I'm sure most have heard of the Chicago band Chin Up Chin Up by now. They've had some songs floating around the internet for months, as well as a superb LP which I’ve recently discovered (to the delight of my new officemate) is now also available on Rhapsody. I’ve been listening to this album consistently for three months now, and I think it says something about an disc that remains so fresh and inviting after all that time. It is excellent excellent excellent, and if you haven’t given it a listen you owe it to yourself to check it out. I’m still putting “...Like We Were Skyscrapers” on mixes for friends, and it always gets a positive response.
I was kinda bummed I didn't get to see them last time they were here, but it was the same night as Muse at Webster Hall, and it turned out to be a bit of a disaster evening down at The Delancey anyway. I've checked and checked, but they have not been back in town since. Right now, there is probably no other band I've been looking forward to seeing more than these guys. The potential for greatness is there, and I hope they are as impressive live as they are on MP3.
The second band is one I mentioned briefly yesterday called R.U.O.K. There’s a bit of a story behind these guys. They are one of the main reasons I’ve gotten into seeing live music so much over the last few years. Back when I was in college, when I used to come back home I’d occasionally go out to Galapagos in Williamsburg to see this band called “The Others”. They were friends of friends of boyfriends of whatever. Anyway, the first time I saw them play I thought I was witnessing the next big thing. I wasn’t even sure if I totally was a fan of them yet, but I knew that they were really fucking good. They just sounded so tight, together and focused, you could have sworn they were gonna be all over KRock in a matter of months. They had an EP available for free, and I grabbed a handful and gave a copy to everyone I thought would like it back at college. I listened to it a lot, but after a while they faded into my ever growing collection and slipped out of my mind.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. The band comes up in a conversation, and I find out that they had changed their name to R.U.O.K. (we agreed it was a silly name, but whatever), and that they were still playing regularly in Williamsburg and Lower Manhattan. I go home that night, track down their website, and sure enough they are still playing every so often at Galapagos (I think the lead singer is a bartender there), and have some scattered gigs around the smaller clubs in the city. Not quite MTV2, but I was very happy to see that they are still playing, still writing songs, and still impressing everybody who gets a chance to see them. Their website has a number of new songs (new to me, at least) that are all pretty good, but I think you gotta see them in person to truly see what they’re all about. I hope many people come down to Lit in a few weeks, or to Pianos on March 5th to see them. I will be there, and hopefully they will still sound as impressive as they did first time I heard them.
Chin Up Chin Up is playing tonight at the Mercury Lounge. I've been waiting 3 months for another chance to see them. R.U.O.K. will be at Lit on Feb. 26. It’s been over 2 years, and I can’t wait.
West of the East Village, East of the West Village, North of Washington Square, South of Union Square...Central Village
Thursday, February 10, 2005