Faronheit | A Chicago Centric Music Blog

The hottest music from Chicago & beyond

Show Preview: NE-HI at Empty Bottle [2/24]


It feels like every calendar year there are about two or three local Chicago rock bands that manage to raise their profile high enough to earn attention and praise on a global level. Such hallmarks are important for any local scene as proof it is thriving, and to serve as an inspiration for those little guys trying to get their various music projects off the ground. In 2016 for example, Twin Peaks grew larger than they ever had before, earning steady radio airplay and touring around the globe. The same can be said for Whitney, though those guys had an obvious leg up by forming from the ashes of another higher profile Chicago band Smith Westerns.

So what local rock collective is set to break out in 2017? I’d put my money on the guys in NE-HI. They’ve grown a tremendous amount in the last couple of years, really expanding their sound into new corners beyond Wire-esque post-punk while also giving new focus to their songwriting. It all comes together in spectacular fashion on their sophomore record Offers, which is out on February 24th. Not coincidentally, their tour will lead them straight to the Empty Bottle that very same day for what promises to be an unforgettable hometown album release show.

Beyond sounding prolific and incredibly catchy on record, NE-HI are perhaps best known for their wildly fun live shows. Their songs get transformed into these hulking behemoths on stage that rattle your body in the best sort of way. It makes perfect sense that most of Offers was recorded live to capture that blissful yet intense energy. The riffs are tighter and the hooks that much more addictive than ever before. In certain ways it feels like they’re channeling the sunny and meandering side of Real Estate mixed with the garage rock heft and psychedelia of The Velvet Underground. It works surprisingly well, and I encourage you to check out the tracks below to hear exactly how that shakes out. Also, if you’re in Chicago please come out to the show and support local music!

NE-HI / Deeper / Cafe Racer
Buy Tickets
Friday, February 24th
9PM / $10 (advance) / 21+

Pre-order Offers on Bandcamp

Stay Young

Offers

Sisters

Pick Your Poison: Monday 2-13-17

Starting this week, there’s a new pattern for Pick Your Poison entries. Mondays will be full-fledged mixtures of downloads and streams, while other days during the week will be shorter posts dedicated exclusively to streams. This allows me to maximize the amount of music I’m able to share. That said, let’s dive right in. There are some great downloads in this set from Andy Ward, James Raftery, Little Star, Prominence and Toma. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Chronixx, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Doc Robinson, Ela Minus, Jamie Isaac (covering Alicia Keys), Keys N Krates x KRANE, Louis the Child (ft. Elohim), LPX, Molly Burch, The Octopus Project, Summer Moon, Vagabon, VeilHymn and Welles.

Andy Ward – Drinks&Money

Gibby & Al B Smoov – AirPort Lobby

James Raftery – Hidden Mind

Jorge Andre – Prologue

Little Star – I Just Wanna Lie

Noktiluc – Be Like That

Prominence – Mood Ring

Toma – Count Me Out

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Show Review: Priests, Stef Chura + Blizzard Babies [Beat Kitchen; Chicago; 2/9/17]


“Fuck Drumpf! Fuck Pence! Fuck Jeff Sessions! Fuck Betsy DeVos! Fuck Steve Bannon!” Priests vocalist Katie Alice Greer yells, arms stretched high above her head, middle fingers extended. The crowd at Beat Kitchen cheers loudly in agreement. It’s only a couple songs into the band’s set, but even before that explicit statement Priests have already revealed their rebellious spirit. They tear through songs like someone throwing a tantrum, and it is loud and exhilarating and profound and life-affirming. And that’s so very important, especially in these challenging times.

Later in their set, Greer clarifies her position: “Lots of people want to call us a political band, but we’re trying to distance ourselves from that label. I said those things earlier not because it was a political thing to do, but because it was the human thing to do.” Therein lies the power of Priests. Their music connects because it pushes back against the status quo and encourages exploration beyond our current reality. It asks us, with the subtlety of a baseball bat to the side of the head, to wake up from our complacency and fight for the betterment of ourselves and others. Or, summed up in lyrics from their song “Puff”: “My best friend says, ‘I want to start a band called Burger King,’ and I say, ‘Do it! Make your dreams a reality!'” Oh yeah, and they’re funny sometimes too.

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 2-7-17

Let’s jump right into this edition of Pick Your Poison with fresh downloads from Annabelle’s Curse, Fawns of Love, Friendzone and The March Divide (covering The Cure). In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from D.A. Stern, Diamanda Galas, Homeshake, Jacques Greene, Jens Lekman, KAMI, Mount Eerie, Richard Edwards, San Fermin, Tatiana Hazel, Ten Fe and Timid, The Brave.

Annabelle’s Curse – Be Here Now

Fawns of Love – Silly Boy

Friendzone – Sweet Dream

Liana – Good Intentions

The March Divide – Closedown (The Cure cover)

Shauna Cardwell – Summer Rain

vox – I Was Born

Wild Skies – Fumes & Faith

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Show Preview: Priests at Beat Kitchen [2/9]



There’s a phrase that I’ve heard quite a lot in recent months, but particularly since the election and subsequent inauguration of the new President. “This is not normal.” Recite it like a mantra, and continue to remind yourself that those day-to-day pleasures and sense of comfort have given way to a general unease at the state of our country and world. These are dark times, indeed. And we need art and culture more than ever to help us survive and ignite our will to fight for our causes and against injustice. Enter the Washington D.C. punk band Priests. Not only do they present a voice of dissent direct from our nation’s capital, but their debut album Nothing Feels Natural might as well be another way to tell the world “this is not normal.” Of course, despite its timely release, the album was written and recorded well before the terrifying political events of the last couple months. It just seems awfully prescient given the state of our world today. Yet Priests are less of a political band and more of an anti-establishment band, raging against oppression of any type no matter which side of the aisle it falls on. They’re pushing back against the idea of normal, which means different things to different people. And they’ve never sounded more confident.

While it’s relatively easy to classify Priests as a punk band because of their ethos and hard-charging guitars, Nothing Feels Natural feels a little like a departure from the EPs and singles they’ve released in the past. Their sound has become much more nebulous, incorporating a wide variety of elements from a multitude of genres thereby making it more challenging to classify. That’s by design, and it’s part of what makes this band so unique. There’s little regard for adhering to any sort of convention or mining familiar territory unless there’s a real reason to. Part of the fun is guessing where they’ll go next, which is why one minute you’ll get distorted guitars and Katie Alice Greer singing like she’s about to die, and then the next minute you’ll have a full orchestra rising to a gorgeous, jazzy instrumental. Surf rock and saxophones get their due as well, because why not? Varied though the listening experience might be, there’s a very visceral nature to the entire record that holds it steadfast and commands your attention. You can tell they believe in what they’re doing, and understand that even if one fight ends, another one has already begun. We’re all very lucky a band like Priests exists to inspire and remind us that we make our own paths in this life, so stay true to yourself and forget what you think you know about being normal or natural.

Priests are currently on tour in support of their incredibly great new record, and will be in Chicago next Thursday, February 9th. The wonderful Stef Chura as well as Blizzard Babies will be opening. I strongly urge you to check out this all ages show! Details:

Priests / Stef Chura / Blizzard Babies
Buy Tickets
Thursday, February 9th
7PM / $13-16 / All Ages
P.S. – $1 from every ticket purchase goes to Casa Ruby, which helps the LGBT community in the Washington D.C. area.

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 2-2-17

It’s Groundhog Day, and once again the world’s greatest rodent weather forecaster has revealed that there will be six more weeks of winter. Seems like Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow every year, even when it’s very grey and overcast outside (as it was this year). Considering the fact that it keeps raining in Chicago and there hasn’t been much snow on the ground since December, I’m somewhat inclined to say that spring might be coming sooner than we all think. Or climate change has become more serious than ever. It’s probably the latter, sadly. At least there’s music to help get us through. Don’t miss downloads in this set from 20 Minute Loop, Curse of Lono, Imagist (ft. Lil Government) and Niilo Smeds. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Deep State, Dominowe, Jlin, Mating Ritual, Me Not You, Sherwood & Pinch (ft. Lee “Scratch” Perry), Wire, You’ll Never Get to Heaven and more.

20 Minute Loop – Mercury Vapor

Baked – Apollo

Curse of Lono – Pick Up the Pieces

G Jones – Helix

HUCCI – Life

Imagist – Fade to White (ft. Lil Government)

Joakim – Numb (Borussia Remix)

Niilo Smeds – Marker of Days

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 1-31-17

So I’m faced with…let’s call it a slight dilemma. If you’re a regular visitor to the site, you may have noticed the Pick Your Poison posts showing up less frequently than usual. That’s less to do with any laziness on my part and more to do with the increasing struggle to find a balanced amount of content. When I say “balanced,” I mean a relatively solid mixture of song downloads and streams. As is the trend, the downloads are becoming much fewer while the streams only increase in number. We’re all essentially moving toward a streaming world anyways, right? The dilemma is whether to continue to hold back some posts for the sake of building up a steady arsenal of downloads to include with the streams, or to just let it all out there as it comes in, even if it’s an entire post of streams. Heavily leaning towards the latter, especially since I’m sitting on about 30 songs you should be able to hear sooner rather than later. For today though, enjoy this “standard” edition of Pick Your Poison, complete with downloads from Beth // James, Boreen, Lao, Matt Pond PA, Mija and Mo Troper. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Cloud Nothings, CUZ (ft. Killer Mike, Damaged Bug, Duch Uncles, Froth, Hater, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Kelly Lee Owens (ft. Jenny Hval), Kodie Shane, Savoy (ft. Fatherdude), Ty Segall and more!

Beth // James – Lion Eyes

Boreen – Garden

Garrett Pierce – Get Me Out of This Place

Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now (Rhythm Scholar Loveheart Remix)

Lao – Xibalba

Matt Pond PA – Louisville

Mija – Secrets

Mo Troper – Something to Talk About

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 1-26-17

Not gonna dilly-dally today, just give you a shot of new music straight to your veins. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Alicia Keys, Perspire, Sallie Ford, Superorganism and Ty Richards. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Adam Torres, Baba Stiltz, Buscabulla (ft. Helado Negro), CocoRosie (ft. ANOHNI), Diplo & Autoerotique, Flint Eastwood, J. Cole, Los Campesinos!, Sofi Tukker, Surfer Blood, Thievery Corporation and more.

Alicia Keys – That’s What’s Up

The Cover Letter – Josephine

CRANE – Fast Life

Perspire – Battle Cry

Ren – Piece of Your Heart

Sallie Ford – Middle Child

Superorganism – Something For Your M.I.N.D.

Ty Richards – Going Out For A Cigarette

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 1-23-17

Let’s start this week off on the right foot with a brand new edition of Pick Your Poison. There are some stellar downloads in this set from Donnie Parker, Men of North Country (covering Simon & Garfunkel), Myka, Scott Fab and Stephen McLaren. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Career Suicide, Chastity, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Courtneys, Johnny Flynn, Knox Hamilton, Lupe Fiasco (ft. Gizzle), Priests, Teen Daze (ft. S. Carey), Uppermost and Why?

Donnie Parker – New Blues

Laughed the Boy – Bell Rock

Magana – Pages (Tour Single)

Men of North Country – Richard Cory (Simon & Garfunkel cover)

Mookhi – Foul Play (ft. Billy Fox)

Myka – Die R.I.P.

Scott Fab – Leave My Friends

Stephen McLaren – We Used to Go Raving

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 1-17-17

Pleased to bring you another collection of wonderful tracks to lift your spirits and inspire greatness. Take heart my friends, and enjoy downloads in this set from Blake Banks, Emily Donohue, Matthew Squires, Minor Moon and Mo Troper. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Beach Slang (covering The Adverts), Big Wild, CLOSENESS, Cosmo’s Midnight, Diet Cig, Grails, Homeshake, Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge, Mega Bog, Minus the Bear, Pharmakon, Pile and The Rural Alberta Advantage.

Blake Banks – Wave

Emily Donohue – It Doesn’t Matter, I Love You

Goon – Let Me In (R.E.M. cover)

Lido & Santell – Committed

Matthew Squires – Debt Song

Mess Kid – SWM

Minor Moon – Safe Dreams

Mo Troper – Cooler

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 1-12-17

Proud to showcase more great new music to soothe your ears during these cold, cold winter months. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Altar Eagles, The Gods Themselves, The Jones Family Singers (covering Johnny Cash), Men of North Country and Toma. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Beachheads, Cameron Avery, Half Waif, Hand Habits, Karen Elson, Kingdom, Michael Chapman, Odeko, Porcelain Raft, Shy Girls, The Stray Trolleys and Temples.

Altar Eagles – Skeletal

Antenna Man – Knockdown

DMX – Bain Is Back (ft. Swizz Beatz)

The Gods Themselves – So Hot

The Jones Family Singers – All God’s Children Ain’t Free (Johnny Cash cover)

Men of North Country – All In

The Nyx – Home

Toma – Going Nowhere

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 1-10-17

One of the worst things about the whole holiday break was the fact that I had promised to do some extra writing and compose the yearly “best of” lists, and then failed to deliver on said promise. It’s not that I didn’t try, it’s just things wound up being quite a bit busier than I had originally anticipated. That said, despite approaching mid-January and what I’m sure is list fatigue for most of you, there will still be some highlights from 2016 going up within the next week or two. I appreciate your patience and promise it’ll be worth the wait. In the meantime, please enjoy this fresh set of music, featuring downloads from AR Ferdinand (ft. Daphne), I Am The Polish Army, James Rafferty, Mykki Blanco and Pick A Piper. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Alicia Keys, The Black Madonna, Bonny Doon, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Gold Connections, Imaginary Tricks, Japandroids, Palberta, Phoebe Bridgers, Planning For Burial, ROWVN and So Below.

AR Ferdinand – Lately (ft. Daphne)

Ciphurphace – Same Old Flows (ft. Selena Rivers)

Davy Sage – Celebrate

I Am The Polish Army – David Bowie

James Rafferty – Everything

The Linemen – Cold Water

Mykki Blanco – Loner (Remix ft. Wiki)

Pick A Piper – Nikko

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 1-5-17

Happy New Year! The holidays are now officially over and it’s time to get back to business as usual, which is equal parts exciting and depressing. You’re filled with that spirit of renewal that comes with a new year, but it’s tainted with fear for how everything will turn out. Either way, you can rest assured that Faronheit will press onward, content in the goal of delivering some of the freshest and best new music straight to your browser for the foreseeable future. So you’ve got that going for you, which is nice. Great tracks today from Consuumer, The Ferdy Mayne, Lazy Legs and Soft Lashes. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from BANANA, Boss Hog, Elliott Smith, Jens Lekman, Julie Byrne, Loose Tooth, Said the Whale, Ten Fe, Thievery Corporation, Turn to Crime, Uniform and YELLE.

Big Lo – Yuri Gagarin

Consuumer – Shattered Fruit

Def Manic – You Need Someone

The Ferdy Mayne – Define My Name

King Fantastic – Doc Holliday

LaJIT – How It Feel

Lazy Legs – Small Talk

Soft Lashes – LANCER

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 12-20-16

As we roll into the final weeks of 2016, I only feel it’s fair to warn you that things are both slowing down and picking up here at Faronheit HQ. Specifically, there’s less going on new music-wise, which means that until we reach about mid-January, the Pick Your Poison posts will become fewer and farther between. For example, this is the only set of new music you’ll be getting this week. For me personally, it’s nice to get a little bit of a break from what’s otherwise a very busy time 11 other months out of the year. But I’m also using the extra time productively, as I finish up writing for the Listmas posts highlighting the best music from 2016. That should be up and available for your reading pleasure between Christmas and New Year’s. So, you know, fun stuff. In the meantime, please enjoy these downloads from Corner Suns (ft. Sarah Jaffe), Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins, Emma Heartbeat and Jordan Burchel. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Alasdair Roberts, Alex Clare, Ava Gloomy, clipping. (ft. SICKNESS), Knox Hamilton, Michael Angelakos (of Passion Pit), Ryan Hemsworth (ft. RYAN Playground & swim good now), So Stressed, Why?, Zimmer (ft. Fhin) and more. If I don’t talk to you, have a great holiday!

Corner Suns – The Rattle in the Room (ft. Sarah Jaffe)

Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins – Faded

David Armstrong – Destiny

Emma Heartbeat – Radio, Oh Radio

Frank Rabeyrolles – Sick (Demo)

Jordan Burchel – Lilymoore Pts 1 & 2

Noktiluc – Los Caminos

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 12-15-16

Okay, I’ve got Christmas shopping to do and a wedding to attend in Ohio this weekend, so let’s get this show on the road, shall we? Today’s edition of Pick Your Poison features downloads from Blake Rainey & His Demons, Masta Killa, MNTN, Quiet Boy and TheSpvceAge (ft. TDot Illdude). In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Bassel & the Supernaturals, GEMS, JAX, Julie Byrne, Little Simz, Mating Ritual, Oliver Riot, Satchmode, Serengeti + Sicker Man, Shy Girls, Uppermost and more!

Blake Rainey & His Demons – Losing My Way

Deep Cuts – Comatose Come Christmas

Masta Killa – Therapy

MNTN – One Lonely Star

Nevada Nevada – 900 Days

Quiet Boy – Redeem

Rat Fancy – You Stole My Xmas Sweater

TheSpvceAge – You (ft. TDot Illdude)

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