DJDS – Trees On Fire

Early contender for my favorite song of the year, and now my favorite video as well. DJDS’s aching brand of electronica merges with a moving collage of lo-fi nature shots, interspersed among vocalists and video stars Amber Mark and Marco McKinnis. Despite being simple, the DJDS-directed “Trees On Fire” visuals somehow perfectly encapsulate the many layers of emotion that the song itself evokes.

“Trees On Fire” is available for free download today only, on KCRW.

v1984 and Zora Jones – The Zone

Another day, another release off Visceral Minds 2. Today’s offering is a galactic footwork heater from v1984 and Zora Jones that’s as hype as it is heady. Check out the visuals over at Fractal Fantasy to get into “The Zone” and keep a watch for the next installment of Visceral Minds 2—the full compilation will be available August 15th, the day the last song is revealed.

Be sure to grab tickets for Zora Jones and Sinjin Hawke’s Chicago stop at East Room on September 23rd.

Knox Fortune – Lil Thing

Having guested on tracks with Chicago’s Chance the Rapper and Towkio, Knox Fortune does his own “Lil Thing” in this leisurely video. It’s got an intimate feel thanks to being shot on a Super 16 camera, in Knox Fortune’s former abode no less, and the song itself feels appropriately lived-in. “Lil Thing” is the perfect complement to a sun-faded summer day—listen in for yourself.

Manus – DSGD

A guy I know once told me that being a nerd was cool, because it meant that you were really passionate about something. That’s certainly true for Manus, the LA-based rapper with an affinity for anime, comic books, and video games. The “nerdswag” loving emcee’s new video for “DSGD” features Manus shopping for action figures while rocking a Pokémon jacket, all the while throwing down his charismatic rhymes over the slinky beat. Check out the video, directed by Andrew Crisman, in our exclusive premiere here. Bonus: Manus is giving away the stems for “DSGD” for free—if I were a producer, I’d find a way to sample as many video game characters as possible in a “DSGD” remix. But that’s just me.

GIF Me The Deets: Pitchfork Music Festival 2017

If you’re a true music fan living here in Chicago, you know that Pitchfork is THE event of summer music festival season. Charming as always, the laid-back festival featured numerous food and alcohol vendors, as well as the brand-new Pitchfork PLUS+ section. In PLUS+, cocktails and food were curated by Chicago’s Land and Sea department (I tried a fish-focused dish from Lost Lake, which was delicious), and included air-conditioned bathrooms, which were a welcome reprieve from Sunday’s humidity. Other features of the festival included the pop-up Saint Heron house on Sunday, CHIRP’s record store, and the poster vendors—I was very excited to snag a Sonnenzimmer piece this year!

Musically, the festival tended to lean a little heavily towards the rock and indie side this year, with acts like Pinegrove and LCD Soundsystem drawing almost shockingly large crowds, but the lineup was excellently diverse nonetheless. All of the hip hop acts were some of the best that I’ve seen at Pitchfork: Isaiah Rashad was extremely charismatic, while Joey Purp brought an intense energy to his set. Of course, A Tribe Called Quest’s closing performance on Saturday was legendary, and a highlight of the festival. Arca and Derrick Carter gave electronic music a great name—Arca’s performance was absolutely wild, as he played high-intensity Latin music and unsettling visuals while rocking heels and a leotard.

My favorites, however, were Nicolas Jaar and Solange. Both artists were mesmerizing in different ways; Jaar put the audience in a trance-like state, making an hour feel like 15 minutes (no exaggeration). Solange, however, felt reverent, as if I was in a place of worship. Tears were shed as she performed her catalogue of hits (shoutout to “Locked In Closets”). While it may not have been my most exciting year at Pitchfork, it was an enjoyable one nonetheless, and a festival that’s always worth going to, in my opinion.

Recap: Corona Electric Beach

Corona Electric Beach, a one-day popup beachside festival that’s touring the country this summer, hit Chicago’s North Avenue Beach on July 15th for a day of fun in the sun. Win and Woo, Borgeous, and Grandtheft each played hit-heavy sets suited for the sun-drenched, beer-guzzling patrons; a heady mix of trap filled the salty, boozy air as beach balls bounced around the crowd. While the Corona-loving masses got down on the sand, there were other activities happening at the fest as well: for the more athletically inclined (of which I am not), there was lots of beach volleyball, as well as a beach lounge space to gather up free swag. And of course, lots and lots of Corona. Check out the photos from the event below!

Lunice – Distrust (feat. Denzel Curry, JK The Reaper & Nell)

A good friend put me on to Sam Rolfes’s work several years ago, so when I saw that Lunice was working with him, I was pretty psyched. The video is masterfully glitchy and slightly unsettling—reminds me of watching friends play Silent Hill on a laggy disk and feeling just a little too uneasy. The video fits Lunice’s skeletal, imposing sound well. Check out the latest LuckyMe release for yourself, and stay tuned for Lunice’s album CCCLX, dropping September 9th.