Friday, August 26, 2011


9/7/11 - Detroit, MI @ Bakery Loft w/Bones and more

9/8/11 - Cleveland, OH. @ Happy Dog w/TBA

9/9/11 - Pittsburgh, PA. @ Gooski's w/ Gangwish and Taichi Nakatani9/10/11 - Bard College, NY @ SMOG w/tba

9/11/11 - New York, NY @ Cake Shop w/Cloud Becomes Your Hand and Strange Shapes

9/12/11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Bookspace w/ Cozy Galaxies and Oh! Pears

9/13/11 - Baltimore, MD @ Sonar w/Lands & Peoples, Bachelorette, and In Every Room

9/14/11 - Blacksburg, VA details TBA

9/15/11 - Charlotte, NC @ Yauhaus (1227 Rollins Ave.)

9/16/11 - Athens, GA. details TBA

9/17/11 - Indianapolis, IN @ Cataracts Music Fest

Come hang out with us!  check out our tapes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


p.s. August 29, Distractions open a show at Subterranean alongside killer acts, Magic Key, Magical Beautiful, and CHANDELIERS!

New York Label Compiles Chicago Mixtape

2011_08_TwosyllableComp.jpgLast week, the folks from Twosyllable Records showed Chicago some love. The label is based in New York, but they released a compilation highlighting music local to Chicago.
The mixtape is an 18-track collection of the label’s favorite Windy City acts - mostly lesser known bands that make up our city’s underground community. Some of our favorites include Distractions (who are on the NYC label), Campfires, Netherfriends, Wume, and Pillars & Tongues.
Twosyllable co-owner Zach Pollakoff actually grew up in the city’s north suburbs. Over at the label’s site, he discusses his Chicagoland roots and how he was introduced to the local music scene:
It started with the radio. Q101 (RIP) ran a local show, Local101, that highlighted local talent. Local bands led to local (read: “college”) radio, WNUR, WLUW, and more all played music I’d never heard before. I started attending basement shows in Highland Park and Northbrook. Hardcore kids raised on Naked Raygun and Big Black playing loud. That wasn’t exactly my scene, but as I delved deeper I learned that genre was no boundary to the underground.
Twosyllable made the compilation with an authentic cassette mixtape in mind, one that’s “meant to be listened to on the car stereo driving down The Eisenhower on the way home to the suburbs.” So, they’re putting out 200 limited-edition cassettes, which you can order through their site. Those of us who don’t own cassette decks can pick it up in digital form (or stream it for free) through their Bandcamp page.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

show and shows of friends

8/5 - Distractions at Casa Donde w/ Binary Marketing Show
8/8 - POTIONS at Hungry Brain
8/10 - Thin Hymns at Lincoln Hall w/Magical Beautiful

-den dere's da famous laughs / vehicle blues tour coming to a city close to you
8/11 Cleveland, OH - Bela Dubby (w/Binary Marketing Show)
8/12 TBD
8/13 Columbus OH - Luka House (w/Cross Record)
8/14 Pittsburgh, PA - Keith's Garage
8/15 Bethlehem, PA - St. Bernard's (w/Sea Patterns, Red Exit)
8/16 Baltimore, MD - The Bell Foundry
8/17 Philadelphia, PA - Danger Danger Gallery (w/Scallion)
8/18 NYC, NY - Vaudeville Park
8/19 NYC, NY - Sandy's Roof
8/20 Long Island, NY - Mr. Beery's (w/Brick Mower, Make it Pain, Deep Pockets, Giant Peach)
8/21 TBD
8/22 Buffalo, NY - The Vault
8/23 Detroit, MI - TBD
8/24 Chicago, IL- Big Dusty Palace w/

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Two Syllable Records ::: Chicago Tape Compilation

Purchase/Pre-order from Two Syllable Records
"Though I grew up mostly in the suburbs of Chicago, I was able to spend a lot of time in The City. I was born in Chicago-proper and lived within its borders for 2 years before I moved up north. The suburbs of Chicago are exactly as John Hughes (and later Tina Fey) depicts them: high school drama, bored teens, and privileged families. As a bonafide nerd, I didn’t fit in exactly, but when I finally reached high school, I was able to pull back the curtain on another underground I didn’t know existed.
It started with the radio. Q101 (RIP) ran a local show, Local101, that highlighted local talent. Local bands led to local (read: “college”) radio, WNUR, WLUW, and more all played music I’d never heard before. I started attending basement shows in Highland Park and Northbrook. Hardcore kids raised on Naked Raygun and Big Black playing loud. That wasn’t exactly my scene, but as I delved deeper I learned that genre was no boundary to the underground.
Venues and record stores became portals to new sounds. The pilgrimage from the suburbs with stacks of CDs became a ritual. Parent’s minivans and old sedans became our fortresses as we’d drive aimlessly acquainting ourselves with new names....
Skipping ahead almost a decade, when twosyllable released a 7” by Chicago band Distractions last year, we didn’t know what we were getting into. We slowly began discovering an intricate network of friends, musicians, small record and tape labels, DIY venues, bands, and music. We learned, in working with them, that every member of Distractions had their own musical project. And every member of those projects had their own, and so on.
This collection of 18 songs represents some (not all) of our favorite bands from Chicago. The music ranges genres, but is on the whole homemade. Garage rock, garage pop, garage folk, garage glitch...
Of course we are indebted to the labels, radio stations, record stores, and venues of Chicago. Special thanks to Matt Jencik, Christen Thomas, Ed Post, Tom Owens, Angel Olsen, and Stone Hansard.
We wanted to release it as a true mixtape, on cassette. Of course you can pick up a digital copy too, but it’s meant to be listened to on the car stereo driving down The Eisenhower on the way home to the suburbs.
Artwork by our very own Candy Claws’ member, Ryan Hover."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011




WOW.  This comes from a period where I was frequently dancing all around the city of chicago.  2008 to be exact... just before distractions came into existence.  Slightly slicker production than anything in the current distractions repertoire.

Friday, June 17, 2011

summer shows' galore

in chicago,

june 22 - yawn, DISTRACTIONS, CAMPFIRES at Beauty Bar, 9 pm
june 24 - daytrotter session for the deez
june 26 - RECKLESS RECORDS instore performance (wicker park location) from DISTRACTIONS

july 2 - Radio People, Palmetto Moon Electric Group, Pleasure Leftists, Mines, Wume, POTIONS
july 28 - DISTRACTIONS @ WHISTLER with Bob Dey's Tank Engine Man

august 5 - Casa Donde :: DISTRACTIONS w/ Binary Marketing Show

Wednesday, May 25, 2011



*notes, thanks to secret note shows for the rogue recording, anthony for nice lighting.
check out more here: Secret Note Shows

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I heard somewhere that DISTRACTIONS will be featured in a new giant systems VIDEO soon.  Like Monday?

Also, some DISTRACTIONS -related events in the near future in chicago.

APRIL 15 Ball Hall (1621 N. Kedzie))


POTIONS (ambient interludes from laundry area throughout night) *

and of course Record Store Day, April 16th, we play at 1 p.m. at Saki. (3716 w. fullerton)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

upcoming distractions events

with myspace becoming more and more difficult to use with each day, i thought it might be good to post some shows here:

march 29 (TONIGHT) : Casa Donde (2106 s kedzie) Distractions w/ Binary Marketing Show (NY), Katrina Stoneheart (Drew from Baby Birds Dont Drink Milk) 9PM

april 16 : Saki (3716 w fullerton) Record Store Day w/ Distractions (1PM),

may 23 : Empty Bottle (1035 n western) FREE MONDAY w/ Rabble Rabble, We Are Hex, Distractions play first around 10 pm

may 28 : Ball Hall (1621 n kedzie) Distractions, Swimsuit (MI), City Center (NY), Street Rash

______ and we will have tapes and LPs at all shows!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

SHYTAPER recorded DISTRACTIONS at hideout inn

distractions at hideout inn, chicago, february 27, 2011. [download set]
performed by karl ostby justin fernandez mike hilger jake acosta joseph murphy matt fields tom owens
taped by SHYTAPER co-hort hannah harris.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

more cassettes, less time

purchased by me to be used for pretty all right cassette releases.

expect a tape by distractions with a horse on the cover in the near future.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Quietus ::: Review

v i a  T h e  Q u i e t u s

click here to go to actual quietus review.

The Distractions 
DARK GREEN SEAMichael Dix , February 14th, 2011 06:46

The rise in popularity of cassette-only releases over the last couple of years has proved to be something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, tapes are always going to hold a special place in the hearts of any thirty-something music lover who spent hours making their own John Peel show compilations, or dubbing love songs for that special classmate; on the other hand, the format is hardly practical these days, with limited production runs and tape decks themselves so scarce that even if you managed to get hold of a copy, chances are you wouldn’t be able to play it.
More importantly, while it may be cool to be obscure, a lot of these bands really do deserve the kind of attention a proper release could afford. Case in point: the fantastic debut album by Chicago’s Distractions, a pop noir masterpiece acknowledging Arthur Russell, Bill Callahan and Scott Walker, one hundred copies of which were released on cassette last year. With such a limited release – and virtually no PR or internet presence – one of 2010’s best albums went entirely unnoticed, making its re-mastered release on the Infinite Best label the most welcome – if overdue – announcement of the new year.
Dark Green Sea is a genuinely unique concoction, drawing mainly from Spector-esque wall of sound pop but taking in British Invasion R&B, 70s dub sonics, 80s post-punk atmospherics, 90s guitar squall and even a touch of 00s electronic noise. It’s like a musical time capsule signal beamed back from a 50s B-movie vision of the future. Front-man Tom Owens is a scarily ambitious songwriter, approaching these compositions with the perfectionist precision of a master like Bacharach or Brian Wilson, adding and taking away instruments and dropping key changes and rhythmic shifts to create several movements within each song. Opener 'All Night', for instance, comes crashing in with all guns blazing, guitars and organ jostling for space with propulsive drums, before halving the tempo for a horn-augmented, doo-wop flavoured climax, whereas 'My Gold' goes through so many sections that it’s difficult to tell when it segues into 'Please Slow Down'. And while the slightly lo-fi remix/ mastering job from Twin Sister’s Udbhav Gupta betrays the band’s DIY origins, songs like the brassy 'We Were Better Off In The Rain' are as catchy and instantly memorable as a classic Stax slow-burner.
If there are any contemporary comparisons to be made, Distractions share some common ground with the Walkmen, not only in the sense that they both sound like they’ve stumbled onto the stage of some sleazy cocktail lounge at 4am, but also in the nods to dusty soul and easy listening. With its complex arrangements and old-fashioned stylings, the album – especially its middle section - flows like a classic “song cycle” record. Only the final stretch serves as a reminder that this album could only be Class Of 2011 material; 'Not Going To Go Away' jerks along on a stuttering beat that could easily be a Liars rhythm track, before dissolving into the closing 'Heartbeats', an ambient wash of sighing moans, harmonics, electronic scatter-beats and echo-chamber FX not too far removed from the swampy jams of Sun Araw and the Not Not Fun crew. Dark Green Seaannounces Owens as a potentially major player on the scene, with an immense song-writing talent and the sense to surround himself with a set of extremely capable band-mates. Musical history is rife with lost classics and gifted artists forced to its outskirts by poor promotion and matters beyond their control; let’s just hope that this re-issue gains the album the attention it truly deserves.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Our 12" Dark Green Sea has finally reached our hands.  AND it looks great thanks to our skilled team of artists and friends behind the scenes who unfortunately are not credited in the small print of the sleeve and otherwise.  I would first and foremost like to thank the following for the support and creative energy lent to us... without which our messy project may have sunk:

Hunter Giles who gave us these fine slabs of vinyl via infinite best. Hannah Harris, who so kindly donated her art for the front covers of BOTH this 12" release and the original debut tape pressing on Plustapes. Thanks for your otherworldly art. Cein Watson for the rear photo on the shores of Lake Michigan. John Erskine for showing me the ropes in experimental recording. My parents who are always awesome and come to nearly all my shows. Joey for writing and singing Judy, Judy and working overtime with photoshop and twitter and craigslist (uh for pedals duh).  Jake, for finding us gigs in awesome places around the country. dudes a pro.  Justin for being hilarious and funky and coming up with sweet posters and printing them and mailing them at work.  Karl for getting us from one destination to the next, with both his iphone and his smooth explosive yet minimal at times drumming.  Rob for his killer licks, guest appearances, and howling beauty.  Mike Hilger for his social skillz,  extra spacey arpeggios and beyond. Sea Priest for his yet-to-be-made solo saxophone album.   Zach for believing in us, working for us and understanding us and finding us gigs and controlling the internet.  Zach and Brian and the two syllables. All the band for playing for no money.  Dev for being patient with me and making a killer dynamic mix for the record release.   Eric for his art consulting and willingness to screenprint.  Hunter and Charlie for making the 12" labels last minute.  All the other peeps who have ever bought our music, came to our show.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


is anyone out there?  this video is transmitted from pilsen on february 1st during the "biggest storm our country has ever seen."  meanwhile, insound decides to transmit DISTRACTIONS as a compliment to the ole blizzard.  see link below'
INSOUND ::: STUFF WE LIKE ::: DISTRACTIONS - We Were Better Off in the Rain 7"

Thursday, January 27, 2011


L I V E  I N

click on songs to play.
to download, right click (control click for mac users) and select download

This performance was recorded live on 1-19-10 at the Monkey House in Winooski, Vermont.
Recording: Panasonic Portable Cassette Recorder > Digi 002 > DBX Stereo Tube EQ > Digi 002 > iTunes > Internet

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

National Parks - Episodes 1 + 2 - Music by Thomas Owens

Taking the Pulse of the National Parks from A Little Production on Vimeo.

Connecting with Carnivores from A Little Production on Vimeo.

the boys over at the national parks service authorized yours truly to create music for this series of videos thus educating the masses thru hazy jams and sharp ass shots of beauty via nature.