Category Archives: Chicago Sun-Times

Chance the Rapper spearheads #SaveChicago campaign

Photo by Allen Daniels

On Chancelor Bennett’s sophomore mixtape, “Acid Rap,” he rhymes on “Paranoia”: “It just got warm out/this the s— I been warned about/I hope it storm in the morning/I hope it’s pouring out.” For those in-the-know about Chicago summers, it’s a nod to the dramatic uptick in gun violence that tends to follow the rising temperatures. Continue reading Chance the Rapper spearheads #SaveChicago campaign

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After whirlwind year, Chance the Rapper comes home

ChanceTheRapper-10_26_13-Champaign-By Bryan Lamb

Story originally appeared for Chicago Sun Times.

The Chicago kid who released arguably the year’s hottest, free hip-hop album returns to town this week for his debut headlining tour, dubbed the “Social Experiment Tour.” For his first show home since he performed at Lollapalooza earlier this year, tickets to the first show sold out so fast that a second was quickly scheduled and just as quickly
sold out.

“The whole thing has just been crazy,” said Chance during a break from rehearsal last month. “I definitely thought it might sell out, but not as fast as it did. The whole show is different from what we’ve done before, so it’ll be cool to show it to Chicago.” Continue reading After whirlwind year, Chance the Rapper comes home

Spring Awakening puts Chicago in forefront of world EDM scene

By Jake Krzeczowski June 13, 2013 12:12AM

CalvHarris

Chicago’s rise as a mecca for electronic dance music continues this weekend with the Spring Awakening Music Festival, a global gathering of dozens of DJs and producers, which runs Friday through Sunday at Soldier Field.

Last month, the internationally touring Electric Daisy Festival made its local debut at the Chicago Speedway in Joliet, and now Spring Awakening returns for its second go-around as it transforms the home of the Bears into a neon-and-glowstick mega-party over four stages. The festival, which expands to three days this year, is a star-studded event, with big EDM names such as Calvin Harris, Bassnectar and Moby as headliners. Continue reading Spring Awakening puts Chicago in forefront of world EDM scene

Alex Wiley takes it slow and steady for first project

Photo by Andrew Zeiter

By Jake Krzeczowski June 5, 2013 1:30PM (Originall Published for the Chicago Sun Times)

Since the Internet turned the industry upside down more than a decade ago, “making it” in music has been largely relative.

Enter Alex Wiley. The Hyde Park native whose highly anticipated debut project, “Club Wiley,” was released Tuesday as a mixtape, threatens to eclipse the buzz surrrounding more established hip-hop artists. Continue reading Alex Wiley takes it slow and steady for first project

Electric Daisy Carnival rolls into Joliet

Photo by Jake Krez

By Jake Krzeczowski Correspondent May 25, 2013 5:56PM (Chicago Sun Times)

The Electric Daisy Carnival has officially put its name on Chicago — or Joliet, rather.

The inaugural three-day electronic dance music festival began Friday with unseasonably cold weather that did little to curb the steady stream of under-dressed fans who flocked to the five stages. Continue reading Electric Daisy Carnival rolls into Joliet

Chicago band Kids These Days confirms breakup

Photo by Jake Krez

BY THOMAS CONNER AND JAKE KRZECZOWSKI May 8, 2013 5:32PM

Updated: May 9, 2013 2:24AM

Just when it looked like they were really going to go places, Chicago band Kids These Days has split up.

The young South Side band, which encompassed a multitude of styles, just released its acclaimed debut album, “Traphouse Rock,” last fall. In little more than a year, the pop-rock-rap collective landed gigs at Lollapalooza and Coachella, a showcase at South by Southwest and an appearance on the TBS talk show “Conan.” Continue reading Chicago band Kids These Days confirms breakup

Britain’s James Blake continues electronic journey on ‘Overgrown’

By Jake Krzeczowski (Originally Published for the Chicago Sun Times)

April 30, 2013 8:23PM

For experimental electronic musician-composer James Blake, the road less traveled is much more rewarding.

On Thursday, that road leads to the Metro, where the British artist’s intriguing combination of live instrumentation and digital production will be on display for a sold-out show.

While across the musical landscape there has been talk of the laptop replacing the guitar as an introductory instrument, the 24-year-old Blake, who took piano as a child, viewed the computer as a sort of means to an end. Continue reading Britain’s James Blake continues electronic journey on ‘Overgrown’

Chance the Rapper continues his artistic climb with ‘Acid Rap’

Artwork by Brandon Breaux
By Jake Krzeczowski for Chicago Sun Times
April 29, 2013 8:21PM

Chance the Rapper, “Acid Rap” ★★★½

One of the most difficult feats in hip-hop is the ability to create a fully cohesive project. Rising Chicago artist Chance the Rapper did that on his debut, “10 Day.” With “Acid Rap,” his follow-up mixtape, he proves it was no fluke as his latest adds to the composite picture of Chance as an artist and a person.

“Acid Rap” picks up where his debut left off, as the lead track, “Good Ass Intro,” starts off with a familiar blend of soul-and-juke aesthetics that have become Chance’s calling card. The track also is completely Chicago, with production from his go-to team of Peter CottonTale and Stefan Ponce blending with the sultry sounds of Lili K and Kiara Lanier and vocals by BJ the Chicago Kid. With horns, thoughtful lyrics and a throbbing bass, it’s obvious why Pitchfork Media recently named it as a “Best New Track.” Continue reading Chance the Rapper continues his artistic climb with ‘Acid Rap’

‘Idol’ experience helps Kiara Lanier realize her dream

Photo by Jake Krez

BY Jake Krzeczowski March 28, 2013 10:08PM

The album may not be her own but the title’s sentiment certainly resonates with Chatham native Kiara Lanier.

As a contestant on “American Idol,” Lanier spent her days at the edge of a dream before being eliminated recently in the semifinals.

“It’s ultimately benefitted me by just growing my confidence, pushing me to go to the next level,” said Lanier, 22, who plays Reggie’s Rock Club as part of a release event Saturday for Mike Gallagher’s album, “The Edge of a Dream.” She also will join Matt Santos at SPACE in Evanston for an all-ages show Friday. Continue reading ‘Idol’ experience helps Kiara Lanier realize her dream

Flux Pavilion rides the crest of the EDM craze

By Jake Krzeczowski March 28, 2013 6:16PM

For the Chicago Sun Times

Most 24-year-olds spend their time wallowing in dirty laundry and worrying about rent money.

Jeremy Steele, better known as electronic dance wunderkind Flux Pavilion, spends his time routinely rocking crowds of 5,000-plus with the likes of fellow EDM artists Skrillex and Knife Party. He performs Friday in an 18-and-older show at the Congress Theater. Continue reading Flux Pavilion rides the crest of the EDM craze