Credit: Andrea Bauer

Kevin Warwick, Reader staff writer, is obsessed with. . .

Sleigh Bells at Pitchfork Sleigh Bells have a reputation for playing a vacuous, overblown hybrid of hardcore and party-pop that’s more glitter than grit, but their Pitchfork set confirmed what blockbuster movie studios have known all along—big flash and big fun sell. Front woman Alexis Krauss was totally geared—riling a crowd swimming through 95-degree heat with her bounce-dancing and crowd surfing—and guitarists Derek Miller and Jason Boyer re­lived their years in Poison the Well by making tough faces and whipping their guitars in time to the electronic double-bass beats. A total blast.

Captain Beyond, “Sufficiently Breathless” The title track from this psych-leaning classic-­rock band’s 1973 sophomore album, “Sufficiently Breathless” is a haunting and often gentle acoustic yarn, made perfect by Rod Evans’s casually swaggering vocals and the late Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt’s fuzzed-out guitar solos trying to touch the stars. Though Captain Beyond’s self-titled debut is their best work—it’s rawer and heavier on the riffs, with great black-light ambience—this breezy track is still one of my favorites, with a radiant outro that’s not nearly as bleak as its lyrics suggest.

The Psychic Paramount’s fog machine I probably huffed more fog at the Psychic Paramount‘s Cobrafest show two weekends back than I have carcinogens in the ten-plus years I’ve been smoking cigs. No? Either way, the thunderously grotty instrumental trio pumps fog into small clubs until each member resembles nothing more than a floating apparition holding a blurred mass that’s either a guitar or a medieval battle-ax of some kind. It’s simultaneously ominous and discombobulating—but that’s probably the idea.

He asks. . .

Caryn Robinson, aka DJ All the Way Kay, what she’s obsessed with. Her answers are. . .

Stardust DJ, part of Chicago Dirty Girls

Breakbot featuring Irfane, “Baby I’m Yours” I shower, spin, and steal a kiss to this song whenever possible. I seriously haven’t been this much in love since Daft Punk’s Discovery. The handmade music video is just as rad.

Frank Ocean, Channel Orange Frank’s new album is already superhot, but it’s Andre 3000’s verse on “Pink Matter” that sets my heart ablaze. Cover to cover, this record is the perfect mashup of classic and cathartic. Props if you can name the video game Frank plays during the first interlude.

Mayer Hawthorne In case you can’t tell by now, I’m a sucker for a love song, and Mayer’s new-school twist on the Motor City’s most notorious sound always has me ready to dance in the street. Feelin’ yourself on a first date? Check out the single “No Strings” on his 2011 LP How Do You Do.

She asks. . .

Credit: Andrea Bauer

Nicki Butler, local DJ, music director at Columbia College’s 88.1 WCRX FM, what she’s obsessed with. Her answers are . . .

Air guitar and teen angst at Pitchfork with Wild Flag Summertime Chi is for lovers. In a city usually reserved for hate, Chicagoans bask in festivals of ribs, music, Old Style, and love. The high heat of a July Saturday brought fiery riot-grrrl memories lustily satisfied by a Pitchfork performance from Wild Flag—Sleater-Kinney dreams finally satiated in a haze of too much Chief Keef and too little Lady Gaga.

Calamari on Mars Nothing is more delicious than three Chi greats cooking up some “Calamari Astronaut“—that’s the latest track by Prob Cause, Hologram Kizzie (aka Psalm One), and Chicago’s ultimate trippy hustler, Sharkula. Together they make fatty fried trap music taste like BBQ tofu. So good.

Classic summer lovin’ Midwestern summer nights are so sweet—let Al Green, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Basia, R. Kelly, and Teena Marie croon to you and your boo on the back porch. Enjoy the love, ’cause winter’s haters are just a few months away.