Tag Archives: Chicago

Mucca Pazza is a Circus Punk Marching Band from Chicago, IL [NEW MUSIC]

Imagine your typical high school marching band.  Now cut it in half, and cut it in half again.  Then age them, add some instruments that you wouldn’t usually see, some informal cheerleaders, and then let them “march” wherever they want and however they want.  Throw in some rebellious and quirky style, and you will have something along the lines of Mucca Pazza.  Since I was unable to attend their show in early July 2011 here in Nashville, I wanted to at least spread some hype about this totally original, unique, and independent band.  From what I heard, their show at Exit/In was outstanding, so allow me to describe this remarkable phenomenon that is Mucca Pazza.

I saw Mucca Pazza for the first time when they toured through my college two years ago.  I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a 30-piece circus punk marching band, but it was definitely something that I had to see for myself.  This is one of the most memorable concerts that I, and anyone else that has ever been to one of their shows, will never forget.  Mucca Pazza is a 30-piece circus punk marching band from Chicago, Illinois.  The band contains instruments and members that you would not find in a typical marching band.   They have cheerleaders, accordion, electric guitar, mandolin, violin and a megaphone to name a few.  They have played at Lollapalooza, Rothbury Music Festival, and Tour de Fat.  The band was even featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2006.  Their repertoire encompasses themes from Shostakovich and Bartok, covers of 60s TV show themes, and even Balkan-brass covers.  Balkan-brass originated in the 19th century when trumpeters in the Serbian military transposed Folk music to music they could play in a more upbeat style during rough times.  Here is a video of Mucca Pazza performing “Peace Meal” at Tour de Fat 2010.

Playing on each other’s instruments, interacting with crowd members, and dancing around the venue is all part of what makes Mucca Pazza an outstanding show.  The venue is their stage, and who knows where they’ll end up during a performance.  This is originality at its finest.  I’m not sure what I would do if I was their tour manager, but they seem to keep their crew of around 30 members in tact.  What a band!  Don’t miss their next show August 19 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL.

By: Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Trevor Menear “Some Kind Of Sunshine” [NEW MUSIC]

It’s been just over a week since my last blog post.  Sorry.  Had to go visit the lady in North Carolina.  Thought I’d use my trip to discover some cool local bands out there, but instead I found hippie jam band drum circles and people playing homemade instruments (the terrible sounding kind) in the street.  Kinda cool if your deaf, but not really my cup of tea.  There is a time and place for hippie jam band drum circles and a romantic evening with the lady you haven’t seen in a couple months is not the time and in my ear drums wasn’t the place.  Instead I stumbled upon this awesome new artist named Trevor Menear.  I signed up for his mailing list at The Satellite Lounge in LA right before I left and he gave me his CD for free.  I listened to it on the plane ride back to LA and I wish I knew it was this good because honestly would have paid 20 bones.

River Blues – Trevor Menear

Chicago native Menear is a blues man.  His most recent and second full length offering “Some Kid Of Sunshine” he features the blues with a small hint of pop mixed in just for fun.  Two things hit me right off the bat.  His guitar work and the originality and distinctness of Trevor’s voice.  Both are the stars of the show on this record.  His take on the blues is fresh and his acoustic picking is just awesome.  This record has a good mix of heavy and light.  A good example to contrast that first track “River Blues” is the track “Better On The Way”.

Better On The Way – Trevor Menear

It’s pretty awesome when you stumble on an artist with this kind of range.  He keeps the same general tone throughout the record, but each song is very different and the mix between his acoustic picking and the electric guitar is awesome to listen to.  All that acoustic light stuff is nice, but lets be serious this guy can wail so lets hear some more.  Here’s an original off the record and a video of Trevor and band covering “Champagne and Reefer” by the legendary Muddy Waters.

Make Me Howl- Trevor Menear

That’s my favorite song on this record.  Come to think of it maybe “Blues River” is.  Eh, whatever they are both awesome tunes and as the starting two tracks on this record needless to say my attention was grabbed in a big way.  There are other little gems on this record as well.  One tune in particular is the track “Giver Her a Name” It’s kind if buried near the end of the record, but the haunting melodies and the strings are really cool especially after the heavy distortion of the guitar on the previous tracks.

Give Her a Name – Trevor Menear

Now for the good part.  Here’s where I get to tell you that Trevor lives locally in LA and has played and is playing a bunch of local free shows namely the Venice Beach Music Festival on August 13th.  I guess it’s really only good for me and the rest of the Californians, sorry.  His tour page is here and he’s playing The Foundry on Melrose tomorrow night from 8:30 to 11:30 for FREE.  I’ll see you there.

Now for the second good part.  On his website Trevor’s new record “Some Kind Of Sunshine” is available in the “pay what you want” format.  Do yourself a favor and throw him a 5 or a 10, whatever you can afford.  You won’t be disappointed
and you’ll get to hear the rest of the tracks I wasn’t able to fit above.

Here’s the last track as usual.  There are 13 tracks on this record.  Seriously buy it, I honestly think its worth a 20…

November (a long way from here) – Trevor Menear

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Wilco – The Whole Love [NEW MUSIC]

 

Wilco Details The Whole Love Following the debut of new material live and on vinyl over the weekend at the band’s Solid Sound Festival, Wilco announced details for their eighth studio album today. The Whole Love, a 12-track “veritable sonic stew” produced by Jeff Tweedy, Patrick Sansone, and Tom Schick, will arrive on September 27 via their new label, dBpm Records. Check out the cover art above and tracklist below. The Whole Love 01. “Art of Almost” 02. “I Might 03. “Sunloathe” 04. “Dawned On Me” 05. “Black Moon” 06. “Born Alone”07. “Open Mind” 08. “Capitol City 09. “Standing O”10. “Rising Red Lung “11. “Whole Love”12. “One  Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)”

Following the debut of new material live and on vinyl over the weekend at the band’s Solid Sound Festival (Video’s no longer on YouTube)

I MIGHT (The 1st single)

I LOVE MY LABEL  the B-side (A Nick Lowe Cover)

“OPEN MIND”

“The night’s so young, but I still say we’re too old for clichés,” he sings in the tune above.

Wilco announced details for their eighth studio album today. The Whole Love, a 12-track “veritable sonic stew” produced by Jeff Tweedy, Patrick Sansone, and Tom Schick, will arrive on September 27 via their new label, dBpm Records. Check out the cover art above and tracklist below.

The Whole Love

01. “Art of Almost”
02. “I Might
03. “Sunloathe”
04. “Dawned On Me”
05. “Black Moon”
06. “Born Alone”
07. “Open Mind”
08. “Capitol City
09. “Standing O”
10. “Rising Red Lung “
11. “Whole Love”
12. “One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)”

 

check out more info @ http://wilcoworld.net/

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

 

 

 

Hey Champ “Star” [NEW MUSIC]

OK dudes and lady dudes.  Get your dancing shoes on throw some glitter in your hair.  Hey Champ hails from Chicago, IL and they blend house, indie rock and disco into their amped synthtastic sounds.  Yes I know, I’m sweating just thinking about it.  Let’s get into their most recent full length release ‘Star’.

Shake – Hey Champ

As you can see these guys are a party.  With a primary emphasis on all things synthesizer, sweet beats and raging guitar this music is just plain fun to listen to.  They site “The 80’s” as an influence on their facbook page and as you can hear from the opening chords of the first tune “Shake” they aren’t holding anything back.  Dance pop/ rock at its finest.

“Hey Champ’s roots can be traced outside of Chicago in nearby Rockford, where band members Saam Hagshenas (Vocals, Guitar) and Jonathan Marks (Vocals & Drums) discovered their love of music at a young age. After Saam’s graduation from law school, Jon’s fellow Princeton Pete Dougherty (Synths) moved to Chicago, cementing the lineup of the group.”

One of my favorite songs is called ‘Cold Dust Girl’.  An upbeat summer anthem ‘Cold Dust Girl’ is a great example of the simplicity in the song writing and the bands ability to create catchy hook on top of catchy melody.  Now who wants to watch hot hipster chicks dance in extreme slow motion and make out with each other?

Cold Dust Girl – Hey Champ

I said it once and I’ll say it again.  ‘Hey Champ’ is freakin’ fun.  As far as I can tell they don’t take themselves too seriously.  Which comes through in the music not because it’s sloppy or anything like that, but because these guys are trying just have a good time playing loud and making people dance.

After listening to this record I can only imagine what a live show would be like, but I’d put a weeks pay that I walk out of there a sweaty mess.  They state on their facebook page that their band influences are Crochet, Pottery, Antiquing.  I just really glad we have something in common.  BOOM!  Title Track.

Star – Hey Champ

“Hey Champ” has ZERO tour dates listed and I’m pissed.  Hopefully they get some dates up there soon/ just play shows in my house or LA forever.  They just released an EP called ‘Anything At All EP.’ that and their full length offering ‘Star’ are AVAILABLE HERE FOR CHEAP.  At 4 bucks for the EP and 6 bucks for the record you are literally stealing from this band so I suggest you buy it before they catch on.  Here’s the last track from ‘Star’ and a video for another awesome song called “Neverest”.

Steampunk Camelot – Hey Champ

Can’t wait for this band to get back on the road and play some shows. Ummm, Synth pop rules.  (I had a harder time than I thought I would trying to end this blog… deal with it.)

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Cornmeal Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO [Photos]

Cornmeal Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO

Cornmeal – “Stofer’s Ramble”

Cornmeal

Click The Pic For More Concert Shots!!!!

Check Them Out!!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Operations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Treehouse – “Pocket Life” [MUSIC]

treehouseNot too sure how I let these guys slip by there but it may have something to do with this hip-hop trios limited track selection, keeping them a hidden gem in the independent hip-hop community. Treehouse‘s first track released early February of 2011 and really set the tone of originality holding an old-soul jazz feel native to their Chicago, IL roots. Their have been some hints towards an album release with shouts of recording sessions in the works, so lets hope to see something late this year! So kick-back and get a glimpse of the “Pocket Life”

To help back that previous statement concerning a possible album drop in the near future, Treehouse just recently released a new single entitled “Ana”. Apparently this one is ‘in ode to a fine Spanish chika named ‘Ana”. Simple enough… Let’s hear what they have to say!

Cobalt & The Hired Guns – “Of Summer” [VIDEO]

Cobalt & The Hired Guns, a Chicago-based band, has been rocking stages in Chicago since their move to the city in 2006. The group released their first studio album in 2008 titled “Jump the Fence,” and are currently working on their latest project that will be released later this year. With the addition of an accordion and full brass section, their latest project looks to be their most energetic album to date. Can’t wait. “Oh Summer” is a single off their most recently released EP, The Double Single.

Kyle C. Stilley | Marketing Strategist | @stillz | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC | kyle@musicwithoutlabels.com

Born Of Osiris – “Follow The Signs” [MUSIC]

Born Of Osiris

So it has definitely come to the attention of myself and some of our followers that we haven’t had a quality heavy metal group on the blog in quite sometime. Chicago, IL metal group Born Of Osiris‘ newest single “Follow The Signs” came out in February as the first track for their upcoming album release this year under independent label Sumerian Records.

The heavy metal tone is definitely an acquired taste but for all those intricate music listeners looking for flawlessly executed riffs, insane speed and screaming vocals you can actually make the words out to then I’d say you might have a new sound here. Check it out and be on the lookout for their newest album to drop soon!

Carta Marina – “End Of An Era” [ALBUM REVIEW]

End of an Era Cover Art

http://cartamarina.bandcamp.com/

Chicago & Illinois as a whole, What needs to be said about its street cred in the world of music over the years home to Wilco, Andrew Bird, The Smashing Pumpkins , John Prine, Miles Davis,  Eddie Vedder was originally from Evanston, Illinois. RATM guitar master Tom Morello from Libertyville, Illinois. And an entire Blog could and probably is devoted to what Chicago Blues has given to the world.

Out of that amazing lineage comes Carta Marina –

consisting of

Chris Reehoff – Guitar, Glockenspiel
Justin Shields – Keys
Jeff Palac – Vox, Bass, Guitar, Harmonica
Rick Gladkowski – Drums

Anthemic, Spacey, Touching, At times Raw is just some of the ways their collective sound could be described along with many more adjective’s. But I’ll leave that to each individual set of ears who has the pleasure of listening to their album End Of An Era. Recorded live @ Uptown Recording. It’s so refreshing to hear a band at the top of their game being able to track live and nail each song with energy and precision. Strong and melodic vocals from singer Jeff, Which at no point over the course of the 9 tracks does he grate on the listener, Instead by the end your ready to press play again to hear his soaring refrain of Arcadia also featuring some great interweaving guitar lines by Chris. Not to leave out the Rhythms provided by Rick who has power and accuracy with every hit. Never over indulgent he creates a solid frame for the melodies and textures to live and breathe. Textures enhanced by subtle delays, reverbs and the perfect licks and phrases of keys man Justin and sounding at times like Garth Hudson if he was let go through The Edge’s FX setup.

The album can be purchased from the bands Bandcamp site with some great extras for those who are inclined to help a band by parting with those few extra dollars.