Author Archives: William Neylon

Donnie Biggins:
The TVD Interview

Donnie Biggins is a linchpin of the Chicago live music scene. Beginning with his time with the Chicago Roots Collective and up to his current promotion/management company Harmonica Dunn, he has aspired to build a community that is centered around musicians.

His latest project is a 3 Day Festival called Dunn Dunn Fest, which will be taking place the 20th-22nd of February at Tonic Room, Schubas, and Lincoln Hall. I got the chance to have a long talk with him about his projects and goals, his band (The Shams Band), and his inspirational perspective on the Chicago scene.

I bet you’ve got a lot of great Folk/ Americana records in your vinyl collection. What’s one record that you’ve been listening to a lot lately?

Michael Trent – The Winner. He’s one half of Shovels and Rope. Honestly I listen to a lot of Chicago Music, so if it’s available on vinyl I try to get it as much as possible. A lot of oldies right now; I inherited my dad’s record collection. My band just came out with a record.

Cold City right? Why’d you decide to put that on vinyl?

We wanted to hear ourselves on vinyl. We only made 100 copies.

Where did you find somewhere that would print 100 copies?

We went through Rainbo Records. The problem we ran into with that number was they print a minimum of 500 jackets so we ended up having handmade screen-prints for the jackets. We hired a screen-printer to change our album cover from 15+ to 3 colors. It ended up taking a lot longer, but in the end it looks more like a handmade product and we think that people will like it more because it’s a piece of art.

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Posted in TVD Chicago | 1 Comment

TVD Kickstarts:
Soft Speaker

The world of experimental rock music was shaken this week by the dissolution of The Mars Volta. Despair not! We have a band for you that would love to fill that hole in your hearts. They’re called Soft Speaker, and they need your help.

Allow me to back up a bit. Soft Speaker is more than just a delightfully heady prog-influenced rock band. It’s more complicated than that. The band interweaves its story with a fascinating mythology involving a prominent Austrian historical figure and the idea that all their songs have been unearthed and recorded from sheet music written by a turn-of-the-century iteration of Soft Speaker (Sanftsprecher).

Soft Speaker have recorded their third full length LP, Turkish Mindbathers, and are turning to Kickstarter pledges to press it to audiophile-quality 180 gram vinyl. They are hoping to raise $2,000 by February 28th to pay for the costs of plating and pressing. In addition to Turkish Mindbathers, these prolific devils have recorded an EP’s worth of material to be released on CD as International Scheiße, Dummkopf!.

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