ChicagoVerseUniteD: Chicago Scene Salvation

Come To The Show: On An On: Tuesday, September 11th @ Lincoln Hall

Posted in Come To The Show,On An On,Scattered Trees by Jaime Black on September 10th, 2012

Premiering this Tuesday, September 10th for their first official live performance is On An On, the post-Scattered Trees project of Nate Eiesland, Ryne Estwing, and Alissa Eiesland. The newly-formed outfit hits Lincoln Hall (tix) on the 10th as the openers of a bill that includes Reptar and headliner Rubblebucket.

Check out the first preview of studio music from the group with the lush and haunting “Ghost” below, and watch for On An On’s debut full length, Give In, to drop on January 29th.

On An On Surface With First Preview Of Studio Material

Posted in On An On,Scattered Trees by Jaime Black on August 23rd, 2012

Following Scattered Treesrecent break-up announcement and final show, new music has hit from On An On, the post-ST project of Trees members Nate Eiesland, Ryne Estwing, and Alissa Eiesland. Premiered at Consequence Of Sound is “Ghost,” the first listen from On An On studio material. It’s a preview that recalls Scattered Trees in voice and guitar, but with more synthetic percussion and an ambient and atmospheric feel throughout. Stream or download that cut below, and look for On An On’s full length debut, Give In, to post on January 29th of next year. And catch the new group’s first live show in Chicago on September 11th at Lincoln Hall (tix).

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Scattered Trees Disband, Perform Final Show This Sunday, July 27th At Taste Of Lincoln, Members Rebrand As On An On

Posted in On An On,Scattered Trees by Jaime Black on July 25th, 2012

Scattered Trees

Though the group has spent 2012 focused on recording and funding its forthcoming record, word has come down that Scattered Trees are effectively splitting up. The group will perform their final show together this Sunday, July 29th at Taste of Lincoln, before members Nate Eiesland, Alissa Eiesland, and Ryne Estwing rebrand themselves as On An On. A full statement from the frontman Eiesland is below, followed by the group’s CVU podcast interview from this year’s SXSW, and two Audio Tree videos of the band performing live at Lincoln Hall.

Hello everyone!

I’ve got some REALLY big news for everyone who’s been keeping up with the band.

In the last three months Scattered Trees has been through a lot. Right before we began our journey to Toronto to record the new album, something wasn’t right in the band. Things weren’t coming together like they should. When we all got on a conference call to sort things out, Jason and Baron revealed that they were going to be leaving the band. It was really hard for everyone to come to terms with this, including Jason and Baron. We’ve toured across North America together for the past two years and the bonds formed from those experiences are really important to us all. We will always be great friends and everything between us is fine. Still, we had an album to record and no time to figure things out before leaving.

So there we were, Alissa, Ryne, and I, driving to Toronto contemplating what to do. We decided to go into the recording with open minds and a determination to stay true to our artistic instincts. We obviously couldn’t feel obligated to sound like we did when Baron and Jason were still in the band. It was literally a new lineup without them. We talked every day about if we should start a new project or keep the name Scattered Trees and find new members. After a lot of deliberation we finally made a decision. We would start a brand new band.

(Since we already started the Pledge drive before ST broke up, we lowered the crowd-sourcing goal to one third of the producer’s fee. The three of us are paying for all of the costs ourselves apart from this. All the Exclusives offered from the Pledge drive will still be fulfilled by Scattered trees as the last act of the band. Also, everyone that pledged is still going to receive their copy of the record they helped fund, only it will be the first album from the new group!)

After we made the decision, everything went really well in the studio. It was a fantastic experience that changed our approach to making records. We decided to get a studio drummer and dive into the record with full commitment. We started feeling and creating the music with a new energy and focus. We had so much fun! When all was said and done, the three of us, with the guidance of producer Dave Newfeld [Broken Social Scene, Super Furry Animals, Los Campesinos!] created an outstanding album that has a ton of energy and humanity. We can’t wait for you to hear it.

We hope you like the record and follow us with the new band. The new project is called ON AN ON. We’ve already got the band’s first tour on the books starting in September (with Reptar and Rubblebucket!), details to follow….Like us on FACEBOOK.COM/ITSONANON and Follow us on Twitter @itsonanon to stay connected.

So, therefore, Scattered Trees will be playing our final concerts later this month.

Saturday, July 28th: Minneapolis at the 7th Street Entry – TICKETS
Sunday, July 29th: Chicago at Taste of Lincoln festival (5:30PM) – TICKETS

Thank you all so much for the years of support and love. We sincerely appreciate it.
Here’s to the next wave of music!

Scattered Trees

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Scattered Trees Finish Tracking Upcoming Album, Continue Album Pledge Campaign

Posted in Scattered Trees by Jaime Black on May 3rd, 2012

Scattered Trees

It wasn’t that long ago that the members of Scattered Trees were talking to CVU at SXSW about their upcoming album. Now comes news that the group has completed tracking on the record, which the band did with Dave Newfeld. Speaking of the experience, an email statement from the band’s Nate Eiesland declares “We are extremely happy with how it turned out. Working with Dave Newfeld was everything we hoped it would be. His process is magical. It pulled energy and creativity out of us that we didn’t even know was there. We recorded SO MANY tracks. He is a genius and I can’t tell you how excited we are for this album. It was incredible.”

Following the next steps of mixing and mastering, the album will be sent to those who have pledged in the band’s currently underway Pledge Music campaign. As of this posting, the campaign is at 38% of its target goal, with a respectable array of incentives for pledging. Upon reaching 50%, the group plans to post an early mix preview of a new track.

See Scattered Trees live in Chicago next on July 29th at Taste Of Lincoln, and check out the group’s CVU podcast from SXSW below, followed by their Pledge Music promo clip.

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Scattered Trees Announce Crowdfunding Campaign For New Album, Offer A Slew Of Quality Incentives

Posted in Scattered Trees by Jaime Black on March 29th, 2012


CVU caught up with the members of Scattered Trees earlier this month at SXSW, where the group discussed their upcoming plans for recording their next album. Now, the act has launched a PledgeMusic page to crowdfund the record, with incentives ranging from a copy of the group’s upcoming album on CD, to executive producer status, as well as other incentives like a signed guitar or the chance to be in a Scattered Trees music video. The band is currently at 2% of its target, with 60 days left for pledging. Their full statement on the campaign is below.

New Album!

We are recording a new album with Dave Newfeld! Help us make the album by pledging on all these goodies early!
Last year we released the album, “Sympathy” and thanks to you, we had some of our highest points ever: Supporting Two Door Cinema Club at the Vic, our “Love and Leave” Stormtroopers video making a big splash, our first 2 North American tours and so much more.

When we weren’t touring we started writing and focused on a more democratic approach in Northern Minnesota. Secluding ourselves, we were beginning to create a batch of songs that we had a lot of energy behind that was a new direction for the band. We are very excited about this.

Then Dave Newfeld came into the picture. Newfeld, who has produced Broken Social Scene, Los Campesinos! and We Are Augustines to name a few, was introduced to us and ultimately decided to produce our new record. We are extremely excited about this since he has produced some of our favorite albums, including “You Forgot It In The People “(BSS) in 2002.

In April, we will be heading to Toronto, Canada to record with Dave Newfeld, so everything is set to go except…we need your help. Through PledgeMusic, we hope to raise enough money to record the album. We have several exclusives that you can see on the right → These include anything from a signed copy of the new album to songwriting sessions with the band. All pledgers will receive videos of the recording sessions in Toronto, streams of the songs before anyone else and much, much more to show our thanks for supporting the band.

Also, 7% of all pledges after we reach our goal will go to the Prevent Cancer organization.

Find the band’s PledgeMusic campaign video below, immediately following the act’s CVU podcast interview from SXSW.

And check out a live performance and interview with the group in the films below, via Baeble Music.

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New Dynasty Podcasts Album: SXSW 2012!

This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD audio podcast: Dynasty Podcasts: The SXSW 2011 Album, featuring interviews recorded or broadcast live on location at this year’s SXSW. Host Jaime Black checks in with YPMartin Atkins, Show You Suck, Archie Powell of Archie Powell & The Exports, Scattered Trees, and Jessica Galliart and  Lenny Gilmore of! The album also features the podcast of a live Dynasty broadcast featuring Shaun Barrett of The Sound Scene and Amy Dittmeier of Heave Media, recorded at the end of SXSW! Stream or download that podcast album above.

Dynasty Podcasts: The SXSW 2012 Album
CVU156 - YP
The Chicago MC discusses his deal with Universal Republic and why he’s working harder than ever these days. YP also teases details on his forthcoming project, No Doz.

CVU157 - Martin Atkins
The music industry veteran looks back on SXSW’s growth over his time coming to the festival, and discusses his teaching ventures and other projects.

CVU158 - Show You Suck
Show You Suck discusses his performances at SXSW and getting press on MTV.

CVU159 - Archie Powell & The Exports
Archie Powell checks in at SXSW to discuss his group’s forthcoming Great Ideas in Action effort.

CVU160 - Scattered Trees
The group returns to the CVU podcast to tease details about their next forthcoming full length, including a general release period, their new material’s more upbeat sound, and whether they have a title for the record yet.

CVU161 -
Jessica Galliart and Lenny Gilmore of discuss their coverage of SXSW.

DPLB006 - SXSW 2012 Epilogue 03/18/12
Shaun Barrett (The Sound Scene) and Amy Dittmeier (Heave Media) reflect on their SXSW experience in the podcast of a Dynasty live broadcast which streamed at the conclusion of the festival.

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.

Scattered Trees Hit Schubas Tonight In Advance Of SXSW Dates

Posted in Scattered Trees by Jaime Black on March 7th, 2012

Scattered Trees

Though the group has been busy working on new music as of late, Scattered Trees will hit Schubas tonight, Wednesday, March 7th (tix), for a headlining set before the act heads down to perform at SXSW. The band will be joined on the bill by fellow Chicago indie rockers Santah, and will be playing some new material live. Catch three live Scattered Trees performances below, filmed by Audio Tree at the group’s Lincoln Hall set on November 25th of last year, and watch CVU for coverage of the group at SXSW.

ST Santah Live

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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: Urbanites | Come To The Show: Scattered Trees, A Lull, & Urbanites: Friday, November 25th @ Lincoln Hall

Coming Alive

This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD Cover Story Series audio podcast: Bradley Briggs of Urbanites! The artist visits CVU at The Music Garage to discuss his band’s new Coming Alive EP, working with The Fray, and why the group releases a few songs at a time when its catalogue is ever growing. Stream or download that brand new podcast below, followed by video of the band’s travels to Denver, CO to recording Coming Alive, a teaser studio clip, an acoustic performance video, and the official treatment for the band’s latest single, “Walking Away.” And catch Urbanites live tonight, Friday, November 25th at Lincoln Hall with A Lull and headliners Scattered Trees. (Tickets still available online.)

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.

Chicago’s A Lull also plays tonight, coming off a year that saw the group drop its long awaited full length, Confetti, as well as a companion EP, Confetti Reprise. Both releases made good on previous promises of the band’s percussion-heavy, psychedelic ambitions. The act will be touring the West Coast in January of 2012, so tonight’s show is a perfect chance to catch A Lull’s captivating and rhythmically hypnotizing live stylings before the group hits the road. Preview the outfit’s live show with a stream of its recent Knitting Factory set, a snippet clip of the band’s CMJ performance, and its full set for Audio Tree live, all following by the group’s CVU podcast from earlier this year in support of Confetti.

Finally, closing out tonight’s bill is headliners Scattered Trees. 2011 served as a breakout year for the band, including an appearance on Lakeshore PBS series Live at the Alley and a Daytrotter Session, all in support of the act’s achingly vulnerable full length Sympathy. Preview the former and latter musical ventures in the clips below, as well as footage from the band’s Living Room Session, all following frontman Nate Eiesland’s CVU podcast interview from earlier this year and the Barbaric Merits remix of the band’s “Four Days Straight.”

Scattered Trees – “Four Days Straight (Barbaric Merits Remix)”

Scattered Trees

Scattered Trees Go Gladiator For “Sympathy” Video

Posted in Scattered Trees by Jaime Black on August 18th, 2011

Scattered Trees

Scattered Trees have posted the video for the title track off the group’s latest album, Sympathy. The clip finds the band taking the theatrical route again, this time trading in Storm Trooper garb for Roman gladiator outfitting. Watch that solemn treatment below, and find the group’s recent live set at Vocalo here.

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