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The hottest music from Chicago & beyond

Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 8-24-16

Let’s help cure those mid-week blues with more fresh tracks as part of Pick Your Poison. There’s some great downloads in this set from The Burgeoning, Mood Robot, Morningbell, Trails and Ways as well as Vince Staples. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Anna of the North, Car Seat Headrest, CEO, Chet Porter (ft. Chelsea Cutler), EZTV, Helena Deland, Isaiah Rashad, Loch Lomond, Ryan Playground, Sam Evian, Say Lou Lou (covering the Bee Gees) and WILLS.

Angie Keilhauer – Made to Live By the Water

The Burgeoning – Beautiful Rampage

Mood Robot – Ghost

Morningbell – We Have Eyes As Well As Ears

NAC – Flashlight

Trails and Ways – Happiness

Unconscious Disturbance – Scream

Vince Staples – ’06

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 8-22-16

How’s everybody doing now that there’s lots of new Frank Ocean in our lives? Yes, after all the intense pressure from music fans who seemingly refused to wait for the man to complete his next record, in the last few days we’ve gotten not one, but TWO new Frank Ocean albums. The first came on Thursday night with the release of Endless, which classifies more as a “visual album” than something more traditional. Shortly after it’s release via an exclusive at Apple Music, there was word going around that Endless was only the beginning, and there was another Ocean album on the way that’d be released over the weekend. We’ve heard this story and been fooled before, so there was no point in believing it until it landed in our laps. So in the later part of Saturday, Blond(e) arrived. There’s still a bit of confusion over the title, as the cover has it stylized as Blond but the listing on Apple Music says Blonde. However it’s spelled, it’s another new (and arguably much more official) Frank Ocean release. No visual components to this one, save for a video for the song “Nikes” that came out the night before the actual album drop. So yeah, it’s been an exciting few days for Ocean fans. I’m excited to give both records deep listens and close analysis in the near future. If you’re still itching for some hot new music action though, I’ve got a treat for you in today’s Pick Your Poison. There’s some great downloads in this set from The Chairman Dances, Crushed Out, This Frontier Needs Heroes and UMFANG. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Big Gigantic (ft. Logic & Rozes), Clearance, Forth Wanderers, Girlboss, Julia Jacklin, Mick Jenkins, PAPA, Racing Heart, Suburban Living, Swet Shop Boys, The Tallest Man on Earth and Weaves (covering The Beatles).

The Chairman Dances – César Chávez

Crushed Out – Out of the Blue

Fabian Secon – Looking for the Old Me (ft. Kevin Clarke)

Marbs – Tusks & Tales (TACHES Discovers Keyboards Remix)

This Frontier Needs Heroes – Free Market Music

UMFANG – Force

Wargirl – Song for the Man

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 8-18-16

Before another weekend arrives, let’s take stock of the week and celebrate a bit with another edition of Pick Your Poison. This time you’ll want to focus on downloads from Chasms, Earl Sweatshirt (ft. Knowledge), Kadhja Bonet and Marching Church. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Adam Torres, American Wrestlers, Axis: Sova, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Daniel Wilson, El Perro Del Mar, Four Star Riot, Liberation, Miya Folick, PWR BTTM, Southern Shores and WELL$ (ft. Sylvan Esso).

Chasms – Black Ice

Earl Sweatshirt ft. Knowledge – Balance

Fabian Secon – Resuscitate

Kadhja Bonet – Honeycomb

Marching Church – Heart of Life

Trapdoor Social – Precious Disguise

Unconscious Disturbance – Eye To Eye

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 8-17-16

This week is starting to feel like the doldrums of August for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the thought that summer will be unofficially ending in a couple of weeks and that kids are going back to school, but after a fun and moderately exciting summer I suppose this relative calm can be a little nice. Gives me a chance to catch up on some things. If you’ve got the time, there’s still plenty of new music to go around and I’m proud to present that to you each week in the form of Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Dinowalrus, Eux Autres, Lacrymosa, Picnic Lightning and Suntrodden. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Banks & Steelz, et aliae (ft. Cuushe), GRiZ (ft. Leo Napier), The Head and the Heart, Hello Shark, Jamie Isaac, Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan (covering The Misfits), Low Culture, Nicole Dollanganger, Pillow Person, Psychic Twin and more!

Dinowalrus – Tides

Eux Autres – Other Girls

Generik – Hi NRG

Hiva Oa – Seskinore

Lacrymosa – Quiet Weather

Picnic Lightning – Ten Million Thoughts

Steel Cranes – Today Is The Day

Suntrodden – Melt

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 8-15-16

Let’s get this week off to a strong start, shall we? There’s a brand new edition of Pick Your Poison just waiting for your consumption below. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Against Me!, Bobby Shoebotham, Crushed Out and The Recipe (ft. Talib Kweli & Spark Master Tape). In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Arjuna Genome, Big Gigantic (ft. Jennifer Hartswick), Bobby Krlic, Grapell, I Have A Tribe, MADEIRA, Myrkur, NOTS, The Orb, Psychic TV, Supersilent and more!

Against Me! – Haunting, Haunted, Haunts

Arc Isla – All Night

Bobby Shoebotham – Somebody Else’s Girl

CHUCK – Bushwick Girl

Crushed Out – Skinny Dippin’

People and Stars – You’re Not Alone

The Recipe – Place to Rest (ft. Talib Kweli & Spark Master Tape)

Yishay – Home

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 8-10-16

The waiting game for this new Frank Ocean record has been fun so far, right? There was all this talk that it would be released last Friday, spurred in part by some videos and activity happening on Ocean’s website, but the day came and went with no new record to show for it. Today I heard a rumor that it might not be out until November. Whenever it shows up, we’ll make sure to give it a listen. Or ten listens. The most important thing to understand is that creativity cannot be rushed, and that new Frank Ocean album isn’t something we can pressure him into releasing, especially if it’s not up to his standards yet. While you wait, why not discover something new? That’s what Pick Your Poison is all about. There are some great downloads in this set from Honeybucket, The Minders, Owls of the Swamp and Sunset Harbinger. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from The Album Leaf, Carl Broemel, The Handsome Family, JEFF the Brotherhood (ft. Alicia Bognanno), Kate Nash, Leagues, Lydia Loveless, MYZICA, Shy Layers, Teeth & Tongue and much more!

Borgore ft. G-Eazy – Forbes (Getter Remix)

Honeybucket – Devo Hat

Jorge Andre – Solera

The Minders – Summer Song

Owls of the Swamp – Meteorite

Sunset Harbinger – Glass Jar

Trae Byrnes – Your Halo

Verge Collection – Postcodes

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 8-8-16

Let’s get this week start out right with some top notch new music for your listening pleasure! There are some fantastic downloads in this set from Ben Millburn, Curse of Lono, Noname (ft. Raury & Cam Obi) and Protomartyr. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Ages and Ages, Cafe Lanai, Carla dal Forno, Cass McCombs, Cheena, D.R.A.M., Eola, Golden Suits, Jacques Greene, Katie Gately, Kishi Bashi and Minden.

1313 Mockingbird Lane – Oooga Booga Baby

Ben Millburn – I’ll Go

Curse of Lono – Five Miles

Jess Chizuk – China Plates

Katie Rose – Feel

Noname – Diddy Bob (ft. Raury & Cam Obi)

Protomartyr – Born to Be Wine

Trails and Ways – My Things

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 8-3-16

Let’s jump right into today’s Pick Your Poison, shall we? There are some great downloads in this set from Eyelid Kid, Karman, Noname (ft. Xavier Omar) and This Frontier Needs Heroes. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Ariana Grande, Bonnie Banane, Exploded View, Father John Misty, Hoops, JEFF the Brotherhood, Jeff Tweedy, Purling Hiss, serpentwithfeet, Swet Shop Boys and Ta-ku & Wafia.

Ariana Delawari – Here Is My Love

Eyelid Kid – Heartbeat

Karman – No Us

Kerri Chandler & Troy Denari – The Way It Goes (Track 1)

Noname – All I Need (ft. Xavier Omar)

Styline – Suicide Squad

This Frontier Needs Heroes – I Love Immigration

Warning Light – Lumen Tracker

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 8-1-16

Yikes. Four full days of music festival-ing sure does take a lot out of you. Lollapalooza 2016 has come and gone, and for the most part it was a success. It’ll be back in Chicago next summer, once again at an excessive four days. While I attempt to rest and recover, please enjoy these brand new tracks as part of today’s Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Bobby Shoebotham, Jlin, Joe Sampson and The Medicine Hat. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Biosphere, Charlotte Day Wilson, Douglas Dare, Mercury Girls, Milemarker, Nas & Erykah Badu, NOTS, Pfarmers, Slothtrust, Terribly Yours, Yohuna and Your Friend (covering James Blake).

Bixel Boys ft. Jarell Perry – Love Marks (Original Mix)

Bobby Shoebotham – I’m On Your Side

Codes – Bumba Ras Clot Chune

Jlin – Downtown

Joe Sampson – My Love

Luxley – Spirit (Great Good Fine Ok Remix)

The Medicine Hat – St. Cecilia

Michael Blume – Colors

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 7-27-16

Lollapalooza kicks off tomorrow. There’s no real way to prepare for four full days of music, but if you’re headed to Grant Park do make sure to check out my preview guide, which features 25 artists from the lineup you should go out of your way to try and see. If you’re not going to Lollapalooza, perhaps some new music will keep you busy this weekend? Don’t miss downloads in this set from The Chairman Dances, Cheshires, Shapes On Tape and The Shondes. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Banks & Steelz, DIANA, inc. no world, Jenny Hval, Lil Yachty, The Linedots, MisterWives (covering Chance the Rapper), Moor Mother, Motel Radio, Mykki Blanco, Russian Circles and Tele Novella.

The Chairman Dances – Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin

Cheshires – Love This Feelin’

Madonna – Holiday (Rhythm Scholar Funk Adventure Remix)

Midnight Faces – Heavenly Bodies (Fred Falke Remix)

Shapes On Tape – Wide Angle Eyes

The Shondes – Everything Good

SHOWSTAR – Mistakes On Fire

Sweet Crude – Laissez les Lazy

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Lollapalooza 2016: Lineup Recommendations

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This year, Lollapalooza celebrates its 25th anniversary as a music festival. It’s had some ups and downs, including a couple of years when it went away entirely, but since settling down in Chicago back in 2005 things have been smooth sailing. Things have expanded exponentially in the last decade alone, with more stages, more artists and now more days than ever before. Yes, for the first time ever (and in celebration of this milestone), we’ll have four full days of music and mayhem. If three days and 130 artists somehow wasn’t enough to make your head spin, four days and 170 artists practically crosses the line between enjoyment and punishment. I’ve nearly killed myself in the past attempting to cover every single day of this festival for the last 11 years, and in all honesty I’m quite concerned with how I’m going to survive year 12. Don’t overextend yourself, drink lots of water, and wear comfortable shoes are just a few pieces of advice I can offer and will be abiding by myself.

That said, with four days of music it gives you an even greater opportunity to enjoy some of your favorite bands and discover some great new ones. Instead of analyzing every artist on the lineup, or even taking an hour-by-hour look at the insane schedule, let’s try something a little more sensible and manageable for 2016. In honor of 25 years of Lollapalooza, I’m going to recommend 25 can’t-miss artists who will be performing at the festival this weekend. They’re broken down by day, and distributed evenly across the weekend with the exception of Sunday, which has one extra artist just to hit that magic number. The only downside in limiting this to recommending six (or seven) artists per day is that a few really cool acts inevitably get left out. If you’re going all four days it’ll be tough to catch everything worthwhile as it is. The way these picks are structured, there’s not a lot of time slot conflicts happening, so you could theoretically see just about all of these artists if you play your cards right.

Join me after the jump for the full list of 25, complete with multiple audio/video streams from each. Best of luck to you if you’ll be in Grant Park this weekend. I’ll see you on the battlefield. Follow my Twitter and Instagram feeds for live, on-the-ground reports all four days.

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 7-25-16

As I work to finish shaking off this cold I contracted following the Pitchfork Music Festival, it’s time to start preparing for yet another music festival taking over Chicago this upcoming weekend – Lollapalooza. Keep an eye out on this site for my preview guide coming up in the next day or two. In the meantime, there’s plenty more new music for you to enjoy with this edition of Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Bodies Be Rivers, The Brood, Fiance, Lennart Richter (ft. American Mag) and Mackenzie Shivers. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Bellows, Big Gigantic (ft. Pell), Carl Broemel, Dawg Yawp, Die Antwoord, The Game (ft. Jeremih), Myrkur (covering Bathory), Natural Child, of Montreal, Regina Spektor, Skrillex & Rick Ross and more!

Big Kuntry King – Peach Crush (Light.Em.Up Remix)

Bodies Be Rivers – Making Plans

The Brood – All Debit, No Credit

Fiancé – H.a.g.s.

Getter – Wat the Frick

Left & Right – Sleep Show

Lennart Richter – Ain’t Nuttin’ (ft. American Mag)

Mackenzie Shivers – Tell Me to Run

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 7-20-16

It only figures that after an exciting and intense full weekend of live music, I’d wind up getting sick. Haven’t had a summer cold in about 10 years, but this one came rolling in yesterday and it’s left me feeling absolutely terrible. So let me just pass this set of songs along before climbing back into bed. Highlights include downloads from Blanck Mass, Hollis Brown, Poolside and The Shondes. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Dent May, Dogbreth, JEFF the Brotherhood, Mild High Club, Mood Hut, PWR BTTM, Sleigh Bells, Spirit Club, S U R V I V E, Thunder Tillman and more!

Blanck Mass – D7-D5

Fiona Soe Paing – Heartbeat

Getaway Dogs – Excuses / Opinions

Hollis Brown – Completed Fool

Katie Rose – Wonder

Poolside – And the Sea

Post Death Soundtrack – Beauty Eyes I Adore (Dark Highway Mix)

The Shondes – Everything Good

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 7-18-16

Well, it was a weekend. The Pitchfork Music Festival once again rocked my world. If you were there I hope it was an equally enjoyable experience. Check out full coverage right here. As I attempt to rest up and recover, here’s another collection of tracks for your listening pleasure. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Cotton Mather, Japancakes, Maps & His Mothball Fleet and Vick Lejet. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Banks & Steelz, Dreller, The Handsome Family, The Head and The Heart, Jamila Woods (ft. Noname), Julia Jacklin, Kishi Bashi, Leagues, POP ETC (covering Sam Cooke), R.L. Kelly, SHaron Jones & the Dap-Kings and Zeds Dead x Diplo (ft. Elliphant).

Cotton Mather – Life of the Liar

DANI – Love U More

Grey Gersten – You can’t Stop

Japancakes – Android

Maps & His Mothball Fleet – Trust the Teahouse

Reckonwrong – Magical Journey Mix

They Called Him Zone – Just Fall

Vick Lejet – Ripped White Denim

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2016: Sunday Recap

pitchfork 2016 logo
There were a surprising number of people in Union Park at 1:45pm on a Sunday, but I suppose that’s what happens when quality acts are booked to start the day. Porches kicked things off on the Red stage with what can best be described as dance music for lonely people. Indeed, Aaron Maine and his band used synths, bouncy bass lines and the occasional saxophone assist to settle into a groove, and the modest crowd shuffled around entranced while staring at their feet. Many of them may have been nursing hangovers or were simply tired from the previous two days, but at the very least they were moving. While the songs would undoubtedly have sounded even better under the cover of night, Porches still managed to inspire and help people get motivated for one more full day of music.

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