Vinyl On Tap: Pairing Music with Beer

by Kevin SterneDreamville-jcole-4-your-eyez-only-vinyl_grande

Kendrick Lamar has had a stranglehold on the internet for this past month—and the cultural zeitgeist for that matter. But with the wake of Damn. finally levelling, timing is right for other rappers to tip toe the waters. J. Cole’s camp gives us 4 Your Eyez Only, which is not new (2016), but is new on (vinyl and in stock here at Shuga Records).

Though this one doesn’t come with demos or never-heard-before easter eggs, 4 Your Eyez Only on wax is worth seeking out, if not for a memento of hip-hop’s second golden age, but for it being an album that does some heavy lifting, especially on the back end.
“Neighbors” and “Foldin Clothes” are musically dynamic, but more important, culturally critical in digestible bites. The former moves as a meditation on racial profiling while exhibiting arguably the album’s most catchy lyric: “Okay, the neighbors think I’m sellin’ dope.” The latter brings a tinge of Marvin Gaye soul to J. Cole’s inspired effort at being a better man “Baby I wanna do the right thing // Feels so much better than the wrong thing // I wanna fold clothes for you.”

The definitive stand out on the album though is “Change”—a deeply reflective narrative on the cycle of violence and crime in black communities. The song’s main character James McMillian becomes a poignant and somber symbol of this harsh reality. After a Kendrick Lamar-type flow in the early verse, the song ends in a memorial of the dead McMillian. “’Cause that was my nigga James that was slain, he was 22…’”

If “Change” is the album’s most dynamic and emotionally moving, then “Deje Vu” is it’s antithesis. It’s the mainstream winner here with its repetitive, finger-waving, big-dream anthems Aye, put two fingers in the sky if you want it and She fuck with small town niggas, I got bigger dreams. But this second line is where the song shows it’s shallow unravelling. The lyrics are mopey, and one-dimensional—more last-call-at-the-bar throwback than uplifting.

J. Cole’s fourth LP is a back-loaded affair, but these side-B tracks make up for the album’s early numbers in spades. I recommend pairing this one with Double Daisy Cutter by Half-Acre Beer Company. DDC tastes like the brew brains at Half Acre binged several cases of west-coast IPA then gave the original daisy a retry (and the same could be said of J. Cole and Chance the Rapper or Kendrick Lamar). The elder cutter is loaded with tangerine-peal and orange-rind citrus. A touch of malt balances this frothy affair, making it deceptively smooth and drinkable from first sip to last gulp. The ABV here makes this one perfect for this record. Make sure you’re on your second can by the album’s mid-way point so you can ride that buzz through the best tracks.

Check out Kevin’s other work at
twitter: @kevinsterne
instagram: @lefawnzine


looking back on a fun and hectic day. Thanks ANCHR for the love.

thank you Rachel Z.


Photo gallery from Record Store Day at Shuga Records, featuring: Lucille Furs, Max Loebman, Wilem Hurricane Simmons, Hair, The Evening Attraction, Joe Bordenaro, and Cooper Atwell Guncheon.


Originally published at:


a nice local feature: SOOPER! by Mae Vitali


SOOPER Records, an independent Chicago record label, made its debut in June of 2016 due to the efforts of Glenn Curran, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, and Steve Daoud. The idea for the label sparked in 2015 when Curran and Ogbonnaya were working on a project, Man Without A Head. The two realized they worked well together and shared mutual ambitions. “We talked about the prospect of having a common platform to release our music, and the music of our friends and community contemporaries. The more we discussed it, the more excited we became; the more we realized that we are part of a really talented, serious, and hardworking network of artists in Chicago.” explains Curran. In order to get the ball rolling for the more technical aspects, they called in a third party, Daoud, to help with design, branding, and web development.


SOOPER has served as a platform for artists and an accessible resource for supporters for almost a year now, and Curran describes the characteristics he seeks out for someone to join the label and collaborate with the team. “I look for originality, soul, and artistic integrity. It is important for me to listen to something and be able to immediately recognize it as a genuine expression of humanity.” The label also prioritizes local artists above all else. “Those artists were such a huge part of the inspiration to start the label in the first place, and they are central to the identity that we personally associate with SOOPER.” Earlier this past March, Nnamdi & SOOPER released DROOL, an inspired and comprehensive album made on a computer in his bedroom. “Probably in his underwear most of the time,” Curran jokes. “Eating snacks and getting crumbs all over his laptop and stuff. Making all kinds of weird noises.” While its reception has been phenomenal, Ogbonnaya aims to stay focused and motivated. “I think it’s a privilege to have anyone care about anything I do, so I definitely appreciate any love that is sent my way… I think the most important part for me is to keep on creating and challenging myself and others to progress and be better.”


This Sunday, April 30th, at Lincoln Hall, SOOPER is hosting an event to celebrate Ogbonnaya’s DROOL. In the spirit of the occasion, SOOPER Release Spectacular will be a double tape release event for Grill Billyenz’s FREAK and Thrash Kitten’s The Grape Tape. “The show is gonna be dope,” says Ogbonnaya. “It’s all artists I really enjoy… two of my good friends Grill Billyenz and Thrash Kitten are celebrating the release of projects at this show as well. I’ve been seeing them create music for years now and they are always a source of inspiration.” Also performing at the event will be Morimoto, Mother Nature, and MFn Melo. Curran says he hopes the show will be a “how did I not know about that artist until now,” kind of night. “I think that the amazing roster is going to bring together a few different audiences / arts communities from around the city, and I am excited about that.” Along with the eclectic lineup, there’s going to be boozy snow cones (courtesy of Lincoln Hall staff) and Bill Grapes is going to bring the juice. Who is Bill Grapes? What kind of juice will he bring? Stop by Lincoln Hall this Sunday at 7 to find out.


Visit SOOPER’s website:


Support performing artists:

Nnamdi Ogbonnaya:

Grill Billyenz:
Thrash Kitten:
Mother Nature:
MFn Melo:

Big thank you to Glenn Curran & Nnamdi Ogbonnaya for their time and cooperation.

Mae Vitali



New Vinyl Releases 4/28/17


  • Amazarak / Nervochaos – Ascensao Do Caos (10″ Split)
  • BNQT – Volume 1
  • British Sea Power – Let The Dancers Inherit The Party
  • Conqueror – War.Cult.Supremacy (2 LP With Insert And Poster)
  • Jonathan Coulton – Solid State
  • Craven Idol – The Shackles Of Mammon
  • Crypt Rot – Embryonic Devils
  • Daisyhead – In Case You Missed It (Bright Green with Black Swirl Vinyl, LTD to 500)
  • Miles Davis – Seven Steps To Heaven (200Gram Reissue From Original Analog Masters)
  • Miles Davis – Someday My Prince Will Come (200Gram Reissue From Original Analog Masters)
  • Dead To Fall – Villainy & Virtue (Orange Vinyl)
  • Dimmu Borgir & The Norwegian Radio Orchestra & Choir – Forces Of The Northern Night (2LP Aqua Blue, LTD to 500 and 2LP Military Green, LTD to 500)
  • Fates Warning – Awaken The Guardian Live (30th Anniversary Show) (2LP With Poster)
  • Feist – Pleasure (2 LP, Etched Vinyl)
  • FIDLAR – Too (Swirled Colored Vinyl)
  • Flowdan – Disaster Piece (Split Black and White Vinyl, LTD to 500)
  • Fortunes. – Undress EP / Jacket EP
  • Hajk – S/T
  • Hovvdy – Taster (45RPM, Colored Vinyl)
  • J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only
  • Johnny Urine – The Cinematic Sounds Of (2 LP Compilation)
  • Kenoma – The Tides Will Prevail (2 LP)
  • Looking For An Answer – Dios Came
  • Los Angeles Police Department – S/T
  • Mark Lanegan Band – Gargoyle (White Vinyl)
  • Lantern – II: Morphosis
  • Little Cub – Still Life
  • Lock Up – Demonization (White Vinyl)
  • Mew – Visuals (Indie Exclusive 3D Cover with 3D Glasses, LTD to 750)
  • Thurston Moore – Rock N Roll Consciousness (Deluxe 2 LP With Etched D Side)
  • Willie Nelson – God’s Problem Child
  • The Obsessed – Sacred (Deluxe 2 LP, Metallic Gold Vinyl, LTD to 300)
  • Old Crow Medicine Show – 50 Years Of Blonde on Blonde (2 LP)
  • Pinegrove – Everything So Far (2 LP Compilation With 12 Page Booklet)
  • Rubblebucket – If U C My Enemies (10″ EP)
  • Soundtrack / Justin Hurwitz – La La Land (Original Motion Picture Score) (2 LP)
  • Sylvan Esso – What Now (Opaque Red, Blue, or Green Vinyl)
  • Taking Back Sunday – New Again (Reissue)
  • Shugo Tokumaru – Toss (Clear Blue Vinyl)
  • U2 – How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
  • Violents and Monica Martin – Awake And Pretty Much Sober (LTD Pink Marbled Vinyl)
  • Vok – Figure
  • Wall – Untitled
  • John Gary Williams – S/T
  • Wilsen – I Go Missing In My Sleep
  • Wolfbrigade – Run With The Hunted



New Vinyl Releases 4/21/17 (Non-RSD)


  • The Black Angels – Death Song (Standard)
  • Harriet Brown – Contact
  • Calvin Love – Ecdysis
  • Cream – Heavy Cream (6LP Box Set)
  • Cult of Luna – Live at La Gaite Lyrique: Paris
  • J Dilla – Motor City (with ‘Mailing Envelope’ Packaging)
  • Drugdealer – The End of Comedy
  • Duff Breaks – Over 40 Breaks & Drops Can’t Get Enough Of That
  • Ghost Bath – Starmourner (2LP Transparent Blue, LTD to 700 and 2LP Purple, LTD to 300 available)
  • Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) – Electric Lines
  • Harlott – Extinction
  • Horoscope – Misogyny Stone
  • Horse Jumper of Love – S/T
  • ISIS – Live VII / 02.25.10 (2LP Clear vinyl, LTD to 600)
  • Joep Beving – Prehension
  • The Legends – Nightshift
  • Magic Pie – Circus of Life (First Time on Vinyl)
  • Magic Pie – Motions of Desire (First Time on Vinyl)
  • Magic Pie – The Suffering (First Time on Vinyl)
  • Maximo Park – Risk to Exist
  • Mortiis – The Great Corrupter (Red/White/Black Splatter vinyl, LTD to 100)
  • Night Demon – Darkness Remains (Silver Vinyl, LTD to 500)
  • Nothing Left – Destroy and Rebuild
  • Overcoats – Young
  • Tom Petty – Highway Companion (Remastered)
  • Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Music From ‘She’s The One’ (Remastered)
  • Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Mojo (Remastered)
  • Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – The Last DJ (Remastered)
  • The Prize Fighter Inferno – My Brother’s Blood Machine (Gold vinyl)
  • Maggie Rodgers – Now That The Light is Fading (10″ EP)
  • Sofi Tukker – Johny / Greed (7″)
  • Soundtrack / Trent Reznor / Atticus Ross / Mogwai / Gustavo Santaolalla – Before The Flood
  • Soundtrack – Fifty Shades Darker
  • Thurpence – Ideas of Aesthetics
  • Warzone – The Victory Years (Colored vinyl)
  • Western Daughter – Driftwood Songs
  • Zhrine – Unortheta (Transparent Green vinyl, LTD to 200)
  • The Zombies – Greatest Hits