DS Show Review & Gallery: From Parts Unknown, Death and Memphis, and Voice of Addiction. Chicago, IL (07.11.2023)

From Parts Unknown, out of the Lone Star State, did a Liar’s Club stop, providing the band members a fun chance to hang out with their good friends in Voice of Addiction. VOA and Death and Memphis have played in front of DS photographers repeatedly recently and we dig being there for the rollicking good times both of those bands serve up. It was a good evening onstage, as well as on the stoop outside 1665 West Fullerton Ave, well-known for being the place of some pretty great conversations and hangs.

From Parts Unknown is actually from a well-known part of the United States, Dallas, TX. The band brought its own flavor of Texas punk to Chicago. But the group is unlikely to include Greg Abbott, Rick Perry [current and former Governors of Texas respectively] or Ted Cruz [United States Senator from Texas) amongst its fan base. Flying a rainbow flag attached to his bass guitar, Derrick Soto caught some big air himself numerous times, as said flag rippled out to full display.

Soto told me:

I do have one [“Defend Trans Kids” t-shirt]. Wasn’t wearing it that night. I usually just sport the flag on my bass in solidarity.

Lead singer and guitar player Ben McCracken pulled no punches when he confirmed to me,

Yeah Teddy and Ricky are not fans of us. Or especially Greg fucking Abbott. We are proudly Woke Texans even if that sounds oxymoronic.”

McCracken continues,

We very much believe in and support trans rights. Our new song, “Take It Out” is about taking bigoted jokes out of the norm and letting people identify however they want to. To stop being ignorant with gender and doxing certain groups.”

From Parts Unknown relays its message through driving music perfectly complementing its powerful lyrics.

In addition to the aforementioned “Take It Out,” the included, “Barrymore,” “13 Years Ago,” “Lebowski,” “Blood and Teeth,” Bill Braski Is Not One Of Us, and “Teddy Ruxpin,” among others.

There’s a well-known saying that everything is bigger in Texas. That can surely be said of From Parts Unknown. The trio – McCracken, Soto, and drummer Jimmy Sefcik – blasted over the crowd, with sound, high jumps and hair…a lot of hair. Makes sense since Texas is also known for big hair, right? Seriously though, From Parts Unknown is on a steady road to being well-known. Or even more well-known. Per McCracken,

As far as news goes, our album is being remastered by Scott Halquist [Ten Foot Pole] and should be available on green vinyl around November this year. We have two music videos in the works to make when we get home over the next month/two.

So make sure you catch these Texas tornadoes at your earliest chance. Unless you are a fan of Teddy, Ricky, or Greg that is.

Death and Memphis has been on a tear this year. I covered one of its shows in April, and this present post is one of two shot by a DS staffer in the last few weeks. Considering how good the music is and the energetic and appealing stage presence of all four band members, it’s hard to resist covering Death and Memphis shows. This spirited performance, by four genuinely decent humans and talented veteran musicians, was no exception.

The next opportunity to check out Death and Memphis will be on July 29 at guitar player Steev Custer’s Birthday Bash. It takes place at Custer’s Fine Tunes Center For The Arts. Come hang out and wish Steev a happy one!

Another one of our regulars of late is Chicago’s Voice of Addiction. Once again giving a solid and tight performance, the trio did not disappoint. VOA was not originally on the bill but grabbed the opportunity to hang with, and help out, good friends VOA members donated their takes to their good friends in From Parts Unknown, to help them on the road. This was not a show about money for Ian Tomele, Tyler Miller, and Kevin Amaro.

McCracken explained how he and Tomele became friends,

So, Ian and I became friends prob about 7ish years ago when VOA was in town and needed a crash spot, and myself being someone who puts bands up, got asked by I can’t remember but am sure was a credible friend to help them. Years later we stayed in touch and he let my now wife and me stay during Riot Fest, maybe 2017? 

This night was about friendship and having a good time. VOA nailed it, and one of the reasons we love covering the trio.

The three terrific bands made it totally worth going out on so early in the week. McCracken summed up the evening,

As far as our show at Liars, it was fun like always. Gary [Kessler, the beloved bar manager, shoe connoisseur, and winner of the Chicago Reader “Best of Chicago” category, “Best Music Venue Bartender” these past two years] is a trip and amazing. It’s always a stop that makes me want to party. The show was solid lineup wise, and for a Tuesday not too bad a turnout.

Please check out more photos from the show. Thanks and cheers!

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