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Creator and Artist Stories

Music Tuesday: Wilco, an introduction to juking, and more

By Sarah Bardeen

Music Community Manager

What’s happening on this week? We dig into two facets of Chicago’s music scene, starting with Wilco’s indie-Americana explorations and then exploring the future-forward sound of juke. And then we go even farther afield...come with us!

Wilco curation
The iconic Chicago band Wilco have just released one of the most acclaimed albums of their career -- and possibly of 2011 (time will tell) -- in The Whole Love. The hook-filled album also stretches at its sonic space, artfully scarring its easy beauty with shards of noise and the occasional extended guitar jam. And yes, they’ve made some pretty lovely videos to go along with it. We invited the band to take over the YouTube homepage today, and they flood it with music you might not ordinarily see there. Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim. The inimitable Bill Withers. They gravitate to music that endures...not unlike their own.

Chicago Juke
While Wilco reps one aspect of Chi-town (its indie-Americana side), we turned to a completely different set of musicians to explore another facet of the city’s music scene. Maybe you've heard about juking. It's a dance scene; it's a musical style. It was born in Chicago, and it takes house music and hip-hop and strips them down, cranking up the BPMs and muddying the production values so it feels as if it could have come out of any corner of the world. People get wild to it; the footwork style has become hugely inspirational to dancers around the country. Even overseas dubstep producers have been influenced by the scene in recent years. Check out our introduction to this vibrant musical subculture.

Dakha Brakha “Vesna” Speaking of going local, you can’t get much more local than Dakha Brakha -- it’s just that the locale is a bit farther afield. (The Ukraine, to be exact.) Dakha Brakha play Ukranian folk music, but they do it with such art-house panache that it feels avant-garde instead of old. In “Vesna,” the band’s most recent video, they emerge from Ukraine’s forests in full traditional garb, setting up and performing in modern-day Kiev. The video builds slowly, but by the time it ends, modern life feels as if it’s been briefly transformed.