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Smooth Brain:

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About the Artist

InternetFriends

I met Hera, Smooth Brain's guitarist, on a website called SpaceHey. If you're not familiar with this site (which I'm sure most of you are not), it's a site that strives to revive the nostalgia of Myspace. I'm a sucker for the Golden Age of the Internet.

 

I was drawn to this site because every interaction on there seems so close; so personable. Unlike the corporate intrusion of the modern day internet, SpaceHey seems to garner real interaction with real people. No influencers and no ads to monetize your instinctive need for social interaction.

So, when Hera posted a bulletin asking the internet-scape about their favorite bands, I replied. I talked about my current favorites and old favorites.

 

(Objectively speaking, Weezer, DURRY, and Rare Americans are superior. I will die on this hill.)

Of course, like any starving artist, she plugged her band's music and didn't fail to mention Smooth Brain will be touring to Chicago and that I should come out to hear 'em.

Upon researching the band from New York, I was immediately enthralled by their aesthetic. They seemed like such a ragtag team of misfits, adorned in punky hair, bold makeup, and a professionally indie presence. The style of any one band member doesn't match the rest. They are like 5 pieces to different puzzles, yet somehow still make a cohesive portrait.

They are a classic pop punk band, with a sound too big for a garage. The crunchy rhythm guitar and melodic lead guitar passionately make love to the punchy drums and thrumming bass. If I could head bang using my heart and chest, I would because that's where I feel their music lives in my body.

Immediately I knew I had to see them in person. When I arrived to the venue at Kitchen 17 in Logan Square, I knew this was going to be a great show. I walked through the bouncer, which was simply a cloud of cigarette smoke, and was immediately obscured by dim lighting. I look around the scrawling vandalism on the walls and notice a stuffed cat with a joint taped to its mouth. I'm sure there was someone doing coke in the bathroom. It was a grunge punk's wet dream and I immediately felt at home. 

This place touts itself as a vegan pizzeria, which sounds as oxymoronic as as an AA meeting hosted at a bar. Thusly, the food tasted like wet cardboard covered in Ragu, but this venue was sick. I don't know why they don't shift their marketing towards being a venue entirely, but whatever. 

It was a small box surrounded by a waterfall of fake plants. The chandelier was made of skeleton bones and the lighting drenched the small crowd in a bath of purples and pinks.

The show was too loud for the room. Exactly how it should be. The vibrations threw my heart out of rhythm and dampened my eardrums entirely - the perfect environment to mosh. Although, there were only a handful of people. 

This was the biggest sin since that one storybook character ate an apple.

Dear god, if I wasn't filming, I'd be convulsing across the floor... but you know... with style.

In the end, I met with the band. Their gratitude for me being there was palpable. I felt a part of something bigger than me. I felt important to someone. I can say with certainty that when these dudes make it big, they'll stay humble. They'll remember the times they slept on the venue floors during their first tour. I wonder if they'll remember me, because I certainly will. Hopefully they can look back on this video and remind them of their roots.

Overall, these guys welcomed me with open arms and felt like a safe space for me to be myself. I just hope their wingspan can keep up with their fast growing community, because their warm embrace is unlike any other

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