European transplant Samir Merchant, local Chicagoan Patrick Hiller, and California native Connor Lynch formed the first incarnation of Simple Machines in 2009, working out of Hyde Park. In the time since then, the trio has been writing material and honing their craft, as well as adding a keyboardist and a full time drummer to their line up. Hinging their musical influences on such acts as Radiohead, Blur, Coldplay and Foo Fighters, Simple Machines work to create quality songs, never settling for anything less. Spirit of the Shoreland (2011), is the band’s first release, receiving good initial acclaim and establishing themselves into the local scene.
KATY NEEDS A LIFE
Katy Needs A Life started as a basement recording project in 2007. After hearing all of her older brothers recordings, Katy May decided to take on her own DIY entertainment project. In 2009, Katy Needs A Life debuted at Lowell Senior High School’s annual variety show. By 2010, an entire demo was made with bassist Sean Burrows. Sadly, Sean was abducted by man-eating aliens that June. With shows already booked for later that summer, Katy asked her brother to join the band to generate new creativity. When Scotty May joined, it instigated a steady flow of new and improved music. Scotty isn’t in any studio recordings, but he brings a level of excitement to the live experience.
Michael Gaughan has a BFA in Painting from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MEd from the University of Minnesota. He was awarded City Pages’ 69th most creative person in the twin cities 2010, and L’etoile’s Best Artist of 2011. He has been a visiting artist at the Walker Art Center, and at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. He has exhibited his paintings in numerous group and solo shows including Deitch Projects at Art Basel Miami, Deplayer in Rotterdam, Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts in Oregon, the Ace Hotel in New York City, at the Soap Factory, Soo Vac Gallery, and the LACE Museum in Los Angeles. His paintings have recently been used in a neurological medical study of aesthetic experiences at Liverpool John Moores University. He has been interviewed and featured in The Onion, Irish American News, 89.3 the Current, and Radio K. He has made illustrations for Nike, American Apparel, Andrew WK, Diplo, Rhymesayers Entertainment, Jagjaguwar Records, Troma Films, City Pages, Flaunt Magazine, Good Magazine, Surface Magazine, the Seattle Weekly, Dining Out Magazine, and other musical, arts, magazines, and film projects. Michael has orchestrated over ten city-wide scavenger hunts as performance art/public art in Minneapolis, MN and Portland, OR.
The multi-talented Keith Dukavicius (voted Best Underground Filmmaker of 2010 by Chicago Reader) is also the frontman for Chicago’s Swoon Method. Not content to stay behind the camera, Keith brings his unique cinematic storytelling to the world of music on their latest EP, The Music Stopped Her. Utilizing the lens of wistful British indie rock of days ago, Swoon Method films scenes with fully developed characters and story lines. On stage, Swoon Method evolves from romantic-drama to suspense-thriller, bringing a frantic energy that betrays their recorded sensitivity. The live show is the sequel to the album, ripe with more action, drama, and plot twists.