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Logan Square Skate Benefit Show:



Ages 21 and up
Thursday, April 20
DOORS: 8pm | SHOW: 9pm
ADV $13 / DOS $15

Logan Square Skate has a community-driven mission of rebuilding and revamping Logan Square Skate Park. We’ve joined forces with them, Revolution Brewing and Hopewell Brewing to kick-off their ongoing fundraising efforts. This is a benefit show in support of turning LSS’s concept into concrete. Find more ways to get involved here.

With their debut album Collector, the Wisconsin-bred alternative rock outfit DISQ seemed to have everything required to take the world by storm. They had the full support of revered veteran indie label Saddle Creek. They’d received favorable notices from outlets such as the NME, the Guardian, and Stereogum. They had an energetic live show which was sure to convert a sea of devotees, and an international tour booked to prove it. Most crucially, they had an album of winning and memorable rock songs, polished to a fine sheen by legendary producer Rob Schnapf. You could not fault these five fresh-faced youngsters for betting it all, but their big mistake was one that no musician could have seen coming : their release date, March 6th, 2020. Within days, the world Disq was poised to conquer ceased to exist.

Undaunted by a storm of misfortunate which would have crushed a lesser band, Disq now returns to take what is rightfully theirs, with their sophomore effort Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, a record which reaffirms the charms of Collector while pushing the sound and dynamic of the band in exciting and unexpected new directions. Rather than splintering and surrendering to their cursed circumstance, Disq has emerged a stronger band, more daring and more defiant, ready to finish the job. It is fitting that the clever backronym effectively makes this the band’s self-titled album, as it introduces the public to a new Disq, a band both seasoned by experience and newly invigorated toward vivid new heights.

Though initially formed as an extension of the lifelong friendship between guitarist Isaac DeBroux-Slone and bassist Raina Bock, Disq has evolved into a far more democratic and egalitarian organization, as Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet finds guitarists Logan Severson and Shannon Conor splitting singing and songwriting duties with the aforementioned DeBroux-Slone and Bock. Such an approach could have easily fallen into the trap of “satisfying everyone, pleasing no one,” resulting in committee-approved music devoid of any personality or rough edges, but happily, the opposite is true. 

Pushing play on Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, it is easy to imagine that it is the year 1998, and your cool older sister has returned from her freshman year at college only to hand you the sort of mind-altering mixtape out of which lifelong rock fanatics are born. It is the sort of record Beck might have made in his prime, if you swapped out the hip-hop and delta blues of Odelay for midwestern emo, Scottish power-pop, and the sort of all-American indie that functions as “classic rock” for this cherubic cohort. 

A song such as “Prize Contest Life” initially scans as a straightforward and easygoing pop treat, only to take a startling detour into the sort of cacophonous noise jam on which Yo La Tengo made their name. Rousing opener “Civilization Four” introduces itself with a dizzying collage of bells and whistles, before a spoken sample helpfully announces “music,” and the band lurches into a glam-grunge riff with enough Stones-y swagger to earn a place in the next Scorsese soundtrack. On understated closer “Hitting a Nail with a BB Gun,” Bock sounds like Kurt Vile fronting Supertramp right when the edible hits. In between, there are heartfelt rock anthems (“The Hardest Part”), acoustic lullabies (“Meant to Be”), and yearning alt-country gems (“If Only), to name just three of the detours along Disq’s winding road to long-deferred satisfaction.

Wrangling a melange of styles such as this is no simple task, but the record is held together by the powerful yet nimble rhythm section of Bock and drummer Stu Manley, whose muscular and hyperactive playing alternately keeps these adventurous compositions tethered firmly to the Earth and sends them soaring into stratosphere. Producer Matt Schuessler (the recording engineer of Collector making the most of his promotion) rarely lets a verse or chorus go by without adding some new sonic sparkle, keeping the arrangements an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of textures and moods. If there is a record in 2022 which squeezes more ideas into 41 minutes, then that record could surely only be the unlistenable mess that Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet avoids becoming so deftly.

Things being how they are in the world today, the idea of finding “someplace quiet” feels like an increasingly remote possibility, and the act of imagining such a place does, indeed, feel more and more desperate. Listening to Disq navigate the myriad twists and turns of their new album can feel akin to an attempted processing of our endless poly-crisis, where each new catastrophe and atrocity jostle for position at the top of the timeline. With their new album, Disq take a valiant stand against the temptation of complacency. As for that “someplace quiet?” It will have to wait… it’s about to get loud in here.

Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like modern life gets stranger by the day, but fortunately LURK are here to help us all lean into the absurdity. The Chicago band’s debut full-length, Around The Sun, is about trying to make the most of your time in a weird new world, all through a whirlwind amalgam of proto-punk eccentricity, new wave swagger, and hardcore ferocity that’s as unique as it is catchy.

LURK—comprised of vocalist Kevin Kiley, drummer Pedro Unzueta, bassist Dan Durley, and guitarists Alex Rackow and Kevin Maida—got their start in 2017 when the members decided to scrap their previous musical project in favor of something more unrestrained. “We were all playing together in this other band, but we were starting to feel burnt out and limited,” recalls Kiley. “We all come from punk and we wanted to do something that was sort of ‘Ramones meets Devo meets B52s meets The Cramps.’ A lot of those older bands could be pretty out-there, and punk can still be out-there if you want it to be.” LURK’s willingness to merge disparate influences into something distinctive might be their greatest strength, and Around The Sun bursts with the energy and confidence of a band who have truly come into their own. “There isn’t really anything else in Chicago that sounds like us,” Kiley says. “We’re kind of the oddball but we like it that way.”

Produced and engineered by Andy Nelson (Jesus Piece, Harms Way, Weekend Nachos) at Bricktop Recording, Around The Sun careens through sounds and styles with reckless abandon, but LURK will an impressive sense of cohesion into the 10 songs through sheer force of daring creativity. “We have such a wide array of interests that it can be hard to incorporate all those elements, but we never want to take one influence too far,” Kiley says. “If something sounds super poppy we try to fuck it up, if
something sounds really harsh then we try to make it sound catchy as well.”

Opener “Chromosome” catapults the listener into Around The Sun’s roller coaster dynamics, starting with a synth swell and a few seconds of subdued guitar before a blast of distortion and drums sends the song flying. Kiley’s vocals are part-shouted, part-sung, and all energy as he laments the pressure to set aside your passions or dreams as you age out of adolescence. “You only have one chance,” Kiley says. “But the older you get the more you get grief and eye rolls for trying to do what you really want to do.” That all-too-common tension between aspiration and security is felt on songs like the anthemic “Strut” or the album-closing title track, making the constant passing of time as ever-present on Around The Sun as Unzueta’s powerhouse drumming. “Pursuing something creative can seem like a stupid risk to a lot of people,” Kiley says. “But that’s overridden by your passion for it. You just feel compelled to do it, you won’t regret it even if you faceplant.”

Elsewhere, on tracks like “Top Secret,” “See-Thru,” or “Pressure Points,” Maida and Rackow fuse biting punk riffs with Unzueta and Durley’s danceable rhythm section, while Kiley’s lyrics tackle other contemporary madnesses like the inescapable shadow of the internet and all the frustrations that come with it. The vocalist has little time for pretentious or judgemental attitudes—or the self-made digital enclosures that foster them. “It’s so easy now to just surround yourself with people who are just like you, but I don’t think that’s healthy,” he explains. Kiley accepts that there’s a certain amount of unpredictability in life and after a mid-tour trip to emergency surgery to have his appendix removed he was inspired to write “Bermuda.” The dream-like instrumental finds LURK taking a detour into near-psychedelic territory as Kiley sings about suddenly feeling far removed from his normal life in an unfamiliar place.

On “Crack A Smile”—an album standout that features perhaps the most gargantuan chorus on a record full of sing-along-ready refrains—Kiley’s snarling hooks are layered with falsetto
harmonies as he sings, “Don’t have to stay forever / but I hope you stay awhile / I hope you enjoy the weather / I hope you crack a smile.” It’s LURK’s freakout take on a feel good summer hit, but it also comes off like a defiant mission statement: life is often uncertain, unusual, and even unfair, but if you’re willing to try and find it, there’s joy in the strangeness.

Initially the solo project of Ryan Nolen, FOOTBALLHEAD showcases the poppier side of 90s radio rock. With big guitars and bubblegum hooks, these nostalgia soaked songs evoke the energy of early Jimmy Eat World, Third Eye Blind, and blink-182. Nolen has teamed up with Adam Siska (The Academy Is… & Say Anything) to keep the ethos of 90s/2000s alternative pop music fresh and dynamic.