No Friends #1 Review

I finally picked up a copy of No Friends Maga(zine), which was previously mentioned in this Show Horoscope. I am not disappointed. The fledgling fanzine, a homegrown punk-house-brewed DIY project of editors Jim Zajackowski and Ray Martinez, focuses on underground music, art, film, comedy, politics, and their surrounding communities and cultures.

Editorial pieces on the direction of the zine wave the freak flag fly and fling the doors to admission wide open. The full-sized magazine pages of black and white photos and text promise a home of everything you can possibly think of as punk, whether it’s based on the stalwart lifeblood of leather and hardcore or the more slippery concepts of boundary-pushing and concept-questioning.

Sewn into the binding of each copy is a translucent plastic collectible flexidisc. While you can buy No Friends online in both physical and digital copies, there are no digital releases anywhere of the four songs on each No Friends flexis. If you wanna hear these songs, you gotta pick up a real copy. In that spirit, I don’t wanna say two much about the Lumpy and the Dumpers and Ausmuteants split other than it’s a hardcore ripper and I really liked the Lumpy side especially.

The music reviews (which occupy a long section in the publications’s caboose, a nod to it’s acknowledged predecessor MMR) won’t demand physical copies of releases, in deference to the way bands actually release music in this year of Our Lady Sante Muerte 2015. The genre restrictions are rubbery, stretching to accommodate dream pop & gothy synth bummer tunes and even (stage whisper) garage.

Martin Sorrondeguy sat down for a long conversation on his photography, his career with Los Crudos and Limpwrist, and the importance of sex in a relationship. I was at the Fed Up Fest Limpwrist performance discussed in the article, and it’s always interesting to see another perspective on what’s become a polarizing gathering within Chicago’s punk scene.

While I was most excited to read the interview with Sorrondeguy, I was most curious about an interview with Seth Äaberg, the purveyor of Pork Magazine and capitalist force behind a million chintzy kitschy lipstick knives and Pork Army back patches. His wartsy, Ratfink-ripoff aesthetic has drawn fire for the prolific use of Nazi imagery and racist cultural appropriation. I was surprised to see that Pork was going to be featured in No Friends, and relieved when I saw the controversy addressed within the first sentence of the article.

Äaberg’s well-worn sleazemerchant spiel and rail against the peril of commie pantywaists won’t surprise anyone who’s flipped through a Pork; what’s more surprising to me it that somebody finally asked the question. For all of Äaberg’s malign of social justice advocates as sniveling keyboard warriors, there somebody was, talking to him face to face, and publishing the results. That’s pretty fucking cool, and way more fucking punk than paying the Hot Topic of Garage Punk for the honor of putting some Nazi symbology on your jean vest.

Ray and Jim are trying to make a place for all sorts of music, politics, opinions, and subcultural rumblings to be hashed out and full explored, without conveniently ignoring uncomfortable histories or rushing to celebrate or condemn anyone. They can’t do it without your support. Whether you wanna write for them (their submission box is open), buy their zine (check out your local indie record shop), or get a collector’s subscription (limited spots available!) make you sure take part in some way. There’s a seat for you at the table.

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Clearance Record Release Show Tonight

Clearance’s shambolic melodic clutter belies a bright-eyed optimism and work ethic; maybe I’m just used to weirdo noise-rock acts stretching out inter-song breaks in blazing hot basements with interminable banter and discomforting costume subtractions, but their live act is a lot tighter and more polished than most.

I’ll be real, it’s kind of refreshing to see some young people get their shit together and turn out some well recorded, catchy, head bobbing alt rock. Tall Pat previewed the test pressing for a Friends of Tall Pat Records barbecue earlier this summer, and I can vouch that it’s excellent music for eating grilled thick-cut bacon on a blanket with your friends.

I recently had the chance to interview Mike from Clearance for my day job at Do312 (which has a new app btw). You should definitely go read it and stream the full record, and you should totally scramble to that show at The Owl like Pizza Rat scrambles down some subway stairs with a slice.

Their debut full length Rapid Rewards is available on two different record labels: the aforementioned Midwest garage label that tolerates no weak pits, and Unsatisfied Records out of LA. (If you’re reading this, you probably live in Chicago. Buy it from Tall Pat. I was born in the valley, and I still traded my Lakers allegiance for the Bulls mythology, so if I can show some hometown loyalty, so can you).

Clearance, American Breakfast, Salad Boys
The Owl, The Owl, 2521 North Milwaukee Avenue
21+ / free / release show

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Soddy Daisy “Trashtopia” Album Review & Release Show 9/18

Listening to local band Soddy Daisy’s new album Trashtopia, it’s no surprise that they all have a hand in running legendary DIY partyplex Young Camelot, or that the album was partially recorded there. Regal and shambling, I’ve seen some of the stickiest bangers unspool in their cavernous space, all sticky with beer and humid with sweat.

YC is drunk conversations between girls in line for the bathroom, sloppy X’s on your hands, and two people almost fucking on a melting couch. It’s carpet fermented lager and a better populated smoking section than a septuagenarian’s favorite Las Vegas casino.

Trashtopia, from the name, to the cover art, to the sound evokes the bacchanalia and bad decisions, the adrenaline hype and the greyed-out nod-outs. It’s the perfect album to be born in Young Camelot’s messy womb, and I can’t imagine a better place to host the release show this Friday.

The third and forth songs on the album bring restrained lounge vibes and an bluesy growl of an intro, respectively, showing a willingness to experiment beyond the kind of partypunk oblivion I watch three different bands careen through on your average Wednesday night.

WEAK Radio uses the production trope of a scrambled scan through radio land to introduce a torchy doo wop addiction ballad that evokes blue-lit pimple-faced shuffling slow dances and a weary chanteuse draping herself across a Rhodes organ, eyelids slowly closing in resignation.

It’s an album of ambitious length for a self-recorded DIY band. The repetitive dirge When the High Subsides could have clocked in under four minutes (or found a more secure home on an album that promised less shambling and surf), but Soddy Daisy does rollicking lofi pop extraordinary well. I’m charmed with the couplet “Nothing else has ever changed, I’ve got an embryonic brain” on the sunny jammer “Water Cooler.”

Feel free to scream out the names of these songs I’ve described while they play at Young Camelot this Friday. It’s that kind of place, and that kind of band: messy, collaborative, and beautiful.

Evasive Backflip, Rat Hammer, Soddy Daisy, Not For You, Le Tour, Alex Rowney Piano Beast
Young Camelot
Fri, September 18 / $5 / not byob – bring $

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The 3 Best Drummers + Vocalists in the World

A few nights ago, I found myself in a South Minneapolis DIY spot on a sticky, humid summer night. The basement venue, known as The Riverboat to the Twin Cities’ dread-skulleted punk denizens, was so hot we all dripped and drooped like melting candles.

“You know that scene in Mrs. Doubtfire, where they’re watching TV, and someone’s getting their face smooshed around like it’s clay and all the kids are grossed out? That’s what my face feels like right now,” I confided to Jen Lemasters, a record store owner and multi-media artist who, like me, had traveled all the way to Chicago just end up at the same dank basement.


Photo of Make-Overs from Bric-a-Brac’s Instagram

She & partner, Nick, who own Bric-a-Brac Records, were criss-crossing the country with South-African drummer and guitarist Martinique Pelser and Andreas Schönfeldt, stopping at flea markets to hunt collectible toys and kitschy roadside attractions to pose with outré art installations. When they’re not touring together, Martinique and Andreas tour by Megabus.

Later, after a kind Riverboat resident sold me a $2 Hamm’s well into Minneapolis’ Blue Law Sunday Beer Blackout (then traded it out for one that didn’t have puke on it), Make-Overs took over their designated corner of the basement. They quickly sound checked their signature equipment; an array of pedals at Andreas’ feet, a microphone headset snaked around Martinique’s ear.

As the band tore through their layered, spacey and raw arrangements, the audience forgot the insufferable heat and slammed into each other in surging tides, smearing sweat on each other and pressing wallflowers into the crumbling basement bricks. They traded off vocal duties, Martinique more than holding her own despite the more physical nature of drumming, her powerful vocals ringing out, occasionally distorted by pedals into something psychedelic and alien.

I started thinking about all the drummers out there who excel at maintaining vocal intensity even as they exert themselves pounding away. I came up with my all time top drummers + vocalists, who are, in no particular order:

  • Bill Roe of Cococoma (and the record label Trouble in Mind)
  • Lamont “Bim” Thomas of Obnox, BLAXXX, The Puffy Areolas, etc
  • Martinique Pelser of Make-Overs (as well as many earlier projects discussed in this great interview)

And that got me thinking about how lucky we are that 2/3 of these artists have upcoming shows in Chicago. Cococoma, coaxed into reuniting and brushing up on their old songs when their longtime friends Janet and J.J. tied the knot last February, are hanging up the hat again when guitarist AJ Cozzi moves to California. TOMORROW, they’re playing their last official show at The Empty Bottle as an aftershow for the Beyond the Gate show in Bohemian National Cemetery.

Make-Overs are making the most of their stop in the USA, with at least two more shows upcoming in addition to their duties opening for Ty Segall last week.

Whether you agree or disagree with my top three ranking (make no mistake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments), you should see these bands while you can.

Cococoma, Ultimate Painting
The Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue
Thu, September 10, 9pm / 21+ / $10

Make-Overs, Wolf Pac
The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee Ave
Sun, September 13, 9pm / 21+ / free

Pookie and the Poodles, Make-Overs
Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles, 3156 W Diversey Ave
Tue, September 22, 5:30pm / free / AA

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Weekly Agenda: Aug 24th – 29th: Announcements! Housekeeping! Shows!

There’s a lot going on in my life right now that may or may not effect Store Brand Soda, so bear with me while I get some announcements out of the way, and I’ll move on to a list of all the shows happening this week.

First off, despite the fact that Lorena Cupcake is my legal name and I’ve provided them with my State ID, Name Change Amendment, and a bank statement, Facebook has locked my account out for not complying with their Real Name Policy. Facebook, and the huge network of musicians and DIY punks I’m friends with there, is unfortunately a huge part of how I collect information about shows for Store Brand Soda. It’s also a big part of how I promote the site. If I never get back into my account, I’m honestly not sure how I’m supposed to keep doing SBS.

If you feel like contacting Facebook, referencing Case #967503016650293, and letting them know that Lorena Cupcake is the name you know me by, I would really appreciate it. You can also bug them on Twitter. In the meantime, you can always email me about your upcoming album release show or whatever.

One last piece of business: I start a new job today as the Social Media and Marketing Assistant for Do 312. Much like I do here, I’m going to be writing about events, music, parties, and festivals in a way that hopefully makes you want to put on your flyest outfit and go rage. If you want to keep up with my work there, you can follow Do 312 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also come hang out with me at our 5th birthday party on Sunday. Absolutely Not is playing!

Between getting locked out of Facebook and starting a brand new job, Store Brand Soda has to go on the backburner for me right now. I’m hoping this is a temporary hiatus; I’m going to try to keep the calendar updated, and I have a few posts already drafted.

Monday, August 24th

Animal City, State Champion, Today’s Hits
Subterranean, 2011 West North Avenue
Mon, August 24, 8pm / $8 / 17+

The Limbs, Bad Bad Meow, Ross W Berman IV
Schubas Tavern, 3159 North Southport Avenue
Mon, August 24, 8pm / 21+ / free

The Peekaboos, The Avantist, Evasive Backflip
This show got a mention in our recent Show Horoscope, which has a ton more relevant show recommendations for you!
The Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue,
Mon, August 24, 9pm / 21+ / $5

Big Pussy, Nice Guys, Lil Tits, Radio Shaq, Georgia O’Queef
I LOVE HOW IMMATURE AND HILARIOUS ALL THE BAND NAMES IN THIS LINE-UP ARE. I’M NOT EVEN BEING SARCASTIC, I REALLY LOVE THAT THEY’RE ALL PLAYING TOGETHER. Also, I recently saw Georgia O’Queef play for the first time and they’re rad; super fast grindy thrash metal. Into it.
Wally World
Mon, August 24, 9:05pm / $5 / 21+ to drink / BYOB or cheap bar

Autonomy, No More Dead Girls, Brickfight
Hardcord, dudes. Autonomy is Ray from No Friends‘ band.
Liar’s Club, 1665 West Fullerton Avenue
Mon, August 24, 10pm / $5 donation / 21+

Tuesday, August 25th

The Vaccines, Power Haunts
One for the old punks (who hopped on tickets in time).
Schubas Tavern, 3159 North Southport
Tue, August 25, 8pm / SOLD OUT / $20 / $23

The Gnar Wave Rangers,MTVGhosts, The Cell Phones, The Jollys
Schubas has been doing these free all-local line-ups lately, and I’m down. The Cellphones have super dark vibes and The Jollys are all good dudes.
Schubas Tavern, 3159 North Southport Avenue
Tue, August 25, 8pm / free / 18+

Whitney, Joe Bordenaro, Lionlimb
My first impression of Whitney was “falsetto, white boy r-n-b.” After a few more songs and a few more beers, I generously revised this to “orchestral, park stroll pop.” With their ex-Smith-Westerns pedigree, they’re destined for popularity, if not greatness.
The Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue
Tue, August 25, 9pm / $5 / 21+

Wednesday, August 26th

Donkey Hotel, Psychic Nurse, Monica Laplante, Murder Shoes
Burlington, 3425 West Fullerton Avenue
Wed, August 26, 9pm / usually $5 – $10 / 21+

Thursday, August 27th

Ego, Grosse Pointe
I can’t figure out if this they actually card for these free shows at The Virgin Hotel or what – I only remember being carded at the bar last time I was there. If you’re a minor and you get into this without any issues, hit me up.
Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 North Wabash Avenue, 25th floor
Thu, August 27, 6pm / 21+ to drink / free

Heaters, Ranch Ghost, Spike & The Sweet Spots, Glyders
I suppose Ranch Ghost makes more sense to interpret as a ghost that haunts a ranch, but I love picturing a floating, haunting glob of ranch dressing.
Subterranean, 2011 West North Avenue
Thu, August 27, 8pm / $10 / 17+

Slushy, Midriffs, Dinoczar, Beer the Band
I feel weird about putting the address for this up, but they have it public on the Facebook event, so whatever. Email me if you want it taken down.
Hobo Spaceship, 3144 W Carroll Ave #2H
Thu, August 27, 8pm / free

Bike Cops, Natural Causes, Strawberry Jacuzzi, Sweepyheads
Burlington Bar, 3425 W Fullerton
Thu, August 27, 9pm / usually $5 – $10 / 21+

Friday, August 28th

Younger Lovers, Black Bandits and the Stickups, Moor Mother Goddess, Bruised, Tigress, Crude Humor, Novatore, Tensions, Xille Xille Xille
This is part of Black & Brown Punk show, which I previously wrote about here! For me, the highlight of the line-up is sassy Oakland queercore party poppers Younger Lovers, who are fronted by the hilarious writer and performer Brontez Purnell. Check out his recent comic The Cruising Diaries, which is full of hilarious (and hilariously gross) stories of anonymous casual sex.
Chicago Women In Trade, 2444 W 16th St, #16
Fri, August 28, 4:30pm / sober event / AA / $15

Glamour Hotline, Not 4 U, Wad, Belly Belt
This show got a mention in our recent Show Horoscope, which has a ton more relevant show recommendations for you!
Pinky Swear
Fri, August 28, 8pm / bring $ for donation

Den, Rumores, Cracked Vessel
From our most recent Show Horoscope: Whoa, super loud noise punk and free donuts…in the middle of the day…in a library?!?!? I REALLY LOVE THIS CITY SOMETIMES, Y’ALL. This show is open to everyone, but the organizers have made sure to note that teenagers, who often don’t have access to shows like this, are extra welcome. The library is also fully accessible for those who use mobility devices; you can read a lot more about the importance of accessibility at music venues over at Is This Venue Accessible.
West Town Public Library, 1625 West Chicago Avenue
1:30pm at Sat, August 29 / AA / donations for bands appreciated

Lala Lala, KO
This show got a mention in our recent Show Horoscope, which has a ton more relevant show recommendations for you!
saki, 3716 West Fullerton Avenue
Sat, August 29, 4pm / free / AA

Saturday, August 29th

Kris de la Rash, Aye Nako, L(a)kras, The Breathing Light, Ono, La Armada, Through and Through, The Kominas, Cabrona, R-Tronika
ChiTown Futbol, 2255 South Throop Street
Sat, August 29, 5pm / 21+ to drink, must have ID, no BYOB / $15 / AA

Impulsive Hearts, Croquet, Not For You
Burlington Bar 3425 W Fullerton
Sat, August 29, 9pm / usually $5 – $10 / 21+

Black Lips, Grosse Pointe
The Black Lips are also playing Sunday at Chicago Fashion Fest! Their website sucks so I couldn’t figure out enough detail to put it on the calendar, figure it out yourselves.
Subterranean, 2011 West North Avenue
Sat, August 29, 10pm / 17+ / $20

Burning Ponies, Bubbles Brown, The Holy Motors
Schubas Tavern, 3159 North Southport Avenue
Sat, August 29, 10pm / $10 / 21+

Sueves, Ballroom, Eyes of Satan
Cole’s Bar, 2338 North Milwaukee Avenue
Sat, August 29, 10pm / free / 21+

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Vamos – Spiderbait LP Review (Record Release Show Tonight!)

Vamos feel like a party that you might die at, woozy with bummer vibes and lousy with bad decisions. After years of purveying sleaze metal after midnight in slimy DIY spots (competing with the rhythmic screech of the train) and putting their music out on neon plastic cassette tapes, they’re finally releasing their very first LP. Local label Maximum Pelt mates Ego and Modern Convenience join them tonight for a
free show to celebrate their graduation to vinyl.

The new album Spiderbait manages to resurrect the party-flu-snot-dripping zombie of rockstar kitsch and cock rock excess of days gone by. The sludge psychedelia and spooky Ozzy vocals on Bad Hook didn’t work for me (though if those keywords excite you, click away!) but I’m super excited to see a high quality version of “Jaded,” a wicked and reeling banger Vamos has been performing live forever that always brings down my entire world.

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=2062955756 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=e99708 track=2436339360]

It reminds me of the raw and addictive “Feelmonger,” a track previously released on their Midwaste tape, here newly recorded with a more deft and nuanced hand (I do recommend scuzz heads also check out the original recording). “Howl,” another favorite off Midwaste, here takes the form of a bitter boozy accusation and ends in the whole band pleading “All I want is you.” This record has greasy gleam and glamour, swaggering sexuality, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth that I can’t get enough of.

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=2062955756 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=e99708 track=4084250403]

If you’re determined to see them tonight (which you should be), you’re in luck; not only is it free, but there’s an equally free early punk show at Bric-a-Brac if you want to pull a one-two punch and still have enough money for a few cheap beers. There’s also a show at Old Mt Happy; see flyer below.


Vamos, EGO, Modern Convenience, Foul Tip
The Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue
9:00pm Mon, August 3 / 21+ / free

Moon Hag, Lil Tits
Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles, 3156 West Diversey Avenue
5:00 pm on Mon, August 3 / AA / BYOB

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Best of the Fests: Bitchfest, Chicago Summer Psych, and Black & Brown Punk Show

We’re deep into festival season, struggling to keep our heads about an endless sea of body chains, matching crop-top-and-shorts-sets, sole-sucking fields of mud, blurry tattoos, overpriced beers, and nineteen year olds on molly. Over here at the old soda mines, we’re free to train our eye on some of the more unusual and underground festivals that are taking place this summer.



Bitchfest aims to celebrate women and their work, but is inclusive of “all Chicago’s brilliant and resilient artists, musicians and writers who tirelessly use creative mediums to express what it means to live in this beautifully fucked-up world.” More than just a stacked bill of not-all-dudes bands, DIY space Young Camelot aims to offer a film program, live screenprinting, zines, murals, and art. Daily schedules have not yet been finalized, so keep an eye on the Facebook event for more specifics.

Yoko and the Oh No’s, The Iceberg, Strawberry Jacuzzi, She Speaks In Tongues, Bruiser Queen, Oshwa, Beat Drun Juel, Mr. Ma’am, Brenda, WAD, Not For You, BLOOM, Impulsive Hearts, DEADBEAT, The Baby Magic, Night & Gale
Friday August 7th – Saturday August 8th
Young Camelot (ask a punk)

Chicago Summer Psych Fest


If you read enough of this website, you’ve probably gleaned that I have a weakness for good ole three-chords-and-two-toms rock’n’roll. This is because I am dumb and I have bad taste. However, perhaps you have more sophisticated tastes: a palate that can accommodate gauzy shoegaze guitar, krauty synths, and meandering prog. If that’s the case, my dear, you’re in luck: for the seventh year running, the Hideout is bringing you Chicago Summer Psych Fest, with some superstars and heavy hitters in the line-up.

Chicago Summer Psych Fest – Friday
Djin Aquarian with Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Vyto B, Shah Jahan, Hands Of Hydra, DJ Psychedalex
9pm on Friday August 14th
The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave
21+ / $10 advance tickets / $18 at the door

Chicago Summer Psych Fest – Saturday
Psychedelic Supersession with special guests, Chicago Triangle, VCSR featuring Bil Vermette, Moss Folk, Carbonleak
9pm on Saturday August 15th
The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave
21+ / $10 advance tickets / $18 at the door

Black and Brown Punk Show


Black and Brown Punk Show is an annual festival highlighting the black and brown, queer and trans DIY punk scene in Chicago. The collective wants to create a safer space to push back against oppression, bond over a shared sense of struggle, and celebrate the creativity of black and brown musicians, artists, and educators.

Black and Brown Punk Show – Friday
Black Bandits and the Stickups, Vagabon, Moor Mother Goddess, Yva Las Vegas, Bruised, Tigress, Crude Humor, TBA
6pm on Friday, August 28th
Location TBA

Black and Brown Punk Show – Saturday
Kris de la Rash, Aye Nako, L(a)kras, The Breathing Light, Ono, La Armada, Through and Through, The Kominas, Huasipungo, R-Tronika
5pm on Saturday, August 29th
ChiTown Futbol, 2255 South Throop Street

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Punk or Bunk: Win Tickets to see Blizzard Babies, Squish, Boots, & Pink Bathroom!

We’re introducing a brand new feature on Store Brand Soda called Punk or Bunk. Based on the old party game Two Truths and a Lie, we present you with three punk rock history facts, with one little detail – one of them is made up. The first person to email with the correct answer on which “fact” is really fiction wins tickets to a SBS-approved show.

You’re extra lucky this round, because the prize for being the first person to email us the correct answer is two tickets to see Blizzard Babies, Squish, Boots, & Pink Bathroom at The Fireside Bowl on Sunday, July 19th. This is going to be an awesome show with some of our favorite babes in the city. You can bowl beforehand, or take your 17 year old sister and blow her mind with a whole new world of rock-n-roll possibilities.

Ready to get started? Here’s your three statements:

1. Peggy O’Neill and Danny Kroha of The Gories met when they developed mutual crushes on each other in high school.

3.. Lester Bangs once published a piece that claimed to expose the “rock culture FAGGOT MAFIA” in Creem magazine.

3. Iggy Pop’s favorite drink is Kahlua and milk.

Got your answer? Email ASAP and you might be the winner! Comments, Facebook messages, etc don’t count: you have to email us. We’ll announce the winners on Wednesday.

And if you’re stumped? We’ll announce the answers then, as well. Good luck and godspeed!

Blizzard Babies, Squish, Boots, Pink Bathroom
Fireside Bowl, 2648 West Fullerton Avenue
17+ / $7

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Brisbane Noise Punks Sewers Play Last-Minute Show Tonight

Antipodean punks Sewers have used the Coriolis effect to their advantage, swirling counter-clockwise down a filthy dive bar toilet and surfacing clockwise here in Chicago covered in grime, gore, and black blood. They lurched, Creature-from-the-Black-Lagoon style, into Permanent Records yesterday, completely obliterating the sparse crowd with their nasty swamp sludge.

Too tight for the skronky post-punks and too full of wild abandon for the math-rock nerds, Sewers is the evil, abrasive thudding squall you’ve been looking for to rip you away from your boring life and everything you hold dear and deposit you in the bowels of a waste treatment plant.

They were supposed to play last night at The Burlington, but apparently a local band they were going to play with dropped out and the show was cancelled. The whole thing seems pretty sus to me – do you know how hard getting 5 visas for traveling musicians is? – but thankfully Aaron Dexter, booker for The Owl and label head over at Automatic Recordings, pulled through and they were able to jump on the bill with Whitney (ex-Smith-Westerns) for tonight. Hopefully he doesn’t mind me telling you all who “the special guest” is a bit early. Go buy a record from him so he doesn’t get mad at me for blowing up his spot.

There’s other weird free noise rock shows tonight, which you know because you check our calendar every morning, but let’s be real, Toupee plays all the time. You’re lucky to get another chance to see Sewers; I suggest you take it.

Whitney, Sewers
The Owl, 2521 North Milwaukee Avenue
10pm / free / 21+

Ono, Hums + Haws, Toupee, Richard Album
The Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue
9pm / free / 21+

Wildhoney, Carbonleak, Population
Rancho Huevos
8pm / ask a punk / $6-$8

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Getting Randy for Randy Records

If Randy Records was a person, they’d be like seven feet tall, with perma-stoned eyes going off two different directions, wearing a greasy leather jacket and playing the organ effortlessly with one hand while casually drinking a beer with the other.

Wait; that actually sounds like someone I know.


I’m just going to call him Randy Rexington, as per his Instagram, because homie shows the magic wonder of mathematics to impressionable youth as a day job and I’m not trying to help any Google-happy superintendents figure out that their teachers might have a life beyond the schoolyard.

Anyway, Mr. Rexington, divider of fractions and presser of records, singer in The Yolks and organ-stroker in Uh Bones, dropped me a line to share a special fancy treat for Store Brand Soda readers: preview tracks off the two new albums on Randy Records.

eric gage


Eric Gage, front dude of The Memories has to be one of the best connected dudes out there. He’s in White Fang, performs solo as Free Weed, and founded Gnar Tapes, a cassette label that recently traded daps with quasi-independent garage giant Burger Records on the opening of their new joint-venture record store Gnar Burger in a run down, middle-of-nowhere stretch of Los Angeles neighborhood Cypress Park. Last time I was there it took me like twenty minutes to check out because the extremely stoned dude at the counter needed change; Gage himself emerged from the back to pull some money out of his wallet.

Anyway, The Memories have never been one of my favorite bands; their simplistic take on summer psychedelia seems more suited for messy-bearded bros in tie-dye shirts covered in Dorito crumbs. Also, last time I saw them on tour one of their roadies/back-home-buddies made me cry, ha ha ha. Anyway, if YOU have never personally been driven to tears in the back room of The Burlington by someone associated with The Memories, go ahead and give these preview tracks a listen; you can also listen to the full album over on Soundcloud.



Ah, that’s better. So, as hinted above, Randy Rexington himself is in longtime local lovers-of-loudness Uh Bones. You’ve probably thrown beer cans at them at Wally World or whatever, so I’m not sure I have to describe them, but they take the sweet, classic rhythm-n-blues jams of The Yolks and flesh them out into something more howling and rollicking and weird. It’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, but by “modern” I mean you’re double-fisting thirty-twos and have nineteen tattoos and your shorts don’t cover your butt all the way.

There’s even more reason for you to ACT NOW, OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY: both these jammers are getting pressed to white vinyl for the first sure-to-sell-out 100, so if like your record collection to coordinate with your yayo, you should act quickly. Uh Bones is touring this summer, and getting familiar with their songs now is a great way to impress all your friends as you casually mouth all the words in whatever dive bar or DIY venue in your town is lucky enough to host them.

You can preorder The Memories and Uh Bones LPs over on the Randy Records site, and keep that shit bookmarked; later this summer, they’re putting out the debut album from Spike and the Sweet Spots and a new Yolks 7″.

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