You may be asking yourself, "WHO ARE ALL THESE GUYS? WHAT ARE 'BAD DUDES'? HOW MANY SETS OF 8 BEERS CAN I HAVE?" (All you want, cousin. Just as long as it takes place after the music.) I suppose it's my hostly duty to go about describing these guys in order to entice you to come. This is not a problem; I could write for days and days on the merits of these gentlemen. We'll start with Warren.
Warren Franklin is a singer-songwriter from Rockford, IL. When I write "singer-songwriter," I'm not talking pretty/wispy James Taylor ripoffs which receive genre-tags from iTunes as such, or Filipino YouTube buskers with some "sick covers" of R&B songs. I mean visceral, emotional, cutting pieces of music that need no introduction before you hear them; you get the point as it's coming at you. His album Stray is beautifully produced and polished with his voice captured in full dynamic range. However, it's the live show that gets you. Using audience participation in ways that DON'T make you cringe and his sheer energy, he gets you excited, no matter what you're into.
One can listen to his music here. Also, here's a video of him playing my personal favorite, "Some Form of Irony," at Joie De Vivre's space (Hipster House. Yeah, they're kidding.) in Rockford. Should be a good indicator of what you're in for.
Sheep Numbers is Mike Martello's moniker for his solo work, outside of his other bands (the inimitable The Nothingheads, Waterhens, Tin Tin Can, Puff...possibly more?). The guy's got the musical work-ethic of Robert Pollard, the tunefulness of Robert Schneider (this is basically Mike's version of Marbles), the psychedelic haze of The Beatles, and the nerdy/endearing qualities of the 2 Johns of They Might Be Giants. He's also got the nostalgia you have for your old imaginary friend. I'm going to take a wild guess and say you may have had MUTUAL imaginary friends. The song subject matter ranges dramatically and emotionally; on one hand, you have turtles and bouncy-balls, while the other is penning poetry about the creative/energetic spark that's been systematically drained from us into adulthood. His music is pure, and the stylized aspects of it only hook you into that pureness. After getting to know him a bit, it's a pleasure to have him play!
One can listen to his solo work here. I know it says "Myk Martello," but it's gonna be SHEEP NUMBERS, cool? Problem, guy?
How is THIS the only picture of Bloom? It doesn't even include all of Nat's right leg! It's a shame! However, judging from communicating with these guys (and housing 2 members one night), there is a reason for that: Bloom is the most self-deprecating band in Illinois. I will never understand this, because Bloom are ALSO some of the best pop-punk tune-smiths (and not pop-punk like --these dudes--) I have ever heard, carefully considering their age (a high-school band that doesn't suck ass!), and ESPECIALLY considering their attitude towards themselves. Guys, you can cheer up, because you remind everybody of when Green Day weren't pseudo-pundit shitheads and were beloved by their own punk scene.
One can hear their music here. Also, keep in mind, they will be playing an acoustic set! Remember Punk Goes Acoustic? Probably like that, but with MUCH better songs. My favorite is "Vocabulary."
Last, but certainly not least, is a complete newcomer to METAphysics and all of it's typical inhabitants. (He actually sent us an email featuring his EPK and stuff? Talk about a good first impression.) He's a folk singer, with zero pretense and no intention of bullshitting you in his music. He's got an upbeat attitude to go with his woeful musings, and humor plays an important part..."Some People Say" is a good example: "Some people say that God does not exist/and others say that he does, but I just missed him." He's got an unabashed love for Bob Dylan (and one of the best "Influences Section"s I've had the pleasure of reading), but he doesn't choose to do what every fan does and spout a half-handed impression of him. He's got his own thing going, and he wants to take you out on a date. Often accompanied by his Undertakers, I believe he will be playing solo on Saturday...a perfect environment for him to project himself to an entirely new group of people.
One can hear his music here. This "Reverb Nation" shit is fancy. I think Island outta be able to log into one of these fuckers.
Oh, and of course,
THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS
What? What are y'all laughing at?
So there you have it. It should be a fantastic time, seriously. Madly eclectic, but who cares?? They all have been, with the exception of the first one, which was stripped-down and pretty and heavily-relaxed ('sup, ORIGINAL Poor Places, Property of Saints, and American Wolf). I mean, genres at META have changed dramatically every hour, so it's no surprise that for this one, we tried to have the best of each world we've had the pleasure of perusing.
Also, I've made an offer no out-of-towner can refuse. If you're not from Chicago or the suburbs surounding Chicago, and you come to this show, find me, Anthony, and I will personally walk you to the corner store and buy you a snack/a drink of your choice. It's the least I can do. Extra snack and drink if you're from a different county.
Alright, now I've gotta go to work.