raised in the small town of Dixon, IL, Gina pulls from her family roots to find inspiration behind songwriting, style, and stage presence. At the age of 6, Venier took after her dad’s musical background as a blues musician, and started singing and playing the drums. At 13, she picked up the guitar and has been playing live ever since. She credits her dad for infusing a passion for music in her at an early age, and he frequently shares the stage with her today. Now focused on developing her craft as a “young Chicago-based original artist,” she uses her percussive background to heighten her rhythmic movements on guitar, and showcases an expressively raw and raspy vocal tone during live shows, creating an unparalleled live performance of natural soul. She won Chicago’s largest singing competition “Bar 1 Big Break,” in August of 2012, after showing the judges and audience her versatility, creativity, and inimitable artistry through performances a capella, on the drums, guitar, and keyboard. After making it to the final 2, Venier performed an original song and took home the top prize in the competition. After winning the competition, Venier is continuing to capitalize on her success and is currently creating quite the buzz around the Chicago-land music scene. Since then, Venier has been spreading her ‘hybrid genre’ of blue-eyed soul singer/songwriter meets R&B pop musician, performing in staple Chicago-land venues in front of anxious and enthusiastic crowds. Chicago- has been exploiting her distinctive vibe whether it’s an intimate acoustic showcase, or fronting her band, Gina Venier & the Gentlemen, each performance carries a unique dynamic, and not one show is the same as the last. After receiving her degree in Broadcasting, Gina found more passion from being in front of a microphone on stage, than in front of the camera. Currently, Gina is performing, writing, and accumulating original works, working toward her first album release. Her theme challenges fitting into a definitive form of music by blending the art of a singer/songwriter who collides with radio-worthy blue-eyed soulful pop music. Music has become her exclusive project and this extraordinary talent holds all the characteristics of a true artist on the rise.
Guitarist, Singer/Songwriter based in Nashville TN. Rock n' Soul music. Songs rich in melody and virtuosity.
Langston & Co. is the result of a life lived on the road, in upheaval, struggling to reach a destination that may not even exist.Jay, a seasoned songwriter/ guitar player/ performer, began writing for Langston & Co. in 2010, after his previous national band of 8 years, split. "This endeavor was, and is necessary for me as a man, and a songwriter to move forward. I want the music to reflect the good and bad things in life that we all experience. Without all the fluff and shine, I hope the songs will speak for me."Langston & Co. will cling to its southern roots maintaining a minimalist approach. "I want this to be about good songs, and not a lot of noise." Ready to release the first LCO studio EP, the time is now to set out on the journey!
Vanguard Records head Kevin Welk heard one Daphne Willis' songs on an American Airlines flight and sent A&R rep Gary Paczosato Chicago to meet her. After signing a deal with Vanguard Records in 2008, Willis released her second EP, Exhibit A. In the latter half of 2009, Willis headed for the Tennessee hills to begin writing and recording her first full length album. What to Saywas released in 2010. The album was co-produced by Tim Lauer and Grammy Award winning Gary Paczosa. "My Shoes", a track from this record was featured on ABC's Switched at Birth.Album number two, Because I Can, was produced by Tim Lauer and released in 2011 on Vanguard Records. Shortly after the release, Willis was interviewed on NPR'sWeekend Edition Saturday with Host Scott Simon. Because I Can reached the #2 spot on iTunes Top 40 Singer/Songwriter Chart. The track titled "Sad" was featured on the CW Network One Tree Hill. Trevor Hall makes a guest appearance on the track titled "Circumstances". Willis parted ways with Vanguard in early 2012 and is currently working on an independent release.
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Sat, Apr 4 - 9pm - $10adv/$12door
TAUK is Heavy Instrumental Rock Fusion created by Matt Jalbert (guitar), Charlie Dolan (bass), Alric "A.C."Carter (keyboard-organ), and Isaac Teel (drums). The transcendent instrumental band seamlessly bringstogether genres as diverse as melodic rock, fusion, gritty funk, progressive rock, ambient, classic rock, hip hopand jazz.The Oyster Bay, New York-based quartet has received accolades from a number of tastemaking authorities,including an “On The Verge” feature in Relix Magazine and frequent rotation for the singles “Mindshift”, “DeadSignal” and “In the Basement of the Alamo” on Sirius XM Jam On. Despite their years of experience as a musicalunit, the quartet is a young promising band that Jambase calls “a guaranteed quickly- ascend band.” TheWashington Post describes the band by saying: “TAUK's instrumental music melds genres and styles, creating ahard-charging, often melodic fusion that - thanks to a penchant for improv - offers limitless possibilities" And TheDeli Magazine singles out the band’s compelling melodic sense through explaining: “the quartet has a rare abilityto channel emotional melodic leads, and all without a lead singer."TAUK has built a dedicated and loyal fanbase through tireless touring. Festival highlights include Bonnaroo, TheHangout Music Festival, Summer Camp, LOCKN’, Hudson Project, FloydFest, Bear Creek, Art Outside and TheAllman Brothers' Peach Fest. TAUK’s broadly appealing musicality has allowed the band to be direct support tosuch diverse artists as The Funky Meters, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Papadosio, Lettuce, KarlDenson's Tiny Universe, moe., Dopapod, Tim Reynolds & TR3, Toubab Krewe, The Revivalists and many more.
Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Herbert Wiser is a powerhouse quartet that pulls influences from the worlds of funk, jazz, jam, reggae, and rock and roll to create their own genre bending sound that inevitably leads listeners to the dance floor. While steeped in the jamband world of improvisation, Wiser never forgets the crucial element of the song. Talented song crafting keeps the band focused and in a deep groove while allowing room for live jamming that continues to impress crowds across the Midwest. Herbert Wiser features the breakbeat stylings of Kyle “Kobrakai” Davis on drums, the funk dropping bass of Matt Bradford, the virtuoso keyboard work of Ryan Chamlin, and the talented tone of Josh Crowley on guitar.
Formed in late 2012, Low Spark is a quartet formed by friends after being brought together through various jam sessions and different shows, and have recently began playing regularly in the Chicago area. Taking influence from legends such as Booker T and Grant Green, or from today's masters of groove like Soulive and Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Low Spark delivers a powerful, raw live show that feeds off the audience and is guaranteed to make you move!
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Mon, Apr 6 - 8pm - $7
REAL people trying to fall in REAL love. Hosted by everyone’s favorite Auntie- Dorris Dashen*! A dating game show filled with actual single people, personal questions, physical challenges, kisses on the mouth, musical and comedic guests, and lots of drinks for the host! Followed by a set by Chicago's best Strangefunk band: GROOD! *Dorris Dashen** is a brassy and vulgar 80 year old ex-lounge singer who has seen EVERYTHING. **Dorris Dashen is played and created by Zoe Schwartz. Zoe Schwartz is a comedian known around town for her specific brand of gross and sexy. She often performs at variety and salon events showing off strange and frenetic characters. She has written a handful of full length shows based around these characters and toured them across the country to various festivals and comedy scenes. She is a company member with Barrel of Monkeys and can occasionally be seen in their long running Monday night show “That’s Weird, Grandma!”. Recently, Zoe has discovered how easy it is to put things on the internet and is trying to make it big with her various web series “Lets Talk About Boys and Animals” and “Lemonade Stand” which is about a winter lemonade stand and set to debut this spring. Visit zoeschwartztown.com for contact info and fun vids!
Grood is super-colorful, extra-emotive rock and roll from Chicago. Grood used to be called Savvy, but had tochange its name due to copyright infringement. Grood = Savvy. Savvy = Grood.Besides writing and recording music, Grood has begun to be well known for its live shows. Once a year itperforms a brand new, one time only live performance called "The ACTual Show," where the fans' favorite songsare "acted" out on stage along with the music. This is a 30 performer, multimedia experience that usuallyleaves people scratching their heads, wondering what they just saw.All parts are written and recorded by Charlie Otto, lead singer of Talking Heads tribute "This Must be the Band."Besides pretending to be David Byrne, Charlie spends his time making original music with the help of his fellowThis Must Be the Band member, Kasey Foster (Redmoon Theater).For most of his music, Charlie also enlists the help of superstar drummer/producer Matt Walker (SmashingPumpkins, Garbage, Filter, Morrissey) and slick bass man Alan Berliant (Mavis Staples). They are great.Although Grood strongly suggests you listen to its music, it is also able to describe it, and here it goes:Almost every song is completely dierent from the song before, the only common thread being the groove.There is always a groove, whatever that is. The rhythm is danceable, the chords are lush, the words are images,the singing is thick, the forms are minimal, but there is always the lovely backbeat, because they like it. If thebackbeat is not there, just wait, it will be there soon.Grood generates an amazing amount of content, and you can always count on a new video or rough draftevery couple weeks. Its good stu, just go to the YouTube channel (youtube.com/GroodMusic).
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Tue, Apr 7 - 8pm - $7
Jolly Korea is a 5 piece rock group in Chicago. They are fronted by Eugene Kalsted, dual guitar work supplied by Peter Nafziger and Kevin Kalal, Roger Connelly on bass guitar, and Matt Nafziger behind the drum kit.
THE MOBROS meld and Classic Soul and True Rock 'n Roll into a scintillating blend for their resonant modern sound. Kelly Morris, guitarist and lead vocals, is joined by his brother Patrick on drums. And while most bands would be satisfied with re-creating a sound and mood that invokes nostalgia, The Mobros have expanded on the soul and rock music they listened to in their youth to create an authentic decades old soulful sound. What is immediately gripping about the brotherly band is their flourishing harmonies stacked seemingly effortlessly among the melodic layers of their music; Kelly, sometimes playing dual guitar and bass parts with Patrick adding Caribbean percussive inflections on the drums. With an already impressive list of dates, shows, and festivals under their belts, The Mobros were handpicked by blues legend B.B. King to open two shows for his 2013 summer tour at the Snagajob.com Amphitheater in Glen Allen, VA and the Township Auditorium in Columbia, SC. Other outstanding dates include the prestigious Carolina Downhome Blues Festival, Atlanta’s Sweetwater 420 Fest, Greenville’s Artisphere International Art Festival, Eco Fest in Jacksonville FL, Sautee Jamboree, the Free Times Music Crawl, and about 40,000 revelers were on hand at the Columbia, SC St. Patrick’s Day Festival when they played a headlining slot.
The rollicking brashness that area quartet The Holy Alimonies deliver on their new EP is easy to like: Sophisticated slide-guitar melds with 90's-era guitar crunch and a charmingly ramshackle live sound to create a blissful, unhinged collection of Replacements-meet-Camper Van Beethoven nuggets. The tales vocalist/guitarist William Simons spins on Blessèd Shit and Happy New Year (their second release, after the equally fun Migstape) thrive on their salty language, but unlike acts just trying to raise an eyebrow or two, don't exist simply because of it. Simons, bassist Kevin Hyde, drummer Scott Lee and guitarist WC Mallard began The Holy Alimonies in the summer of 2012, all coming from different areas of the U.S. - Simons from Utah, Lee from Florida, Hyde from Grand Rapids and Mallard from Chicagoland. Recorded at Logan Square's Public House Recordings, engineered by Dave Vettraino (who has worked with OK Go) and mastered by Mike Bridavsky (owner of feline internet sensation Lil' Bub), Blessèd Shit benefits from each member's roots. "We are definitely an eclectic union of characters and I would hope that this is evident in our music," says Simons and for every bit of cheekiness he lays out, there's an undeniable humility accompanied with it. With another LP and EP worth of material on the way in 2014, Simons proudly states, "I consider these songs our most definitive collection to date. The new EP is a more unified vision with songs that we picked to compliment one another. We feel the EP offers something for mostly everyone, but we also wanted to showcase our more playful and, dare I say, heavier side." They've definitely done that here, but with more gumption, emotion and outright chops than might be expected in songs about "smoking lobsters and talkin' shit." They've reined in their focus since Migstape without sacrificing an ounce of personality.- Jim Hanke w/ Forest Bride PR
"For the past few months I have been documenting the weekend debauchery of Chicago's very own The Gnar Wave Rangers, so believe me when I say they're truly the most unique, weird, and kind of scary band on the scene right now. " - Greg Stephen Reigh
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Wed, Apr 8 - 8pm - $10
T Bird and the Breaks are a big, funky, band.Horns? Check.Female singers that swing-it-while-they-sing-it? Check.Fire-in-the-hole rhythm-section of drums, bass, guitar, and keys? Check.Gravel-voiced front-man who always leaves it on stage? Check.Hailing from Austin, TX, T Bird And The Breaks play a style of dance music that has it's most basic and obvious roots in the Funk and Soul music of the late 1960's and early 1970's. It'll get you dancing. It'll make you sweat. It'll make you smile.But...it can't be classified as strictly throw-back, retro, Funk/Soul. The original songs belie lyrical influences such as Beck. Or Bob Dylan. And the contemporary swagger of The Breaks' live show especially pays homage to the creativity and positivity of early and golden-age Hip-Hop. The band's “kitchen-sink-style” of music is evident on their cover of Shirley Ellis' 1965 R&B hit “The Clapping Song” in which they include verses from Tom Waits' “Clap Hands”.It's a melting-pot of funk but one that people of all ages, and across musical genres, can dig. In the last few years they've been invited to play shows with artists as eclectic as The Flaming Lips, The Funky Meters, Sting, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and Galactic.2014 will see T Bird and the Breaks releasing their third studio album, “What It Is (Harmonism)”, and bringing their electric, tear-a-hole-in-it, funk-bomb of a live show to a stage near you.
“Honey & the 45s combine the low-fi sonics of eighties punk, the gorgeous rolling cadences of seventies R&B, and the infectious hooks of sixties pop. As whip smart as the lyrics are, the music itself is even better.” – Robert Rodi, New City Music Honey & the 45s is a Chicago based blues/rock band featuring two female front-women. Known for its soulful sound and jazzy undertones, the band was originally formed as an acoustic group by lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Kristina Cottone, and singer, violinist and saxophonist Kim Kozel. Honey & the 45s’ unique sound has evolved into a soulful rock ‘n’ roll band by adding lead guitarist Jon Gould, bassist Sean Tatum, and drummer Jarad Kleinstein. “This five-piece is steered by the sweet-dripping vocals of Kristina Cottone and the on-the-one harmonies of violinist/saxophonist Kim Kozel. For a band that’s only been together for a few years, they sound like they’ve been mastering their craft and living their songs for a decade or two.” - Rob Ross, Pop Dose, Honey & the 45s’ debut album, The Need, was released in September of 2012. Five of the tracks off The Need were remixed by Grammy-Award nominated engineer Fred Breitberg and ‘spun’ on over 100 radio stations nationwide. “They have a way of making the genres of jazz, funk, and blues sound fresh and completely new, as if the band is introducing each style to their audience for the first time.” - Listen Here Reviews In 2014, the band took home the award for best Blues/Jazz band at the Chicago Independent Music Awards, and went on to open on the main stage for Cold War Kids at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in Chicago and Big Data in St. Louis. Honey & the 45s has been featured in print, on commercials, in press conferences and has performed at some of the most prestigious music festivals and venues in Chicago and the Midwest. Honey’s album, MAD, was released in December of 2014 and has received critical acclaim. Honey & the 45s made its live National television debut in December 2014 on WGN. “A stellar set of seven songs that seamlessly weaves genres like rock, soul, jazz and blues, ultimately telling the story of a passionate group that wants more than just success.” - Chicago at Night, by Jim Ryan “It is quite difficult to not be entranced in the unreal qualities of Honey & the 45s. If they continue to produce even a percentage of the sound they achieved with Mad there is nothing that can hold this band back. I can’t think of a better record to kick off the year.” - Greg Shaw, Nanobot Rock Reviews- See more at: http://www.honeyandthe45s.com/band_bio/#sthash.pSQ7gInV.dpuf
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Thu, Apr 9 - 8pm - $7
BomBBone is explosive experiment that's ready to hurt you and heal you at the same time! Mixing punk-rock and metal elements with the sounds and sensibilities of Balkan folk music , BomBBone is an adventure and a treat for all your hipsters needs and beyond!BomBBone’s live performance is bound to be a surprise for many in the audience. Recently called “Gypsy Punks, Balkan Pimps”, BomBBone delivers a powerful performance that reverberates with lament for lost domains, for times passed. This punk avant-garde production brings to the stage both of the lost worlds – the Balkan eulogy and punk protest in a unique live show filled with energy and masterful music craft. BomBBone combines music with a love of paradox and an idiosyncratic, sometimes outrageous, sense of humor, thus making it the most puzzling, provocative, humorous and profound show you are yet to see.
PET PEEVE is a Chicago band who formed gradually over a two-year period starting in 2007. Their music include a wide range of influences that vary from Americana, klezmer, gypsy, folk to indie pop and rock. Since their formation, the band has played numerous venues, parties, living rooms, kitchens, roof tops and porches throughout the Midwest and continues to captivate and move audiences to dance with their fiery and leg slapping melodies. PET PEEVE released its first album titled An Attic Abroad in March 2010. For more information on the group's vagabondism visit their wasted space at petpeevemusic.com.
Tim Madden, Joe Meade, and Danny Roeder started playing together in 2010 in support of Tim's 'Maddog Madden' solo project. After not performing from 2011-2013, they hit the Chicago scene again in February 2014 with some new tunes, a new band name, and dark humor that you wouldn't expect from cats that play songs like 'Tell Me That Baby's Name'.
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Fri, Apr 10 - 8pm - $10adv/$12door
The Future Laureates’ forthcoming EP, Here and After, is a showcase of vibrant and mature songcraft. With the help of producer Chris Grainger (Wilco, Switchfoot, Sixpence None the Richer, and Kopecky Family Band), TFL has finally captured the unabashed energy of their live shows on record. The band delves into varied subject matter, ranging from an apocalyptic escape, to modern love songs, to a eulogy of Don Quixote, told from the perspective of his loyal servant. They also flex some new musical muscles, pulling from their influences in modern rock, classic pop, rhythmic folk, and 60’s soul. After six years of local and regional shows – highlighted by performances at SXSW and Summerfest, along with airplay on hundreds of college radio stations across North America – The Future Laureates are a band on the rise. They’ve shared crowds with the likes of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Drive-By Truckers, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, hellogoodbye, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, and Dawes. With each of these performances, TFL has been exposed to artists who have achieved greater success and hold themselves to a higher standard than most. The result is a newfound confidence, earned through hard work, persistence, and ultimately, experience. Danny Surico, songwriter and co-frontman of the band, sums up the band’s outlook: “Now, more than ever before, we understand who we are and where we’re going.”
AyOH found their rhythm and took it in stride, developing their own unique blend of harmony and sound, churning out original songs and quickly coming into their own. Avi Dell, lead vocals, has a romantically charged style that naturally juxtapos...es polished lyrics with the raw energy of the percussion and instrumentals. Listeners can’t help but be captivated by the transitory lyrics – while moving their feet to the sound that leaves its own mark.
Jarryd Scott Steimer is regarded for his eclectic blend of pop styles and dynamic live performances. As a solo act, he has an uncanny ability to capture audiences with a sound that is powered by pure emotion. He has played at SXSW, Chicago Bluegrass & Blues, and Audiotree Live in addition to renowned venues all over Chi-Town.
Writing songs to several people in particular and many in general, acoustic-soul songwriter Kiernan McMullan places importance on both honesty and melody as the foundation for his career. Ten years of extensive travel, performing, and crafting songs will have guided him through five music releases by the time 2013 comes to a close. Not really being from anywhere, the Irish-Australian brings an outsider's perspective to his international fan base by writing songs about atypical subjects - covering life on the road, anti-love and complacency. Kiernan was influenced by everything from The Roots to Jimmy Eat World, Rage Against The Machine to Otis Redding, and created his own intersection between the genres. By the age of fifteen, the songwriter knew that this was where he fit. The last few years of touring have proven he made the right decision. To date, McMullan has performed at sold-out shows, festivals and tour dates in the US with well-established talent including the likes of Sheryl Crow, Ed Sheeran, Dave Mason and Mat Kearney. In Ireland he accumulated a list of shows with big names including The Coronas, Cathy Davy, and The Blizzards. His new EP shows Kiernan's softer side and is set to release April 1st. "I don't write love songs.. but from a different perspective, Company is a collection of songs expressing themes that aren't really present in popular music," says McMullan. The five-song EP features his intricately balanced songwriting and continues his story where he left off on his last full-length album Two Years. Although Kiernan writes about serious and controversial subjects, it's his humor and genuine interest in his audience that always seems to immediately win over the crowd. An old soul, his soft-spoken lyrics consistently captivate rooms, festivals and theaters worldwide. Brought up by an Australian mother and an Irish father, Kiernan was raised listening to artists such as Van Morrison and Lyle Lovett. But it was by studying artists like Ryan Adams, Lupe Fiasco and Marvin Gaye that he developed his eclectic style. Cutting his teeth in both Boston and Ireland, McMullan went on to sign his first record deal with a Warner subsidiary, 111 Records in 2008. With nothing but a hiking bag and his guitar, he hitched and bussed the length of the East Coast and parts of the Midwest, playing shows every other day. "My parents met on a plane, so being a gypsy was always in my genes.." he says. Constant traveling, performing and perfecting his sound have helped him develop an international grassroots following of dedicated fans. Uncommon outcomes and unique conversations with strangers have fueled Kiernan's insatiable thirst for touring. Included in his plans for 2013 are tour dates covering the majority of the US and putting out his third full-length album. While simultaneously acquiring song ideas and passport stamps, his willingness to physically bring music to his fans marks his path to success. "People romanticize being an entertainer based on the highlight reel they see. You could be playing for 5000 people one night.. and twenty the next. I go wherever people will listen - and that's where you find the stories."
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Sat, Apr 11 - 8:30pm - $13adv/$15door
“One of the best live soul bands I have ever seen!” – Al Bell (Record producer, songwriter, executive, and co-owner of legendary Stax Records)Raised amid the rich musical culture and history of the San Francisco Bay Area, Monophonics proudly carry the torch through the generations into today’s musical landscape. Holding on to tradition, but by no means purists of any kind, they play their own brand of music known as “Psychedelic Soul.”The 2012 release of Monophonics last album In Your Brain saw the band pulling influences from such acts as early Funkadelic, Sly and The Family Stone and the The Temptation's Norman Whitfield produced records. With the new album, Sound of Sinning (April 1, 2015 on Transistor Sound Records), the band has grown in all areas of record making and felt a need to explore other important influences. While the group has come to cherish these inspirations, with Sound of Sinning they started venturing beyond, to the groups that were inspiring those soul acts to embrace the psychedelic sound of the 60's and 70's. Bands such as The Zombies, The Beatles, Beach Boys and Pink Floyd. Even with the experimentation of new musical territory, they display the sound that people know and love about Monophonics. Touching on Northern soul, doo-wop, rock and roll, Psych pop, and cinematic music, Monophonics show off their diversity while remaining true to their roots. Overall it's heartfelt music and old school vibes, without losing sight of the present. This is music steeped in that timeless feeling when people could write and produce songs that you could listen to over and over again. Sound of Sinning was produced by Kelly Finnigan & Ian McDonald and recorded on an old Tascam eight-track 1/4” tape machine at Transistor Sound Studios in San Rafael, CA.Monophonics is Austin Bohlman (Drums), Myles O’Mahony (Bass/Background Vocals), Ian McDonald (Guitar/Background Vocals), Ryan Scott (Trumpet/Back- ground Vocals/Percussion) & Kelly Finnigan (Keys/Lead Vocals) along with a rotating 2nd horn usually filled by Nadav Nirenberg (Trombone) from Ikebe Shakedown and Breakdown Brass.
Chicago's Swamp Heat proudly carries on the tradition and sound of New Orleans dance music into the 21st century. Known for their irresistible grooves and heartfelt ballads, the band sheds light on forgotten gems and continues to push the music forward with their own unique voice. After a chance encounter, Chicago native Brandi Sanders has been thrust from the church into the limelight and continues to electrify audiences near and far.
Miles Tackett is best known around the world as the creative mind behind Breakestra, a funk, soul-jazz band whose first record the Live Mix Part 2 (Stones Throw Records) & live shows harken back to the pre-sampling era of Bronx DJ performances in the 1970’s. Breakestra has toured the globe on its reputation of restoring authentic funk breaks from the sampled backgrounds of hip hop tracks to the foreground of the live experience, while still paying tribute to those same hip hop pioneers whose musical precision has always been an influence. Breakestra quickly evolved to writing and performing original funky soul-jazz compositions, releasing two LPs: 2005’s Hit the Floor on Ubiquity, and Dusk Till Dawn released in 2009 on Strut Records.“Music Man Miles,” as he is known in the underground DJ scene, also helms the longest-running funky soul party in Los Angeles, FUNKY SOLE, spinning a globe spanning, all-vinyl set every Saturday night. Influenced through his immersion in the underground hip hop scene at L.A. club The Root Down, collaborations with Mixmaster Wolf of Breakestra and renowned DJs like DJ Dusk, Cut Chemist and DJ Egon, Miles was inspired to build a collection of some of the finest deep funk, afro-latin, soul-jazz vinyl around & start djing as well.
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Wed, Apr 15 - 8pm - $10
CHIRP Radio’s Live Lit and Music series, The First Time, pairs a reader’s personal story about a First Time event with a song performance by house band, The First Time Three.This unique structure allows the story to resonate with audience members as they experience the accompanying song. The band takes special care to perform unexpected song arrangements, so it is hard to tell what the audience enjoys more each story or each song.Hosted by CHIRP DJ Jenn Sodini, past readers featured in this quarterly series include Shannon Cason, Joe Meno, Ian Belknap, Brian Babylon, Kelly Hogan, Erin Diamond and Ji Suk Yi.April's theme is First Time: First Lie. Featured readers include:
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Thu, Apr 16 - 9pm - $10
Sometimes things fall apart so better things can come together. This is the mindset of Chicago’s hottest female-fronted pop rock band “Phosphene”.Keeping their spirits resilient in the face of overwhelming odds, Phosphene is known for being the hardest working band in Chicago.Working as a highly driven quartet, the band finished their first full length album, Any Last Words, which they released January 5th, 2014 headlining the House of Blues in Chicago. Prior to that show, Phosphene marked their debut as a band while headlining the official Lollapalooza after party at the Hard Rock Café in Chicago.Phosphene is leading the Illinois rock market with over 120,000 fans worldwide. Phosphene’s singles have been played on different radio stations that air both nationally and internationally. They have been featured on TV with FOX NEWS, ABC 7 NEWS and The Mancow Show. Phosphene’s singer Jeni sang the National Anthem on ESPN "Friday Night Fights" hosted by Mike Tyson.Phosphene toured the US in 2014 creating national buzz and building their fan base. They were chosen to play the SNOCORE TOUR with The Pretty Reckless, as well as Revolver Magazines Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock Tour with Lacuna coil and Sick Puppies. They showcased their talents at SXSW and earned a spot on the Vans Warped Tour 2014 Ernie Ball Stage.The band spent the last several months in-studio with producer Erik Nelson working on their highly anticipated sophomore album, PHOSPHENE, due out Spring 2015.Jeni the lead singer of Phosphene states “We put our blood, sweat, and tears into this project and spent many sleepless nights perfecting and analyzing our music so it would not only reach the hearts but shake the souls of all our listeners.”
When asked what genre of music Audiobakery falls under, one might have difficulty explaining. With often soft, transient verses and bridges, accompanied by spacious break downs and rock laden choruses, the band does their best to take every musical influence between the members, toss them in the blender and turn it on high speed. The band went through a small line up change circa 2011, adding Brett Schomer on drums and subtracting a keys player, at which point the boys began developing past their bands’ infancy. Bound Together, their first full length album, featured shortened track times and an incredible variety of sounds, leaving the listener unsure of what route the band would continue upon. Audiobakery is currently recording their second record, which features longer track times, a more focused variety of psychedelic and heavy rock sounds, and more sound musicianship across the board, from guitar work to vocal performance. The new record features significantly more profound hooks and choruses, making their rock compositions more poppy and palatable.The foothold of Audiobakery culture, however, is found in their live performances which boast powerful, emotional energy akin to At the Drive In, the Mars Volta, and other punk or metal influenced groups who enjoy throwing themselves and their instruments around stage. The band’s ability to bring listeners from rock guided highs to drastic, intoxicating lows is a staple of their sound. Audiobakery strives, as any other artist or group, to rise above the oppressive label of genre
Halfmoon Mad is a perfect blend of Rock, Pop, and Alternative mixed in an incredibly emotional yet catchy way. These songs will get stuck in your head, and you'll want them there!
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Fri, Apr 17 - 9pm - $17adv/$20door
CIMMfest is the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, taking place April 16-19. Join us for four jam-packed days & nights of film premieres, live concerts and incredible parties with artists from around the world. CIMMFest presents over 100 events (music documentaries, concert films, live Scores, music showcases, and more) running along Milwaukee Ave, and is centered in the city's WIcker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods, as well as in venues throughout Chicago. ////Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have risen like a phoenix out of the ashes of war and enflamed the passions of fans across the globe with their uplifting songs of hope, faith and joy. The band is a potent example of the redeeming power of music and the ability of the human spirit to persevere through unimaginable hardship and emerge with optimism intact. From their humble beginnings in West African refugee camps Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and matured into one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands. Throughout the 1990s, the West African country of Sierra Leone was wracked with a bloody, horrifying war that forced millions to flee their homes. The musicians that would eventually form Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are all originally from Freetown, and they were forced to leave the capital city at various times after violent rebel attacks. Most of those that left the country made their way into neighboring Guinea, some ending up in refugee camps and others struggling to fend for themselves in the capital city of Conakry. Ruben Koroma and his wife Grace had left Sierra Leone in 1997 and found themselves in the Kalia refugee camp near the border with Sierra Leone. When it became clear they would not be heading back to their homeland anytime soon, they joined up with guitarist Francis John Langba (aka Franco), and bassist Idrissa Bangura (aka Mallam), other musicians in the camp whom they had known before the war, to entertain their fellow refugees. After a Canadian relief agency donated two beat up electric guitars, a single microphone and a meager sound system, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars were born. American filmmakers Zach Niles and Banker White encountered the band in the Sembakounya Camp, and were so inspired by their story they ended up following them for three years as they moved from camp to camp, bringing much needed joy to fellow refugees with their heartfelt performances. Eventually, the war in Sierra Leone came to an end, and over time the All Stars returned to Freetown, where they met other returning musicians who joined the band’s rotating membership. It was there in the tin-roofed shacks of Freetown’s ghettos that Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars recorded the tracks that ended up, along with unplugged recordings made in the refugee camps, being the basis for their debut album, Living Like a Refugee, which was released on the label Anti in 2006. The resulting film that documented this moving saga, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, was a critical success, and introduced the world to the personalities and dramatic stories behind the band, not to mention their instantly appealing music. “As harrowing as these personal tales may be,” wrote The New York Times, “the music buoying them is uplifting.” Newsweek raved, “It’s as easy to fall in love with these guys as it was with the Buena Vista Social Club.” The movie, album and eventual U.S. tours helped expand their following, and soon the band found itself playing in front of enraptured audiences of tens of thousands at New York’s Central Park SummerStage, Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival and the revered Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. They appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, contributed a song to the Blood Diamond film soundtrack, participated in the U2 tribute album In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2, and earned praise and backing from Sir Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Ice Cube, Angelina Jolie and others inspired by their life-affirming story and captivating music. In one of the most surreal moments of their climb to fame, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars opened for Aerosmith at the 12,000-capacity Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The senseless deaths and illnesses of friends and family, including some of the band’s original members, and the slimming hope for great change in their country as a result of peace, has only strengthened the resolve of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars to do what they can to turn their country around. Their weapon in this struggle is music, and their message, while offering critique and condemnation of wrongdoing, remains positive and hopeful. Optimism in the face of obstacles, and the eternal hope for a better future motivates their lives and music. “It’s been a long struggle out of the war, out of miserable conditions,” notes Koroma, “We try to bring out sensitive issues that are affecting the world. It is all of our responsibility that the masses are suffering. We bring our positive messages into the world so we can expect a positive change in the world. And, most importantly, bring about peace.” For their second album, the members of the All Stars knew that they needed to prove to the world that they had the talent to produce an album that would rise above their unique story and stand on its own musical merits. After recording some songs and demos in Sierra Leone, the group went to New Orleans, Louisiana to work on the album with veteran producer Steve Berlin, a member of Los Lobos who has produced for Angélique Kidjo, Michelle Shocked, Jackie Green, Alex Ounsworth, Ozomatli, Rickie Lee Jones and many others. Rise & Shine brought the band new accolades and earned 2010 Album of the Year on the prestigious World Music Charts Europe. The group continued to tour to rapturous crowds, opening for the massive rock/reggae band Dispatch in front of a sold-out audience at Colorado’s legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater in June 2011. The All Stars enjoyed an enviable residency on the Jam Cruise, a floating music festival on a Caribbean Cruise ship that also featured Bob Wier, Robert Randolph, Galactic and Maceo Parker. In addition, the band collaborated with a number of artists in 2011, recording the song “Iñez” with singer-songwriter Chris Velan, joining children’s music superstar Dan Zanes on the song “Little Nut Tree” and appearing on the Playing for Change version of “Gimme Shelter.” In January 2011, the All Stars returned to the studio, this time in snow-covered Brooklyn, NY. Their producer for their third studio album was producer and keyboardist Victor Axelrod, aka Ticklah, who has worked with Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Antibalas, The Easy Star All Stars and many others. A master of dub, roots reggae, classic soul, Afrobeat and more, Axelrod added a whole new dimension to the All Stars sound and helped them reveal how years of touring have honed their skills. The All Stars took advantage of the vintage analog gear at Daptone affiliate Dunham Studios to record an album inspired by the retro sounds they heard blasting out of radios in their younger years. Old school reggae, funky African grooves and deep tribal chants form the musical underpinning of Radio Salone, which was released on April 24,2012. The album was selected as the World Music Album of the Year by CBC Radio in Canada and earned rave reviews across the globe. The album's release was followed by extensive touring, earning the band an even larger following. In the summer of 2013, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars began preparing their fourth studio album. The production began with a month long residency at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. The band reunited with producer Chris Velan and daily rehearsal session took place at which the compositions and arrangements were refined. Members of the community often dropped by to help band members get to town to buy a phone card to call home or to cook them their beloved chicken and rice. After the rehearsals, recording began at Lane Gibson Recording and Mastering, the recording studio located at Cumbancha's headquarters in an 1800s-era farmhouse. In this picturesque and relaxed setting, Velan and the All Stars, working alongside engineer Lane Gibson, spent four weeks tracking the songs that would end up on the album. News quickly spread in the community that a world-famous band from Africa was recording nearby, and volunteers emerged to help with transportation, lodging, meals and musical instruments. The comfortable setting was a far cry from the conditions of their first album, which was literally recorded around a campfire in a refugee camp in Guinea and in a hot, ramshackle, studio in Freetown, where electric shocks and power outages were common. The album was mixed by renowned British producer Iestyn Polson, known for his work with David Gray, Patti Smith, David Bowie and others On Libation, the band took a more acoustic approach than on their last two albums, experimenting with a variety of vintage guitars and hand percussion to create unexpected sonic qualities. The unplugged style is a return in a way to the days in the refugee camps when the band had to make do with whatever instruments they could round up or make by hand, and do without amplification and electronics. The band also made a concerted effort to mine the riches of Sierra Leonean folklore, basing their songs on the highlife, maringa and palm wine styles that the band members listened to in their youth but are not heard as often today, as well as baskeda and gumbe, the Sierra Leonean relatives of reggae and soukous respectively. The release of Libation was followed by a worldwide tour including a performance at the Amnesty International Human Rights Conference in Chicago, a concert at the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York and a special private appearance at the United Nations. After a 10-year adventure that has taken them from the squalor of refugee camps to the world’s biggest stages, Africa’s most inspirational band continues to ascend. Over the years they have evolved to become one of Africa's most recognized bands with fans across the globe. Their albums and live shows embodies and radiates the joy, passion for music and love for their fellow man that have made Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars a living testament to the resilience of the human spirit and an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.
"Bess dazzles as a one-man band, writing, playing and singing everything into an ambitious, genre-tripping groove-athon... a shape-shifting hybrid of dub, hip-hop, ska, reggae, funk and classic early ’70s soul." -- Jim Musser. After spending 3 years in LA and the Southwest, D. Bess is bringing his one-man sound back to the Midwest. His first solo album Man vs. Bear features reggae legend Toots Hibbert on the track "Oh Carolina", for which they recorded a music video in Kingston, Jamaica.
Currently residing in the year 2014, Byzantine Time Machine has found a way to combine the latest advances in audio technology with musical styles that go back to “Byzantine” times. The sounds of their voices and instruments are converted into ones and zeros, filtered through time-shifting algorithms and sent back to the analog world for your listening pleasure and dancing enjoyment!
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Sat, Apr 18 - 7pm - $10
CIMMfest is the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, taking place April 16-19. Join us for four jam-packed days & nights of film premieres, live concerts and incredible parties with artists from around the world. CIMMFest presents over 100 events (music documentaries, concert films, live Scores, music showcases, and more) running along Milwaukee Ave, and is centered in the city's WIcker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods, as well as in venues throughout Chicago. ////Matthew Santos has established himself as one of the most exceptional talents to emerge from the Chicago music scene in decades. With a voice consistently compared to that of the late Jeff Buckley and likened to a male version of Adele, he has been the subject of praise from such artists as Kimbra, Eddie Vedder, and John Legend. His highly acclaimed collaborations with Lupe Fiasco for which he received two Grammy nominations, have served to broaden international awareness of Santos whose own style is a unique, homegrown hybrid touching on alternative/indie-rock/soul and folk genres. The Chicago Sun-Times recognized Santos as an artist who is “organic and soulful and moody, full of interesting musical ideas and dripping with serious vocal talent.”Santos says the musical diversity that marks his work is “the conflict of being a human being vs. being a brand. Obviously a human has multifaceted tastes. I’m trying to be as colorful on my palette as I can.” The painterly metaphor is one both well earned and underscored by personal experience.Born and raised in Minneapolis, a six-year-old Matthew Santos started flirting with music by picking out melodic themes from movies and TV on his mother’s old piano. While growing up, Santos always saw himself becoming more of a visual artist and exhibited a potent talent for photo-realistic drawings, and a clear knack for painting. Ironically, it was at the age of 17, while attending Oxbow, an art school, that he rediscovered the raw immediacy of musical expression. His own true passion for singing and writing songs began to flourish. Spending more time with the guitar than the paintbrush, it became evident to Santos that his future in the fine arts was in question.
“Gordon Robertson is that guy who could sing the menu at the corner deli and still move me.” -Independent ClausesHailing from Chicago, six-piece indie rock band The Damn Choir aims to make music that distills complex emotions into simple, subtle compositions. Singer Gordon Robertson’s voice, persuasive and unguarded, broadcasts a passionate desperation. Vulnerable and stingingly honest, his lyrics confront the darker aspects of life and love while still holding on to the hope of something better.This spring they released their third album, Creatures of Habit, produced by Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Swans, Akron/Family, The Apples In Stereo). The tracks were recorded live, including vocals. While more nerve wracking, this process created a sense of intimacy that is apparent. Whereas in the past, the emphasis has been on the relationship between Robertson’s vocals and cello, this album has a more unified indie rock sound—driving percussion, guitar hooks, and back-up vocals. It is a loud album, mastered by Fred Kevorkian (aka Dr. Death) who’s past credits include the National, the Walkmen, and Willie Nelson.The Damn Choir have shared the stage with acts such as Grouplove, Churchill, Hey Marseilles and The Lumineers. They have toured extensively and played national fests including SXSW, Midpoint Music Festival, and NXNE. Fans of Frightened Rabbit, The National and The Walkmen take note: The Damn Choir would like for you to sing along.
Fletcher began in early 2012 as a basement project between English brothers Oscar and Harvey Baker and their Chicagoan friend Tom Fry. Since then, the group has been steadily creating an incredible buzz as one of rock musicʼs new, relevant acts. The band has developed a strand of new-age British Rock with quirky melodies and brain tingling music. Insisting on sticking to a three-piece group, Fletcher has created a vigorous and chemistry-driven connection between each member. Fans who follow Fletcher have a hard time comparing them to other acts, as their sound is so different. Theyʼve heard names such as The Flaming Lips, Arctic Monkeys, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Kooks, Kings of Leon, The Strokes – but nobody can quite figure their influence. They like it that way. Having played amazing shows at top venues such as Lincoln Hall, Double Door, Beat Kitchen and most recently selected for a slot on JBTV, Fletcher has gained a reputation around the mid-west and beyond, for demonstrating that great music can form in the blink of an eye. Fletcherʼs second EP, Open Arms, was mixed and mastered by Mike Tholen at RaxTrax Studios and released on April 9th.
Scotch Hollow is an acoustic roots band that plays original music and covers in the style of country blues. It began when Mark met Carley while studying at Berklee College of Music. Mark's experience growing up in central Pennsylvania's appalachian mountains, paired with Carley's roots in the historic blues/jazz scene of Kansas City led to an interesting collaboration grounded in old-school delta blues and traditional finger pickin' country. After a short tour, they made their home-base in Nashville when Mark came down with a devastating case of severe tendonitis. After years of treatment, they relocated to Chicago to start the new chapter of Scotch Hollow which is now becoming a staple in the roots scene throughout the midwest and northeast.
Fearless, sultry and powerful - just a few words to describe Elle Casazza. Based in Chicago, Elle writes and performs music that is the love child of pop, rock, blues, soul, and jazz. Her commanding vocals send chills to those who listen. Elle performs along with the Elle Casazza Band to create an energetic live show that'll keep you dancing all night long.Listening to Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, KT Tunstall, Joni Mitchell and Ella Fitzgerald have influenced Elle’s eclectic writing style. Elle has played at numerous Chicago Venues such as, Daley Plaza, the Auditorium Theatre, Concord Music Hall, Mayne Stage, Schubas and SPACE to name a few.Elle’s debut EP For Your Pleasure was released in May of 2013. Elle plans on releasing new music and going on tour in 2015.
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Sun, Apr 19 - 9pm - $10adv/$12door
Fatbook is heavy dose of Chicago groove with a worldwide perspective. Soul and Jazz sensibilities, Reggae intentions, Hip-Hop beats, and influence of West-African and Brazilian music. The 7 members varied experiences influence who they are as people and the music they create. Fatbook shows are an energized excursion through soundscapes that weave through genres - a sound that you can’t quite place and you can’t stop moving to. The group makes music that is fresh, colorful, and rooted in groove.Fatbook was originally formed at Lawrence University and won back-to-back “Downbeat Awards” from the jazz world’s Downbeat Magazine in 2009 and 2010. The group has been rooted in Chicago since then, and unique high-energy live performances have propelled them to quickly become a recognized force in the Chicago music community.Fatbook’s members are also educators dedicated to bringing youth up within the world of music, dance, and art. The group’s vocalist Harjinder says, “Expression is essential for the human soul, and teaching is essential for the human community. We love sharing what we love.” An insistence for action and positive change resonates through the group’s motives and what they do.In Summer 2013 Fatbook was showcased at the Chicago Folk and Roots Festival, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Chicago World Music Festival, and in 2014 they were a headlining artist at the Old Town School of Folk Music’s renowned Square Roots Festival. They have shared the stage with international artists such as Nneka, Red Baraat, Young Blood Brass Band, M.A.K.U. Sound System, Native Sun, Maoli, and Katchafire.Fatbook has just released their self-titled debut with 5 time Grammy nominated engineer and producer duo Manny Sanchez and Greg Magers (Lupe Fiasco, Umphrey’s McGee, Patrick Stump, and others), recorded at Chicago’s I.V Labs Studios and The Attic. Their recent Summer 2014 tour dates went from Chicago to Seattle, to LA and back, and East-Coast is expected in Fall 2014.
Hard Roots Rock Reggae & Dub--this is the unique blend of music that is Natty Nation. Since 1995 Natty Nation has been keeping the positive messages of their unique indigenous Wisconsin reggae beats throbbing through the heartland. Their messages of peace, love, community, & spreading positive vibrations have been ringing out since Natty's inception. Natty has backed up reggae legends Lee "Scratch" Perry, and Chaka Demus & Pliers, and shared the stage with Ziggy, Damian, & Stephen Marley, Sister Carol, Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Wailing Souls, Culture with Joseph Hill, Beenie Man, & countless others. JAH Boogie and his backing band's tight but fluid, rootsy but funky, beautiful but gritty, righteous but real vibration is clear to anyone listening to their music, either at a show or on their stereo. It's almost impossible not to dance at a Natty live performance. Every Natty Nation concert is a different experience. Their energy is infectious & their dubtastic jams are complex, yet their message is simple--spread the positive vibration. Natty has received several awards during their career of 18+ year, including: •20 Madison Area Music Awards (MAMAs), including Performer of the Year (2009), Best World Artist (5 years in a row), World Album (4 years), World Song (4 years), Hip-hop Song, Male Vocalist, Keyboardist, Guitarist, Bassist, Ensemble Vocals, & more •Broadjam's international song of the month "Cool & Proper" •Selection for the highly sought after Armed Forces Entertainment tour of the Middle East, Africa, Japan, & the Marshall Islands playing for the troops •Wisconsin Area Music Award (WAMI) for Reggae Artist of the Year, and several nominations for same •Best World Artist or Group for five years of the Isthmus' Newspaper's readers poll, and many more.
Upon first hearing the Bob Marley song “One Love” in Ireland as a 12 years old boy Kevin Kinsella received his calling to play Reggae music. Founding his first band The Tribulations when he was fifteen, he soon found himself opening up for Toots and the Maytals who gave him strong encouragement to continue in his vocation. The Tribulations recorded their first full album “The Gate” in 1992 and went on to win the Yamaha Soundcheck competition which took them to Japan and Jamaica.In 1995 Kevin founded and named his second group - John Brown's Body and led them in being signed to Shanachie Records with whom they recorded several albums which are recognized by both critics and fans as classics of American Reggae.In 1996 he started his own imprint label I Town Records on which John Brown's Body's first album “ALL TIME” was released. It was during his tenure as lead singer and primary writer of John Brown's Body that he started and gave name to the group 10 FT Ganja Plant, whose first release “PRESENTS” was also on the I Town label. Since then, that group has gone on to record 10 albums for ROIR Records and continues to write and record.Amidst writing, recording and touring with both John Brown's Body and 10 FT Ganja Plant, Kevin has released 4 solo records under his own name; the latest one being “RIDING HIGHER STILL” on his own I Town Records imprint, with worldwide distribution through VP pal. Kevin Kinsella is recognized as a true disciple of roots reggae music and both a pioneer and veteran of the Reggae movement in the United States. With a distinctive and powerful voice, a unique and recognizable writing style and spirit filled presence and performance energy – Kevin Kinsella continues to be an important contributor to Reggae music.
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Mon, Apr 20 - 8pm - $8
Louder Than a Mom because everyone has a depressing, shocking, miserable, vulgar, hilarious family story! Storytelling is one of the oldest human traditions. Come and share yours. If you’re not ready to talk about your family tragedy, your judgmental mother-in-law, your drunk Uncle Pete who ruins every holiday, or why you hate your four-year-old, come and listen. We all love a good bedtime story!!
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Wed, Apr 22 - 8pm - $7
Formerly a revolving- door group of musicians, we would book a gig and then fly by the seat of our pants. Since 2010 we have performed with anywhere from five to twenty members; written and recorded original compositions with as many as thirty musicians; and collectively, since forming in 2007, have worked with a total of about 80 people.
Star Period Star's Can't See the Forest is their 3rd studio album featuring songs about camping trips gone bad, people that taste colors and smell pictures, and landfills creeping into the sea. It's a kaleidoscopic musical journey and a feast for the headphones. At times heavy and complex, and at others unabashedly poppy, Can’t See the Forest is filled with lots of the weird chord progressions, odd meter riffs, and polyrhythms that Star Period Star love to indulge in.http://starperiodstar.bandcamp.com/
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Thu, Apr 23 - 9pm - $7
"Shadow of the Titan" is a nomadic, epic alternative, rock band hailing from North America. Beginning as a solo project from multi-instrumentalist, Stephen Mortensen, "Shadow" is intent on bringing energy and nuance to the forefront of its sound. As intense as it can be light, noting significant influences from Phoenix, Foo Fighters, & Nada Surf, "Shadow" is a tour of all the corners that rock and roll can possibly extend. Featuring heavy drums, chugging bass, soaring guitars, and harmonic vocals, "Shadow" exists for fans who want their music intricately layered, smartly designed, and reliably tantalizing.
A love of loud guitars, square wave synth leads, and impressive video game collections brought two nerds together in the city of Chicago to play "sci-fi": a retro synthesis of chiptune, synth rock, and dance punk with a nostalgic sense of pop -- the kind of music someone in an 80s movie might have imagined people would listen to in the future. Wearing labcoats, the high-energy duo sings songs about robots, dragons in spacesuits, and endangered species. The Runaway Five were born in the desert, but live in the future of twenty years ago.
Colin Morris is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter from Akron, Ohio. He's been composing melodic, alternative rock since childhood piano lessons gave way to experimenting with guitars and drums. Being the only kid in the house required playing and recording all the instruments himself, and Colin has stuck to that method on his 2015 debut EP, Could Be Anything. He has performed on guitar, bass, and behind the kit with touring bands throughout the Midwest and has the good fortune of performing with a rotating cast of talented friends. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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Fri, Apr 24 - 9pm - $10adv/$12door
Ten years in the making, Chicago’s Henhouse Prowlers have built a reputation for hard work and non-stop touring, playing music inspired by the roots of bluegrass while branching out into a sound uniquely their own. From lightning fast picking, to sentimental ballads—playing storied original material, traditional songs, and contemporary covers—The Prowlers’ live show leaves no one wanting.Their most recent album “Breaking Ground” grew out of collaboration and time well spent, having completed it within months of multiple cross-country US tours and the band’s third trip to Europe. Produced by Greg Cahill (Grammy nominated band-leader of Special Consensus), with special guests Josh Williams (of Rhonda Vincent and the Rage) and Anders Beck (of Greensky Bluegrass), this recording packs punch after punch.The band recently performed with the US State Department on two separate trips in five different countries in Central and West Africa, as well as heading back to Europe in the spring of 2014 for their largest tour abroad to date. The Prowlers continue to push the envelope with their highly original songwriting, tight arrangements, and electrifying stage presence. With the bluegrass mantle on their shoulders and the best fans in the world by their side, The Henhouse Prowlers are here to stay for a long, long time.
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Sat, Apr 25 - 9:30pm - $15
Now they’ve got three full length CD’s under their belt. ‘Sucker Punched’, (Dec.2006), ‘Three Step Windup’ (April,2008) and ‘Hang Your Stockings….. Say Your Prayers’ the band’s Christmas CD (Nov, 2008). Each one totally DIY, produced and engineered by Firebaugh and Dickson and recorded in Andrew Dickson’s garage, lovingly known as ‘Studio D’. Each CD blends elements of honkytonk, rockabilly, psychobilly, and straight up rock and roll. Every member of the Hillbilly Casino brings their own special flavor to the band, from Nic’s background in hip hop and rockabilly, to Geoff’s love of old school punk rock and ska, and you’ll find elements of all of this in every Hillbilly Casino record and show. 2008 also saw the release of ‘Buy-in’ a full length Documentary by Doug In a town known more for generating pop country ‘hat acts’ and contemporary Christian music, there is a storm brewing. Small independent bands with no management, booking, record labels (or even local media support) are changing the way people think about Nashville Tennessee.Farrar at Rockstep Creative. Doug followed the band around for over a year, attending dozens of shows, and collecting performance, and interview footage, which he compiled into a revealing look at a band just trying to make a living and have fun.While you’ll see a lot of bands sitting around waiting to get ‘signed’, the Hillbilly Casino took a cue from bands like Black Flag, Fugazi, and Youth Brigade, booking their own tours, and producing and releasing their own CD’s and T-shirts, and spending hundreds of hours in their old grey Econoline van getting the rock ‘n’ roll out to the people. From thirty minute opening slots, to 3 and 4 hour marathon sets, these boys are gonna bring their ‘A’ game, and you’ll probably get tired before they do.
L'Assassins are post-apocalyptic vixen rock. Come watch them snarl their way through the roots of garage rock & female angst! Hop in the back seat, they'll drive.
Formed as a supergroup from Nashville's finest rock and roll bands, The Tip plays faster, harder, louder and tighter than anyone that has crossed their path. The band doesn't even need to play a note before people start turning heads to see what these four cast of characters have to offer. Late nights, hot licks and boundless energy are exactly The Tip are made of. Rock and Roll dreams never get this good.
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Mon, Apr 27 - 8pm - $7
Dance Tribute is a biannual series, in which a collections of songs from a single musician/band/artist are selected and paid tribute to through choreography and performance. Over forty Chicago dancers/actors/movers are involved with every Tribute. At this early stage, I am the primary choreographer for all pieces, but as Dance Tribute continues to develop, I hope to bring in new choreographers for every tribute. Ah, what the future does hold! It takes place at Martyrs'. It is a night of dance, happy chums, drinks, snacks, laughs, art, and only a few uncomfortable moments, and is always followed by "the best dance party of your lives". Past performances:Dance Tribute to David Bowie (abridged) - At the MCA, as part of the David Bowie Is... Exhibit, Dance Tribute to Bjork,Dance Tribute to David Lynch, andDance Tribute to Mr. Bungle. Up next... Dance Tribute to Aphex Twin!
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Tue, Apr 28 - 8pm - $8
LAST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH - TIX AVAILABLE AT DOOR, NIGHT OF ONLY - The Moth StorySLAMs are open to anyone with a five-minute story to tell on the night's theme. Half an hour before the show, we put the names of all the folks who want to tell a story in a hat. At the start of the show, we start picking names. The 10 featured stories are scored by teams of judges selected from the audience. Each Storyslam generates a Storyslam winner. After ten slams, the winners face off in our Grandslam Championships. Come sign up to tell a story, or just to enjoy the show!
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Thu, Apr 30 - 9pm - $7
Align Orion is an American rock band formed in 2013 and based in Chicago, Illinois.The band is comprised of songwriter and singer Bobby James Flavin, lead guitarist Joe Herner, and keyboardist Dillion John Ficca.Align Orion is both proud and humbled to be able to feature an association between their music and critically acclaimed Montreal based Peruvian visionary artist Chris Dyer
Flocks and the Lookout is a husband and wife duo from Chicago, IL. Music has been a major part of their relationship and they've been playing together pretty much since the first time they met.
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Fri, May 1 - 9pm - $8
Dahlia Revolt is the cosmic collaboration of classically trained pianist and producer Mallory Miller and artist/songwriter and guitarist Adam Reese. In October 2013, through a combination of poetic lyrics and memorable melodies with an electronic edge, Dahlia Revolt was created.
JEDRIVER is an alternative indie rock/pop group from Chicago. Great drumming and bass playing allow deep melodic synthesizer textures and intricate guitar playing to shine. We are an original material band with an eclectic style of music with songs that can range from rock, pop and even a little reggae. Visit us at : www.jetdriverband.com
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Sat, May 2 - 9:30pm - $20
Terrapin Flyer began in 1999 as the house band for the Sunday Grateful Dead Jam at the Boulevard Cafe in Chicago. Through the many associations developed there and many that have continued since, the band has grown into one of the premier Grateful Dead inspired touring acts in the nation. Terrapin Flyer has been performing with a revolving cast of some of the finest musicians in the Grateful Dead family and continuing the tradition of bringing the familiar music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band to bold new improvisational places. The band draws from the a variety of skilled musicians including Grateful Dead keyboardists Tom Constanten, Bob Bralove and Vince Welnick (RIP). They also tour with Jerry Garcia Band organist Melvin Seals and Ratdog guitarist Mark Karan. Additionally, they have done one off shows with guest musicians such as grammy award winning blues harpist Sugar Blue, guitar prodigy Fareed Haque, Furthur guitarist John Kadlecik and musician, songwriter and music journalist David Gans. With these icons of Grateful Dead music, Terrapin Flyer has performed at prominent venues and headlined large festivals across the United States keeping the spirit of the Grateful Dead alive.
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Sun, May 3 - 3pm - $12 - ALL AGES
Like a scene from "Groundhog Day," the event repeats itself over and over. Bass and drums pound out the beat in perfect unison. Bodies spring to their feet and rush the stage; jumping, dancing and bouncing off each other like bumper cars. The concertgoers behave like children. This should come as no surprise, because they are children, participating in the kiddie mosh pit found at nearly every Justin Roberts concert. GRAMMY Nominated, Justin Roberts is truly one of the "all-stars" of the indie family music scene. He logs thousands of miles on the road each year, leading some to call him the hardest working man in children's show business. With numerous national awards and recognition and a devoted fan base, Justin and The Not Ready for Naptime Players dish out unexpectedly intelligent and whimsically rocking music for kids and their parents. Justin's latest CD Recess rocks with gigantic electric guitars, intricate vocal harmonies, and impossibly catchy melodies that will burrow deep into your brain. In his most unrestrained release yet, Justin explores the world from multiple perspectives - kids who love to play, the proud but exhaused parents of twins, and a loyal pet dog, just to name a few. Whether kids are jumping through the chalked boxes of "Hopscotch" or running around the playground to the triumphant electric rock of "Recess," these 12 original songs will add energy to any day. The limited-edition CD Package includes a pop-up robot, and secret web links to craft activities and bonus media. This ninth family music CD from Justin Roberts continues a hot streak that started in the early 1990s. Roberts began his music career in the Minneapolis-based indie-rock band Pimentos for Gus. He decided to moonlight (during the day) as a Montessori preschool teacher. It wasn't long before Justin began writing and singing songs for a new generation of fans: his students. The kids immediately responded and inspired Justin to record some of his new songs and send them out to a few friends for Christmas. One of the gift recipients was Liam Davis, a college pal and music producer, who suggested that they record the songs professionally. In 1997, Justin released his first CD, Great Big Sun, and the critics took note. Justin's music was soon being compared to everyone from Elvis Costello and Fountains of Wayne to Paul Simon, ELO and Nick Lowe. By 2001, Justin had hit the road full time, doing what he loves most: playing music for appreciative crowds. Kiddie mosh pits broke out, word spread and shows started selling out. He has played at such renowned venues and festivals as NYC's Symphony Space, DC's National Geographic Live, LA's Getty Museum, Seattle's Moore Theater, Lollapalooza and Chicago's Ravinia. Justin has performed in front of millions of people on The Today Show, he's featured on Nick Jr. TV, and his song "Get Me Some Glasses" was featured on a World Series broadcast. He's also garnered kudos and raves from national media including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, People, Entertainment Weekly, and the Chicago Tribune. Once again, Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players raise the bar for family music with a playground full of bright new songs for parents and kids to enjoy together. Roberts explores the joy and freedom of recess, the marvels of the imagination, and that unique combination of melancholy and wonder as school finally lets out for the summer. What critics are saying about Justin Roberts: “A master of conjuring up images that resonate with the young ones.” — Entertainment Weekly. “He has a remarkable ability to see through a child’s eyes... the Judy Blume of kiddie rock” — New York Times. “Hands down the best songwriter in the genre.” — USA Today"On your feet fun and laugh-out-loud funny." — People. "The Buddy Holly of the kids' world, perhaps with a better voice." — Time Out NY Kids. "Some of the most inspired and intelligent kids lyrics ever." — Amazon.com. "Hits all the right magical buttons to charm parents and children alike." — Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Awards, Accolades and High Fives: GRAMMY nominee for Jungle Gym in 2010. "Best Children's Music of the Past 30 Years" (Meltdown) — Time Out NY Kids. Winner of Seven Parents' Choice Gold Awards, and Naptime was selected for Parents' Choice 25 Best Children's CDs of the Past 25 Years. Winner of Six National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) Gold Awards. Amazon.com Top 10 Children's CDs of the Year four times. #1 Children's CD of the Year - Fids and Kamily Poll in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are talented singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, educators and record producers. The two-time Grammy® Award-winning duo are a formidable powerhouse of sound, with a repertoire of traditional and contemporary folk, old-time country and swing music. Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the acoustic & electric guitar, five-string banjo, mandolin, cello banjo, ukulele, percussion and many other instruments. They are ready to engage and entertain audiences of all ages, with a broad following in family music and in American Roots styles. Top it off with a witty stage presence and warm audience rapport and you’ve got a well loved music duo. They’ve earned two Grammy® Awards, in 2004 and 2005 for “cELLAbration: a Tribute to Ella Jenkins” and for “ Bon Appétit!”. In 2003, they were GRAMMY® nominated for their CD, “Postcards” in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. They received another GRAMMY® nomination in that category for ”Banjo Talkin’”. They produced and performed on Tom Paxton’s GRAMMY® nominated “Live in the UK” CD and tour. Tom says, “Cathy & Marcy are at home in a dozen musical styles .They swing you, jazz you, and old timey you till you just give up and bliss out.” In 2006 the C. F. Martin Company honored Cathy & Marcy’s musical achievements by creating a signature guitar for each of them, the M3H Cathy Fink Custom Signature Edition and the MC3H Marcy Marxer Custom Signature Edition. National sales of the guitar have been impressive. In 2008, the Gold Tone Banjo Company released the Marcy Marxer model cello banjo, modeled after Marcy’s remarkable Gibson 1918 cello banjo. And in 2011 the Kala Ukulele Company debuted the Marcy Marxer model tenor Ukulele. Their recorded catalogue of CD’s, DVD’s and instructional materials includes an astounding 65 titles. Recognized as top-notch songwriters, they were 2006 Grand Prize Winners in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for the song, “Scat Like That”. In 2009 they were finalists in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the International Songwriting Contest for the song, “Jubilation” on their “Banjo To Beatbox” CD. What do Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, Riders in the Sky, Si Kahn, Brave Combo, Mariachi Los Camperos, Mike Seeger, Patsy Montana, Pete Kennedy and Ysaye Barnwell all have in common? They have all worked with Cathy & Marcy in the studio. Their skills have led to producing over 60 recordings by and with other artists, and to projects with National Geographic, AT&T, McGraw-Hill School Publishing, Handwriting Without Tears and numerous corporate clients who appreciate roots music values. Cathy & Marcy have performed at hundreds of bluegrass and folk festivals, appeared on the “Weekend Today Show”, “CBS Early Show”, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered”. In their 25+ years performing together, the Washington Area Music Association has recognized Cathy & Marcy with over 50 WAMMY Awards for folk, bluegrass and children’s music. Cathy & Marcy have toured worldwide from Japan to New Zealand, Vancouver to New York and everywhere in between. Recent shows include the Old Songs Festival (NY), The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (OH), Levitt Pavilion Steel Stacks (PA), and Summerfolk (Ontario, Canada). American Voices Abroad chose Cathy & Marcy with fiddler Barbara Lamb to perform in China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in 2013 for the U.S. Department of State.
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Sat, May 9 - 9:30pm - $10
In 2009, Miles Arntzen started EMEFE with one purpose: to create an unparalleled live experience around his original music. Three weeks later, they played their first show to a ravenously packed house in New York City. Four years later, they had played countless venues across the country, opened for Passion Pit and Big Boi, and released studio albums that documented their live sound. In 2013, the band challenged themselves to create a studio record that surpassed their reputation as merely a great live act. Holing away for 2 years, they used the studio, not the stage, as their instrument to both capture the music's energy and explore its depth. They now present the world with EMEFE, a concept album debuting the band's fearless funk-pop music in an unparalleled listening experience.EMEFE is about breaking through static, the undefinable noise and clutter of everyday life. The album’s concepts were inspired by French author Jacques Lusseyran’s And There Was Light, chronicling a blind man’s realization of light and love in his time during the French resistance movement. After years of creating an original and fearless pop style showcased through their live performances, their signature style is finally exhibited on their new record. EMEFE’s beats are a cross between Fela Kuti and Prince, with vocals reminiscent of the Talking Heads’ candor and the Beach Boys’ lushness... all with a unique pop sensibility. Coming to terms with frustration, anxiety and fear, the album pits complacency against change. The first half of the album (the ‘Tension Suite’) descends into these static emotions without ever escaping them; the second half (the ‘Release Suite’) ascends beyond, into a place of clarity and peace.EMEFE has collaborated with artists such as Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Hoodie Allen, Baloji, Chico Mann, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Robby Hunter Band, Grace Weber, and more. Taking the drum chair with afrobeat pioneers Antibalas and Arcade Fire's Will Butler, Arntzen also established himself as a go‐to New York City musician by the time he turned 23, collaborating and sharing stages with artists such as Arcade Fire, The Roots, Nile Rodgers, Tuneyards, Action Bronson, My Morning Jacket, Angelique Kidjo, Tony Allen and more.EMEFE will be released May 5 2015.
With a sound born out of the combination of funk roots with jazz and electronic music, Genome has been impressing audiences with their tight sound and getting them on the dance floor with infectious grooves. Undeniable and unrelenting, Drew Littell, Patrick Dinnen, and Asif Wilson form a rhythm section that will not be stopped. Coupled with the stylings of multi-instrumentalist Xavier Galdon, saxophonist Kyle Madsen, and guitarist Igor Voltchenko, the lush sounds of Genome will have you partying all night long!
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Tue, May 12 - 8pm - $20
A familiar name with an original sound, Simon Townshend is straight from the lineage of one of British music’s most famous families. The son of England’s top big-band reed man and baby brother of Who legend Pete Townshend, Simon has been recording and performing since the age of nine, when he was brought in to add vocals to The Who classic Tommy. He went on to successfully self-produce six well received solo CDs on the Stir Music label, including Among Us (1997), Animal Soup (1999), Bare Bodies Bare Assets (live acoustic)(2000), Ages (2000) and simontownshendis (2002). In 2002 Simon added to his musical arsenal by creating a stylistic alternative to his distinctive rock sound with an alter ego, .bom, for live performances in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. In 2005 Simon joined Bruce Foxton (The Jam/Stiff Little Fingers) and Mark Brzezicki (Big Country) in forming The Casbah Club, releasing Venustraphobia (2006). Simon is back in 2011 with the EP entitled Something New. The 4 track sampler is a preview of material from what may be his best and most impactful solo recording to date, the forthcoming 2012 release, Looking Out Looking In.In addition to his own music, Simon has produced artists both in London and New York. He has performed with numerous established acts ranging from Jeff Beck to Pearl Jam, and including elder brother Pete Townshend, with notable song writing and vocal contributions to Iron Man and Psychoderelict. Other credits include 15 years as guitarist and vocalist in The Who, playing sold out tours of Europe, Asia and North America, and a monumental performance at the 2010 Super Bowl. He was referred to by one U.S. newspaper as The Who’s “secret weapon.” In 2004 Simon served as producer for The Who’s first new, original studio recordings in more than 20 years and in 2006 contributed his talents to their highly anticipated album, Endless Wire. Since 2009, Simon has accompanied Roger Daltrey on tours of the United Kingdom and North America, including a stint with Eric Clapton. A highpoint of these shows features Simon’s electrifying performance of The Who classic, Goin’ Mobile, which consistently brings the cheering crowd to their feet.Simon Townshend’s own music is his priority and it has made a significant impact. As brother Pete Townshend told London’s Daily Mail, “he’s brilliant.” British and American papers have variously described his songs and performances as …“supercharged…Mr. Townshend pushes the band to climax upon climax” (The New York Times)“buoyant melodies…soaring vocal harmonies,… irresistible chorus hooks pushed and pulled by the refreshing optimism of Simon’s voice” (The Washington Post)“impressive” (Billboard)“really pushes the envelope and is highly recommended” (Amplifier)“wonderful melodic punch…truly enjoyable listening” (Goldmine)a “catharsis” (The Los Angeles Times)In short, as London’s Gig Guide said, “you would be a fool to miss him.”
Dag Juhlin is a musician who lives in Woodstock, Illinois. In addition to being a founding member of The Slugs, The Greenwoods and Expo'76, a long-standing member of Poi Dog Pondering and a former member of The Goldstars, Dag is an occasional solo performer and a prolific home recording artist who makes unreasonable and excessive demands from his beloved GarageBand audio recording program.
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Thu, May 14 - 9pm - $10
Jack Torrey and Page Burkum have been blending their voices as The Cactus Blossoms since 2010. Their hypnotic harmonies and unforgettable songs have made them favorites in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul music scene. Their latest album, Live at the Turf Club, was recorded during the band’s residency at the St. Paul music club, and blurs the line between old and new as they sneak a few new originals into their repertoire of early country and western-swing. "The brother duet that America is waiting for" --Garrison Keillor "The Cactus Blossoms have quickly turned into the Twin Cities' most beloved new traditional-country act” --Chris Riemenschneider, Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Modern Sounds is a Chicago based trio featuring Joel Paterson on guitar and vocals; Beau Sample on string bass and vocals; Alex Hall on drums and vocals. This big little band is dedicated to performing traditional American music; specializing in rockabilly, hot jazz, western swing, classic blues and everything in between. The Modern Sounds are on the cutting edge of the Atomic Age—bringing you the best of the 30's, 40's and 50's.Joel Paterson hails from Madison, Wisconsin and has lived in Chicago for many years, performing with various bands including Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms and Kelly Hogan's Wooden Leg. He currently fronts The Modern Sounds and Joel Paterson's Blues Roundup. Slap bass virtuoso Beau Sample is from San Antonio, Texas. He spent a few years on the Austin music scene and has recently made Chicago his home. Sample has toured the world and the U.S. many times over, fronting his former band Cave Catt Sammy and backing up Elana James. Alex Hall is from Chicago and is a very talented drummer and recording engineer. He is the man behind the "Chicago Sound" of Ventrella Records and Tapes.
Jack Klatt is a singer, a songwriter, a seasoned traveler, and a dexterous finger-style guitarist. Combining musical traditions from hokum blues to the roots of country music, he has been criss-crossing the lower 48, spreading his brand of American music.
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Fri, May 15 - 9pm - $10
Through the release of three LPs and endless touring, the Austin, Texas band Quiet Company has been making a name for themselves nationally with their energetic live shows and their anthemic, dynamic, indie rock which critics have called a mix of The Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire and Weezer. They’ve gained a huge fanbase while gathering praise from The New York Times, TIME, NPR, Last Call with Carson Daly, Paste Magazine, Houston Chronicle, Austin Chronicle and more.Quiet Company won Rock Band of the Year during SXSW 2014, adding to theirprevious 10 Austin Music Awards including Band of the Year, Album of the Year, Rock Band of the Year, Indie Band of the Year and Song of the Year, all won on the strength of their 2011 release We Are All Where We Belong.After the success of their 2013 album re-release, A Dead Man on My Back: Shine Honesty Revisited, Quiet Company was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and chosen to be a Red Bull Sound Select Artist, all of which rekindled interest in We Are All Where We Belong and shot the album to #7 on the iTunes Rock charts nearly 2 years after its release.After an amazing year on the road which included festival sets at NXNE, CMJ, ACL Fest and more, Quiet Company kicked off 2014 in the studio to write and record their highly anticipated 4th full length Transgressor, their most explosive and exposed collection of songs to date. Recorded in 14 intense days of live tracking at Orb Recording Studios in Austin, the band captured a guitar-driven larger-than-life sound with Matt Noveskey (Blue October) producing and the legendary Tim Palmer (U2, Pearl Jam, The Cure) mixing. Frontman Taylor Muse's characteristically introspective writing style is in full force as he tells tales of love, despair, pain, and redemption, reflecting on his marriage, from burgeoning young love to a relationship tested through time.With its soaring guitars and throbbing bass lines drawing comparisons to Foo Fighters, Pavement and Manchester Orchestra, Quiet Company’s Transgressor will be leading the way as rock makes a return to form.
The Rocketboys’ sound reflects the Texas landscape from which they hail: vast, yet sparse, desolate, yet rich and abundant. Often eschewing familiar lyrical themes of romance and love for songs of brotherhood, family, life, and death, The Rocketboys’ catalog chronicles the band’s journey throughout its existence.The Rocketboys’ forte is its keen ability to create and capture unique, emotional musical experiences. Hit TV shows “Glee,” “One Tree Hill,” “Private Practice,” “Elementary,” and many others have channeled the band’s powerful thematic energy. Reviews often highlight the band’s parity to textural acts such as Band of Horses and Death Cab for Cutie while retaining the mass appeal of Coldplay, The Verve and Keane.No strangers to the road (the band will perform its 700th show this year), The Rocketboys continually find fans across the country with a beautifully powerful live show.The Rocketboys is set to release its latest recording project and debut on Black Magnetic Records, the “Left | Right” EP, on January 6th. It was recorded in Los Angeles, CA at Sunset Sound Studios with multi-grammy winning producer, Joe Chicarelli (Manchester Orchestra, The Strokes, The Shins).
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Tue, May 26 - 8pm - $8
LAST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH - TIX AVAILABLE AT DOOR, NIGHT OF ONLY - The Moth StorySLAMs are open to anyone with a five-minute story to tell on the night's theme. Half an hour before the show, we put the names of all the folks who want to tell a story in a hat. At the start of the show, we start picking names. The 10 featured stories are scored by teams of judges selected from the audience. Each Storyslam generates a Storyslam winner. After ten slams, the winners face off in our Grandslam Championships. Come sign up to tell a story, or just to enjoy the show!
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Fri, May 29 - 9pm - $10
Nashville’s power-soul sextet, Alanna Royale released their debut record, ACHILLES on September 16th,2014. ACHILLES was produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff)
The Kansas Bible Company is 12 man wrecking ball of sound featuring a five-man horn line, three guitars, two percussionists, one bass, and keys. Originally from Goshen, Indiana, they now reside in Nashville, Tennessee. They are a culture. To walk with them is to know them. They are on a journey - to the stars through rugged ways.
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Sat, May 30, 8pm - $20
THE WESTIESHe looked at her at the end of the bar and said,"I don't know whether to kill you or marry you"And so the shot was fired across the bow and with it… The Westies were born.The meeting on that fateful night between Michael McDermott and Heather Horton set in motion a chain of events that would lead to what would later be known as the album West Side Stories.After just avoiding a would be 3-6 year prison sentence (which McDermott is uneasy to discuss) and a spiraling life, McDermott’s chance meeting with Horton would change the course and the trajectory of his life.What would follow would be a steady climb from the trenches. With a "sleeves rolled up" songwriting approach, that while delicate and tender, matches with equal measure, the brutality of an honest eye and a turbulent life.Explains McDermott, "All I ever wanted to do was write songs and tell stories, like my grandparents and parents did from a long Irish lineage. With that lineage came a proclivity for drink, for mayhem, and a wee bit of crime. I write what i know and what i know, is much of the time, ugly.”This is no guy/girl group. The Westies are a band that unabashedly confronts the trials of the inner city heart with a slow burn delicacy that juxtaposes many uncomfortable subjects with a tender and elegant beauty that is rare in the current music landscape.The Westies album “West Side Stories” is a song cycle inspired by the real life Westies “a ruthless gang of Irish mob punks that ruled Hell's Kitchen in the 60’s and 70's. The gangsters serve as a metaphor for the dark side that lurks inside us all. The unexplained forces that cause internal struggles destroy relationships and leave us clinging to love as just a memory.Call it Ameri-gangsta-cana.
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Sun, Jun 7 - 8pm - $17adv/$20door
In a musical world where keeping a working band has proven difficult for many bandleaders,drummer-bandleader Steve Smith has managed to keep three bands working for the past three decades. His jazz-rock band, Steve Smith and Vital Information, has been touring and recording for more than 30 years, while his “straight-ahead” groups Steve Smith and Buddy’s Buddies, made up of Buddy Rich Alumni (with three album releases), and Steve Smith’s Jazz Legacy (a group dedicated to playing the music of some of great drumset masters such as Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams), have toured for five years and released two albums and a DVD.Therefore, it makes perfect sense for this prolific recording artist and bandleader, who has made a career out of amalgamating the many twists and turns of his musical calling, to blend all three bands for a 2015 studio album release entitled The Skyline Sessions on the BFM Jazz label. The updated version of his recording and touring ensemble is called STEVE SMITH AND VITAL INFORMATION - NYC EDITION. Smith refers to this new line-up as, “The best of all worlds. With my band-members all living and working in NYC area, where I live, this group can be organized in a moment’s notice. VI NYC Edition is a lot of fun to play with and is a high-energy, creative, jazz unit!”The lineup of Vital Information NYC Edition brings together members of all of his bands: saxophonist Andy Fusco (from Jazz Legacy and Buddy’s Buddies) guitarist Vinny Valentino (from Vital Information), pianist Mark Soskin (from Jazz Legacy and Buddy’s Buddies), bassist Baron Browne (from Jazz Legacy, Buddy’s Buddies and Vital Information), and Steve Smith on drums.Steve keeps his touring schedule quite busy and you may have seen him on tour with Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion, The Mike Stern Band or Hiromi – The Trio Project. Smith’s constantly evolving drumming career has earned him Modern Drummer Magazine's #1 All Around Drummer award five yeas in a row, which led him to being named by Modern Drummer Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Drummers of All Time!" in 2014. Smith’s 9-year stint as the drummer with the rock group Journey resulted in nine multi-platinum albums and eighteen Top 40 hits. His drumming can still be heard almost daily on the ubiquitous hit song by Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
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Thu, Jun 11 - 8pm - $7
Well, The Bama Lamas aren't going to sit around and wait to be placed in a nice tidy bucket - we play rock n roll - pure and simple. The kind of raunch you can feel deep down in your soul. Our love for scratchy R&B, Soul, and Rock N Roll 45's brought us together - became our blueprint for saving your sorry souls. The records that make you want to jump out of your skin and hit the dance floor happy just to be alive!
Phil Angotti has become a household name in the power-pop musical world, especially in his hometown Chicago where he's been performing for 20 years now. He has performed as a solo act through-out his career, and with several bands, most notably the Fleas, the Scuffle, the Beatle Brothers, Not the Beatles (with Brad & Graham Elvis) and his long-time original group, the Idea. He has released 10 different albums over the years, been on several CD compilations and tributes, and has made numerous radio appearances as a solo artist, Beatle Brother and leader of the Idea. Known for his strong lead vocals and versatile harmony singing, he is also an innovative guitarist (acoustic and electric). His style is diverse mixture of British 60's power pop, American folk rock, and modern guitar pop, played mostly with an explosive energy and sensibility. As a songwriter - he has proven again and again he can write melodies and hooks with the best of them and his penned numerous original songs (108 recorded to date).
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Mon, Jun 15 - 8pm - $10
The Whiskey Radio Hour is a knee-slapping evening of analog aural delights brought to you by The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre. Let host Ramblin' Campbell Kelly (Brad Brubaker) whisk you away on a journey through four new radio plays, complete with live foley sound effects by the ever-snappy Ace Houlihan (Logan Conner) and live music courtesy of Motormouth Musczynski (John Szymanski). "The Whiskey Rebellion's nod to old-fashioned radio dramas is warm, quaint, and charming." - The Chicago Reader. The Whiskey Radio Band has created dozens of musical advertisements for the Whiskey Radio Hour, in addition to hosting the show. They have literally sung the praises of esteemed products such as The Puppy Pettery, Monkey Safe Windows, Highway One-Oh Rattlesnake Meat, Hot Sauce for America, Loose Screw Robots, and many more household brands. Ramblin' Campbell Kelly (Brad Brubaker), Motormouth Musczynski (John Szymanski), and Ace Houlihan (Logan Conner) will also be bringing some special guests to celebrate the release of their first album of greatest ads.
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Tue, Jun 16 - 8pm - $10adv/$12door
Come back in time to The Vintage Vaudeville Hour at Martyrs June 16th! Enjoy a Old Fashioned while watching some old fashioned 1930's inspired vaudeville with live music, comedy, dancing, magic, and more!
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Wed, Jun 17 - 8pm - $10adv/$12door
One of the pre-eminent practitioners of “live looping”, Zach Deputy’s one-man show of "Island-infused, Drum 'n' Bass, Gospel-Ninja-Soul" has the energy and sound of a 6-piece band. Ensconced behind an array of microphones and technology, Zach and his nylon stringed guitar weave a tapestry of instrumentation and voices in an ever-evolving, improvised arrangement that is ultimately based on a composition but allowed to breathe with the audience. Enhanced by a stunning light show, Zach Deputy’s show transforms clubs and open fields alike into sweaty dance parties for fans of R&B, soul, jam, Caribbean music and even electronica.
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Tue, Jun 23 - 8pm - $12adv/$15door
Las Cafeteras’ fuse traditional & modern beats with timely stories from East LA’s streets. Known for their energetic bi-lingual performances they combine Afro-Mexican (son jarocho), hip hop, folk, native american & more styles with a community focused message. They’ve opened for Ozomatli, Aterciopelados, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, Cafe Tacuba side project ‘Hoppo’, Lila Downs, & more. Their 1st studio album “It’s Time” is featured on NPR, KCRW & the LA Times. Las Cafeteras’ name comes from the Eastside Cafe, a community center they help run & where they also first learned to play Son Jarocho music.
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