On the Radar: What the F*** Kanye, PUP, Dreamcar + More

What’s on my mind this week? Kanye West, Toronto punks PUP, the Queen Madonna and more. Check out what’s been racking my brain on this week’s On the Radar.

PUP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa3Afg3fzAQ

I always say JBTV is one of Chicago’s best kept secrets. Thanks to them, I was able to catch Canadian punk rockers PUP a day after their sold out Bottom Lounge concert. Though their set was barely 30 minutes, it felt like a full-fledged punk rock show. Kids started moshing, head banging, and throwing up their arms. It was an amazing, intimate moment and a killer way to spend a Sunday evening. It also shows why PUP are one of the best current punk rock bands out there.

First making headlines with their 2013 self-titled debut album, the band came back harder, faster, and fiercer this year with their follow-up, The Dream is Over. Every one of their songs feels like a punch in the face. Favorites like “DVP” and “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You (I Will)” are edgy, hard driving, and aggressive as all hell. Their lyrics are memorable being at times funny, but mostly apathetic. And that energy and drive you hear on the record, is increased tenfold when you see them live. What’s great about it is even though the guitars are blazing and the drums are pummeling, the still big hooks to sing along to. They’re not necessarily earworms, rather they’re memorable and stand out thanks to the excellent gang vocals.

If you missed PUP in Chicago, you still have a chance to catch them on their current tour that is if all shows aren’t sold out at this point.

No Doubt + Davey Havok = Dreamcar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djaI_wcOf7E

Remember earlier this year when No Doubt members, Tony Kanal, Andrian Young, and Tom Dumont said they were moving on without Gwen Stefani to work with AFI’s Davey Havok? Seems like they’re just about ready to drop some new music. This week, the collaboration was revealed as Dreamcar via Instagram. Nothing else is known about the project at this point aside from the confirmation of new music coming in 2017. With a name like Dreamcar, it sounds like it could be anything. Havok is known to dabble in various genres. It’s still kind of weird thinking of these guys working together. It’s just something you don’t expect to hear. Still, it’ll be interesting to see what they put out.

Havok has a busy year ahead of him. Not only does he have Dreamcar going on, but AFI is dropping a new album. All those cryptic teasers the band posted in October led to the announcement of their eighth album, AFI (The Blood Album). They even shared new songs “Snow Cats” and “White Offerings,” which is a welcome return for the punk outfit. Personally, I cannot wait for the new album seeing as both of the new tracks are stellar. It’s classic AFI complete with hard guitars, aggression, and of course, gang vocals. Pre-orders for the new album are up now. AFI comes out January 20, 2017.

Madonna

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hPMmzKs62w

Madonna will forever be the Queen of Pop to me. I’ve been following her controversial and groundbreaking career since I was a kid. And I pretty much lost it when I saw her live on the Rebel Heart Tour. In between bouts of blasting “Like a Prayer” and “Girl Gone Wild,” I learned she’ll make an appearance on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. We can just stop right there. She’s going to shut it down! Madonna revealed the news herself this week by posting a photo with her and Corden on Instagram.

I’ve never really been a fan of Carpool Karaoke. I’ve checked out episodes with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Adele, but for some reason, I don’t find them very entertaining. But with Madonna, you never know what’s going to happen, so I will definitely be checking it out. Right now there are no details on when the episode will air. For now, you can catch Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour special airing on Showtime December 9. Long live the queen.

Wtf Kanye?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA0PURaILF0

Let me get this out of the way: I don’t like Kanye West. I think he’s a decent artist. I did own The College Dropout back in the day but I don’t really care for his later material. His massive ego and ridiculous rhetoric make it hard to take him seriously. But Kanye may have gone too far with this one. West revealed he would’ve voted for Donald Trump if he voted to a crowd at his San Jose, CA show this past Thursday. Just let that sink in. The man who went on national television and proclaimed “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” would’ve endorsed Trump. Trump, a man who spouted racist statements throughout the entire campaign. What?!

West later released a statement saying even though he would’ve supported Trump doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe Black Lives Matter (unlike Lil’ Wayne). Fine, but you’re still going to endorse a man who is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and xenophobic among other things? As you would expect, fans took to Twitter to announce their disbelief. It’s unbelievable. If you have stuck with Kanye through all his crazy actions and his massive ego, fair enough. It doesn’t bother some people. But this new revelation should make you re-think how you feel about the rapper. And maybe it should be an example that sometimes celebrities just need to know when not to open their mouths.

Mindless Self Indulgence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR0UkTiKxmc

Lately, I’ve been rocking out to Mindless Self Indulgence on my daily commute. Mainly, songs from their second album Frankenstein Girls will Seem Strangely Sexy. Their insane energy, offbeat rhymes, and in your face style makes me ready for a lengthy day at work. But lately, the band have been pretty quiet. In 2015, they dropped the “lost album” Pink filled with unreleased material and demos. It satisfied my appetite for a little bit, but revisiting songs like “Shut Me Up” and “Golden Eye” makes me hungry for proper new MSI material. Their last full-length album was 2013’s How I Learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence, and it was okay at best. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long for new music.

But members have been keeping themselves busy with various projects. Jimmy Urine, frontman and brainchild of MSI, has picked up acting. He and his wife, Chantel Claret, landed roles in Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival. Earlier this year, Urine posted a picture on Instagram of himself decked out in Guardians of the Galaxy gear. Turns out, he has a minor role in the film as a Ravager named Half-Nut. Otherwise, the band has stayed under the radar. In 2014, they announced they would be taking a break from touring, which explains why we haven’t heard much from them. MSI are never afraid to speak their mind and says things we’re all thinking. Considering the recent election, I imagine there’s a lot they want to say. They probably won’t stay quiet for long.

Ashley Perez

Ashley Perez

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on Examiner, The Crypt 1331, Chicago Innerview, Kitty Whipp, and Reality-Comics. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Marilyn Manson, and Green Day.

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