The Daily Blend’s September Top Ten 2018

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Hi friends! I’m alive! That is, I’ve come back from the worst city in Illinois and am currently in the best city in Illinois. It has been a very long summer, and I have oodles of new music for y’all. I wish I could say that this blog is solely based off of my music choices in September, but unfortunately, I’m not that creative and a good portion of this music is stuff I enjoyed over the summer as well. Also, a bunch of new albums just came out as this blog is being published, so while you all read this post, I’ll be listening to new albums to rave or rant about in about a month. 🙂

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The Daily Blend’s March Top Ten 2018

march blog pic

Yo, people of the internet! I am BACK for the month, and I’m so excited for this blog. March is one of my favorite months of the year, and this year’s March just happened to be an amazing month for music!

With everything that is played on my show, you all probably think I have way too much happening in the skull area of my body. So, I want to give everyone a little insight as to what’s going on in my brain, without having to look at the “Recently Played” section on my Spotify. The solution I came to was to tell everyone about the hidden (and not so hidden) gems in my music library for the month. Some of the music I post will be at the top of charts, some of the music won’t be your style, some will be a band’s biggest hit that I’ve just been happening to listen to a lot, and some will be completely unknown to you!

So, to start it off, here’s just a couple of my favorite artists for March, a little bit about them, and some song suggestions:

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The Daily Blend’s February Top Ten 2018

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Hey guys! So, uh, sorry in advance for the lack of variety in this month’s edition of good music. It’s been kind of a pain to put this together because I’ve been REALLY into like three bands all month, so I was definitely scrambling to get all of my eggs together for the month (did you see what I did there??). Regardless, I would never leave you guys hanging; I promise, I’ll always have some good music on here, and I won’t just put stuff on here to fill the blank spots. BUT ANYWAY, let’s get into the prerecorded message for every single one of my blogs!

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The Daily Blend’s December Top Ten 2017


Hey, hey, everyone! Another month gone, and another year gone! WELCOME TO 8102 EVERYONE! In this new advanced year, instruments are no longer around, and are now artifacts preserved in a museum. Robots have taken over the world, and, of course, music. I’m kidding, of course; that’s a total nightmare! In all honesty, though, 2018 is bound to have some great music, and there’s already some releases coming up this month that I am SO excited about! But enough about new music, let’s have a look at the music that’s already been released, and has made it onto my playlists this past month! This month has honestly been a little different from past months: I’ve had less of a variety this month! As you’ll be able to tell, it has definitely been a rock-filled month, since almost all I listened to was rock-based music. But you’ll also see that there were a few hidden exceptions to this!

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Figuring It Out! with Sonia Universe

Hey guys! Welcome back to another semester at UIC and UIC Radio.

This year, along with blogging, I am hosting my own show, affectionately titled “Figuring It Out!” with Sonia Universe. Why? Because every week, you never quite know how the show is going to go . . . but we’ll figure it out.

I did a few test runs over the summer and have resumed my weekly shows during the semester, which is also my last semester at UIC!

I’m back again to serve up some conversations and tunes: alternative, indie, rock, electronic, and of course, k-pop. So be sure to tune in every Wednesday from 2-4pm here at for your weekly dose of jams!

Are You Listening to Midnight?

Hi everyone, it’s been a while! I just wanted to update you on some exciting things that have been happening on Midnight with Pearl Girl!

First of all, it’s not “Midnight with Pearl Girl” anymore. It’s now “Midnight with Pearl Girl and Sonia Universe“! Our resident blogger and blog director, Sonia Vavra, will now be joining me as my co-host every Wednesday.

Secondly, “Midnight” is no longer just a music-based show, but more centered around talk or variety. That being said, we want to know what topics you want to hear. Let us know us know if you want us to discuss a certain topic or event by tweeting at me (@pearlgirrrl) or at Sonia (@sonia_universe). Feel free to let us know your song requests as well. We’ll try our best to play it on-air!

Next, Sonia and I usually live steam our shows on UIC Radio’s ustream account. If you’d like, you can watch us talk in the station/ chat with us during our show on the ustream channel as well.


If you want to listen, just go to our home page and click on the big, red button under “listen live” or simply click here! We hope you’ll join us on Midnight with Pearl Girl and Sonia Universe on Wednesdays from 4-6pm!


New Up and Coming Artist: Sun Club

For those seeking new music or looking for the next big thing, I recommend you check out Sun Club. These guys are a indie pop-rock band from Baltimore. I recently found this band as I was going to attend a The Districts show, another band you should definitely check out. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the show, however my friend told me about Sun Club saying that they stole the show. Sun Club offers something different from most of the song you would listen to on Q101.1 or whatever it is called now. However, they still keep the radio acceptability that I think can make then a very popular new band. Them touring with The Districts is already a good sign, so listen to these guys now so you can tell your hipster friends that you listened to them before they were big.

Also, check out this Audiotree session they did, which is a cool Chicago based music company.

Northern Faces Interview – Riot Fest Chicago 2015

Northern Faces - Riot Fest Chicago 2015

Marco Testa, Matt Ippolito and Bryan Shortell, form the Alternative Rock band Northern Faces, who recently rocked the Radicals Stage at Riot Fest Chicago. They put on an awesome performance with great music. This show is about the last leg of them touring. I caught up with them for an interview. Check out the latest on Northern Faces below.

B Roc – You just did your show here for Riot Fest Chicago. What are your feelings on the fest?

Bryan – We love it! Awesome fest! Just coming from Riot in Denver… and we are just wrapping up, so it’s great!

B Roc – What do you hope your fans get from your music?

Bryan – We’re a rock band at our core, but we include Pop, Folk, and more… we are all over the place when it comes to our style of music. But I hope the fans get something from it. If our fans can get anything, from anyone of those styles, it means a lot to us.

Northern Faces - Riot Fest Chicago 2015

B Roc – Are there any artists that are currently doing their thing that you would like to collab with?

Bryan –  Yeah! We look forward to working with a few bands, and other collaborations. Portugal The Man, we definitely like his music… The Congos is also a band we look forward to working with and some others. Would love to share a stage and hit the road with them… for sure!

B Roc – Do you have any shows lined up in the near future?

Bryan –  We have a show November 13th, with Meg Myers at the Webster Hall… pretty excited about it! We did the Audiotree Festival, and Fashion Meets Music and a few others. We’re gonna head home, get in the studio and get back to creating music.

B Roc – What’s something you have to do before you leave Chicago? Can’t leave Chicago without….?

Bryan – Some of the members of our band are vegans. We have a spot back home called Upton’s Natural. And whenever we’re in town we always stop there. Really awesome food, organic with great selection and products.


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Royal Tongues Interview w/ Noteworthy

Ivan of Noteworthy here once again (Mondays, 6PM-8PM at to introduce a band that I’ve played on the show before. Their name is Royal Tongues and they’re a fun alternative pop duo based out of Buffalo, NY. Patterns and Shapes, their debut EP, was just released in March and is a synth-filled collection of songs aimed at arena domination. I had the chance to speak with band members Aaron Bonus (pictured left, above) and Justin Gammella through e-mail and you can check out the conversation below.

Noteworthy: So how did you guys meet?
Aaron Bonus: Through a mutual contact. We set up a writing session and wrote “The Balance.” We knew we had something special.

NW: How did you come up with the name Royal Tongues?
Aaron: Lorde’s “Royals” and Joywave’s “Tongues” were both on [alternative] radio at the time. We never cared too much about the name overall. Instead, we wanted to define the name by how we sounded.

NW: What role do you play in the group?
Aaron: I mostly sing live, but recording-wise we both do a little of everything.
Justin Gammella: Keys and harmonies live. As the set grows we are both planning on playing more instruments live as well.

NW: An easy comparison to make with your music would be groups like Passion Pit and Grouplove, but you guys just recently released a cover of Alabama Shakes’ “Don’t Wanna Fight.” What other types of music or influences would people be surprised to find that you’re into and how did you decide on that cover?
Justin: I think mine and Aaron’s wide range of influences is what makes our sound. We are fans of a lot of the alternative and pop music out now but also love ’70s disco, ’90s hip hop, ’80s pop, the ’60s etc. It’s really all over the place and we try to incorporate every influence into every song but especially in the cover.
Aaron: I really loved the song from first listen. I can tell the lyrics are coming from a place of truth and [Brittany Howard’s] voice captures that. I knew I wouldn’t be able to quite get the emotion right, and besides I felt like the chorus could translate to a more disco vibe. So we did that.

Aaron: As far as other music that would surprise you: Nickel Creek, Coldplay, Neutral Milk Hotel.
Justin: For me, Brand New, Justin Timberlake and Regina Spektor.

NW: Your music is so bouncy and synth-oriented that it feels like only a matter of time before I hear a Royal Tongues song appear in a commercial. Do you have any current favorite ad placements of songs that caught your ear and eye?
Justin: I think Foster The People being in almost every commercial when their album came out was huge for alternative music being in commercials.
Aaron: The Bleachers’ Chase Apple Pay commercial was great. Even had him and the band perform in it. Good things are in the works though. Stay tuned.

NW: What’s your songwriting process and how do you know when a track is finished?
Aaron: First off, great question. It really depends. Sometimes we play it live for a while then go back and make the right changes and adjustments with feel taking the lead.  Sometimes, we show a demo to our team and they go nuts over it and push us to just get that version mixed.
Justin: It depends. Sometimes Aaron has a melody that he’s been messing with and we’ll start with that or I’ll have a beat or some sort of a production and we’ll start with that. But usually our best songs, in my opinion, come when we are both in the room and start fresh and just see what happens.

NW: What were your goals going into the writing and recording of the Patterns and Shapes EP?
Justin: We really didn’t have any to be honest. A lot of the songs were written and recorded without an exact project in mind. We were just writing what we thought we would want to listen to to put us in a good mood.

NW: Would you care to explain the title and the artwork?
Aaron: The title came from “The Balance” lyrics, the pre-chorus to be exact. The cover was just a representation of the beginning. A pile of dirt and rocks. For us to build from, if you will.


NW: I saw on Twitter recently that you guys were playing Mario Kart 64. This is a potential fisticuffs inciting question, but favorite character and course?
Justin: Mario/Wario Stadium.
Aaron: Toad/Rainbow Road.

NW: Rainbow Road is indeed classic. When do you think Royal Tongues will make it to Chicago?
Aaron: We’ll actually be there May 6th with Step Rockets at Beat Kitchen.

NW: What’s one track from the EP that people should check out immediately if this is the first time they’re finding out about you?
Aaron: Well if you ask me I would say “Just Want To Live” is our favorite on the EP but “The Balance” seems to be creating the most reaction.  I guess it just comes down to who you trust more.
Justin: I would say the opening track, “Rollin’ On.” In my opinion it grabs your attention and makes you want to keep listening to what else we have to offer. Which is why it’s the first track on the EP.

If you want to keep up with Royal Tongues, you can like their Facebook page and make sure to listen to Noteworthy with Ivan Mitchell every Monday from 6PM-8PM at

Have Mercy at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen

UIC Radio’s Kris Fuentes Cortes from Beyond the Barrier got the chance to meet up with Have Mercy. The Baltimore based band was on there headlining tour and played a sold out show here in Chicago. Watch as they talk about music, beer, video games, and see who comes to crash their interview not once but twice!