ChicagoVerseUniteD: Chicago Scene Salvation

New CVU Podcast: Debonair Social Club | Live Review: The Bones Brigade (Kill Hannah/Local H/The Streets On Fire) @ Debonair Social Club


This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD audio podcast: Claudia Gassel and “Red Hair” Matthew Murray of Debonair Social Club! In an interview recorded onsite at Debonair Social Club this past Sunday night, October 30th, the club’s managers reflect on the venue’s past five years, delve into its origins, and share why Debonair has endured when so many other spots haven’t. Stream or download that podcast below, followed by a live review of The Bones Brigade, the local supergroup who performed on Sunday night, comprised of members of Kill Hannah, Local H, The Streets On Fire, and more!

CVU120 – Debonair Social Club Five Year Anniversary

The Bones Brigade
Debonair Social Club, Chicago, IL
Sunday, October 30, 2011

It’s not always particularly publicized, but some version of the group who played this Sunday under the title The Bones Brigade has been performing sporadically throughout the city the better part of the last decade. A Chicago scene supergroup of sorts, the act has included members of Kill Hannah, Local H, Alkaline Trio, Assassins, and assorted other music and nightlife regulars from across the city. Known under names like The Gaylords, A Perfect Circus, and Them Crooked Vulvas, the band specializes in rock, retro, and post-punk covers, with this Sunday’s set being no exception.

Comprised of Kill Hannah bassist Greg Corner and drummer Elias Mallin, as well as guitarist Tom Schleiter (ex-Powerspace), the group featured Local H’s Scott Lucas as its primary vocalist. The multi-band frontman tore through faithful versions of The Cult‘s “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Mountain Song” by Jane’s Addiction, as well as TV On The Radio’s “Wolf Like Me, a live staple for the singer. The Streets On Fire singer Chadwick, meanwhile, took on Joy Division‘s “Digital,” bringing a manic energy to the performance with his hyper stage presence. As it was the venue’s five year anniversary, Debonair staff joined in as well, with singer-songwriter Erin Gipson putting a brat-punk stamp on Barry Mann‘s “Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” and “Red Hair” Matt joining Lucas for a crowd-pleasing version of KISS anthem “Rock and Roll All Nite.” And Kill Hannah frontman Mat Devine joined in to lead a cover of Billy Idol hit “Dancing with Myself.” See video of that performance below, and keep a watch on New Years Eve loft parties and Halloween DJ events. A collection of Chicago’s finest just might come together to deliver another night of covers of the music they grew up on.

Local H Announce Deep Cuts Show At Empty Bottle, Perform Deep Cuts For Coach House Sounds

Posted in Couch House Sounds,Local H,Scott Lucas by Jaime Black on June 21st, 2011

Local H

Two man Chicago rock outfit Local H has announced a special performance set to happen next month, July 8th, at The Empty Bottle. The night will see the group digging into their album tracks and lesser known material for a night of deep cuts, not unlike the act’s recent Couch House Sounds session. Stream that stripped down set via audio or video below, and catch Local H going deep live on July 8th at Empty Bottle, followed by a West Fest performance July 9th.

Live Review/Come To The Show: Local H! Tonight, Thursday May 5th @ Mother’s!

Posted in Local H by Jaime Black on May 5th, 2011

Local H
(Photo via Gabe Rodriguez)

Local H
, Chicago
Sunday, May 1st, 2011

It would be understandable to be confused about what year it was Sunday night. Case in point, upon entering the Metro, a stack of Illinois Entertainer magazines were visible, with ’90s Chicago rockers Urge Overkill on the cover. It was an evening that saw Local H traveling down memory lane, performing its greatest hits in a room that’s hosted the band more times than can be counted over the years. Much like the group’s seven-night stand in 2008, Local H took Sunday night to revisit its ever-expanding catalogue before the group releases a new studio album later this year.

It could be easy to forget, given Scott Lucas’ forays into electro-punk (The Prairie Cartel) and golden-tinted Americana folk-rock (Scott Lucas And The Married Men) in recent years, but the two man machine of Lucas and Brian St. Clair know how to deliver heavy and unflinching raw-power rock that gets in, gets out, and gets the job done. From the jagged and angst-fueled “Fritz’s Corner” to “Everyone Alive,” which featured pummeling drumming from St. Clair and howling screeches from Lucas, Sunday night’s show drove home just how muscular Local H’s greatest hits arsenal truly is. “Half Life” delivered an immediate offering of guitar rock from the band’s overlooked 2002 effort Here Comes The Zoo, with a ferocious Lucas shouting over loud and humming feedback. Elsewhere, the meaner “24 Hour Break-Up Session” got by on low and grinding guitar work. Of course, nowhere was the testosterone as front and center as on “Hi-Fiving MF,” off the band’s 1996′s breakthrough album As Good As Dead, wherein the overblown power rock song called out overblown power rockers. It’s a testament to the track’s straightforwardness that a startling 15 years later, it still whips a crowd into a frenzy.

Not all of the evening proved as aggressive. Fan favorites like a slightly sped up “All The Kids Are Right” and the irresistibly simplistic “All Right Oh Yeah” still demonstrate Local H’s stronger power pop sensibilities. And “Eddie Vedder” remains one of the group’s catchiest songs, single or otherwise, while “California Songs” stayed topical, calling out “Fucking Katy Perry on the radio.” If there was any downside to be found in a Local H greatest hits set, it’s that the full scope of the group’s songwriting capabilities can end up overlooked, with more expansive material like “Summer Of Boats” or “What Would You Have Me Do” MIA. Nonetheless, a night loaded with greatest hits and fan favorites demonstrates just how impressive a catalogue the two-man unit has amassed over the years, with due credit to former drummer Joe Daniels’ time in the band. In a lot of ways, Sunday’s show served as a call back to Local H shows at Metro from years past. But with the band actively producing new material, it’s just as much as a refresher for what comes next as it is a nostalgia trip.

-Jaime Black

To get more Local H live, check out the group’s performance on the Live From Studio 10 Podcast on iTunes, or, catch the band live at the Cinco Division event happening tonight at Mothers for a set featuring unreleased material.

Local H Live

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New CVU Podcast Album: SXSW 2011!


This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD audio podcast: CVU: The SXSW 2011 Album, featuring eleven interviews recorded live on location at this year’s SXSW music festival. Host Jaime Black checks in with members of My Gold Mask, Netherfriends, Scattered Trees, White Mystery, Loyal Divide, Empires, and California Wives, plus Scott Lucas of Scott Lucas and the Married Men, Virgil Solis and DJ RTC of Ruby Hornet, and Martin Atkins of Tour:Smart! Find each interview as an individual podcast below, or download the entire collection as an album at the Dynasty Podcasts Bandcamp page!

CVU: The SXSW 2011 Album Intro

CVU56 – Ruby Hornet @ SXSW
Virgil Solis and DJ RTC of Chicago hip hop site Ruby Hornet talk about their new hip hop compilation, Closed Sessions: ATX, recorded last year at SXSW 2010.

CVU57 – My Gold Mask @ SXSW
Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo check in on the eve of SXSW music, talk about the influence of weather on their music, and preview what’s next for My Gold Mask.

CVU58 – Netherfriends @ SXSW
Netherfriends mastermind Shawn Rosenblatt discusses his 50 Songs 50 States project and recording in a gas station bathroom, in addition to revealing why bands need to spend less time practicing and performing for their friends.

CVU59 – Secret Colours @ SXSW
Following a performance at the Do512 headquarters, the members of Secret Colours discuss being invited to perform as official talent at this year’s SXSW.

CVU60 – Scattered Trees @ SXSW
The members of Scattered Trees talk about their forthcoming record Sympathy, set to drop on April 5th, as well as critical and geek response to the Star Wars themed video for “Love And Leave.”

CVU61 – White Mystery @ SXSW
Alex and Francis White of White Mystery talk about the magic of SXSW and being on tour, plus describe the gritty sound of their forthcoming Blood And Venom album, which will see release on April 20th.

CVU62 – Martin Atkins @ SXSW
Martin Atkins, of the Tour:Smart movement, discusses his experiences at both SXSW interactive and SXSW music, as well as why bands need digital savvy members in their ranks.

CVU63 – Loyal Divide @ SXSW
The members of Loyal Divide delve into the status of their long finished debut album Bodice Ripper, new music after that record drops, and ideal returns on playing SXSW.

CVU64 – Empires @ SXSW
Ryan Luciani and Max Steger of Empires reveal details about the Rolling Stone cover contest the band is participating in, including the level of disbelief at what winning would entail.

CVU65 – California Wives @ SXSW
The members of California Wives share on the origins of their new song “Tokyo,” hint at appearances at Chicago summer festivals, and explain why the band didn’t just come up out of nowhere.
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CVU66 – Scott Lucas @ SXSW
Scott Lucas, of Local H and Scott Lucas And The Married Men, shares his thoughts on making a timely statement with the next Local H record, as well as the extreme difficulty of carrying amps across 6th Street while dressed in a suit.

CVU: The SXSW 2011 Album Outro

SXSW 2011 – The Chicagoverse Connection: Scott Lucas & The Married Men!

For this month’s ChicagoVerseUniteD cover story, every day in March will feature SXSW coverage relating to a Chicago artist, label, venue, website, or event. Today: Scott Lucas & The Married Men!

(Photo via Audrey Keller)

Though he’ll always be known for Local H, Scott Lucas’ golden-tinted folk-tinged Scott Lucas & The Married Men act is much more than a side project at this point. With a full length album (George Lassos the Moon) and an EP (The Absolute Beginners EP) behind them, as well as a markedly different musical approach than Local H, the dapper and distinguished collective stands on its own in both sight and sound. And later this month, Scott Lucas & The Married Men will bring their mature Americana-country catalogue down to Austin, TX, to perform during this year’s SXSW. Find the group’s dates for down south below.

03/12 – SXSW Send Off @ Bottom Lounge with California Wives, more
03/18 – JBTV’s SXCHI Music Festival @ The Trophy Room (7:30p.m.) (More information here.)
03/19 @ Longbranch Inn (5:00 p.m.)

On a related note, Lucas’ other primary project, Local H, is also keeping busy. The duo is looking toward a new record, potentially titled Hallelujah! I’m A Bum, as first reported here. More immediately, Local H is set to hit Metro on Sunday May 1st for the group’s The Singles Tour: “All The Hits All Night” outing. And a month before that, the group’s Universal Music Group ICON collection, Local H: The Island Years, will see release on April 5th. Watch a hybrid offering from two of Scott Lucas’ musical worlds in the Married Men’s cover of Local H’s “Hey Rita” below.

The CVU 2011 Forecast: Local H!

Posted in CVU Cover Story 01/11,Local H,Scott Lucas by Jaime Black on January 20th, 2011

For this month’s ChicagoVerseUniteD cover story, every day in January will preview a different local artist’s plans for 2011. Today: Local H!

Local H

Sometimes it seems like Scott Lucas doesn’t sleep. If it’s not seven consecutive nights at the Beat Kitchen for a run of Local H discography shows, it’s releasing two EPs on the same day, as was the case this past October with Local H and Lucas’ Married Men collective. Now, in 2011, the multi-tasking musician is readying two releases from Local H, with the first being a greatest hits collection set to drop under Universal Music’s ICON imprint on April 5th. The 12 song collection, comprised of material from the band’s Island Records albums, will also feature collectors cuts, including an alternate cut of a Ham Fisted track, as well as out of print soundtrack songs.

On the new music front, Local H is currently working on a new record, which Lucas reveals to CVU is “untitled as of yet – but I’m leaning towards Hallelujah! I’m A Bum.”

“I kind of want it to be a ‘state of the union’ type of statement from us,” the frontman continues. “It’s about almost everything : politics, neighborhoods, how we treat each other, the media, our patience as a nation, etc. etc. Just all of it. Sort of a political record that’s completely personal. I want to make a big statement in the smallest ways possible. Musically, we’re shooting for a big sound that’s all over the place. Sprawling. We’ve got big, adrenalized pop songs. There’s some metal going on in there. One of the songs is like a mix between Jonathan Richman and Killing Joke. There’s a even a straight-up country song. We’re shooting the works.”

Look for more from Local H here on ChicagoVerseUniteD as the year goes on, and catch the band live February 25th at Chicago City Limits, or February 26th at Q Sports Bar And Grill.

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!

Have Yourself A Scott Lucas Little Christmas

Posted in And The Married Men,Local H,Scott Lucas by Jaime Black on December 22nd, 2010

Scott Lucas & The Married Men
Photo via Audrey Keller Photography

Scott Lucas clearly loves Christmas. How else could one explain his predilection for holiday carols through the years? And with Christmas around the corner, Lucas and his Married Men outfit have posted a new take on an old classic, available for download below. Taken from the group’s Hideout Holiday Music Hour this past Saturday, get in the mood with Scott Lucas And The Married Men’s live rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,”…featuring Rowlf?!

Scott Lucas And The Married Men – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
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For video from the Hideout event, including the above linked performance, check out clips below.

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

“Christmas Time Is Here” (Featuring Purple Apple)

For those left wanting more of the above, the band will stream the Hideout Holiday Music Hour performance for the entirety of Christmas day at its official site. The set is loaded with holidays staples including and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Finally, revisit some of the singer’s earlier holiday offerings with Local H Christmas cuts below.

Local H – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Local H – “Disgruntled Christmas”

Local 101 Audio Archive: Scott Lucas (Local H, Scott Lucas & The Married Men) & Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms)!

Last night on Q101‘s Local 101, Scott Lucas of Local H and Scott Lucas & The Married Men and Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms were guests on the program. Show host Chris Payne interviewed both artists in advance of upcoming events, with Local H playing out this Saturday, October 2nd, at Beat Kitchen and The Married Men hitting Empty Bottle Tuesday, October 26th for a free show with RSVP to Kelly, meanwhile, performs at Metro on Thursday, October 7th, for a solo acoustic performance, before joining up with The Lawrence Arms Friday, October 8th, for a full band show at Congress Theater. Both Kelly’s solo performance and TLA’s Congress set come as part of this year’s Riot Fest events. To listen to the interviews from last night, click on the streaming players below.

Scott Lucas

First off, Scott Lucas checks in with Local 101 for a two-part interview (one stream in the media player below), about the two EPs he’s set to drop on October 19th, from Local H (Local H’s Awesome Mix Tape #1) and his Married Men project (The Absolute Beginners EP). Lucas reveals the thinking behind releasing two EPs on the same date, in addition to discussing the origins of Local H releasing an all-covers effort. The frontman also shares the reasoning for quickly following The Married Men’s debut full length with an EP less than a year later, as well as the motivation behind covering a Local H song (“Hey Rita”) for a Married Men release. Stream that Local 101 interview below.

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The Lawrence Arms

Also from last night’s Local 101, Chris Payne checks in with Lawrence Arms frontman Brendan Kelly about his upcoming performances as part of this year’s Riot Fest. The vocalist explains why Chicago is the ideal location for his band, in addition to shedding light on his Static Age program on Chicago music program JBTV. Click on the player below to hear that interview.

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Local 101 02/14: Billy Corgan & Matt Walker, Chevelle, Smoking Popes, Scott Lucas & The Married Men, & Lucky Boys Confusion

This Sunday night, Local 101‘s February Sweeps rolls on: Interviews with Billy Corgan (of The Smashing Pumpkins) & Matt Walker (of TheMDR), Chevelle, Smoking Popes, Scott Lucas & The Married Men, and Lucky Boys Confusion!



This Sunday, February 14th at 8:30PM on Q101, Local 101‘s February Sweeps feature rolls on with a blockbuster line-up of Chicago’s biggest names: Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins & Matt Walker of The MDR, Chevelle, The Smoking Popes, Scott Lucas & The Married Men, and Lucky Boys Confusion!

In advance of the pair’s February 18th performances at Lasalle Power Co., Billy Corgan and Matt Walker will be discussing the nature of the event, which benefits Northshore University Health System’s Integrative Medicine Program. The concert features Corgan performing alongside Walker’s cover outfit, Zoom. Walker’s TheMDR outfit also plays Metro February 26th, while The Smashing Pumpkins are currently two songs into the group’s ambitious Teargarden by Kaleidyscope 44-song digital distribution album. Corgan will also be discussing his current views on the music industry, how it relates to Teargarden, and potential thoughts on touring, among other topics.

Also this week on Local 101: Chevelle drummer Sam Loeffler comes on the program in advance of his group’s February 20th event at the Riviera. The band will share the stage that night with rising Chicago hard rock group Janus, an act recently featured on Local 101 earlier this year. Himself no stranger to Local 101, Smoking Popes singer/guitarist Josh Caterer calls in to this Sunday’s show in to reveal details of the Popes’ two record release shows February 19th & 20th at Reggie’s Rock House. The group performs in support of its new album, It’s Been A Long Day, dropping this Tuesday, February 16th. Also on the show in support of a record release show, longtime friend of the program and man of many musical hats Scott Lucas comes on Local 101 to shed light on his latest venture, Scott Lucas & The Married Men. The group plays a record release show February 20th at Schuba’s for its debut effort, George Lassos The Moon. The outfit will also conduct an in-store performance earlier in the day at Wicker Park’s Reckless Records. Finally, another Chicago music scene veteran familiar with juggling multiple projects, Stubhy Pandav comes on the show to discuss Lucky Boys Confusion’s upcoming headlining event at Wicker Park’s Subterranean. The band is joined on the bill by The Action Blast, another Chicago outfit recently featured on Local 101.


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 airs this Sunday at 8:30PM and can be streamed live Sunday nights at, and can be found online at MySpace and Twitter.