What’s Great About The Good Podcast

January 15, 2015
/   Audio

Filmmaker, writer, director and SAIC alum Hayward Suggs speaks with our Web Editor about his new podcast, interviewing creatives, and why writing in a small notebook in public makes...

Return to Twin Peaks

January 12, 2015
/   Entertainment

There are bound to be critics of David Lynch's third season, but even they cannot resist finally revisiting the cult classic.

Art and Anything Else

/   School

SAIC has been at the forefront of incorporating science into an art curriculum, but does the pairing really work?

Diamond Dogs and Digital Witnesses

January 5, 2015
/   Music

St. Vincent sends off the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago's blockbuster show David Bowie Is with a talk on Bowie's influences on her songwriting and performance.

Clubbing at the Library

/   Photography

Michael L. Abramson: Pulse of the Night at Columbia College Chicago highlighted Chicago's South Side between 1975 and 1977 through a series of 28 black-and-white photographs.

Everlasting Art

December 9, 2014
/   Arts & Culture

How artists and arts administrators are using storytelling to straddle activism and entertainment.

Infographic Literacy

December 8, 2014
/   Design

The research and planning processes behind creating infographics go unnoticed when viewers only get to see the finished product. F Newsmagazine takes a closer look at telling stories with...

Exploring “Europe’s Most Expensive Chapel”

August 24, 2014
/   Arts & Culture

Lisbon’s Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) sports a deceptively plain white facade, but the interior of the 17th-century building is home to some of the most prized (and allegedly expensive) Catholic art and architecture in all of Europe.

Pzzzt – The Buzz from Albania

July 29, 2014
/   Art Review

The narrow mouth of a communist-era air-raid shelter beneath an apartment building is the home to Tirana’s independent artist-run gallery space.

Alternative Art Spaces in Chicago

August 5, 2013
/   Feature Stories

Where They Began and Where They Are Now


With identities as diverse as the neighborhoods they occupy, alternative art spaces operate on the same basic premise: to share contemporary art not exhibited in Chicago’s established art institutions.

Compasses Not Maps

September 11, 2014
/   Technology

Speculative Design shies away from design for mass consumption, which relies on generalizing about groups of people to create one profitable solution. Charlesworth explained her past jobs in design consulting and service design as something she found “ethically difficult.”

Art News Briefs

September 29, 2008
/   From The Print Edition

From an executed prisoner becoming fish food to Damien Hirst's setting a new auction record, see what's happening in the art world.

An Interview with Outgoing Dean Carol Becker

June 30, 2007
/   Miscellany

I think the art scene in Chicago suffers from a Second City mentality. Having grown up as a New Yorker and having become a Chicagoan, I have always been amazed at how weirdly Chicagoans relate to New York.

Not That Kind of Writer Yet

November 3, 2014
/   Book Review

Lena Dunham's first book, "Not That Kind Of Girl," doesn't deliver. But, the problem isn't that the "Girls" star doesn't have anything to say; she just doesn't know how to say it.

I listened to a lot of music in 2014. Some of it was cool. Lots of it was just whatever.

I definitely found myself enjoying individual songs and EPs more than full-scale albums. If I had set out to compile a selection of my favorite tracks of 2014, it would likely contain a much different group of artists from those present in the following list. Still, these records managed to create my most memorable listening experiences of the year. Some are fun. Most are sad. I hope you like them, too.

 

Here are my top 14 LPs from 2014.

 

14. The Ukiah Drag – In the Reaper’s Quarters

Lots of bands are doing this fuzzy desert punk thing right now, but The Ukiah Drag has managed to stay fresh and interesting as its catalogue continues to expand. Plus I like that they’re from Boston.

 

13. Pure X – Angel

Sad, cheesy-white-guy-sexy, dreamy pop that maintains the blissful drugged out weirdness that has come to define Pure X’s music. This album is really cool.

 

12. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire for No Witness

Angel Olsen stretches her melancholia into both catchy and wistful territories on her first LP since 2012. Her sound is rounded out with the presence of a full band, but it is the singer’s core voice and songwriting that continue to captivate.

 

11. White Wards – Cigarette Burns

Cigarette Burns is a great, mean punk record, and it is one of my favorite things to come out of Olympia in the past several years.

 

10. Sage the Gemini – Remember Me

Singles like “Gas Pedal” and “Red Nose” are joined by an album full of equally enjoyable and refreshingly strange hip hop.

 

9. Ivy – Ivy

One of NYC’s newest punk bands is also one of the most interesting that the city has seen in a while. A truly unique and memorable album that builds strongly on Ivy’s early releases.

 

8. Future Islands – Singles

Future Islands marches boldly into newly accessible territory without sacrificing its trademark theatricality or dramatic emotional heft.

 

7. Whirr – Sway

Whirr are mean to people on Facebook it’s pretty funny. This album is also super slow and heavy – it’s great.

 

6. Hank Wood and the Hammerheads – Stay Home!

There is no band like Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, and there is no good way to describe the music, either. Some of the guitars on Stay Home! are perfect.

 

5. The Spirit of the Beehive – The Spirit of the Beehive

This unexpected gem is also one of the best shoegaze records to come out in years, and its variety of sounds and styles guarantee something the everyone can enjoy.

 

4. Grouper – Ruins

This incredibly simple and crushingly somber album is the best reading music you will hear for a long time. When I saw Grouper years ago she was opening for Animal Collective and all the shitty kids at the concert made shadow puppets on her underneath her video projection while she just sat there staring at the floor while her guitar droned out. Grouper has really helped me dislike both myself and other people over the years.

 

3. Have a Nice Life – The Unnatural World

Gothy post-punk gloominess with fuzzy basslines and pounding drums. The Unnatural World constrains itself to a much shorter running time than the band’s previous efforts, but the tighter execution only enhances the music.

 

2. Failures – Decline and Fall

This record is so good that some people disliked it because it was too good. Impeccable production, songwriting, and performances years in the making.

 

1. Total Control – Typical System

Total Control had a lot to live up to after the success of their 2011 LP, Henge Beat, but they managed to exceed the hype with the year’s best LP. Every song is spot-on, and the praise that has rained down on “Flesh War” as the album’s standout track is completely deserved.

Jessica Barrett Sattell

Design & Tech Writer. Web Editor of F Newsmagazine + Arts Journalism Grad Student at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Alexia Casanova

Marseille - London - Mexico - Chicago. Arts Editor of F Newsmagazine. Arts Management Grad Student at SAIC.

Troy Pieper

A writer and editor based in Chicago, Illinois. I provide fresh, compelling arts and culture content to a variety of publications and write powerful, targeted copy for a range of institutions.

Alyssa Moxley

Alyssa Moxley graduated SAIC with an MFA in Sound. Using multiple voices, microphone techniques, field recording, music, sound design, and speaker placement, she plays with memory as both a personal and shared medium.

Kimia Maleki

Kimia Maleki is a master’s candidate in the Department of Arts Administration and Policy at SAIC.

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