Artist Preview: Jordan Chini’s “The Hour Glass” from His Upcoming Debut EP

EDIT: Jordan Chini’s debut EP is out now on Bandcamp!

Jordan Chini’s self-titled, debut EP is a blast from the past that meshes 60s and 70s rock with modern sensibilities. The amount of vocal harmonies and instruments on this EP is dizzying, especially when you realize Chini played, recorded, mixed, and mastered it all at recently-opened Sound JAR Studios in Valley Center, CA.

All seven songs have an old school and vintage feel to them. First impressions from the Villains camp includes comparisons to the Beatles in opening track “Oxygen” and Fleetwood Mac in “Lost Soul” and “Berry Lane.” For a more modern comparison, I can’t help but think of Elliott Smith’s croons in “Berry Lane.”

His single “The Hour Glass” is charming and features quick fingerwork, beautiful harmonies and lyrics, and an interesting sounding pedal steel guitar paired with glockenspiel.

Listen to the single below and keep a lookout for the full release on November 2, 2014.

Band Spotlight: My My My uses community outreach and crowdfunding to reach out to fans

My My My band photo

Photo by Huda Krad and Sarah Snow.

For a band whose name implies a selfish streak, you would think that Chicago-based My My My would be less hardworking and good-hearted than they actually are.

My My My came under my radar when I was looking for musicians to feature in an article about crowdfunding. That article never happened, but through my interview with John Szymanski — who, according to their website, plays “everything” — I learned a lot about how to build a community that trusts and supports you. And that means trusting and supporting the community in turn.

To do this, My My My volunteered 80 hours of community service in 2013 as a “thank you” for helping to fund their latest album, Tigers on the Dance Floor. Community service included volunteering to benefit the homeless and LGBTQ teens, raising awareness for multiple sclerosis, and organizing the “Kittypalooza” benefit concert for a local no-kill cat shelter Tree House Humane Society.

Organized by singer Sarah Snow, Kittypalooza raised over $500 for the shelter with the help of Martyr’s — “a beloved Chicago venue” according to Szymanski — who donated the space to the event. In addition to My My My, two other Chicago bands Love and Radiation and Save the Clocktower performed pro bono.

Community is a huge part of the Villains ethos… and we think more musicians need to help within the community. After all, a good community is the foundation that supports all of us. And My My My is doing it right. Even the rewards for their crowdfunding campaign focused on the backers: Thirty second songs written about any topic, a signature drink at a local bar made specially for the backer, joining My My My in a recording session, one-hour music lessons… These are just some of examples of how My My My wanted to create a relationship with their fans, not just hand over their music.

And My My My hasn’t stopped helping the community just because their crowdfunding saga is over. According to Szymanski, the band will be “putting in feelers” to Songs of Love, an organization whose mission is to provide children and teens personalized songs to uplift them during tough times. They hope to work with the organization as soon as possible.

My My My's Tigers on the Dance Floor cover art

Tigers on the Dance Floor goes on sale Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Their latest album, Tigers on the Dance Floor comes out on November 18, 2014. Like the name suggests, their new record is poppy and dancy, and perhaps ferocious as well? “We pride ourselves on being a very powerful, tight live band and wanted to capture that energy,” says Szymanski. They’ll be celebrating the record release with a show at the Double Door on November 21, 2014.

S @ The Smell (10/13/14)

Hey kids, Mark again.  So all of you guys that follow my Tumblr (that means you, Mom) you would have seen that I snuck away to The Smell on my lunch break at work to catch part of S’s set.  They were soooo good.  Here are some pictures from the part of their set that I caught.  I would have taken more if I wasn’t enjoying them so much.


More pictures below the cut.

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