Chicago

Rhymefest Premier’s on MTV

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We still have not seen an official release date for Rhymefest’s new album El Che, but he did release two videos from the album over the last year. MTV announced this week that both videos, “Chicago” and “Stolen” will premier on MTV Jams this Friday (11/27). Both videos were produced by the talented Chicago video director Konee Rok.

Chicago

Brilliant Pebbles

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I don’t know if you could ever say that the members of Brilliant Pebbles are under the radar or quiet in anyway, but it seems like they managed to release their debut ep without making the necessary waves. I think it has more to with the new direction of the band the actually ep itself. The self-titled ep is high energy, glamorous, and well-produced, but the new direction of the band is more electronic than this material. I feel the releasing of this seven track ep is more of a ritualistic release to clear room for their new material than anything else. However, this should not affect the listeners approach to the record, this is a colorful carnival of sound and dramatic vocalization and should be a welcome addition to any collection.

Brilliant Pebbles’ debut Ep is now available on Itunes, Amazon, and Emusic, along with local fav Reckless Records.

Chicago

Outernational CD release party at Highline on 12.06

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New York based outfit Outernational is readying the release of their debut EP "Eyes On Fire,” produced by Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, who is featured on vocals and guitar on “Fighting Song.” Rock at heart, Outernational reaches out to reggae, ska, punk, dub, polka, mariachi, hip-hop, and world music, much as their forward-thinking predecessors and audacious idols. Outspoken and loud, this rock quintet  will be celebrating the release of “Eyes On Fire” with an all-ages concert at The Highline Ballroom on Sunday, December 6, 2009 with supporters Japanther and R-Tronika. The doors open a-t 6PM, and tickets are $12 in advance with a free download of the six-song EP on their website, or $15 on the day of the show. – Meijin Bruttomesso

Chicago

Broomstick Rock Star

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Travis Lee Wiggins continues to impress me not just by how prolific his but with the quality of his music. It was just a couple months ago that we were talking about the massive Essex Chanel love song collection, but now I have the latest effort from The Salts (formerly The Summer Salts) on my desk. Formed in 2006, The Salts are a trio fronted by Wiggins, but also include Mike Rice and Luke Krause on guitar and drums. Broomstick Rock Star will be released on December 22nd, and finds Wiggins presenting a more aggressive indie rock set. Tracks like “Go There” (mp3) and the title track and so many others have addictive poppy hooks, and Rice adds playful and nostalgic guitar riffs through out. There is also a heavy dose of pleasant dance rock on this album. This is a fine addition to the massive catalog that Wiggins is creating.

Chicago

Concert Preview: Kid Sister @ the House of Blues

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Chicagoans, you know you’ve heard of Kid Sister aka Melissa Young. She’s been burning up since her performance at Lollapalooza in 2008, and between being the protege of Kanye West and being backed by her little brother’s band Flosstradamus she’s only getting hotter. Before that she was on public aid and working two jobs just to make ends meet. Now, her debut album Ultraviolet just came out to great aplomb and she’s one of the big success stories of 2009. If there’s anyone who represents a true Chicago story, it’s Kid Sister.

The much anticipated Ultraviolet, released November 17th on Downtown Records, is everything that could have been expected from Ms. Young. But with people like Kanye West, Estelle, Cee-Lo, and A-Trak helping you along the way, how could it not? Kid Sister shows her diverse style on Ultraviolet and displays her capability of being a sultry songstress to a raucous rhyme-spitting snake in twelve tracks. Following suit of Young’s first single "Pro-Nails", the material on Ultraviolet is like one big dance party with the beats provided by Josh Young (who also provides backing vocals for his older sis) and Curt Cameruci creating a strong back bone to Kid Sister’s lyrics.

Kid Sister is playing at the House of Blues Wednesday, November 25th with Flosstradamus and with Rob Threezy and Green Velvet supporting. The show starts at 6:30 pm and is all ages. Tickets are $16 in advance and $18 at the door. Nothing like a big dance party to work up an appetite for Thanksgiving. — Amy Dittmeier

Chicago

Funeral Singers

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As you know Califone will be releasing a film early next year called All My Friends Are Funeral Singers and recently released the soundtrack for the film via Dead Oceans. A few months ago we brought you the trailer for the film, and now here is the music video for the song “Funeral Singers” which also features footage from the film.

Chicago

SoulStice on The Blind Side

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Ashley Llorens (aka SoulStice) shares time between Chicago and Washington, and has released six albums or mixtapes in the last six years. His latest, Beyond Boarders (an “international concept album” featuring beats crafted by Belgian producer Sbe) has grabbed the attention of the folks at Warner Brothers who decided to include SoulStice on the soundtrack for the new movie “The Blind Side”. The movie features Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw and hits theaters on the 20th. SoulStice’s contribution is a brand new track made specifically for this movie with producer Mighty Wyte, and is called “That Thang”.

Chicago

Joy Rides

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An underground rock icon and revered artist, the late, great Wesley Willis attracted and offended people the world over. Wesley Willis’s Joy Rides follows the life of the prolific and controversial artist on his journey from obscurity to fame. On December 8th, this film, which won the Gold Hugo for the Chicago Award at the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival, will be released on DVD by Eyeosaur and MVD Visual. His story is inspiring and illustrates how though determination we can overcome almost anything. Wesley Willis became an underground rock icon, revered artist and hero to many before his untimely death in 2003. Termed by some as an “outsider artist” due to his schizophrenia, the film examines Wesley’s ability to draw people in despite his intimidating facade.

A free screening on Joy Rides is taking place on Dec. 6th at Empty Bottle at 7pm.

Chicago

OK Go, WTF?

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WTF happened to the fun loving group that ditched our fair city for the hills of L.A. not that long ago. The new video from Ok Go is interesting, but song leaves me asking the same question that the title alludes to.

Chicago

Drumming For Pistols

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The UK’s Fire Records recently announced this week that they will releasing the latest album from the mysterious husband and wife duo Puerto Muerto. Drumming For Pistols, the follow up to 2008’s sparsely elegant I Was A Swallow, will arrive in February 2010. The album is dark, complex, bilingual, and clearly crafted with care. Their sound is truly unique when compared to others in Chicago, it is stripped down, raw, untamed, and at its core sensual. This Spring, Puerto Muerto will tour with a full band in North America and as a duo across Europe.

Chicago

SYGC and AM Taxi Get Fed

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I try to eat healthy, but my weakness it Taco Bell. There is nothing more satisfying than a 7 layer burrito and an order of cheesy fiesta potatoes. Well, hopefully the folks in Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and Am Taxi feel the same way. Both local bands were among the 100 “up-and-coming rock acts” that were awarded $500 in Taco Bell Bucks. More than just free food, bands also receive important marketing support for their music. This is part of Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat program, and music fans will be able to discover each Feed the Beat band on Taco Bell’s Virtual Music Festival Web site. The site showcases their music and exclusive content created for the site. Once there, fans can listen to bands they know or discover new tunes as they stream music via the Feed the Beat Music Player. If they discover a band they like and want to purchase music, they are directed to the band’s Web site where they can purchase the song. It’s a great program, and has helped me decide where I’ll be having dinner!