Never Mind the Critics | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Music » Music Review

Never Mind the Critics

Here’s what local musicians (and other tastemakers) were listening to in 2009.

by , and

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Page 3 of 4


Front woman and guitarist for White Mystery

Nobunny: Love Visions (1-2-3-4 Go!)

Mickey: "She's So Crazy" b/w "I Am Your Trash" (HoZac)

Definitely number one is Love Visions by Nobunny. Totally scuzzed-out Ramones bubblegum music. It's the only CD I keep in my car. I scrape the snow off my windshield with it. Secondly is the new Mickey seven-inch on HoZac. An awesome, totally great record. It's Mark [McKenzie] from the Functional Blackouts as the front man and he totally shines, I think. He kinda does this Jim Morrison/Doors sloppy, crazy, on-the-edge performance. And then it's just this total straight-up rock 'n' roll backing band. Really great danceable type of stuff. "Roses painted on a leather jacket" pretty much sums it up.

Juke DJ and producer

Mic Terror & Million Dollar Mano: "Juke Them Hoes" (self-released)

Even though it came out last year, "Juke Them Hoes" was my favorite record that I played this year. I love Mic Terror's rap style. I like his topics and I like the way he rap it. I love the fact that he can rap to house music. I like the fact that Mano used the James Brown "Big Payback" sample. It's an all-time classic new school hip-house Chicago-style track. It's the house speed, it's the James Brown sample. I wish I produced that track. I was like, "Wow, this is a banger." I was happy that he made it because I wish I had made it.


Miike Snow: Miike Snow (Downtown)

JJ: JJ No. 2 (Sincerely Yours)

Mannequin Men: Lose Your Illusion, Too (Flameshovel)

Discovery: Discovery (XL)


Curt Cameruci: The Miike Snow album—it stayed on heavy rotation all year for me, mostly just when I was hanging. I think I played it once during one of our sets, but at home I just kept it out; it's just a really playable album. To me it sounds like indie music written by pop producers—just a super pop, polished album of indie kind of songs. I could put the album on and I was never mad.

In a similar vein, JJ, their album—I really like it because they write their songs based on melodies from popular 80s songs, and when I'd listen I'd think "What is this song? I know this!" and be racking my brain, and three days later I would hear some 80s hit and realize where they lifted it. With everyone sampling and mashups, that's just another way to repurpose older material, and I like the direction they took it. Familiarity seems to be my thing, and these records, I feel like I knew where they were from.

Josh Young: Mannequin Men Lose Your Illusion is awesome. It's so fun; I'd listen in the morning when I was getting ready to go out, and it just makes me want to skate, run around, and live, so that was big for 2009. [Editor's note: This interview was not conducted by Miles Raymer, who plays in Mannequin Men.]

We spend so much time in the club listening to music that is so intense; when I'm not DJ-ing, I really want something else, the polar opposite. I want finely crafted pop music. Not like T-Pain pop, like Paul Simon pop. That's why I really loved the Discovery album, which is kind of a perfect driving-around-in-the-snow-alone album. I listen to a lot of music when I am reading, so I like backgrounded melody—which is also the reason I loved Animal Collective's "My Girls." That whole album isn't on my top ten for the year, but that song is perfect.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Add a comment