Chicago has a wealth of amazing local bands, from garage rockers White Mystery and The Smith Westerns to indie overlords Wilco and Andrew Bird. But finding a great pop band in Chicago is tougher than it should be—I searched for a great local indie-pop band for a while after I moved here. Then, two years ago, Stereogum profiled The 1900s. I was hooked immediately.
In the realm of pop music, it’s hard to match the band’s jangly, sunny, hopeful, high steppin’, barnyard creakin’, boy-meets-girl pop hooks. There are only five members of The 1900s, but they sound like a pop army of Paul Simon disciples. And past the cheery nature of the instrumentals, the lyrics feature a poignant Chicago grit. Great stuff.
The 1900s – “Age Of Metals” (from Medium High EP)
The band is currently finishing up their new album, which Edward Anderson said should be out next summer. They’ll be at the Cowboy Monkey in Champaign on Friday as part of the Pygmalion Music Fest. Here’s a list from The 1900s.
1) Yoko Ono – “Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him” (from Double Fantasy) – “Yoko is a genius. She was doing things at age 50 that the kids are still copying today.”
2) Mahjongg – “Vaxination” (from RaYDONcoNG) – “Becoming my walk down the street theme music, a la ‘Stayin Alive.'”
3) Jo Lemaire + Flouze / Serge Gainsbourg (from Femme Versions) – “Je Suis Venue Te Dire Que Je M’En Vais” – “Why would you dance around like an idiot when you can be cooler doing nothing?”
4) Phew – “Closed” – “Kraut-pop pepperoni.”
5) Bilders – “Gin Trap” (from Pyx)