If it weren’t for YouTube algorithms, the music of Barbie Army might’ve vanished like dust in the wind. Like so many underground garage-rock bands, this Chicago group played live constantly but didn’t pay as much attention to releasing recordings—during their lifetime, from 1986 till 1991, they put out one self-titled, self-released seven-inch and a few […]
Chile has long had a robust garage and psych scene, and one of the season’s most understatedly fun rock albums comes from Santiago. The four veteran musicians of the Versions joined forces in 2004, and their charming third album, the new Calling Lucifer, blends 70s rock and garage with a touch of glammy sleaze that […]
Cold Beaches are one of the most aptly named bands I’ve discovered this year: their new album, Drifter, evokes a decidedly beachy but sometimes gloomy world that makes me think of walking along an east-coast oceanfront in the fall. The band started as the solo project of Chicago singer-songwriter and guitarist Sophia Nadia, who grew […]
The Byzantine Empire’s six harmony-soaked singles—three recorded as the Five Bucks—are long overdue for reissue.
Over the past decade or so, whenever a garage band has played a Chicago show, you’ll have likely found James Swanberg somewhere on the premises, in the crowd or hawking merch or even onstage. For most of that time he’s operated under the name Today’s Hits, which began as a vehicle for the perfectly sloppy, […]
The Jokers’ only two recordings have both been reissued on retro compilations, but sketchy liner notes have left the band a mystery till now.
I have to admit, when I learn about a new band with a name like “Mr. Something & the Silly Somethings,” I tend to want to run away. More often than not, they’re a one-dimensional garage or punk rock group, and even if they find a home on a Burger Records cassette, they’ll never be […]
The guitar-driven power pop on Town Criers’ recent self-released EP, Town Criers II, feels like it could live comfortably in any era of garage music from the 60s through the 80s; the singing of guitarist Andre Baptista often sounds like post-Big Star Chris Bell tinged with a bit of fresh-faced Jeff Murphy (from 70s Illinois […]
This week’s featured gig poster was designed by local artist and musician Karissa Talanian.
Downstate frat rockers the 4 Taus split in 1964 but reunited periodically for almost 50 years.
In 1966 this teenage band from Des Plaines recorded two drastically reworked country songs written by a neighbor who caught one of their gigs.
Had La Luz been around during the garage revival of the early 2000s, they would’ve done a great job saving us from all the monotone Strokes imitators. But regardless of which era they emerged in, they’d have been able to make it on their own terms as a rock ’n’ roll band, not as trend […]
The B side of this high school band’s lone single got a second life on a 2006 compilation.
The Royal Flairs got started in Council Bluffs, Iowa, moved to Chicago in 1965, and split up after their front man was shot protecting a go-go dancer.
This weekend Chicago garage rockers White Mystery debut the title track of their eighth annual 4/20 release—and play the Burger Revolution at 1st Ward.