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Independent

Book & Record Pairing

Book & Record Pairing

See You In the Morning by Mairead Case and Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset by Richard Edwards

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busy lately. I haven’t had time to sit down and enjoy anything for a while, so I read lit mags on the ‘L’ and listen to music on my phone. When I’m in transit, I don’t always get the chance to process every crafted detail of media I’m ingesting. With these pieces, I had no choice but to put everything on hold and focus on the art.

When Richard Edwards makes an album, he always advises you to “listen to it loud.” When Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset arrived on Tuesday, I ran home to play it and it hasn’t been off my record player since. The Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s frontman’s first solo album is the result of the aftermath of his divorce and a stomach ailment that caused the cancellation of a sold-out Margot tour. Richards doesn’t deviate from his past work, but this album is solo; it’s truly his creation. His instrumentals are more orchestral than his previous work, but his lyrics are tight as ever, yet abstract. I sat down and binged on lines like:

Come to see me here in Chicago

I’ll pick you up from Logan Square station

Come to see me down in the ghetto

And I’ll break my brain all over you again.

- from “Lemon”

See You In the Morning by Mairead Case is a lucid dream in the real world. Case’s unnamed narrator doesn’t hold back in the way she sees the world. The story is simple; the ambiguous narrator describes the world around her as she navigates school, work, her friends, and her own sexuality. The prose manages to be free and ambient without coming off as twee or sentimental. As I sat down to read, I was in the narrator’s view of the world, and happily forced to accept it.

These are works that demand your attention. You have no choice but to sit down and take in the entirety of the artists’ work.

LEMON COTTON CANDY SUNSET is out 3/31 from Joyful Noise Records.

Book & Record Pairing

Book & Record Pairing

Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati and The Flying Club Cup by Beirut

For this week’s book & record pairing, we’re taking you around the Adriatic Sea. 

When Beirut’s Zach Condon left his New Mexico home at seventeen to travel Europe, he came back with a new appreciation for Balkan folk music that help shaped Beirut’s signature sound. Condon’s second full length album, The Flying Club Cup, hones in tighter than his debut with a brass heavy sound.

Watch Beirut play through The Flying Club Cup in the feature length film by La Blogotheque sessions. As Condon proclaims “All I want is the best for our lives my dear / And you know my wishes are sincere,” you can tell that he means it.

Follow Orfi through the levels of the afterworld in search of his love, Eura in this pop-culture heavy graphic novel. Dino Buzzati was the Italian master of the avant garde. With Poem Strip, Buzzati rewrites the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, but in his contemporary setting, Milan in the1960s. Poem Strip reads both nostalgic and current thanks to Marina Harss’s 2009 translation from the Italian. It’s easy to get caught up in the story, but you’ll want to read again and again for Buzzati’s art.

Book & Record Pairing

Book & Record Pairing

I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking and Wavvves

For this week’s Book & Record Pairing, we reached out to Leyna Krow, author of the forthcoming story collection I’M FINE, BUT YOU APPEAR TO BE SINKING from featherproof books.

Krow browsed our record collection and chose to pair her book with Wavves’s album WAVVVES for the repeated beach imagery in their music and the associative ocean themes in I’M FINE, BUT YOU APPEAR TO BE SINKING. This concept fits particularly well the title story, as told through fictional journal entries of Captain C.J. Wyle.

Of WAVVVES, Krow stated, “The songs themselves seem to speak to a kind of vaguely-defined dissatisfaction/loneliness that a lot of my characters would connect with pretty well.”

There you have it, straight from the source. Come pick up I’M FINE, BUT YOU APPEAR TO BE SINKING before it’s official release date of February 14.

January 17 Mixtape

January 17 Mixtape

It appears we have some rough days ahead of us.

I don’t know of anything that’s been changed from silence.

Go out and see someone create something. There are so many people creating in Chicago alone making amazing things. Look at Maximum Pelt Records. I’m not sure that they sleep, because they are too busy making music and releasing others’ music into the world. And it’s cool. It’s so cool.

See a show, even if you don’t know the bands. You might find a new favorite. Go to an art exhibit, or better yet a DIY art gallery. Come to one of our amazing readings, or any of the other amazing readings and discussions held throughout the city like The Marrow, 2nd Story, and Poetry Foundation’s The Open Door series.

Get out and make these yourself. Create create create! If you know an instrument, write a song. If you don’t know how to play an instrument, learn one and write a song. Or just write! Or draw! Or dance! Or whatever you do, just go out and do it! Let people know how you feel and support people who are exhibiting their own feelings, because it’s needed now more than ever. We need to hear one another. 

Books & Records & Tickets: Give Great Gifts!

Books & Records & Tickets: Give Great Gifts!

Our staff reads a lot. We know the books on our shelves and the records in our crates. We’ll make your shopping easier by suggesting meaningful gifts you'll be excited to give.

We're pretty spoiled; we get to carry work by talented authors and musicians, and we work closely with publishers and record labels to select work we want to see more if in the world. 

And now we're offering the gift of a night out! With our new in-store box office, you can buy tickets for shows at all 16” On Center locations: The Empty BottleEmpty Bottle PresentsThalia HallThe Promontory, and SPACE. And with any ticket purchase, you'll also receive 20% off a purchase at our store.

When you support independent enterprises, you support local culture and craft in a society that increasingly gravitates toward the outsized, outrageous, and mass-produced. Buy independently and buy quality. Visit us at Curbside Books & Records.