Cygnus Loop

Harmonica Dunn Presents:

Cygnus Loop

Chico, Bernie And The Wolf

Tue, May 15, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm


This event is 21 and over

Cygnus Loop
Cygnus Loop
Spacey, transcendent vibes and catchy hooks accentuate the edgy and energetic singer/songwriter tone of the group. -Yup
Nashville-based DIY prog-punks Chico, are set to release their debut full-length conceptual record, Ballet For Bastards, at the turn of the year, 2018. Chico self-describes this record as “thinking music for the punking man.” Chico’s eclectic take on expansive song structures, psychedelic atmospheres, and conceptual focus, seeks to re-invigorate the rock and roll genre - to make loud guitar music with no lyrical or musical boundaries.

Born and raised in Nashville, TN, singer/guitarist Carson Mays, and lead guitarist Ryan Quarles met during high school years. “I always had respect for Carson’s musical ability. From the moment I met him, he was playing guitar, and I knew he was the kid at his school, like I was, who sat at home on most week nights playing music and finding new music to listen to,” says Quarles.

The two maintained a friendship that led them both to attend Belmont University in Nashville. “Most of our friends between us are all musically inclined. So we found ourselves all staying in Nashville while a lot of our high school friends left to attend schools in other states,” says Mays.

Chico was born in the summer of 2014, and immediately dove into the local Nashville house-show scene. With time and several lineup changes, the band learned to hone their sound in a way that became uniquely their own but also ever-changing - jazzy at times, punky at other times, but always seeking to breach the surface level thematically and with aggression.

Mays, who studied philosophy at Belmont, felt compelled by his studies to write music in the fashion of philosophical dialectics - “I felt most inspired by diving into the works of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Hegel, and Sartre, who all assessed ‘being’ in their own fashions and their own arguments. In an attempt to involve myself in these ideas, I wanted to write music that pursues truth, while knowing that it’s all a ruse, that truth is never 100% attainable, hence where the whole concept of Ballet For Bastards originated.”

Mays’ dialectical thought processes are evident in the lyrical content of Ballet For Bastards. The album plays like a classic soundtrack to a play-performance - with the opening track, “Blooming Iris” slowly climbing through dense instrumental atmosphere that builds in intensity, leading to an explosive plateau of the band’s signature sound - driving drums, loud guitars, punk ferocity, but with the melodicism of 70’s rock and roll.

Thematically, the album explores multiple ideas in the form of metaphors and questions - how do we survive in a social climate that rewards both individuality and conformity to the norm at the same time? How do our actions towards others indirectly affect ourselves? What are the real fundamental differences that separate “the one” from “the group”? Are objective truths only perceptions that have been molded by the environment one immerses themselves in, or are truths, or “Concrete Cadences” as Mays calls them, goals to be sought?

Ballet For Bastards is the metaphor for these ideas. Humanity’s quest for truth is like a Ballet - one leaps from one idea to the other - executing each move as a step towards attempted perfection. “How tricks and traps, and dirty tracks can get covered by the snow, bad habits surface constantly, and we are the ones to show that nobody’s perfect and nobody’s correct. Don’t you forget that it’s all in your head” Mays passionately delivers at the climax of their pivotal ballad “Perfect.”

From tracking to mastering, the album was a 6-month process. “All of the songs on this record were written from 2015 through 2016, while Carson, Greg (bassist), and I were living together on the west side (of Nashville)” explained Quarles. “We had a lot of emotional times in that house - finishing college, enduring hard break-ups, letting touring bands crash there - that house was a whirlwind of people coming and going and I think this record reflected a lot of the life experiences we lived through during that time. Not to mention Austin Seegers (drummer) joined us while living there and expedited our writing process even more.”

Chico self-produced the album with the assistance and engineering of Austin Dunlap of Eos Chasma Audio and guitarist in local band Phobos (also a musical project Ryan Quarles is a part of). The album was tracked in the house studio owned by Frank Barrett in the Crieve Hall neighborhood of Nashville, established as Barrett Sound Studio. “It helps that one of our best friends, and my own other bandmate, Austin, had the dedication, skill, and genuine love for our music to want to make this one of the best possible records we could make. And Frank merely had the venue and the desire to help us out. We couldn’t be more stoked about it and more thankful for the people we have in our lives” says Quarles.

The band seeks to bridge the gap between music that appeals to the average listener, and music that calls upon the listener to look deeper within themselves. But they are not also without the desire to rock out as loud as possible - if one catches a local show of theirs, they are expected to see a stage show of sweat, movement, intensity, loud guitars, and engagement with their audiences. They don’t want to perform to you, they want to perform at you, and not let go of their tight grip until their set is over.

Chico is unsigned and will be releasing this record on their own estimated January 2018.
Bernie And The Wolf
Chicago, indie rock duo Bernie & The Wolf is taking you back to school with hot coco and world domination inspired indie alternative dream pop mathy rock goodness. They're endearing and fun on stage, but make no mistake this band packs a punch. Sweet and dangerous like a molten toasted marshmallow, this dynamic duo will not forget to lay down with some smooth groves after all that head-banging.
Venue Information:
Tonic Room
2447 N. Halsted
Chicago, IL, 60614