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Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways: Midwest Combo Pack

We’re counting down to Record Store Day, a major holiday for vinyl nerds and casual music listeners alike. Between April 14th and April 19th, Midwest Action is hosting Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways, a celebration of both Midwestern musicians and records. We gathered some vinyl, a mix of 7″s and LPs, from a few of our favorite artists. Each day, we’re giving away a single copy of an album, and on Record Store Day, we’re giving away all 5 records as a combo pack.

DAY SIX: MIDWEST COMBO PACK

Today, we’re giving away the Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways grand finale. Included in this combo pack are all of the giveaways from the past week. Yes, that’s right, you can still enter to win copies of Minor Characters, Saintseneca, The Fatty Acids, Radar Eyes, and Vaya albums, and you can enter to win* them all at once, too!


We hope that you enjoy everything Record store Day has to offer, but don’t forget about the local artists who work super hard to get their work pressed on vinyl. It’s really a labor of love, and we’re happy to share the enhanced sound quality with you!

Minor Characters | Saintseneca | The Fatty Acids | Radar Eyes | Vaya
*winners will be selected and notified on April 20, 2014.

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FIVE x FIVE: Bleeding Rainbow

5 bloggers, 5 questions, 1 band, hand-picked by the MWA writers. Welcome to FIVE x FIVE. This week: Philadelphia rockers, Bleeding Rainbow.

Working as a duo under the name Reading Rainbow, Sarah Everton and Rob Garcia released two LP’s and a handful of 7″ singles on a variety of labels before expanding to a quartet, changing their name and signing with Brooklyn-based Kanine Records. Their fourth LP, Interrupt was released at the end of February, and the group is currently in the first leg of a month-long tour across the country. Bleeding Rainbow was kind enough to answer a few of our questions for this week’s FIVE x FIVE.

Bleeding-Rainbow-InterruptWith four full-length albums and more than twice as many 7″ singles, how do you decide what tracks will make it onto an LP and which ones will be released as a 7″? | Eric Slager

For us, the deciding factor has always been timing. We’re always trying to write new songs and push forward. So sometimes someone will approach us about releasing a 7″ and we’ll have a few songs in hand already and release them. Or we’ll accumulate like 6 songs and then just realize that we could finish writing a few more and have enough for a full length. We’re still always really excited about each new song we write.

Personally, I love collecting singles but you do get a bit more bang for you buck with an LP. Do you guys prefer releasing your music in 7″ single form as opposed to a full-length LP or was it simply just easier/cheaper to do it that way in the beginning? | Dan Jarvis

It really wasnt that calculated. It kind of just happened that way. We just want people to hear the music, so storing it away until we can release an album is not always the easiest thing. Its also fun to work with different people and release something that is limited and really special.

How do you view Interrupt within your discography? Do you see it as a culmination of your past works, or as a new chapter of the group? | Alyssa Welch

I feel that its a new chapter of the group. Its been a long time that we’ve worked on developing as a band and finally have a lineup that feels permanent. The songwriting still comes from the same voice, so this connects the new work to the older material. We’ve been relearning older songs as a 4 piece and it has been a lot of fun.

As the dynamic of the group shifted over the years, has your writing process changed at all? | Dan Fiorio

It’s changed in small ways. For each new batch of songs we writing, the process is never the same. I feel like you’ll quickly fall into a rut if you think there has to be a certain way to write a song. We are always learning from previous attempts and doing what feels right or works.

Was the “Images” music video done in one shot or did it take longer? What motivated you to go with the simplicity of the images vs. a more complex video? | Patrick David

The footage in the music video took about 30 minutes. We just played through the song about 10 times with different filters over the lens of the camera. The process of making this video matched our process for making Interrupt. We wanted to create a body of work that was to the point and raw. The immediacy and energy that went into the music is translated more directly this way. This is what we were trying to achieve with this video.

You can catch Bleeding Rainbow live tomorrow night at VFW Post 5040 in Woodstock, IL. They’ll be playing with Chicago’s Landmarks as part of Bright Future Band Frenzy. The show kicks off at 9 PM, and you can grab tickets online for just $8.

Bleeding Rainbow Official | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

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Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways: VAYA

We’re counting down to Record Store Day, a major holiday for vinyl nerds and casual music listeners alike. Between April 14th and April 19th, Midwest Action is hosting Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways, a celebration of both Midwestern musicians and records. We gathered some vinyl, a mix of 7″s and LPs, from a few of our favorite artists. Each day, we’re giving away a single copy of an album, and on Record Store Day, we’re giving away all 5 records as a combo pack.

DAY FIVE: VAYA’S  SELF-TITLED DEBUT LP

This three-piece, formerly Dick Wolf!, have recently burst onto the Chicago scene, and no one seems to be complaining. The band merges a wide range of influences and sensibilities with the rhythms and technical agility of Midwestern math rock. Some tracks very strongly call to mind the Dirty Projectors, in both instrumentation and vocals, and in the very best ways. The trio’s debut full-length was released just this past month, and we’ve been enjoying their experimental pop constantly since.

Midwest Action is excited to give away a copy of this awesome album to one lucky winner. Enter below for a chance to win*, and check out/fall in love with their music below if you haven’t been introduced yet.


VAYA Official | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp
*winners will be selected and notified on April 20, 2014.

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Self-titled Debut by Vaya

I remember a period of my life when the term “Pop” was a little bit of a dirty word. I was into Punk, Grunge and everything else a teenager needs at that age. That stuff still has a special spot in my adolescent heart but over the years my palette has become more refined.

Tangents and nostalgia aside, the debut album from Vaya is the kind of music I would’ve said I hated back in high school but secretly blasted when I got home. Luckily, I can fully admit to liking “Pop” music these days, even in a public forum like this.

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The Chicago-based trio released this self-titled gem barely a month ago and I can’t seem to get enough of it. I find myself pinpointing more and more of the band’s influences with every listen. The thing they do so well (and what most really amazing bands do well) is that they don’t attempt to lump their music into one neatly defined genre. Instead, they let that wide range of influences bubble up and explode into a tasty blend of sounds and styles.

The opening track, “I’m Not Listening” has all the ingredients of a power pop hit. The bass line is infectious and Jeff Kelley’s vocals are equally catchy.

Kevin Claxton provides the low-end, but with a baritone guitar instead of your average 4-string bass. The difference might seem negligible but it offers a dimension to the band that is really unique. I couldn’t imagine the track “Neon Skull” without it. The extended range of the baritone guitar is a perfect compliment to Jeff’s treble-y riffs and nearly falsetto vocals.

The band really starts to explore their math-rock influences towards the middle of the album. “Sprawl” calls to mind elements of great Chicago acts like Joan of Arc and Shellac. The major difference is, Vaya manages to retain their pop sensibilities. This is math-rock for the masses.

It seems that whatever style the band explores they do it well. Their guitar work gets even more erratic and angular on the next track ” Disappear”.

A standout in my mind however is the song that follows it called “The Evolution”. If it had more of a dance beat behind it you might think it was a Prince song. However, the catchy chorus is offset by a slew of guitar noise and the pounding rhythm of drummer, Eric Ridder, as the song comes to a climatic end.

Towards the end of the 11-track album is the optimistic “(If Our Tongues Are Tied) We’ll Sing Together”. A catchy tune with a “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” sort of tone to it.

The art-school kid in me can’t help but love the subject matter of the album’s closer “My Girl’s a Tetrachromat”. If not for the brilliant composition, and the fact that they managed to fit the word “Tetrachromat” into a chorus, then definitely for the line “I fell in love with a girl who got off on colors”. 

Overall, it’s an impressive debut that really bridges the gap between experimental math-rock and pop music. VAYA is bound to get the punks, indie rockers, and everyone in between dancing to these tunes.

Head over to Vaya’s bandcamp page to hear the rest of the album. You can also pick up a physical copy on Vinyl or CD (limited to only 500 copies each!). The band hand screen printed the simple, yet gorgeous artwork so be sure to reward yourself with more than just the digital copy.

Vaya Official | Bandcamp | Facebook

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Give it a Spin: “Hard of Hearing” by Dream Version

Chicago’s Dream Version claims a wide variety of influences in their music. As it turns out, combining punk, surf, girl group and dance music inspirations will make for pretty solid indie-pop music. Dream Version’s four members met as elementary school teachers in the city and recently released their first single “Hard of Hearing” b/w “Escape Your Escape”.

“Hard of Hearing” is a fantastic 90′s throwback, complete with punchy guitars, fuzzy keys, and impressive vocal melodies throughout. Anytime you can utilize “Sha-la-la-la’s” as backing vocals, you’re doing something right. The track’s almost a capella bridge – backed by the steady thump of fuzz from the keys – is a refreshing change a pace before the song roars back to life for its second half.

Dream Version is celebrating the “Hard of Hearing” release at the Beat Kitchen (2100 W Belmont Ave) this Saturday, 4/19. The 17+ show kicks off at 6:00 PM with support from Varsity, Moxie Motive and Owel. Tickets are just $8 and can be picked up at the door or online in advance of the show.

Dream Version Facebook | Bandcamp

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Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways: Radar Eyes

We’re counting down to Record Store Day, a major holiday for vinyl nerds and casual music listeners alike. Between April 14th and April 19th, Midwest Action is hosting Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways, a celebration of both Midwestern musicians and records. We gathered some vinyl, a mix of 7″s and LPs, from a few of our favorite artists. Each day, we’re giving away a single copy of an album, and on Record Store Day, we’re giving away all 5 records as a combo pack.

DAY FOUR: RADAR EYES POSITIVE FEEDBACK 7″

Radar Eyes have constantly been evolving as a band since their formation in 2007. Founding member Nathan Luecking left the band after their debut album came out on HoZac records leaving Guitarist/Vocalist Anthony Cozzi as the band’s frontman. Cozzi has stepped up to the challenge and taken the group into new territory, straying slightly from their more dark post-punk sound into a riff-laden garage/surf rock vibe that is undeniably catchy.

Their latest single Positive Feedback is a scorching 3 minutes of garage rock. Lucas Sikorksi’s overdriven bass line, along with Nithin Kalvakota’s quick drumming, propel the song forward like a freight train. Anthony’s vocals are stripped of their usual heavy reverb in favor of a more concrete style that cuts through the mix and gives the song an almost new-wave feel.

Check out the single below and enter for a chance to win* this phenomenal 7″.


Radar Eyes Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter
*winners will be selected and notified on April 20, 2014.

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Record Store Day 2014 In-store Events

Record Store Day 2014 is fast approaching, and with it swarms of vinyl-enthusiasts will find themselves spending a lot of time waiting in lines. Beneath all of the fancy reissues, Record Store Day is about buying local and supporting your neighborhood record shops.

As an incentive for those browsing their shelves in person, record stores across the country host special events and in-store performances just for RSD. We’ve rounded up a few of our most anticipated in-store performances from Milwaukee, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Chicago to point you in the right direction this Saturday.

Exclusive Company – 1669 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI

Wisconsin independent record store, Exclusive Company, will be hosting in-store performances and special events at all seven of their WI locations. We’ll be focusing on the Milwaukee shop here, so be sure to check their website and event page for details on their other six locations.

Exclusive Company Milwaukee has a full day of music planned starting at 2:30 PM with North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees and wrapping up with a set from MKE glam/party rock group Tigernite. Also playing at 5:45 PM will be MWA favorites, Animals in Human Attire.

Lost In The Trees – 2:30 PM
Mark Waldoch – 3:30 PM
Midnight Reruns – 5:00 PM
Animals in Human Attire – 5:45 PM
Mike Benign Compulsion – 6:30 PM
Paper Holland – 7:15 PM
Tigernite – 8:00 PM

Music Saves – 15801 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, OH

Texas alt-rockers The Toadies will be in-store at Cleveland’s Music Saves signing CD and vinyl copies of the 20th Anniversary reissue of their 1994 debut, Rubberneck. Grab the details on the event page and catch The Toadies live at Grog Shop that night with Supersuckers and Battleme.

The Toadies – Meet & Greet – 3:00 PM

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Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways: The Fatty Acids

We’re counting down to Record Store Day, a major holiday for vinyl nerds and casual music listeners alike. Between April 14th and April 19th, Midwest Action is hosting Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways, a celebration of both Midwestern musicians and records. We gathered some vinyl, a mix of 7″s and LPs, from a few of our favorite artists. Each day, we’re giving away a single copy of an album, and on Record Store Day, we’re giving away all 5 records as a combo pack.

DAY THREE: THE FATTY ACIDS’ FULL-LENGTH LP BOLERO

The synthy lines and energetic, erratic composition of “Airsick” made it an instant favorite. Released in September of 2013, The Fatty Acids’ ambitious album Bolero is a collection of ten songs equally as catchy as the single. The outfit is arguably one of Milwaukee’s most popular, and the record is one of Milwaukee’s most blue and most marbled. Not sure what that means? Neither are we. Enter below.


The Fatty Acids Official | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp
*winners will be selected and notified on April 20, 2014.

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The Peekaboos premiere new video for “Heaven’s Gate”

Even though it’s been out for over a year now, Stay Positive by The Peekaboos still finds it’s way onto my turntable fairly regularly. It’s fun, energetic, catchy, but also a little rough around the edges (in all the right ways).

The band just celebrated their two year anniversary, and they did it in style. To start off the celebration, they premiered a new video for their song “Heaven’s Gate”, complete with a big screen TV and a live show at Emporium Arcade Bar last Tuesday. They continued the festivities into the weekend with a birthday performance at Distractions/Distortions, a yearly gathering of amazing local acts that The Peekaboos helped kickstart a couple years back.

With a new album in the works and plenty of fresh material finding it’s way into their live set, their showing no sign of slowing down. Even with the anticipation of the album, it’s great to see this Peekaboos classic get a video treatment. Check it out below and get a glimpse into the 4 unique personalities that make up The Peekaboos. And of course, stay tuned for the new album coming soon.

Upcoming Shows:
May 4th @ Township
May 27th Midwest Action Party @ Empty Bottle w/Daikaiju, MAMA, & Alright Panther

The Peekaboos Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

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Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways: Saintseneca

We’re counting down to Record Store Day, a major holiday for vinyl nerds and casual music listeners alike. Between April 14th and April 19th, Midwest Action is hosting Six Days of Vinyl Giveaways, a celebration of both Midwestern musicians and records. We gathered some vinyl, a mix of 7″s and LPs, from a few of our favorite artists. Each day, we’re giving away a single copy of an album, and on Record Store Day, we’re giving away all 5 records as a combo pack.

DAY TWO: SAINTSENECA UPPERCUTTER 7″

Columbus outfit, Saintseneca, seamlessly merge folk and country motifs with soaring vocals, creating a vibrant and unique post-punk energy. This past season was filled with touring, SXSW, and their newest album, Dark Arc, out April 1 2014.

The Uppercutter 7″ was released in October of 2013. The A side features their track, “Uppercutter”, with “Visions” gracing the B side. Enter for a chance to win this album*, and then sit back and enjoy some music below.


Saintseneca Official | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp
*winners will be selected and notified on April 20, 2014.