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Local Music Notebook: Vic Mensa Graduated While Amy Ray Got Schooled

1. Vic Mensa on Sway.

"The whole school system is mad corrupted and twisted in Chicago."


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2. Indigo Country.

"Born in Decatur, Ga., [Indigo Girl Amy] Ray is a daughter of the South," Chrissie Dickinson writes for the Tribune.

"But even though she grew up hearing the hits of Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton on the radio, she wasn't steeped in the genre. Her country music epiphany didn't happen until the 1990s, when she started listening to bands like the Waco Brothers on the Chicago alternative country label Bloodshot Records.

"The punk kind of bands that started doing country led me to look back and listen to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn," she says. "The classic '50s and '60s stuff really turned me on to country.

Ray told much the same story to accessAtlanta:

"Before I moved [to the north Georgia mountains] , which was 20 years ago, my exposure to country was probably limited to Willie (Nelson) and Dolly (Parton) and Kris Kristofferson, which is all great. But when I got up here, that was the same time I was listening to a lot of stuff on (alt-country focused) Bloodshot Records out of Chicago, and that made me delve deeper.

Bonus Chicago connection:

She did, however, have to travel north to Chicago to hook up with old pal Kelly Hogan, the soulful singer from Atlanta who currently works with Neko Case and Iron and Wine, among other acts.

Hogan, whom Ray calls, "one of those people who always has a lot of great things to say," sings harmonies on the title track and the song "Time Zone."

Hogan now lives in Wisconsin but fondly recalls the "long, crazy day" she spent recording her vocals with her friend at the Wilco Loft, the cozy Chicago studio run by the indie rock band.

You're to blame, Bloodshot!

The trailer:

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3. Meet Tink.

"Chicago is home to a burgeoning bunch of female hip-hop talent: Sasha Go Hard, Katie Got Bandz, and more recently, Tink," Dana Droppo writes for Complex.

"Tink is a talented rapper lyrically, rhythmically, and stylistically . . . But the thing that distinguishes her from her hometown contemporaries is her alternate identity as an R&B vocalist."

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on January 22, 2014


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