New Music from Chicago: Soft Candy

Alex Brettin, singer and guitarist of Chicago-based band Soft Candy, kind of looks like a Who. Not a member of The Who, although Soft Candy’s roots run deep into the Mod sound, but the actual Dr. Seuss, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” kind of a Who. His mustache is a little wonky and his hair […]

The Young Resurgence of Hip-Hop’s Jazz Roots

Since its beginning, hip-hop has been a fusion of jazz, funk, and soul music laced with the lyrical influences of spoken word poetry and storytelling. From the raw creation of the culture to the current age, DJs have delved deep into their parent’s record collections in hopes of finding the exact sample that pays homage […]

You’re Not on Acid, You’re Just Listening to Willis Earl Beal

April 2012 belongs to one of America’s newest buzz acts, Willis Earl Beal: a man who ignores today’s traditional marketing strategies and gets right down to the grit. Every article written about the musician reveals Beal’s humble beginnings and his unyielding ambition to make music for a living. He started off busking in Chicago’s subways […]

Dave Raymond and Hidden Hospitals

Hidden Hospitals (ex-Damiera/Kiss Kiss), a four-piece “alternative progressive rock” band from Chicago is probably the worst way to describe this group. Sure, it gives you a basic idea of what to expect, but it really does not do any justice to their sound, who they are, or what they’re about. And typically, you don’t expect […]

Russian Circles and Hot Sauce

This afternoon I was aimlessly walking around downtown Chicago. The well-to-do and bejeweled middle-aged women were in abundance, walking their dogs. The new-moneyed 20-somethings were running around in their business suits looking for something important to do. The obvious tourists with their street maps were standing puzzled at the street corners. Suddenly from out of […]