[Live Review] Wet Cement Bright Future in Chicago

Wet band

Chicago’s Empty Bottle is the quintessential venue that you catch a band in before they break out. It’s hot, dim and a little cramped, boasting a roughly 50-50 split between bar area and stage.

It’s also the kind of venue where a band can’t hide behind gimmicks. There’s no room for an elaborate light show or props. Either your music is up to par or the audience is in for a long night. Luckily, from the opening notes of their set it was clear Wet was up to the challenge.

The Brooklyn trio opened with “Deadwater,” the lead single off their long-awaited major label debut Don’t You, due out early next year.

“Deadwater” is one of Wet’s sweetest, warmest records, and it glistened in such an intimate setting. Joe Valle’s electronic drums boomed, serving as the exoskeleton for Marty Sulkow’s gooey, understated guitar.

Wet hasn’t released much music of late, but even the tracks off their 2013 eponymous EP sounded fresh and vibrant. While some synth pop and indie R&B groups get exposed in a live setting, the sheer talent of each of the band’s members was on full display.

Singer Kelly Zutrau shined particularly bright. Her soaring vocals are the band’s keystone, and she proved that she has the gravitas to lead a scintillating performance.

“Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl” was a particular highlight. The song hinges on a sense of vulnerability and honesty that isn’t easy to convey, but Zutrau had the few hundred in attendance swaying in stunned silence.

Fan favorites “You’re the Best” and “No Lie” were equally impressive in their own right.

There wasn’t much in the way of stage banter from Zutrau and co., but that may’ve simply been in keeping with their aesthetic. A band like Wet can afford to let their music speak for itself. The set was crisp and efficient, but you got the undeniable sense the crowd would’ve just as happy to watch them run it back.

Nowadays, there are hundreds of bands out there vying for “next up” status, but Wet’s mesmerizing live show is another reason to consider them a cut above the rest of the SoundCloud darlings you see on your newsfeed.

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The Five Best Dance Songs of the Week

Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.
Samuel Beckett

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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Arcadia

New Tape Tuesday!

There are so many ideas floating around at all times. Some ideas peak your interest, and others just sort of drift off into the ethos. Higher education means focusing your attention on the ideas that interest you, because otherwise it is so easy to get lost in higher thought. “Arcadia” might seem like a really pretentious name for a mix, and that’s because it totally is. But it derives from this idea I discovered that interested me (apparently, during ancient Greek times Arcadia represented a pastoral utopia). The mix itself is an epic, 22-track adventure with artists ranging from NZ export Lorde to Chicago’s own Vic Mensa. Hopefully, listening to it will inspire an idea–or even the drive to seek understanding–or maybe it will simply act as an escape. Maybe these songs will take you to your own personal utopia.

P.S. The mix features three different pieces of cover art, each representing a different part of the tape.

  1. Attu – Don’t Sleep
  2. Twyaen – Keep on Waiting
  3. Drake – Come Thru (James Blake Remix)
  4. Dom Kennedy – After School
  5. Retro Culture – Let’s Make It Work
  6. Skizzy Mars – Summer11
  7. Lorde – Ribs
  8. Wet – Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl
  9. PARTYNEXTDOOR – Break from Toronto
  10. FKi – We Might (ft. Natasha Mosley & Alkebulan)
  11. Hot Sugar – Erica (ft. The GTW)
  12. Travi$ Scott – Hell of a Night
  13. Hozier – Take Me to Church
  14. SNCKPCK – Mexico (ft. Yuno)
  15. Mutual Benefit – Advanced Falconry
  16. Vic Mensa – RUN! (ft. Thundercat)
  17. RAC – Tourist (ft. Tokyo Police Club)
  18. Lincoln Jesser – We’ll Be Fine
  19. Joe Goddard – Taking Over
  20. Night Terrors of 1927 – Young and Vicious
  21. Lontalius – For The Ideas (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)
  22. Mzwétwo – I’d Go Back On My Heart



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Listen to Wet’s Self-Titled Debut EP

New Wet!

I fell in love with Wet when they released “Bad Idea” earlier this year, and I haven’t stopped loving Wet since. That almost sounds inappropriate. Why are they named Wet? Honestly, that is my least favorite thing about the Brooklyn trio (although I LOVE that their Twitter handle is @_kanyewet).

They recently released this four track EP, and it’s just great. It’s co-produced by ex-Chiddy Bang member Xaphoon Jones a.k.a. Noah Breakfast a.k.a. Noah Beresin who has recently worked with Ellie Goulding. The EP covers every type of love song. The front half does the head-over-heels, more uptempo tracks, and the back half does the aching, minimalist ballads. A perk of doing a clean four songs is that every song is a highlight; although, I have to say I prefer the slower ones. One thing I kind of miss from the trio is the shared male-female vocals that we caught a glimpse of on “Bad Idea.”

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Shlohmo & Jeremih – Bo Peep (Do U Right)

So… this song is sexual. I don’t know if it’s NSFW or what. It’s NS for something. I’m pretty sure Shlohmo and Jeremih just got together (as part of that Yours Truly and adidas Originals “Songs from Scratch” series) and consciously decided to make the most sexual song possible based off a nursery rhyme just to challenge themselves. I guess after a certain point, you have to sexualize nursery rhymes; there’s nowhere else to go with sexual things. And in a way, nursery rhymes are the most sexual rhymes there are.

I’m gonna do u right girl.

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Sunset's Jams on Spotify

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