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

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6. HAIM – Days Are Gone

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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

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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

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.

The Hundred in the Hands: Live in Chicago

Muruch‘s Chicago gig gal Chelle was in the crowd last week for The Hundred in the Hands show at Metro with Delphic and The Temper Trap. Her review of their performance follows…

On Tuesday October 12, the Brooklyn-based duo The Hundred in the Hands played the legendary Chicago venue Metro, supporting the UK’s Delphic and headliners The Temper Trap.

Comprised of members Jason Friedman and Eleanore Everdell, The Hundred in the Hands delivered a short but highly impressive set, with Friedman on guitar and Everdell mastering keys and vocals.

Even with the lack of live drumming, the performance was enthralling; Friedman and Everdell blend beautifully as two halves of a perfect whole, scarcely acknowledging one another from opposite ends of the stage as they deliver their polished and complex concoction of catchy synth pop.

Friedman’s frenetic guitar work over the drum tracks provides a sturdy foundation of rhythm and melody, over which Everdell’s synths and pristine vocals soar gorgeously.

It’s difficult to pin this band into a particular niche or genre; at times the vocals are highly reminiscent of other 80s synth-pop outfits, but there’s an ethereal quality to the overall sound that feels much more modern, and in no way could they be described as derivative.

It’s a delicate balance to match post-punk guitar work to synths and drum machines, but The Hundred in the Hands have certainly figured it out. They come off as much more danceable than the likes of The xx, and more nuanced and melodic than The Kills — comparisons to whom must happen frequently.

The Hundred in the Hands were signed to Warp records earlier this year, and their self-titled debut full-length album is out now. They continue their tour on the west coast this week, before heading to the UK and Europe throughout November.

The Hundred in the Hands MySpace

Buy Album @ Amazon