Chicago is great. I love my city, probably in the same way that you’re passionate about a place that you’ve lived for the majority of your life. You probably wouldn’t have lived there for so long unless you liked it…or your parents forced you into it during your childhood. Anyways, What I was getting at about Chicago is how incredible it is when one of our sports teams does well and suddenly “fans” start to come out of the woodwork and claiming they’ve been supporting the team all along. Sure you have, just because you watched a part of that game that one time because the bar you were at had it on. But yes, it seems the fairweather fans have descended for the rest of the NHL season now that the Blackhawks are in the running for the Stanley Cup. Nevermind the fact that I’ve spent quite a bit of time cheering for the team this season straight from its abbreviated post-strike start at the beginning of 2013. But this also isn’t a sports blog, and I don’t like using this time to complain. But I bring this up because in the middle of one of the longest games in Stanley Cup history earlier tonight, something amazing was announced that relates to music in Chicago. Okay, and Denver and Toronto too. What is this amazingness I speak of? Well, it seems that The Replacements are officially back, and have announced three shows that will be among their first in 22 years. All three of the currently announced shows will be in the form of headlining slots at all three Riot Fests taking place in 2013 in the cities I’ve just mentioned. The Toronto Riot Fest takes place August 24-25, the Chicago version takes place September 13-15 and the Denver ones goes from September 21-22. As a life-long Chicagoan, of course I’m most excited about that show. Chicago is also a notable place in the history of The Replacements, because the band officially broke up on July 4, 1991 in the middle of a show at the Taste of Chicago. So now they’ll be making a grand return, and suddenly my Twitter feed deviated from hockey commentary for a bit to report the exciting news. As for the lineup of The Replacements, at this point it’s going to be Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, and the rest of the band will be announced later. Want to hear something even better? Before the festival kicks off in mid-September, I’ll be giving away a pair of 3-day passes to this year’s Riot Fest in Chicago. Beyond The Replacements you’ll be able to see the Violent Femmes, Blondie, Rancid, Public Enemy, Guided By Voices, The Dismemberment Plan, Dinosaur Jr. and many more. Tickets can currently be purchased for either $150 for a regular 3-day pass or $250 for a VIP 3-day pass. It wouldn’t surprise me if the festival sold out this year, and rumor has it single day ticket sales are on the way too. But yes, if going to this festival for 3 days in mid-September in Chicago sounds like a great plan to you, keep an eye on this site for your chance to win some free passes. Now then, let’s get to today’s Pick Your Poison. There’s some strong tracks in the set today from Holley Maher, Inch Chua, Joey Bada$$, Leftover Cutues, Missing Monuments, Run the Jewels (Killer Mike + El-P) and Speedy Ortiz. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream new songs from Arp, Freddie Gibbs, Smith Westerns and Zero 7’s remix of Ultraista.

Caged Animals – Cindy + Me (Billy Dub Remix)

Glitches – Only Time Will Tell (Tom of We Have Band Remix)

Havilah Tower – Out to Sea

Holley Maher – Whispered Words

Inch Chua – Artful Dodger

Joey Bada$$ – 95 Til Infinity

Kris Menace & Douze – Wall of Love

Leftover Cuties – One Heart

Maps – A.M.A. (Susanne Sundfor Remix)

Missing Monuments – Answer the Call

NOVI – Make A Scene

Run the Jewels – 36″ Chain

Shine 2009 – Eurozone (CFCF Remix)

Speedy Ortiz – No Below


Arp – More (Blues)

Freddie Gibbs – One Eighty Seven (ft. Problem)

The High Wire – LNOE

Shigeto – Detroit Part 1

Smith Westerns – Idol

Ultraista – Our Song (Zero 7 Remix)