In an effort “to fight boredom and encourage super-fun times and tomfoolery,” Riot Fest — taking place September 13-15 in Humboldt Park — has announced a series of afterparties. Friday night has Andrew W.K. (pictured) at Double Door, The Lawrence Arms at Cobra Lounge, and Sublime with Rome at Concord Music Hall. Saturday night features Against Me! at Cobra Lounge and Rocket From the Crypt at Double Door. Wrapping things up on Sunday night are Peter Hook & the Light at Double Door, Quicksand at Cobra Lounge, and The Lillingtons at Beat Kitchen. Tickets for all aftershows go on sale August 30 at 11 am.
by Griffin Waterman
Whatever your feelings about The Black Keys, you have to give them credit for one thing: they carved out a space in the mainstream for blues rock that hadn’t existed in decades. With last year’s Blak and Blu, Gary Clark Jr. forced his way into that space and does not appear to have any plans to leave. That is not to say that Clark is just copying The Black Keys. Far from it. Clark has a fully developed sound all his own, which is able to combine crushing guitar fuzz with neo-soul and classic Texas blues. He also has the confidence to put a minute-long guitar solo in a single and still see it chart highly, which is basically impossible in today’s ADD-addled music landscape. And most importantly, Clark is a ferocious live performer who offers the perfect break from North Coast’s endless EDM assault.
by Mark Calaguas
Though Barclay Crenshaw was largely absent during the fabled explosion of rave culture in the Motor City, the dance music legacy of his birthplace would come to mold the aesthetic of the DJ/producer better known as Claude VonStroke — whose spookily minimalist club classic “Who’s Afraid of Detroit?” was cited as a favorite track of none other than Richie Hawtin back in 2006. Having established the Dirtybird label in San Francisco the year before, Crenshaw went on to build a formidable repertoire of dubby yet slightly tongue-in-cheek tech-house while providing platforms for like-minded talents such as Justin Martin, Eats Everything, and Julio Bashmore. As Crenshaw wraps up work on his third full-length effort Urban Animal (featuring Chicago’s own DJ Nehpets on a rework of the vintage booty anthem “Lay It Down”), the West Coast don shows North Coast how to make professional party-starter a viable career option.
Last Stand Stage
by Jessica Mlinaric
If Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, you’re going to want to dance it goodbye with Cherub. Describing their sound as “Prince on ecstasy,” The Nashville duo of Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber offer a seriously sexy spin on ‘80s and ‘90s R&B and pop. Kelley’s falsetto is as steamy as a late August night on tracks like their party ode “Doses & Mimosas,” a surprise viral hit of last year. Cherub’s 2013 EP 100 Bottles features piano ballads, ‘80s dance synths, and slick guitar licks by Huber — all in the span of six songs. Cherub’s lyrics are equal parts heartfelt and tongue-in-cheek, with an accessibility that is furthered by their offering of their music free on their website. Cherub’s funky electro pop single “Jazzercise ’95” is an all too familiar tale of a summer fling, perfect for locking eyes with your next one-night-stand in the crowd and getting physical.