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Last Minute Plans: Jennifer Hall @ Schubas

There is something special and honest and exciting about a local singer/songwriter creating a sound and standing on stage and delivering. One of my favorite local singers right now is Jennifer Hall. She has an angelic voice, but it is the passion that she delivers that is really captivating.

Jennifer Hall will be performing at Schubas on May 24th (tonight!) at 7pm.


White Mystery is Blowing Up!

It is always refreshing to see a hard-working, local band finally get the praise they always deserved. White Mystery just released their sophmore album Blood & Venom, and have been burning up NYC this past week. They are returning home this week and will be performing an instore at Reckless Records on May 28th. They are also playing at MoCA on June 3rd and Do Division Street Fest on June 5th.


Island of Misfit Toys "Bear Hair"

I received the debut album from Island of Misfit Toys in the mail over the weekend, and I am excited to give it a spin. The band has gained a solid reputation over the last year that they have been together for their live performances , and now we will see how it translated to the studio. Bear Hair will be released on June 28th by Tandem Shop. Below you can hear the first single "Hermit Crab". You can also watch the documentary below created by Joey Agliata.



Candy Golde

Indie music super group Candy Golde began out of necessity. Chicagoans Nicholas Tremulis and Rick Rizzo(Eleventh Dream Day) were playing an acoustic set together when a phone call came from John Sinclair who announced the MC5 were going to play and wanted Tremulis to open up for them. Tremulous seized the opportunity but had to throw a band together. He snagged Rizzo, had worked with Bun E Carlos (Cheap Trick) before and then added on John Stirratt(Wilco). Some might think this was a dream, but it was just a day in the life for these talented musicians.

The groups name was born as Wesley Kimler, a painter and friend of Tremulis, began calling him Sugar Pink after the album he had put out called "Pinky". Kimmler thought “it would annoy me, but I took it as my stripper name and so I started calling him Candy Golde.” Tremulis figured “it would embarrass him if I called him that in public, and it did, so it served its purpose.” Naming the group after his buddy's stripper name takes the joke to a whole new level.

“Nick knows everybody in the world…he’s like the Mayor of Chicago” Stirratt jokes as the guys playfully rib each other. It comes off as a project born from necessity, yet grown from mutual respect, admiration, and love. The musical community in Chicago is tight because “we’re older and time sort of weeds out the *ssholes” Tremulis shares. He notes that people get tired of the business, egos fuel departures, and so some of the more difficult people to work with fall out. The fact is because Tremulis has been on tour and played many gigs for countless years, his musical community now spreads throughout the world.

The industry has also changed allowing these vets more freedom. “The restrictions with labels and lawyers have passed” with the demise of the industry. Tremulis happily cites that now “we can record with whomever we want.” The guys do exactly that and created an EP rather than a LP because they wanted to keep their project “fun”. They also will not be touring, because being on a bus "just isn’t fun" and "smaller towns just don't have the same crowds anymore" explains Stirratt. Instead these 20 plus years music vets are only playing special gigs, like SXSW or at the Double Door in Chicago last week. They prefer to keep the “sweat and grind” for their “day jobs” of their other bands and keep this as “light” as possible.

Another fun aspect of life these guys share beyond music is coffee. Bun E Carlos owns a coffee house in Northern Illinois and it was suggested to him that he have his own “Bun E Blend” which can be ordered online. He gets paid in coffee from a gentlemen in Minnesota who sells the coffee for him. John Stirratt and Wilco have their own blend that was created and sold through Intellegensia coffee shops. The company works to bring fair trade blends into major cities in the US. Stirratt and other Wilco members occasionally get a free cup of joe and has total respect for the company and the product they produce in their name.

These talented musicians have kept their art light and fun throughout the years. They’ve learned how to enjoy life, collaborate well under pressure, and survive in a tough industry for all over 20+ years each. In keeping with the light, fun, spirit of Candy Golde's project, we all gave up our porn/stripper names to each other and now share them with you…

Nicholas Tremulis = Anthony Fair

Bun E Carlos = Ezualia Parkview

John Sirratt = Chadwick Jane

Michele = Marie Ridgewood

Candy Golde’s self titled EP was released on Ten O Nine Records on May 11th. - Michele McManmon


The Laureates Spells

Out June 28, 2011 on Funambulist Recording Company is the sophomore album from The Laureates. Spells, is a cleaner more polished recording, and shows how much the band has matured as a unit. The tracks were recorded by Johnathan Crawford on an 8-track tape machine at Catalyst in Chicago, and finished at Clown Town during last summer and fall.


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