This past Friday night at Schubas Tavern, Marika Hackman and The Big Moon created an IRL experience of Hackman’s latest album I’m Not Your Man. Released on June 2nd, the sophomore album from Hackman marks a departure and transformation for the formerly folk artist. Boosting blunt lyrics, lighter melodies, and a lax, carefree recording style, I’m Not Your Man takes listeners through a 15-song journey, featuring The Big Moon as the backing band for the majority of them. Before The Big Moon pulled their second shift of the evening, backing Hackman at the Lakeview venue, they had performed their own 45 minute set, which carried the same carefree mood of friendship that comes across on their recordings. In addition to songs from their debut album Love in the 4th Dimension, the group also performed a cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Between songs, the band kept the crowd laughing with a bit of sarcasm and banter, but the standout moment of their set occurred during their song “Bonfire.” Front woman Juliette (Jules) Jackson left the stage and abandoned her guitar to sing the song with the crowd.

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Jules from The Big Moon ventures out into the crowd

The same banter and laughter only amplified when Hackman joined The Big Moon, but the focus of the night remained on the effortless musicianship displayed between the friends. The songs from I’m Not Your Man translated beautifully in the live sense, seeing as most of the album had actually been tracked live, with a minimal use of overdubs. Hackman’s hourlong set focused on the new album, with a couple of older tunes like “Cinnamon” and “Ophelia” sprinkled in. The direct, honest lyrics of tracks like “My Lover Cindy” and “Violet” had the crowd captivated and wrapped around Hackman’s finger. Prior to performing the latter, Hackman introduced “Violet” as a sexy song, encouraging the crowd to kiss their dates (only with consent) if they were feeling it. “Gina’s World” also stood out during the 11-song set, with its hauntingly heavy guitar riffs and striking harmonies, which echoed beautifully throughout the venue. Just before the set wrapped up with the dreamy “BlahBlahBlah,” Hackman and The Big Moon performed the lead single from I’m Not Your Man, Boyfriend.” The playful tune teased the light-hearted reinvention of Hackman before the release of the album, and it definitely acted as a highlight of the live show.

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Marika Hackman singing her direct and honest lyrics

More photos from the show 

Want more Marika? You can grab the physical album of I’m Not Your Man at the shop, or order it from the Shuga webstore here.


This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine.

An Interview With Post Animal

Words from Kevin Sterne
Photos from Rachel Zyzda


Chicago’s Post Animal are in the thick, sticky center of their summer tour and recently made the pilgrimage back to their hometown for two long-awaited shows at West Fest and Subterranean. Comprised of long-haired rockers Dalton Allison (bass, vocals), Jake Hirshland (guitar, keys, vocals), Matt Williams (guitar, vocals), Javi Reyes (guitar, vocals), Joe Keery (guitar, vocals) and Wesley Toledo (drums), Post Animals pulls from contemporary and classic rock influences while adding their own psychedelic spin.

I was welcomed by humble dudes Dalton, Jake and Matt for a sit down in band’s van while Woods played on the West Fest stage behind us. We discussed their current tour, the Chicago scene, and their much-anticipated new album.

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What does it mean for you guys to be playing Chicago’s West Fest

Jake: I think today specifically we were all looking forward to playing West Fest. We’ve all come to West Fest for many years, and other Chicago festivals as well. We’ve seen a lot of people that we really like play here, and around this specific time of day. We’ve been in the audience for this experience. So to be out here and playing and having people show up. Just seeing people smile has been an out-of-body experience for me.

Dalton: And just now, standing on this stage and looking out, you can see the John Hancock Center, and I work at a Best Buy at the ground level of that. To be on a stage, at West Fest, and looking out and seeing my employer has been a crazy last hour.


Who are some bands that you’ve seen play West Fest in the past?

Jake: Mild High Club!

Dalton: Lemon Twigs played like the same exact time slot that we just played. So that was crazy.

 

You all are in the midst of a national tour. How’s that going?

Dalton: The tour is insane. It’s the first time we’ve played outside of the Midwest. We’re going to more places than I ever imagined. More cities, more physical, actually locations than I ever thought I would travel in my life. That’s been the craziest thing for me.

 

Any memorable or favorite places you’ve played on the tour?

Dalton: In DC, we played the 9:30 club and Black Jack. Thalia Hall in Chicago.

Jake: It’s surreal playing these shows like in Tampa, and these weird places that I’ve never been to.

 

Any crazy tour stories?

Matt: Some pool swimming. Some family meals.

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So, let’s address the elephant in the room: word is there’s a new record.

Jake: It’s done, actually. We’ve been sitting on this thing a long time.

 

Can you talk about the recording process, and how that all went down?

Matt: Our friend Emily has a lake house in Watervliet, Michigan. Right on Paw Paw Lake. And we spent about eight days there tracking all the instruments. Writing some and recording. And Dalton spent time mixing it and producing it. And then he co-mastered with our friend Adam Thein.

 

In terms of the writing process, how does that go?

Jake: Some people come to the table with close to completion songs. And we kind of synch ourselves into a part that’s already been written, or modify it slightly. Then there’s other people who write more of a skeletal idea, and bring it to everyone to have them fill in the gaps. Say, someone writes a song, but doesn’t write a bass line. Then Dalton will work on writing the bass line. And sometimes we’ll just jam stuff out. “When I get Home” was a jam.

Matt: I was on the drums for that one. I didn’t write the drum part, but I was playing drums when they wrote the song.

Jake: I was on keys. Dalton was on bass. And even the vocals were just melody sounds, we didn’t have lyrics yet.

Dalton: There are probably like 3-4 songs on the record that we were just jamming and mumbling into the microphone. “You’re Not There” was like that. We kind of just mumble what it feels like it should be and then write the lyrics later.

 

The new music video single, “Special Moment,” is that going to be on the record?

Jake: It’s the first song on the record.

 

How’d that come to fruition? Because that is some dynamite screenwriting, kind of American Psycho-like.

Jake: Yeah, dude. Totally. That’s all credited to Alec Basse. He came to us with a number of ideas. And we we’re perusing one that we liked. Then he basically took the reigns. With the two music videos we have, we try to get people we trust, and then give them full control. Because none of us are directors, and we don’t pretend to be. We’re actually working on another music video right now. It’s almost completely hands, and that’s worked out for us really well so far.

 

 

Let’s talk about the Chicago scene and the evolution of your music. How you would describe the Chicago scene right now, and how you fit in with it?

Dalton: When we were playing house shows, most of the bands we were playing with were garage bands. But then we met all these dudes that are in Woongi and The Voluptuals, and the guys that are more on the experimental side, and formed a friendship with them. Then we have our friends in the Evening Attraction that we play house shows with. I think there’s this psych rock thing going on, but a little heavier. People focus on being a little heavier and more groovy.

 

Listening to the studio recordings and then hearing you live, I’m finding a harder-rock, more rock and roll aspect to the music compared to maybe a few years ago when you were playing shows at Schubas and Double Door. I’m wondering about that transition. 

Jake: A lot of the stuff on the new record is leaning more towards rock and roll, heavy rock and classic rock. There’s still some psychy stuff, but were not trying to pigeon hole ourselves as psych rock. I wouldn’t say that the main thing that pops out is psychodellic in terms of describing this record.

Dalton: We’re a rock band with psych influences more so than a psych rock bands.

 

Having toured and played together live, has the live sound transitioned to this record more?

 Jake: I think so. I think the record might actually influence the live sound. I think in us writing this last record, we realized some stuff that we wanted to do and now are translating that live. We’ve even taken some of our old songs and retooled them to be a little more in this style. It’s kind of an identity change for us, not a huge change but definitely a change in identity over the last year.

 

So where’s Joe right now? I feel like I just saw him in a Dominos commercial.

Dalton: He’s running wild on everyone’s TV screen. We’re not sure if he’s real anymore. I haven’t seen him in person in a while. 

Jake: I see him at the gym.

Dalton: He’s one of the most beautiful people.

 

Was he part of the recording process for this record?

Jake: Absolutely.

Dalton: He’s been on every recording. He played drums on Water Activities. He plays guitar on four of the songs on Garden Series.

Jake: But he was definitely part of the recording. One-sixth of the playing and song writing on the record. He’s definitely still a huge part of who we are.

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What’s next for you guys?

Jake: We’ve got another month of touring. And that hangs heavy. We aren’t looking too far past that.

Dalton: We’re trying to meet with people who can help us “take the next step”—whatever that may be.

 

You guys unsigned?

Dalton: We are.

 

Have there been conversations? 

Dalton: A few, but you never really know.

Jake: We haven’t had THE conversation.

Dalton: People seem so interested in real life, but then you don’t hear from them for a while. And you’re like, okay, let me lower my expectations.

Jake: But we are really happy. I feel like we’ve finished a record that we’re happy with, going on a tour that we’re happy with. So we’re pretty content with where we are. We’d love to work with people who could take it to another level, but for the moment we feel good.

Dalton: We’re not over-reaching by any means. It’s going well, we feel really good with the opportunities we’ve already been given.

Jake: And we get to decide everything. Everything we’ve ever done has our full, entire stamp of approval. And that’s a really good feeling.

 


Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago. He writes about music, craft beer and culture for Shuga Records, Substream Magazine and other places (like here). His super weird and highly offensive fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Praxis Magazine, Word Eater, Defenestration and many other places you’ve never heard of. Kevin is the creator of a really terrible magazine called LeFawn.

 

New Vinyl Releases 8/11/17

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  • Alunah – Solennial (Limited Edition EU Gatefold)
  • …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Source Tags & Codes
  • Atriarch – Dead As Truth
  • Bonobo – One Offs, Remixes, & B-Sides
  • Johnny Cash – His Greatest Hits, Volume II (Translucent Blue Vinyl)
  • The Cribs – 24-7 Rock Star Shit (Ltd. Splattered Vinyl)
  • Digital Daggers – Close Your Eyes (Translucent Blue Vinyl, Ltd. to 500)
  • The Districts – Popular Manipulations (Indie exclusive on Orange Vinyl)
  • DJ Khaled – Grateful (Gold Vinyl)
  • Finnforest – Lahto Matkalle (1976)
  • Finnforest – S/T (1975) (Reissue on Green Vinyl)
  • Finnforest – Demonnights (1979)
  • Foster The People – Sacred Hearts Club
  • Incantation – Profane Nexus
  • Keane – Hopes and Fears
  • The Kooks – Inside In / Inside Out
  • The Kooks – Konk
  • Fela Ransome Kuti And Afrika 70 – na poi (1971) (Ltd. Edition Reissue on Clear Vinyl)
  • Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 – Everything Scatter (1975) (Ltd. Edition Reissue on Orange Vinyl)
  • Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 – Fear Not For Man (1977) (Ltd. Edition Reissue on Green Vinyl)
  • Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 – Alagbon Close (1974) (Ltd. Edition Reissue on Gold Vinyl)
  • Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 – Beasts Of No Nation (1989) (Ltd. Edition Reissue on White Vinyl)
  • Loviatar – S/T Debut (Gold & Black Swirl Ltd. to 300)
  • Live – Mental Jewelry (1991)
  • The Lurking Fear – Out Of The Voiceless
  • F. J. McMahon – Spirit Of The Golden Juice (1969)
  • Moral Void – Deprive (Silver Vinyl, Ltd. to 300)
  • No Use For A Name – Rarities Vol. 1
  • Poison Blood – S/T Debut (Oxblood Colored Vinyl)
  • Portugal The Man – Woodstock
  • Elvis Presley – S/T (Limited Edition Audiophile Anniversary Pressing on Translucent Blue Vinyl)
  • Prince – Pop Life (12″ Maxi-Single)
  • Prince – Partyman (12″ Maxi-Single)
  • Prince – Batdance (12″ Maxi-Single)
  • Prince – I Wish U Heaven (12″ Maxi-Single)
  • Prince – I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (12″ Maxi-Single)
  • Prince – Sign “O” The Times (12″ Maxi-Single)
  • Lucy Rose – Something’s Changing
  • Luke Sital-Singh – Time Is A Riddle
  • Tall Friend – Safely Nobody’s
  • Teenage Bottlerocket – Goin’ Back To Wyo (7″)
  • Bryan Tyler / Soundtrack – Power Rangers (Original Motion Picture) (Standard and Indie Exclusive Versions available)
  • Various / Tyler Bates – The Belko Experiment (Original Motion Picture) (Clear Vinyl Dripped in Blood with Poster and Liner Notes)
  • Various / Tyler Bates – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (Deluxe 2LP)
  • Various – 13 Reasons Why (A Netflix Original Series)
  • Venom Inc. – Ave (Indie Exclusive Gatefold 2LP on Brown w/ White Splatter, Ltd. to 300)

The 10 Best Tall Boy IPAs in Chicago

by Kevin Sterne


Young drinkers love novelty: hibiscus brews, off-the-wall coffee collaborations—literally whatever is the newest brand or flavor. In the age of up-to-the-second Facebook feeds, if it seems new it will trend. But nothing is more novel than something that peaked in popularity and convention decades earlier. Think cassette tapes in music. If there’s something millennials are good at, it’s pining for nostalgia they never actually experienced. Now aluminum cans are all the rage in the craft beer world, and many Chicago breweries are rolling out some of their best Pale Ales in 16oz varieties or “Tall Boys”.

In general, canning is as practical as it is trendy. It’s cheaper for breweries compared to bottling. Canned beers are also the preference at concert venues, campgrounds and beaches—places where glass is mostly taboo. Aluminum cans also offer more space for intricate designs and graphics. And that’s one thing to keep in mind, because not only do these juicy Chicagoland ales taste great, they also look good.

This is purely anecdotal, but I feel like I’ve been seeing Tall Boys more than regular 12-oncers. Obviously, covering Chicago beer, I’m zeroing in on the local section when I walk into any liquor store. With no empirical evidence to support, 16oz. cans seem most prevalent in Chicago, and specifically in the New England or East Coast Style IPA. Ostensibly because cult-status beers like Heady Topper come exclusively in tall cans. And thus we have many Chicagoland beers on this list replicating what’s popular on the East Coast. Coincidence? You decide.

Here is the list of Chicago’s—and bordering Chicago suburbs’—top 10 best in big cans:

 

Spiteful

10) Spiteful Working for the Weekend

 A pine-driven, highly resinous IPA, in the Pacific Northwest style. We’ll start out with this one for its thematic value, but also because many of these beers are fruit first and pine second beers. Spiteful gets the nod for this every-man, drippy-ghoul IPA. Cheers!

 

 9) Lagunitas 12th of Never

 I’ve frequented the south side Willy Wonka taproom more than any other, and—admittedly—many of their flight ales have the same “Lagunitas Sheen” to them. Maybe I dig this one most because it’s dolled up in a sleek purple artifice. A the end of the day, this one won’t blow anyone away, but has become an honest, go-to beer for me.

Half Acre

7) Half Acre Deep Space

 An interstellar flavor odyssey for your mouth. Half Acre has stepped up their game of late, releasing a horde of beers that rival the hop heavy brews of another Chicago favorite, Pipeworks.

 

 

Ninja Vs. Unicorn, Pipeworks

7) Pipeworks Ninja V Unicorn

Hard to believe this one is an elder on this list, and possibly the first to appear in 16oz of aluminum. Plenty has been written about this balanced double IPA, but how about that damn battle artwork by Jason Burke?

 

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6) Forbidden Root Snoochie Boochies

 Forbidden Root’s draft stuff has always been pretty mehh for me, this beer especially. But rumor has it FR lines their cans with some magic “plant dust.”

 

 5) Noon Whistle Gummy Series

 A lot of hype about this one on the internet, and frankly, the hype train is real. This is a batshit crazy brew with all the fructose sweetness your mouth could desire, minus the cavities.

 

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 4) Hopbutcher Telehopic

 Everything you need to know about this brew has been written here.

 

Maplewood

 3) Maplewood Son of Juice Pants

 Juice Pants the Younger comes fruity, juicy and unfiltered. Something I love about Maplewood is their listing of grains, hops and pertinents on their labels. It helps me sound cool with my friends who can’t read.

 Hailstorm

 2) Hailstorm Stratus

 Possibly my favorite New England Style IPA in Chicagoland. This is a big, bold arrogant stormy bastard of juicy fruity flavor. This is like a beer mixed with juice, but it’s not Leinenkugel’s, so it’s super cool. Also, Tinley Park is a stone’s throw from my old stomping grounds of New Lenox. So, I practically work there, if anyone asks.

Hams

1) Hamm’s

 Quite frankly, this is the best beer you’ll ever try.


Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago. He writes about music, craft beer and culture here and for Substream Magazine, ANCHR Magazine and other places. His super weird and highly offensive fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Praxis Magazine, Potluck Mag, Word Eater, Defenestration and many other places you’ve never heard of. Kevin is the creator of a really terrible magazine called LeFawn which you can buy at Shuga Records for pennies on the dollar.

New Vinyl Releases 8/4/17

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  • Gregg Allman- Southern Blood (Limited to 5000 Picture Disc)
  • Black Grape – Pop Voodoo
  • Tyler Childers – Purgatory
  • Childhood – Universal High (Colored Vinyl)
  • Coldplay –Kaleidoscope EP
  • Dead Cross – S/T (Limited edition gold or red/black swirl with Glow-in-the dark gatefold Jacket)
  • Def Leppard- Hysteria (30th Anniversary Remastered)
  • Hard Working Americans – We’re All In This Together (Limited to 1000)
  • Marty Friedman (formally of Megadeth ) –Wall Of Sound
  • Monk Parker – Crown Of Sparrows
  • Lal & Mike Waterson – Bright Phoebus
  • New Radicals – Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too (First time on Vinyl)
  • Nice & Smooth – S/T (Reissue)
  • Omar – Love In Beats
  • Shintaro Sakamoto – Love If Possible
  • Soccer Mommy – Collection
  • Soundtrack – The Matrix (Limited to 1500)
  • Soundtrack/Marco Beltrami – Logan
  • Soundtrack/ James Horner – Braveheart
  • Violent Femmes – 2 Mics & The Truth:Unplugged & Unhinged in America
  • While She Sleeps – You Are We (‘Electric Blue and Black Splatter’ vinyl)
  • X-Ray Spex – Germefree Adolescents (Limited Edition Reissue on ‘Test Tube Blue Splatter’ vinyl)