I’ve been listening to Chicago’s Empires all afternoon. I thought that perhaps seeing them at SXSW would make me crave them less…but the exact opposite has occurred. I hope everyone in Chicago knows how lucky they are to have this band! Their next local date is May 21st at The Beat Kitchen. Don’t miss it!
If you haven’t heard of Empires, just go to their webpage where you can get a link to a free download of their song “Damn Things Over”. While there, check out all their videos…like this one for their first single “Bang.”
Empires is one of the bands that made it to round 2 of Rolling Stone’s choose the cover competition. Go here to vote for Empires and download two additional tracks (for free!!), including my new favorite song “Hard Times.”
I’m more than a little excited to tell you that my first favorite band (you know, the one that got me into…well every other band I’ve ever fallen in love with) is playing a reunion show January 22nd at The Grape Room in Philadelphia.
Pepper’s Ghost is a rocky/poppy/Beatles-esque band from Philadelphia, PA. The group centers around two brothers, Anthony and Michael Montesano, who share in the singing, specializing in catchy choruses and hypnotic harmonizing. Joining Anthony and Michael is Zil (Pawnshop Roses) on drums, Dave Hartley (War on Drugs, Nightlands) on bass, and Rob Bennett (Automatic Fire) on everything else (keys, guitar, mandolin, saw).
They released their first album, Opening Night, back in 2001. This recording was taken from a live show at The Trocadero and features a horn section and back up choir. This was followed by an EP in 2002 (Bang) which offers one of my favorite, but rarely performed Pepper’s Ghost songs “Addiction.” In 2005, the band released their record label debut, Shake the Hand that Shook the World. This CD is full of fun poppy sing-along friendly tunes, including my college anthem, “Friday Night in Philadelphia.”
Shake the Hand that Shook the World got Pepper’s Ghost their first big national tour. It also got the band a number one hit on the singles chart in Canada with “You’re In My Heart (Little Pretty).” In the aftermath of this release, the band seemed to take a turn to an edgier, more rockin’ sound exemplified in their 2006 The Vet EP with songs like “Dirty Bomb” and “4 Letter Friend”. The following year they released their most recent CD, Let The Players Have the Ball. This CD was also a live recording featuring some old favorites, a few new tunes, and even a Bowie cover (“Cracked Actor”).
And now you know a tiny bit more about my favorite band. Only 7 weeks until I get to see them again. Let’s get excited!
Empires may very well be my new favorite local Chicago band. They opened for Biffy Clyro at The Bootleg and I’ve been listening to their CD, Bang, on repeat since I saw them. Right now, in preparation for the release of their new music video, they are giving away a free download of one of their songs. I’d highly recommend going to their site and checking it out…http://www.weareempires.com/