DJ Spinn and the Teklife Crew Crush SmartBar With Their Footwork Vibes

July 24, 2017
Teklife

Teklife Vibes at SmartBar, 7/15/17

I recently hit Chicago to catch some quality music. Late on a Saturday night. I hit SmartBar for some footwork insanity from DJ Spinn, RP Boo and DJ Taye. They are members of the Teklife Records crew. Teklife is the seminal Chicago-based footwork record label.

JimmyBuffet

Jimmy Buffett at Wrigley Field, 7/15/17

I had forgotten Jimmy Buffett was in town at Wrigley Field. As I was heading into Wrigleyville, thousands of Parrotheads were leaving. I exited the Red Line subway at Addison and the crush of Hawaiian shirt-wearing whack jobs going the other direction nearly flattened me. I was stepping over vomit and through the drunken masses. I waded against the current of humanity, but finally made it to SmartBar.

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SmartBar, 7/15/17

I walk downstairs, the bartender says, “It’s only 11pm, we’re open till five. It goes late here.” I knew I was in for an epic evening. The beats were high-energy, the mixing was exceptional and the crowd was grooving. The skills of the DJs and the dancers were inspiring. I still can’t dance to footwork, but it was still one heck of a great night. I need to step my game up!

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The crowd at SmartBar, 7/15/17

Here’s a bit of dancers getting down to DJ Spinn:

MUNA “Around U” Live at the KC Live Block

July 4, 2017
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MUNA at the KC Live Block, 6/30/17

Los Angeles-based band MUNA recently hit the KC Live Block with a passionate set. Their album, About U, is one of my favorites of 2017. Check out this live performance of “Around U.”

McClain Approved: Mikey Mike “Doin’ Me”

June 29, 2017

Mikey Mike is a hero we can believe in. “Doin’ Me” seems to be his mission statement. The song was recently featured on X1051‘s neXtNOW. Over a Rick Rubin-produced beat, Mikey Mike waxes poetic about what he is looking for in life. It’s nice to see an artist that is goal-oriented and believes in himself. Times are tough and confusing these days. Mikey Mike’s vibe and outlook speaks to the way a lot of people feel.
Lyrically, Mike covers a lot of ground about who he is and what he wants from the future. I’d vote for him if he ran for office (#MikeyMike2020 y’all). “Fuck what they say, I’m doin’ me!” Well said. Good for you, Mikey Mike, good for you!

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic Live at Boulevardia 2017

June 22, 2017
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George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at Boulevardia 2017, 6/16/17

The legendary George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic recently crushed a set at Boulevardia 2017. The band played six songs during their hour-long set. It was the best show I saw all weekend. Check out these gloriously funky vibes.

 

 

 

The Strumbellas “Spirits” Live at Boulevardia 2017

June 22, 2017
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The Strumbellas at Boulevardia 2017, 6/16/17

The Strumbellas lit up the crowd at Boulevardia 2017 with their appealing style of indie-folk. Check out this live version of their hit song “Spirits.”

 

Run River North “Run or Hide” Live at RecordBar

June 22, 2017
RRNRecordBar

Run River North at RecordBar, 6/20/17

Run River North recently beasted RecordBar with a blistering set. Take a listen to this intense version of their hit single “Run or Hide.”

Rooney “I’m Shakin’” Live at RecordBar

June 22, 2017
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Rooney at RecordBar, 6/20/17

Rooney recently hit RecordBar with a rocking set. The classic song “I’m Shakin’” really lit up the crowd. Check out this blazing live version.

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McClain and Robert of Rooney, 6/20/17

Interview: Nicole Leth of Sex + Ice Cream at Boulevardia 2017

June 20, 2017

I caught up with past interview subject Nicole Leth, clothing designer and owner of Sex + Ice Cream, at Boulevardia 2017. We had a quick live chat about keeping hip in the summer heat and her new products.

 

Local Natives “Wide Eyes” and “Airplanes” Live at Boulevardia 2017

June 20, 2017
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Local Natives at Boulevardia 2017, 6/17/17

Los Angeles-based band Local Natives recently played a 20-minute, impromptu acoustic set after a major rainstorm at Boulevardia 2017. In front of a crowd of about 200 people, with a minimal setup, they delivered a passionate show. Check out these live versions of the classics “Wide Eyes” and “Airplanes.”

Rocking Out

June 15, 2017

When it comes to alternative vibes, sometimes you just wanna rock out. Here are five of my favorite hard-hitting tracks.

Highly Suspect “Little One”
I love the emotive and passionate vocals of the Highly Suspect. They also put on one of the hardest rocking shows I’ve seen so far this year.

Diet Cig “Barf Day”
I love the vibes on this song. Their whole album is excellent and one of my favorites of 2017. I’m also really digging the hip video.

Slothrust “Horseshoe Crab”
I’m a big fan of the shape-shifting, shoegaze vibes of Slothrust. I love the use of dynamics on the strange and wonderful “Horseshoe Crab.”

The Joy Formidable “Whirring”
This Welsh power trio always put rocking tunes. “Whirring” is an older tune, but it still hits hard as a bag of rocks. I love the way this track sprawls out. The Joy Formidable also put on a really intense and heavy live show.

The Orwells “Double Feature”
The Orwells are a Chicago-based garage rock band. I love the energy and intensity on this song. They really get crowds fired up live.

Don’t forget to be the beast out there. Kick some ass, take some names, crack some necks and cash some checks! Rock it out, people!


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