Tuesday, April 30, 2013

24 Apr 13

Hey, blogspot readers, who has the BIGGEST mouth among you?

SouthSide recently spent an evening at a battle of the bands competition where up and coming bands/artists were able to strut their stuff on the legendary Metro stage in front of family, friends and other students. Columbia College (of Chicago) Biggest Mouth 2013 featured 12 student band finalists performing a quick sample of their music like neo-soul fusion (Upsin Hounds), R&B/pop rock (Daryn Alexus) and more before judges to be crowned the best band. The audience also had a say in this competition too as they were asked to text their favorite of the night. Before attending the show, this reviewer (via telephone) was able to chat with Alma Cook of Alma about her music, the competition and what she hopes to achieve from it and much more.

Even though stumping the artist on the first question, blogspot readers, Alma described music as "...honesty and spiritual growth..." in which she places importance on the ability of connecting with people on what she has to lyrically say to them ...something that they will understand. For Alma, she hopes her songs as well as the lyrics themselves will have people in deep conversations where ideas and opinions can be shared together or one on one with her - which she likes the most. After each show, Alma makes herself available for anyone for discussion. "...It's all about us having different or opposing opinions rather not about me being right..." says this artist. Besides performing under her own band name, Alma is busy person performing within other artists/bands in different genres like a hip hop group to a folk music project that she just started. She also wants to be a part of an acapella group. By doing this, it will help grow into the artist that she wants to be.

Since this was her first time hearing about the Biggest Mouth competition, this reviewer asked Alma to briefly describe what it entail to which she stated Columbia College hosts a monthly battle of band  show and the Biggest Mouth happens at the end of the year. It started with over 130 bands before narrowing it down to the top 12 competing in front of an audience and panel of judges. Yet, to Alma, as a career prospective it wouldn't matter if you won 1st or 2nd prize. She simply wants "...to show people that I have something to say ...[it] doesn't matter if I win ...it's about building a fanbase..." in Chicago. Even though it was a brief set, SouthSide enjoyed her Metro performance liking the neo-smooth contemporary sound that had a lively rhythmic beat and energy. Her vocals were heartfelt as well as dynamic that definitely pleased the crowd. In case you weren't able to attend this year's Biggest Mouth, blogspot readers, you can meet and see this artist performing on the acoustic lounge stage at Elbo Room on May 14th during the "Women Rock" showcase.

This reviewer did stay for majority of the Biggest Mouth and found herself rockin' along with the dynamic vocal power during Daryn Alexus' set. She was hot! And that's putting it mildly, blogpsot readers. This artist literally had the crowd going when opening with a sultry R&B number before tearing the Metro with a thunderous rock show. Then it was Kylie Marcus who also wowed the crowd with another strong yet dynamic vocal performance despite noticing that her backing vocalist almost overshadowed her. However her cover of Heart's Barracuda (which she dedicated to her mom) seemed a little too old for Hanna's voice to handle. She didn't have the same vocal punch that the lyrics required to carry this song. Upsin Hounds had this cool neo-soul groove and sound which had many moving to the swinging rhythmic beat. It was quite funky and fun especially when the trio of female vocalists were harmonizing on the lyrics ...a touch of sexiness to highlight this group's stage appeal, blogspot readers. Though missing this band's Elbo Room performance (on April 29th), SouthSide will be on hand to cover their next show for a future On The Town review. The next band after them had the most difficult task of meeting the standard and level the Upsin Hounds rocked the stage with. For SouthSide, the music didn't seem to gel cohesively with the front man on vocals who was trying too many voice ranges during their short set. The band that truly had this crowd in a frenzy was Earl especially during the song Last Cigarette in which this reviewer enjoyed the organic feel (featuring a flute and saxophone) within the band's rockin' alternative/jazz rock fusion, blogspot readers. She however didn't care for the band's second song because the fluctuating tempos and rhythms were somewhat confusing to this reviewer's ears ...as if they were doing too much at the same time.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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