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Woongi Swim from Music for Prophet (Self-released) Buy Woongi Music for Prophet at Reckless Records Buy Woongi at iTunes Buy Woongi Music for Prophet at Amazon Add to Collection
words and pics by Layne Lindroth
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!
[Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week, the discussion is about the theme of urban dystopia as portrayed in American movies. . This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.]
Kevin: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here..." might as well have been posted at the entrances of America's big cities during the 1970s. Crime skyrocketed in metropolitan areas across the country during this era, and rampant arson famously turned New York City's Bronx into such a war zone that it even warranted an impromptu visit from President Jimmy Carter near the end of the decade. And of course, Hollywood capitalized on these fears by putting its own spin on the story of urban blight*. Who were we afraid of? And who would protect us?
[Even without the threat of bodily harm, 1970s cinema does not paint New York City in a flattering light. The French Connection, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver... these films weren't exactly commissioned by the city's tourism bureau.]
In 1970, the Clint Eastwood classic Dirty Harry introduced a cop (Eastwood's Harry Callahan) who was battling his own administration as much as the crooks on the street; those pesky rules and regulations were interfering with his ability to deliver frontier-style justice. By the time that Death Wish appeared four years later, the police had become virtually impotent and had seemingly surrendered the streets to gangs.
In Death Wish, liberal Paul Kersey (played by Charles Bronson in a career-redefining role) becomes a hardened, gun-toting vigilante after his family is brutally attacked by street thugs. Critics were horrified for what they saw as a promotion of antisocial behavior, but audiences ate it up... though unfortunately, that meant a long line of sequels which grew more bizarre with each iteration.
[Death Wish 3 is firmly in the "So Bad It's Good" camp -- even just the trailer is pure absurdist comedy. And for more madcap humor, check out the trailer for the cult film Class of 1984, about out-of-control high-schoolers. The "school beset by wild youth" theme has been a popular subgenre here -- stretching back from Blackboard Jungle in 1955 to Lean On Me, Dangerous Minds, and The Substitute in the '80s and '90s.]
With no abatement in sight by the end of the '70s, what did people envision coming down the pipe in the future? Enter John Carpenter's Escape From New York, where the America of the future decides to cede Manhattan entirely to criminals, and walls off the borough like a leper colony. The President's plane gets hijacked, crash-lands inside the prison, and it's up to one renegade (Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken) to get him out. Fantastic premise, though the finished product will probably come off as a bit sluggish and more than a little dated today. (Clarence, I know we disagree on this!) Nevertheless, it was a brilliant reflection of the zeitgeist of the time. What do we do about crime?