By Matt Pais
RedEye Sound Board
April 29, 2013
If variety is the spice of life, our 2013 RedEye Rock ‘n’ Vote show is going to be spicy.
With more than 38,000 votes, you narrowed down our Rock ‘n’ Vote Top 10 to catchy pop-rockers (The Addies), a lyrically pointed rapper (DVS Jackson, Esq.), a folk/country singer-songwriter (Michele McGuire) and an 8-piece funk/hip-hop band. (whysowhite). They appear at our free show, 7:30 p.m. May 14 at House of Blues (17+), where on-site voting determines the overall 2013 Rock ‘n’ Vote winner, who scores a spot July 14 at Taste of Chicago.
Read on for more about the four acts you picked to perform. If that’s not enough to get you in the door, the Rock ‘n’ Vote show will be headlined by Chicago favorites (and Lollapalooza alums) Maps & Atlases!
Click here to RSVP for the show (required for attendance)
There’s Rock ‘n’ Vote support, and there’s Rock ‘n’ Vote support. “We were surprised ourselves when we would vote once or twice and then have 30 or 40 votes more,” says the Addies guitarist John Tuzak, 21. “It was a little stressful, but I think the whole time we were pretty confident in our voting and our fans. I think we’ve generated more buzz in the past week or so than we have in the past year.” They deserve it—the Little Italy/UIC-based pop-rock group takes command of your toes so you’re tapping and singing along without noticing. Tuzak says the band plans to market the Rock ‘n’ vote show feverishly, including the release of a teaser video and other goofy Internet bits to spread the word. “We know that our friends and family can only last so long before we have to expand to a broader audience.” Nothing to worry about, man.
DVS Jackson, Esq.
Perhaps you’re wondering if South Shore rapper DVS Jackson, Esq. carries over the clown-related theme of his photos and album “DVS 4 Alderman” into his performances. The answer: Sometimes, though it’s more likely to be a wig or face paint than full clown apparel. (He says he can’t find clown shoes in his size 13.) The 38-year-old’s material is timeless hip-hop that he says captured the attention of co-workers who didn’t know about his music career and others who simply “appreciated the art form.” The biggest response, though, was people saying, “Oh my god, they’re going to let you perform?!” Yep. Can’t wait.
Singer-songwriter Michele McGuire and her band took the Rock ‘n’ Vote poll very seriously. “Every time we’d wake up in the morning we’d be like, ‘Oh my god, the polls have changed!” says the 24-year-old South Side native, now living in Bucktown. They continually reminded fans about voting (“Hopefully nobody lost friends on Facebook,” she says) while also receiving support from multiple Melmans and other members of the Lettuce Entertain You family, since McGuire works as a waitress at R.J. Grunt’s. So what does the 24-year-old artist, whose music can be both charming and heartbreaking, have up her sleeve for Rock ‘n’ Vote? “Oh my gosh, I cannot reveal my secrets!” she says, mostly kidding. Hey, music this easily appealing doesn’t need surprise.
“We try to play every show like there’s 100,000 people out there, even if it’s just a small show,” says whysowhite guitarist Chris Miller, 24. “So we’ll just come at it with all we got.” Audience members should be prepared: The 8-piece, jazz-influenced funk/hip-hop outfit is difficult to listen to without wanting to dance, and Miller says that’s the North Center-based group’s number one goal in concert—claiming proudly that whysowhite has conquered “the dreaded half-circle” of people standing around at a distance from the stage. In other words, whysowhite deservedly classifies as a band that if you’re watching them and standing still, you’re doing it wrong.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U
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