Over the weekend I was introduced to trap-pop trio Jamaican Queens, who hail from Detroit. I’m a novice in the genre, but their sound reminds me of a more bass-leaning Of Montreal or Islands. They use a lot of synths, which gives the songs an otherworldly quality. The vocals are often a mesh of male and female voices twisted together until they are indecipherable. They … Continue reading Jamaican Queens-Wormfood
Since we’re at that point now, and I’ve already run my top 25 albums and top 25 songs if the year so far, I figured we may as well finish out the trifecta and talk about some great concerts. Living in Chicago, there isn’t a shortage of amazing shows to see night in and night out. Obviously I don’t make it to all of them, and there have been some that I wish I hadn’t missed. For the most part, though, if I really want to get to a show, I do. It’s been a pretty great year so far, and looking at my calendar through September, the good times won’t be stopping any time soon.
So here we go. See if you can’t spot a couple of my favorite music venues.
10. Canasta 10th Anniversary Show, June 2 at Schubas
I feel like, more than anything, this was an education for me. I missed out on most of Canasta’s existence, but I made up for it by rocking front and center for this show.
9. Islands, March 1 at Lincoln Hall
Sometimes I just go to shows to enjoy them and not worry about writing a review. So I never wrote about this one. If I had, too much of it would have been filled with trash talk about the “fans” who had no idea what the new songs were even though the album had been out for a couple weeks already. I thought it was great.
8. First Aid Kit, April 6 at Lincoln Hall
One of my favorite surprises of 2012 has been First Aid Kit. I don’t understand how the Swedish have such a grasp on American folk music, but they do. Between these sisters and The Tallest Man On Earth, artists in the US need to step up their game to compete.
This album is easily the least Islands-y of Nick Thorburn’s career. Gone are the big, sweeping production values, replaced by straight-up live recording and an emphasis on the lyrics. He seems to acknowledge this departure with the albums opening line, “Open up your door to me, and let me in.” It took a few knocks, but eventually I did open up that door, and I … Continue reading Islands-A Sleep And A Forgetting
Last month I made my list of the best albums of 2011 up to that point. In The Mountain In The Cloud came out just a short time afterward, and everyone on my list should feel lucky they didn’t get it out sooner. I don’t know if it would have knocked any of the top 3 out of their spots, but it’s certainly a contender … Continue reading Portugal. The Man-In The Mountain In The Cloud