Live Recap: Cut Worms and King Tuff at Lincoln Hall 5.25.18

Cut Worms and King Tuff kicked off Memorial Day weekend with an incredible show at Lincoln Hall.

The dynamic show began right at 9PM, with singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sasami performing solo on a dimly lit stage. As she sang through her stripped back, personal narratives, Sasami told hilarious anecdotes between songs, warming the early crowd up for the rest of the show. Sasami would return later in the night to play in King Tuff’s band, but first the Brooklyn based project of Max Clarke, Cut Worms, took the stage for a homecoming of sorts, as Clarke had previously lived in Chicago for several years. After a successful debut EP, Clarke released his debut full length album Hollow Ground earlier this month, and his 45 minute set consisted of the majority of the album. Clarke and his band members had the crowd eagerly soaking up the twang soaked mix of alt-country and indie rock tunes, which pull in just a pinch of psychedelic and folk rock influences. Clarke’s refreshing spin on timeless roots had the audience dancing along to his more upbeat songs like “Don’t Want To Say Good-bye,” but he also kept the set versatile by slowing things down to perform a song sans band towards the end of the show.

Eventually everyone had trickled into the concert hall, the stage had been set, and King Tuff and his band graced the stage for the final act of the night. The setlist started with the hypnotizing title and opening track of King Tuff’s latest album, The Other, which just came out in April. With the crowd hooked after that slightly slower tempo track, the energy ramped right back up with trippier “Raindrop Blue,” laden with shredding guitar riffs. King Tuff and his band added an edge of flare to their show with flashy outfits, but they kept the focus on their musicianship by not adding in any intricate stage production. The carefully plotted setlist weaved in some older favorites between songs from the new record, like “Unusual World” from the 2012 self-titled record and “Freak Me When I’m Dead” from 2008’s Was Dead record. King Tuff kept the setlist completely refreshed by even throwing in a brand new track. “They’re all new, but this one is even newer,” King Tuff said before playing “Portrait of God.” No matter what era of King Tuff discography any of the songs came from though, each tune had the crowd grooving and moving along, which nods to the versatile and universal quality of these albums and songs.

If you missed out on the show, check out our photo gallery of the evening below.

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Grab your copy of The Other via the online store here, or come into the shop to snag it!


This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

Live Recap: HINDS Returns to Lincoln Hall With New Material and the Same Old Spirit

“This is the first time we sold out Chicago,” Hinds tells the packed house at Lincoln Hall on Tuesday night. On the Madrid quartet’s current tour, sold out shows are no rare occurrence; they’ve had a recent streak of shows that have been overflowing with eager fans. Although this last show might have been Hinds’ first official sold out show here, they’ve also had no shortage of rowdy moments in the city in the last year. Last May, they played a free show at The Empty Bottle, which had fans lined up around the block to attend, and they played Lincoln Hall earlier this year as part of the annual Tomorrow Never Knows Festival.

Back in January, Hinds had recently announced the release date of their sophomore album I Don’t Run, and dropped their first single “New For You.” While they teased the new material at that show, performing the new single, their show last week was the first time many of the songs in their set had been played in Chicago. During their 75 minute set, the band performed the majority of their second album, opening up with “The Club.” Whether they were playing the new material or old favorites like “Easy” or “Garden,” the audience remained keen to have a great time; dancing, moshing, and even crowd surfing throughout the night. Despite their intense and grueling tour schedule, accompanied with a busy press schedule, the members of Hinds burst onto stage with a surge of energy, boasting infectious smiles, and the positive vibes remained present the whole show. Whether they were dancing together or telling funny anecdotes between songs, the members of Hinds always kept the mood lighthearted.

Towards the end of the show, the momentum of the evening peaked (pun intended) when members of Twin Peaks and Goodbye Honolulu crashed the stage to give Hinds a hand in performing “Davey Crockett” from their EP The Very Best of Hinds So Far. The unruly guest appearance featured Carlotta Cosials getting on Cadien James of Twin Peaks’ shoulders, stage diving from Twin Peaks’ Clay Frankel and Jack Dolan, and some champagne popping; making for an unforgettable moment in an already unforgettable show.

During the show, Carlotta had mentioned that Chicago is the closest city in America that they have to their hometown of Madrid, and another wildly successful show here proved that the city feels just as fondly about Hinds.

If you missed out on getting tickets to this show, check out photos from the evening with Bunny and Goodbye Honolulu, and see the rest of Hinds’ tour dates here.

Order your own copy of I Don’t Run on the web store here, or come grab it in the shop!


This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

Live Recap: Unknown Mortal Orchestra at The Vic 5.3.18

This past Thursday night, Unknown Mortal Orchestra returned to Chicago for the first time since 2016, touring in support of their latest record Sex & Food, out April 6th via Jagjaguwar Records.

The 90 minute set started off heavy with songs from Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s early catalog, easing the crowd into their new material. The night kicked off with”Ffunny Ffrends,” a track from the band’s debut, self-titled record, which was followed by “Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)” from their second album. As the setlist weaved through the band’s diverse discography, frontman Ruban Nielson and the rest of the band maintained an incredibly tight sound throughout the entire show. While the performance remained incredibly sharp, the band also had a relaxed and infectious energy about them, often extending out their tracks with instrumental breaks that added depth to the live experience of their records.

Early on in the evening, during “From The Sun,” Nielson actually jumped into the crowd with his guitar and played his way through the entire room, even making it up to the balcony. From that moment on, the crowd’s eyes clung to the stage, the audience eager to soak up the showmanship and musicianship that Unknown Mortal Orchestra has expertly honed in on over their years together. While the band exuded an incredible stage presence, an intricate lighting show backed them, adding another facet to their live production. Between the production quality, the setlist selection, and the chemistry of the band members, Unknown Mortal Orchestra put on the perfect show.

If you get the chance, do not miss Unknown Mortal Orchestra on this tour–see the remaining dates here.

Photos of Unknown Mortal Orchestra at The Vic, May 3rd, 2018

You can grab your copy of Sex & Food at the shop or on the web store here, and keep up with UMO on Instagram and Facebook.


 This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

Live Recap: Post Animal Plays a Rowdy Record Release Show to a Packed Lincoln Hall

At almost every concert you go to, there’s a sort of unspoken bond amongst audience members; a mutual love of music and an interest in the particular band performing that can take strangers, put them into a cramped room, and turn them into friends by the end of the night. At Post Animal’s album release show on Friday night, the room buzzed with an electrifying sense of camaraderie from the second the doors to Lincoln Hall opened. For many in the audience, they had already formed friendships with one another, due to the supportive nature of the Chicago music scene, and the show that would follow would only bring that community even closer.

Like most Chicago bands that have begun to garner attention nationally, and even internationally, during the last couple of years, Post Animal got their start playing DIY shows in basements and gritty locations around the city before eventually working their way up to headlining slots at the likes of The Hideout, The Empty Bottle, and The Subterranean. Headlining a sold out show at Lincoln Hall sits towards the top of many bands’ bucket lists in the city, so when Post Animal made their way up to checking this feat off their list, they made sure to put together a special show for the 500 lucky audience members that scored tickets to the gig.

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First, they had some of the freshest local (and soon-to-be local) talent warm up the stage for them, with Rookie kicking off the night. Although they’re a new project and just released a debut single last week, Chicago music scene veterans Joe Bordenaro and Max Loebman act as the group’s leaders, working together on new music and revamping music from their past projects. Their experience of playing music for years in other projects gives them a commanding stage presence and sense of chemistry as bandmates that you rarely see in a new band. By the time Rookie’s set had finished, most of the room had already filled in, and anyone who had started the night unaware of Rookie had quickly been converted to a new fan after witnessing their live show.

Next up, Slow Pulp mesmerized the packed house with their dreamy mix of psychedelic, pop, and punk tones for the next 45 minutes. Hailing from Madison, Slow Pulp will soon be making a permanent move down to Chicago, and the audience response on Friday confirmed that they will be welcomed with open arms once they make the move later this year. The crowd gave the band their undivided attention as they played through songs from their self-produced and released EP2, which is actually the band’s first release since the addition of lead singer Emily Massey. The audience sang along with Massey throughout the show, especially during “Preoccupied,” which has stacked up close to 200,000 streams on Spotify.

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Eventually the time came for Post Animal to hit the stage, and the current of energy that had been surging through the venue was further intensified when the opening riffs of “Gelatin Mode” rang out into the room. Although they’ve been playing the song live for months, the band had only recently released the track as a single with an accompanying, must-watch music video, and it acted as the perfect kickstart to the rowdy evening that would follow. Of course, no Post Animal show would be complete without a little (or a lot of) crowd surfing and moshing, and “Gelatin Mode” set the tone for a wild night when the crowd immediately started thrashing around to the fast-paced song.

Another new single from When I Think Of You In A Castle, “Tire Eyes,” followed, only slightly slowing down the pace. The exuberance of the crowd remained intact however, never wavering as the setlist weaved between songs featuring in-your-face guitar solos, like “Special Moment” and “Victory Lap: Danger Zone,” and more mellow, winding psychedelic-tinged tracks like “Castle.” The band did a great job of strategically plotting the placement of each song in the setlist, allowing for the audience fully appreciate the diverse texture and sonic diversity of not only their newest material, but some old favorites from their first two EPs. To assist with the flow of the set, the band even worked out more elaborate and refreshed transitions between songs, adding another layer to the new songs that fans can’t experience from just listening to the record.

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After playing through the majority of When I Think Of You In A Castle and staples like “Alabaster” and “You Were Not There” from their earlier catalog, Post Animal closed the first part of their set with their viral track “When I Get Home,” which has always proved to be a crowd favorite with its grooving bass line and sweeping melody. At this point in the night, the room was overflowing with positive vibes, and the crowd had already been potentially the rowdiest that the Lincoln Park concert hall has ever hosted, but things only got crazier during the encore.

Cadien Lake James from Twin Peaks first took the stage with a bottle of champagne in hand to get the audience hyped for Post Animal’s return, further demonstrating the supportive nature of the city’s music scene. After the warm introduction, the band eased the audience into the final part of their set by kicking things off with “Goggles” from their 2015 EP Post Animal Perform The Most Curious Water Activities, but when they transitioned into “Dirtpicker,” it was no holds barred for the remainder of the show. The song anchors out their new album, but it has been the hype song of their live show for a while now, always riling up the crowd with its infectiously catchy riffs. The amiable spirits of the crowd peaked during this last song as everyone exerted their final ounces of energy, working to lift each other up to crowd surf or have one last go at moshing.

By the time Post Animal walked offstage on Friday night, it was clear to everyone in the crowd that they had just witnessed a very special moment (pun intended) and while this show marked a landmark achievement for the band, it’s truly only the beginning for them. You can catch Post Animal on a headlining national tour throughout the summer, with select shows featuring Slow Pulp or fellow Chicagoans Paul Cherry and Town Criers. The summer tour includes appearances at legendary festivals like Shaky Knees, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza (Chicago, catch them at Lolla on Friday, August 3rd). See the rest of their tour dates here, and snag a copy of When I Think Of You In A Castle  here.

More photos of Rookie, Slow Pulp, and Post Animal at Lincoln Hall on April 27th, 2018

 

This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

Get To Know: Slow Pulp

The four members of Madison-based outfit Slow Pulp craft memorable songs with their ability to seamlessly blend dreamy vocals with psychedelic tones, pop melodies, and a dash of cheeky, punk attitude. Since the band self-released EP2 last March, the songs on the EP have made their way onto curated Spotify playlists and collectively racked up over 200,000 plays, standing out among the masses of young, indie bands. And rightfully so; there’s something about Slow Pulp that instantly clicks with listeners and fans of live music alike. Their live show captivatingly translates their recorded music to the stage, giving them a magnetic presence.

This past weekend, Slow Pulp warmed up the stage for their friends Post Animal and will join them again on select dates in the summer.  It’s only a matter of time before they’re playing even bigger shows to new audiences across the country, so before they blow up, get to know Slow Pulp first with these five facts we learned while chatting to them at Daytrotter last month!

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SCHOOL OF ROCK IS THE REASON THEY’RE PLAYING MUSIC

Well, one of them anyways. Lead singer Emily Massey admits that the Jack Black film is the reason she started taking guitar lessons, but says her past with music stems back to a very early age. “My dad is a musician so I have been playing music and performing for pretty much my whole life,” Massey says.  “The first time I sang onstage, I was like one and a half….I don’t remember that. I remember doing a talent show in kindergarten. I really didn’t want to do it, my parents made me do it. I was crying before I went and sang. I sang ‘This Little Light of Mine’,” she recalls, adding that her dad produced a hip-hop, R&B instrumental track of the song for her to sing along to. Although she initially dreaded it, Massey learned to love performing during that experience. “This was at Emerson Elementary school in Madison, WI. Talent show. Kindergarten. I was five and I had the time of my life playing onstage.”

Guitarist Henry Stoehr says his venture into playing music started a little later than that. “Alex [Leeds] and I were just talking about this earlier actually, but I think it was 6th grade for me. We went to see Modest Mouse in Madison, and this band called Man Man opened for them. I feel like that was the first really strange music I heard, or at least saw live. I don’t know exactly what it did, but I felt like it–I started caring about things I didn’t care about that before,” he says.

Bassist Alex Leeds chimes in, saying the Man Man show created an existential moment for him as well. “It was better than Modest Mouse, it was crazy. I don’t think it made me want to play music… It changed the kind of music that I wanted to make.” Leeds continued on, shouting out School of Rock. “I was playing cello in the strings program in my elementary school, and when Jack Black said ‘Cello, you’ve got a bass,’ I was like that’s what I’m gonna do! Then I got a 2×4 and I put some front marks on it and started practicing some Beatles songs and played in the school show that year on the bass.”

THEIR FRIENDSHIP WITH POST ANIMAL TRACES BACK TO SIXTH GRADE

Slow Pulp and Post Animal have shared the stage many times, but the friendship roots between some of the band members dig deep. Throughout the course of my talk with Slow Pulp after their show at Daytrotter, members of Post Animal would pop by to chime in. “Six grade chemistry,” Post Animal guitarist Javi Reyes interjects; explaining that Leeds, Stoehr, and drummer Teddy Matthews have so much chemistry as a group because they’ve been playing together since sixth grade.

That same sense of chemistry transfers to a strong bond with Post Animal, too. “Jake [Hirshland] actually played with one of Henry, Alex and I’s band in high school,” Matthews says. Besides playing in bands with each other, the members of both bands also share an instrumental bond. “I gotta give a shout out to my dad…He made Jake Hirshland and Emily’s guitars…and the bass that I play,” Leeds says.

Despite all the history, the current day line up of Slow Pulp actually hasn’t been around that long, with Emily Massey being the most recent addition. “It’s been about a year and a half,” says Stoehr. “We took this trip to Philly and just played two shows. That was the end of 2016.”

“[After those shows,] they were like wait, Emily is okay. She can stay. I started in this band as rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. Then it evolved. Now I’m a lead guitarist and vocalist,” Massey adds.

THEY’RE MOVING TO….

Just like their lineup has changed over time, Slow Pulp’s home base will soon change. Although they’re currently based in Madison, Slow Pulp has already garnered buzz in Chicago by playing shows ranging from DIY gigs at Observatory to support slots at staples around the city, like Beat Kitchen and Lincoln Hall. It won’t be long until the group continues to tick off more and more Chicago venues from their list, though, since they’re moving here!

“There’s a rumor flying around,” says Massey. “It is true. We are moving to Chicago. Over Summer/Fall/Winter,” she continues. At the moment, Massey, Matthews, and Stoehr are currently Madison based, while Leeds lives in Minneapolis. Come September, the band will still be somewhat divided, but not for long. “The three of them, Emily, Henry and Alex, are moving to Chicago in September…then I’m still in school til January,” says Matthews.

The band members say they’re all excited to be based in one place again by the end of the year, but they still have a lot of love for the Madison music scene. “One thing I was talking about on the way down here about the Madison scene… we were noticing differences between the Madison scene and the Minneapolis scene specifically, but I think it might apply more broadly than that… People, when they come out to shows, in my experience, realize that they’re also performers in that situation. And give a lot to the bands. In Madison,” Leeds says. “I love playing in Madison for that reason. It’s a very responsive crowd and we feed off that and off each other. I don’t experience that anywhere else,” he continues.

“It can also change very drastically very fast. It’s like, most of the young people are there for a few years for school. It definitely feels like the music scene changes every few years,” Stoehr adds.

THEIR INFLUENCES RANGE FROM ST. VINCENT TO THEE OH SEES

Slow Pulp possesses a refreshingly unique aura onstage, but they have an array of artists whose stage presence they admire and get inspired by. The group all simultaneously agree on loving the stage presence of TOPS. “I’ve loved their music for a long time, and when I went to go see them live, I was unsure what to expect, but I was blown away. They have a really cool way of presenting chill music in an exciting way,” Leeds says.

“I think mine are maybe Thee Oh Sees cause they’re so nuts. Then Omni because they’re so controlled,” Stoehr says. The group also all agree on Omni and Khruangbin as huge inspirations, calling the latter the “psychedelic Preatures.”

Lastly, Massey throws out some more inspiration from all across the genre-sphere, starting off with her old pals. “Post Animal! Javier Reyes is my favorite onstage live performer. He goes hard,” she says, continuing, “I’ve seen St. Vincent play, and that was a life changing show. It was so theatrical.” She pauses, adding “David Bowie forever!” to round things out.

THEY’RE ALSO VISUAL ARTISTS

While making their music, Slow Pulp is usually heavily influenced by tones, colors, and visual art. The link to visual art inspiring their sonic scapes comes from the band members all dabbling in art themselves, and that also comes across clearly in the vision behind their “Preoccupied” music video.

“We were very involved with it,” Massey says about conceptualizing the video, and the band members all explain that they had a fleshed out concept, but the process remained flexible and fluid throughout the day. “We kept coming up with ideas as we were filming,” Massey adds, also shouting out their friend and director Damien Blue for helping with vision.

The band’s artistic vision and flexibility to work through ideas transfers into their writing process as well. “I think we definitely talk about music in a visual way, and use visual art that we like as reference points for emotions,” Stoehr says. “I think especially with colors. We talk about colors a lot in that way– And I think we usually get it, in terms of colors…We’ll be like ‘I want this song to be brown’,” Massey elaborates.

“I think the way I think of songwriting is pretty similar to painting. At least for me they’re very problem-solving oriented and reacting to what you’ve just done. In a really immediate sense. You kind of just make decisions,” Stoehr adds. Even with their somewhat long-distance writing situation, with Leeds residing in Minneapolis, the band say they focus on writing music with their live show in mind. “Even in our current situation, we’re still trying to write songs that are live songs,” they say.



There you have it! As for the new music and material that the band have been working on, they say they still aren’t exactly sure when it will be released. At the moment they’re working through the different pieces they’ve created, trying to thread them together in a way that makes the most sense.

While you wait for this new content, make sure you catch Slow Pulp in concert this summer. See all of their tour dates here.


This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine