THE PRAIRIE CARTEL (LIVE)
For 10.5 months of the year there is little else to do in Chicago besides drink heavily. The Prairie Cartel started as an excuse for Scott Lucas (Local H), Blake Smith and Mike Willison (both ex-Caviar) to do this in Willison's basement while playing their favorite records. Albums on DFA, Matador, Wax Trax, Modular and Creation were all in heavy rotation during those dark months except when the whisky came out and it went all Ummagumma on them. The obligatory, possibly illegal, and definitely messy DJ gigs followed. Warehouses and lofts trembled before their can't-mix, won't-even-try-to-mix majesty. They developed a reputation for sets that were somehow gloriously disheveled but still extremely satisfying. After a particularly delirious night behind, on top of, and in front of the decks in London where some teeth got chipped, a little blood got spilled, and the local authorities threatened to pull their passports, they decided the timing was perfect to pick their instruments back up and go home to cut a record.
They bought a couple of used microphones, a bi-polar Mac, and locked themselves back in Willison's basement. For a long time. maybe longer than what is considered healthy by normal people. Empty bottles and pizza boxes piled up. Beards grew, got cut, and grew again. Creatures with tails scurried in shadowy corners. Friends and family became worried. But then 2 EPs suddenly emerged in quick succession to unanimously positive reviews and doors began to open for them. They got asked to put a song in the Grand Theft Auto video game. Then they got asked to create an entire channel for the hand-held version, achieving every artist's dream of cornering the market in sound tracking virtual third-person deals of digital drugs.
Born from a three-year stint as guitarist and lead singer, respectively, in the indie rock group Welcome to Cambridge, Alex Kramer and Rocko Rochee emerged onto the scene with their songwriting chemistry already well-honed. They have an affinity for collaboration with anyone from rappers to cellists to guest vocalists, often featuring these artists during their concerts, along with live drummers. Drawing from a wide range of influences, A&R's fashion-forward style ensures their inherent timelessness remains on the cutting edge.