While it has been very frustrating to say the least in getting any kind of Musiqtone pulse in my own home area of Chicago and it’s rather far reaching metro area, there’s plenty of music talent coming out of the Second City, all looking to put Chicago back as one of the top music destinations and cultivators of music talent. In music terms, it was a long time ago in the mid to later 90s you had luminaries Liz Phair, Rage Against the Machine, and the Smashing Pumpkins dominating their part of the music charts.
Then…dead as the boy band era and cookie-cutter pop raged on and Chicago started to become more and more homogenized as a music market and shoving the indie and underground into deeper depths. Of course, little did anyone know a group of men from Wilmette would eventually and with the help of a producer/MC turned hip-hop superstar would put Chicago back on the map for music. That would be Fall Out Boy and Kanye West.
Since then, the city has produced plenty of talent including: Plain White T’s, Rachael Yamagata, Treaty of Paris, Lucky Boys Confusion, OK Go, Lupe Fiasco, Powerspace, and The Academy Is.
So who from the Windy City is next? Here’s a little list of some acts from the Windy City you need to watch out for, especially as alt-rock is exploding out of the area in recent years…
1. The Audition —Expect this fine alt-emo rock group to explode in 2008.
2. The Hush Sound —following the footsteps of fellow Chicagoans and labelmates Fall Out Boy
3. Amrita —one half of the band is one part The Academy Is and one part October Fall
4. Company of Thieves —why no one has signed this talented indie pop/rock band with a unique mix of sounds including the Beatles is beyond me.
5. Todd Carey — could be leading a new group of talented singer-songwriters in 2008. For now, it’s leading a new group of male singer-songwriters to come out of Chicago…or Illinois period.
6. Daphne Willis & Co. —underrated college band with a Dave Matthews Band-like sound
7. Brooke Barretsmith —former Idol contestant turns rejection into a major label…and maybe more in 2008?
8. Sarah VonderHaar —former Top Model returns to roots in music and could be first female singer-songwriter to hit it big since Liz Phair
9. Coventry —another gem in the sea of indie rock bands populating the North Side…hard to believe they haven’t been looked at by record labels
10. The Hoodies —if Alex Gaskarth thinks they’re good, they sure as hell are good.
Well, that’s my top ten. Feel free to agree, kill me, or whatever.