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All I Want For Christmas is Moneypenny

If you weren’t already thrown into the Christmas spirit by the massive amounts of wet snow on the sidewalks this morning then let Moneypenny finish the job with another great mixtape. Spandexxxmas Mixtape (mp3) features some classics, lots of samples, and dance tracks from Felix Da Housecat, Green Velvet ft. Kid Sis, Fatboy Slim, and more. Moneypenny has also produced a Christmas single of their own which consists of two covers. The “A” side is “Christmas Time is Here” (from Peanuts) (mp3) and the “B” side is surprisingly a cover of Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (mp3). Nothing says Christmas like Joy Division.

Moneypenny will be performing a DJ set at sponsored by Puma and DJ Hero at Belmont Army Surplus on December 9th. They will also be hosting “After Dark” at The Art Institute on December 11th, and playing a live set at Darkroom’s Ghosts of Christmas on December 12th.

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Meah!

Meah!, a wild garage-funk band out of the Pilsen neighborhood, released a spastic 7” on Sophomore Lounge Records this past September. The other side of the 7” was provided the Louisville band Phantom Family Halo. Meah! contributed two tracks and the first is called Kids/Summer and it is aggressive, unpredictable, pure fun on vinyl. Meah! has been a part of the scene for the last three years, and have gained a reputation for loud and uncontrollable live sets. You can stream both tracks on Meah! myspace page.

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Hyde Park (I Miss You)

Here is a new video from director Jovan Jimenez for the track "Hyde Park (I Miss You)" from the 2008 release Neighborhood Suicide from Radius (TSLOS).

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These Things Happen

The easy comparisons here are to group like Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets, and US3, but The J. Davis Trio (JDT) sound has something original and refreshing. True, Stuart bring the old school flow, but you can’t help but bop your head. It’s the Southside garage-jazz that group brings that really sets them apart from the rest. With Flav-R-Ice on bass, Benjamin Pendulum on trumpet, and The Planet on Drums, these four have constructed an album filled with soulful jazz tracks and passionate rhymes about the city we all love.

I think that’s what make JDT unique, is their perspective and entrench in the Chicago streets they are. Whether it is talking about chillin’ at The Vic (“These Things Happen” (mp3)) or DePaul or Homewood or Flossmoor or Hyde Park, JDT have created an album that is a tribute jazz and hip hop fusion, but also to Chicago. Another aspect of this album that I really enjoy is the guest appearances, from the violin of Susan Voelz to the vocals of Stolie to the rhymes of O Type Star and Luchbox Law. These Things Happen is the groups third album and it was originally released in April of 2007. They are re-releasing the album through their own label Yo Yo Smuggler Records on December 9th, and as I float through these tracks they still sound fresh and need to be heard.

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Tryst Live At Nitecap

I bring to you, fair reader, a local metal act with a lot of potential. I had the distinct pleasure of getting to see up-and-comers Tryst at Nite Cap recently and was really interested in seeing what they could do. Unfortunately, in this city and with a good deal of metal scenes, it's usually hit-or-miss with the bands you might see on any given night. This night offered up local act Tryst, who were decidedly a hit. With a sound that really runs the gamut of metal styles, it was a treat to hear a group that could really lock in on any style they wanted. As opposed to some bands that lock in on a style before developing an overall sound, this definitely boosted their appeal. Running the gamut from sludge to black to thrash metal, Tryst put on quite the show. Unfortunately for them, Nite Cap's sound-engineer doesn't know what he's doing. Plagued with feedback, an inability to make out the bass-line unless standing in front of the bassist and a general muddiness of guitars, this really dampened my experience.

When audible lead singer Jezzibel gives an enthusiastic performance and lends not only her natural singing voice but her brutal scream to the overall sound. Having only heard a handful of "real" metal bands with female vocalists, I wasn't sold at first. Jezzibel's ability to shrug off nerves or fatigue and power through her set while engaging her audience is commendable. Bassist Tony is a real talent and was, as I found out later, sick as a dog during his set. You couldn't tell, not once, that he was tired or anything but amped about being on stage. New member, Mario, added a good handful of shred to the band's already overwhelming ferocity. Guitarist Phil and Drummer J-Sin were a tight rhythm section, never stopping to keep the driving melodies moving. During the close of their set they threw down with a well-done cover of Fear Factory's "Replica" and I was suddenly 16 again. I rushed up to the stage and instantly began thrashing as hard as I could, you know, while I gingerly removed my glasses. So do keep your eye out for this wrecking crew, as they're likely to come ripping through your 'hood soon. - Ben Kessell

Sounds like: Walls of Jericho, In this Moment, Nightwish.

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