North Coast Festival Preview: Maps and Atlases

Preview 4 – Today’s featured band: Chicago math rockers Maps and Atlases.  The group met as student’s at Columbia College, released a couple EPs and earlier this summer showed how musically they’ve matured with the release of their first full length “Perch Patchwork” (Barsuk).  Their music is very technical, textured, rythmically and structurally complex so it will be interesting to see how this will play out on a large outdoor festival stage.  They are virtuosos with their respective instruments often playing the necks of their guitars like pianos, plucking away at each note.  Catch them on the Coast Stage, Sunday at 3p.m.  Below is “Solid Ground” off Perch Patchwork.

Official Site


North Coast Festival Preview: Mayer Hawthorne & The County

Preview 3 – Today’s preview is an earworm of sorts. Mayer Hawthorne and the County is the name of one Andrew Mayer Cohen and his band.  The LA-based singer/songwriter/mulit-instrumentalist/producer has a deep soulful voice that you wouldn’t believe comes out of a 29 year old white boy from Michigan.  After a stint through Europe, Hawthorne made the summer festival rounds in the US and will be stopping by the Groupon: What’s a Music? Stage at North Coast on Sunday at 5:30p.m.  His music has been labeled as “retro”, anything that sounds like it was recorded in the 1960s – think Mark Ronson or Amy Winehouse and the influence of musical greats like Curtis Mayfield and Smokey Robinson and it evident especially in songs like “I Wish It Would Rain“. His first single (released on a red heart-shaped 7”) “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out” is below.


North Coast Festival Preview: Loyal Divide

Preview 2 – Our second featured can’t miss band is Loyal Divide.  Formed about 5 years ago, the band currently resides in Chicago and is gearing up for the September 2010 release of their first full length LP Bodice Ripper. They’ve released two previous EPs: Loyal Divide E.P. and Labrador, both available on iTunes. Their sound is all about textured psychedelic-electronic-pop full of quirky electronic sounds, gliding vocals and angelic/atmospheric synths.  Below is the video for “Vision Vision” off their digital 7″ DDF which is available as a free download on their bandcamp site.  The video is done is live action done with gaff tape and directed by BBGUN – it’s pretty fucking cool.  They’ll hit the Groupon Stage at North Coast on Sunday at 1:45 p.m. – BE THERE!

Official Site

North Coast Festival Preview: Van Ghost

Preview 1 – North Coast‘s inaugural run boasts one of the most eclectic lineups (hip hop, electronica, jam bands, etc) of the summer festival circuit, in the coming days check back for bands/artists that simply cannot be missed.  Today we’re focusing on Chicago’s own Van Ghost.  Sounds like: Ryan Adams/Wilco/CSN; alt country / Americana.  Michael Berg, a veteran of the Chicago music industry, formed Van Ghost after much encouragement from friends and family to pick up his guitar and start writing and performing.  He assembled a collection of seasoned musicians to form Van Ghost and I’ve fallen for Berg and Jennifer Hartswick’s vocals.  Berg’s voice carries an honesty and conviction that is complimented by the force of Hartswick’s range.  They will be at the ‘Groupon: What’s A Music? Stage’ at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.  Below is a video of “On The Way Home (Live)” filmed at The Metro.  They’ll also be at Bottom Lounge on September 5 and their new release “The Domino Effect” (6 pack-EP) will be out soon.

Van Ghost Official Site

4th Annual Metal Mergence

Looking for an alternative to Pitchfork this Friday night? Check out the 4th annual Metal Mergence taking place this Friday, July 16, at Reggie’s (2109 South State).  The annual gathering focuses on local and emerging talents of all forms of metals with great networking opportunities for all. Confirmed labels and reps include: Dark Star Records, Mortal Music, Rebel Radio, Las Divas Promotions, Jen X, Pitch Black Productions and Chicago Metal Factory.  Bands and artists attending are encouraged to submit demos face-to-face with the movers and shakers in the industry.  There will also be a number of people from the illustration and packaging departments to help bring merch ideas to life.

You can catch live performances by: Viva La Muerte (Hot N Heavy Burlesque), Souls Demise, Lair of the Minotaur, Earthen Grave, Mindwarp Chamber, Falsefaced, Malas and First Jason.

Doors open at 8, 17+ (must have valid ID). For more information you can check out the official MYSPACE and FACEBOOK pages.

E>N>E: Chicago Rocks 06/07 Recap

I’ve been watching the 7 Worlds Collide doc on YouTube via Pitchfork since yesterday so this recap is late. My bad.
We were back in Chicago at Reggie’s this week and you’ll find us there the rest of the month too. Continue reading E>N>E: Chicago Rocks 06/07 Recap