Steven and Heather Zydek are the couple behind not just Joyful Sorrow, but also Isidore Records. In addition to Joyful Sorrow and The Elanors, there is now a third act affiliated with Isidore Records: Summer Lawns, a New York quartet who bridge the gap between pop and chamber music. Co-founder Matt Heslinga attends the University of Illinois College of Medicine, hence the local connection. July 26, Isidore Records and Stunning Models on Display together release First We Waited … Then It Started, a dreamscape of eight original songs and a cover of a Joy Division staple. Another Joyful Sorrow album is underway and due early next year.
In the nick of time, Relenter had a successful launch for their first album, Through the Mirror. The synth-rock trio managed seven songs, two of which were collaborations with Brittany Bindrim and Jim Cookas of i:scintilla: the title track and a cover of “Burn” by The Cure as a surprise encore sandwiched between standing ovations. This was the last i:scintilla show for a while, as the electro-industrial quartet ready to record material for their second release, due late this year. The next Relenter show is their first in Chicago, July 16 at Red Line Tap with Roundeye, One Light Out and The Blissters.
American Minor have a makeup date already for their recent cancellation: July 5 at Cowboy Monkey. If the date rings a bell, it is because The Living Blue’s tour kickoff and Shipwreck’s release party are one and the same. It gets better: cover is still only $5. This show will sell out fast.
Release parties abound. Tomorrow night at Cafe Paradiso, bright new talent Megan Johns issues her debut, Dirty Shoes. A hometown girl from a musical household, Megan sings and plays guitar on 10 original songs. The overall sound is alternative folk rock with unlikely flashes of Mazzy Star. Dirty Shoes was recorded at Goodwood Studio with Andy Lund. Show time is 7 p.m., and there is no cover. Megan will appear with The Greytones.
This dovetails well with shows Saturday and Sunday at Cowboy Monkey. Saturday night, Kate Hathaway issues her highly anticipated debut, Sprout Don’t Pout. In addition to Kate Hathaway Band, Brandon T. Washington and Andy Lund (half of Temple of Low Men) are on the bill. Show time is 10 p.m., and cover is $4. Sunday night: where to begin? Long overdue in Champaign, Eva Hunter Band visit from Bloomington. Number one local cowgirl Angie Heaton assembles her backing band Gentle Tamers for only the second time since 2001, and Kayla Brown trio Darling Disarm premiere publically after a false alarm two weeks ago. Show time is 9 p.m., and cover is $5.
A last-minute alternative, also downtown Saturday night, is in the Mike ‘n Molly’s beer garden. Low-profile pop group Emotional Rec Club headline over phantom-of-the-open-mic Pointed and dry-witted word-slinger Rob McColley. The common thread: These guys do not play out often. Show time is 10 p.m., and cover is $4. Correction: Pointed was away in Arizona, not Washington. This is no guarantee he will sound like Queensròche now, however.