The CHIRP Blog
Dan Rico has gained renown for performing as a part of local acts EGO and MAMA, but last year he released a solo album entitled Endless Love. This month he'll perform at the Empty Bottle on April 11th highlighting tracks from that release alongside fellow local Flesh Panthers and fellow rock-band-member turned soloist Ian Saint Pé (of the Black Lips).
CHIRP volunteer and DJ Amelia Hruby recently caught up with Dan Rico to chat about his solo work and upcoming shows.
AH: After your work with other local bands, what made you decide to record a solo album? How do you think this work stands out from those projects?
DR: Recording a solo album wasn’t so much a decision as it was a discovery. After exploring in the studio for a number of years at a certain point I turned around to find there was plenty of material to put together a cohesive album. Another factor was that I know I'm gonna be making music for a long time. Why not lay the first bricks now for a road I will inevitably travel the rest of my life? In my experience bands come and go-- people quit and move and get married etc—but this way I’ll always have this project to build on.
To answer the second part of your question I’d say Endless Love is a departure toward a more pop-oriented sound (not billboard top 100 type EDM-hop pop but a little more traditional). I grew up listening to pop and as an artist aspire toward a sound that’s universal. Most of the bands I’ve played in have had very niche audiences (hard rock, experimental, etc) and though I’m proud of these projects I want music I can show my parents and friends and kids and have them all enjoy it. Growing up playing in punk bands, I hope to make music that’s still counter-cultural, that confronts norms and encourages critical thinking, but that’s also enchanting, uplifting, harmonious, atmospheric, and accessible. I don’t lnow if "Endless Love" achieves this on all fronts but that’s what I’m working toward.
By crafting an engergetic, funky-dance-politio-RnB style of music nicknamed "post-punk soul," Chicago band JC Brooks (formerlly known as JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound) are one of the hottest acts to emerge from the the city's deep pool of talented musicians. The band has a new album out called The Neon Jungle (their fouth), and they are having a release party tonight at the Neon Jungle to celebrate.
CHIRP Radio volunteer and DJ Jessi D. got a chance to ask JC about the new album and what else he's been up to recently.
JD: Congratulations on the new album release! Do you know why Chop Shop was chosen as the venue for the release?
JC: We chose Chop Shop because the room sounds great and it's a perfect size to feel like there's a capital 'C' crowd but at the same time like you can give an intimate show.
JD: What's the best part of release shows, specifically?
JC: The best part of release shows is...well, the release. The letting go of this thing that you've been so close to for so long. It's like sending your kid to college or something...it's not just yours, it belongs to the world and you make the mental and emotional space to start filling yourself with something new.
Words and Pictures by Layne Lindroth
Despite the chilly Chicago air, fans assembled along the Milwaukee Avenue sidewalk long before doors-open in hopes of snagging a front row spot for The Revivalists. The band’s most dedicated fans—also known as “Revheads”—swapped stories of their favorite encounters with the band and their hopes for the setlist to come. One fan casually mentioned to some first-timers that he’d seen the band over sixty times and still thought each performance was the greatest. A band warranting sixty plus ticket purchases had to be incredible; only a couple hours before we newcomers would find out.
Finally the band—minus one—settled into their positions onstage and played the uptempo opening notes of “Bulletproof”, signaling lead singer David Shaw to center stage. From the second his wireless microphone left its stand Shaw was in perpetual motion: walking through the photography pit, stepping on gear boxes to get closer to fans, and every once in a while, launching his 6’5”-ish self high into the air. The neo-funk rock band makes the Energizer bunny look apathetic. The third song of the set, “Keep Going”, had even the most stoic of concertgoers pumping a fist and shouting the battle cry chorus, “We’ve gotta keep going, keep going, don’t care what anybody say, let the law take us away.”
Shaw continued to weave his way around the stage, riling up the crowd with his bouncing arms and strained, soulful vocals. The funky-groovy arrangement of “Stand Up” successfully institutes timewarp technology, making those not dressed in flare jeans and tie-dye feel out of place at the modern Concord Music Hall. The breezy saxophone, jumpy keys, and of course the lyrics, channel the blue-collar New Orleans roots of The Revivalists.
Saturday, April 8: Spring is here! It’s time for the annual CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights! Vendors will be there selling vinyl, CDs, tapes, posters, and more! Vintage Garage and their mini retro-marketplace will be there! CHIRP Radio will be there with station DJs, guest DJs, and lots of activities! It’s going to be a blast..see you Saturday!
[Welcome to the Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the Terrence Malick film Song to Song. This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.]
Kevin: Music reviews have never done much for me. Besides the fact that I find music to be a much more subjective art form than, say, narrative fiction, I simply have a hard time translating a paragraph or three about an album into an actual sound. Let me have a listen, and within a couple of minutes, I'll know whether I want to hear more.
Why am I mentioning this? Because I view Terrence Malick's last few films in the same light, from the acclaimed The Tree of Life (2011) to the new Song To Song. One knows early on whether Malick's style is for them, and I don't think it's possible for me to do his brand justice via print. His recent works all share an ephemeral quality which has polarized audiences and critics alike, featuring scenes that seem to have no clearly-defined beginning or end, oodles of internal monologues, and a dearth of exposition. (You'd think the monologues would actually translate into more exposition, but the voice-overs don't have much to do with the actual action on screen; more often, they're ruminations on life in general.)
Quick recap: BV (Ryan Gosling) and Faye (Rooney Mara) are budding singer/songwriters in Austin, Texas, where they're embroiled in a love triangle with big-time producer Cook (Michael Fassbender). The three pick up new significant others of varying durations, reflect on their aspirations and regrets, and bump into real-life celebs (including Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, and Val Kilmer, among others) along the way.