September 25, 2023

On the Radar: The Orwells, Wax Trax Records, Blink-182 + More


What’s on my mind this week? Chicago’s own The Orwells, upcoming shows, new music from Jimmy Urine and more. Check it out on this week’s On the Radar.

MSI’s Jimmy Urine announces new compilation album

It’s not easy to pin down Mindless Self Indulgence’s music. The best ways to describe it are insane, chaotic, and wild. But that’s what makes their music so fun and infectious. The group released their last album How I Learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence, in 2013 and have stayed pretty quiet since. 2015 saw the release of the “lost” album, Pink, full of previously unreleased recordings. Right now, it seems they’re on a bit of a break, but frontman Jimmy Urine is getting ready to drop some new music.

Urine announced a new compilation album titled The Secret Cinematic Sounds of Jimmy Urine, featuring songs he made for various games, movies, and TV shows. The record comes out April 28 via The End Records. Urine already debuted a new song over at AltPress titled “Fighting with the Melody.” The track is featured in the video game Metronomicon.

Speaking about the song, he says “When I wrote “Fighting with the Melody” for Metronomicon, I wanted to write it from the point of view of the boss you were fighting on screen. I wanted it to be like a crazy over-the-top Disney villain song,” Check out the complete tracklisting and pre-order your copy here.

Urine always has something interesting or funny to say with his music. It’ll be great to hear what he’s done outside of MSI. I know I’m looking forward to this release and it should tide over MSI fans until we get word of the next LP (hopefully).

History of Wax Trax Records

Record label
Wax Trax Records Events

One of the big players of the local industrial scene was Chicago’s own Wax Trax! Records. Home to such bands as Ministry, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Meat Beat Manifesto, and more, the store and record label became the go-to for alternative scenes in the city. Though it originally shut down in 2001, it was resurrected in 2014. Now, the iconic label is getting its own documentary and they want to invite you to screen it first.

Wax Trax! Records is holding a panel, Q&A, and test screening for the upcoming documentary, Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records. The event takes place April 1 at the Vic Theatre. There will be two separate panels; one in the afternoon and one in the evening. The panel will feature various artists who have worked with the label over the years, along with Julie and Jim Nash, co-founder of Wax Trax.

Those who buy tickets will also get a free ticket to a private cast and crew test screening of the documentary, followed by a panel discussion. General Admission tickets are still available. Get them here before they run out.

Upcoming Shows

There’s always something to do in Chicago even during the bitter cold. These shows are sure to warm you up.

Richard Ashcroft will always be remembered for his role in Britpop band The Verve, but he also has a successful solo career. Catch him March 30 at the House of Blues in support of his latest album, These People. Not only will he play his solo material, he’ll also play material from The Verve’s catalog. Tickets are on sale now.

Pop titans Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey were expected to play at the United Center on March 25, but the show ended up being canceled to allow Richie to recover from a knee injury. Last week, the duo announced the rescheduled dates. Richie and Carey will now play the United Center on August 26. Tickets for the canceled dates will be honored, along with refunds. If you didn’t pick up your tickets yet, you still have time to get them.

Have you checked out Big Sean’s hot album I Decided yet? If you haven’t make sure you do before he plays the Aragon Ballroom on March 31. He’ll be joined by fellow rapper MadeinTYO, who dropped his latest single “Skateboard P” featuring Big Sean, earlier this year. It’s gonna be a night you don’t want to miss. Tickets on sale now.

Finally, you can catch Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness with special guest Night Riots at the House of Blues on March 24. Get tickets while you can.

Blink-182 announce deluxe edition of California because why not?

Things looked pretty bad for Blink-182 when Tom DeLonge left but didn’t really leave, the band in 2015. But they’ve since bounced back, recruiting Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba to replace DeLonge and releasing a new album, California, in 2016. Though the record effectively divided the fanbase, it was still successful. It debuted at number one making it their first chart topper in 15 years. The album even earned them their first Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album.

The band continues to ride this wave of success with their newly announced California Deluxe Edition. The new version features two discs: one with the original LP and one with 11 new songs and an acoustic rendition of “Bored To Death.” This expanded edition drops May 19.  Pre-orders are up and ready here.

As a preview of the upcoming release, the band shared the new song “Parking Lot.” It’s upbeat, catchy, and bouncy matching the sound and mindset of the rest of the album. The track reflects on the days of $10 concerts, hanging out with friends, and getting up to no good. It’s not bad, but nowhere near Blink’s best material.

Chicago artist spotlight: The Orwells

If you’ve been paying attention to the local scene, you’ll know people can’t stop talking about The Orwells. Hailing from Elmhurst, IL, the rock outfit is quickly becoming the hottest band of the year. Though they gained a loyal following with albums Remember When (2012) and Disgraceland (2014), the rest of the world is catching on this year.

The band released their third album Terrible Human Beings back in February to rave reviews. And their recent homecoming show at the Metro was one of the most talked about events. So, what is it about them that makes them so appealing? They’re good ol’ fashion raucous rock n roll. They’re not trying to infuse rock with another genre or pulling off some dramatic tricks. They get up there, rock out, and make you shake your ass. It makes you think back to the classic days of the genre. Check them out if you want to have a good time.