This weekend is the annual Chicago tradition known as Blues Fest. Considering the city is widely considered to be one of the “birthplaces” of the blues, it’s an important couple of days mixed with all sorts of rich history and performances by some true legends of the craft. My sincere hope is that you get out to Grant Park sometime on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to see at least some of the acts performing. It’s a pretty fun time, and totally free to attend as well. Should you be looking for a good show elsewhere in the city to help compliment Blues Fest, allow me to recommend Curtis Harding, who will be at Schubas on Saturday night. Blues and soul are close cousins in a thematic and sonic sense (they are NOT the same thing, nor should you confuse one with the other…please don’t write me angry letters), or at the very least there’s a fair amount of crossover in audiences. Harding makes soul music, to the point where his debut album is called Soul Power. It’s the sort of stuff that pulls from a deep well of emotion and life experience, making it not just music for specific tastes, but really for everybody. And while the blues tends to wallow in pain and sadness, soul music can be a little more upbeat and uplifting at times. As evidenced by the video for his song “Keep On Shining,” Harding has a pretty good sense of humor about him too. His live show should be at least partly a fun party, and one hopes the crowd would also do a bit of dancing. Intrigued? Come check out the show. It’s 21+, starts at 7:30, and tickets are only $12. You can buy them in advance here. Just a little something else to distract yourself with on what looks to ba a packed weekend of fun in and around the Chicagoland area. The weather should hold up nicely too. Now then, let’s get on with today’s Pick Your Poison. Some great tracks today from Baby Baby, Cloud Seeding, Emily Danger, St. Tropez and Yucca. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream new songs from Allah-Las, Evan Mellows, Madlib, Slaptop and Spider Bags. Class of 2014 artist SAINT PEPSI also does a great remix of a Painted Palms track (they’re on tour together), and Mickey Valen did some nice work turning Say Lou Lou’s “Everything We Touch” inside out.

Baby Baby – Short Little Summer Love Song

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – See You Soon (Cruel Jungle Remix)

Ceiling Demons – Amputated Spirit

Cloud Seeding – Kaleidocycle II

Emily Danger – Peace Arch

Hot Casandra – Waiting for the Night (Depeche Mode cover)

Johanssen – Jag Gillar

Roman Ruins – Loved One (Moss of Aura Remix)

Some Amber – The Thrashing Whip (Avalon Emerson Remix)

St. Tropez – Maybe Nothing

You Love Her Coz She’s Dead – Let Me Break

Yucca – Roadrunner


Allah-Las – 501-415

Evan Mellows – Seven

Madlib – Black Dreams (Sludge Fight)

Painted Palms – Hypnotic (SAINT PEPSI Remix)

Say Lou Lou – Everything We Touch (Mickey Valen Remix)

Slaptop – Sunrise

Spider Bags – Japanese Vacation