This winter has shown little mercy to Chicago: the constant stream of snow, the ungodly gusts blowing down from Canada, the roads and trains packed with miserable commuters doing little to hide their miserableness. It’s downright demoralizing, sometimes bordering on dangerous. And it almost claimed Cate Le Bon.
Stuck in the aftermath of a horrific pile-up on I-94, Le Bon and opener Kevin Morby (Woods, the Babies) showed up two hours late, tired but thankfully in one piece. For the sake of momentum and a decent bedtime, Morby slammed through a three-song set of oozy strummers, a trio reminiscent of Dylan but still ripe with that sunny lilt found in any Babies song. While short, the set was the perfect primer for the evening’s headliner.
And that’s why you always follow up!
Carl Hauck reached out to me this month to introduce me to his new indie, Sunjacket. A band so new they’ve yet to grace a local stage. That gets rectified tonight at Beat Kitchen.
I remembered Carl’s name from an email exchange we’d done a few years ago in regards to his forthcoming (at the time) album, Windjammer. Josh reviewed the thing. It, he wrote then, “offers up some nice, soft ballads that tear at your heartstrings.” Josh thought Carl’s music “cerebral.”
Sunjacket doesn’t strive for these things. In lieu of them they’ve formed a murky yet elegant rock. A straightforward sound with a sprinkling of intrigue.
Sunjacket placed four demos on Bandcamp. I’ve handpicked a pair.
- The Chicago-based Sunjacket is Garret Bodette, Carl Hauck, Bryan Kveton, Tricia Scully and Ross Tasch. | Facebook
- Their four demos are available for free streams and downloads. | Bandcamp
- Sunjacket plays Beat Kitchen on Thursday. Eight bucks. | Tickets
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credit: Jeff Schneider
I came to Schubas on a blizzardy Tuesday evening, one of those nights with an eerie peace and quiet to it. I thought most people would be hibernating from the elements but the show had quite the turnout. I walked out of this Chicago winter and into sunny Tampa-inspired synth pop of the band Computer Magic emanating from the back room.
Danielle Johnson fronts this duo with an intense gaze and a larger-than-life vocal styling. The set was quite dancey but at times would fade into an ’80s prom feel and even felt at times like a show at the Roadhouse from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. The entire set was bathed in delay from the intricate keyboard patches to the vocals. Danielle only had to ask the audience once to move closer and everyone heard it twice. I came away from this set wanting more and think the outfit would benefit from more band mates and the interplay that would ensue. Danielle told me that in New York she has friends come on stage to play guitar which I’m sure adds a lot to the live show, both in terms of energy and the interplay of parts. Here’s a clip of the closing tune from the Computer Magic set:
(Editor’s Note: The video cuts short the song “Running” by about two minutes.)
Band: Uh Bones
Album: Only You
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Eric has already written on this blog about Uh Bones, and I’m not sure I can add much more in regards to the good work they are doing for our mini ’60s revivalist movement. But this week the Chicago garage rock trio released a new EP, and any excuse to write about a band this exciting is good enough for me.
In fact, this hardly even qualifies as a new EP. Two of the four songs, “He’s Got It” and “Amess,” also appeared on their self-titled cassette released last June. This time they’ve been repackaged and the band is selling copies on vinyl through their website.
Ty Segall Band approached their late show at the Empty Bottle Saturday like a seasoned competitor would a race. Having already headlined an early set a few hours prior for a different crowd, Ty opened set two — start time: half past midnight — with his signature fist pump signaling all was well and good, his “are you all ready to hear some songs?” assurances brief but to the point, and then off he and Emily and Charles and Mikal went hard and fast into the night.
Not long after such charged prelude — four songs in, maybe five songs in, actually around the time Ty broke his focus to greet us a second time — Ty Segall Band seemed to ease up and conserve. They then rode on easy momentum through the end of the gig save for a stimulating encore of mostly covers (“American Woman,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love” among them.)
credit: Hidden Era’s Facebook
Hidden Era’s debut single, “Until Morning,” is a cry of prayer supported by throaty guitar. Its delicate vocals and burly strings are driven by unconquerable despair, forming an unexpected balance the longer I listened.
Elizabeth Burchfield seems coached by a young Joan Osborne. Her gentle voice projects the kind of funny anguish that had me ambling over to Joany in her prime. I like how Elizabeth so proudly refuses love and laughter and hate and hope to prove her worth, and yet she is still so obviously hopeless. Perhaps such assurance is her curse.
Here are some shows you should consider going to this month.
Friday, February 8: Jaill @ Beat Kitchen, 9:30 p.m.
Cost: Ten | Tickets
Other acts: Slushy, The Bingers
I’ve been into Jaill about as long as I’ve lived here – three years, coming up – and in that time have seen them just once: at an abbreviated in-store set at Reckless (Wicker Park) last summer. For a Subpop band that calls Milwaukee home, I’m floored by how little these guys visit us lowly Chicagoans. Perhaps their infrequent trips – they seem to drive down about once a year – is their symbolic way of giving us the American Robin. They’re letting us know we’re too tame a city. Or maybe they’re lazy. I do recall a biting remark that skipped off the tongue of their front man, though, that suggested we all drank too much milk prior to their in-store. You know, he was right. We had way less bounce than a mid-week, mid-day crowd should have. For the first time in awhile Jaill plays a proper Chicago venue. I hope the set skews on the That’s How We Burn side.