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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2012 | RedEye
NPR.org reports: Pro tip for Andrew Bird fans hearing Break It Yourself for the first time: Clear away any and all distractions, listen on headphones and let its subtle charms sink in slowly. Early mornings or late nights work best. This isn't a record for chaotic commutes or busy offices - these are songs of quiet contemplation, performed by a classically trained artist who sounds unmistakably confident in his craft, yet more muted than usual. Read the full story and listen to the album at NPR.org .
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 2011 | By Ernest Wilkins, RedEye
** (out of four) I'll start this by admitting upfront that I'm not Rihanna's target audience. Hell, If we're being completely transparent, I'm the guy trying to sleep with Rihanna's target audience. Now that I've gotten that out of the way: This album is a Frankenstein monster of "I am in charge of my sexuality and you can't do anything about it" chest-thumps (the title track)  and "For the love of God, will you just do me already?" songs ("Birthday Cake" "Cockiness (Love It)"
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2012 | Andy Downing, For RedEye
Hollows kept things light on its self-titled debut, bashing through an array of catchy, summer-ready tunes steeped in '60s girl-group pop and melodic garage-rock. The hooks on the quintet's excellent sophomore album "Vulture" are still hummable, but the tunes themselves cut deeper with lyrics that touch on grown-up subjects like heartbreak and loss. In that regard, it's little surprise to hear singer/organist Maria Jenkins wrote many of the tunes while nursing a breakup and dealing with a family illness.
NEWS
January 30, 2013 | By Erin Vogel @eringejuice and For RedEye
Shakespeare: For me, Shakespeare brings to me a sense of the sonnet and innovation in the sonnet--and that's what John Berryman also brings to me. Lil Wayne: I listen to Lil Wayne and try to learn from him to see what he's doing in terms of rhymes and rhyme structure. Lil Wayne is very post-modern--that's why I also love Wu-Tang Clan. Wu-Tang moves associatively through their songs in a very post-modern way. Their language play is some of the best you'll see. Lil Wayne brings to me a sense of rhyme structure, metaphor-making and fresh metaphors that I think, ultimately, produce reactions in people.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 2013 | By Adam Lukach and For RedEye
When Jay Z and Justin Timberlake announced their “Legends of the Summer” stadium tour in February, it seemed like a shrewd business decision--putting arguably the commercial kings of hip-hop and pop/R&B together for a short, expensive tour. It suddenly gave another meaning to "being on their 'suit and tie' [bleep]" too: They were not just hobnobbing musicians in black ties by night but savvy brand managers in sharp business suits by day.   The tour predictably has been an insane success, garnering both sellouts and critical praise, and Monday night at Soldier Field was just as huge.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2012 | Andy Downing for RedEye
Listening to Sharon Van Etten's music, you'd never guess she has a difficult time showing vulnerability. The Jersey-born singer-songwriter's albums are uniformly confessional, steeped in heartache, longing and regret. Listening to battered tunes like "Joke or a Lie" can feel a bit like overhearing a private conversation. Yet in the newly revamped liner notes for Van Etten's stunning third album "Tramp," which first surfaced earlier this year and was recently reissued in a deluxe edition that includes demo versions of each song, she writes that learning to show vulnerability remains an ongoing struggle.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 31, 2012 | By Adam Lukach and RedEye intern
*** (out of 4) Kids these days. They spend so much time on that Internet, digesting overwhelming amounts of information, destroying their attention spans. It's a wonder they can ever synthesize it into anything useful, am I right? Chicago's Kids These Days, an 8-piece musical collective, personifies the expansiveness and availability of music on the Internet with a horn section, piano and a rapper as the main vocalist. The group took home the grand prize at the Congress Theatre's Next Big Thing competition in 2009 and has since gone on to play SXSW, Summerfest, and the local crown jewel, Lollapalooza.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2013 | By Ernest Wilkins, @ErnestWilkins and RedEye Sound Board
**** (out of 4) Danny Brown, by all accounts, is a very smart man. After the runaway success of his go-for-broke 2011 free album “XXX,” he quickly joined the ranks of rap's hottest new acts and became a festival mainstay. On this, his first “official release,” he completely throws caution to the wind and delivers one of the more entertaining projects in recent memory.  See, the man made a concept project that deviates from the boring-ass “this is all related to one thing” concept-record narrative.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2014 | By Matt Pais and RedEye music editor
*** (out of four stars) When an artist has an extraordinary voice, it can be difficult to sort great songs from OK songs sung beautifully. In the past few years I've continually returned to “Grown Unknown” by Lia Ices. Not only is her voice astonishing, but the complicated lyrics and thoughtful textures make the record soothing without becoming background music. It's a gorgeous, rewarding album that's more than just an awesome voice. That leads us to “Burn Your Fire For No Witness,” the breakout record (and first for indie heavyweight label Jagjaguwar)
SPORTS
April 24, 2014 | By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins
These days, you might easily find yourself nodding your head before cheering on the Bulls at the United Center. The pregame groove is the handiwork of DJ Flipside. The Chicago native is actually the official music coordinator for the Bulls this season. RedEye chatted it up with him during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. "Official Music Coordinator" sounds like a pretty intense title. Yeah, This is the first year for this position so it's been fun so far. I actually work on the job with DJ Marquis and DJ Metro.
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