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Via Tania Covers Nina

2009 was a great year for Tania Bowers (a.k.a. Via Tania) and to close out the year she has sent us a beautiful Nina Simone cover. “Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood” is a perfect track for Tania and you can that it is meaningful to her. You can download the track here.

Via Tania already has some big plans for 2010 including a trip to SXSW. She will also be releasing a New single "Fields", as well as an exciting music video shot by none other than Aussie production team Moop Jaw (The Temper Trap, The Presets, The Golden Filter, Peaches, Miami Horror, Neon Indian) who will be taking Tania into the beautiful, rural mountain lands of Mount Buller, a spectacular locale known for its sunsets and breathtaking landscapes. Basically, we will be hearing much more from Tania Bowers next year.

   

Top 15 Chicago Songs of the Year: No. 14

Number 14 comes from Anni Rossi's Rockwell album which was released in March of this year. The track is "The West Coast".

   

I'll Come Back

This brand new video from Treaty of Paris is taken from their 2007 release Sweet Dreams, Sucker. The band is releasing their much anticipated follow-up ep, Currents, on January 9th via a celebration at The Metro. Joining them will be other local bands AM Taxi (Virgin Records), The Insecurities, Last Fast Action, and The Victory Gins. Doors for the concert open at 5:00PM.

   

The Saps New Album Is A Lightening Fast Pop Punk Rocker!

The Saps have had a storied history in the Chicago music scene. They have released several EPs, which never got them any critical attention from major labels. Maybe it was the nasty abrasiveness from there old school sound being in a contemporary scene. Maybe it was the lyrics "I got so drunk last night/I wanted to piss in your eye".

Either way there music never got the full attention that front man Daniel Lastick may have wanted. But rather than pull an "88 Fingers Larry" move and go on to bigger skyline success *cough* Rise Against *cough*, he instead chose to give a big middle finger to the record labels and keep making the music he wanted to make.

This attitude is portrayed perfectly on two of the major tracks on the EP. "Ricky": A song about working tirelessly in the studio only to be rejected by every label. Many young bands can identify with this one. Other hard-hitting tracks on the album are "Radio": a song about doing almost nothing with your life while still being a success in music, a perfect anthem for any schoolyard boy who has big dreams (tweed uniform not included). "Piece Of Glass": Was written entirely for the fans and was only released on their approval. It shows a mellow side to them with almost beach boy harmonies, it's a bit surprising.

All in all The Saps latest attempt is definitely for the fans, but it does seem that they are trying to get a little poppy for another possible chance at record label attention. Either way, good luck guys! - Nick Coamey

   

Live Review: I Fight Dragons @ the Metro

Music nerds and gamers alike flocked to the Metro Saturday night, to watch fellow music nerds and gamers, I Fight Dragons. I was initially reeled in by the local sextet when I heard their holiday tune on XRT: a steady Nintendo track behind them, IFD wished listeners a merry Christmas, superhero-style. My curiosity led me to Metro, where there was no mistaking who was in the NES-inspired band: each member was sporting a superhero t-shirt; Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Captain America, The Flash, and the Green Lantern each live on in the IFD lineup.

The band was joined on stage by TVs, each playing old-school video games. Cool. Even cooler were the band members (somehow, someway) playing Nintendo controllers along with the songs. As far as the band's incorporation of NES tones and samples, I basically heard what I was expecting to; however, not being as familiar with their sound otherwise, I learned IFD is a solid, energetic power-pop band, through-and-through. They hardily delivered song after song, playing up to the crowd, and genuinely enjoying their stage-show, gimmicky it may be.

Their crowd--equally peppy--was thrilled when the band broke into "I Fight Ganon" (The Zelda Theme)"; waves of childhood nostalgia encompassed the crowd, and for a moment, it was 1986 again. They continued with tracks including "Money," and "No One Likes Superman Anymore" (both from their Cool Is Just a Number EP, released earlier this year), and they surprised me with a welcome cover of the Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing."

Ultimately, I found IFD's nerd-rock press to be a double-edged sword of sorts; their gamer-meets-pop-rock draw was what initially caught my eye, but after 4 or 5 songs, the shtick lost some of its appeal. Stripped of its gamer disposition, I Fight Dragons remains a solid power-pop group. They are still a relatively new band, surely continuing to finesse their identity and overall sound. For those interested in music sans camp, you might want to sit this one out, as it'd be overkill; but for those interested in combining their love for pop music and video games, congratulations, you've met your match. - Neph Basedow