Chelle’s 2013 Top Albums List

Guest Post By: Chelle

Things I was spinning nonstop this year:

8. Fall Out Boy – Save Rock n’ Roll

Buy @ Amazon

7. Bastille – Bad Blood

Buy @ Amazon

6. HAIM – Days Are Gone

Buy @ Amazon

5. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience part 1

Buy @ Amazon

4. Jay-Z – Magda Carta Holy Grail

Magna Carta Holy Grail

3. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe


2. Disclosure – Settle

Buy @ Amazon

1. Everything Everything – Arc

Buy @ Amazon

and like eleventy billion plays of all One Direction albums but I know you don’t wanna talk about that. 🙂

my top track of the year is Chris Malinchak, “So Good to Me.”

*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps

Foals: Live in Chicago, 4/26/11

Muruch’s Chicago reviewer Chelle and photographer Jen “Coble” Hopper were among the crowd when Foals performed at The Metro on April 26th. Chelle’s review and Coble’s photographs follow…

The Metro hosted UK’s Foals on Tuesday, April 26th. Out on a North American tour to promote their second full length effort, Total Life Forever, the set consisted of a balanced selection of tracks from both albums.

Much like the gradually building intensity of their songs, Foals’ live show begins with a quiet, careful control, and spirals out into a frenetic, rousing flourish. In the middle the audience is treated to a layered, powerful performance that walks a fine line between fragmented and completely cohesive.

There’s a quiet but powerful energy that Foals bring to their live show, one that exists only in glimpses on record. By the end of the set, front man Yannis Philippakis was literally climbing the walls and throwing himself into the crowd and his fellow band mates.

Foals are making rock music that exists just a step removed from what other acts are trying to do right now, and grandstanding antics aside, it’s working for them.

Buy Foals Music @ Amazon

Foals Official Site

Arcade Fire: Live in Chicago, 4/25/11

Muruch’s Chicago reviewer Chelle and photographer Jen “Coble” Hopper caught Arcade Fire’s April 25th show at UIC Pavilion. Chelle’s review and Coble’s photographs follow…

Chicago was fortunate enough to host Grammy-award winners Arcade Fire for three sold-out nights over Easter weekend. Monday marked their final show at the moderately-sized arena UIC Pavilion.

Amidst a backdrop comprised of an old theater marquee, a large movie screen, and trails of flag garland, the band powered through their set with all of the instrument-switching musical chairs one would expect, but in a way that kept their transitions smooth and tidy.

The setlist was heavy on offerings from their most recent album The Suburbs, including the driving “Month of May,” the hollow and brooding “Rococo” and the reflective, nostalgic title track, each with its own visual accompaniment on the background screen.

Selections from their debut album, Funeral, garnered equal excitement and response from the enthusiastic crowd, especially “Rebellion (Lies),” “Laika” and “Haiti” — for which the band was promoting a fundraising endeavor for the organization Partners in Health. “Wake Up” had all hands reaching to the sky, and the catchy chorus echoing into the rafters, ultimately calling the band back for the encore.

Seeing Arcade Fire perform so brilliantly to such a huge crowd begs the question of how they ever managed to contain their energy within tinier venues; they are definitely an outfit who have grown entirely into their own and achieved comfort with the vastness of their success.

The absolute star of the operation, however, is Régine Chassagne, whose swirling dust sparkle jet stream is the perfect counterweight to Win Butler’s lanky stoicism. A Stevie Nicks for current times with a bit of Björk thrown in, it would be no surprise and in fact a delight if one day she branches out to create a solo record.

Until then, Arcade Fire have more than enough fuel to keep driving their earnest theatrics full throttle, arena to suburban arena.

Buy Arcade Fire Music @ Amazon

Arcade Fire Official Site

Live Review: Cut Copy in Chicago 4/8

Muruch’s Chicago reviewer Chelle and photographer Jen “Coble” Hopper joined the crowd for Cut Copy’s gig at Riviera Theater on April 8th. You can read Chelle’s take on the concert and see Coble’s photographs below…

By most accounts, Friday night’s Cut Copy set at the Riviera was the show to see in Chicago. Expectations ran high for the Australian-based electro-dance outfit, and the sold-out house roared with excitement the second the lights went down.

What followed was a non-stop tour de force of catchy hooks and beats that had the entire room jumping, dancing and clapping along, from the front row to the very top of the balcony.

There’s always a trepidation with electronic-based outfits for fans who are music purists; live shows often concede much in the way of production values that make the album experience so great. Cut Copy accounted for this potential gap, however, by relentlessly delivering a balanced set of selections from both their older and newer material, barely pausing between songs.

Additionally, the show was visually stunning, with elaborate lighting as well as a digital screen in the shape of a door at the very front and center of the stage, through which the band emerged as the performance began.

While the older, more familiar tracks seemed to garner the most enthusiasm, the audience spared no energy through selections from Cut Copy’s most recent work as well, calling the band to return to the stage for two encores.

Overall, Cut Copy delivered on their promise of the best show in Chicago for the evening, and will return mid-summer to headline one night at Pitchfork festival.

Buy Cut Copy Music @ Amazon

Cut Copy Official Site

Live Review: Ted Leo at Notre Dame

On Friday January 28th, Ted Leo stopped by Notre Dame’s Legends NightClub in South Bend, Indiana to play an intimate solo set for students and guests. The show was originally part of a larger tour which has been pushed back to later this spring, so the opportunity to catch him on a cold January evening was not to be missed by Muruch’s Mid-West freelancing superduo Jen “Coble” Hopper and Chelle. The set consisted of selections that spanned Ted Leo’s lengthy discography, as well as covers of Teenage Fanclub and Aimee Mann tunes, and a couple of requests to indulge the enthusiastic crowd. Coble’s photographs from the concert follow…

More solo dates are posted on Ted’s website and if you have the chance, go check him out.