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.
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.
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.