Monthly Archives: September 2014

PlaylistHQ Recommends: Stick Figure, Pacific Dub, and HIRIE at Bottom Lounge (October 4, 2014)

Catch some sweet reggae jams at Bottom Lounge this Saturday!
1. Stick Figure
Launched in Duxbury, Massachusetts, Stick Figure showcases the talents of multi-instrumentalist and producer Scott Woodruff. Stick Figure’s music has a unique style that creatively blends upbeat roots reggae with the reverberating echoes of dub. Often referred to as the “one man band,” Scott single-handedly created 4 full length albums from 2006-2012 (a fifth album, “Reprise Sessions,” was recorded with a full band and released in 2010), and has sold over 30,000 albums worldwide. Each of Stick Figure’s songs are created by recording instruments individually, layering tracks on top of one another in unison.
2. Pacific Dub
Combining catchy chorus’s, heavy rock n’ roll guitar melodies, and smooth hip-hop and reggae rhythms are all significant characteristics that add to Pacific Dub’s coastal vibe, and genuine objective of creating innovative alternative-rock-reggae while sharing a message of love and peace.
Imagine a roots-reggae sound accompanied by a soulful, yet pop-like voice with the ability to match an acoustic setting while also being capable of freestyling to a skanking rhythm and you are left with HIRIE. The female-fronted band stormed onto the reggae music scene in 2013 with the release of their first single, “Sensi Boy.”,%20Pacific%20Dub,%20and%20Hirie%20at%20Bottom%20Lounge%20%28October%204,%202014%29

Pick of the Week – J Boog with Fortunate Youth and New Kingston at Reggie’s Rock Club (September 27, 2014)

Catch some Reggae on Saturday down at Reggie’s!
J Boog
Jerry “J Boog” Afemata, a reggae singer of Samoan descent, was born in Long Beach and was raised in Compton, California. Steeped in Samoan culture and as the son of a Samoan chief, J Boog’s large family has had a huge impact on his artistry. He is the youngest of seven brothers and one sister. He credits his sister with being one of his earliest musical influences. She played piano and he began to sing along when she brought home a Bob Marley songbook. Each sibling offered exposure to other genres, such as rap and R&B, which allowed J Boog a sense of freedom to be himself. This variety of musical influence combined with Reggae’s feel good sound that was embraced by the whole Afemata family, J Boog was set on a path to creating his own unique reggae sound.
Fortunate Youth
Fortunate Youth is a collaboration of South Bay reggae stand-outs. Rising from various bands, they’ve created a phenomenal 6-piece masterpiece bringing more fire to the stage than ever before. Combining rootsy vibes and unique bass lines united with multiple harmonies, boisterous guitar solos, and heavy keys separates Fortunate Youth from every other mainstream reggae band. With their high energy approach and positive stage presence they provide an unforgettable show to every music fan. Fortunate Youth’s objective is to ensure a performance that leaves you feeling euphoric and curious of what might happen at the next show.
New Kingston

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York via Kingston, Jamaica, 3 brothers led by their father Courtney Panton Sr, who also plays bass on stage with the group call themselves ‘New Kingston’. Together they incorporate R&B, Hip-Hop and Jazz with their heritage genre Reggae to form their sound.,%202014)

Riot Fest – Sunday’s Three Picks to See

1. Weezer – 8:40pm

They will be playing The Blue Album in it’s entirety. It is the debut studio album by Weezer, released in May 1994 through DGC Records. The album was produced by Cars frontman Ric Ocasek and recorded in Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The Blue Album spawned the popular singles “Undone – The Sweater Song“, “Buddy Holly“, and “Say It Ain’t So“, all of which were responsible for launching Weezer into mainstream success with the aid of music videos directed by Spike Jonze. As of August 2009, the album had sold over 3,300,000 copies in the United States.[1] It peaked at number 16 on the Billboard 200 and is certified triple-platinum in the US and double-platinum in Canada.  -From Wikipedia

2. In The Valley Below – 6:30pm

Vocalist Angela Gail puts it frankly: In The Valley Below make “mostly music that we would want to listen to,” an honest and unapologetic statement from the Los Angeles duo, rounded out by vocalist/guitarist Jeffrey Jacob. In The Valley Below is hushed swirls of male and female vocals forged with dark stories of brooding riddles and romance. Jeffrey grew up in the storied musical town of Memphis, given a guitar at the age of 13 and creating music from that point forward. Angela left the binding depths of a “mostly cold and cloudy town in Michigan,”. In The Valley Below was created when these two found each other, having crossed paths in artistic circles after they separately made their way to Los Angeles. The duo honed their craft together, using faithful archetypes as their inspiration, “Our biggest inspiration is powerful subjects like sex, crime and religion. And how that fits into the lives we’ve chosen, our dreams and struggles, mistakes and heartbreaks.” -From Facebook

3. The Whigs – 1:40pm

In the fall of 2013, The Whigs recorded their 5th studio album in Valencia, California with recording veteran Jim Scott. Scott’s illustrious career includes works with Wilco, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Tom Petty. The album was tracked and mixed in a 14 day recording session, making it the Whigs album with the shortest production time. It’s also the quickest turnaround for the band in terms of release date with “Modern Creation” being released 18 months after “Enjoy The Company.”

On April 22nd, 2014, The Whigs released Modern Creation to positive reviews. The album favors full-band live takes over typical studio effects.[14]

First single “Hit Me” is noted for its music video directed by frequent Whigs collaborator Scott Carney, which features a simulated performance of the band on the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test.

In May 2014, the Whigs performed “Hit Me” on The Late Show With David Letterman. This was the band’s fourth appearance on the program.

The Whigs are currently touring the United States and will be opening a fall tour for legendary punk rockers Social Distortion in September.  -Wikipedia

Riot Fest – Saturday’s Three Best Bands

Only three days to Riot Fest! Make sure you know the location of your spiked leather jacket.

Keep those playlists rolling:

1. The Flaming Lips – 8pm

Melodically, their sound contains lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles—such as “Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles”, “Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)” and “Yeah, I Know It’s a Drag… But Wastin’ Pigs Is Still Radical”. They are also acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne’s signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. In 2002, Q magazine named The Flaming Lips one of the “50 Bands to See Before You Die”. -From their Facebook Page

2. Metric – 7:15pm

Their fifth full-length studio album SYNTHETICA is currently available. Sonically futuristic yet organic, this album sounds like the culmination of all the music the band has made in their 10 years together. First single “Youth Without Youth” examines the fraying social state with a bristling energy and a driving beat. “Breathing Underwater” and “Speed the Collapse” both deliver on the classic METRIC chorus of soaring melancholy, while the lyrics for “Lost Kitten” and “Clone” call out some bad behavior and the consequences. Hard rocking title track “Synthetica” offers an epic conclusion to suspenseful album opener “Artificial Noctune.”

3. Dashboard Confessional – 6pm

Dashboard Confessional’s first recording was the 2000 LP The Swiss Army Romance, initially a solo side project of Chris Carrabba while he was in the band Further Seems Forever.

The following year, Further Seems Forever, with Chris Carrabba, recorded and released its debut album, The Moon Is Down. Carrabba soon thereafter left the band to record and release his second solo album, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most, and a follow-up EP, So Impossible; both were released under the name Dashboard Confessional.

By 2002, three other musicians had joined the band, including former Further Seems Forever band mate Jerry Castellanos, and started the process of recording the band’s next album. After the success of his second album, Carrabba was asked to perform on MTV Unplugged, and the subsequent live release marked the first time many of the songs were recorded with a full band. –Wikipedia

Riot Fest – Three to See on Friday

It’s Riot Fest Week in Chicago.  Humboldt Park is being transformed into a giant rock carnival.  Let the fun begin.  Check out our playlists to prepare:

PlaylistHQ Friday Picks:

1. The Offspring – 7:45pm

They will be playing their album, Smash in its entirety.

“Perhaps the element which stands out to me the most after listening to the near 40 minute album is the energy that The Offspring display in virtually every one of the 13 songs. Smash’s first track, Nitro (Youth Energy) is, as one would expect from a song titled as it is, both energetic and powerful and lays down the blue print for the tracks to follow. Through The Offspring’s fast paced, high octane attack, each of the band members compliments each other rather nicely. Hit single, Come Out and Play, will attest to that. Another powerful, highly enjoyable characteristic of Smash is the catchiness in which many of the tracks display. Many of the songs (especially the title track) have strong, memorable choruses which you will remember long after you finish listening. Interestingly, each of the songs seem as though they strive to outdo their predecessors in catchiness and with the exception of perhaps the Didjts cover Killboy Powerhead, feel as though they accomplish such a goal as you listen to them. Fortunately Smash doesn’t begin to sound contrived or forced, as the song writing is strong enough to maintain artistic credibility.” – Excerpt from a review by Mike Stagno

2. Gogol Bordello – 7pm

Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, formed in 1999 and known for theatrical stage shows and persistent touring.[1] Much of the band’s sound is inspired by Gypsy music. The band incorporates accordion and violin (and on some albums, saxophone) mixed with punk and dub. -From Wikipedia

3. Pussy Riot – Panel – 5:45pm

These young women faced seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. As members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot, they performed a 40 second “punk prayer” inside Russia’s main cathedral. This performance led to their arrest on charges of religious hatred and culminated in a trial that has reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society forever.

Hideout Block Party – Three Must See Acts on Saturday

The follow up you were all waiting for!

1. The War on Drugs at 8:45pm

Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs reside at the blurred edges of American music: overexposing studio limitations, piling tape upon tape to maximum density, and then — with each song — they pull off the scaffolding to reveal what sticks, keeping only what’s absolutely necessary and dig into what sounds like the best kind of fucked up. As on their 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues, central member Adam Granduciel takes small moments occurring over multiple tapes and multiple song versions, and puts every last drop of trust in his own keen instinct of momentum.

That’s not to overshadow the sharp, personal songwriting at play here. There are certainly cues taken from our very best American bards (Dylan, Petty, Springsteen). Yet, The War on Drugs are wise enough to also implode those cues or send themselves into outer space when the moment calls for it. The driving organ riff that pushes “Baby Missiles,” from the band’s 2010 epic EP Future Weather, may well be inspired by a fever dream of Springsteen rather than any particular song in his catalogue. And the endless layers of guitar melody and atmospherics of “Comin’ Through,” also from Future Weather, rather than add weight to the vessel, only work to fill its sails with warmer and warmer winds.

2. Sylvan Esso at 4pm

Nick Sanborn’s music syncs seamlessly with Amelia Meath’s melodies, so that the respective words and beats become a string of ready-to-play singles. The irrepressible “Hey Mami” webs handclaps and harmonies around a flood of bass, a strangely perfect canvas for a tale of dudes hollering at neighborhood tail (and, finally, finding the chivalry not to do so). “Coffee” sparkles and quakes, patiently rising from a muted spell of seasonal affective disorder to a sweet rupture of schoolyard glee. These pop cuts condescend neither to their audience nor their makers. They are sophisticated, but with none of the arrogance that can imply; they are addictive, but with none of the banality that can entail. There is sensuality and sexual depravity, homesickness and wanderlust, nostalgia and immediacy. Sylvan Esso acknowledges that the world is a tumult of complications by giving you a way to sing and dance with those troubles, if not to will them away altogether.

3. Valerie June at 3pm

From the slide guitar shuffle of “You Can’t Be Told” and heavenly harmonies of traditional spiritual “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations,” to the stark, acoustic “Workin’ Woman Blues” and the uncanny darkness of “Twined and Twisted,” June effortlessly shifts between eras and genres. She can be haunting and melancholy, singing of loneliness on “Somebody To Love,” or full of warmth and charm, fondly recalling her home on “Tennessee Time.” At one moment seductive in a sensual come-on, fragile and vulnerable the next in a display of naked honesty, June transports you to another world the moment you hear her voice.



Hideout Block Party – Three Picks for Friday

Our pick of the week is the Hideout Block Party.  See your custom page here and our 3 picks for Friday below.

1. Death Cab for Cutie at 8:30pm

Their latest set list speaks for itself:



2. Hamilton Leithauser at 7:15pm

Hamilton Leithauser announces his debut album Black Hours – inaugurating a new chapter in an already remarkable career from The Walkmen front man – out June 3rd via Ribbon Music. The album brings Leithauser full circle and then some, from lonely midwinter piano-and-vocals sessions, to a loud, live Rock n Roll group and back again. Featuring Leithauser with a slew of talented collaborators including Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Paul Maroon (The Walkmen), Amber Coffman (Dirty Projectors), Morgan Henderson (Fleet Foxes) and Richard Swift (The Shins/solo), the album showcases Leithauser at his most passionate, personal and free.

3. The Handsome Family at 6:20pm

Enter the dark forest of The Handsome Family and let the beautiful branches surround you. This is haunting music in the most wonderful way— brilliant, emotionally-charged and totally unique. May, 2013 brings the release of The Handsome Family’s Wilderness, a record about animals (frogs, flies, wildebeest, octopuses, lizards…), but in lyricist Rennie Sparks’ hands the wonders of nature are intertwined with true stories of Stephen Foster’s death in a Bowery flophouse, General Custer’s shiny boots as he lay dead on a Montana prairie and the capture of Mary Sweeney, the Wisconsin Window Smasher of 1896. There are also tall tales of the octopus’ hypnotic sea-dance, the frenzied mayhem of a town afflicted by a golden lizard’s bite and an enormous mansion full of screeching owls. Musically you’ll hear everything from parlor ballads to overdriven guitars, trilling mandolin and clawhammer banjo, but also beautiful bells, intricate seven-part harmonies, pedal steel and elemental rock ’n roll.

The Handsome Family is a 20-year songwriting collaboration between husband and wife, Brett (music) and Rennie Sparks (words). Their lyrics and music are very intense, highly descriptive and full of meticulously-researched narrative and exhilarating musical re-imaginings of everything from Appalachian holler, psychedelic rock, Tin Pan Alley and medieval ballad. Of course you don’t have to be a music historian to love these songs. They are full of romantic longing for nature’s mysterious beauty and the tiny wonders of everyday life. They pair sweet melody with sad harmony, love poetry with dark beats. This is music that makes you shiver and cry, but also makes you happy to be alive.