Looking Ahead • W(Indy) City Showcase @ Emporium Wicker Park 11/18

With all the action going down in the Chicago music scene right now, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and forget the other great artists just out of sight. As citizens of the Midwest, we need to stay in the loop, constantly vigilant. Too much good stuff out there not to be. Keeping in the spirit of this mentality, we recently saw the successful unveiling of the Orbit series, featuring artists from Chicago, Milwaukee and the Twin Cities in a collaborative Midwestern set of concerts. Bringing together the unique sounds and styles of the different cities, the series visited the home of each of the respective performers; here’s hoping for more. Now we have the first official W(Indy) City event, presented by These Days’ own wordsmith and editor extraordinaire Ben-neonpajamas-Niespodziany, curating a killer combo of some of the finest rappers and DJs that Chicago and Indianapolis have to offer. 

As is the nature of the music racket, it can be hard to get a spotlight shined on even truly exciting music. You can see this with Chicago; years into the wave, nationally our boom is only just moving out of its infancy. The lack of Midwest industry, of course, doesn’t stop here. You may not be familiar with this Indianapolis contingent, but they absolutely need to be heard.  Ranging a wide variety of sounds from turnt to trippy, W(Indy) City will celebrate the differences and similarities of our respective rap laboratories. In the Chicago camp, we have ShowYouSuck, Beach Jesus, and Sahar (DJ). On team Indy, you’ll find Oreo Jones, Sirius Blvck, and KNag$ (DJ). 

Let’s cross to the Indy side of the tracks. Take Sirius Blvck, who started out as a frontman for Indianapolis band Indian City Weather before switching to a focus on rap a few years back. Sirius formed his NapTown group “Ghost Town Collective”, also containing W(Indy) City performer Oreo Jones (please check out his awesome cooking show Let's Do Lunch w/Oreo Jones). These guys' music is definitely wavy, but it’s a dream that is full of life.  A little weirder, a little exaggerated, but grounded, based in experiential reality. This is happy basement music, where laughter and darkness can go hand-in-hand. KNag$ will also be performing on the 1's and 2's, topping off a fire roster of Indiana talent. In case it slipped under your radar, Sirius Blvck and KNag$ released an album together this summer called Chedda Biscuits. Oreo Jones even makes an appearance on the vibrant track "Jet Ski".

With Chicago’s ticket, you may know what we’re getting into, but if not, let’s dive right in. ShowYouSuck takes the term pizza-party very literally, and maybe the only example of this phrase you can accurately throw “one-man” in front of and have it make sense. A lot of artists have tried and failed at making music with a sense of humor that doesn’t fall into the trap of looking at itself from too far outside the tunes, preventing a loss of honesty or a presence of moment. Show ain’t that. Show gets it (SHOWYOUSUCK). It’s party rap with wisdom, and it happens to be hilarious. Adding to the lineup is the great Beach Jesus, purveyors of songs that’ll make you feel some type of way. It can be hard to lock the four-person collective's sound down but I believe their recent gift to the world “Aloe BB” gives an accurate depiction of the sonic joy you can expect to receive (Church). Sahar, of the always excellent 1833 and Soulection, will be spinning as well.

The special W(Indy) City performance will take place this Wednesday (November 18th) at Emporium’s Wicker Park location. Music begins at 9 PM and it's super free.