July 2011

Ugly World Tour Chicago Part 2

In part 1 of my review of the Ugly World Tour, I mentioned that by the time headliners Children of Bodom took the stage, the show was already awesome. Septicflesh and Obscura proved to be excellent bands, and any show that has such great openers is only going to get better when the main bands come out.  That proved to be the case when Devin Townsend Project played a brilliant set.  And then at about 8:00 PM central, Children of Bodom came out to a thunderous ovation.

This was the first time I’ve seen CoB live, and I was not disappointed in any fashion.  Their setlist was almost perfect, as they played a nice mix of new material off their new record Relentless, Reckless, Forever, and older material from Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper

Ugly World Tour Chicago Part 1

On July 6th, The Ugly World Tour crashed into Chicago at the House of Blues, and needless to say, it was one immense concert.  I have decided to divide my review into two parts, because one simply won’t be enough space to do justice to the bands that played.  So here in part one, I will focus on the Devin Townsend Project and the opening bands, and then in part two, headliners Children of Bodom.

Chicago Mixtape Brings Local Music to Your Inbox


The Chicago music scene is an enormous, thriving thing. Bands form, dissolve, reform every day. People gather in clubs for shows every single night. Keeping track of it all is a weighty task for even the most intrepid scene-scouts, but thankfully, there are dudes on the internet who have got your back. 

Chicago Mixtape was founded by Casey Meehan earlier this year. Sign up with your email address and you'll receive a weekly .zip file full of tracks from local bands playing shows during that week. Not only do you get a generous helping of free music every week, but you'll get to automatically preview shows going down in your vicinity. 

Meehan and his Mixtape have quickly become a regular hub of the Chicago music community. The service provides a nifty alternative to the music blog by cutting to the chase and loading up your inbox with downloads. Bands get to submit their tunes to a wide show-going audience and easily broaden their listener base. It's a happy little symbiotic relationship that has helped to close the gap between awesome music and eager fans. There have even been a few Mixtape-hosted evenings around town, where the best up-and-coming local bands have had the chance to show off their chops. 

Really, you have no reason not to sign up for weekly presents unless you're a buzzkill who hates music and America. Do it now.

Smith Westerns - "Weekend"


It's always good to see a local act make strides across the indie sphere. Smith Westerns' glittery psych pop has been getting plenty of attention where it counts. Their lead single "Weekend" is breezy as anything, with kaleidoscopic riffage and achingly sweet vocal hooks. Check out the awesome video of the band dicking around Chicago for an evening. After their thorough urban adventures they go to the woods to hack down some trees, because that's what the cool kids are doing these days.