ONO have been a Chicago institution since they formed in January of 1980, mixing experimental noise, industrial, and what the band calls “avant gospel,” surely a reference to frontman Travis’ operatic voice and the band’s tendency to incorporate performance art into their live shows. The band's importance to the history of experimental music in Chicago is undeniable, and they can also be considered within the context of their contemporaries in No Wave bands in New York City.
With St. Patrick's Day a week away and the remnants of the third snowiest February in Chicago history still on the sidewalks, we imbibing Chicagoans surely have whiskey on the brain. In honor of the upcoming holiday and the one time each year the Chicago River is as green as a bottle of Jameson, we've dug through our archives for our favorite songs about whiskey. There's a track here for your first shot, the height of the party and that nice little cry you might have after. Cheers!
Beck, "Whiskey Be Your Lover" from Don't Get Bent Out of Shape (1988)
Primitive Beck at his best. This track is off his first cassette and showcases Beck's early minimal-folk aesthetic with a twangy accordion thrown in for good measure. It sings like a ballad, so you'll be joining in with the chorus by the final verse: "Whiskey be your lover, but who's gonna be your man?"
Since the late ’70s, The Fall has been the crap that talks back. As the late, great John Peel so aptly put it, The Fall always sounds different, the Fall always sounds the same. This is because of the sole constant in the band, the man who seemingly says “unh” after every phrase in his hectoring Mancunian accent, Mark E. Smith. Whether it’s careening off-kilter rockabilly or heavily electronic music, Smith’s torrent of acidic observations and musical adaptability have made The Fall one of the greatest bands ever, whose influence is immeasurable. In honor of Mr. Smith, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first ten tunes:
The Juliana Hatfield Three has reunited 22 years after their debut, Become What You Are (1993, Mammoth Records), to release their very long awaited and highly anticipated sophomore offering, Whatever, My Love (2015, American Laundromat Records). Hatfield, formerly of the Blake Babies, drummer Todd Phillips, and bassist Dean Fisher will be playing songs from both albums at Lincoln Hall (2424 N Lincoln Ave) on Saturday, March 7th.
Hailing from the Boston area, Hatfield has had a steady output of solo albums since the initial break up of the Blake Babies in 1991. Her sound has varied throughout the years from forceful rockers to melodic, acoustic and haunting lullabies with the constant being Hatfield’s almost child-like voice. But it was the release of Become What You Are that brought her greatest critical and commercial success. Songs such as “My Sister” and “Spin The Bottle” received heavy airplay on the then fledgling alternative music radio airwaves. The album is considered by many to be one of the defining soundtracks of the '90s, musically aggressive enough to elbow in along the reigning grunge sound that dominated the era with enough soft edges to hold wider appeal.