Ben Arguelles is one of those people that you think is insanely talented and smart- and then the more you get to know him- the more you realize that he is freakishly ridiculously smart. He is the man behind DZ Records, Friends With Music Podcast, and DZ Fest. He also built a cabin in his backyard. With his bare hands. Uphill, both ways. (But seriously, he built a cabin. How cool is that?)
We met Ben online. Ben told us he stumbled upon our tunes while checking out upcoming shows in Chicago, and would like to do a live recording of a few of our songs. After clicking on a few links of his, we were quick to realize that Ben has recorded hundreds of live shows, albums, organizes innovative city themed bills, and puts on a large music festival every year in his own backyard.
Ben’s studio is in the basement of his house. Show posters, art, and electric guitars of every color covered the wooden walls. There was a glittery decked out drum set that Daisy got to play. We had a really good time playing through some of our songs that we don’t have online anywhere. Afterwards, Ben gave us homemade chocolate chip cookies, and we did a podcast where Daisy told the internet lots of funny lies and I awkwardly laughed a lot. According to Daisy, my father was one of the original members of The Stooges.
After recording with Ben, we headed up north to play “Richardson” Richardson’s record release party at 7th Street Space in DeKalb, Illinois. 7th Street Space is a DIY shared practice space by day and an epic party stop by night. Crystal Gravy started the night off right. This was my second time seeing them and they were even better than I had remembered. They are a two piece band with a keytar, guitar, and the main vocals and harmonies are split equally. Crystal Gravy is an all around good time, with catchy harmonies, and lyrics that are both tongue and cheek, and beautifully earnest. At the end of their set they added a drummer, which gave their sound a bit of a B-52’s vibe. Favorite songs to check out:::Love Lottery, and the ever so messed up pop song about incest “Donna Dana”.
Chicago’s Dirty Bird played. They also have another band called Chicken Happen. I told them they have a bird problem. I am waiting for their next project to be called Dirty Chickens. Anyway! Dirty Bird put on a hell of a show, with heavy, dark, guitar riffs, and rhythmic hooks that were tightly executed. Hungry Mountain brought the grooves to the evening with indie rock that got everybody dancing. They kind of sounded like a cross between My Morning Jacket and Pavement.
“Richardson” Richardson, the headliners of the night were the heaviest act for sure, with a loud, drum machine-driven, two-bass sound. If you haven’t heard them, they are a pretty unique band reminiscent of a grindcore Big Black. They closed out the night with tons of energy and left everyone abuzz with a rousing group sing-a-long of the classic “Bitch Sunglasses.”
We stayed with Jason, from “Richardson” Richardson, and I am writing this with hot coffee, scrambled eggs, and pancakes.