Kevin: While I can count many, many tiers of wealth separating my own lifestyle from that of Pure Opulence, a middle-class existence seems mighty lavish when compared to the dreary day-to-day survival of Frozen River. Strap yourselves in, folks... and be thankful that you have more than Tang and popcorn awaiting you for breakfast in the morning.
Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo, in an Oscar-nominated performance) lives with her two sons in a battered trailer at the edge of civilization in snowy, upstate New York -- and her deadbeat husband has just absconded with what would've been the down payment on a shiny, new "double-wide" mobile home. Christmas is coming, the cupboards are bare, and through happenstance, Ray stumbles upon Lila (Misty Upham), a member of the nearby Mohawk tribe. Lila ekes out her own living by helping to smuggle illegals across the Canadian border via the frozen St. Lawrence River.
The two women become partners out of financial desperation, and each successive trip feels like another round of Russian Roulette. Is this the time when the icy river cracks? Are the state troopers wise to the whole operation? And what happens when Pakistanis show up to be smuggled, as opposed to the customary Mexicans and Chinese?
In a pop cultural world soaked in nostalgia (remakes, reboots, and revivals--oh my!), even reissues can be a saving grace to a long forgotten, often underrated work of art. A band like Fleetwood Mac may not be underrated by any means (and some naysayers, perhaps, find them a bit overrated), but thanks to the nostalgic mentality of reminiscing, one would find that this year alone has found the musical group celebrating a handful of milestone anniversaries.
In 2017, not only has the band celebrated fifty years of making music, they've also celebrated the fortieth anniversary of their best-selling album, Rumours, the thirty-fifth anniversary of their early eighties contribution, Mirage, as well as the twentieth anniversary of their biggest comeback, The Dance.
Since that well-received reunion special, the band has maintained a solid presence in the touring circuit, as well as frequent pop-ups on classic rock radio stations. Just recently, their signature track "The Chain" was used to promote the blockbuster sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and was featured on that film's soundtrack as well.
Yet while most remember the band as a Seventies Supergroup, few often regard their album Tango In the Night as a notable musical foot note of the late 1980s. Coincidentally, that album celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year, and in recognition of that album's birthday--as well as the sixty-ninth birthday of notable band member Stevie Nicks--let us take look back at an album that remains lesser known yet still influential in the world of pop music.
Combining Folk, Classical, and Jazz music, the debut album from Chicagoan Andy Pratt gracefully blends genres echoing the best sounds of '50s-'70s American music. Produced by Steve Albini, Horizon Disrupted is available for listening in rotation and by request on CHIRP Radio.
The self-proclaimed “electro-acoustic indie pop” duo Lewis Del Mar played its largest headline show to date Saturday night at Thalia Hall. Though not quite sold out, the packed venue never dropped below a loud volume as fans chanted and cheered from arrival to exit. Electric performances by Lewis Del Mar and opener Anna Wise warranted every clap and holler the audience threw their way.
Lewis Del Mar, made up of childhood friends Danny Miller (guitar/vocals) and Max Harwood (percussion/production), has been an official band for under two years and managed to rack up a combined 26 million Spotify streams of their five most popular songs alone. This “electro-acoustic” sound Lewis Del Mar calls its own can be broken down to acoustic guitar riffs and ever present percussion on most songs, but latin-influenced rhythms, syncopated bass lines, and onomatopoeic harmonies are what separate the tracks from one another. These sonic elements are perhaps best heard in “Puerto Cabezas, NI” or the cheerful hit “Painting (Masterpiece)”.
With only a self-titled debut album and a four-song EP to choose from, all twelve tracks Lewis Del Mar has to its name are fan favorites, and lucky for fans, the duo—accompanied by three additional instrumentalists—plays every one live. The performance was thunderous, colorful, and yet intimate; Miller often stopped between songs to share his appreciation for diversity, for learning, and for the friends and fans surrounding him, many of the latter greeting his words with applause and shouts of agreement. Content and clearly humbled by the mutual enthusiasm, Lewis Del Mar played on, eventually closing with “Loud(y)”, the viral hit that started their snowballing success a short year and a half ago.
Coleslaw performing at CHIRP Night at the Whistler (March 2017)
Scotch the Filmmaker performing at CHIRP Night at the Whistler (March 2017)
The fourth Wednesday of the month is the time for CHIRP Night at The Whistler. Fantastic cocktails and fantastic music make for a great combination at this regular event. This month’s show is tomorrow night (5/24) and features Chicago bands O Paradiso and Blacker Face in performance. There is no cover for this 21 and over event, which starts around 8:30pm. See you there!