On Saturday, April 14th, the Culture Shock Music Festival returns to Dunn Meadow for its 32nd anniversary. Los Angeles-based Chicano Batman will be headlining, with performances by Milo, Joy Again, Melkbelly, and many more. Here’s a look at every artist that will be performing.
Initially a drummer, Indiana singer-songwriter Jordan Gomes-Kuehner played with Bloomington indie-pop trio Her Again for two years before the band dissolved. At some point during her stint with the group she picked up a guitar and started working on what would become Heaven Honey’s first songs – her own personal brand of songwriting that would step away from the town’s common genres and establish a new, distinct sound. That sound is a little bit of Angel Olsen, a little bit of Mazzy Star, and a whole lot of many other things that have shaped the chameleon that is Jordan’s songwriting. Her releases come across as both delicate and bold, intimate and mystifying. You can hang onto every word she sings as if these are your own experiences, even with her personal touch that expresses them to be uniquely hers. That variety and unpredictable nature is what makes Heaven Honey so extraordinary. It’s a “create first, ask questions later” mentality that results in a genre-bending display of dream pop, folk, and hard-hitting rock and roll. It leads to a level of genuine honesty that makes you feel like you’re part of something new and special – and that’s simply because you are. You can follow Heaven Honey on Facebook and SoundCloud.
A newly-founded project from, assumedly, the bright minds behind Bloomington’s Buttzzz. A maniacal, goofy, utterly infectious synth-infused punk project with shameless songwriting. The hammy, omnipresent key tones sound as if they’re emanating from a Fisher-Price “Baby’s First Keyboard” that’s low on batteries, the vocals are discernably alien-like and hellbent on rattling your eardrums, and the bass and drums are so synonymously quirky and synchronized (reference). You can follow Skull Cult on Facebook and Bandcamp.
KAILACHARE weaves elements of R&B into experimental electronic music to produce far out tracks with themes of female empowerment. You’ll absolutely get lost in their incredible experimental vocals and sounds. You can follow KAILACHARE on Facebook and SoundCloud.
brz is a rapper and sound artist from Indianapolis, IN, currently based in Bloomington. His music focuses on depictions of black millennialism and technology, because it is strange and disorienting and necessary. Thoughts of undergrad tinged with cynicism also occur in the music, brought to life through verse, enveloping synths, and sounds used to convey sensations of temperature. You can follow brz on Facebook and SoundCloud.
With a blend of simple instrumentation and innocent sounding vocals, Nice Try is a great band to chill out with or for dancing wildly around your bedroom. Every song seems like it was made by a good friend just for you, and the homegrown production work feels organic and fun, with some heartfelt lyrics that hit you with a wave of nostalgia the second you push play. You can follow Nice Try on Facebook and Bandcamp.
Grand Rapids’ Major Murphy (Jacob Bullard, Jacki Warren and Brian Voortman) is a pop rock band that travels the States in a light blue Plymouth Voyager van. Their latest project, No. 1, reimagines 1970’s radio rock with bristling sensitivity for our present era. The album will be released on March 30, 2018. You can follow Major Murphy on Facebook and Bandcamp.
Melkbelly is a 4 piece noise-rock band from Chicago made up of Bart Winters (guitar), Liam Winters (bass), Miranda Winters (guitar/vocals), and James Wetzel (drums). They are known for their frantic arrangements, toothed melodies, and blaring live shows. The group has toured extensively across the US in the last couple of years, and released a full-length album titled “Nothing Valley” on October 13, 2017 on Wax Nine Records, a subsidiary of Carpark Records. You can follow Melkbelly on Facebook and Bandcamp. (bio source)
Joy Again is a Philadelphia based 5-piece founded in 2015. The band, whose founding members met in boarding school, has released debut singles on Mom + Pop (U.S.) and Lucky Number (U.K.). Their latest effort, “EP”, was released on Never Grow Up Records in early 2017, earning them nods from NME and FADER. They have performed alongside acts like Car Seat Headrest, Hinds, Daywave, and Hoops, making festival appearances at 35 Denton, Savannah Stopover, and SXSW. They are currently playing shows and crafting their first full-length release. You can follow Joy Again on Facebook and Bandcamp.
Rory Ferreira, better known by his stage name Milo, is an American rapper and producer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has collaborated with Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle, and Hemlock Ernst, among others. He has also been a member of the Hellfyre Club collective. You can follow Milo on Facebook and Twitter. (bio source)
They came out of L.A., four young men in vintage formalwear, playing songs that blended Brazilian Tropicalía with early ’70s psychedelic soul and the romantic pop of bands like Los Ángeles Negros. It was an immediately addictive sonic brew, and their reputation grew fast. Since forming in 2008, Chicano Batman have released two full-length albums – a self-titled 2009 debut, and 2014’s Cycles Of Existential Rhyme – and two EPs. The band has played Coachella, and toured with Alabama Shakes and Jack White, among others. Now, they’re making their boldest statement yet with Freedom Is Free, their third album and ATO Records debut. You can follow Chicano Batman on Facebook and Twitter. (bio source)