By: Lucy Radocha
I do not, and will not fear tomorrow because I feel as though today has been enough.
The line from Zach Bryan’s “Fear and Friday’s (Poem)” sums up the feeling of his recent release of a new, self-titled album. While the opening track is named as a poem, the rest of his lyrics throughout the album take on this same feeling of deep-rooted, heart-wrenching lyricism.
by: julian harvey
The Sunflower Convertibles might be from the future. Their debut EP “Sheboygan” is an eclectic mix of mind-melting production, soulful and passionate vocals and storyteller lyrics. The record was spawned from the group’s journey from their native Chicago to the tape’s titular city and aims to make you feel like you were brought along for the adventure. Themes of wanting to unwind and reconnect with your inner child are all over the six-track project. All four members bring something different to the table. This paired with their hip-hop-centered, genre-bending style means that The Convertibles invoke an early Brock Hampton. Chief among their influences are other Chicago artists, including their collaborators like Elijah Free, who provided the album's cover art.
“Sheboygan” was preceded by a pretty elaborate and ambitious rollout. The “Days before the Sheboygan” campaign consisted of sketches, wheatpaste prints, a music video for the song “Full Moon,” and even a concert that doubled as the project's release party. This undertaking was no small task but has helped to build local buzz in the city. The Sunflower Convertibles recently sat down with me for an interview. We discussed the serendipitous nature of their group's formation, the struggles of getting listeners as underground artists and next steps for the group. That interview is going to be broadcast on my show “Spin Cycle” but the record is out now everywhere.
By: Julian Harvey
By: Paige Bostic
Thrumming basslines, thudding drums, catchy lyrics, and guitar solos that last long enough to sound cool but not long enough that you get bored. These make up the integral building blocks of the stadium rock subgenre – save for the eponymous pillar: the stadium. Stadium rock is built on the salt-slicked backs of thousands of screaming fans crammed shoulder to shoulder in arenas swollen past full capacity. But stadium rock is well past its golden age. For many listeners, it’s become a bit of a joke genre – a soulless cash cow that’s strayed from its mother. Let’s peel back the layers of what stadium rock is, why it’s become a bit of a derided subject, and why I think we should give it another chance.
What is Stadium Rock?
Stadium rock, otherwise known as arena rock or (horrifyingly) corporate rock, is a subgenre of rock music that’s made specifically to be performed to large audiences or on the radio. Emerging in the 1960s with the wild fanaticism that was Beatlemania, it’s undeniable that stadium rock is a lucrative genre. If you need a better idea of the sound of stadium rock, try and imagine that you’re watching a commercial for a pickup truck. What music is playing? Probably a rock-adjacent earworm that slips into your skull and plays for the rest of the day against your will. Common examples of stadium rock include the works of artists like Aerosmith, Poison, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Van Halen and Bon Jovi (which are conveniently some of my most listened-to artists on Spotify, but we’ll get to that later).
Stadium rock aesthetics can also apply to punk and metal; the core of stadium rock is its popularity more so than the actual quality of its artistry. Even the siren song that is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ qualifies as stadium rock! The popularity of arena rock–and the subgenres it utilized–gave rise to some of the more ‘high-brow’ artistry that any self-conscious listener would be proud to have in their collection: grunge, alt-rock, indie rock, etc. These subgenres, while awesome in their own right, are squeamish about being connected to their more mainstream roots popularized by arena rock. In a way, it’s like how a teenager at the mall distances themself from their mom by ducking into the back of a nearby Spencer’s.
By: Lucy radocha