“The Chicago music scene has been very supportive and encouraging of us. It’s a very healthy and friendly scene. Artists like OHMME, Twin Peaks, LaLaLaLa, Dehd, VV Lightbody, Whitney, White Mystery and Liam Kazar and venues like Schubas, Double Door, City Winery, Fitzgeralds and Martys have treated us like a real band since we were young when we first began. That has always provided confidence in allowing us to explore our music.”
To celebrate thriving Black culture in Chicago and beyond, we’re amplifying the coolest content creators around. We’re forever grateful to these artists for their voices, truths, and inspiration to White Mystery. Support their art, watch their videos, and seek them out on social media NOW.
Clint is a pizza punk who always brings snacks to the party. You may remember Show You Suck from White Mystery TV Episode 2 with Cadien James from Twin Peaks. White Mystery has been a big fan of SYS since playing together at a Pitchfork after-party in 2015. For Chicago news and thought pieces, you need to follow Show You Suck on Twitter immediately.
Krystal is the kind of friend you feel you’ve known your whole life. Her unique blend of rock’n’soul unites her St. Louis roots with her Chicago spirit, and her performances are guaranteed to give you chills! You may recognize Krystal’s voice from the White Mystery Lightscape soundtrack for outdoor sculptures that played music on State Street during Lollapalooza. We met her cousin Mannie Metcalfe when White Mystery opened for Iron & Wine at the Pageant in STL in 2010, and he’s one of our favorite pals on Earth as well. Thank you for blessing us with your friendships, Metcalfes!
JC Brooks & the Uptown sound are absolutely unbeatable live, led by the exuberant, endlessly talented JC Brooks. White Mystery first joined forces with them at the Brooklyn Vegan SXSW showcase in 2012, and jammed many times since then. The Chicago Sun Times call these groovy dudes one of the “city’s hottest young bands” and you’d be lucky to experience them.
Psalm One is an incredible rapper, poet and artist we first played with at the Girls Rock! Camp jamboree in 2011. She is a talented MC and vocal critic of sexism and racism in the music industry. We’re forever grateful to Cristalle for inviting us backstage when she opened for Insane Clown Posse in 2017. Psalm One rocked the White Mystery Telepathic record release at the Hideout in 2013 and teamed up with the illustrious Angel Davanport as Big $ilky for the 4/20 x 420 x 420 Fest in 2020. Rapper Chicks are badass.
Jesse 5k is a born and bred Chicagoan introduced to us this year through his performance for Do312 MORE. Jesse 5k is an emerging rapper that blends poetry, psychedelic, spoken word, and hip hop into eye-opening music that blends indie genres. We deeply respect his perspective on being a young Black man in America, and encourage you to dive in with his experiences.
One part thespian, one part poet, another part musician, and one more part philosopher, Mykele Deville brings change through the depth of his voice. You may recognize Mykele from his groundbreaking record release performance at Thalia Hall not too long ago. Mykele graced us with his presence on White Mystery “WMTV” Episode 4, where Francis and he played video games and talked about politics, which is a great way to share real perspectives. We urge you to check out his recent work, “Maintain.”
You may recognize the brilliant Jolene from her DIY literary ‘zine, the Sick Muse. She is a multi-hyphenate super star that shares her truth by all means necessary and lifts up others in the process. White Mystery is blessed to have rocked with her barn-stomping punk’n’soul group Blacker Face at Rock ‘n Roll Market in 2019. Blacker Face will blow your hat off your head with their live performances, and you’ll emerge a changed person.
The Black Tones are Seattle-based twins Eva and Cedric, on guitar and drums respectively. They are a rock’n’roll duo, and White Mystery feels a particular kinship with them as a two-piece sibling band. The Black Tones’ unbeatable grooves are the best parts of garage and surf that only family can knit together so tightly. We love the Black Tones and you should too.
When Joseph Chilliams dances, the whole world dances with him. Named Chicago’s “Most Charming Rapper” by VICE Magazine, he founded the iconic Pivot Gang and transformed the profound losses into spiritual, musical magic. We’re honored that Chilliams joined us on White Mystery TV where he and Francis and Joseph bonded playing Super Smash Bros. Chilliams is a gentle soul who’s power comes through his words. You may also be familiar with his equally talented brother and Chicago rapper, Saba.
Manasseh Champion aka Doso is an emerging Chicago hip hop artist whose roots run deep with his family’s West Point School of music on the South Shore. You can hear the discipline of his music education flow and transform into freedom of expression. When he was a Music Business student at UIC, Manasseh interned for White Mystery and supported outdoor event production at Rock’n’Roll Market, and Season 1 of WMTV. Now, Doso carves his own path through independently booking shows and creating his own brand.
Alex White joins Phillip Stark on The Phillip Stark Show! White Mystery share their musical journey on this episode of The DIY Dirt. Phillip Stark interviews White Mystery on how they have been able to “Do-It-Yourself” as musicians for 10 years! Join the journey and tune in to The Phillip Stark Show. Check out Phillip Stark here!
Miss Alex White has performed 56 shows with White Mystery at eight South by Southwest conferences in Austin, Texas since 2008, and plays seven more showcases this year. Here are five important survival tips for fans and bands visiting SXSW in 2018! Special thanks to Rhiannon Mach for helping organize this year’s guide.
1. PACK IN LAYERS
Before you go on any trip, check the weather forecast a few days before you leave. It seems simple, but it’s a step a lot of people skip. For us Chicagoans visiting Austin, it might be snowing in the Midwest, but in Texas, it could be 90 degrees. On the flip side, there have been instances of cold snaps where the temperature drops to 40 degrees at night in Austin. Because of this, it’s important to be prepared for any type of weather. I recommend a variety of t-shirts and hoodies, a jean jacket, and a leather jacket that can all be layered and worn at the same time. Another important item to make sure you have is comfortable footwear (this includes comfortable socks!) for lots of walking. If you’re susceptible to burning under the hot sun, bring along a hat and sunscreen. Be prepared to be as comfortable as you can in any type of weather and throughout all the travel.
2. GET A LAY OF THE LAND
Austin, Texas is a small town compared to Brooklyn or Chicago, though the city limits do sprawl outward and the city becomes congested with the influx of tourists from worldwide locations. Austin is overwhelmed with the amount of people that come for SXSW, and this can make it extra difficult to get around the city. For example, it will take you a really, really long time to go a short distance at South by Southwest. There’s a lot of traffic, a shortage of cabs for the amount of fans, and limited public transportation. Because of all of this, cab rides take longer and cost more. SXSW also offers a unique form of transport called “pedicabs,” which is vehicle that is a cross between a bicycle and a rickshaw. These pedicab rides seem nice when you’re desperate for a ride between venues, just be aware, these convenient rides can cost just as much as a yellow cab. Another handy tool is the Google Maps traffic estimate. Also, consider the distance and locations of the showcase you want to attend and make sure they logistically make sense. A lot of fans find themselves disappointed when they arrive and realize the difficulty of getting around the city, though this can be cured with a little planning!
3. STAY HYDRATED AND PACK SNACKS
SXSW is an a jam-packed event, and you may find yourself at showcases all day and all night. Pulling 12 hour days can make it hard to stay hydrated and eat healthy foods. This can be solved with a reusable water bottle and packing healthy snacks like trail mix and apples. If you forget this step, you will be stuck spending a lot of money on bar food or food truck food that you could end up waiting 45 minutes for. Be sure to consider the heat, it’s so hot in Austin that you want to avoid eating too much salt. Bring almonds, walnuts and a water bottle to save time and money!
4. GET A RECHARGEABLE PHONE CHARGER
When you’re at SXSW, you and thousands of other folks are using your phones constantly for Google Maps, Instagram Live, Tweeting, etc. The reality is the battery on your phone is going to drain quickly, and there is a high demand for a small supply of electrical outlets. Be prepared by bringing a backup rechargeable charger. A few years back, a drunk fan accidentally unplugged the entire sound system at Cheer Up Charlies during Shannon & the Clams set, just to charge a phone! By packing a charger, you won’t end up as desperate to find a plug in as that guy!
5. GET PARKING SQUARED AWAY
Bands playing showcases at SXSW need a game plan for parking their gear vehicle at SXSW, especially for load-in. Make sure that when you advance with your promotor for your show that you square away parking otherwise you could end up lugging your equipment 4 blocks or paying $40 for parking (which can be a bummer if you’re playing the show for free). Along with other questions about the show, be clear about parking, and you’ll be happy you did!