If the four faces behind Chicago’s Namorado look familiar, you may have caught them onstage during their Urbana-Champaign college days as A Cool Hand. Although, now nearly two years into their new formation, the faces of lead guitarist/vocalist Mike Altergott, drummer Charlier McCarthy, guitarist/vocalist Jack Keating and bassist/vocalist Adam Howarter may be the only things to spark familiarity.
After moving to the city of Chicago, the four bandmates had a serious discussion about the evolution of their songs from standard indie rock to well-composed music built on guitar riffs and vocal harmonies. With a new EP in the works, set for release in early 2018, Altergott and Howarter gathered at their Avondale rehearsal space to share the ins and outs of their latest endeavors and what it’s like as a band maneuvering through the Chicago music scene.
It’s hard to pinpoint it, but there’s something about Emily Rose and Joe Zeph, the duo behind Zigtebra, that makes them impossible not to admire. They’ve spent the past four months traveling the United States; playing shows, writing songs and producing music videos, yet they bounce into Sip Coffee House with such energy and enthusiasm, you’d never know they’d only just returned to Chicago the day before.
Emily Rose falls onto the plush couch, coffee in hand, apologizing for her mere one-minute lateness as Joe Zeph takes a seat in the armchair across from her. They playfully banter, the admiration between each other evident as they recall their crazy endeavors of the last couple of weeks.
Chicago-based singer songwriter Luke Underhill has partnered with producer Mikal Blue (known for his work with Colbie Callait and Jason Mraz) for his 7-song EP The Left Side, out August 18. The release follows two self-released projects from 2015, Atlas and Atlas Unplugged, along with a 2016 self-produced single, “Too Good for Me”.
The Left Side explores a realm of young love and loss with the 21-one-year old musician delivering fairly simplistic lyrics, yet nonetheless catchy songs. Within each piece, there are moments of artistry embodied with potential that will undoubtedly blossom with age and experience.
Like many up-and-coming bands, Vast Canvas has experienced their fair share of band members; a year of lineup changes that have settled to include drummer Taylor Kreemer, bassist Parker Langvardt, lead guitarist Justin Doebert and the only original member, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chelsea Foss-Ralston. In October, the four members worked with engineer Josh Stanley to record their 3-song EP Fck Around, out August 14 via Bandcamp, just in time for their August 17 show at Beat Kitchen.
Vast Canvas falls somewhere on the spectrum of DIY. While their sound is more fit for a conventional music venue, they took a hands-on approach to their latest EP, recording it in Foss-Ralston’s Pilsen home, just blocks from The DoJo, one of Chicago’s top DIY houses. It’s in the bright and open living space of this home where Kreemer, Langvardt and Foss-Ralston gather, (along with Uncka, the band’s polar bear pup), to discuss their new music and the ultimate struggle of responding to emails.
August Hotel has released their first single “Michigan Again” from their upcoming EP Charms, which will be available on September 22.
The Chicago-based band describes their new single as upbeat, shimmery, dancey, fun and very different than their previous single “12 am”, which has been streamed nearly 100,000 times since its release last year.
Learn more about the band and their new music by reading our recent Q&A with the indie-pop group.
August Hotel’s next show will be on Wednesday, August 16 at Reggies. The night will also include performances by Glass House Point, Ember Oceans and Friday Pilots Club.
Thanks to Mike Vogus, organizer of the Annual Localpalooza Chicago Showcase, supporting a worthy cause as has never been so easy. Simply show up at Lincoln Hall on Saturday, July 22nd to enjoy seven Chicago bands, great beer and a chance to win kickass prizes. All proceeds from the event will benefit The Patrick Grange Memorial Foundation, a charity for ALS Research organized in the memory of a local college soccer player.
Patrick Grange was a former University of Illinois-Chicago and University of New Mexico soccer player who was diagnosed with ALS, a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. In November 2010 at age 28, Grange’s diagnosis made him the youngest person to be diagnosed with the disease in his home state of New Mexico. In hopes of subsidizing medical costs, Grange’s teammates held benefits and fundraisers in Grange’s name. After Grange passed in April 2012, his former teammates were inspired to officially launched The Patrick Grange Memorial Foundation in January 2013. Today, the charity hosts a number of events to raise funds for research, awareness and support for families dealing with ALS.
Vocalist Sadie Rogers, of Sadie and the Stark, admits the name and concept behind her experimental fantasy band may seem like a joke, but promises the music created by herself, guitarist John Tweedie, drummer Tom Stukel and bassist Anthony Johnson, is anything but. Their dedication to each others’ creative visions in their 2017 EP Ghosts proves commitment and seriousness. The songs may be full of sci-fi lyrics and mystical themes, but there’s an artistic energy within each melodic and instrumental line.
In preparation for their upcoming show on Sunday, July 16 at Quenchers Saloon, the foursome gathers in their rehearsal space to discuss new music, dream venues and live show expectations.