All great things make a comeback. Or at least, they should. In terms of great music, nothing strikes the heart of Chicagoans more than jazz, and nothing inspires artist Brad Cole more than old school, jazz-inspired, Bossa nova. Looking for an outlet to explore the sounds of Bossa nova, Cole started Bossa Blue, a smoky quartet covering a wide range of classic rock tunes and jazz standards every Wednesday in April at The Hideout.
The music industry is no new beast for Cole. As a seasoned musician with strong followings in Chicago, Nashville and New York, Cole has spent many years exploring various genres such as rock, reggae and Americana; and has done so successfully. But as Cole explains after his first residency performance with Bossa Blue, to be truly successful, one has to push boundaries and not shy away from the unexpected.
Ella Casazza is nothing short of energetic. The Chicago singer-songwriter bounces about her Bucktown home, preparing French press coffee in excitement for the completion of her first full-length album. With its catchy lines and pop melodies backed by her signature full band sound, Proof is everything fans love about Casazza. It’s sassy, organic and unapologetically authentic to the modern retro-ness of Elle.
Of course with a new album comes a variety of other projects for the young musician. In the upcoming months, Casazza has planned an extensive tour, new music videos and the formation of a songwriters’ circle. There seems like so much to do, but Casazza reminds herself to “just keep on keeping on”. At the end of the day, things may feel overwhelming and hectic, but that’s all part of this crazy life of music.
This week may mark the release of Kristina Cottone’s debut EP Bow, but as the lead singer of the soul-rock band Honey & the 45s, Cottone is no stranger to music. She has countless experience playing major stages and opening for national acts such as Andy Grammer in Chicago’s Grant Park, but that doesn’t stop Cottone from nervously jittering as she reminisces about her first solo show in New York this past weekend. She playfully laughs about squeezing the hands of her two best friends while riding the subway to her gig; a giddiness that hasn’t seemed to be put to ease quite yet.
“One of the reasons I did the show in New York is because playing completely alone scares me,” says Cottone.
For the first time in her musical career, Cottone is holding the pressures of the show on her own. She’ll be taking the stage on Friday, March 3rd for an official release show at Uncommon Ground. And while Cottone may be reasonably terrified, she’s clearly excited and proud of her new endeavor as she sits down with Listen Live and Local to share her adventure.Continue Reading
Ever wonder what it takes for a small doughnut shop to be featured in a music video? Apparently it’s nothing more than a catchy name and proximity to a rehearsal space. At least that’s the reasoning behind Tiny Kingdoms featuring Spunky Dunkers in their latest music video for their song “Odds”. (It should be noted that the band did rave about the doughnuts. One member was even so bold as to claim that the breakfast staples surpass all other doughnuts. However, because no one ordered doughnuts at the time of the interview, that information has yet to be verified).
For a song that would make any early 2000s teen swoon, the quirky shop doesn’t appear to be the obvious choice for a video revolving around cults and the turning of innocent young men into dogs. But to better understand the connection between breakfast pastries and black magic, you’d have to get inside the heads of the four boys who birthed these ideas.
Fernando, Erick, David and Luis Arias of The Avantist gather in their parent’s Hickory Hills’ basement which doubles as a rehearsal space. Erick, Luis and David set up behind their instruments as Fernando teases them for always running to their security blankets. The eldest brother sits in a folding chair and chipperly points out how he doesn’t need to hide behind an instrument.
Without missing a beat, each brother sends out a rebuttal concluding that Fernando isn’t behind an instrument because he doesn’t know how to play one. Bickering and insults continue to pass back and forth. It’s brutal and ruthless, but as any sibling knows, it’s all meant with love. Within seconds the room erupts with laughter as they prepare to share their journey on what brought them to these “security blankets” and how they’ve used them to grow with each other.
Resting on the corner of Schubert and Kildare stands Kildare Studios; a 35,000 square foot warehouse and rehearsal home to artists across Chicago’s west side. Outside, on this particular day, stands Sexy Fights‘ synth player Phillip Shoemaker, our guide through the studio’s maze of endlessly winding hallways. With a few hundred twists and turns, Shoemaker enters a room to join bandmates drummer Bryan Hart, guitarist Russell Augustine and vocalist Jordan Rose Brzezinski.
After perfecting their sound and releasing their debut album, Too Far Out, the synth-driven psychedelic rock band is ready to draw in their much-deserved attention. In preparation for their upcoming show on June 23rd at Beat Kitchen, Listen Live and Local sat with the group to discuss their music, possible touring plans, smoke machines and glitter.
Stationed in the Windy City by way of St.Louis, Mary Porzelt, known to fans by her stage name, Sweet Mary, is getting ready to add a new city to her list of addresses. Following in the footsteps of her close mentors and friends, The Main Squeeze, the blues singer will be moving to Los Angeles later this year in pursuit of new musical opportunities. But before leaving the home of blues, Sweet Mary spoke with Listen Live and Local about her upcoming show, her passions outside of music and even let us in on a secret about where she feels most inspired to write.
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.
A little bit funk, a little bit soul, a little bit rock and roll; Woo Park embodies everything that makes Chicago’s music scene great. The talented band composed of vocalist Emily Nichols, bassist Parker Grogan, keyboardist Christian Zwit, drummer Luke Sangerman, and guitarist Brian Sanborn can be described as nothing other than a choir of rhythmic chaos. Their sound is undeniably composed of practice, passion and true musicianship. An eccentric ascetic combined with undeniable chemistry, it’s no surprise Woo Park has become beloved to so many dedicated fans.
With their last show (for the time being) right around the corner (Feb 20th @ Subterranean) Listen Live and Local spoke with Nichols for the low down on their drive, their passion and what their futures hold.
Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, Railway Gamblers is a predominantly Americana four-piece consisting of vocalist and guitarist Brendan Folliard, guitarist Matt Fricks, bassist Joe Sexton and drummer Sean Wilmsen. After the success of their first album Heart of the Sun the boys have once again partnered with engineer Mike Hagler of Kingsize Sound Labs to record their second full length album Shadow of the Moon, which is set for release in early January 2016.