Live Review: Engine Summer (3/24) @ Quencher’s Saloon

Sometime soon, you’ll be scrolling through Listen Live and Local’s Upcoming Shows page, and you’ll see Engine Summer is gracing the stage somewhere in Chicago that night. When this happens, I strongly advise you to put on your shoes, squad up with your best buds and head to the show.

I know that sometimes recruiting your friends to see unfamiliar bands can be a little nerve-racking. “What if I make them come pay money for this show and they don’t like it?” Oh man, I can feel the anxiety building right now. But I assure you Engine Summer is a safe bet. Even the most casual music fans in your group will get hooked by the band’s catchy riffs, high energy and character. As for the music lovers you’ll bring with you, they’ll be enamored by how a three-piece can create such a unique sound.

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Q&A: EGi

The word “ethereal” is used to describe something that transcends the confines of planet Earth. It’s something that’s so pure and elegant it’s almost celestial, perhaps heavenly. Chicago-based jam band Ethereal Groove, Incorporated, known as EGi, has worked for about six years to take adventurous folks across the Midwest to a higher plane with its energetic improvisational jams. With the help of some friends in popular nationally touring groups like Dopapod and Turkuaz, EGi has finally released its debut full-length album, “Plyatron”, which is now available on music services like iTunes and Spotify.

EGi guitarist Noe Perez sat down with Listen Live and Local just before taking the stage at the band’s album release party at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge on March 5th. He discusses what it was like recording with members of Dopapod and Turkuaz, the band’s upcoming performance at Summer Camp Music Festival and where the band feels most at home when away from Chicago.

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Watch: Stampy Makes Debut Performance

Newly-founded Chicago group Stampy is running full speed right out of the gate. The band had already started tracking its debut LP before it even took the stage for the very first time February 6th at Double Door. The quintet’s first time gracing the stage was eclectic. Stampy’s original music appears to derive influence from across the musical spectrum. Progressive rock and blues are apparent, with tastes of soul throughout to soothe the pallet.

Below is a video, courtesy of gigity.tv, of Stampy performing a sweet-sounding original tune called “Drop of Rain” at the band’s debut performance. Enjoy!

Stampy’s debut LP is expect to drop by Summer 2016.

Live Review: Mungion (1/16) @ Subterranean

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Let’s face it: If you could wear pajamas out on a Saturday night, you probably would. The only reason you don’t is because you don’t want to be the only person at the bar wearing flannels and a big, baggy t-shirt.

You’re not an outlier though. There’s a thriving community of pajama enthusiasts, as evident by the Subterranean‘s Pajamuary event at Saturday, January 16th, featuring local acts Bronson Rock, Mungion and EGI. It was $5 off for anyone wearing PJs. Just wearing flannels qualified for discounted admission, but a surprising number of people went above and beyond, sporting giant animal-themed onesies. It was very rock and roll.

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Live Review: Nasty Snacks (12/17) @ Martyrs’

Funk is just fun, plain and simple. It’s got to be one of the most universally appreciated genres of music. Even the most reserved people seem to struggle resisting the urge to get down and dance when the funk is hot, and some of the hottest funk Chicago has to offer is from Nasty Snacks.

The nine-piece group opened up In The Loop ProductionsPerse as Funk showcase Thursday, December 17th at Martyrs’ with a high-energy set of original music and soul covers of groups like Earth, Wind and Fire and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. Christmas lights and decorations lined Martyrs’ spacious interior, and Nasty Snacks played a perfect song for the occasion. Christmas songs can be sort of sappy, but the band did a rendition of Vulfpeck’s “Christmas in L.A.” that spread holiday cheer without breaking the upbeat mold cast by the rest of the set.

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Album Review: Marrow – The Gold Standard

A few well-established members of Chicago’s budding music scene have released a new album that is, at times, light-hearted and upbeat, yet dark and menacing. Marrow’s debut album The Gold Standard frequently adjusts your headspace, solidifying it as an extremely well-rounded rock album.

Marrow was created from the backbone of Kids These Days, a purebred Chicago rock/rap group that split in 2013. In Kids These Days, guitarist Liam Kazar, keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom primarily provided the framework for now Roc-A-Fella Records recording artist Vic Mensa to rap over. But in Marrow, Kazar, Stewart and Beckstrom now have the opportunity to shine under “The Gold Standard.” Add drummer Matt Carroll to the mix, and Marrow is a group of old and new faces showing off diverse songwriting that perhaps has been bottled up for quite some time.

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