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September 2014
Seagulls
"Great Pine
"
mp3
With spindly strings horning in the opening instrumental, “Dragoon” awakens Seagulls' debut LP Great Pine, seamlessly transitioning into “Swimmin’,” a song that is initially given a steady-footed beat around which a more intricate and illuminating composition is built generating a peaceful yet purposeful layered sound, setting the tone for what lies ahead. “You and Me” plays like a surf-folk love letter, developing a warm, earnest vocal confession, while fitting nicely with the tug and pull groove of the scratching guitar and persistent bass. The vocal harmonies provide a sweetness accompanied by reserved bursts of trumpet and accordion-like effects offer a tease of nostalgia.
 
“Love, Give” follows a similar theme as vocals, strings, and snap-percussion set a pleasant, pensive, strolling pace as echoing harmonies and backing vocals reinforce, “Love give your hands to me, for someday I’ll be on bended knee.” “Old Habits” maintains an up close lo-fi aesthetic and underlying 8-bit accents, but the perspective has changed, shining a light on the dark side of relationships and a groove that has a somewhat worn and dusty ascetic, enhancing the lyrics meaning - “Old habits, die hard or they never do/so keep lying til they all catch up to you.” A well-placed take on Big Star’s “Thirteen” incorporates the honest-loving sentiments of adolescence, falling neatly inline with the group’s heartfelt vocal honesty, while simultaneously acknowledging one of their potential influences.
 
The record’s title-track “Great Pine” serves as a breath-catching ambiance builder before the turbulent “Holy Smokes” emerges. Enlisting peaks of aggressive kick-in-the-door instrumentation - particularly percussion between smooth stretches of vocally dominant valleys - in essence, layering pieces of clear skies between moments of violent storms.
 
“Distracted” concludes Great Pine with an uplifting blanket of vocals, allowing the guitar to stretch its sea legs as the backend force steers the musical ship; holding the course. This album starts on the shore, and while there are moments where it seems destined to searchingly drift out there, Seagulls appropriately demonstrate an ability to reel it in, taking a beautiful inaugural voyage. - Michael Colavita

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CD of the Month: Rambos

Rambos seem to have it all, the look, the color scheme, the awesome album title... Rock and Roll Monsters, and the name of course. However, do they have the sound to back it up? Rambos is fronted by Julie Meckler and Jeremy David Miller, along with Ryan Anderson, JJ Evans & Ian Tsan. They play what some are calling "Junk Rock", it is gritty, fun, lo-fi at times, but it packs enough punch to be considered monstrous and worthy of the Rambo name. Rambos resided at an intersection of rage and humor, rock and folk, set up shop and proceed to entertain. The band's debut album, Rock and Roll Monsters will be released on March 6th by Grape Juice Records.

You can catch Rambos at Empty Bottle on Feb. 25th with Pretty Good Dance Moves and Pictures of Then. The show is free if you shoot an email to rsvp@emptybottle.com.

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Flosstradamus Total Recall Ep

Flosstradamus has released their Total Recall EP today via the Mad Decent imprint Jeffree. This three track release can be streamed/downloaded here for free. This is the duo's follow-up to last November's Jubilation.

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The Great American Canyon Band

Husband and wife duo of Paul and Krystal Masson (aka The Great American Canyon Band) quietly release their debut ep, Wild Heart last month, and now have released the first single, "Tumbleweed" from their debut album. Their debut album was recorded in a gutted out house with no running water somewhere in the city. The sound created is beautiful, intimate, and honest.

MP3: The Great American Canyon Band "Tumbleweed"

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Young Man's Vol. 1

Frenchkiss Records has announced the release date, May 22nd, and the tracklist of the next Young Man release. Vol. 1 is actually part two of the band's album trilogy. This album was produced by John McEntire. The band will be touring with Fanfarlo next month, but they currently do not have any Chicago dates scheduled.

Tracklisting:
1. Heading
2. Thoughts
3. By and By
4. Do
5. Fate
6. Wasted
7. 21
8. Wandering
9. Directions

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BJ The Chicago Kid

BJ The Chicago Kid has finally released his latest project, Pineapple Now-Laters via M.A.F.E. Music. The album features a couple of collaborations with the talented Kendrick Lamar. One of those tracks is below and is called "The World is a Ghetto".

BJ The Chicago Kid will be performing at Double Door on March 23rd.

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The Audition Returns

The new ep from local pop-punk band The Audition was released on Feb. 14th. Chapter II is the band's first release since leaving Victory Records back in 2010. Check out the first single for the ep, "You Make Me Sick" below.

The band is currently on tour with Every Avenue and We Are the In Crowd and will be performing at Bottom Lounge on March 24th. This is band's first US tour since 2010.

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Gemini Club "By Surprise" Video

The new video for Gemini Club's new single "By Surprise" for the their forthcoming EP, Here We Sit (April 17th), gives you glimpse at the raw energy contained in a live performace from the band.

The band is headed to SXSW and their next local show is scheduled for April 21st at Lincoln Hall.

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Sonoi "Cotton"

The trio Sonoi have completed their sophomore album, Tropics of Holland and will be releasing it on March 13th via Meno Mosso. The band has always leaned towards the experimental, but this release they blend those adventuresome tendencies nicely with aurally pleasing pop. Below is the album's first single "Cotton"

Sonoi will be celebrating the album's release with a show at The Hideout on March 15th with Deep Sleep and Chandeliers.

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