Thursday, January 26, 2012

Live Reading and DJing at Burlington

The last time I sent a submission to the Logan Square Literary Review was over a year ago, and they published a stupid how-to article I wrote about different types of pipe wood. But tonight I'll be a part of their first live reading event of 2012. At 8pm at the Logan Square Comfort Station, I'll read (out loud) something that I wrote. I haven't decided what to read yet, but it won't be the thing about pipe wood.

So, if you are in the vicinity of Logan Boulevard tonight, stop into Comfort Station across from the monument and get to know some of Logan Square's handsomest writers.

And tomorrow I'm going Back to the Burlington for a 4 hour DJ set. 10pm to 2am, go west down Fullerton and get some cheap beer in ya. I'll be debuting a bunch of new mashups in anticipation of my upcoming gig at the Empty Bottle opening for the Hood Internet. (whaaaaat.)

Logan Square is my neighborhood. I try to contribute to my community in the ways I know how to, and you can be a part of this societal exercise as well, if only you'd come out. Please do. It's actually kinda fun to do stuff.

Friday, January 13, 2012

You Missed Out: Tycho and Active Child

(originally published at Heave Media)

Chicago's first heavy snow of the season fell almost on cue for Tycho and Active Child. Fittingly, these two acts are heavy on melancholy, yet warm to the soul. Pat Grossi's choirboy falsetto sent chills down my spine, but Tycho juxtaposed with projected visuals of slow-motion surfers and summer sunsets. The mood in Lincoln Hall was of a subdued enjoyment, likely due to the dread of winter that awaited outside. But the music inside was marvelous, certainly worth the sell-out.

I believe that while Active Child has already achieved a respectable repertoire, the best is still yet to come from Grossi. Only a couple EPs and one full-length exist for him. He's a rookie. A rookie with a jaw-dropping vocal range, skills on the harp, and an ear for the cinematic. He mentioned halfway through his set that he was playing a new harp that he bought for himself for Christmas, likely with the bonus he earned opening for M83 on their 2011 national tour. You could hear the M83 influence in his set, and except for some major flubs on the last song, it was a heavenly and enchanting hour of music.

Ghostly International is quickly becoming my favorite record label due to their ongoing output of electronic music's finest. Perhaps their best release in 2011 was Tycho's Dive, it certainly was one of my favorites of the year. Dive is minimal and atmospheric, but full of melody and sonic charm. But as with most IDM artists, the fear is that the live show will just be a guy pressing buttons and twisting knobs for an hour. Not so for Tycho. Scott Hansen brought along a drummer and bassist, both of whom were astonishingly tight. I had a hard time differentiating between the live instruments and the samples. Every chillwave, IDM, and post-dubstep artist should be required to see a Tycho show before they even think about playing a live set.

Hansen's fingers effortlessly drifted from keyboards to laptop, guitar to synths; and the occasional brushing aside of his bangs. He was looking a little bit emo with that reverse mullet cut. And I felt a little bit emo listening to his heart-piercing ambience too, almost like hearing Album Leaf for the first time. But, the emotional intelligence of Tycho seems very high. It's richly layered with electronic and organic sounds, creating a delightfully paradoxical aesthetic. It works whether you're laying on a California beach, or driving through a Chicago snowstorm. It made my slippery drive home almost blissful.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Coven: Friday the 13th at Rodan

I invited Heaven Malone to join me for the first 2nd Friday of 2012. Together we will celebrate Friday the 13th. We're gonna play some creepy/fun music all night, and Haxan will play on the back wall. Things get going at 10pm. Rodan is next door to Reckless Records in Wicker Park. Google the address why don't ya.

Details at the facebook invite:

Come hang out!