ChicagoVerseUniteD: Chicago Scene Salvation

New Felix Culpa Documentary, ‘To We, The Nearly Departed,’ Looks Back On The Band’s Final Days

Posted in The Felix Culpa by Jaime Black on February 21st, 2012

The Felix Culpa

The Felix Culpa‘s full documentary feature, To We, The Nearly Departed, has now hit the web. The feature, directed by filmmaker Nick Cavalier, explores the late great post-hardcore band’s final days. Watch that film below, following the band’s CVU podcast, recorded days before the act’s final show at Metro, and followed by CVU video of the group rehearsing ”Because This Is How We Speak” at one of its final practices.

Tagged with:

New CVU Podcast Cover Story Series: Cut Teeth!

Cut Teeth

This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD Cover Story Series audio podcast: Dustin Currier, Kyle Johns, Dan Yingling, and Matt Jordan of Cut Teeth! The former and current members of acts like The Felix CulpaStay Ahead Of The WeatherRed Knife Lottery, and Monday’s Hero visit CVU at The Music Garage to discuss their new EP, Televandalism, the band’s casual and unassuming beginnings, and the ’90s influence in their music. Stream or download that podcast below, followed by the band’s cuts “Who is Thomas Driscoll?” and “Blood Under the Bridge,” both off Televandalism, available now as a pay-what-you-want release. And catch Cut Teeth out for their first live shows, happening Friday, February 3rd at Underground Lounge and Saturday, February 4th at the Cactus Club in Milwaukee.

ChicagoVerseUniteD is a weekly music and nightlife podcast series, hosted by Jaime Black and  recorded out of The Music Garage in Chicago. 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 Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, and Posterous.

Also discussed in the Cut Teeth CVU podcast are the members’ other projects, with Currier giving insight into the forthcoming Felix Culpa documentary, To We, The Nearly Departed, which explores that band’s final days. That feature posts online on February 20th, with a trailer below via Alternative Press, followed by a poster for Jordan’s other act, Stay Ahead Of The Weather, who play Thursday, February 23rd at The Empty Bottle.


The CVU 2012 Forecast: Cut Teeth!

Posted in Cut Teeth,CVU 2012 Forecast,The Felix Culpa by Jaime Black on January 21st, 2012

For this month’s ChicagoVerseUniteD cover story, every day in January will preview 2012 plans for a Chicago talent or tastemaker. Today: Cut Teeth!

Cut Teeth

Cut Teeth is an outfit made up of musical orphans, comprised of members of acts like The Felix CulpaStay Ahead Of The WeatherRed Knife Lottery, and Monday’s Hero that are either defunct or on hiatus. The group came together to form a new project at the start of 2011, and spent a large part of the year crafting their initial release, an EP titled Televandalism. And as the act’s Dustin Currier tells CVU, that’s just the beginning.

“We’re releasing an EP in a couple weeks and have already started working on new songs,” the former Felix Culpa guitarist reveals. “Hopefully we can put out an LP next year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we put out a split 7″ or something in between as well.”

“The EP we’re releasing is our first batch of songs,” Currier continues, ”so it’s hard to say where we’ll go from here, but I think there’s a lot of room to evolve in a lot of different directions, which is a really good feeling. Overall, though, I think we’re just a really loud rock & roll band. There’s definitely a mindset that you could say is probably more akin to a lot of Dischord or Touch and Go bands from the ’90s when it comes to aesthetic and songwriting. Definitely a departure from what a lot of us have done before, which also makes it really exciting.”

Televandalism will post online at the group’s soon-to-launch Bandcamp page on Tuesday, Jan. 31st as a choose-your-price release. The EP coincides with the group’s first live outings, happening Friday, February 3rd at Underground Lounge and Saturday, February 4th at the Cactus Club in Milwaukee. The group will have a limited supply of 100 hand-packaged and numbered CDRs available for purchase at the events, as well.

“Right now we’re just focused on getting this EP out, and we’ve done everything ourselves up to this point – writing, recording, packaging and assembling the CDs, booking, etc.,” Currier concludes, “but it certainly would be great to see a vinyl release for this at some point (…ahem, cool indie labels out there…).”

Check out a mid-mix snippet of the group’s song “Stone of Yap” below. And watch for more from Cut Teeth right here at CVU.


New CVU Podcast: Chicago Music 2011 W/ Ruby Hornet, Loud Loop Press, & Fake Shore Drive | CVU Best Of Chicago Music 2011!


(Left to right: Barber, Giraldi, Black, & Fruchter)

This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD audio podcast: Alex Fruchter of Ruby Hornet, Richard Giraldi of Loud Loop Press, and Andrew Barber of Fake Shore Drive! The three bloggers visit CVU at The Music Garage to share their thoughts on the year in Chicago music, including their favorite local albums of 2011, their thoughts on an array of hometown artists, and their take on what the Chicago music community is doing right and wrong at this point in time. Stream or download that podcast below, followed by the CVU Best Of Chicago Music 2011 feature!

ChicagoVerseUniteD is a weekly music and nightlife podcast series, hosted by Jaime Black and produced by Leyla I. Royale, and  recorded out of The Music Garage in Chicago. 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 Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, and Posterous.

CVU Best Of Chicago Music 2011

Best Chicago Albums 2011

1. Scattered TreesSympathy

Gorgeous, tender, and justifiably hurt and angry, Scattered Trees’ Sympathy album is the sound of frontman Nate Eiesland coping with the loss of his father. The result is a stunningly vulnerable and honest rock record with fragile arrangements and mature hooks that demonstrates an artists’ strength in the wake of a cataclysmic event. Stream Sympathy below, following Eiesland’s 2011 CVU podcast in support of the record.

Scattered Trees – Sympathy

2. Into It. Over It.Proper

The sound of ’90s emo resurrected, before that word came to mean something drastically different. On Into It. Over It.’s, well, proper debut full length, Evan Thomas Weiss pays homage to emotional pop punk in a way that’s never pandering or embarrassing. How many artists can say that in 2011? Check out Weiss’ CVU podcast in support of the record, followed by Proper cut “Midnight: Carroll Street.”

3. Mike Golden & Friends - Groceries

Southern rock style guitars? Screaming vocals? Bandleader Mike Golden made a loud rock record in a year when almost no one else in Chicago was pursuing that sound. That the album sounds like nothing else released this year is only one of its strength. Finally, a record meant to be played through real speakers, at full volume. Check out Golden’s CVU podcast in support of the album, followed by the video for “No Name.” And download Groceries at the MG&F site for free.

4. Loyal Divide - Bodice Ripper

Loyal Divide’s long delayed debut full length proved well worth the wait, with weird and adventures psychedelic sonic elements at play throughout the album. Alienated and uneasy throughout, Bodice Ripper is the sound of post-millennium tension that never lets up. Check out the band’s CVU podcast in support of the album below, followed by the Loyal Divide Audio Tree session.

5. A LullConfetti

Another oft-delayed and highly anticipated local full length also saw release this year. Following a long and steady stream of powerful live shows, A Lull finally got the chance to showcase its unique percussive stylings on this year’s Confetti effort. Boisterous, melodic, and sonically adventurous, Confetti is the band’s well deserved proper arrival. Check out the group’s CVU podcast below, followed by a full stream of Confetti.

A Lull – Confetti

Best Chicago Songs 2011

1. Company Of Thieves – “Death of Communication”

It’s no secret that Company Of Thieves frontwoman Genevieve Schatz is one of the premier vocalists in the Chicago music landscape. And on “Death Of Communication,” off the band’s spring 2011 sophomore effort Running From a Gamble, Schatz unleashes her call at full force, holding nothing back as she entirely owns a rollicking power rock production that stands as the best Chicago rock song of 2011. Check out the CVU interview with Schatz and COT guitarist Marc Walloch below, followed by the video for “Death Of Communications.”

2. Patrick Stump – “The “I” In Lie”

With a hook that creeps along before exploding in a full blown chorus, Patrick Stump’s “The “I” In Lie” is just one of many melodic pop moments on the singer’s 2011 debut solo full length, Soul Punk. It may also be the catchiest song the artist has fronted since his Fall Out Boy days. Any doubt as to the validity of Stump’s solo venture ends here. Check out the CVU podcast with the artist, followed by a video stream of “The “I” In Lie.”

3. Color Radio – “Quiet House”

Ambient and adventurous, Color Radio’s “Quiet House,” off the group’s 2011 Architects record, is both soaring and subtle, with a video that perfectly matches the song’s sense of wonder. It’s a dream pop outing that’s never sleepy. Find that clip below, following the CVU podcast featuring the group’s Jonathan Ifergan in support of Architects.

4. Kidz In The Hall - “Occasion”

On Kidz In The Hall’s fall 2011 full length Occasion, the primarily backpack duo of Naledge and Double-0 opted for a more celebratory tone. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the album’s title track. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean it’s not time to raise a glass. Find the video for that clip below, following the act’s CVU podcast from earlier this year, in support of the group’s Semester Abroad mixtape.

5. Victorian Halls – “Girls Kiss Girls”

The suburban sound of VFW halls and doing donuts in parking lots, Victorian Halls unleashed a psychotic spazz out of a song with “Girls Kiss Girls,” off the act’s 2011 full length, Charlatan. If you were waiting for 2011′s perfect song for singing at the top of your lungs while driving, look no further. Find a video stream of that track below, following the CVU podcast featuring VH frontman Sean Lenart .

Best Chicago Live Act 2011

Kids These Days

No local act was more ubiquitous in 2011 than Kids These Days, with the band’s name at every local bloggers’ fingertips and shows seemingly everywhere, from the Metro to The Apple Store. The sprawling act’s hybrid of funk, soul, hip hop, and more translates better than it should onstage, with a staggering live show that justifies the group’s hype. With the outfit’s Traphouse Rock effort dropping next year, it will be revealed whether the band’s studio output can match its live presentation. Find the group’s CVU podcast, recorded onsite at Lollapalooza, below, followed by video of the act’s Lolla performance.

Runner Up: Midnight Conspiracy

The only Chicago act to perform at both Lollapalooza and North Coast Music Festival this year, Midnight Conspiracy’s live DJ set up incorporates flames, MCs, guest vocals from talent like Jessica Gonyea and Gemini Club‘s Tom Gavin, and lights. Oh so many lights. With more DJs than registered voters now residing in Chicago, Midnight Conspiracy’s live show not only stands out, it stands above. Check out the act’s CVU podcast recorded during this year’s North Coast, followed by video of the group’s North Coast set.

R.I.P.: Chicago Music Scene’s Gone But Not Forgotten 2011

The Felix Culpa

Last year, The Felix Culpa’s Sever Your Roots, a simultaneously beautiful and powerful work of melodic post-hardcore, was CVU’s album of the year. And weeks ago, the group played its final show ever at the Metro, to a packed and die hard crowd.  With the mechanics of the music industry becoming harder for artists to remain self-sustaining, the members of TFC packed it in and called it a day, choosing to leave on a high night, with a loyal audience left wanting more, and blissfully ringing ears all around. Find the group’s CVU podcast from just before their final show below, followed by CVU video of the act performing “Because This Is How We Speakat one of its final rehearsals.


19 years. Countless DJs. An array of format shiftss, all under the all-encompassing banner of catch-all label “alternative.” Q101 radio exited the Chicago airwaves this past summer on a high note, with the jocks playing what they wanted, and high profile guests dropping by one last time. And while the format strayed and opinion of the station varied over the years, the final days of Q101 were what alternative radio should sound like. It’s just too bad it took this long and these circumstances to get there. Check out the CVU Q101 sign off media archive, and find the CVU podcast with former Local 101 host Chris Payne below, followed by video from the final broadcast.

(Note: This writer worked at Q101 for the last 13 years, and is featured in the video above.)

New CVU Podcast: The Felix Culpa!

Posted in ChicagoVerseUniteD,Dynasty Podcasts,The Felix Culpa by Jaime Black on December 8th, 2011

The Felix Culpa

This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD audio podcast: Marky Hladish, Tristan Hammond, Joel Coan, and Dustin Currier of The Felix Culpa! In an interview recorded at the group’s practice space (stairway show from that interview below), the members of The Felix Culpa open up about why their performance this Friday, December 9th at Metro is the band’s final show. The group also reflects on the highlights of their career, the challenges facing artists today, and whether additional Felix Culpa music will ever surface. Stream or download that podcast below, followed by a CVU exclusive live video of the band performing “Because This Is How We Speak” at one of its final rehearsal sessions.

And catch The Felix Culpa live tomorrow night at the Metro, for the band’s final show. Those unable to attend can stream the band’s last concert online. Or head to Hundo to find out how to order the 2LP pressing of The Felix Culpa’s Commitment and SoSoRemission EP releases!

The Felix Culpa

The Felix Culpa live

The Felix Culpa Announce Details For Its Final Show, December 9th At Metro

Posted in The Felix Culpa by Jaime Black on November 7th, 2011

The Felix Culpa

Details have recently hit the web for what is sure to be a bittersweet event. On Friday, December 9th at The Metro, The Felix Culpa will play its last show. Back in August of this year, the group posted a break up statement on the front page of its site, which read in part:

To whomever is reading this,
Eight years ago we decided to be a band. Tonight we decided to stop. Whether you have been with us since the Divine Cup days in Rockford, IL or you heard us for the first time tonight, thank you. With every ounce of our four hearts, thank you. You have been the reason we were The Felix Culpa and each one of you were with us all along. For those of us in this band, it has been a life changing experience that profoundly shaped who we are as people, but seasons change and songs end. Now, we humbly ask you to be with us one last time as we celebrate the music, friendship and memories that were made along the way in a final performance in Chicago…No tears. Only from endings can new beginnings be born.


Tickets for the event are on sale now, with $10 tickets available for $8 by entering the code FELIX. The band’s label, No Sleep Records, reveals the group will perform a two hour set, featuring their strongest selections. In the meantime, find the video for “Our Holy Ghosts,” off 2010′s excellent Sever Your Roots, below. And watch for more on The Felix Culpa’s final show right here at CVU.

The Felix Culpa

Tagged with:

The Felix Culpa Announced Among First Batch Of Acts At This Year’s Middlewest Fest

Posted in Middlewest Fest,The Felix Culpa by Jaime Black on June 15th, 2011

Middlewest Fest

The first set of acts have been announced for this year’s Middlewest Fest, happening September 9th and 10th at various venues throughout Dekalb, with Chicago’s The Felix Culpa included within the first group of artists. The melodic post-hardcore band also performed on last year’s inaugural edition of the Dekalb festival. Look for more announcements to come via the Middlewest Facebook page, and look for more coverage leading up to the event, right here at CVU!

CVU New Release Review/Local 101 Audio Archive: The Felix Culpa

Posted in Audio Archive,Local 101,The Felix Culpa by Jaime Black on February 22nd, 2011

Sever Your Roots/Bury The Axe

CVU Review: The Felix CulpaBury The Axe EP
(For an earlier feature on The Felix Culpa’s accompanying rerelease Sever Your Roots, which also drops today, check out Jaime Black’s 2010 interview with frontman Marky Hladish.)

As explained in the Local 101 interview below with the band’s Dustin Currier, The Felix Culpa’s Bury The Axe EP is technically not a new release. The three song effort is comprised of songs from the same sessions as the band’s 2010 record Sever Your Roots, but which didn’t make it onto the release for reasons like time and album structure. Listening to Bury The Axe, it’s easy to hear how the songs could stem from the Roots recordings, but not necessarily fit into the finished framework of that record.

Instrumental EP opener ”Mallets” starts off with a connecting thread to Roots, as the slowly trickling riff of that album’s “Our Holy Ghosts” gradually introduces the track. The song also sets up the expansive breadth of the EP, displaying that the band is giving these three extended tracks proper room to breath. “Mallets” moves through deep, heavy bass, piercing feedback, hypnotic and precise drum patterns, and psyched out pedal effects, demonstrating the group’s musicality and offering a showcase for the act’s instrumental strengths.

“Towers,” meanwhile, feels the most like a lost cut off Sever Your Roots, with striking lyrical vulnerability  (“I press my wrist against your rib cage / To feel our pulses in the same place”) playing out against the group’s distinctly stylized post-hardcore. Most effective here is the band’s expert use of the quiet-loud dynamic, as exposed verses head into growling riffs, before building towards sledgehammer collapses that give way to a suddenly somber finish. Closing number ”Spaces,” by comparison, demonstrates a decidedly different side of The Felix Culpa. Breaking form with calmer vocals and and overall more mellow dynamic, the track finds Hladish softly deliving lyrics expressing a quiet sense of disappointment and acceptance over lush and comparably subdued guitar fuzz throughout. It’s a fitting closer to the Sever Your Roots package as a whole, as the song offers a sonic suggestion of where the band could go next.

The Felix Culpa play live this Sunday, February 27 at Bottom Lounge for the Sever Your Roots rerelease event. The group will also be playing a live set this Friday, February 25th, as part of ThreadlessWarehouse Sessions, which will stream via the t-shirt company’s Ustream channel. For a more immediate fix, check out Chris Payne‘s recent Local 101 interview with the band’s Dustin Currier below, followed by the high quality version of the act’s new video for Roots track “Our Holy Ghosts.”

[vodpod id=Video.5625470&w=425&h=50&fv=]

Across The Chicagoverse 02/20/11: City States, Carbon Tigers, Kanye West, & More!

Because no one outlet can cover the entire Chicago music landscape, here’s what the premier talent tastemakers across the Chicagoverse and beyond have been up to lately.


-Tonight at 9PM on Q101‘s Local 101Chris Payne interviews members of The Streets On Fire (above), Comasoft, and The Felix Culpa!

Tonight on @Local101: @PayneQ101 interviews The Streets On Fire (@zstreetsonfire), @Comasoft, & @theFelixCulpa! 9PM on Q101
Local 101

-Heave Media recently featured a Flosstradmus remix of the song “Equestrian” by U.S. Royalty. Listen to the DJ duo’s upbeat treatment here.

-Following his interview last week with Do312, Kill Hannah frontman Mat Devine has opened up to AOL Video (via Popeater) about his role in the Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark musical.

-Loud Loop Press has posted a sparse and minimalist electronic cover of The Police‘s “King Of Pain” as performed by local indie act City States. Hear that here.

-Tireless live music documentarians Secret Note Shows recently uploaded a set of live clips from CVU regulars An Aesthetic Anaesthetic. Watch those here.

-Columbia College‘s AEMMP Records continues its video interview series, this time talking with Carbon Tigers. Watch that at the label’s site.

-Check out live audio and video from Secret Colours up now at Couch House Sounds.

-The vinyl release of A Lull‘s forthcoming debut full length Confetti, set to drop April 12th, is now available for pre-order through the Lujo Records Merch Online store.

-Vocalo program Music Vox, hosted by Jesse Menendez, saw a wealth of local talent as guests this past week, as evidenced in the tweet below.

-Chicago Mixtape has announced a launch party happening March 5th at Subterranean. The event will feature performances from acts like Jonny Rumble, Ornery Little Darlings, and more.

-And finally, Fake Shore Drive was easily one of the first sites on the web to post Kanye West‘s new video for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy standout track “All Of The Lights.” For anyone who has yet to catch it, watch the clip below.

Across The Chicagoverse 02/13/11: Lupe Fiasco, Mat Devine, The Felix Culpa, & More!

Because no one outlet can cover the entire Chicago music landscape, here’s what the premier tastemakers across the Chicagoverse and beyond have been up to lately.

Lupe Fiasco

-Heave Media has posted the new single from Lupe Fiasco (above), entitled “Words I Never Said.” Find that here.

-Tonight’s Local 101 features show host Chris Payne interviewing My Gold Mask, Secret Colours, and Fashion Bomb. Catch that tonight at 9PM on Q101.

Tonight at 9PM on Q101′s @Local101: interviews with @mygoldmask, @SecretColours, & @xFashionxBombx!
Local 101

-A new episode has gone up at the JBTV site, featuring a live performance from Chicago’s own Urbanites. Watch that now.

-Long running scene staple Alternative Press has premiered the haunting new video for The Felix Culpa‘s “Our Holy Ghosts.” Catch that clip at their site.

-Chicago event calender site Do312 has posted an interview with Kill Hannah frontman Mat Devine about the much ballyhooed Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark musical. Read the singer’s thoughts here.

-On a related note, Buzznet has posted an interview between Mat Devine and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. Find out what the two Chicago artists talked about here.

-Local hip hop source Fake Shore Drive has posted Hey You Guys!, the new mixtape from The Electric, a young grouping that features Chicago MC Pugs Atomz. Get on the new sound here.

-Loud Loop Press recently reported on the new album from White Mystery, and posted an interview with Disappears.

-Speaking of Loud Loop Press, site editor Richard Giraldi was recently a guest on local DJ and Chicago music enthusiast Jesse Menendez‘s Music Vox program on Vocalo, as seen below. The Music Vox has lift off. @rgiraldi of @loudlooppress joins me a lil later.
Jesse Menendez

-Chicago Mixtape is looking for music submissions from local artists. Get familiar with the site today in advance of its big Valentine’s Day launch tomorrow.

-Ruby Hornet has released a Closed Sessions video for “Something New,” featuring Freddie Gibbs and Chicago’s own YP. Watch that now, and download the session here.

-Local live music video haven Secret Note Shows has posted a new set of live clips from The Lifeline‘s recent record release event at Metro. Those are up for viewing here.

-And finally, Columbia College Chicago label Aemmp Records has a new web home. Follow along with them on Tumblr, and look for more on Aemmp this week, right here at CVU!