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.
The Vinyl District is an official media sponsor of the annual free Festival, and we have a signed and numbered edition of the special 30th Anniversary Poster (pictured above) for one lucky winner. Read on for details—but up first, our picks for Day One.
The festival starts tomorrow with Local’s Day, and the organizers pulled out all the stops with three of our living legends playing back to back on the Abita stage—IrmaThomas (below), Walter “Wolfman” Washington, andGeorge Porter, Jr.
Elsewhere in the greater French Quarter there are some wonderful musical offerings as well. Matt Perrrine’s Sunflower City doesn’t play too often. They kick off at 2 PM in Jackson Square. The sousaphonist has his foot in so many projects that it’s easy to overlook one of his most personal. His wife, Debbie Davis, sings in the band.
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.
Last 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.
Sometimes it seems like in an effort to cash in on the growing popularity of indie-folk music, artists tend to forget one important thing—soul. Folk music without soul might as well just be pop music with a banjo. Newly formed Birds of Chicago do folk music right. And after looking at the duo’s track record, you wouldn’t expect anything less.
Birds of Chicago is made up of Allison Russell from Vancouver based Po’ Girl, and Jeremy “JT Nero” Lindsay of Chicago’s JT & the Clouds. Having released their debut album last fall, the pair has been touring across the country, playing both as a duo and utilizing their tight-knit family of musicians for the “full band” vibe.
Nero and Russell have so seamlessly blended their styles of mountain gospel, roots country, and classic soul, that each song sounds simultaneously nostalgic and refreshing. The duo will be playing in town on Thursday while touring around the Midwest before preparing for a jaunt to the UK in the Spring.
Brooklyn indie-pop quartet, Miniature Tigers, has been on our radar for quite awhile, and the band has been keeping themselves busy for the better part of 2012 supporting their latest “top 40” and Pop art inspired LP, Mia Pharaoh.
The group is currently lending their synth-pop to an opening slot on fun’s national tour. They will be in Chicago this Thursday, 11/15, playing the Riviera Theatre – 4746 N Racine Ave., and like many of the dates on the tour, this all ages show is completely sold out.
If you didn’t manage to secure tickets, you can take a little comfort in scoring a free vinyl copy of Miniature Tiger’s newest LP, Mia Pharaoh right here. Grab all of the details on the release and giveaway, below.
The late Memphis producer Jim Dickinson once called Jimbo Mathus “the singing voice of Huck Finn.”
In his native Mississippi and throughout the South, Mathus is recognized as the prolific songwriter of born-in-the-bone Southern music, the torchbearer for Deep South mythology and culture. Think Delta highways, bowling-pin Budweisers, and “interplanetary honky-tonk” for the masses.
Jimbo and his boys, the Tri-State Coalition, are headed to NOLA for a show on Saturday, October 20 at Chickie Wah Wah and will have a new album to be released through Fat Possum Records in early 2013. But today, we’ve got a copy of his brand new EP, Blue Light to award to one of you.
Legendary punk rock outfit, Strung Out, is bringing their Twisted In A Suburban Wasteland tour to Chicago this weekend. The group, who over the past 20 years has successfully blended melodic punk, hardcore, and metal, will be taking over the stage at Reggie’s Rock Club on Saturday night.
What makes this tour so special is that Strung Out will be performing both of their landmark albums, Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues (1996) and Twisted By Design (1998), back-to-back in their entirety.
Strung Out will be heading back into the studio in the coming months to work on a new record, and as lead vocalist Jason Cruz put it, “It feels right to do one last retrospective before we head into the making of another album. I think people will really enjoy these older songs played back to back.”
This is a must-see show for punk rock fans, and we’ve got your ticket hookup! Grab all of the details on the show and how you can score a pair of tickets, below.
Since 2005, Pitchfork Media has been bringing some of the nation’s best indie, alternative rock, hip-hop, and rap to Chicago for a killer summer festival. An amazing line-up across three stages (red, green, and blue) on top of this year’s headliners, Feist, Grimes, and Vampire Weekend, helped the 3-day passes sell out in less than a month.
Make sure to check back in with us throughout the week for all of our Friday, Saturday, and Sunday recommendations. Until then, grab the full 3 day line-up along with details on how you can win a pair of tickets to this incredible festival, below.
Chicago’s Mucca Pazza is a difficult band to introduce. At over 30 members, they could easily be classified as a marching band, but only by appearance. With rock sensibilities and a wide array of instrumentation, there aren’t enough hyphens in the world to connect the eclectic genres mixed into any given piece.
Mucca Pazza will be releasing their new full length LP, Safety Fifth, on 12” vinyl through Electric Cowbell Records this Tuesday, 6/12. We’ve got your chance to win a copy right here, and in anticipation of the release, we were able to chat with guitarist Jeff Thomas about the new record, vinyl, and the intricacies of a 30+ member band.
Where did the marching band idea come from?
It is kind of an evolution of thoughts. In some form or another, we have all played with each other in different theatrical groups. Some of us participated in an anti-war march, where our band director, Mark Messing, put together an All-American anti-war marching band, as he called it. That idea started around the same time, and we thought that this is an interesting format for a rock and roll venue. Let’s see what we can do with a marching band performing in spaces that a marching band shouldn’t normally be performing in or that nobody has ever seen perform in before. That’s kind of how it came about.
Now the marching band format is starting to pop up in a lot of different cities. There are a lot of strange marching bands starting to come out and I don’t know if it is because of us band nerds who have never really been able to express ourselves in a 3, 4, or 5 piece rock group.