Bear In Heaven ascended into the indie stratosphere in a cloud of critical acclaim with their sophomore LP, Beast Rest Fort Mouth in 2009. Since downgraded from a foursome to a trio, the band spent the following years on tour and in the studio prepping their highly anticipated re-emergence this year with I Love You, It’s Cool. Chicago Innerview caught up with vocalist/keyboardist Jon Philpot to discuss this ever-important lyricism, critical comparisons of I Love You, It’s Cool to the synth-laden music of the ‘80s, and generally figuring out, as Philpot put it, “that balance between playing shows, writing, and life.”
BY JESSICA MLINARIC
If Trampled By Turtles doesn’t sound like traditional bluegrass, that’s because it isn’t. Pieced together from disparate rock bands outside of Duluth in 2003, the quintet has continued to challenge traditional acoustic instrumentation ever since. Offering live shows that impress with a blistering fury of strings and expressive songwriting, Trampled By Turtles has been known to convert “indie bluegrass” naysayers in a foot-stomping frenzy. The band’s sixth album, Stars and Satellites, infuses a deep breath and a downtempo turn into their cultivated twang. This deliberately restrained energy balances the raucous plucking fans have come to anticipate with the newfound power of subtle intensity.
If you’re looking to get your body painted while dancing to punk tunes in a chain-link fenced-in, fully blacklit dance floor (and really, who isn’t), the monthly Blacklight Blackout dance party on the second floor of Exit is calling your name. With free UV-reactive body painting, glowsticks, cheap booze and free condoms, this could be our favorite neon-enhanced drunk dancing series since…well…ever. This month’s event, Chicago INNERVIEW has learned, has been moved from December 21 to December 29, so hopefully your hangover (like that neon bracelet) will burn out by New Year’s. Update: event details posted here.
The Museum of Contemporary Art has announced the remaining acts for its monthly “Face the Strange” new music series, which will culminate in a March 26 performance by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon in collaboration with local drone enthusiasts White/Light. Tortoise member and improvisational avant-jazz guitarist Jeff Parker plays the museum January 22, as does L.A. experimental sound collagists Lucky Dragons on February 26. All events are free, although a ticket (which you can pick up at the MCA) is required for the Kim Gordon show.