Shoes, the power-pop pride of northern Illinois, have been DIY since BTWWB (Before This Wolf Was Born), which in this case means 1974. Apart from a brief stint on Elektra in the late 70s and early 80s (which in 1979 netted them their only brush with the Billboard top 50) the boys from Zion have recorded mostly at home studios and released their catchy, tightly wound, and incredibly harmonious music almost exclusively on their own label, Black Vinyl. On Tue 8/14 (or Tue 7/3 through Shoes' website) the founding trio of John Murphy, Jeff Murphy, and Gary Klebe will release Ignition, their first LP of new material in 18 years. It's about damn time, fellas! Plus the Numero Group just announced a typically lavish reissue series of mid-70s Shoes vinyl, beginning with 1975's One in Versailles this fall; subsequent LPs arrive every couple months.
This weekend local rock trio Geronimo releases The Burden of Genius, the second volume in a cassette series it started last summer called Buzz Yr Girlfriend. The five-track tape includes a heavy, fuzzy take on a classic from Beat Happening, "Indian Summer." On Sat 6/23 the band will celebrate with a show at Township.
On Tue 6/26 LA rapper and Chicago native Open Mike Eagle will release his third full-length in as many years, 4NML HSPTL (that's pronounced "animal hospital"). "A lot of my earlier stuff is more of a commentary on the industry and how people consume hip-hop and regard it," he says. "This one is more of an expression of me and my relationship to music, and making hip-hop and incorporating the sounds of other genres that influence me." The album, which addresses the housing bubble and efforts to reconcile rap's past and present, includes cameos from former Chicagoan Serengeti and (in the digital version) Detroit's Danny Brown. Eagle recently returned from an artist-exchange program in Uganda; he's working on a project with producer Blockhead (Aesop Rock) and planning a U.S. tour.
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