Riot Fest: GWAR

The best of Riot Fest Chicago 2012 (in photos)

On the final weekend of the summer, Chicago’s Humboldt Park hosted the city’s eighth annual Riot Fest, the punk-, rock-, and hardcore-filled festival that has since branched to Brooklyn, Toronto, and Dallas. This year’s installment was special for more than its consolidated location in the park; it also boasted a brand-new carnival — featuring a Ferris wheel, funnel cake, and impossible-to-win prize games — to enjoy between sets.

The Casket Lottery

Review: The Casket Lottery’s The Door EP / Nathan Ellis’s self-titled EP

The Casket Lottery / Nathan Ellis: The Door / Nathan Ellis (No Sleep, 8/7/12)

“The Door” (The Casket Lottery) & “Balance Beam” (Nathan Ellis)

The Casket Lottery: “The Door”

Nathan Ellis: “Balance Beam”

As a name, Nathan Ellis is unassuming, also held by the random college professor, fire chief, and publicist. As a musician, Nathan Ellis might still be unassuming, unwilling to play up his accomplishments, but his list is no joke: The Casket Lottery, Coalesce, Able Baker Fox, Jackie Carol, and now solo singer-songwriter material.

BPM Counter: First Five of 2009

ALARM columnist Sean-Michael Yoder shares his first five electronic picks in 2009. The list includes Aether’s “melodic” Artifacts, London’s John Tejada with Fabric 44, the pop/dance beats of Hercules and Love Affair’s self-titled album, a Lollapalooza mix, and Jaga Jazzist leader Lars Horntveth’s 37-minute song, “Kaleidoscopic.”

The Mars Volta: In Control

Pumping out loud, fractured rock, The Mars Volta challenges their audience with every new release and live show. If you’re offered ear plugs, take them. And if you’re asked to describe them, don’t say “prog.”