This list has it all: indie rock, blues, country, folk, pop, reggae, jazz and everything in between. It's the kind of year-end roundup KDHX loves to make, because it illustrates the passion and curiosity of our DJs -- and of you, our loyal listeners.
True hip-hop bands are rare birds today, as the genre continues to be dominated by solo artists, DJs, producers and remixers. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but it's always good to get new, hard-hitting and exciting hip-hop from a big band like Sidewalk Chalk. On "Grocery List," a celebratory track from the album "Leaves," the Chicago collective raises a toast to the joyous sound of live, funky, urban music.
SomeOthaShip Connect Music is an indie music label started by singer-songwriter and producer Georgia Anne Muldrow and longtime music collaborator and rapper Dudley Perkins aka Declaime. At Blank Space on Saturday night, the lineup showcased a hybrid of rap artists such as Philadelphia emcee Bahamadia, energetic DJ and producer Kankick, local electro-soul duo Hawthorne Headhunters, young rapper Con, KDHX's own Nappy DJ Needles, as well as special guests.
"Live wire, shine brighter/Death be the only way I get to retire," raps Atmosphere's Slug on the title-track remix of the duo's eighth album. Produced by Ant, the other half of Atmosphere -- and featuring a long list of artists including Haphduzn, Nazeem and Mike the Martyr -- the stripped down and smoothed out song pays homage to Minneapolis' south side, the place where the duo has worked and called home for much of their 17-year career.
Through layers of emotionally charged (albeit autotuned) vocals and a steady beat, Los Angeles-based R&B artist Chris Batson promises to build a better life out of a dark world when he returns on the appropriately titled track "Come Back for You."
Last night, Beck Hansen made his long-awaited return to Mound City with a sold-out concert at the Pageant. Beck last played here on a tour supporting his album "Midnite Vultures" in January of 2000. Bill Clinton was still president, the iPod's debut was almost two years away and we had all somehow just survived Y2K (phew!)
July is here, and now that the fireworks have faded away, we celebrate a full half year of independent music by taking a look at some of the best releases of 2014 thus far. The DJs of KDHX have picked their 10 favorites from the first six months of the year, with plenty of surprises in store.