26 May

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 5-26-16

Let’s wrap up the week and prepare for a quality Memorial Day weekend with a collection of tracks great for your start of summer BBQ. There are some great downloads in this set from Boo Seeka, DJ Paypal (ft. DJ Earl & DJ Taye), Skinny Blonde and yllwshrk. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Cass McCombs (ft. Angel Olsen), Dragonette, Health&Beauty, Lidija, Michael Zaxxon, Omni, Pink Mexico, Puro Instinct (covering Madonna), Told Slant, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Whitney and more!

Boo Seeka – Deception Bay

DJ Paypal – Dose (ft. DJ Earl & DJ Taye)

Pilgrim Speakeasy – The Hypnotist Part 2

Psymbionic – Blast

Satchmode – Undertow (The Landing Remix)

Skinny Blonde – Anything But Me

Tiger Love – Space in Space

yllwshrk – Pull Me Under (In Memory of Jeff Buckley)
Read more…

24 May

Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 5-24-16

Is it too early to start counting down to the weekend? For those of us in the United States, it’s going to be an extended three day celebration that officially kicks off the summer season. Can’t wait. At least these songs will help the next few days pass by a little easier. You’ll want to check out the downloads from Cantina, Caralis, Esquela, The Julie Ruin and Ray Sargent. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Cymbals Eat Guitars, Deerhoof, Erin Tobey, Ivy Mairi, Joey Purp (ft. Chance the Rapper), Martha, Moonface and Siinai, salute (ft. D.R.A.M.), Speedy Ortiz, Steve Aoki, Todd Terje & The Olsens and Yen Towers.

Cantina – Bulletproof

Caralis – Parting Shots

Esquela – Too Big to Fail

Freeweights – Livin’ In A Studio

Getaway Dogs – Indonesia

Jack Ellis – Pocket of Lint

The Julie Ruin – I’m Done

Ray Sargent – Honest
Read more…

23 May

Pick Your Poison: Monday 5-23-16

Let’s kick off this week right with another top notch edition of Pick Your Poison. Enjoy downloads in this set from Cub Sport, deCollage, Hollowtapes, In Letter Form and Liana Bank$ (ft. Mura Masa). In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Cottaging, Delorean, Exploded View, Gang of Youths, Holy Fuck, Mercury Girls, Mind Bath, NE-HI, Prince Innocence, SZA, Vogue Dots and more!

Black Motion – Far Lands (ft. Dizu Plaatjies & Henrik Schwarz)

Cub Sport – Come On Mess Me Up

deCollage – Magnetize

Hollowtapes – Broken Car Radio

In Letter Form – Face in the Crowd

Liana Bank$ – Leave Me Alone (ft. Mura Masa)

Marcus Alan Ward – Little Sunshine

Nat Jenkins & The Heartcaves – Quarter to Three (Acoustic)
Read more…

18 May

Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 5-18-16

Chicago rock music festival fans may want to take note that the Riot Fest lineup was announced this morning. This year’s fest takes place from September 16-18 at Douglas Park in the North Lawndale area. Some of the notable acts set to perform this year include The Original Misfits (with Danzig), Morrissey, Ween, Death Cab for Cutie, Social Distortion, Nas, Brand New, Deftones, Fitz & The Tantrums, Jimmy Eat World, Bad Religion, Motion City Soundtrack (their final show), Death Grips, The Hold Steady, Bob Mould, White Lung, Bleached and many more. There’s plenty to be excited about, though in all honesty I’m not sure if I’ll be in attendance this year or not. Still, you may want to check it out. 3-day passes are on sale now if you’re interested. Let’s have a look at today’s Pick Your Poison, shall we? Don’t miss downloads in this set from A+A, Glass Spells, The Hood Internet x Wolkoff, The Qualia and Wuh Oh. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Audion, Allie X, DAWN, Die Antwoord, Future Generations, Holly Miranda (covering Tobias Jesso Jr.), Jamila Woods, The Moving Pictures, School ’94, Slow Club and more!

A+A – Kansas

Beyonce – Hold Up (DJDS Remix)

Bin Juice – Astro Surf

Glass Spells – Away From Space

The Hood Internet x Wolkoff – Me & Mine

The Qualia – Out For Blood

WatchTheDuck ft. Pharrell Williams – Stretch 2-3-4 (JiKay Remix)

Wuh Oh – Wolverines
Read more…

17 May

Show Preview: Moderat at Concord Music Hall [5/21]


For those who know a thing or two about the indie electronica scene, the trio known as Moderat have every right to be called a supergroup. Their name is a combination of the two projects from which they’ve sprung, specifically Modeselektor (Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary) and Apparat (Sascha Ring). Separately, they’ve released some of the most dynamic minimalist electronic music of the last decade. Together as Moderat, they’ve crafted three full lengths and an EP, a majority of which was spent testing out new and experimental directions with varying results. It seemed to be a product of them trying to feel each other out rather than a lack of competence or care. Just because three people can make really great music on their own doesn’t mean they’ll immediately work well together. On their new record III, it seems they’ve finally reached the next level of their collaboration, resulting in one of the most sonically cohesive and engaging collections of beat-driven tracks this year.

Sonically the songs on III fall somewhere on the ambient electronic soul spectrum between Four Tet, James Blake, Burial, Jamie Woon and Atoms For Peace. That’s a lot of quality references that for the most part feel earned. Beats skitter, vocals soar, synths glide, and a wounded sort of sexiness oozes from just about every note. Fans of The xx will find plenty to love as well. That beautiful darkness also lends itself to dramatic performances. Unlike the candy-coated laser beam dance parties of today’s EDM festival headliners, Moderat use style and substance to channel an epic intimacy that you’ll want to dance to. Powerful visuals projected behind the trio, combined with staccato lighting effects and liberal use of smoke machines create just the right sort of atmosphere to elevate the songs to an otherworldly level. It’s an intoxicating mixture that means their live shows are less performance and more experience.

Moderat will be transforming minds and hearts at Concord Music Hall this Saturday, May 21st. Not to be missed if you can help it! Teflon Tel Aviv and Abstract Science open. Details:

Moderat, Teflon Tel Aviv and Abstract Science
Buy Tickets
Saturday, May 21
9PM / $25 (Advance) / 18+

16 May

Pick Your Poison: Monday 5-16-16

Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was jam packed with all kinds of fun with family and friends, to the point where I barely had a chance to catch my breath. As much as I enjoyed it, I’m also super tired today. I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Some of these new songs are helping me through, which is why I’m happy to be sharing them with you as part of today’s Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss downloads from deCollage, The Infinite, LEX and VATS. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Alex Calder, Ben Lukas Boysen, Big Thief, Cadet Kelly, Emily Jane White, Maria Usbeck, Nerftoss, Pheeyownah, Wildlife, Xiu Xiu (covering John Congleton) and Yumi Zouma.

Black Palms Orchestra – Home (Ages Remix)

Bugeye – Disco Dancer

deCollage – Crystal Choir

Dog Orchestra – CLUB Fragil (ft. Lune)

The Infinite – Autonomy

LEX – My Way

VATS – Green Glass Room
Read more…

11 May

Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 5-11-16

Your mid-week edition of Pick Your Poison features some lovely downloads from Basketball Shorts, Frank Rabeyrolles, Grace Joyner, Noble Oak and A Thousand Fuegos. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Black Atlass, Boris, cln, J. Views (ft. Wild Cub), Local Natives, Marian Hill, NAVVI, Palmistry, Speedy Ortiz, Stephen Steinbrink and Yaeji (covering Mail Grab).

Basketball Shorts – Looking

DJ Zozi – Zozi Theme

Frank Rabeyrolles – L. Translation

Glenn Davis – Off the Line

Grace Joyner – Real

Noble Oak – Oceanworld

STAMEN – Feel Love

A Thousand Fuegos – Movement 1 (Love As Passion)
Read more…

09 May

Pick Your Poison: Monday 5-9-16

Whelp, a new Radiohead album is out in the world. It feels great. Well, about as great as an album about sadness and reflection can feel. On Friday, the band revealed their new record would be released on Sunday, and when the day arrived A Moon Shaped Pool became available from your favorite digital retailers. The physical edition of the album will be out in July, and a special edition with bonus tracks and other goodies will be released in September. No matter how you prefer to digest your Radiohead, I strongly encourage you to give the album a shot. One of my favorite things about the band is how each new record manages to upend expectations and move in a completely new direction while still feeling uniquely like Radiohead. There aren’t many bands I know that could pull such a feat off. If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t “get” Radiohead, perhaps some of these Pick Your Poison tracks will be more your style. Don’t miss downloads from Grace Joyner, HOllowtapes, WEALTH and Wolfie. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Chastity, Dillon Francis & NGHTMRE, Danny L Harle (ft. Caroline Polachek), Haley Bonar, Holly Miranda (covering Sufjan Stevens), The Hunches, inc. no world, Jai Wolf (ft. Chain Gang of 1974), Joey Purp, Laurel and Oh Pep!

Grace Joyner – Dreams

Hollowtapes – Tall

Mumrunner – Shawshank

NewGuy – Infiniti (ft. Roger Marsil)

Tetish – Glow

WEALTH – Light of My Life (Radio Edit)

West Of The Sun – Siberian Hysteria

Wolfie – Obi Wan
Read more…

05 May

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 5-5-16

Hola! Let’s jump right in with today’s muy caliente Cinco de Mayo edition of Pick Your Poison. Nothing particularly Mexican about it, but please enjoy anyways. Don’t miss downloads from Great Hare, Induce, Julien Mier, London O’Connor and Stefan Weich. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Aerial East, Baio, Esme Patterson, Fear of Men, Few Bits, Inter Arma, The Mountain Goats (covering War), Mutual Benefit, Nite Jewel ft. Zoe Kravitz & Samantha Urbani (covering Rexy), ODDITY and Scroll Downers.

Gabi’el – Fallen Roses

Great Hare – A Second Chance

Induce – Hold

Julien Mier – Hum of the Hummingbirds

London O’Connor – Love Song

Reptaliens – Nunya

REWS – Shake Shake

Stefan Weich – Holy Nights
Read more…

03 May

Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 5-3-16

It’s been five years since we last heard new music from Radiohead, that is if you don’t count the unused “Spectre” theme song they recorded and gave away at the end of last year. But today they officially emerged from their slumber. Following a couple of days in which they completely erased their social media accounts and website, this morning a new music video was suddenly released. “Burn the Witch” is the new track, presumably off their next album which could be released at any time under any title. It’s all a wait and see game with those guys, and honestly if we can wait five years we can probably wait a few weeks longer for the full length. In the meantime why not enjoy some new music as part of Pick Your Poison? There’s some quality downloads in this set from Dirty Squall, Matt Bennett, SHapes On Tape, Shards and Wild Patterns. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from A-Trak (ft. Phantogram), FAWNN, Joy Atlas, Laszlo Dancehall, Leena Ojala, Lone, Marissa Nadler, Mitski, The World, Yung and more!

Dirty Squall – Goth With An Ipod

Julian Bachlow – Family Ties

Matt Bennett – Fisher King

Post Death Soundtrack – That Which Is

Shapes On Tape – Fountain of Youth

Shards – If You Wait

Wake The Wild – Touch the Ground

Wild Patterns – Sparks
Read more…

02 May

Show Review: Eleanor Friedberger [Space; Evanston; 4/29/16]

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In many ways, it feels like Eleanor Friedberger has been on tour for almost all of 2016 so far. Indeed, a check of her schedule reveals a virtually nonstop string of dates from February through mid-June. In the span of just over two months she’s now played two shows in and around the Chicagoland area, the second of which took place this past Friday at SPACE in Evanston. I was lucky enough to be on hand for that SPACE show, and am pleased to share some photos as well as a few thoughts on the evening.

Friedberger recorded her latest album New View at a farm in upstate New York with the band Icewater. They’ve joined her for this tour, not only opening shows with their own material but pulling double duty as her backing band. Naturally then, more than half her set was comprised of New View songs. She performed nearly every track on the album, along with recent one-off single “False Alphabet City”. All of the new material sounded great, and retained the classic early 70s vibes of The Band and Harry Nilsson without ever seeming tired or unoriginal. Friedberger has enough personality and lyrical prowess to pull every song into unexpected directions, and that dexterity is invigorating even when she’s aimlessly sauntering around the stage.

Admittedly it was also great to hear some older material too. There seemed to be a somewhat renewed focus on Friedberger’s first solo effort Last Summer, which featured some of her catchiest and funkiest material courtesy of songs like “Roosevelt Island” and “My Mistakes”. While the latter song felt just a touch off without a saxophone to add spice, it was still great to hear as a personal favorite of mine. Speaking of personal, 2013’s Personal Record was least represented overall in the set, though having “Stare at the Sun” pop up during the encore was a great way to end the night. Those electric and energetic anthems were missed, but considering the 90% seated, more middle-aged crowd at SPACE, might not have set the right tone for the show anyways.

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After the show, Friedberger and Icewater stuck around the merch table to sell and sign things, as good artists do. Among the fans and well-wishers was a man with his young daughter, who couldn’t have been more than 10 or 12 years old. The girl talked about how much she loved the show, and asked for a photo. The two of them stood side-by-side and leaned up against a door, striking cool poses. What caught my eye was how Friedberger never stopped staring at this girl, a huge grin on her face the entire time. This is who she makes music for. Maybe one day that young girl will be inspired enough pick up a guitar and start writing songs of her own. One can only hope.

Buy New View on iTunes

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02 May

Pick Your Poison: Monday 5-2-16

Welcome to May! After a week’s worth of illness, I’m nearly back to tip-top shape, which is always a huge plus. Let’s get right into today’s Pick Your Poison, which features some quality downloads from American Monoxide, Cold Blue Kid, Dylan Hill (ft. Eliza Hull) and ISLAND. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Anna Rose, Cerise, Djustin, Max Styler (ft. KARRA), Megafauna, Peach Kelli Pop, Slumberjack (ft. Daniel Johns), Topaz Jones, VERITE, Wildcat! Wildcat! and Young Moon.

American Monoxide – Hot Lava Express

Beyonce – Sorry (Niko Javan Remix)

Cold Blue Kid – Way Out

Dylan Hill – Under the Skin (ft. Eliza Hull)

Former Angels – Evie Pt. 1 (Stevie Wright cover)

Gravy Murphy – Arthur Fuxake (ft. Arvo Tanty)

ISLAND – Lights Go By

Starschreck – The Sinkhole (ft. Gordon Tebo)
Read more…

28 Apr

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 4-26-16

As I continue to battle a nasty cold, please enjoy another edition of Pick Your Poison. Some quality downloads in this set from Frances Luke Accord, OHIOAN, Playing Savage and Young Mister. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Big Thief, Charlotte Day Wilson, Ellie Herring, Elliott Smith, Kedr Livanskiy, Mountains and Rainbows, NOTHING, Sally Shapiro, Shock Machine, Terry and more!

Frances Luke Accord – Something Moving

Ivory Tusk – Where Are You Running Now

Not the 1s – Not the Ones to Be Gamed On

OHIOAN – Workmans Comp

Playing Savage – Bigger

Smino – Oxygen

Surahn – Into the Distance (WEALTH Remix)

Young Mister – Pasadena
Read more…

26 Apr

Show Preview: Cross Record at Schubas [4/30]


Let’s start with the basics. Cross Record is the wife and husband duo of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski. They are based out of Dripping Springs, Texas (near Austin), where they own and run a ranch and recording studio. It’s where they crafted their latest album Wabi-Sabi, out now on Ba Da Bing! Records. If you’ve not yet heard it, stream “Steady Waves” and “High Rise” to get a better idea of what they’re all about.

The dark-tinged experimental folk that populates the record falls somewhere on the strange spectrum between Cocteau Twins, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Mount Eerie, Chelsea Wolfe, PJ Harvey and Here We Go Magic. That may touch on a lot of different sonic markers, but the nebulous nature of their songs defies easy description. Each one is inherently beautiful, yet also raw, obtuse and deeply emotional with a sense of danger or evil lurking just underneath the surface. That’s a large reason why the album’s title is so appropriate, as it’s a Japanese phrase meaning the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

Cross Record’s show at Schubas this Saturday will mark something a homecoming for the duo, as they lived in Chicago until a couple of years ago. Their notoriety has increased considerably since their last visit thanks to the release and critical acclaim of Wabi-Sabi, so it’ll be interesting to see how the new songs shape the overall performance. No matter what, it’s certain to be a special night you’re not going to want to miss.

Cross Record, The Loom and Blind Moon
Buy Tickets
10 PM / $10 ($12 Doors) / 21+

26 Apr

Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 4-26-16

For the first time in over a year, I’ve gotten sick. It’s only a cold, but it’s still frustrating to have to put your life on hold to take care of yourself. It’s another day filled with extra vitamins, hot soup and an early bedtime for me. Still, I’m trying my best to keep up with the site this week. Please enjoy today’s Pick Your Poison, which features some great downloads from Boo Seeka, Land of Leland, The Minders, Mumblr and They Called Him Zone. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Adam Torres, Brigid Mae Power, Conner Youngblood, Dawn Richard, Erin Tobey, Hooded Fang, Odonis Odonis, Roosevelt, Yumi Zouma and more.

Boo Seeka – Kingdom Leader

Jessica Rotter – Open (Rhye cover)

Land of Leland – Clarity

The Minders – Boiling the Ocean

Mumblr – Microwave

Outer Gods – Black Mountain Drone (Edit)

They Called Him Zone – The Rain Comes Down

The Van T’s – 35mm
Read more…