METZ at Empty Bottle – 06/23/2016

METZ (Photo credit: Red Bull Sound Select)

Tune in to Noteworthy with Ivan every Monday night from 6:00-8:00 at Also, like the Facebook page and check out past interviews and segments on Soundcloud

Ever since Curbside Publishing released an oral history of the Empty Bottle a few weeks ago, I’ve been itching to catch a show at the legendary venue. Sure, I’ve been there countless times before, but reading about the experiences of so many others had me anticipating the next time I would be there.

With its intimate size and low frills decor, there’s always a high probability of a concert there having a communal experience if the energy is right. Thanks to Red Bull Sound Select, catching METZ, a ferocious Canadian trio signed to Sub Pop, at the Empty Bottle satisfied my itch as they blasted through songs from their first two albums in blistering and abrasive fashion.

“Who’s here to f****** party with us?” lead vocalist and guitarist Alex Edkins questioned a receptive audience near the top of their set before they went full throttle into one of their signature tunes, “Get Off.” The crowd enthusiastically answered the call as they had to be reminded only a few songs later about Empty Bottle’s no crowd-surfing policy, to which the band pleaded for someone to be let back in as they were escorted out for violating the rules. While there were no more incidents or pauses during the rest of the set, there were plenty more opportunities to bounce around with moments like the pounding riff of “Knife In The Water,” the noisy intensity of “Wet Blanket” and the wildly whipping hair of drummer Hayden Menzies sending the crowd into a frenzy.  Continue reading “METZ at Empty Bottle – 06/23/2016”

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!


Oh Daughter!

On Friday, March 11th, I attended Daughter‘s (@ohdaughter on Instagram and Twitter) show at the Metro, and after dealing with the possibility of a certain political figure and his supporters appearing on my campus earlier that day, it was exactly the tranquil music environment I needed to refresh.

Daughter, consisting of members Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli, and Remi Aguilella, formed in 2010 in London. They released their first EP His Young Heart in 2011, followed by their second The Wild Youth later that same year. After signing to a label in 2012, the band recorded and released their first full album If You Leave.

Daughter is currently touring for the release of their newest album Not To Disappear that was released this past January. The album features singles “Doing The Right Thing” and “Numbers.”

Arriving at the Metro on Friday night, I was ready for a night of calm, ambient indie music, and that is exactly what I got.

Opening for Daughter was Wilsen, a “dream folk” indie band from New York whose whistling skills are incomparable. Their EP Magnolia was released in May of 2014, and recently released a single titled “Centipede.” Wilsen started off the show with an ambient sound that set the mood for the night.

Wilsen, photos by Pearl Shin

Following Wilsen was the headliner of the night, Daughter. The band came on stage and opened with their song “How” off of the new album. The crowd was packed tight inside the venue in anticipation for more new music. Every song that they performed was met with an uproar of applause and cheers from the audience. Continue reading “Oh Daughter!”

Reunited With an Old Friend: City and Colour

Okay, so the singer City and Colour isn’t actually an old friend of mine, but considering the fact that I’ve been listening to his songs for nearly a decade, I feel like his songs really have become like an old friend to me. On Friday, I was able to see the singer perform at a sold out show at The Metro. The venue was literally packed to the brim with fans, but City and Colour still managed to perform an incredible set that felt intimate and had me mesmerized throughout the entire night.

Continue reading “Reunited With an Old Friend: City and Colour”

Loma Prieta – Self Portrait Album Review


Loma Prieta is a San Francisco based hardcore band who have been around for about ten years. They currently have five albums under their belts and with their newest album, Self Portrait, they continue their musical style of pummeling drums and heavy distortion, but a few things that we have not seem Loma Prieta really embrace. In this recent album Loma has adopted a more melodic approach to their songs. If you go back to their previous album, I.V, for the most part, the entire album is a wall of sound leaving a destructive path. The only break in the album was then ending track. So, it was nice to hear that Loma mixed melodies into the songs to create a balanced listening experience. In general, the production of the album is cleaner and clearer than their previous albums. We can easily discern each instrument without compromising Loma’s sound. The only issue some may have with this album and their previous ones is that the vocals can be a bit fatiguing if you are not used to this style of music.

If you are familiar with the band then some songs may catch you off guard. The opening track, “Love”, starts with clean guitar riffs and a very simple drum beats. However, you reminded that this is a Loma Prieta song with the heavily distorted vocals and bass. This song, as well as others such as, “Roadside Cross” and “More Perfect,” show the evolution that the band has undergone. These songs are some of the most melodic and clear song the band has written. The use of major keys in some of these song completely turn the album on its side. The song “Roadside Cross” starts with their signature distorted wave of sound, however we are given refuge in the small parts of dissonant guitars. The chorus of the song completely changes feel of the song. The major keys and almost pop punk feel gives a wonderful dynamic to rest of the song.

While Loma Prieta has changed some things up, fear not, as they have not lost their vicious edge. The song “Black Square” is the second song on the album, and it gives a nice parallel to the opening track. This song is reminiscent of the songs found I.V. The cutting guitar feedback and battling dissonant guitars have a nice familiarity to their older material. This song is really the only song that feels as if it was not updated to Loma’ new sound, which is not a bad thing. However, while not as obvious as tracks stated above, all the songs integrate Loma’s evolved sound into them.

Self Portrait is a great addition to the Loma Prieta’s discography, and while not their best, it was refreshing take on their music. If you have a chance, I would recommend you listen to this album, and maybe their previous album to see how they have progressed. Again, be forewarned it can be a fatiguing listen if you are not used to this music.

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.


Thanks for ROCKIN wit me!!!
IG @rockwitb_roc @4chi_cityradio
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Every Time I Die – Riot Fest Chicago 2015

Every Time I Die Riot Fest 2015

When metalcore band Every Time I Die stormed on to the Rebel Stage at Riot Fest Chicago this past weekend, it was clear… they came to rock!! ETID holds a reputation for their intense energy in both sound and performance. It wouldn’t be a ETID show without the mosh and surf. And of course watching a member of the band trash the stage during the finale was fun to watch! Their Superheaven & Muck UK Tour kicks off in November. Later to make a stop back in the states, in late November, in Philly.  Every Time I Die’s show was definitely one amongst my favorites. Look forward to the next time they are back in town.

Every Time I Die Riot Fest 2015


Thanks for ROCKIN wit me!!!
IG @rockwitb_roc @4chi_cityradio
Log on to Sunday nights 6-8pm

Motorhead – Riot Fest Chicago 2015

motorhead riot fest 2015

English heavy metal rock band Motorhead, caused all sorts of rebellion on the Rebel Stage at Riot Fest Chicago Friday, September 11th. Motorhead has been rocking out since the 70’s, with no plans off slowing down, any time soon. Check out their performance below.

Thanks for ROCKIN wit me!!!
IG @rockwitb_roc @4chi_cityradio
Log on to Sunday nights 6-8pm

Who’s Ready for Spark 2015?

Welcome back, UIC! Classes are finally back in session. You know what that means? UIC’s Spark 2015 is right around the corner! We have an incredible line-up prepared for you. Twenty One Pilots will be headlining this year’s concert. The band will be accompanied by the rapper Wale and UIC’s very own TanZen, the winner of UIC Radio’s 2015 Battle of the Bands. This is a show that you won’t want to miss.

Spark 2015 is a free, private concert for current UIC students only. Make sure to bring your UIC ID cards with you in order to gain access to the show. The concert will take place at the UIC Pavillion on Thursday, September 3rd, with doors opening at 6pm.


Not familiar with Twenty One Pilots? That’s no problem. Check out the playlist below to familiarize yourself with some of their songs! Be sure to check back with us throughout the week for more news about the concert and for more playlists. Hope to see you all at Spark 2015!

Oh, Good Graeff!

Surprise! I am back yet again for another summer blog! This blog is very special because I got the opportunity to sit down with the up-and-coming twin sister band Good Graeff (rhymes with safe, they reminded me).


Good Graeff are a band currently living in LA. Their sound is a unique blend of indie pop and rock, with a twist of classical cello mixed in.

This past Friday, I headed down to Lincoln Hall in Chicago. I was met with Brooke, the guitarist and lead vocalist of the band. As we discussed which area would be the best place for the interview, her twin sister and fellow band member Brit found us.  Continue reading “Oh, Good Graeff!”