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04
Mar 13

Pop Lovin’ at the Beat Kitchen this Thursday!

Friends, come out to the Beat Kitchen on Thursday for a great pop lineup with Swearwords, The Directionals, Warm Ones, and yours truly. We’ll be opening the show at 8:30 sharp, so get there early. Pretty excited for this one…it’s gonna be good!

RSVP on Facebook

 

24
Jan 12

“Robbers”, the music video!!

We’re super excited to announce the release of our first ever music video today, for “Robbers” from our latest album Spells.

Thanks to Sara Jean Cough, Joey Potts, and Brian Keller for being an awesome production team and helping us solidify and realize our vision. And extra special thanks to our robbers - Adam Wolak, Christopher Burke, Jonathan Burden – for taking time out of their schedules to become actors for a day. Everybody did a great job and we couldn’t be happier with the result.

And, without further ado, we present….“ROBBERS”, THE VIDEO!

Robbers from The Laureates on Vimeo.

11
Jan 12

The Laureates on Daytrotter

We recorded a session at Daytrotter in 2011, and it’s live on the site today! Sign up for a free trial at daytrotter.com to listen and download the session. Also on today’s playlist are the incredible Laura Marling and Part 3 of Daytrotter’s “Best of 2011″.

Download the Daytrotter session here »

Also, keep your eyes peeled for our debut video from Spells for “Robbers”, coming out soon.

Don’t forget, Spells is available for free download at Candy Dinner.

Finally, we have a show coming up at the Double Door on January 27th with Victorian HallsFly Over StateThe Black TapeEiffel Tower. That’s 5 bands on one night, wow! RSVP HERE »

29
Dec 11

Spells lands Album of the Year cred at WMFU’s Evan “Funk” Davies Show

Big thanks to The Evan “Funk” Davies Show on WFMU for picking The Laureates’ Spells as his #1 ALBUM OF THE YEAR!! Check out last night’s playlist to hear the show and see the rest of the list: http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/43278

And as always, you can download the whole record for free at Candy Dinner: http://www.candydinner.com/album/the-laureates-spells/

12
Oct 11

Beat Kitchen Next Week

We’ll be back at the Beat Kitchen next Thursday! Last show there was the record release party for Spells, and it was a blast. This time, we’ll be sharing the stage with Chicagoans On Again. Off Again and Channel Four as well as Portlandians Blue Skies for Black Hearts. Make sure you get out early…we’re on 2nd.

October 20, 2011 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen
w/ On Again. Off AgainBlue Skies for Black HeartsChannel Four
Doors 8 PM | Show 8:30 PM

RSVP at Facebook here »

And as always, head over to Candy Dinner to grab a copy of our record or download Spells before the show.

See you there!

01
Sep 11

Album Review: Chicago Sun Times’ “The Playlist”

Read the original here »

The Laureates, “Spells”
(Funambulist) ★★★

“A superb sophomore effort, this follow-up from Chicago pop-rock band the Laureates sounds like comfort food not only because of the smooth blend of ’60s rock and the ’80s bands that aped it (by track four, ‘Worry Worry Worry,’ we’re into some serious Paisley Underground revivalism) but because it was recorded on warm, fuzzy eight-track tape. Guitars jangle, but tightly, and the attitude is cool, but studied. Fans of the Smithereens or the Velvet Underground might find equal measures here to adore. (If only they were railing against capitalism, I’d think this was the second album we never really got from Manchester’s Easterhouse.) It’s bold and sinister and nervous and never quite settles down into a niche. Good stuff.”

 

01
Sep 11

Album Review: More Drive

Read the original here »

“While The Laureates have been kicking around for a few years (largely just around their hometown of Chicago), we didn’t come around to them until this spring, when ‘Don’t Lose Your Cool,’ a digital single released in advance of their second full-length, Spells, first turned our heads. Full of swagger and muscle, it sounded kind of like classic blue-eyed soul reimagined by a post-millennial indie rock mind that probably had witnessed the Britpop era firsthand. Timeless stuff, basically, with a stomping beat and a chorus that could’ve been either a plea or a threat. That sound pops up a few times throughout the course of Spells (out now on vinyl on Funambulist Recording Co. and digitally via Candy Dinner), but the surprise is that this is mostly a kickin’ garage rock record, recalling that period just when the garage was starting to become psychedelicized. The guitars spar against each other, twang vs. fuzztone, in a celebration of open-chord bashing tempered by occasional vocal harmony lines and well-placed keyboards. But what’s particularly engrossing about this album is the band’s restraint and control, which actually makes the whole thing a little more menacing. It’s obvious without even looking at a photo of the band that these guys are grownups: The musicianship is spot-on and the dynamic lived-in, and singer Chad Preston’s tenor has both the mature low-end response and the command of adulthood — it’s the voice of the kinda guy you’d want on your side in a bar fight.

The Laureates haven’t announced plans to venture particularly far from Chicago anytime soon, but if this description sounds like your bag and/or you want a fitting soundtrack for summer’s hundred-yard stare at the approaching fall, you can download Spells in its entirety for free from Candy Dinner right now.”

02
Aug 11

Album Review: Broken Hearted Toy

Read the original here »

“Note: This review previously appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.

The Laureates might have an elitist name but there’s no denying they elevate the art of garage rock on their second full-length CD. The 10 songs on Spells only take up a little over a half hour, but none of them feel short-changed. Well-crafted arrangements frequently burst into instrumental passages featuring the Chicago-based band’s intriguing blend of guitar styles.

Recorded during a year when The Laureates were also releasing a cover tune each month on their website, the CD often harks back to the original British Invasion. The social satire of ‘Life Of Leisure’ evokes The Kinks while ‘Changes, ETC’ exerts the power of The Who. Lead singer Chad Preston doesn’t vary his approach much, but the band backs him with ethereal harmonies, and his talky, melancholy vocals are well-suited to songs’ off kilter lyrics. ‘Robbers,’ a tale of homicidal thieves, is set to a Beatlesque arrangement, while the mutual paranoia of ‘Monitor Me’ bristles with punk intensity. Already critically acclaimed for their debut, There Are No More Gentlemen, The Laureates have beaten the sophomore jinx in style.

01
Aug 11

Album Review: babysue

Read the original here »

“We don’t normally review CD-Rs…but in this case there’s no actual physical CD as Spells is only being officially released on vinyl and as a digital download. If there’s one word we could use to sum up this band’s sound that word would be…unpretentious. Instead of clobbering their listeners over the head with complexity and technology, the folks in The Laureates offer a nice crisp clear dose of underground guitar driven pop. You won’t hear hundreds of overdubs here, the latest sampled sounds, or the coolest new synths. Rather and instead, these folks use the basics (guitar, bass, drums, vocals) to deliver their cool rhythm-driven pop/rockers. In terms of overall sound, what these guys are doing reminds us somewhat of The Feelies…but the songs themselves are markedly different. Lotsa cool guitar licks here and some really killer vocals that sound like it’s a real person (?!) singing. Cool rockin’ stuff…simply neat and totally hip.”

07
Jul 11

Album Review: Alternative Airwaves

Read the original here »

“The Laureates: No Kontrol

The Laureates are a great-sounding rock group from Chicago.  Their sound is probably best described as Indie/Alternative, or maybe Indie Rock.  They’re actually almost Sloan-like in their instrumentation, which is also quite good.  The group has been active since 2005, but – unfortunately for me – this is the first I’ve heard of them.

They have a new album out called No Kontrol, available for free over at the Free Music Archive.  I discovered them via FrostClick, whose description is a little more flowery than mine.  That’s okay – I’ve already admitted I’m terrible at writing up music reviews.  Moving on, No Kontrol is a 5-track EP and runs just over 18 minutes.  Short and sweet, it’s got the cool indie rock vibe I mentioned earlier, but also some punk influences.

I decided to see what else they have available, and saw that on FMA they have a live recording with WFMU’s Evan ‘Funk’Davies Show, recorded back in April 2010.  It features some of the songs found on the No Kontrol EP, but the live performance gives some of the songs a slightly different edge.  You can get that live performance from Free Music Archive, or stream it from the blog, as I’ve conveniently embedded it.”

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