Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

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

July 24, 2017

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.


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.


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!


The crowd at SmartBar, 7/15/17

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

The Sweatiest Show I Saw in 2015: Ex Hex at the Empty Bottle.

December 27, 2015

Ex Hex at the Empty Bottle

Deep in the Chicago night, Ex Hex put on the sweatiest show I caught in 2015. The Washington D.C.-based band’s debut album, Rips, was one of my favorite releases of the past few years. Live, the songs had even more raw grit and punch.

The Empty Bottle, tucked in the Ukrainian Village section of Chicago, was packed all night. The gig was an after show for the Pitchfork Music Festival 2015. It is a really intimate venue and a perfect fit for Ex Hex’s hard-edged indie jams.

The band hit the stage at midnight. The interplay between guitarist Mary Timony, bassist Betsy Wright, and drummer Laura Harris, lit up the sold out crowd. It was a brash, gutsy performance and they brought the energy throughout their hour set. They dug deep into their songs and smashed the crowd. It was a sticky set and one of the best I saw all year. Hot, sweaty, glorious indie rock mayhem.

Here’s fan-shot footage of some of Ex Hex’s Empty Bottle set:

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