The Cubs are playing baseball and the presidential candidates are having their final debate. It’s a packed night of television, so let’s skip the pleasantries and just get right to it. There are some solid downloads in this set of music from Blake Banks, Ender & Valentine, Lazy Legs, Pepe Deluxe and Someday I Will Miss You. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Girl Tears, The Griswolds, The Homie, The Mary Onettes, Redspencer, SWIMM, Uranium Club, Young Mammals and more!
Congratulations to Bob Dylan on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. I’ve long maintained the Dylan is one of, if not the greatest songwriter of all time. His lyrics are the purest form of poetry and continue to have great meaning many decades later. The man has been responsible for entire movements, though he may never acknowledge it himself. Which is why I guess the Nobel Prize committee had to do it for him. Now they’re reportedly having trouble reaching him, or at least he’s not responding to their calls. Given his history with subversion and general attitude of doing whatever he wants, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t show up to claim the award. The party will go on, with or without him. Either way, it’s great to see Dylan get this extremely prestigious recognition. Perhaps one of the artists in today’s Pick Your Poison will be the next Dylan and win all the awards someday. You’ll never know until you give them a try. That said, don’t miss downloads in this set from The Burgeoning, Kitty, Tallisker and Ty Richards. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from The Blow, Cloud Nothings, Connor Pearson, Lou Barlow, Lower Plenty, Michael Chapman, Michael Mayer & Joe Goddard, Miniature Tigers, Slothtrust, Stef Chura and more.
There are some top notch downloads in this set from the likes of Belinda Esquer, DJ Karaoke, Michael Jablonka and Soft Pyramids. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Desert Planes, Drakulas, Hannah Diamond, iLoveMakonnen, Joseph Hein, Porches (covering Big Star), Robin Thicke & Nas, Skylar Spence, Tori Amos, Winter and many more!
After taking a day of R&R because Christopher Columbus oppressed a native people and made two Home Alone movies, it’s time to get back to the music with yet another collection of piping hot new tracks for your listening enjoyment. Don’t miss downloads in this set from BAYA, Best Friend, Eyelid Kid and M Ross Perkins. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from American Wrestlers, DAWN, Hazel English, Honeyblood, Jacuzzi Boys, KAYE (covering Britney Spears), Lost Animal, NxWorries, Suburban Living, The Tins (covering Bob Dylan), Walter Lukens and more!
Okay, let’s jump right on it. There’s a new collection of songs for your listening pleasure as part of today’s Pick Your Poison. That includes downloads from Child Actor, Computer Magic, Sremmlife Crew and Suntrodden. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream tracks from All Our Exes Live in Texas (covering Tame Impala), American Football, gobbinjr, Golden Suits, Marie Davidson, The Radio Dept., Ryan Hemsworth (ft. Nebu Kiniza), SALES, Thee Oh Sees, Timberwolf, Uniform and more!
Good old fashioned rock n’ roll doesn’t get nearly enough attention these days. People are so interested in finding the next great innovation in genre that they fail to remember that certain styles of music are truly timeless and can still offer fresh surprises at every turn. Not only that, but who’s so jaded they aren’t impressed by a complex guitar solo? It’s a certain skill that very few can truly master, so all credit should be given to those that can. Case in point, this Saturday at the legendary Metro here in Chicago you have the unique opportunity to see two of the greatest rock guitarists still making music today do their thing: J. Mascis and Steve Gunn.
Dinosaur Jr. has been around for what seems like forever, and in the musical world 30+ years kind of is. Of course they were inactive for eight of those years, so that gap decreases their legendary status just a little bit. But that’s neither here nor there, because they’ve been back in action for the last decade and have arguably eclipsed the great work they did in the 80s and 90s that earned them a place among alternative rock royalty such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Mascis may be their anchor, what with his aching vocals and fuzzed out guitar solos that are distinctive enough that you can easily pick them out of a crowd, but don’t discount a force of nature like Lou Barlow, who is a spectacular bassist and singer in his own right (as evidenced by his work in Sebadoh). Should I compliment their drummer Murph too? Oh, sure. He does an excellent job keeping the rhythms tight and heavy in the face of each song’s relative unpredictability. Dinosaur Jr’s new record Give a Glimpse of What Yr Not only reaffirms all of these assertions, and proves their inspiration and creativity remains sharply intact even after all these years. The question at this point is how long that will last. This latest revival of the band has already lasted longer than their first two stints, and with any luck it’ll stick for many more records. Or not. Best to see them while you can. If you’ve never witnessed J. Mascis destroying guitar solo after guitar solo right in front of you, that’s something to put on your bucket list. It’s a genuine joy to watch him and the rest of the band work.
Lesser known but no less talented is Steve Gunn. The Brooklyn-based musician first earned his stripes by playing in Kurt Vile’s band as one of The Violators. Of course he’s also been releasing solo albums for nearly a decade now, at a pace of about one per year. Toss in some collaborative efforts as well, and the guy becomes positively prolific. While much of his early work has been rooted in gorgeous lo-fin instrumentals, by the time 2014’s Way Out Weather arrived he felt like a fully formed entity, complete with a backing band and confident vocals. A big part of what makes Gunn’s music so compelling is his ability to compose these complex folk and rootsy songs while making it all seem completely effortless. Nothing is ever hurried or panicked in both voice and melody. You put on his records while relaxing with a beer on the porch or cruising across the heartland of America. That’s particularly true on his new album Eyes on the Lines, which is thematically embossed with the call of the open road. Simplistic as his songs may seem on the surface, closer listens reveal light touches of psychedelia, krautrock and blues, among other genres. Solos bob and weave through otherwise standard melodies, like eels writhing around in the ocean. Think about My Morning Jacket or a less jam-heavy Grateful Dead or The War on Drugs as bearing similar or shared sonic markers with Gunn and you’ll gain a much better understanding of what he’s all about. In a live setting, it’s equally relaxed and thrilling to watch him work through songs as they divert down unexpected paths and tear through the fabric of expectation. Don’t miss him if you can help it. The Metro show this Saturday is virtually sold out, but here are the details anyways in case you’re lucky enough to get tickets.
Dinosaur Jr. / Steve Gunn / Thalia Zedek Band
Saturday, October 8th
9PM / $31 / 18+
If you miss Steve Gunn this weekend, the good news is that he’ll be back in Chicago next Saturday (October 15th) for a performance with Jim Elkington at the Logan Square Food Truck Social. Tickets for that one are $5 and you can find out more information here.
To put it briefly, I moved over the weekend. Just got my internet connection back up, and we’re off to the races once more with another collection of tracks I like to label Pick Your Poison. There’s some excellent downloads in this set from Crocodiles, Jorge Andre, The Lampshades and Warning Light. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Big Wild (ft. IDA HAWK), Capital Cities, The Duke Spirit, The Faint, GTA (ft. Tinashe), Julia Jacklin, King Henry (ft. NAATIONS), La Sera (covering Led Zeppelin), matt pond PA, Palmas, Terry Malts and more!
Moving is the pits. More on that later. Right now, I’ve got more Pick Your Poison for you to enjoy. Add to your collection with downloads from Captain Murphy (aka Flying Lotus), Floating Room, Miya Folic and Rachel Mason. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Dungen, House of Feelings (ft. Meredith Graves), I Have A Tribe, Itasca, Jack River, The Legends (ft. Maria Usbeck), Lou Barlow, MAKJ & Timmy Trumpet (ft. Andrew W.K.), Moses Sumney, PLUM, Quay Dash and Zeds Dead (ft. Twin Shadow).
The mid-week edition of Pick Your Poison features some top notch downloads from the likes of Lubec, Magana, Rootwork, Ryan Hemsworth and Sparrows. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from CC Dust, Flowers For Agatha, French Horn Rebellion, Holy Sons, Kero Kero Bonito, Kuroma, Major Stars, Mall Grab (ft. Yaeji), Muuy Biien, Royal Teeth, Temples and more!
Believe it or not, I’ve got a life outside of this site. Unfortunately, it sometimes gets in the way of my ability to actually compose posts for you, wonderful reader. This week, for the first time in five years, I’m moving. Rest assured that I’m not going far, unless you consider a few blocks to be far. But with that transition comes packing and sorting and unpacking and the general uprooting of your entire life. So for the next week or two the posts might be extra short and a little more intermittent than usual while I sort this whole thing out. Please bear with me, I’d appreciate it! Now then, let’s jump into today’s Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Blake Rainey & His Demons, K V A S I R, M. Lockwood Porter and Sofia Hartig. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from American Wrestlers, Cakes Da Killa (ft. Peaches), Foreign Air, Girl Tears, GoldLink (ft. April George), GRiZ (ft. Basstracks & Eric Krasno), Honeyblood, Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions (ft. Kurt Vile), NOIA, Real Numbers, The Tins and more!
It’s the first day of fall, and there’s no time to waste. Break out the pumpkin spice and sweaters. Gawk at nature and start deciding on a Halloween costume. Summer’s done and Mercury is no longer in retrograde, so let’s celebrate with some new music. Pick Your Poison has you covered as always. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Mica Levi (ft. KEVIN), Owls of the Swamp, Soft Pyramids and Zoee. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Allen Tate, Axis: Sova, The Big Moon (covering Madonna), Cosima, DIANA, Gosh Pith, Hello Shark, Kelela, NxWorries, Simian Mobile Disco, Tele Novella and You Blew It.
Feeling good on this Tuesday, doing my best to savor the last moments of summer before things turn cold and blustery. Today’s Pick Your Poison is designed with those last gasps of warmth in mind. Don’t miss downloads from Chris Stalcup, Kinky Love, SALT and Timothy J. Wilson. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Blonder, Earwig (ft. Lydia Loveless), The Griswolds, Honus Honus, Jubilee (ft. Hoodcelebrityy), Juliette Lewis, Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, Lion Babe, Spencer Ludwig, Speingtime Carnivore, Tycho and Wiz Khalifa (ft. J.R. Donato).
Oof. Sometimes you make a mistake. Not like a minor spelling error sort of mistake or a major life-altering sort of mistake, but one that impacts you for a brief period of time. Like this past weekend, for example, in which I attended two full days of Riot Fest, followed by an aftershow on Sunday night that went until well past 2AM despite needing to get up a few hours later for that fun thing known as a job. Riding the struggle bus all day today, and really just want to crawl back into bed for a good 3-4 hour nap. Instead, let’s talk Pick Your Poison. Some great tracks up for download from Crushed Out, Husky Rescue, Jenny Hval and Mylko. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Beach Slang (covering Japandroids), Damaged Bug, Dillon Francis (ft. Will Heard), The Dodos (covering American Football), Fraternal Twin, Fujiya & Miyagi, Joyce Manor, Katie Gately, Miniature Tigers, Nick Waterhouse (covering Sade), Warehouse and more.
Your final Pick Your Poison for the week has a few genuine bangers to help provide support and energy as the week wraps up. If you’re headed to Riot Fest this weekend, I’ll see you in Douglas Park. Let me recommend some downloads from Craig Hallsworth, The Embrooks, Left & Righ and Weird. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Conner Youngblood, Dragonette (ft. Dada), Kevin Krauter (of Hoops), La Sera, Mica Levi & Oliver Coates, Porter Robinson & Madeon, Psychic TV (covering The Creation), Purling Hiss, Shock Machine, Suburban Living, Trails and Ways, and Wolf People.
Let’s keep this train rollin’, because we’re only a couple days away from the weekend. So close you can almost taste it. Here’s a brand new collection of songs for you to digest. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Cheshires, Errant Boy, The March Divide, Polar (ft. Gucci Mane) and PURGE. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Boogie, Clams Casino (ft. Lil B), Crying, Luke Temple, Marching Church, Mndsgn, Nia (covering Golden Suits), Princess Nokia, Red Sleeping Beauty, Sonic Avenues and Years & Years.