Match Making

In this segment, Sarah and Tiffany review individual tracks to upcoming albums given to us and pair it up with a tea, coffee, or alcohol while we talk about upcoming events the bands may be doing. Okay, we’ll mostly be pairing these with alcoholic drinks due to our nature where we grew up.

Checkout Slighter on Bandcamp

First we sampled was another song from Slighter on Bandcamp titled Complicit. It took us back to the dark corners of the 90s Batman universe and to the good ol’ days of laser tag. It was fun. It was sexy. It has class. Those drums bringing reminiscing the drums from closing ceremonies of The Renaissance Faires but also reminding us Klingsons exist with those drums being made of steel.

We paired Slighter‘s song this with a cotton candy martini

1.5 oz vodka
1 oz Midori
4 oz cranberry juice
1 tsp lemon juice
handful cotton candy

Check out the new here

We got the pleasure to sample a song off of Doors in the Labyrinth‘s new album Shadows of the Monolith which will be released March 15th on Bandcamp. The song is called Something Wicked It’s very traditional when you think of goth. It talks about a carnival you might see in the sweltering summer while being affected by the the heat or mushrooms you may have taken. It took me a moment but it really grew on me.

The drink we came up with was a black coffee drink with a hint of orange. After talking to Josh (who is Doors in the Labyrinth) We decided to booze it up. So this is what we came up with-

Mr. Black Coffee with a splash of orange liqueur

You can listen to the EP here

Shivar sent us an EP to listen to. On the Five Faced God EP, we listened to Away from Fading. Shivar has a pleasant H.I.M. sound. Tiffany was reminded of “the best bad decisions” and road trips with friends. One of those best bad decisions was us with a bunch of friends during a bachelorette party. (Weirdly I think that’s when we first met too… Thank you lovely editor of mine getting married.) During that party we went to a famous bar called the Safehouse. Someone decided to order a fish bowl & when it started to get lower, Tiffany had the brilliant idea to see if everyone wanted to mix their drinks together in the bowl. Being the slightly intoxicated party that we were, most of us obliged.

In conclusion, she paired this with the special party flask filled with your favorite booze. I paired this with a sparkling wine because this kind of music reminds me of early summer.

Check out the EP

This is 2 bands in one EP. The 2 bands are Fact Pattern and Dread Risks. The Ep opens with Fact Patterns 2 songs and ending with Dread Risks doing 2 songs

Clinically Proven by Fact Pattern reminds me of the summers back in the day going to concerts or festivals. For Tiffany, it reminded her of a friend who loves Japanese Rock and Chai iced tea.

So in this case, we give Clinically Proven by Fact Pattern a Chai Iced tea and a Berry Ale. Berry Ale is just a good summer festival drink.

Places You Fear Most by Dread Risks gave us the dancing in the dark club vibe. We’re loving the sweet dark vibe it gives. We give this an absinthe slushy died black. Dangerous & yummy.

Normoria recently gave us music to listen to but since it’s an album (and we’re doing singles and EPs in this article), we reviewed their music video .

This Swedish band reminds us of the younger days of being over 18 and younger than 21 and going to a club event in Chicago called Nocturna. If you were lucky, you could grab a cd sampler of bands lying around the club. This band very much reminds us of the type of band on that cd you caught yourself jamming (or stomping) to.

Tiffany paired this up with Herbal Wellness tea and I thought more of a London fog type of tea. A London Fog is typically Earl Grey tea with milk. I usually use unsweetened vanilla almond milk and maybe a sweetener (if I don’t feel sweet enough). You could fancy it up with vanilla extract but no need if you don’t want to.

Next we’re surfing on some waves and dragging down on Main Street with our low ridder car to Guitarmy of One. Guitarmy is Scott Helland from Frenchy and the Punk.

A little Blues Brothers meets Pulp Fiction. So what do you with that sitting on your brain? You make the best damn Pistachio milkshake… It might not be worth five dollars but it’ll be a fucking good milkshake.

Personally, I feel like I need to be chilling at a tiki bar and drinking a zombie with this kind of music. I’m too lazy and don’t have the room to make this drink by hand so the Bacardi mix will do.

Amaranth gave us a brilliant single as well. It’s about calling out men having and them being held accountable for harassment and other awful things “fuck boys” do.

Check out their Bandcamp

The riffs are easy to dance or head-bang to. The message is great; hold everyone accountable for their actions. Tiffany went on a weird but amusing turn with this. When she heard “fuck boy” in the lyrics, she immediately thought of an oldie, Beauty and the Beast‘s Gaston. along with a traditional whiskey sour. Gaston made me laugh but she has a good point about a classic whiskey sour. The classic needs an egg and if you were to order that at a bar, you could potentially get looks from it (due to eggs not being much of a thing in most cocktails and apparently Gaston would eat four dozen eggs as a lad to get large.. There is Tiffany logic for you)

For nonalcoholic, we went with a lemonade. It’s delicious and semi sour.

Traditional Whiskey Sour Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg white from a small to medium egg
  • Ice for the shaker
  • Mix in a shaker
  • Pour and drink (ice doesn’t need to be in the glass unless you want it)

Our last artist we reviewed is a trap-hop artist from South Africa named Jaey Price on SoundCloud. The beats and piano were easy to dance to. It reminded me of a blue collar bar that I briefly worked at. There, everyone ordered long islands during happy hour. So, I am sticking with a traditional happy hour long island. I say happy hour long island because it’s mostly pre-mix and rail alcohols. (Rail means bottom shelf.) It just reminds me of the people at that bar and what they normally drank.

To make a long island it’s all equal parts alcohol and a splash of soda to give it the tea color. The booze used in a long island is

  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Vodka
  • Tequila
  • Triple sec

Tiffany went with a fancier drink than me. She was thinking gin and rose water. It’s something she normally wouldn’t drink but rosewater makes it fancy. Weirdly enough we found a recipe that used roses as simple syrup.

  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz rose water simple syrup (see how to make below)
  • 2 oz gin
  • splash club soda

Jaey Price on SoundCloud

This is just a sample of what’s to come. Please check out all the artists and show them some love. They all work hard on their music. We’re trying to see if we can maybe turn this into a podcast or video.

Moving Up Villainy One Musical Album at a Time

At Chicago Steampunk Exposition, we had the great opportunity to day party with V is for Villains. They were the movers and shakers to get your partying started at the convention.

They have so much high energy that they bring to the stage. It was pleasant to see a local rock band play for a group of people in the middle of the day and transport them to a night showing.

After the convention, we had a chance to talk to Nicholas Santiago, Mr. Agitator, for a little Q&A.

*How long has the band been around?

“I started V Is For Villains at the end of 2010. I started my first band, Digital Mindy in 2000, and by 2010 I felt that I had hit a ceiling. I wanted to expand, to push myself musically and in live performance. I felt like Mr. Agitator and V Is For Villains was the next logical step.”

*What made you decide to get up & start a band? Did something just click at the right moment?

“Well when I was 15 I broke my back. Two blown discs, one of which was shattered. I was in so much pain I couldn’t move or stand up straight without help. I was stuck like that for quite some time. I started taking steroid epidurals and it helped me until I had my first spinal decompression. In that period of time I was on Painkillers, I couldn’t go to school or really focus on anything through the pain. Out of nowhere I started playing with music, sounds, audio engineering. It fascinated me. This idea that a song can be born. That it did not exist before, and yet after you hear it, it is always there and always alive. It give me a reason to live. That reason has served me well for many years. Through good and bad. It is the ultimate puzzle, and in my opinion the ultimate form of self expression. In 2013 at a convention I broke my back and knee on stage in my costume, but that’s a different story….”

* Has your sound stayed the same or changed in any way from when you first started? 

“My music has certainly evolved. My tastes, like most, have changed and refined through the years. I was never too worried about having a “good voice” or a certain “sound”. I was always more entertained by something that is interesting. I think as a songwriter, you end up in a very interesting position as creator and listener. You are creating while listening. If it interests me as a listener, that’s usually where I gravitate. I think my sound in Digital Mindy was different. I try to bring something unique to every album. I never want the listener to say “Oh well, I heard this album 4 years ago…”. I know that is what some people like, and that’s okay, it’s just not the story I’m interested in telling.” 

* Which do you prefer doing personally & as a band, live or studio recording?

“I honestly feel that they are two totally different experiences as a performer and as a listener. The Recording process is full of intimacy. Very internal. Where the liver performance is a group experience that is shared with the audience. Two different flavors and I honestly love them both. At the core, I am far more of a song writer and audio engineer at heart. Writing the song is usually the most fun aspect to me. I do however love playing with people on stage and pushing the expected envelope. Mr. Agitator is a fitting code name.”

*How did everyone’s personas come about? 

“I think everyone probably has their own personal meaning in their personas. Mr. Agitator is very much an amalgamation of all of these things that have influenced me and remain present. The persona is very inspired by Batman, The Joker, The Phantom Of The Opera,The Shadow, and so on. My only prerequisite was to not take ourselves and our influences too serious. I think humor is important. You have to be able to laugh at yourself and to take negative criticism. It’s all a part of the game.” 

*Who are your musical inspirations?

“I am a huge fan of 90s Industrial music. I love Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, PIG, Depeche Mode. I have always been very big into this idea that a synthesizer as a tool can shred like a guitar if you use it correctly. I love the idea that Digital sounds are capable of what the writer pulls from them. On the same coin I grew up listening to film scores. I love composers and scores and still very regularly play them. I think it did a lot to teach me about the narrative of music. That sounds can tell a story. I also grew up loving mainstream artists like Billy Joel, Harry Connick Jr, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra. A good song is a good song. I love my influences but I don’t care to be those artists. I want to make something new.”

*What do you do to inspire yourself to write an album and the songs? 

“I feel like the album as a whole work is dying out. In the Digital Age, we are not thinking of works as a whole anymore. Just 2 minute YouTube bytes. I’m not saying this is wrong, but it’s not my favorite method. I like having a full album. I think it’s cool. I always go into a collection of songs trying to provide a greater feel. I always look at my albums as a collection of short stories. An anthology series like Tales From The Crypt or Creepshow. I write purely on emotion. I am not musically trained whatsoever so it just has to feel right. “

*What’s the best way for people to listen to your music? I assume the best way to purchase though would be straight to your website since you’ll all get the money then. 

“The latest album “Villains Never Die” is only available for sale on our website until around December. Then it will be available to stream on all streaming platforms. Our other albums “Evolve or Die” and “Murder In The Art” can be purchased on iTunes, through website or on Spotify. We also have dabbled in music videos on YouTube.”

*Why do you prefer the villain over there hero? (Personally I always do too) 

“I feel that what makes someone a Hero or Villain is only a matter of perspective. To some people we may be Heroes, to most we are Villains. That line has always interested me. In today’s society of cancel culture and social execution before trial, I feel that line is thinner than ever. I have seen people that I thought would be life long allies turn on a dime. It’s hard to understand or explain, its just a side effect of the current world. I think its so easy to be branded Villain. Why not wear the title proudly?”

*How have the Steampunkers & Chicagians responded to your music? 

“Honestly it’s been a very mixed bag. It’s been mostly positive I think. I feel like the larger community expects a certain “thing”. We are NOT that “thing”. I feel like that  can lead many to block out or avoid without truly listening or trying. If someone really gives it a chance and it isn’t their thing, I am 100% supportive of that. It’s not my intention to tell someone if my music is good or not, my job is just to present it. I want people to make up their own minds. Most of the people we have met in the community are very kind and supportive. I always appreciate when people listen.”

*What’s the best way for people to contact you for setting up a gig? 

“We are an independent band, if you would like V Is For Villains for you live show or Event you may message me directly at visforvillains@gmail.com”

*Is there anything else you would like to add about the new album, you & the crew, or any random fun bits of information? 

“After being off of performing for over a year, we are back at it. V Is For Villains next show will be headlining the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville on Saturday October 26th! Come out, see the show and make up your own mind. Until then, remember: Villains Never Die”