Thursday, April 24, 2014

Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Chicago 5/20/14 - Nazoranai [Ambarchi / Haino / O'Malley]

Red Bull Sound Select continues the bewildering tradition (well, in the last several years anyway) of the corporate sponsored shows with artists/bands with limited commercial appeal. Incredibly on May 20, 2014 they will feature the avant supertrio Nazoranai (Keiji Haino on guitar, vocals and synth, Stephen O'Malley on bass and Oren Ambarchi on drums.)  Odder still, the group hasn’t released anything since 2012 and there doesn’t seem to be any news of a new album being recorded or coming out. 

You must RSVP to get on a list, which doesn’t actually guarantee entrance so arrive super early (though to be honest, you probably won’t have to worry about this particular show.) You will have to pay a $3 entrance fee with RSVP before 10pm ($10 otherwise) and allow access to your Facebook/Twitter account - sounds a bit sketchy and a pain in the ass. It’s really not that bad - welcome to the 21st century; the corporations own yer ass! According to the Red Bull website the series is curated in partnership with Andrew Barber of Fake Shore Drive, Jeremy Scheuch of Do312 and Mike Petryshyn of Riot Fest will feature one headliner and three local artists on the rise. However, if you RSVP it will say curated by the Empty Bottle, either way you slice it I suppose. Chicago Neo-Thrashers Oozing Wound opens up.  ~P

RSVP Here:

C2E2 2014 Preview & Guide

C2E2 2014 is nigh and we have everything you need to know about this year's Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo! The guests, the panels, the companies all the glorious nerdom and everything else you need to know to navigate this year's convention! Better hurry too because after midnight tonight (April 24th 11:59pm CST to be exact) ticket prices go up!  Here's just some of what you can expect to see this year:

C2E2 is first and foremost a gathering of comic book fans, so of course comic creators dominate the guest list roster: Artists Neal Adams, Adam Hughes, Mark Bagley, Lee Bermejo and writers Brian Azzarello, Dan Jurgens, Gail SimoneScott Snyder join indie giants Eric Powell and Tony Moore. Not to mention legends Stan Lee and Neal Adams! They join dozens more as this years comic guests.

But we all know the con isn't just about comics anymore! Game of Thrones stars Alfie Allen, Natalia Tena and Kristian Nairn, comedian Brian Posehn, motherfuckin HULK HOGAN, Warehouse 13 actors Allison Scagliotti and Eddie McClintock, Rider Strong from Boy Meets World, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Nicholas Brendon and much more guests from the geekier side of entertainment will be in attendance as well! This year The Block section of the con features Adam Z Litvack, Alexis Ziritt, Ben Spencer JC Rivera and more. There's also a plethora of literary guests attending this year including writer Charlaine Harris (creator of The Sookie Stackhouse Series aka The True Blood series) Patrick Rothfuss writer of The Kingkiller Chronicle Trilogy and C. Robert Cargill author of the critically acclaimed fantasy novels DREAMS AND SHADOWS and QUEEN OF THE DARK THINGS. So whether your fetish is comics, books, pro wrestling, TV or movies there's a little something for everyone at C2E2 this year!

There's even a couple of random guests to come as well, such as Tom Cook - an animator on the classic 80s cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe! My personal favorite surprise guest however is none other than Bruce Leroy himself; Taimak from Berry Gordy's classic Kung-Fu movie The Last Dragon! You can find him at Black Action Tee's booth # 461. They're even selling a limited edition Last Dragon design as a t-shirt to commemorate the occasion!

Of course no comic con would be complete without the big two (or at least half of them that is.) Marvel Entertainment will be there exhibiting at booth 327.  If you're afraid of the absence of DC you can rest easy that the void will be adequately filled with the "medium three."  Dark Horse Comics will be at 619 while recently rebirthed Valiant Entertainment will be at 317 in case you want to see how classic characters Bloodshot, X-O Manowar and Harbringer have been reborn.  Of if you're curious on how Hack/Slash is doing or the comic adaptations of GI Joe and Voltron you can head over to 643 to see Devil's Due Entertainment.  American Anime production company FUNimation will also be exhibiting along with fan favorite t-shirt company Graphitti Designs at booth 627.  You can preview upcoming toys and figures at Diamond Select Toys in 713.  If you're hankering for toys you can buy here and now however you can head over to at their big combo booth 1079 + 354 or check out local designer store Rotofugi at 755.  You can also see the ever-present t-shirt giant Stylin Online at 349, 237 and 343.

Some of the best things to check out at any cons are the panels and C2E2 2014 is no exception!  For the budding comic creators you can find out what you need to know about publishing deals & contracts in room S401ab on Friday at 10:15am, return to the same room at 11:30 for Breaking Into Comics and Staying In!, attend the Self-Publishing for Comic Creators: C2E2 Workshop Meetup on Saturday at 12:15pm or come back again to room S401ab on Saturday at 4pm to find out Everything you need to know about Kickstarter and Comics.

TV panel highlights include the Power Rangers 'reunion' with Steve Cardenas and fellow Power Rangers cast members, Paul Schrier & Jason Narvy Saturday 1:30pm at N427 - and the 24 reunion with Carlos Bernard, Louis Lombardi and James Morrison Saturday at 5:30 at the Main stage S406. You can also join Kristian Nairn and Natalia Tena as they share their stories of filming in exotic (and cold) locations, memories from working on the set of Game of Thrones at the Main stage on Friday at 6pm

If you want to go the more traditional route you can check out the MARVEL: House of Ideas panel Friday at 1:45pm in room N426 or see DC comics discuss The New 52 at N427 on Saturday at 11am.  The Diamond Select Toys team will run down every non-Minimates item DST has coming up at 3pm on Saturday in Room S401cd. Be sure to go to room S402 for The Crow – 20th Anniversary Panel Saturday 1:45pm. And if you can tough it out until 8:30pm you can attend the C2E2 Friday Night Comedy Event with Comedy Mutant’s Brian Posehn and Kyle Kinane!

There's also a host of special events and exclusive swag to be had as well!  C2E2 will be teaming up with The CBR (Comic Book Resources website) to take over the Hyatt’s M/X Bar all three nights of the show. Mingle with C2E2 Staff, CBR, Exhibitors, Creators and fellow Fans while you enjoy local brews, specialty cocktails and wines!  Along with their usual selection of self-branded gear you can also find exclusive, limited Marvel designs for sale such as an awesome Rocket Raccoon & Groot shirt and a Winter Soldier hoodie!

There will also be an onsite Titanfall tournament going on with C2E2 livestreaming the gameplay all weekend!  You can also download the C2E2 mobile app to keep up with the massive list of exhibitors, guests and panels.  Remember to buy tix before midnight to get them at the lower price and to stay hydrated, deodorize and motherfucking shower!

Buy Tix Here:

Exhibitor List:

See the Panel Schedule Here:

See the Autograph Signing Schedule Here:

C2E2 is being held April 25-27, 2014 at:
McCormick Place (South Building)
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60616

Show Floor Hours: Friday, April 25 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Professionals and Press Only)
Friday, April 25 – 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Open to the Public)
Saturday, April 26 – 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, April 27 – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Finally, don't forget to check us out on to see us live-tweeting with news and pics from the con!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ruckazoid - Extended Klipz Vol. 1 [Free Mix]

Ruckazoid is Ricci Rucker aka the underground, turntablist virtuoso made infamous via internet forums along with his cohort Aliosity.  He broke out into the DJ world as a member of turntablism collectives Ned Hoddings and Gunkhole with the likes of D-Styles, Excess, Mike Boo and Chicago's own Toadstyle.  The last output I heard from him besides his tours and DVDs with the aforementioned DJs was his classic, Jazz-influenced scratch composition 'Fuga' which is a criminally obscure album that warrants more attention in both the Jazz and DJ communities. His latest output is a mix he's putting out for free entitled "Extended Klipz Vol. 1" (please, PLEASE let this mean there's a sequel or series!)  

To call this a mix would be a stretch, and I mean that in the best way possible!  Perhaps an 'understatement' is more appropriate.  The mix combines songs, samples, scratching, remixes, remixing and original compositions into a funky, hyped amalgamation!  Traktorbatics, Controller One synth-synthesizing, double, and triple-timed scratch phrasing makes this much more than your average mix.  It's not all technical trickery and high-brow/sing however as the mix is also fun as fuck and full of frivolity and debauchery.  We dare you to try and let the rhythm not overtake you! 

Download & Stream here:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wu-Tang to Release Only One Copy Of Its Secret Album "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin"

Leave it to the Wu to innovate once again. They've been recording their latest double-album, entitled "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin," in secret over the past few years. It will be housed in an incredibly ornate, engraved silver-and-nickel box handcrafted during a span of 3 months by British-Moroccan artist Yahya. It's currently sitting somewhere in an undisclosed location in Marrakech, Morocco like some sort of Hip Hop Holy Grail. It is a one of a kind collector's item aimed to elevate music back to its former state as an art form, and to be sold to a single bidder in a multimillion-dollar deal. PURE. FUCKING. GENIUS.  According to defacto Wu-Tang leader RZA in an interview with Forbes:

We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before...We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music. We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king...

...The idea that music is art has been something we advocated for years, and yet its doesn’t receive the same treatment as art in the sense of the value of what it is, especially nowadays when it’s been devalued and diminished to almost the point that it has to be given away for free.

RZA and the album’s main producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh (a Morocco-based part of Wu-Tang’s extended family) says the plan is to take the album on a 'tour' through museums, galleries, festivals etc. and likely charge around $30-$50 to view it, just like a high-profile exhibit at a major institution would be. Visitors will then likely have to listen to the 128-minute album’s 31 songs on headphones provided by the venue. Once the tour is completed the album will be made available for purchase for a price “in the millions” to companies like Samsung, (who spent $5 million for Jay Z’s latest album to be included on their phones) major record labels hoping to launch the album traditionally, or even a single, wealthy private citizen. Just like a work of art made by Monet, Basquiat or an extremely rare collectible baseball card or comic book. Even if no one pays to view the album they still stand to make their money's worth with the sale alone.

It is a move that only the Wu-Tang Clan could pull off. It goes along with the aesthetic and movement they've cultivated for years, makes a statement about the current status of music, creates a one of a kind veritable treasure, and makes them the money they deserve for an album that they would never make if it were sold traditionally. Let's see if it actually pays off and if this album will ever be 'leaked' to the public.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Metal & Candlelit Yoga Night feat. André Foisy & Good Willsmith

Chicago drone trio Good Willsmith will celebrate the release of their upcoming LP “The Honeymoon Workbook” on Umor Rex Records at AndrĂ© Foisy’s upcoming “Metal & Candlelit Yoga Night” at Turbodog Yoga. As you may or may not know Foisy is also part of acclaimed Chicago drone group Locrian and Kwaidan. He will teach an all-levels yoga class in candlelit ambience set to mediate metal music at the event. After practicing the asanas (physical yoga poses) attendees will rest in corpse pose while listening to a drone bath performed by Good Willsmith. That’s right, Yoga and fucking metal. Downward facing goat horns!

The Honeymoon Workbook is the first LP by Chicago-based trio Good Willsmith. Previous tape releases on the band’s own Hausu Mountain label showcased improvised sessions of "maximal, multi-instrumental loops" while this new album concentrates more on explorations of the noise and drone with a more streamlined approach. It was recorded live in a single session and presented without overdubs. It features Natalie Chami on vocals and synths, Doug Kaplan on electronic tabla and tambura and Max Allison on synths, oscillators and bass guitar.

Pre-order the album here: Good Willsmith Bandcamp

Turbodog Yoga
327 N. Bell Avenue
Chicago, Illinois.
Friday, March 28th
8:30pm – 10:30pm Good Willsmith plays at 10pm
Cost: $16 for drop-in class
$20 for Turbodog Yoga’s New Student Offer (10 days of unlimited yoga)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Slint 2014 US Reunion Tour & Spiderland Deluxe Box Set Pre-Order

Legendary Louisville, Kentucky indie band Slint have once again reunited, and this time it’s for a full on US tour! They did a few reunion shows in 2007 during Chicago’s Pitchfork festival and had an appearance at last year’s All Tomorrow's Parties festival in England but this will be their first official tour since 1989. Largely considered to be the first post rock band, Slint released only 2 LPs and 1 EP with their album “Spiderland” being lauded by critics as a classic. It’s hard to imagine a band with so little output having so much impact but that’s exactly how influential the music they made was. This tour coincides with a deluxe boxset reissue of the aforementioned Spiderland album that is up for pre-order now at Touch & Go’s website.

It features the album remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston and pressed on 180 gram vinyl & CD along with 14 unreleased demos and outtakes selected by the band. A 104 page book with over 100 never-before-seen photos and ‘Breadcrumb Trail’ a never before seen 90 minute documentary are also included! The packaging design was conceived by Temporary Residence label head Jeremy deVine. A few lucky pre-orders will receive an exclusive t-shirt and signed copies of the box as well! The box set will be released on April 15th and Slint will be playing at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago on 5/10/14. Check the full dates along with a link to pre-order the boxset below:

Slint - Spiderland [Deluxe Box Set] Pre-Order

Slint -- 2014 Tour Dates
4/29 -- Boston, MA -- Paradise Rock Club
4/30 -- Asbury Park, NJ -- The Stone Pony
5/1 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Union Transfer
5/2 -- Baltimore, MD -- Ottobar
5/4 -- New York, NY -- Bowery Ballroom
5/6 -- Brooklyn, NY -- Music Hall of Williamsburg
5/8 -- Cleveland, OH -- Grog Shop
5/9 -- Detroit, MI -- St. Andrew's Hall
5/10 -- Chicago, IL -- Bottom Lounge
5/11 -- Minneapolis, MN -- Mill City Nights
7/18-7/20 -- Forecastle Festival -- Louisville, KY

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Master of Reality: The CVLT Nation Sessions [FREE]

Sabbath. They are one of the first, and possibly the greatest, metal bands to ever live and the Godfathers of Doom. To say they are seminal is an understatement, so to say that their classic “Master of Reality” is one of their best should convey the importance of the album. To celebrate their 3rd anniversary music & fashion site CVLT Nation has decided to put out the second covers compilation in their ‘The CVLT Nation Sessions’ series and BLACK SABBATH’s Master of Reality was the record chosen for the occasion! This album was mastered by Black Matter Mastering in Nashville, TN and is up for exclusive streaming and free download on their site. It features the amazing Graves At Sea, Chicago’s own Bongripper (with some help from Hel and Taz from Undersmile on Vocals) and more! Primitive Man’s Sweet Leaf cover is one of the sickest we’ve heard! Check it out and download it at the link below.