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Milwaukee's Summerfest Lineup, Jeremih Goes Gold, And More Chicago Music News

By Justin Freeman in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 25, 2016 5:10PM

In case you somehow missed it, Lollapalooza was the major music news story this week. The lineup was announced and we took a look at 14 bands we were excited to see on the bill. The Mutiny, a cherished Logan Square punk dive bar, caught fire and blared Talking Heads' “Burning Down the House” in response. And BJ the Chicago Kid dropped a new video featuring Kendrick Lamar and Hannibal Buress. But there's a lot more that happened this week in Chicago's music scene that went under our radar—until now.

Jeremih, photo via Facebook

Jeremih’s Late Nights Is Certified Gold: Pop the champagne, it seems that congratulations are in order. Jeremih’s newest album, Late Nights, was certified as a Gold record by the RIAA according to a tweet from Def Jam. Released in December to critical acclaim after several years of delays, Late Nights finds the Chicago-based R&B artist at his most entrancing. This isn’t even the only certification from that album as the single “Planes” and “Don’t Tell Em” both went Platinum last year. Jeremih will next perform in Chicago at the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer. Check out the video for “Planes” below.


Summerfest 1969 newspaper ad, photo via Facebook

Summerfest’s Line-up Is Kinda Rad: Much like the announcement of Lolla, the announcement of Summerfest is a rite of spring in Chicago. The annual summer festival takes place in Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan. This year’s lineup is quite impressive with Garbage, Nelly, The Roots, a DJ set from Mike D of Beastie Boys, Peter Bjorn and John, Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Derulo, Selena Gomez, Panic! At the Disco, Alabama Shakes, Weezer and many others. The acts will perform on ten stages throughout the course of eleven days. Chicago bands at Summerfest announced thus far include Rise Against and the future rock and roll hall of fame inductees, Cheap Trick.

Summerfest takes place in two batches, from June 29 through July 3 and July 5 through 10, with a break for the 4th of July. General admission tickets range from $13 for single day passes to $80 for 11-day passes and are on sale now. Keep in mind though that general admission does not get you into the theatre where the headliners perform. General admission is usually local and mid level bands. Ticketmaster has the current ticket prices and availability.

Check out the video for Garbage’s “Queer” below.


Tink, photo via Facebook

Tink Releases Charismatic New Video: 2015 was a hell of a year for Tink. The emerging local rapper worked with Timbaland on new material, recorded with Sleigh Bells and was on the cover of Fader. Her creative momentum shows no signs of slowing down. Her newest single, “Circle the Block” finds Tink ferociously rapping grimy tales of the underclass over a slick beat produced by DJ Wes. The video is rather simple—it’s just Tink rapping in front of a cool car while her crew of break dancers let loose around her to the pulse of the beat—but it’s effective and charismatic. Check out the video to “Circle the Block” below.


Whitney photo by Sandy Kim, via the band's Facebook Page.

New Band Rises From The Ashes Of Smith-Westerns: Taking inspiration from bands like T. Rex, Smith Westerns were a local band who were heavily indebted to garage and glam bands of the '70s. After being hurled to the buzz stratosphere, they abruptly broke up a few years ago to focus on new projects. Lead singer, Cullen Omori, embarked on a solo career and released his debut album last week on Sub Pop., while the other members of the band formed a new group, Whitney.

This week, Whitney announced that their album, The Light Upon The Lake, is coming out in June on Secretly Canadian. They also released the video for the newest single, “Golden Days,” a song very reminiscent of Smith Westerns, but with a crisper and fuller sound. Whitney has a few scattered dates at Thalia Hall in May opening for acts including Wild Nothing and Unknown Mortal Orchestra before performing at Pitchfork later this summer. Check out the video for “Golden Days” below.


Photo credit: Michael Perry

Mother Sues Aragon And Live Nation After Her Son Fell to Death At A Concert: Last year, local hard rock band Chevelle were in town playing a show at Aragon Ballroom when it came to an abrupt and clamorous end. Ambulances were summoned, the band was rushed offstage and people were told to leave the building—a fan had fallen rom the ceiling onto two metal rods and died mid-set.

Kyle Kirchhoff, a 24-year-old man from suburban Hanover Park, was at the show with friends. They were wandering around the club’s second floor balcony when they discovered a door that led to a catwalk. They went onto the catwalk to watch the show from above and at some point, Kirchhoff’s friends noticed that he wasn’t with them any longer and discovered he'd fallen from the catwalk. Once found, the show was stopped and Kirchhoff was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead later that night.

Chevelle released a statement expressing their condolences and the city inspected the Aragon, but found his death unrelated to any building code violations.

This week the Tribune reported that Denise Kirchhoff, Kyle's mother, is suing both the Aragon and Live Nation for wrongful death. She argues negligence, claiming the door to the catwalk wasn’t locked or clearly marked for staff only and that “[The Aragon] knew or should have known that guests were unlikely to appreciate the dangerous conditions.” Kirchhoff is looking for at least $50,000 in damages.


Chance the Rapper photo by zoe rain photography via Chance's Facebook page

The Biebs Brings Chance The Rapper Onstage In LA: A few years ago, Chance the Rapper collaborated with Justin Bieber for his single “Confident.” Released in between Believe and Purpose, the single never found it’s way on either album, but maintains a cult following. During his show in LA this past weekend, Bieber brought Chance out to perform the song with him. Check out footage of Bieber and Chance's live rendition of “Confident” below.