Category Archives: TVD Chicago

TVD Premiere:
Briar Rabbit, “So Long”

“…This must have been when I first moved to Chicago. I went home for some holiday and went digging through my parents records then I found Still Bill by Bill Withers. I was like “Use Me,” “Lean on Me”—great! I had just gone through it with a woman who wasn’t in the right place to really be with me (blah blah blah, I just got out of a break up so I wrote songs that ended up on The Company You Keep.)”

“I remember it was snowing, everyone in the house was asleep and all I could really see was the LED off the record player and “Let Me in Your Life” came on. I don’t know how it escaped me, but holy hell that song hit me like a ton of bricks.

I must have put the needle back 10 times that night—in all fairness it’s a short song. It was for sure a moment and the vinyl was a little warped so it was like my own version of the tune. That song still gives me chills.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Radar Eyes 7” Flexi, “Dreaming of Giants”

Spring is here, April showers are beginning to replace the gloomy Chicago winter, and “t-shirt weather” is just around the corner. This time of year is particularly special for music lovers and vinyl junkies like myself. Plenty of great record shows come around each Spring but the real vinyl event of the season is Record Store Day.

This annual record appreciation day will take place on Saturday April 20th and bring with it over 400 new releases and reissues from artists new and old.

The release list is generally heavy on vinyl releases, but this year includes the largest selection of CD releases in RSD history. Even a couple of cassettes made the cut. As in previous years, these releases are generally limited to very low quantities (sometimes as low 300-500), meaning it’s very likely you’ll miss out on some of these if you don’t get your shopping done early.

You can find the master release list at the official Record Store Day website in both a flashy web version and a convenient printable PDF (that serves as a great grocery list). This list is by no means complete, tons of smaller indie labels use Record Store Day to put out a new and exclusive records that don’t always make the official list. Start making your picks today and be prepared for Saturday’s record store shopping rush.

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Sacrificial Youth: Selling out comes with a price

Have you ever wanted to DO stuff? I mean start a record label. Start a band? Fu*k’n do something? Well, this guy does it.

His name is Joe Losurdo. He owned a record store. He has been in a touring punk band during the mid-eighties (Life Sentence) and one in the 2000′s (Regress). Joe and his wife Chris made the awesome Chicago punk scene documentary You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-84. You gotta see it especially if all you know is LA / NYC / DC punk from that era. You Weren’t There is like a jolt of new life to your punk fandom.

Now his latest project is called Sacrificial Youth and it is a rock and roll musical. What I like about Joe’s approach is that he knows music, and can speak the language and nail the tone in cinematic form. I was fortunate to connect with Joe as his schedule was quite nutzo as he prepares for the premiere on the 19th.

Please nutshell Sacrificial Youth.

Sacrificial Youth is a musical in the key of Hardcore. It is the story of a young punk named TJ. He lives for The Scene. He is a true believer in the hardcore/DIY way of life, but evil forces conspire to destroy not only the scene, but TJ as well. TJ has no choice but to fight back.

Some times you have to fight back, in defense of your future. How did the Kickstarter funding work for you?

As far as Kickstarter is concerned, I wanted money from strangers but instead it came from all my friends and it just made me feel bad, so I was glad we didn’t reach our goal.

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Vinyl Me, Please Record of the Month: Leagues, You Belong Here

With a new month comes a new record from the folks at Vinyl Me, Please. The subscription service that delivers a hand picked album of their choice to your door every month, has rolled out their March pick: Leagues’ You Belong Here.

This album is catchy. From the first drum hits on the opening track “Spotlight” you know you’re in for a dance party. The rest of the album does not disappoint either. The Nashville based three piece has made an album that can only be described as infectious.

The guitars are jangly, the melodies are gorgeous, and the drums will make your speakers shake. Throw in singer, Thad Cockrell’s amazing song writing and you have yourself an album that will get you moving and contemplating life all at once.

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Anthony Cozzi of
Radar Eyes: The TVD Interview and Vinyl Giveaway

On a chilly Chicago Sunday, I had the chance to talk with Anthony Cozzi, front man of Radar Eyes—a band that has been a huge part of the Chicago garage rock scene for some 5 years now and who are just a few days short of the one-year anniversary of their vinyl debut on HoZac Records,

Anthony offered some insight into his songwriting, the home recording process, and the direction the band is heading. We also reminisced about growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago, our favorite record stores, and how the music industry is easily not what it used to be.

I’ll admit I’m fairly new to you guys. I don’t know how you weren’t already on my radar but I first heard the song “I Am” a few weeks ago when the band Asteroid #4 posted it on their Facebook page with the tagline “Wow…sometimes something comes along where even we’re like…’ok, that’s fucking amazing!’”

I was pretty much hooked from there. I played it 4 or 5 times in a row and then immediately searched out some of your other songs. By the time I heard the track “Miracle” I had bought the album and a 7” from HoZac.

Nice! Glad you like it. Some of those songs were recorded over 2 or 2 ½ years ago now; some of them were recorded about a year ago. We’ve had some of them written for about 4 years though.

So, this album had been in the works a long time. It’s been a year since the Radar Eyes LP came out, how do you feel about the past year and the reaction to the album? Was it well received?

Yeah, better than expected for a home recording. I actually was not super satisfied with it but I just had to be done with it. I did all the basic recording myself, did the mixing, did most of the overdubs… It got a little crazy for me.

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TVD Recommends: Bassel and the Supernaturals’ Syria Benefit and vinyl release show at the Empty Bottle, 2/28

Chicago soul, jazz and rock group, Bassel and the Supernaturals will be officially releasing their new 12” vinyl, Dreamer, at the Empty Bottle tomorrow to coincide with the band’s “Save Syria” Benefit.

In Chicago by way of Northeast Ohio, front-man and Syrian-American, Bassel Almadani, has had family among the millions affected by the intense civil war in Syria. Half of the proceeds from tomorrow’s show will be directed to Avaaz and ICRC – organizations directly assisting families within Syria’s borders by providing food, blankets, water, and support.

Dreamer, engineered at Hinge Studios in Chicago, is an independent release funded by a previous presale campaign organized by the group. Along with the release itself, the campaign helped to fund the album’s recording as well as a three-week US tour and an already sizable charity donation to Syria.

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Weekend Shots!

Weekend Shots - ChicagoLooking for some live music in Chicago this weekend? We’ve got you covered. Check out this weekend’s featured show along with a more extensive weekend list below!

GERONIMO! at Township, 2/23

Chicago rock trio, Geronimo! will be playing Township this weekend, and we recommend heading out to the show. Formed in 2007, the group released their second full-length LP, Exanimate last October. Available on 12″ vinyl with a hand-screened jacket, you can pick up one of 200 copies from Geronimo!’s Bandcamp for just $12 and check out the music video for “Into the Sun” below.

The 21+ starts at 9:00 PM tomorrow night, 2/23, at Township – 2200 N California Ave. Supporting Geronimo! will be Dharmonic Deluxe, Rodeo, and velocicopter. Tickets are available online or at the door before the show for just $5.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Panda Riot 7” Flexi, “Amanda in the Clouds”

Following last summer’s 7″, “Serious Radical Girls,” yesterday marked the release of Panda Riot‘s latest LP, Northern Automatic Music. Out on Saint Marie Records, the album, which includes the previously released song, is eleven tracks of non-stop pop rock that come together more like the soundtrack to a dream than a traditional rock record.

From the album’s lead track, “Amanda in the Clouds,” you are introduced to the vibe of Northern Automatic Music. The airy and almost haunting layered vocals of keyboardist Rebecca Scott lead you through the album over guitarist Brian Cook’s calculated drum machine work. Currently available on CD, you can pick up the album through Saint Marie’s website for $11.99.

Panda Riot will be celebrating the release of Northern Automatic Music at the Hideout (1354 W Wabansia) this Friday, 2/22. The 21+ show kicks off at 10:00 PM with Light Foils and Big Colour. Tickets are just $8.00 and can be picked up online or at the door before the show. You can RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

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Weekend Shots!

Weekend Shots - ChicagoLooking for some live music in Chicago this weekend? We’ve got you covered. Check out this weekend’s featured show along with a more extensive weekend list below!

WHITEHORSE at Schuba’s, 2/16

Married musically and in real life, Canadian rock duo Whitehorse will be playing Schuba’s tomorrow night in support of their January release, The Fate of The World Depends on this Kiss. Out of Six Shooter Records, the LP showcases the pair’s use of unorthodox sounds, and proficieny with just about any instrument they lay their hands on.

Formed in 2011, Whitehorse in a relatively new venture for Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet who have each been recognized for their solo work. Check out the music video for The Fate of The World’s opening track, “Achilles’ Desire”, below.

The 21+ show kicks off at 7:00 PM tomorrow night at Schuba’s Tavern – 3159 N Southport. Setting the stage for Whitehorse will be Chicago’s own Rebecca Rego. Tickets can be picked up online in advance of the show for $10, or at the door for $12. If you can’t make it out to the show, you can grab a vinyl copy of The Fate of The World Depends on this Kiss from Six Shooter Records for $20.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Dunn Dunn Fest 3-day passes, 2/20-2/22

DunnDunnFestLast week, we had the chance to talk with Donnie Biggins, the man behind Chicago booking and management company, Harmonica Dunn. Next Wednesday, 2/20, marks the kick off the companies’ inaugural Dunn Dunn Fest – a three night, three venue love note to “American music.”

Having wrangled up some of the best indie, roots, and folk music that Chicago and our neighboring states have to offer, Dunn Dunn Fest teases a taste of the summer festival scene in the dead of winter. And since we at TVD would rather see you spend your hard-earned cash on wax and a whiskey to warm your soul, we’ve got a pair of three-day festival passes to giveaway.

Partnered up with Audiotree and MADD Chicago, Harmonica Dunn will be utilizing Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and Tonic Room for this showcase which includes headliners Frontier Ruckus, The Giving Tree Band, and The Kicks. If you don’t win here, limited 3-day passes are still available online for $25. Grab the full lineup and all of the contest details, below.

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