Battle of the Bands 2018

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On March 16, UIC Radio held the Battle of the Bands, which is a competition against local bands for a spot to play in next year’s Spark in the Park. The event was held in the East Terrace from 6 p.m. -9 p.m.

Man. Spark In The Park has had some fire lineups in years previous. We had Nick Jonas and DRAM this year. 2015 had Twenty One Pilots, 2014 had J Cole, and 2013 had both Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper. These are just a few of the notorious artists and bands that have performed here in UIC’s backyard.

Imagine opening for one of these artists as a performer or band in your own right. Sounds amazing, right? Well, local band New House was the winner for this year’s Battle of the Bands.

Continue reading “Battle of the Bands 2018”

Fact Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Part Two

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Mistakes can and do happen, in all fields and by all people. As you may have read in the previous “Fact Check Yourself,” many times these mistakes can be made due to pure miscommunication. Occasionally, this does happen, and while it could be something that’s easily correctable, it could also potentially change the public’s viewpoint in a possibly disastrous way. This counts for both stories and current events, and guests who appear on programs.

Take, for instance, the appearance of Guy Goma on BBC News.

Goma was at the BBC for a job interview in their IT department, but due to a mix-up in a waiting room, a producer who was tasked with finding a “Guy Kewney” who was scheduled to appear for a live interview accidentally found Guy Goma instead, and the rest is history.

But what happens when guests who are scheduled to appear aren’t who they even claimed to be to station staff?

Continue reading “Fact Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Part Two”

An Interview With “Dreamers” At Lollapalooza 2016

Magical things happen at Lollapalooza. You get to discover lots of talented, new bands, but you also get to be reunited with old favorites. At this year’s Lollapalooza, I was fortunate enough reunite with one of my favorite up and coming bands and talk to them about their journey thus far.

Dreamers is a band that I saw two times prior to their Lolla performance (I got to see them open for Stone Temple Pilots and Zella Day). Seeing them perform on the festival stage and witnessing how much they have grown since the last time I saw them live was one of my favorite moments at Lolla 2016.

At the festival, I was able to have a brief conversation with the band members Nick, Nelson, and Jacob about how Dreamers first got together, their experience with touring, and their upcoming debut album (which will be released on Aug. 26). So without further ado, here’s my final Lolla interview! Check out my interview with Dreamers below!

Dreamers at Lolla 2016 (Photo by me)
Dreamers at Lolla 2016 (Photo by me)

Continue reading “An Interview With “Dreamers” At Lollapalooza 2016″

An Interview With “Mothers” At Lollapalooza 2016

One of the things that I loved the most about Lollapalooza is how the festival allowed me to see so many of my favorite bands over the course of one long weekend. BUT in addition to that, I also loved how the festival gave me a chance to discover many talented bands that I may not have discovered on my own. That’s how I came across the band Mothers!

I came across the band and their music, when I saw their name listed on the 2016 Lolla lineup. Mothers is an indie-folk band from Athens, Georgia which consists of four incredible musicians: Kristine Leschper, Matthew Anderegg, Drew Kirby, and Patrick Morales. After hearing Kristine’s delicate voice and really getting to experience the band’s intimate tunes live at Lolla, I haven’t been able to stop listening to their songs. Check out my interview with the band below!

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Photo by Shervin Lainez

Continue reading “An Interview With “Mothers” At Lollapalooza 2016″

Day In The Life Of Chicago’s Very Own Sir The Baptist

If not now, when? 24 hours is all we have in any given day. Time is free and doesn’t cost us a single dime but time is also the most valuable currency we can spend. Mind boggling, isn’t it? How you choose to spend those 24 hours is truly something precious. Do you ever wonder how a music artist spends their 24 hours? Between interviews, photoshoots, studio sessions, performances, legal agreements, and more – the life of an artist is definitely not an easy task.

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Photo by Johnny Fan (yours truly)

Chicago’s very own, rapper-singer, Sir The Baptist, shares with us a video showcasing the behind the scenes of what a day in the life of a music artist looks like. Sir The Baptist calls himself the Urban Monk with a unique genre of his own, the Ghetto Gospel sound. A truly vivid yet complex sound captures the cadence of church. (I dropped a bar right there, yay for alliteration.) Sir’s collaboration with music artists include Chance The Rapper on Surf, Twista, and Logic, among others. With features on Jay Z’s TIDALFakeShoreDrive, Apple Store EventChicago TribuneOkayPlayerWGN RadioSway In The Morning and more, Sir The Baptist is definitely making waves Kanye will hear.

Among other news, Sir The Baptist will be the sole performer at the Chicago’s 58th Grammy Viewing Party at Thalia Hall! RSVP is available! Following the announcement of the Grammy Performance, Sir The Baptist’s “Raise Hell” hits #2 on Spotify’s U.S. Viral Top 50!

Without further ado, here is the Day In The Life of Sir The Baptist below!

Continue reading “Day In The Life Of Chicago’s Very Own Sir The Baptist”

Introduction To Johnny Fan

Hey Everyone,

My name is Johnny Fan. I wanted to introduce myself to the UIC Radio audience and community as I’ll be a new writer to UIC Radio. My post days are on Sundays so why not start your Sunday right by relaxing and reading a blog post! =)

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Photo of me by my friend Thomas.

To tell you a little bit about myself –  I am 19 year old sophomore studying and majoring in Business Marketing. I love coffee, dancing, traveling, writing, photography, and filmmaking. I think these 6 things pretty much sum up my life because they are all extremely time consuming – yes, even coffee.

I don’t have a lot of images of myself mainly because I am more used to being behind the camera rather than in front of it. With that being said, I have been spending a lot of time behind the camera recently. I’ve been taking photos on my phone for fun as soon as I got my first iPhone which was about 2 or 3 years ago. It was a hand me down iPhone 4, the one without Siri sadly. Nonetheless, I would just take random pictures wherever I could snap a photo and just keep tapping away at the capture button. You miss the 100% of the shots you never take, haha – am I right? Safe to say, I took 100 photos and still missed the shot…

It was not until a year and a half later where I really dived into taking photos for a purpose – to tell a story and share my vision with the world on my iPhone. This year, near the end of June/early July I wanted to take it more seriously so I picked up my first DSLR camera and started teaching myself and sharing my work on Instagram.

Here’s a few photos that I have taken since then. Continue reading “Introduction To Johnny Fan”

Spike Lee’s Chiraq: Interview with Actor L’Dorado Jones

 

A city plagued with violent headlines.

Shootings of innocent people seems to be the norm in the rough areas of the city. In the midst of all of the previous documentaries that have been done to show the violence and the interaction of gangs in certain neighborhoods there was a movie due to start filming this past summer. The movie was presented by the famous film director Spike Lee. With his knowledge of film how was he going to come into the city and present it on the big screen.

 

Well as most films go there were auditions and then the cast was set and the title of the movie was released………..”Chiraq”. This was a term that was born in this city due to the number of murders in the year of 2012, which was more than the rate of that in Iraq.  So again the people of the city wanted to know how was Spike Lee going to show this in cinema and make it work. Well the story is based on the Greek play, which happened to be a satire called “Lysistrata”. The basis of this play was that the women would withhold physical affection from their husbands as punishment for fighting in war.

 

Now to the movie. First of this was a very star studded cast which includes Nick Cannon,  Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Steve Harris, Harry Lennix, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Dave Chappelle, La La Anthony and a host of local Chicago actors including Jay Washington and the brother I had the pleasure of interviewing today L’Dorado Jones. He plays Ajani who is Nick Cannons Lieutenant so basically his right hand man. We talked about his acting career and his role in the movie and what is was like to be around such a great cast so check out the interview.

 

Sitting here with the talented L’Dorado Jones what’s going on man?

 

What’s up man it a pleasure to finally get a chance to sit down and chop it up with you ‘The Living Legend” (he really said that AWESOME!!!!!). Appreciate the opportunity. It’s an exciting time right now. Chiraq will be in theatres this Thursday. The city is on fire for it even though it’s been controversial, don’t believe the hype or as Spike Lee said don’t get it twisted. Come out and see it and enjoy it. It’s our city and our time. I think it’s going to be a great debate starter or a great conversation piece to further some dialogue.

 

Knowing the controversy surrounding the title and the movie what were your thoughts going into the audition?

 

When my agent told me that Spike Lee was shooting a film here in Chicago I was like okay that’s good I would like to be a part of that. Didn’t know how big it was going to be and like everyone else didn’t know what the movie was going to be about. Of course when you are doing reads the names are never with what your character is going to be. You just see the dummy names and then you are only getting a fraction of the dialogue. You don’t even know what the scene is about you are just going for it. When I get there we were auditioning at the Black Ensemble Theatre on North Clark Street and I figured it would just be another audition with the casting director. I spent all night going over the script so I can get off paper as my agent told me you know commit it to memory.  So I get there and I am a MC so I am used to performing but I go in and see Spike Lee sitting there and my entire cool goes out the window. So I go in and Spike is just sitting there smiling at me and I am like hey this is unexpected.  As a bit of an icebreaker his first words to me where “What Are Those” looking at my shoes, but not in the way the kids say it now but he actually wanted to know what kind of shoes I had on and I had on some Supra Zebra Print 4’s.  I really dig Supra’s I am into skate shoes. I don’t skate but shout out to all my skaters.  So I told him about the shoes and they are from the West Coast. I mean this is Mars Blackmon, Mr. Air Jordan so for him to even slide that in there I felt like we had a connection. After that I just went into and from that moment it was a great icebreaker for me. When you are in that arena and you get to meet someone on the level of Spike Lee it can be intimidating, especially when you are still young in this acting game and attempting to be a part of such a big project I was like let me collect myself but, it also speaks to his character the fact that he is who he is but would be there at casting calls. I believe that showed how serious he was and how hands on he wanted to be from conception to preproduction to production and so on.

 

Since this was such a big role for you as a budding actor what were some of the roles you have done prior to this?

 

I actually cut my teeth or got my chops in voice over work. So doing radio spots for various companies. Did a little work on Empire, looking to get back on there hopefully. Also being an MC performing on stage but its different when you are trying to remember someone else’s lines because it isn’t what you were at home writing. It’s different because it not your emotions but you have to channel emotions that might not be in you at that moment but can be convincing. I have done a little but of TV work, a little bit of extra and background work. I some people have different opinions about actors starting doing background work but I feel it a good opportunity if you are trying to be in that world or in that field. If nothing else you are around it and that’s a good place to start. So to all my aspiring actors out there do not be afraid to take as many background jobs, extra jobs as you can until you get those speaking roles even if its small cherish it until the union says no more. You have to get with the union and start making that scale.

 

What was it like when you got that call to say that you were selected to be in the movie as an actor?

 

It felt like forever and it might have only been 3 weeks but when you are waiting you kind of have to tell yourself if its meant for me its for me. That’s the philosophy I have if it’s meant to be and if God purposed it for me it will be mine. I don’t have to worry about it I can set it down and walk away. So it might have been about a month and in that months time my agent was telling me we got another call from them, they like you, they haven’t finalized but they want make sure your are ready for these dates. Absolutely I will be available I mean what am I going to say “You know Spike June is not really looking good for me I was expecting to go to Florida” what am I going to tell him. So I let my agent know to tell them my schedule is super open. Not only are my dates available but also I will create a new calendar and get some more dates if I have to. So there was a process to wait and when they finally did call it was a feeling like I am here, this is what I have been working towards and working for. It was a great feeling of acceptance.

 

How was it being an actor on set but being from this city and having the experience of the violence firsthand due to living here?

 

First of all great question. Let me back and say even before filming there was a moment where at one of our preproduction table reads I don’t know if it was planned to be this way or it just happened but it was all the male main actors. We met at one of the rooms at St. Sabina and we are having a round table and Spike is giving a pep talk about us starting filming in a few days, be ready and on time, don’t bring anyone to the set. At one point Spike said take the movie out of the equation and he asked, “What do we need to do to stop the killing in Chicago?” He went on to say, “If all we do is put the movie out and we don’t save lives we failed, we just made another movie and anybody can do that”. From there we ended up having a 2 hour round table with myself and other actors who are from Chicago sharing our experiences about what we have seen and what think the root of the problem is and the solutions. It was powerful at that moment because here in this room to my immediate right is Nick Cannon, I look across the table and there’s Wesley Snipes,  George Wilborn is to my left, Spike is at the head of the table and so many others in the room. We were having this open forum discussion on what we need to do as black men to take these streets back and that night really set the tone for the entire production. Now when I am on set there was no room to be star struck because we were all on the same mission from the most seasoned veteran actor to the most green actor, we were all working towards the same goal. So even when there was a humorous moment it was still under the premise that this was something special and from that moment everyday I knew this could be big. This movie could be this generations “Do The Right Thing” or “School Daze” so the gravity wasn’t lost.

 

Lets talk about your role in the movie and how did you prepare to get into character?

 

My character is Ajani in the film and I play Nick Cannons right hand man. Being he is the main person of interest I play his lieutenant within our gang. I get the opportunity to be the mouthpiece for the rest of the guys in the gang. So when things are happening I get to just let him know that hey we feel like this or this is what is going on. Getting ready for the role I pull from my experiences of growing up here in Chicago. I from Harvey World so I had some experience to pull from.  It was a great experience for me to get into the mind frame of this is who I am for the moment and when I am acting I try to get into the mind frame of what is this moment about what is the emotion in this moment what’s the mentality so even if a line is stumbled on in my gut I know what that character should have said. The conversation is flowing like how we are talking so even if words are replaced we still flow with it because I am in the rhythm of that character. I had some great people to watch during this process. I got a chance to watch Nick Cannons process he was kind of quiet mumbling to himself and I was wondering is there something wrong, what’s going on and I figured out he was going over lines. I was watching Wesley like oh so that’s how you do that. It was a great experience.

 

You previously said that there wasn’t any room to be star-struck because of the seriousness on set but there had to be a moment to yourself where you had a moment of I cant believe I am here tell me about that…

 

I will say my first moment of not even being star-struck but just that moment like I am here. We were doing the table read and you are following along the script and you don’t want to get lost so you cant watch what everyone else is doing because if your line comes up and you are the reason for the crickets in the room that’s not going to be good. So you are looking down and waiting on your line and you hear Angela Bassett from across the room deliver her lines and you are like that’s why she is who she is. You hear her delivery and you are just like THAT’S ANGELA BASSETT!!!! Another crazy moment was with Wesley Snipes. I don’t know if people know this but he is hilarious. There was a moment where we were supposed to be standing there quiet and he is cracking jokes and I was like you cant be fired but I am replaceable they might go find someone my height and reshoot the scenes. I want to laugh but who do I listen to Wes or Spike???? You still want to soak it up because you don’t know when this is going to happen again. I mean with the collective of actors that were in this movie it doesn’t happen like that too often.  Even with the budget of Hollywood films you rarely get that many A-List actors in one film. For me it was like let me soak this up and do a video log in my trailer and debrief everyday. It was like I just saw Sam Jackson and when I spoke he said hey in his Sam Jackson voice. Even as I sit here and try to be humble it was like can I get you to say one of your famous lines. You don’t want to fan out and freak out too much but you have those moments where you feel like I have arrived. I will also say this that I have had a lot of day jobs and I hated all of them but I was on set like you know what I actually like my co-workers.

 

So what’s next on the plate for you as actor?

 

I am going to ride with the movie and see what comes after this. It’s an exciting time to be an actor in Chicago. It’s a lot of production going on in Chicago right now. With that being said once those winter months roll in the production slows up once the hawk rolls in. I am going to see what I can get into in the next couple of months. LA is definitely on the table. I want out make that trip out there. I am looking for more scripts to come across the desk and see what comes out of it and pushing more music. In 2016 I want to top 2015 but it’s going to be a hard job to beat. This is just a great time to be alive and an actor in this city at this time.

 

You can meet with L’Dorado Jones this Friday December 4th at Icon Theaters 1011 S Delano Court, which is located on Roosevelt behind the Target on Clark for the 7:10PM showing. Come out and support this city and its actors. Hope to see you there and be on the look out for great things from him in the future.

 

 

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Joe Budden’s All Love Lost Tour In Chicago, with Emanny, D2G, and Super Fresh Bros [Interview]

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Slaughterhouse member, and Jersey City’s own Joe Budden is coming through with new heat off his latest album “All Love Lost.” Whether you are a new or old fan of Joe, “All Love Lost” is reason enough to make you understand the hype behind the music of BuddenContinue reading “Joe Budden’s All Love Lost Tour In Chicago, with Emanny, D2G, and Super Fresh Bros [Interview]”

Young Buffalo Interview w/ Noteworthy

Young Buffalo Press Photo

 

Ivan of Noteworthy here again (Mondays, 6PM-8PM at uicradio.org) to tell you about a band called Young Buffalo hailing from Oxford, Mississippi. Their debut full-length, House, was released earlier this year and featured a bounty of wonderfully hazy harmonies along with some classic power pop crunch and a few layers of synths. They’ll be in town this Sunday at Township (2200 N. California Ave.) on Nov. 22, which was switched to from the original venue at Abbey Pub. I spoke with band co-founder Jim Barrett (pictured second from right) to find out a little bit more about the band.

Noteworthy: How long has Young Buffalo been around?

Young Buffalo has been a band since the summer of 2009, so a little over six years now.

NW: As I understand, you and Ben Yarbrough (the other co-founder) have been writing together since you were teenagers? 

Yeah, we had some middle school bands and some high school bands where we played some shows and then started Young Buffalo transitioning to college.

NW: In what ways has it been easier having the same writing partner since you started and in what ways have you still been able to learn new things? 

It’s been great that Ben and I have worked together for so long because we get to narrow down the quirks. There’s not much mystery, so you can get things done a bit easier having gone through a lot. As far as learning stuff, that always sort of happens. It moreso happens apart when we work on stuff while playing in different bands and come back with ideas.

NW: How did you guys come up with the title for the latest album, House

It was originally going to be a different title. The middle song, leading off Side B, “My Place,” was originally called “House,” actually. Once we had the track listing in place, we reworked it a little bit and kind of realized it appeared at a certain point of the record and tied together a lot of things. We figured that it represented the album well. Also, whenever we record demos and practice and get ready for shows and stuff for all these other spinning wheels, it’s at Ben and Will’s (keyboardist Will Eubanks), so that fit into the theme as well. Taking in all that, it just felt right to call it House.

NW: What are some of the guitar sounds you’re proud of on the new album? Something that you did in the studio that everyone may not catch the first time around?

There’s this guitar in the first song called, “Man Of Your Dreams” and at the end of it, it kind of breaks out into a a bunch of stuff going on. It was a Danelectro baritone guitar with a really cool Spaghetti Western sort of strum. It’s really subtle, kind of mixed in the background. I’m proud of that. I think it was one of the last things I recorded on the record.

Some other guitar sounds from the album was this really awesome pedal steel sound on the song “Cliff Diver” that Ben got that we went into it not even thinking we would need. I’m sure there’s more, but it’s been a while since we recorded that album so I forget. It’s been a few years.  Continue reading “Young Buffalo Interview w/ Noteworthy”

D2G – 4 Chi City Radio’s Featured Artist

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For Chicago Hip Hop artist, D2G, Hip Hop has been a part of him since the beginning. He has been on the move and making waves within the music scene, and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. With tracks like “The Quest”, “I Spy”, and “Hydroplanin” from his latest album Short Summers Long WintersD2G is making his mark in Hip Hop and dropping heat along the way. November 13th, D2G will be sharing the stage with Shady Records very own Joe Budden at The Promontory. I got a chance to catch up with D2G for an interview, check out what he had to say below.

B Roc – Name your top five favorite artists?

D2G – That’s a tough one… only because at any moment, any music artist that inspires me through their art, can become my favorite. But let’s see, in no particular order. Rakim, Michael Jackson, Biggie Smalls (Notorious Big), Nas, and a tie between Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. By far my favorite element to music is story telling, and these are the best artists to do it.

B Roc – What inspired you to become a Hip Hop artist? 

D2G – Well, its a crazy story to share and you’ll probably laugh. But my very first words as a baby was “Wild Wild West”. This is referring to the old school tune by Kool Moe Dee. I’ve been engulfed in HIP HOP since birth! So naturally I’d find myself mimicking rap music until I started to create my own art from it.

@2GMAKEAMOVE

B Roc – What is something you want people to know about you as an artist? 

D2G – Wow, you’re really digging deep here, lol ok! Something that I feel a lot of people may not know is that I’m an artist. I say that in a sense of how they know that… I rap, write, and do production… but they probably don’t understand what all goes into it. I give 200% with every lyric that I write. It comes from my heart, mind, and soul. I try to give as much of me as I can, so that it comes through, and you feel it in every song.

B Roc – Tell us about one of your biggest accomplishments as an artist? Or most memorable moment.

D2G – It’s a few moments that stand out in my mind actually. Just last summer I was in the top 3 emcees of the Jack’n For Beats contest. I’ve won freestyle competitions hosted by SAM-I-AM THE MC. I even had a chance, through my homies, The Ol’ Days Music, to open for Talib Kweli and Slum Village.  I have also experienced performing down at SXSW a few months back. That was awesome!

B Roc – Who would you like to collab with?

D2G – That’s such an open question… I honestly can’t give you a straight up answer. Of course, you have the Kendrick Lamar’s and J Cole’s of the world. As well as legends like Rakim, KRS One and GFK (Ghostface Killah). But you also have folks like Add-2Rhapsody,  Y.P., Big K.R.I.T. , Joe Budden and more. But honestly, I’m open to collab with anybody who’s dope! That’s what music is! A collaborative effort amongst people to bring art to life in the form of melodies and rhythm.

@VicSpencer @2GMAKEAMOVE

B Roc – What do you hate & what do you love about Chicago?

D2G – It’s so much on both sides of that spectrum. Honestly, you have to be in Chicago to truly understand it. I have a love/hate relationship with my city. I hate the negative stigmas that surround Chicago. Not just from outsiders, but ones we place upon ourselves. (CHI-RAQ, CITY OF HATE, MURDER CAPITAL, DERRICK ROSE INJURIES, ETC.)

But what I love about Chicago is our authenticity. Everything about Chicago is authentic. From our presence, to our vernacular, our music, our sports. You can tell a Chicago individual when you come across one. We influence the world whether people want to admit it or not.

Sometimes you have to take the good, with the bad. But in an eerie sense… that’s what makes you love our city more.

B Roc – What is something about you, you want people to know?

D2G – I want people to honestly just get to know me through my music. I’m very personable in a way, that I’ll tell you whatever it is I’m feeling or thinking… without you thinking I’m giving too much of me. I want people to know that I’m more than just a rapper or an emcee. I DO MUSIC! I love music! From all it’s means. I just happen to enforce my lyricism more because that’s what drew me into HIP HOP in the first place.

D2G will be rocking the stage with Shady Records recording artist Joe Budden at The Promontory, November 13th. Cop tickets via promontorychicago.com.

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Want more D2G? Follow him via twitter and the gram @2GMAKEAMOVE, and click the links below.

http://Reflective-music.com
http://D2Gmusic.bandcamp.com
http://SoundCloud.com/D2GDAGREAT

Thanks for ROCKIN wit me!!! Roc4Chi_City
IG @rockwitb_roc @4chi_cityradio

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