Our friends over at Notes and Bolts, purveyors of fine cassette tapes and vinyl as well as a prolific podcast of the same name, are adding something new to their repertoire this year.


poster design by Ryan Duggan of Drug Factory Press

The first annual Notes and Bolts Holiday Toy Drive is going on right now and will culminate in a great night of music at The Empty Bottle on Tuesday, December 10th.

Keeping in the spirit of giving, for every new/sealed toy you donate you will receive two 7″ records from the extensive Notes and Bolts back catalogue. Whether they be dolls, action figures, play sets, Legos, wooden toys, board games, books, puzzles, or anything else you can think of, as long as it’s not a used toy they will be graciously accepted.

Besides warm holiday vibes, here’s what you can expect Tuesday night at Empty Bottle:

The Iceberg

Kicking things off and featuring members of ABSOLUTELY NOT, SWIMSUIT ADDITION and SYBRIS, The Iceberg should be reason enough to get to there early. If that’s not a winning combination of musicians, we don’t know what is.

Coffin Ships

This Chicago two-piece is a perfect blend of psychedelic pop & doo-wop but presented in a slow, dreamy shoegaze infused package. Makes sense right? Imagine The Animals with a female vocalist and a bit more reverb and a bit less overdrive. Whatever you want to call it, it’s great.


Peekaboos is just plain fun. They’re punk, they’re pop, they’re “synthy”… They’re great. Their seemingly casual approach to song writing is refreshing to see when so many bands take themselves way too seriously these days. But don’t let songs like “Let’s Pet Puppies” fool you, this is a band that does so much more than poppy tunes about dogs. Their songs are Irreverent and fun one minute and scathing and cynical social critiques the next.

Their first full length LP entitled Stay Positive got a vinyl release back in January of this year. The music contained within those grooves is just as diverse and gorgeous as the beautiful multi-colored vinyl it comes on. Keep an eye out for a much anticipated follow up to their first album coming in 2014 via Notes and Bolts.

Sister Crystals

A growing figure in the Chicago shoegaze/dream pop scene, Sister Crystals are quickly becoming a local favorite of mine. Their most recent self-titled album LP at times sounds like Mazzy Star meets Badfinger.

The usual dream pop elements are there such as reverb soaked guitars and airy female vocals, but Sister Crystals bring some heavy drums and guitar riffs to a genre that has generally been driven by synthesizers. They’ll be headlining the night, bringing it to a close in style.

If you can’t make the show but still want to help the cause, Quimby’s Bookstore (1854 W North Ave.) will happily take your donations during their normal business hours up until the day of the show.

The ticket price is simply one toy or canned good the night of the show. You can also pay $5 at the door but what’s the fun in that?! As usual, the event is 21+ and starts at 9:00 pm. Free pizza will be provided by the lovely folks at West Town Pizza Shop.

Give to those in need this holiday season and receive the gift of great local music in return! You can RSVP to the event via Facebook, don’t miss it.

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