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String/Soul/Eye

The San Antonio based small press Kendra Steiner Editions is branching out into the realm of recorded music and one of their first three sonic releases just happens to be the new album from Plastic Crimewave. The album is called string/soul/eye and features five new ambient tracks. Although just five tracks the album spans over 50 minutes in length. The album is a perfect meditation on sound and allows the listen to search through the various layers that Sir Plastic Crimewave creates. Built mainly on guitar, banjo, & raagini, this album is filled with texture and soul. When you take in the catalog of Plastic Crimewave as a whole, this is a fine and expected addition. The release is on cd only and is printed in an addition of 100.

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Sheffield Garden Walk

Last weekend Pitchfork Music Festival may have been what everyone was talking about, but there was actually another festival taking place at the same time. Sheffield Garden Walk attracted some quality local bands and their fans. We sent Bonnie Stiernberg to check it out and report back on what she found. You can read her full report here.

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Sheffield Garden Walk

- by Bonnie Stiernberg

For those of us not quick enough to snag Pitchfork tickets this year, the weekend could have easily been a miserable one (honestly, how many times can you listen to your friends go on about how great Pavement was?). However, thanks to the Sheffield Garden Walk, all was not lost. Plenty of talented bands hit the stage over the course of two days; here are some highlights in case you missed it.

 

Chris Buerhle: Playing an early set to a small crowd can be tough, but Chicago’s Chris Buerhle managed to pull it off. Buehrle’s original material went over well, but it was his diverse choice of covers (Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So,” The Rolling Stone’s “Honky Tonk Women,” and Bill Withers’ “Use Me”) that got the crowd really engaged.

 

Ezra Furman and the Harpoons: Ezra Furman often writes about his love affair with the city of Chicago, so it’s no surprise that he’s at his best when he’s on home soil. The Evanston native is just as entertaining in between songs as he is when he’s singing, and whether he’s whipping his sunglasses off in perfect time with the drumbeat or reciting his address and inviting the crowd to a party at his house, there’s a certain impishness that always makes for a fun show. He’s like Ferris Bueller leading us from atop the float, if Ferris listened to Daniel Johnston instead of The Beatles. He and the band tore into songs like “Take Off Your Sunglasses” and “Big Deal” and toned it down for haunting renditions of “God is A Middle-Aged Woman” and “How Long Diana.” Perhaps Furman said it best when introducing his song “Kirsten Dunst”: “Pop culture doesn’t always have to be tawdry and vulgar. I think it can be kind of sweet.”

 

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: There are certain things that just go well together, and in my mind, street fests and the blues make up one of those perfect combinations. There’s something about the sound that almost demands you listen to it under the sweltering sun with a beer in your hand. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears got the crowd moving with songs like “Boogie,” “Gunpowder,” and “Sugarfoot” and kept them interested during some really stellar instrumental jams (easier said than done). They also thanked people for coming out and poked fun at the Pitchfork crowd, with Lewis smirking, “Pitchfork? More like Pitch-DORK. We don’t need that hipster bullshit.”

 

Katie Todd: I tried to make it to the Garden Walk early on Sunday to catch the School of Rock kids, but instead I stumbled upon Katie Todd’s set. Todd is a local singer-songwriter whose cheery pop songs reminded me of Sara Bareilles. The trumpet in her band added a unique element to her sound, and overall she left me pleasantly surprised.

 

Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk: Like Black Joe Lewis the night before, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk transformed the Sheffield Garden Walk into a giant dance party. This New Orleans funk group grabbed everyone from the very first song and didn’t let go until they left the stage. Whether it was the wicked basslines, the women they invited onstage to dance, or the sing-alongs during “Put it in the Dumpsta” and a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song,” the whole set was spirited to say the least, and Dumpstaphunk’s energy was infectious. 

 


 
 
 

 


 

 

 
 
 




Heavy Manners

Eighties Ska legends, Heavy Manners are back and preparing to thrill audiences with some new tracks as well as their classics. The band is releasing a new 12” on Jump Up! Records which features the rather fitting track “Get Me Outta Debt”.

Heavy Manners celebrates the release of their new 12", featuring two brand new singles and a Peter Tosh produced dub mix, with a performance at Taste of Lincoln Ave. There will also be an after party at the Elbo Room, Chicago, 2871 N. Lincoln 8PM – Featuring DJ Chuck Wren spinning 80’s Ska and Reggae.

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Pitchfork Music Festival Coverage Part 2

Here is our coverage of the Sunday's events at Pitchfork Music Festival. Neph Basedow started the day by taking in two quality Chicago bands and ended up at Pavement with the masses. You can read her coverage here.

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