It’s hard to talk to creative people these days without hearing about the plan B they’ve developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many performance venues are closed, so it’s hard to look for gigs, let alone find them. Rehearsing together without exceeding anyone’s tolerance for infection risk can be a challenge. And even if you have all the positive energy and face coverings you need, life might still force you to take a break you didn’t want.
Bassist Traci Trouble and guitarist Lucy Dekay, who are roommates as well as bandmates in Chicago trio Aweful, were in the middle of recording together recently when they discovered their apartment building was on fire. Thankfully, their living space suffered only smoke damage, and important items, such as Traci’s computer, were unscathed. And Traci’s computer was an integral part of the Aweful quarantine plan: it held all the files for a music video she’d directed, shot, and edited during the pandemic. It’s for the band’s song “Me Me Me,” the title track of an EP they released in 2019.
Traci, Lucy, and drummer Izzy Price gathered safely during the stay-at-home order to film themselves dancing in front of a green screen, and then Traci and designer Nikhil Pawar created spacey, Danceteria-esque motion graphics whose neon swirls, starburst rays, and kaleidoscopic shapes spin behind morphing shots of the band member’s mugs. I’ve covered Aweful before, and in December the Reader premiered the first music video they made for Me Me Me, a romp with a sea witch through the Indiana lakefront and the wilds of Liar’s Club. If you need a jolt of good vibes while dealing with your own plan B these days, you’d do well to blast Aweful in your living room. And on Sunday, August 30, you can see the band play in person as part of the Motoblot Drive-In, a socially distanced motorcycle and hot-rod rally in Bridgeview. See motoblot.com for details. v
The Listener is a weekly sampling of music Reader staffers love. Absolutely anything goes, and you can reach us at [email protected].