Support your local record shops on April 21 (and the rest of the year)! 'Grid City' cassettes are available online at Bandcamp but also at Reckless Records Chicago (reckless.com), Euclid Records NOLA, Love Garden Sounds, Balades Sonores Paris, Balades Sonores Brussels, and Permanent Records Los Angeles to name a few!
Chicago music lovers, Grid City features a varied selection of original tunes by ONO, Melina Ausikaitis & Angela Mullenhour, Matt Jencik, John Bellows, Bret Koontz, Famous Laughs, HIDE, Beau Wanzer, Quarter Mile Thunder, Wet Key, Sweet Cobra, Gula-Gila, Lilac, Alex Barnett, Brett Naucke, FACS, Justin Demus, Jeremiah Meece, Azita Youssefi, & Equip.
This love letter to the city doesn't include everything the music scene has to offer but, we hope to continue this as a series. Considering the response (20 tracks is a hefty comp!), a second volume is a possibility. Submissions or interest can be sent to emily at reckless dot com. Please, be aware this is a genre-free, curated compilation and our goal is to make it as inclusive as possible.
Pre-order your digital copy or cassette >> here <<
Very special thanks yous to the following people -
Here is a sneak peek at the Grid City compilation with a Quarter Mile Thunder song titled Rolling Two. John Bellows' video for 'Fly' is also up! Check Bandcamp or Reckless Records for copies in January.
Rolling Two Written by Ben Clarke
Performed by Ben Clarke Vox and Guitar, Jim Duffy Drums, Jason Eckerson Bass, Jim Becker Fiddle, & Josh Dumas Vibes
Recorded at Pieholden Suite
Sound by Matt Dewine
John Bellows (aka John Wheatley) is a staple of the Chicago music scene(s). Pleasantly unclassifiable, Grid City would not be a Chicago compilation without him. Though now located in Washington state, he makes the journey back to the fertile grounds of Illinois to collaborate and play. This song, along with 19 others, will be featured on our forthcoming release.
Fly was shot on San Juan Island in Washington and was directed & edited by Jerzy Rose. The song yields contributions by Glenn Hendrick (flute, violin, vox), Sara Condo (omnichord), and Gavin Goodrich (piano). Mastered by Nicholas Wilbur at The Unknown, Anacortes, WA.
Other credits include video crew Halle Butler and actors John Bellows, Glenn Hendrick, and Sara Condo.
Kept it rolling this year. Toured, traveled, and protested our way through 2017. Some of these albums were constant companions during the year.
We are currently turning our sights to the next Love Lion release (due in January) titled Grid City. Featuring 20 stone cold cuts from the grittiest city, Chicago. Check back soon for artwork by Lee Relvas, how to order the cassette + download, and beautiful poster by Max Morris.
Here is the track list...
Brett Naucke - Flora Counterpoint II
FACS - In A Memory
Alex Barnett - Machine Learning
Lilac - Kiss The Corpse
Gula Gila - Power
Sweet Cobra - Coats
Wet Key - Lock Stays
Famous Laughs - Garage Mahal
Bret Koontz - Gloaming, Nightshade
Matt Jencik - One For Laird
ONO - Yam (The Mound Bayou Mix)
John Bellows - Fly
AZITA - True Believers
Quarter Mile Thunder - Rolling Two
HIDE - Black Flame
Beau Wanzer - Don't Eat The Ground
Justin Demus - Penumbra
Jeremiah Meece - Ideology
Equip - Ancient Ivy Atrium
Melina Ausikaitis & Angela Mullenhour - IMAMAN
Thank yous all around to those who participated in our interview series - Matt Jencik (Implodes), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), Liz Harris (Grouper), and Laura Lee (Khruangbin). Look for more conversations in the new year.
Special shout out to 'coffee,' without it, none of this would be possible.
PS - Grace Jones is better at most things.
Arthur Russell - Instrumentals (Audika)
Big Thief - Capacity (Saddle Creek)
Wand - Plum (Drag City)
Blue Iverson (Dean Blunt) - Hotep (Self-Released)
Thelonious Monk - Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Sam)
Grouper - Paradise Valley 7” (Yellow Electric)
Jaimie Branch - Fly Or Die (International Anthem)
Yellow Days - Is Everything Ok In Your World? (Doobie McQueen / Good Years Music)
Power Trip - Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord)
Slowdive - Sugar For The Pill (Dead Oceans)
SZA - CTRL (TDE)
Matt Jencik - Weird Times (Hands In the Dark)
V/A - Shout Music (Love Lion)
Girl Ray - Earl Grey (Moshi Moshi)
Dominique Lawalrée - First Meeting (Catch Wave)
Steve Lacy - Steve Lacy’s Demo (Three Quarter)
The Paperhead - Chew (Trouble In Mind)
The Feelies - In Between (Bar None)
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - Find Me Finding You (Drag City)
Hand Habits - Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) (Woodsist)
Daniel Caesar - Freudian (Golden Child)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - On The Echoing Green (Mexican Summer)
Gaussian Curve - The Distance (Music From Memory)
Alvvays - Antisocialites (Polyvinyl)
Kendrick Lamar - Damn. (TDE)
Neil Young - Hitchhiker (Reprise)
Dean Blunt & Joanne Robertson - Wahalla (Textile)
Sharon Jones - Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions - Son of a Lady EP (Tendril Tales)
Juana Molina - Halo (Crammed Discs)
Cleaners From Venus (Martin Newell) - Kitchen Table EP (Plastic Response)
Rev. Lonnie Farris - A Night at the House of Prayer (Buked & Scorned)
Kelly Lee Owens - s/t (Smalltown Supersound)
Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch - Blade Runner 2049 (Epic)
King Krule - The Ooz (XL)
Selena – Dreaming of You (Capitol)
Radiohead - OkNotOk (XL)
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Death Waltz)
Elliott Smith - Either/Or (Kill Rock Stars)
Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See (Capitol)
Orange Juice - Coals To Newcastle (AED)
Marisa Anderson - Traditional and Public Domain Songs (MIssissippi)
Chris Cohen tour
Charlotte Day Wilson, 1306
Christian Scott, 3 Keys
Thelma & The Sleaze, Siberia
King Woman, Castillo Blanco
Bonnie Prince Billy & Bitchin Bajas, Music Box Village
Diamanda Galás, The Joy
MonoNeon & guests, Blue Nile
Khruangbin, One Eyed Jacks x 2
Grace Jones, Primavera
Rajasthan Express, Primavera
Seckou Keita, St. Mary's
Sun Ra Arkestra, Jazz Cafe
Cass McCombs, Halfway Festival
George Clinton, Pitchfork
Newport Folk Festival
Hiss Golden Messenger & guests, Jane Pickens Theater
Frank Ocean, Øya & Flow
Princess Nokia, Flow
Ariel Pink, Tipitina’s
Mojo, New Orleans
Jonas Reindl, Vienna
Coffee Collective, Copenhagen
Ritual, San Francisco
Blueprint Coffee, St. Louis
Great Lakes Coffee, Detroit
> RIP Kelan Phil Cohran <
One of the most exciting and disciplined three-pieces playing right now is a band from Houston, Texas. Drawing inspiration from 60s funk, movie scores, and gospel music, Khruangbin's diverse palette is tangible on record and even more so during their live set.
The rhythm section is the glue holding things together as guitarist Mark Speer explores and shreds precisely. Laura Lee locks down the low-end with graceful melodies and anchored strength. In combination with DJ's dialed-in grooves, the foundation of Khruangbin is unshakeable.
They are currently in the middle of an extensive US tour. You can check them out here
2 Nov Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
3 Nov Las Vegas, NV - Backstage Bar & Billiards
4 Nov Phoenix, AZ - The Van Buren
10 Nov Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
11 Nov Sacramento, CA - Harlow's
12 Nov Reno, NV - Cargo Concert Hall, Whitney Peak Hotel
14 Nov San Luis Obispo, CA - Fremont Theater
15 Nov Fresno, CA - Strummer's
16 Nov Arcata, CA - Humboldt State University
17 Nov Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
18 Nov Seattle, WA - The Showbox
14-17 Dec Pattaya, Thailand - Wonderfruit Festival
Without further dallying, our next installment in the Love Lion interview series with Miss Laura Lee.
What was the introduction to Thai music for you and the band?
Mark [Speer] found a blog called Monrakplengthai, which translates to "I love Thai music." The site is completely made up of uploads of old cassette tapes from Thailand. His obsession turned into a mutual one that clearly went into influencing our first recordings -- so much so, that we decided to name our band in homage to those cassettes. [Khruangbin means "engine fly"]
Khruangbin's drummer, Donald Johnson, has a background in the church. Would you say you are similar rhythm players?
I think we both appreciate similar feels. We agree on a simplicity in rhythm and compliment each other... but we aren't the same player. I respect his level of mastery too much for me to put myself in his category. DJ has been playing music his whole life, and he's an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist. He's a black belt.
I've been playing bass since just before the start of the band, and while I dabbled in piano as a kid, I still very much consider myself a white belt. But I think that's kind of the beauty of playing together. We bring out the best in each other.
Who spent time in London? What inspirations did the city offer?
I lived in London for almost 4 years, and I loved every second of it. It was my first time living outside of Texas. I was inspired in countless ways, but in terms of music, I think the biggest take away from London was being immersed in DJ culture. If I hadn't spent the majority of that time at parties, afterparties, and festivals, I wouldn't have nearly as much appreciation for the flow of a set or a record, for the build ups and break downs, and how to keep a listener's attention - consciously or subconsciously. Not to mention my music library is vastly more expansive than it was before. I have London to thank for that.
Do you think the group will remain largely instrumental?
I don't want to ever put the limit on ourselves to have to put vocals on anything. We always write the music first. After the music is all laid down, if and only if the songs feel like they want another layer, do we add a vocal layer. It's usually pretty obvious when the songs want them, and when they do, we oblige.
I also just really love instrumental music, and I'm proud to stand behind music that is universal in that context.
What can you tell us about Khruangbin's upcoming Dead Oceans release?
The new album is called Con Todo El Mundo, an expression named for and from my grandfather. It's a largely middle-eastern inspired record, with about as many vocals as the first, recorded in the barn in the dead of cold in Texas. I absolutely love it and I can't wait to put it out.
Do you feel akin to any of our contemporaries or is your inspiration for bass rooted in older music?
My inspiration for bass is definitely rooted in older music. I learned by playing along to the Roots Radics, Serge Gainsbourg, and classic Motown records. I can easily attribute my feel to that of dub reggae, my tone to the session players in Serge's records, and my love for pentatonics to [James] Jamerson.
What does growth musically look like specifically for a bass player?
Hmm... I guess growth is better understanding of my weapon, and how to use it. It's becoming more dexterous and aware of patterns that exist, while also hopefully maintaining a level of playfulness as a beginner.
How did you settle on SX basses?
Hahaha. I love my SX. I'm not going to lie, I bought it when I couldn't afford a Fender. So, that was basically how I came to have it, but my bass is a total champion. It has seen me through my entire time as a bass player and I have yet to change the first set of flat-wounds Mark strung on them for me. Also, I love love love the color.
What are some of the band's favorite venues to play or what constitutes a 'good' venue?
That's a tricky one. So much of the experience of any venue is the crew that works there and the audience that attends. It that sense, it boils down to the people and the energy as much as it does the space. I love playing a dirty basement as much as I enjoy playing an old church -- as long as the feeling is right.
I think the standout venue for Khruangbin thus far was Vega in Copenhagen. It was a beautiful space with wood paneling and a sort of Mad Men-style bar in the back. It was also probably the best reception we've ever experienced when we walked out on stage. I'll never forget it.
Slap bass, fretless, or Hofner violin bass?
Hofner. 100 times over. Mark has a knock off one that I've adopted as my second child, and I play it quite a bit on the new album. I love the tone of that thing. Plus, it's a short-scale and weighs nothing. Total winner.