ChicagoVerseUniteD: Chicago Scene Salvation

Madina Lake Post “Imagineer” Video, Talk To Illinois Entertainer

Posted in Billy Corgan,Illinois Entertainer,Madina Lake,Smashing Pumpkins by Jaime Black on November 1st, 2011

Madina Lake

The new clip for Madina Lake‘s track “Imagineer” has hit the web, featuring the band and friends speeding through the night in a particularly rowdy cab. The cut comes from Madina Lake’s  World War III effort, which dropped this past September, and is the end product of a collaboration with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. For more on “Imagineer,” the band’s time with Corgan, and World War III, check out bassist Matthew Leone’s brand new interview with Jaime Black at Illinois Entertainer. And find the “Imagineer” video, followed by a clip of the band weighing in on the track, below!

Recent Write-Up Round-Up

Posted in Alkaline Trio,Feature Articles,HIM,Illinois Entertainer,La Roux,Spinner by Jaime Black on March 1st, 2010

Round up of Jaime Black‘s published music articles from around the web:

My feature interview with Ville Valo, of Finnish love-metal act H.I.M., up now at Illinois Entertainer Dot Com


My mini-review of Alkaline Trio‘s new record, This Addiction, up now @ Illinois Entertainer Dot Com

My review of La Roux‘s recent performance at Lincoln Hall, up now @ Illinois Entertainer Dot Com

My Q&A interview w/ Gorka Urbizu, frontman for Basque Country hard rock act Berri-Txarrak, up now @ Spinner Dot Com

Lady Gaga Monster Ball (Night One) Live Review At Illinois Entertainer

Posted in Illinois Entertainer,Lady Gaga,Live Reviews by Jaime Black on January 16th, 2010

On Friday, January 8th, Lady Gaga brought the first night of her eagerly awaited Monster Ball tour to the Rosemont Theatre by Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Find my review of the event’s theatrical decadence at Illinois Entertainer’s website here.


Tonight On Local 101: Treaty Of Paris, Illinois Entertainer Editor Steve Forstneger. Plus: My The Fold, Kill Hannah IE Features

Tonight on Local 101: Illinois Entertainer editor Steve Forstneger, plus Treaty Of Paris!

Treaty Of Paris

Tonight at 9PM on Q101‘s Local 101: Treaty Of Paris preview its new Currents EP, in advance of the band’s record release show, Saturday, Jan. 9th at Metro. Find out more at the band’s Facebook event page.

And, in support of the magazine’s just-released all-local issue, Illinois Entertainer editor Steve Forstneger discusses the magazine’s Chicago artists features, including Jaime Black‘s stories on Kill Hannah and The Fold, up now at the bolded links.

Jaime Black profiles The Fold (above) and Kill Hannah (below) in the January Illinois Entertainer, on stands now!

Local 101 is hosted by Chris Payne and produced/booked by Jaime Black, and airs every Sunday night at 9pm on Chicago’s Alternative, Q101. Local 101 streams live Sunday nights at 9 at, and can be found online at MySpace and Twitter.

Rise Against Fat Wreck Chords Concert Live Review At Illinois Entertainer

Posted in Illinois Entertainer,Live Reviews,Rise Against by Jaime Black on December 26th, 2009

On Friday, December 18, 2009, Rise Against took to the stage at Metro to perform from the group’s earliest records put out by Fat Wreck Chords, The Unraveling and Revolutions Per Minute. Find my review of the show at Illinois Entertainer‘s website here.


Kid Sister: Feature Interview, Live Review, Free Music!

Now up at Illinois Entertainer: My feature interview with Kid Sister, wherein the Chicago MC explains the reasoning for her debut album Ultraviolets long delay, the results of taking her time in the studio, and the uninspired state of modern pop radio. Read the feature article here and in the December issue of the Entertainer.

And, find my Kid Sis live review, of the artist’s recent House Of Blues show, up now at Illinois Entertainer dot com. Plus: links to free downloadable remixes of material off Ultraviolet in my recent Deep-Bargain Bin column at The A.V. Club Chicago, as well as music from The Hood Internet and more.


AFI Live Review at Illinois Entertainer Dot Com

Posted in AFI,Illinois Entertainer,Live Reviews by Jaime Black on November 16th, 2009

My review of AFI‘s Crash Love tour stop at the Riviera earlier this month, up now at Illinois Entertainer dot com.


Prairie Cartel Feature Interview at Illinois Entertainer: Still Standing

Posted in Feature Articles,Illinois Entertainer,Scott Lucas,The Prairie Cartel by Jaime Black on November 6th, 2009

My interview with Scott Lucas and Blake Smith of The Prairie Cartel is both in print in the november issue of Illinois Entertainer, and online at Illinois Entertainer Dot Com.

The pair talk about the long wait for their debut album Where Did All My People Go, the reaction to the group’s surprising electro-punk sound, and being the last men standing to come out of their initial scene.

Read the feature online now.


Live Review: The Gaslight Anthem @ House Of Blues

Posted in Illinois Entertainer,Live Reviews,The Gaslight Anthem by Jaime Black on November 6th, 2009

Live review of The Gaslight Anthem‘s second to last tour date behind The ’59 Sound, Tuesday October 27th at House Of Blues. Up now at Illinois Entertainer Dot Com.


Illinois Entertainer Say Anything Feature (Preview)

Posted in Feature Articles,Illinois Entertainer,Say Anything by Jaime Black on October 2nd, 2009

My Say Anything feature preview from Illinois Entertainer Dot Com. Full article available in this month’s IE October print issue!


For awhile there, it seemed like Max Bemis might just end up as pop punk’s permanent and resident trainwreck. Diagnosed with bi-polar disorder following the release of his band Say Anything’s 2004 breakthrough release . . . Is A Real Boy(J), Bemis’ story became one of drugs and hospitals, paranoia and breakdowns, destructive relationships and self-loathing. It was a tale of tragic self-destruction that played out before his ever-expanding fanbase, and one well documented throughout Say Anything’s exhausting 2007 double album, In Defense Of The Genre. Of all the outcomes listeners expected of Bemis, a happy ending was not high on the list. That was before he fell in love.

Appearing: Friday, October 23rd at Vic Theatre in Chicago.

While the voice throughout the record may sound the same, the Bemis who penned Say Anything’s self-titled third album – first on RCA – is a drastically different man from the one his listeners have come to expect. Though self-improvement often comes with age, Bemis’ newfound perspective can be traced to the singer finding his soulmate. In April, Bemis married Eisley’s Sherri Dupree, an event which made a radical impact on not only the frontman’s life, but his band’s approach to songwriting.

“When you really care that much about someone else’s viewpoint, you start to think about things differently, because you’re not just in your own little prism. And it’s been amazing,” Bemis explains of his paradigm shift. “Without Sherri, I wouldn’t have been able to write the record because she helped me see things that have nothing to do even with our relationship. Things about the world and spirituality, that I already felt but was kind of afraid to accept.”

Indeed, Say Anything is infinitely broader in its scope than the band’s previous productions, which Bemis describes as marked by “You did this to me, You fucked me over” moments. Nowhere is this more apparent than during the album closing “Ahh . . . Men,” a philosophical selection that pulls back as wide as Bemis ever has that talks of “a crack in the edge of the end of the world/Where I will sit with my love in its fluorescent swirl” as the song builds before climactically demanding, “So can I lie in your grave?”

“It gets out of myself, and being proud of myself,” Bemis begins, speaking of the heady production, “into the world, God, the soul, and the spirit, and what the afterlife, the end of the world, and what comes after, and how that relates to me and Sherri, and how that relates to this whole journey of the soul that I’ve gone I’ve gone onto. What is it outside of me that I believe in, that’s gotten me through it. ‘Ahh . . . Men’ is my weird way of stating my core spiritual beliefs, and, me and myself are a big part of my spiritual beliefs, but I believe in something bigger than myself, I always have since I was younger. A sense of something bigger and positive uniting everything, and that song is my love song to that. And nothing is more important than that, in a way, because it explains everything to me. It explains every other record, every other song, it explains me and Sherri, the best way I could, and that was the purpose of that song.”

It’s a far cry from the more juvenile Say Anything of songs like “Every Man Has A Molly” and “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too.” In fact, the album’s strongest moments are also its most mature, centering around the couple’s love, and the the impact it’s made on the singer’s life and peace of mind. Indeed, the power of the newfound union is felt throughout the record’s second half, kicked off by the album’s centerpiece, “Crush’d,” a song Bemis describes as “equal parts a song I wanted to write about an experience I was going through, and literally just wanting to praise Sherri.”

– Jaime de’Medici

For more on Bemis’ new outlook, grab the October edition of Illinois Entertainer, available free throughout Chicagoland.