ChicagoVerseUniteD: Chicago Scene Salvation

New Live Broadcast Dynasty Podcast: A John Hughes Valentines Day Live Tribute 02/14/12!


This week on Dynasty Podcasts Live Broadcast: A John Hughes Valentines Day Live Tribute broadcast podcast! Recorded onsite at Debonair on Valentine’s Day night, the night’s talent checks in on the broadcast. Tom Gavin and Dan Brunelle of Gemini Club share plans for their forthcoming Here We Sit EP, Greg Corner reveals John Hughes’ role in the origins of Kill Hannah, and Saam Hagshenas previews upcoming plans for Hey Champ. Plus: a cameo from Anthony Spina. Stream or download that podcast below.

Members Of Kill Hannah, Hey Champ, Local H, Gemini Club, & More Come Together For A John Hughes Valentine, Dynasty Podcasts Broadcasts Live

John Huges

In the grand tradition of Chicago supergroups like Gaylords and Them Crooked Vulvas, Kill Hannah‘s Greg Corner has assembled a powerhouse of Chicago rockers for a one night Valentine’s event at Debonair. A John Hughes Valentines Day Live Tribute features members of Kill Hannah, Hey Champ, Local H, The Lovehammers, Gemini Club, The Handsome Devilz, The Streets on Fire, and more, who together make up The Shermer High School Band. The group will be performing selections from Hughes classics like Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and more, tonight, Tuesday, February 14th. The event is free before midnight with RSVP via Do312. And look for Dynasty Podcasts to be broadcasting onsite from the event, with a podcast of that broadcast to post in the near future.


Hey Champ Featured In Music Garage TV Web Series

Posted in Hey Champ,The Music Garage by Jaime Black on August 31st, 2011

Hey Champ

CVU regulars Hey Champ are the focus of an early episode of the MGTV web series, which stands for Music Garage TV and features a look at artists who record and rehearse within the facility. Music Garage of course was recently announced as the new recording residency of Dynasty Podcasts. The clip finds the trio rehearsing their track “Cold Dust Girl” with a series of separate interview segments. Watch the first entry in Hey Champ’s MGTV series below, and catch the group live this Saturday, September 3rd at Cobra Lounge for a North Coast Music Festival after-party.

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Hey Champ Handle The Heat With Winner’s Circle 3: Cool In The Pool Mixtape

Posted in Hey Champ by Jaime Black on July 13th, 2011

Hey Champ

Hey Champ has been a productive unit as of late, between the recent Anything At All EP and the video for that effort’s “Silver City” track. Now, the synth-set electro rockers have released the third entry in its Winner’s Circle mixtape series. The collection features summer-themed cuts and examples of Hey Champ production. Stream or download below, followed by the mixtape tracklist.

1. Holger Czukay – Cool in the Pool (Hey Champ Edit)
2. Kid Creole & The Coconuts – I’m a Wonderful Thing Baby
3. Luther Vandross – Sugar & Spice (Hey Champ Edit)
4. The Tornadoes – Beyond the Surf
5. Rogue Vogue – Sunshine’n
6. Tiger & Woods – Love in Cambogdia
7. Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere (Psychemagik Edit)
8. Touch Sensitive – Body Stop
9. Moon Boots – Gopher It
10. Ahmad Jamal – Poinciana
11. Rogue Vogue – Breezy
12. Los Charly’s Orchestra – Disco Gamma (Pete Herbert Balearic Disco Mix)
13. DJ Asparagus – The Light
14. Hey Champ – Too Hot
15. Beach Boys – Diamond Head
16. Punkin Machine – I Need You Tonight (Kid Color Feels Warmer Edit)
17. Jomanda – Got a Love for You (Hurley’s House Mix)
18. Natalia Kills – Mirrors (Hey Champ Dub Remix)
19. Roxy Music – Angel Eyes (Frank Tope & Dean Rudland Re-Edit)
20. Only Children – Don’t Stop (Hey Champ Remix)
21. Sophia Loren – Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo

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Only Children Stream New ‘Don’t Stop’ EP Collection

Posted in Hey Champ,Life During Wartime,Only Children by Jaime Black on June 27th, 2011

Only Children

Following the previous post about Hey Champ’s new video comes a new EP from Only Children, with a Hey Champ remix included as part of the bundle. Stream the Don’t Stop collection below, which includes a handful of remixes and the disco-laden Only Children original. And don’t miss Only Children as part of Life During Wartime July 9th at The Hideout, for the Don’t Stop art Installation.

Don't Stop Art Installation

Hey Champ Traverse The Chicago Scene In New Local-Centric “Silver City” Video

Posted in Hey Champ by Jaime Black on June 27th, 2011

Hey Champ

Hey Champ has posted the new video for its track “Silver City.” The song comes from the group’s recently released Anything At All EP, with the video posting as a premiere last week on MTV’s Buzzworthy site. Watch the Chicago-centric video below and count how local hipsters can be seen, followed by the recent CVU podcast interview with frontman Saam Hagshenas about the group’s Anything At All release, and a full stream of the EP itself.

CVU77 – Hey Champ

Hey Champ – Anything At All

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New CVU Podcast Cover Story Series: Hey Champ!

Posted in CVU Cover Story Series,DYNASTY,Hey Champ,Podcast by Jaime Black on May 10th, 2011

Hey Champ

This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD Cover Story Series audio podcast: Saam Hagshenas of Hey Champ! The synth-pop act frontman discusses the making of his band’s new Anything At All EP, which drops online today, the group’s inevitable studio collaboration with Gemini Club, and why Hey Champ isn’t moving to L.A. anytime soon. Stream or download that podcast below, followed by the new EP’s title track.

“It’s going to be a while before we sell our souls and move out to (L.A.)” - Saam Hagshenas, CVU77

CVU77 – Hey Champ

Hey Champ – “Anything at All”

ChicagoVerseUniteD is a weekly music and nightlife podcast series. Hosted by Jaime Black, CVU features interviews with the premier talent and tastemakers in the Chicago music and nightlife communities, and is published through the Dynasty Podcasts network. Follow along on FacebookTwitterBandcampSoundcloud,YouTubeVimeoTumblr, and Posterous.

Hey Champ - Anything At All

Hey Champ Announce Video Casting Call, Ask That “Dad Dancers” Not Apply

Posted in Hey Champ by Jaime Black on February 23rd, 2011

Hey Champ

It’s not secret that Hey Champ videos are supposed to be a party. For evidence, one need look no further than the “Cold Dust Girl” video below.

Similarly, the “Neverest” video is definitely a party in its own right. Just a much…stranger party.

Now, the group is looking for extras for its “Silver City” shoot, set to take place this Sunday, February 27th, at 7PM at an unnamed bar in or around Ukranian Village. The band promises this shoot, like those above, will be “a crazy party,” and, as such, there are a few requirements for making it into the filming. The band’s specifications are listed below.

We’re looking for people who:
1) can dance (no “dad” dancing)
2) are 21+
3) are fun and not debbie downers
4) are not gypsies
5) will not drink too much where they can’t take orders from the director/crew

The specific shooting site is privileged information, accessible only to those selected to be part of the video. To throw your hat in the ring, email with at least name and age, if not a photo as well. Replies are set for later this week.

Hey Champ – “Silver City” (Previously titled “Chi Town”)

The CVU 2011 Forecast: Hey Champ!

Posted in CVU Cover Story 01/11,Hey Champ by Jaime Black on January 31st, 2011

For this month’s ChicagoVerseUniteD cover story, every day in January will preview a different local artist’s plans for 2011. Going out big, today’s third feature: Hey Champ!

Hey Champ

For whatever else the band accomplished in 2010, including heading down to SXSW and performing at North Coast Music Festival, Hey Champ’s most long-awaited and well earned achievement last year was easily the release of its debut full length, Star. The synth-heavy offering served as a declarative statement that the band did, in fact, have songs beyond just inescapable Soundcloud staple “Cold Dust Girl.” Now, in 2011, Hey Champ is set on demonstrating what else they can do.

Earlier this month, the group announced that it would be hitting the studio with UK producer Eliot James, whose past credits include work with names like Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party, among others. After a week of recording, Hey Champ frontman Saam Hagshenas talks to CVU about the experience.

“(James) had heard demos of some new songs we’d put together and liked them so he flew out to Chicago to record, which was his first time working in the US anywhere outside of New York. We’ve never worked with a producer; we’re so used to doing everything ourselves, so the experience was unbelievable. He’s really, really good at what he does. Eliot is mixing the tracks in London and we will be releasing them in spring.”

Chicago Music Project previously presented this live version of Hey Champ’s “Silver City,” then titled “Chi Town.”

Prior to the group’s new springtime material, Hey Champ plan to film a video for the hometown anthem, “Silver City,” with that track also set for European release in the coming weeks. “We decided we really wanted to do a video for (“Silver City”) with our friends here in Chicago, so we’ve enlisted Israel Fernandez (of Chicago Music Project) to direct it,” Hagshenas explains. “I think for part of this vid we may take the “Cold Dust Girl” approach; that is, just throw a crazy party and film it.”

Watch for more on Hey Champ in 2011 right here at CVU.

The CVU Local Music Year In Review 2010

Album Of The Year 2010

Top Local Releases Of 2010
1. The Felix Culpa Sever Your Roots
In a year filled with mixtapes, Soundcloud streams, and Bandcamp singles, one melodic Chicago post-hardcore act returned from a lengthy hiatus and delivered an honest to goodness full length cohesive record. Ferocious, cathartic, and epic in scale, with seamless segues connecting songs (see ”Escape To The Mountain” into “First One To The Scene of An Accident”), Sever Your Roots served as the sound of a band coming roaring back, resurrected at full force. There were an onslaught of Chicago releases this year. Not all of them could be called records.
2. Suns Close Calls In The U.S. Space ProgramThe Howl and the Many
Out of the ashes of Wax On Radio came Suns, demonstrating an array of diverse musical stylings across two simultaneously-released free EPs. Incorporating traces of chamber pop throughout the tumultuous nine-song joint offering, the band excelled at conveying an array of moods as long dirges (“Dont Do It”) gave way to relieved patches of calm (“Everything Changes”). Alternatingly challenging and rewarding, consistently mature and experimental.
3. Empires Bang
Offerings like Bang‘s audacious title track reaffirmed that Empires are crafting some of the strongest straight ahead rock and roll in the city right now. But it was moments like the anthemic “Damn Things Over” and the borderline power love song “Strangers” that demonstrated the group’s strengths across a much wider sound. For the electrified charge of amps turned up and feedback buzzing, Bang was essential listening in 2010.
4. Rockie Fresh Otherside
Dropping earlier this month, this 12 track mixtape from up and coming Chi Town property Rockie Fresh draws from Red Hot Chili Pepper hooks and utilizes Imogen Heap(!) samples as a bed for the MC’s unflinchingly personal lyrics. Colder than it has any right to be, it’s a pretty safe bet this is just the beginning.

5. Kidz In The Hall Land Of Make Believe
In 2010, Chicago hip hop duo Kidz In The Hall carried the momentum from 2009′s excellent Professional Leisure mixtape over to this years even stronger Land Of Make Believe full length. Smooth and more than just a little self assured, on tracks like “Take Over The World,” the pair of Naledge and Double-0 sounded like they just might.

Top Local Songs Of 2010
1. A Lull “Weapons For War” Weapons For War Single
Massive and booming, noise-pop act A Lull’s introductory preview of next year’s Confetti full length came out of nowhere with a sound unlike anything else happening in the city. Buzzing, bizarre, and surprisingly immediate, “Weapons For War” carried the band through seemingly the entirety of 2010. With an album on the horizon, 2011 should be even bigger.
2. Apteka Aragon Sound” Traitors 7″
For everyone still pining for the Smashing Pumpkins’ sound of yesteryear, check out the freewheeling riffs here fueling a track that’s practically a Siamese Dream lost cut. It’s also a ferocious testament to the group being capable of far more than strictly shoegaze.
3. Scott Lucas And The Married Men “Hey Rita” The Absolute Beginners EP
Taking a cue from the freewheeling live version of the song, Scott Lucas’ night gig reinterprets a catalogue cut from his day job. Expansive and mature, this nearly nine minute cover is but one possibility of what Local H could come to sound like in its golden years.
4. Loyal Divide “Flights” Flights
Loyal Divide doing lush and unsettling. Combining electronic layers with haunting vocal work and the sound of strings scraping, “Flights” displayed a more subdued, but no less striking, sound from the experimental unit.
5. The Dirty Diamonds “Heaven’s Plate” The Singularity Pt. 1
Dreamy and psychedelic, harmonic and melodic. With the release of the group’s free Singularity singles series, Dirty Diamonds branched out beyond their motown for hipsters labeling and took to more venturous soundscapes, with “Heaven’s Plate” merely one of many triumphs.

Best (And Most Repeated) Local Live Pairing: A Lull and Loyal Divide. From the Metro to the Tap Room in Austin, TX, the two disparate Chicago’s art-rock acts teamed up repeatedly throughout the year, in a perfect compliment of ambience, aural attack, and oddity.

Longest Overdue Bill (No Pun Intended): Smashing Pumpkins and Kill Hannah July 27th @ the Metro. The bill SP and KH fans have been waiting for since the late ’90s, in the room where it simply had to happen. A joint “1979″ performance served as a long-awaited crosstown classic for multiple generations of stargazing alt-rock believers.

Best Cross-Promoting Remix Releases: Hey Champ “Cold Dust Girl” Gemini Club Remix and Gemini Club “Ghost” Hey Champ Remix. A true Chicagoverse crossover, HC & GC’s treatment trade-offs demonstrated not only strength in numbers, but in quality remix work.

Best 2010 Musical Love Letter To Chicago (Three Way Tie): The Hood Internet x Kid Static “Chi City” / Hey ChampSilver City” / BBUC.H.I.C.A.G.O.“ No matter what style of music you were in the mood for, there was no shortage of acts repping the Windy City in song this year.

Fastest Rise To (Literally) Globetrotting Jet Setting Superstar Status: Midnight Conspiracy From Chicago party monsters to motherfucking Brazil. That shit happened fast.

Most Anticipated 2010 Release That Unfortunately Never Arrived: HelicoptersSlow Leak At The Seam (Though at least we got a holiday bundle.)

Local Meme That Caught On Like Wildfire (And Now Seems Like A Very Long Time Ago): The Fold: Cyrus v. The Fold – Sued for Millions

Best Wicker Park-Specific Listening: Suns “Small Parts” / Netherfriends “Lead You Through the Misty Fog of Milwaukee Ave.” Your six corner soundtrack.

Best Destination In The City For Bands And BBQ: Honky Tonk BBQ in Pilsen. It’s like SXSW all over again, but on the South Side of Chicago!