Three Poppy Punk Chicago Bands to See This Month

At a recent Swimsuit Addition show, someone turned to me and very sincerely asked “What if there are no rules anymore?” The four-piece sprawls over their music, and they’re in absolute control of evil beach punk.

Swimsuit Addition is celebrating the release of their new 7 song TANKS! EP with a free show at Emporium Barcade this Thursday, Dec. 11th. It’s great if they’re the only ones who know the rules.

Oh no, a pop punk band with fun synth bits who mention pizza. People do it, and Absolutely Not does it so much better. Their longest song is 2:39, but the number of stop-and-gape hooks they jam into each one is staggering.

They’re headlining a great (and free) Chicago Singles Club lineup at the Empty Bottle on Monday, Dec. 29th. If you don’t dance, you’ll be trampled.

The meanest band here, Meat Wave favors music that drives along non-stop until your chin is on the floor. Don’t worry, the payoff is consistent, and you’ll get up for more.

Go see them for a New Year’s Eve show at Reggie’s ($25-$30) before they kick off a U.K. tour. Then check back on their new EP landing around January 19th.

New Year Bonus Round: Ian’s Party starts January 1st and ends on the 4th. All the bands mentioned here will be playing various venues around Logan Square. Even if you dive in with no direction, you’ll get a fistful of quality local music.

Four Men, One Woman, and a Bit of Meh: The 2014 Grammy Album of the Year Nominees

One of these people may be winning Album of the Year again, and it isn't one of the dudes in  helmets.

One of these people may be winning their own Album of the Year Grammy this year, and it isn’t one of the dudes in helmets.

Last year, I wrote a review of all five Grammy nominees for Album of the Year. This year, in the Addison Recorder’s never-ending endeavor to always stay culturally abreast, I’m doing it again. (I’m also doing it again because no one else is crazy enough to try this.)

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Rock and Roll Rising From the Mud: 10.5 Observations on Riot Fest


1. Rock and roll is not dead…but it is very dirty.

Recently, Gene Simmons asserted that “rock is dead” – this article can be considered my dissent against that statement. Sales may be dropping, and manufactured pop, rap, and metal may continue to keep their footholds in the musical consciousness, but as long as artists reach the masses with passionate, high-energy performances full of unexpected surprises, rock and roll will never die. Riot Fest, celebrating its tenth anniversary in Chicago, is the ultimate case in point, as I witnessed on the one day of concerts I attended.

Saturday at Humboldt Park proved to be a beautiful day, albeit full of mud leftover from Friday’s rain.  I wore my old sneakers to the festival and immediately threw them out on my return home. Nobody emerged with clean shoes. None of us minded. For my part, I saw nine acts and change from noon to 10 pm, some of whom I was familiar with, some of whom I love, and none of whom did note for note recreations of their studio sound. It was an experience worth every penny.

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Hooked on “Awesome Mix Vol. 1”: Why the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Soundtrack Resonates


They have come to bring us Blue Swede.

Thirty-five years ago, Americans believed a man could fly. Today, they believe a talking raccoon and an anthropomorphic tree can save the universe, and they can accomplish this while listening to songs that ruled the airwaves when Superman was in production.

Guardians of the Galaxy has already become one of 2014’s biggest blockbusters despite being based on Marvel characters almost no one was familiar with except hardcore comics fans. (FYI, a combination of terrific actors, a few stirring emotional moments, and a brilliantly funny script go a long way.) In my opinion, what is even more unexpected than the film’s success is that of its soundtrack. Awesome Mix Vol. 1, the mixtape Peter Quill/Star-Lord constantly listens to as he flies through space, is now in its second week at number one on the Billboard charts. It’s worth exploring both why this success is unusual and why this soundtrack in particular has struck such a chord with people.

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