Chicago has quite a large number of great local bands that haven’t hit the big time just yet, and I’m always pleased when one sends me an email introduction. I try to support the local scene as much as I’m able without distracting too much from some of the more major worldwide indie acts, and in this case here’s something fun anybody from anywhere can get involved with. Chicago band The Bears of Blue River are preparing a new 7″ single for their song “Flamingo”, and they want you to design the cover art. Feel free to submit anything, from a photo you took to something you drew/painted or even something you created on your laptop. If it’s artistic or even simple and crude, feel free to submit it for consideration. You can get your art to the band through email or regular mail, bearing in mind that if you’re submitting something digitally the image should be as large as possible to avoid distortion on the actual finished product. Digital submissions can be sent to Physical submissions should be sent to Rhed Rholl Recordings, PO Box 60315, Nashville, TN, 37206. Please know that by sending in your artwork you’re giving permission to the band and Rhed Rholl Recordings to use it in whatever fashion they like. If your piece is chosen, you will receive record #1 of 250 hand numbered pink vinyl, a framed copy of your artwork, and a special thank you in the liner notes. Just for submitting something the band will also include your name in the liner notes. If you’re looking for more details on the contest, simply click here. And so you’re not creating artwork for a band you might not have heard of before, here’s an mp3 to give you an idea of what the band sounds like: The Bears of Blue River – Blue Ribbon.

Now, onto today’s Pick Your Poison. Fun stuff in this set, and I’ll recommend tracks from Big Boi & Theophilus London, James Bowers, Katie Kate, Los Campesinos!, Sea of Bees, and a classic Silver Jews song. In the Soundcloud section be sure to stream songs from Matthew Dear, Nouela and Taragana Pyjarama. Oh, and lest I forget, Blayer Point-Du-Jour & Rockers Galore, who have an mp3 below, will be playing a show at Reggie’s Music Joint on June 5th with Mr. Blotto. Cover is $5 at the door, so if you want to see a quality show in Chicago this upcoming Tuesday, that might be worth checking out.

Big Boi & Theophilus London – She Said OK (ft. TRE LUCE)

Broken Water – Underground
Broken Water – Drown

d’Eon – Al-Qiyamah
d’Eon – Now You Do

James Bowers – Celia

Jezzy and the Belles – Confess Child

Judson Claiborne – Twilight Spirit

Karim Kureishi – Sleeping With Animals

Katie Kate – Houses

Los Campesinos! – Tiptoe Through the True Bits (ZIP)

Piano Magic – The Slightest of Threads

Rampue – Kopfübe

Blayer Point-Du-Jour & Rockers Galore – Ominous Black (ft. Schoolly D)

Sea of Bees – Gone

Silver Jews – Secret Knowledge of Back Roads

Space Command – Insult to Injury

Youth Mass – Sea of Green


Hounds – Fan the Flames of the Fire

Icebreaker with BJ Cole – An Ending (Ascent) II

Matthew Dear – Her Fantasy

Mella Dee – Don’t Be Nesh

Nouela – Suckers

Taragana Pyjarama – Lo Ng