Houseshow Playlist One
Welcome to the first installment of the houseshow playlist. These are a bunch of songs I’ve been digging lately — per the geographical focus of houseshow, a bunch are Chicago bands, former Chicago musicians (Angel Olsen, please come back) and musicians I’ve seen here recently or will see soon. Maybe in the future these playlists will have certain themes (and I’d like to feature some by other people!) but right now it’s just a glimpse into what my listening life looks…sounds…like. HERE WE GO.
Fat White Family [London]— Touch the Leather Redux
I’m freakishly excited about these Brits, just bought their vinyl and a ticket to see them at Lincoln Hall here in Chicago on May 5. Like The Orwells, they and their wild garage rock-punk were featured on David Letterman’s show recently in a way that makes me think Letterman is becoming the hippest rock promoter in the world just shy of his retirement. These guys blow my mind, blending Sex Pistols punk raunch, Rolling Stones swagger (and swampy British blues) and Brian Jonestown Massacre-style experimentalism. Their primal energy is straight in your face, and I love it.
Twin Peaks [Chicago] — In The Morning (In The Evening)/Got Your Money EP
I just bought the Twin Peaks’ Record Store Day 2015 orange vinyl EP (from the new spacious Reckless Records location in Wicker Park!) and man, it does not disappoint. Playing these retro-sounding songs for the first time on my turntable made me feel like it’s 1972 and I just picked up a great new release, because something about these songs and the way they were recorded sounds so tailored to vinyl (which I think was the intent). They sound great online too, of course, but if you grabbed a vinyl copy, consider yourself lucky. (The EP also features photos by the most excellent Daniel Topete, friend of houseshow magazine for letting me use some of his sweet Orwells pics in my articles.)
Chicago-based Band To Watch Twin Peaks will be releasing a new 7" to follow up last year's full-length, Wild Onion. "In…www.stereogum.com
If you've been hoping to hear more of Twin Peaks' ragtag garage pop since devouring last year's debut, Wild Onion, you…www.stereogum.com
Jay Reatard [Memphis/RIP] — Don’t Let Him Come Back
Like Hunter S. Thompson, I came around to Jay Reatard after his fairly recent death and have been in retroactive mourning. This is such a catchy rock song, a little more mellow than his electrifying punk, and a prime example of Jay’s tight songwriting and performing. Sorry you had to go so soon.
Modern Vices [Chicago] — New Song 2
In case you missed my rock n roll fangirl ode to Modern Vices, I included this video from their Audiotree session of the only original song they’ve released so far outside of their self-titled album. And I’m still listening to it, like, a lot, weeks after its initial release, because UGH IT JUST NEVER STOPS BEING GOOD. I hope it’s on the new album and I need the new album to exist already. And luckily “New Song 2” and the rest of the Audiotree session is now on Spotify.
Nobunny [California]— Breathe
I just saw this dude at Subterranean, quite the wild rock n roll show, as I was expecting. Searching for him on Google images, even with safe search, quickly turns up a no-holds-barred image of his on-stage peen. At my show he kept the bunny mask on and took his pants off, but kept the undies on which was probably positive as it was an all-ages show. Don’t need another Jim Morrison-type incident. Anyway, I’m obsessed with this sexy, totally T. Rex-channeling song. He didn’t play it at the show (unless I was drunk and not paying attention?) but maybe he will when he comes back to the Empty Bottle in July.
The Rubs [Chicago] — Runaway
The Rubs make me glad to live in Chicago and to be aware of this amazing homegrown rock scene. They’re always playing lots of great shows around town, often in dive bars and DIY venues, filtering perfect retro Beatles-style pop songwriting through layers of Ramones guitar grit, and it’s like — what more could you want? And “Runaway” is all of that in a nutshell, I tend to get stuck in loops where I play it on repeat. Tall dude Joe Montanaro is the chief songwriter and lead singer, and is maybe John Lennon and/or Joey Ramone reincarnated. Their full LP is coming this summer from Tall Pat Records and it’s gonna be amazinggg, check out their Bandcamp (linked above) for a tasty taste.
Angel Olsen [Asheville] — Lights Out
Angel Olsen is a genius goddess who is my age, which is intimidating, like how Bob Dylan blew everyone’s minds when he hit the scene at 21. Her brilliantly written, haunting songs and her devastating voice always manage to poke at some hidden emotion you didn’t even realize you were feeling. Like a huge and utter creeper I spotted her in the crowd at Foxygen’s recent show at the Metro, stared at her until I got visual confirmation (the VIP badge she was wearing helped), and proceeded to catch her attention and bombard her with a discussion about Logan Square because for some reason I didn’t want to open with “I’m a huge fan!” Plus, I was also kind of fucked up cause hey, it was Foxygen. I did manage to say I went to her amazing show at Thalia Hall and she was super nice. She’s amazing and I love her. And the lyrics of this particular song make me feel less awkward about being awkward: “no one’s gonna hear it the same as it’s said / no one’s gonna listen to it straight from your head.”
SKATERS [New York] — Miss Teen Massachusetts
SKATERS is a band that I’m just now learning about, and I still don’t know much about them apart from the fact I read some interview where Nick Valensi said he liked them, and I have a “Fall of 2014 Tour” cassette tape of SKATERS and Orwells songs that I got for free after buying a bunch of Orwells merch at their New Year’s Eve show. I like this song for many reasons, one being that I am from Massachusetts, which is why I also like the Massachusetts-centric, “Girl, Interrupted”-style music video. But it’s also just a really great song.
Cherry Glazerr [Los Angeles] — All My Friends
Cherry Glazerr is such a good band. My high school self would have loved them so much, but my “adult” self is glad to have discovered them now. Fronted by Clementine Creevy, and playing West Coast “dreamy punk rock” as she puts it, Cherry Glazerr’s songs have titles such as “Grilled Cheese” and “Teenage Girl” and layer deceptively simple girly vocals over fantastically tight 90s grunge style. There are two versions of “All My Friends” and I prefer this one, but either way, Cherry Glazer is absolutely a band you should be listening to if you like good things in life, like fun. And grilled cheese.
Lace Curtains [Austin] — High Fantasy
Lace Curtains is Michael Coomer’s latest band after his excellent, now-defunct garage-pop group Harlem, and I bought their recent vinyl, A Signed Piece of Paper and it’s like, seriously so good. I also need to get the album “High Fantasy” is on, the garden of joy and the well of loneliness. You should listen to all of his/their stuff. I’m still diving in and I’m pretty blown away. Also, Harlem’s album Hippies — do it. Now.
American Breakfast [Chicago] — Ca Plane
I AM OBSESSED WITH AMERICAN BREAKFAST. And I don’t know why they haven’t played in Chicago since I saw them a few times this winter because I love them and want to see much more of them. Oh hey, it was just announced they’ll be playing at the Emporium in Wicker Park on May 15! Yes!!! I can’t get enough of their perfect combination of super-retro-styled garage-punk, with French and English vocals by native French woman Laure Elie, who also plays guitar, wears cool outfits and is maybe the punk daughter that Kim Gordon manifested by emulating Françoise Hardy. “Ca Plane” is a cover of a Plastic Bertrand song that you may have heard in the indie movie “Ruby Sparks.” They also do a cool French cover of “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” simply called “Boots” which you should check out, but their originals are awesome as well. More American Breakfast please!
Hope you enjoyed this first installment of the houseshow playlist! Find me at any of these local bands’ shows in Chicago and come say hi. I’m the one with the short dark hair and the jean jacket with a whole bunch of buttons as you can see in the header image of this article. ☺
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