On Our Radar: Solo Sam — “Happily Alone”

October 13, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

When done the right way, musical fusions and genre-bending make for much more interesting, fresh tunes. Case in point, West Loop rapper Solo Sam and his standout track “Happily Alone.” With rhymes that glide along a simple guitar riff elevated only by Sam’s Busta Rhymes-esque control of his delivery, “Happily Alone” is both blues and […]

Angel Olsen + Rodrigo Amarante @ Thalia Hall

September 28, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

“I dare you to understand what makes me a woman,” Angel Olsen echoed during her encore at night one of a two-night, sold-out stint at Thalia Hall in Pilsen. Those lyrics seemed to capture the entire evening though, for her 90-minute set crossed the bridge from female infatuation and memorable “firsts” to that of a […]

First Listen: The Avantist — ‘AVANTIST’ LP

September 28, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

The Avantist’s self-titled LP is a wonderfully furious journey through one hell of a relationship (either with another person or with oneself). The 12 tracks, from “classics” like the surf-rocker “Tidalwave” and glossy, indie-tinged “Truth in Light” to stunning, soaring choruses on new compositions “Deep Red Love” and “Medi-Demi” show how the Arias brothers bit down […]

Interview: Beat Drun Juel, hard, loud, and in your face

September 22, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Beat Drun Juel is one of Chicago’s best bands— you just wouldn’t know it because of the current garage-rock boom eclipsing the city’s scene. Just beneath that catchy, jangling power-chord surface though, are many scenes and bands who don’t know where they fit and don’t really care to. There you’ll find Beat Drun Juel, showing […]

Riot Fest 2016 Photo Gallery

September 20, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Riot Fest 2016: Day-by-Day Recap

September 19, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Riot Fest returned to Chicago’s Douglas Park, toting a three-day weekend entrenched in pure nostalgia- rock n’ roll and otherwise. Yes, the “Original” Misfits reunited (we’ll get to that later), Deftones blew everyone away, and Bad Religion reminded folks why it’s synonymous with “punk.” The Specials had thousands of folks dancing in the balmy, midday […]

Beat Drun Juel – ‘Suppressor’

July 22, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Beat Drun Juel is one of Chicago’s best hard rock bands, if not the best.  The trio’s debut EP, Off Your Face was a haunting collection of meandering riffs and rumbling bass before singer Pasty Face’s knockout growl crashed against the busiest of drum cymbals. Suppressor picks up where Off Your Face left off and takes it to the dark […]

GØGGS + Running + Choke Chains @ Empty Bottle

July 20, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Its well-documented that Ty Segall likes to keep himself busy. After 2014’s solo release Manipulator, his heavier, more metal-influenced band FUZZ released FUZZ II in 2015, and two releases in 2016 -his own Emotional Mugger and now? A full-throttle, brash punk record with the band GØGGS. Comprised of himself, Ex-Cults’ Chris Shaw and Fuzz’s Charles Moothart, GØGGS and their self-title debut, […]

Pitchfork Music Festival 2016: Day-by-Day Recap

July 19, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

It was a cool day in July for the first day of Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park. Early acts battled overcast and light sprinklings in the early afternoon, but festival goers were completely un-phased. The first band on Friday was Car Seat Headrest, playing tracks from its stellar debut Teens of Denial. The band’s […]

Pitchfork 2016 Photo Gallery

July 18, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

*All photos by Jessi Roti