So around the time this page started in August 2010, I was contacted by the frontman of The Noise FM, an indie rock trio from Kansas that had recently picked up and moved itself to Chicago. I remember Alex was extremely excited at the time about an EP he and the band released earlier that year — Enclave — and wanted me to give it a listen.
Soon enough I did. Looking back, I can only conclude that Enclave didn’t enough adhere to my music tastes then, and so I pawned off the set to a Chicago Tunes contributor who had expressed an interest in giving The Noise FM a try. And, finally, about a month after Alex’s initial email, an Enclave review appeared in these pages.
As an artist who understands the benefit of tireless promotion, Alex would slip me emails from time to time after that review published to kindly let me know about gigs they’d booked in and around Chicagoland. These reach outs, I admit, would get sent to me well in advance of the engagements’ dates.
For whatever reason I failed to get back to the guy, repeatedly, and that truly is a shame. Because I made it out to see him and his Noise FM at Township Saturday, and that gig was a real party, an early favorite of the new year.
A benefit Alex and The Noise FM threw in December — Noise for Toys — prompted me to give his band another go. I mean playing a charity event seemed like such a noble thing for a young troupe to arrange, and I felt compelled to readdress what was sent to me a year prior.
I got to listening to that EP again, and I was quickly humored that the year-ago me had passed on such pretty rock. The Noise FM is just incredibly tight, you see. They bounce from movement to movement with such fluidity, and as I experienced last night, it’s as true of their live show as it is on record.
It probably goes without saying that my tastes have been challenged these last few months by a series of unpredictable bands, and fortunately for The Noise FM — and me — their brand of pop and go rock is something I’d totally go out and see again.
They’ve been giving this one away for awhile now:
But the kicker for me, as they displayed at Township, is how genuinely humble they are on the stage, on the floor and, indeed, as other bands stand under the lights. I mean Austin, in particular, was out there sweating it as his friends in Archie Powell blew through a set of pure energy. I love that kind of support.
Archie Powell & The Exports was a new one for me, actually. They and The Noise FM are about to embark on a series of shows together en route to SXSW, and the pairing makes total sense to me. Both groups are real good at staging an event that seems a giant excuse for them and their friends to madly dance, but inclusive enough for newbs like me not to feel out of place.
Before all that was a set by Mawrcrest, a trio I’ve tracked even before they were calling themselves Mawrcrest. I’ve long been confused by the lack of attention these guys have received on the scene, and that bewilderment holds through the weekend. Their rock is slow and soulful, and the stuff they’ve been working on post-Whisker Music EP seems fuller.
- Free mp3: “Metronome” by Archie Powell & The Exports.
- Sandwiched between The Noise FM and Archie Powell was an Indiana-based band named Rodeo Ruby Love. I hope they come back soon. | Bandcamp
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