We love a good pot luck, everyone brings a little something different to the table. Here’s our ten featured First Friday submissions for June of 2021. Nice to see some new music and videos from some of our friends in the scene along with some newer artists to discover from around the Chicago metro area.
If you like what you hear, please support them below with likes, shares and purchasing their music and merchandise.
Mike LustThis is the latest chapter in Mike Lust’s rock and roll legacy and a delightfully wide-eyed approach to circumnavigating the sonic feelings around dreaming broken (and vice versa). At ten songs and 25 minutes in length, Demented Wings is a sprint of distorted smears, crushed percussion, and weirdly-appropriate vocal swagger that smashes dream pop, garage rock, electronic, folk, and more all into a tight succession — sometimes in the same song. This self-recorded, self-produced album is a tremendous achievement, a singular vision with an evergreen reach.This is all say that Demented Wings sounds like fascination becoming itself: the place where trouble begins.Chicago has known Mike Lust for decades as a powerful figure on both sides of the microphone. To speak of his time as frontman for Tight Phantomz is to speak of a rock and roll apparition bursting with charismatic song-craft. The group’s epic, 36-track double album, Silk Prison, is the reach of imagination meeting the grasp of talent, a special wonderment with songs that reached millions through appearances in both film and television (Including the hit series Breaking Bad).As a complement to this inventory of bonafide bonafides, we look to Lust’s reputation as an experienced force in the recording studio. In addition to being the sound engineer for The AV Club’s A.V. Undercover series, he’s also produced or engineered albums by Urge Overkill, William Elliott Whitmore, Joan of Arc, and Russian Circles, to name just a few.
2020 Artist Of The Year (woodyradio.com), with the new THIS IS DOLPH CHANEY album (Big Stir Records) placing in the CHIRP Radio top 10, the Blackhole Bandstand show and the Rodney Bingenheimer Show on Little Steven’s Underground Garage SIRIUSXM ch 21, and the #1 slot in the Radio Indie Alliance Top 75. Raves at Louder Than War, The Big Takeover, and babysue (“Smart fine-tuned pop music that is inspired and truly resilient. Highly recommended. Top pick.”)
Black Friars Social Club
You’re falling through time, bouncing off your memories, then land with a thud. Your sin wagon hits the ground next to you. You don’t recognize this place yet it feels familiar. As you look around at the debris your eyes lock onto the large stone Olmec head that sits wedged in the sand like it fell from judgement’s hand. This living dream/nightmare is Black Friars Social Club “Perdition’s Hill”.
Black Friars Social Club discovered John Airo’s animation in a short created for a poem by a Chicago punk roots writer Steve Silver. Airo’s work lent itself to coloring in visuals for The Black Friar’s song of the afterlife.
The video creator John Airo is an interdisciplinary artist born in Chicago where he currently lives and works. Airo focuses on painting and sculpture but the past 30 years has been recognized for his illustration and murals. Airo’s work is responsive to environmental and social issues, John is committed to his emotionally driven lens. A collection of John Airo’s recent work is on view at Transistor Gallery in Andersonville in Chicago.
“Songs are just places you keep your stories”, Mark Panick, lead singer and songwriter of Black Friars Social Club, explains of his life of loss and redemption. When Black Friars began their collaborative recordings, little did they know how spot-on these themes would be for our pandemic world.
Black Friars Social Club formed out of a residency in a gritty Chicago Irish pub (owned by a fireman, sadly burned down), where local and traveling musician friends and colleagues distilled songs down to their melodic skin and rhythmic bones. Black Friars Social Club songs illustrate twisted tales from the alley shadows while tugging at your heart. These collaborations are both deconstructed and developed. They paint stories of Panick’s recent personal loss of both his younger brother and sister and other tragedies, and his path onward.
Panick knew from the start that Black Friars needed to ultimately be a meaningful collaboration. He drew from friends. He pulled together people he admired, artists with the paradoxical ability to embrace both deep sorrow and ecstatic joy. Curtis Ruptash (Peabody & Sherman, Marrow Thieves) is not only the bassist, he’s Mark’s partner in crime on production and recording. Adding another Chicago musician with deep indie roots, Mark Coutts rounds out the core roster of 3 Friars. On this track is guests Max Crawford (Poi Dog, Flat Five) on Flugelhorn and J. Tom Hnatow (Horse Feathers) on pedal steel. With local songstress Heidi Serwer on angelic chorus.
Francis Bartholomew Rabbitte, the son of a grifter (mother) and a gambler (father) from NOLA, and River “Bunny” Rabbitte, born in France, an army brat, raised by an elderly au pair who taught her to “see beyond the veil,” are the heart and soul of wht.rbbt.obj (“White Rabbit Object”), a married / #roadhouseraunch duo currently calling Chicago their home. A careful combination of sexy vocals, overdriven guitars, and expensive lingerie, drive their sound, but it is their love and trust that are the foundation for their creations. Francis & River invite you to follow them down the rabbit hole, to peek behind the curtain, and peer through the looking glass.
Oh, and if you happen to know “River” or “Francis” . . . They’d ask you to please keep this our little secret.
Baby Cuts is an emerging indie art-punk band that is becoming known in the crowded Chicago original rock scene. The group avoids any sort of creative comfort zone, preferring to be different, real, and relevant. Our music exists somewhere amongst Bjork, The Cure, Garbage, and Portishead.
The lineup is Bridget O’Callaghan on vocals and keyboards, Sam Gjokaj on guitars, and Christian Volpe on drums. We are currently in the studio finishing three new tracks, including the single, “Vegas” which you can stream here on Spotify. Give us a follow and a listen and stay in touch!
FuzzBucket is an original 4-piece, high-energy rock band hailing from the North Side of Chicago. Their sound screams driving guitars, thundering bass, and pounding drums. The soundtrack to the party in your moms basement.
Formed to make the type of music we wanted to hear while drinking at a bar or in the gutter, Satanic Panic brings fiery action rock by channeling the heavy hitters of Scandinavian, English, Detroit and New York City rock n’ roll. We play loud, fast and fun rock n roll. We’re getting ready to launch singles and an EP in 2021, in addition to kick starting shows with a trip to West Virginia for an outdoor festival called Rim Rocks. Videos and additional recording is also in the works.
Moss Grows is the solo project of Chicago local Brandon Forrest. Moss Grows recently released their debut album “…in the Woods” which was recorded, produced, and released as an independent project. Although Brandon’s main instrument is guitar, he has had an affinity for synthesizers since his youth and heavily incorporates them in his music to make atmospheric/spacey rock. Even though he just released his debut album, Brandon continues to write as Moss Grows and has no intentions of stopping any time soon.
Of Wolves are masters of overt catharsis. On Balance, their long-awaited sophomore full length, this caustic crew delivers a devastatingly intense blend of crusty punk, sludge, post-hardcore, gritty stoner doom, and enough noise rock experimentation to keep the listener perpetually on their toes. Their raw approach demonstrates an omnivorous application of genre, and every sound contained herein is employed as a vehicle for release. Nominally for fans of Melvins, Neurosis, Sumac, Unsane, Jesus Lizard, Fugazi, and Gojira, Balance will, frankly, sit quite well with any fan of extreme music who needs a soundtrack to facilitate the release of their pent-up frustration and rage.
We just premiered our new video for the title track at this years Roadburn (Redux) and are now promoting it’s release to help continue the momentum of the album while we prepare for a very special limited run vinyl pre-order on July 4th. Meanwhile we have a new drummer and are writing and plan to hit the studio again this year and release more new music!
Almost There But Not Really
Almost There But Not Really (“ATBNR”) features two twenty-something Latinx songwriters from the South Side of Chicago. They play chimey Fender guitars with driving rhythms and anxious lyrics, sometimes in Spanish.
In May 2021, ATBNR released their self-produced and recorded demo EP. In their music they attempt to reconcile their lived experiences within the realities of indie rock.
Postpandemic, ATBNR is now looking to breakthrough the Chicago indie music scene.