The Black Tape
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The Black Tape

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Pop


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The Black Tape @ The Beat Kitchen

Chicago, California, USA

Chicago, California, USA

The Black Tape @ Merchant Street MusicFest

Kankakee, Illinois, USA

Kankakee, Illinois, USA

The Black Tape @ TBD

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA



July 13

Noon-1 p.m.: Jaded. Yay! That's the mood that Jaded's happy, punk-pop sounds will leave you in. This would be power pop in a different time. Don't let the punk part scare you. Jaded kills it.

1:20-2:20 p.m.: Overman. Look at it this way: You have to take a break. If every band on this stage were wonderful, you'd need to get very comfortable. We'd skip this uninteresting journeyman rock.

2:40-3:40 p.m.: The Black Tape. Get back just in time for this addictive, classic rock. You'll hear some doo-wop, some pretty much everything in the sound of these endearing locals.

4-5 p.m : Milano. This band pulsates with adequacy. You won't be sorry you stayed, but you will keep thinking you could have been somewhere else, instead of listening to this ordinary, electronic-rooted rock.

5:20-6:20 p.m.: Fort Frances. So, so pretty. You hate to reward this kind of unalloyed indie mope music, but it's just so good. Austere-yet-expansive soundscapes, and almost-chanted vocals that work.

6:40-8 p.m.: My My My. Elegant clothes, elegant music in that classic, male-fronted big band setting. Whether this is classic power pop or ironic indie will depend on how often you get out. Don't miss it. - The Chicago Tribune

What does "bunbury" mean? (No cheating; give it your best guess)

Sounds like a mythical berry from middle earth, or from the picture some sort of bee? Or a A Bunbury is a tasty psychedelic Pastry popular with music obsessed Cincinnatians that love to have a good time.

What are 3 facts that you know about Cincinnati?

WKRP in Cincinnati, it’s a 5 ½ hour drive from Chicago, and that they’ve got something called Skyline Chili that we’re dying to try.

Write a Twitter-style (140 character) description of your band

Energetic Rock with a unique mix of sixties influenced rock, Motown sound with a modern power-pop flare

There’s a lot of great bands performing at Bunbury, give a sales pitch about why people should come watch your band during the time slot you’re playing?

Because we bring a charismatic, energetic live show that will make you dance your ass off. And songs that you won’t be able to get out of your head the entire day. You DO NOT WANT TO MISS OUR SET! Besides , this will be our first show in Cincinnati and we want to show you a good time! (first impressions are everything)

What do you think of the fact that Jane’s Addiction is headlining one of the nights of this festival but is not appearing at Lollapalooza this year?

They must have heard that we’re playing so they jumped on! But seriously, I think it’s pretty amazing, they are an amazing live band. I saw them years ago at Lollapalooza and they blew me away. I think it must mean they really believe in what Bunbury is about and that’s really cool. We’re super excited and honored to share the same bill with such a legendary band.

What band is missing from this lineup that you’d love to share a bill with?

This is probably the toughest question ever. So many amazing bands… Can we get back to you?

Will you have the opportunity to check out any other bands and, if so, who are you looking forward to seeing?

We’re getting in on Saturday since we are playing the Taste of Chicago Friday afternoon so we’re gonna miss Friday night, which we’re bummed about since Jane’s Addiction, Ra Ra Riot, Kids These Days, and Matt Pryor are playing. But when we get there, we’re really looking forward to seeing THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM, Manchester Orchestra, Passion Pit, Guided by Voices, Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s, and Chicago’s own Maps & Atlases, but seriously the list goes on and on. -

For anyone who takes in a lot of new music, a good test of a song's power is how well it stays with you after not hearing it for a while. It was back in late 2009 that I first wrote about The Black Tape and their track "I Love You," but when I found out this week that all this time later they've come out with a video for it, I could hum the melody as if I'd just played it earlier that day. It's the sort of tune that can instantly make your day better for at least a few minutes whenever you put it on, and the clip channels its summery, romantic mood well. I was happy to find out that these guys are working on releasing a debut album. In the meantime, I think I'm going to play this every day.

You can check out the video, and also hear "Sunday," another of the few songs The Black Tape have recorded so far, below. - Windy City Rock

In September 2007 Brooklyn native Rashid Lamarre moved from his Yorkville man cave to a lovely semi-detached with his future wife and her little ones. Thankfully he took his guitars with him- after some months of getting a sense of the local scene he was well on his way to putting a new band together. With Jamie McGaw, Kyle Hartman, and Ryan Staples, Lamarre soon released a four song EP under the name The Black Tape.

Steeped in equal parts sixties pop and nineties indie, The Black Tape EP shows a band as comfortable with each other as it shows the maturing of Lamarre as a songwriter. In Tiny Robot, his last effort in New York, the songs were morose and overly long, like a series of consoling conversations with a lovelorn teenager. Here, Lamarre gives us four songs that show that rather than wallow in misery or self-pity, melancholy need not be expressed solely through copious tears and four minute guitar solos. “Everytime I Stop To Breath” and “Summertime” are not exactly happy songs, but that’s not really the point. No part of life exists in a bubble; a good artist knows to hedge the bright and twee with a minor seventh hanging off the end-just enough to pull us back from the event horizon of obnoxious rapture. They must also know when to wink and nod as we approach the emotional rock bottom that is a singularity of shit.

It’s a fine line to walk: for god sakes, the man sings “I love you, I love you” over and over again; rather than reach to throw the speaker against the nearest wall you can find, this is the refrain that stays with you the longest of any phrase on the EP. Gentle, sincere, and even somewhat strained, it is a phrase offered as much as an apology as a promise; he’s singing it not to an object of obsession, but to someone so totally human and infuriatingly loveable that they indeed stop the breath. And all that to the “Be My Baby” beat.

If you have not heard The Black Tape please click here to listen. By all means, there are loose spots- this is a self-produced EP by a relatively new band that has played out a lot since recording this, so I can only assume the live show delivers on the promise (an East Coast tour would be nice). Regardless, The Black Tape deserves a listen. -

What makes your live show great?

I think our willingness to just have fun. When we look at performances from the 1960s of bands that really influence us, they always had the crowd dancing in their seats and having a good time. All we want to do is bring it back to the days when rock 'n' roll was fun and people wanted to dance and just be happy. Getting lost in their emotions. We really enjoy playing live and with each other, so we try our hardest to create an atmosphere where the crowd can feed off of that.

Describe your sound in five words or less.

Energetic, unforgettable, soulful rock 'n' roll.

Tell us something random about the band, and why that's significant.

We all live in Chicago, but none of us is originally from here. I'm from Brooklyn, Ryan (Staples, bass) is from the UP, Jamie (Mcgaw, drums) is from Georgia, and Kyle (Hartman, guitar) is from Phoenix. North, South, East and West. Our musical tastes are all influenced from our very different backgrounds, and just as we've met in the middle geographically, we bring all of that variation to the sound of TBT.

Who would you want to work with, and who would you never work with? Why?

We would love to work with Paul McCartney. I know that's a big request, but we pull a lot of inspiration from The Beatles' music and working with him would be a dream come true. I don't think any one band has affected my song writing more than The Beatles. They really define rock 'n' roll and how it should be done: experimenting, always creating, always moving forward, just loving the process of making music. It would be awesome to work out a song with him.

I don't really think there is anyone out there that we wouldn't work with; we're pretty open. We love all types of music and believe that music is experimentation. When you get all the different sounds together and really work at it, it's truly amazing or at least unique. I think you should always leave the door open for possibility.

If the band was a '90s sitcom character, who would it be and why?

I think we'd be Steve Urkel from "Family Matters," because we're all definitely wacky characters, and the band is definitely coming from left field. We're playing to our own beat, not really thinking about what the trends are in indie music these days. We just concentrate on making the best songs we can and having fun with it. Living every day to the fullest, like Urkel!


Three reasons to check out The Black Tape at the Bottom Lounge tonight…

1. Because The Black Tape are a Chicago band you definitely need to familiarize yourself with. The Black Tape recall ’60s guitar pop of The Kinks or the Zombies with a touch of motown soul via front man Rashid’s vocal delivery. The fact that the band doesn’t over extend themselves is one of their biggest strengths as they keep things short and simple. Check out the track, “I Love You” on the group’s Myspace page for just a sample of their cleverly arranged and tightly written throwback pop tunes.

2. Because also on the bill tonight are Dayton’s the noisy indie rockers Hospital Garden and the guitar driven alt-pop sounds of Sisero. Hospital Garden still carry the flame of dirty, early ’90s alt-rock but give it an indie sensibility with earnest lyrics delivered with a sense of urgency by lead singer Lucas. Sisero only has one song on their Myspace, titled “Ticking Bomb,” but the song doesn’t disappoint with it’s lush guitar-pop melodies that shine during that track’s instrumental bridge section.

3. Because there’s more, dammit! Opening the show will be Chicago’s Cadillac Casket, who not only have a killer band name, but live up to it with their tension-building intros that often explode into a cacophony of rapid-fire guitar riffs. If you want your face melted by Cadillac Casket, be sure to get to the show early. They’ll be done by 9:30 p.m. -

Back in 1987, fans of The Cosby Show were shocked when good girl Lisa Bonet eloped with an unknown New York singer-songwriter known as “Romeo Blue.” The widespread public reaction was that this talentless opportunist was manipulating one of America’s sweethearts to benefit his own career. When “Romeo Blue” released his first album under his real name, Lenny Kravitz, I was among the majority in expecting it to totally suck. But when I heard that record, Let Love Rule in 1989, I was kind of blown away. It was full of thoughtful, folk-tinged songwriting, dynamic emotional singing, the occasional righteous political stance… it wasn’t brilliant, but it was… it was good.

So when I compare the vocal stylings of The Black Tape’s Rashid Lamarre to Lenny Kravitz, it is THAT Lenny Kravitz I am talking about, not the bloated beer commercial crap factory that Kravitz has become. Lamarre has a clean, clear pop delivery that sounds ready to come spilling out of your car stereo as you cruise the summer streets. The rest of the band, Kyle Hartman (guitar), Ryan Staples (bass), and Jamie McGaw (drums) is right there with him, delivering music that is as accessible as a high-five, as bright as the sunlight reflecting off of rolling waves.
The themes of the songs are as basic as any in music: love, lost love, aspiring for better things… there is definitely room for growth there, but they work because they are played by people who still sound like they believe what they are saying and playing. There is so much cynicism in post-millennial music that it is refreshing to hear people playing classic heart-on-your-sleeve pop songs for all they’re worth. The fact that they’re based in Chicago makes me root for them all the more.
I had to bail on their recent show at Sylvie’s due to illness, but I got a 4-song EP from Lamarre on the way out. It’s very good, especially the moodier and more complex “Every Time I Stop to Breathe.” The last song, “Summertime” starts: “Got to be something more than this.” From the sound of this EP, I’d say there’s a whole lot more to come for The Black Tape.

The name "Black Tape" gives the impression of something heavy or even melodramatic but after listening to their music you come to realize that this band is almost the opposite - light but energetic and full of contagious melodies that are reminiscent of The Beatles and The Bryds. In many ways they are a throw back but some how they manage to keep it fresh and new.

Proudly wearing a fondness for 60s guitar pop a la The Zombies, The Byrds and early Beatles on their sleeves, The Black Tape are a recently-formed Chicago four-piece already working hard to put their stamp on the scene. In just a few months the band have played a handful of shows around the city (with three more already lined up) and have uploaded four demo tracks for preview on their MySpace site. The songs are an impressive introduction, completely sidestepping any of the gimmicks or pretense of modern day indie rock in favor of timeless, heartfelt power pop that's well-written and well-performed. The highlight, "I Love You" - with its "Be My Baby" drum intro, 60s girl group melody and shimmering guitar - is irresistible, wide-eyed musical candy through and through. "Sunday" is nearly as addictive, bringing to mind Marshall Crenshaw and Matthew Sweet at their most upbeat and pop-minded. The lengthy, low-key "Everytime I Stop to Breathe," although an admirable effort, is the closest the band comes to sounding uninspired, but all is put back on track with the spirited melodic rocker "Summertime." Off the strength of these songs alone it's apparent The Black Tape have a great thing going on, and anyone with a soft spot for hooky, melodic guitar pop would do well to give them a listen. - - The Sweatshop of Love Blog


The Black Tape EP
1-I Love You
3-Every time I Stop To Breathe

Full Length LP Coming soon!



The Black Tape has been taking Chicago by storm with their unique mix of sixties influenced rock, Motown sound and power-pop flare. Brooklyn native Rashid Lamarre (guitar, vocals) began The Black Tape as a way to bring new life to musical influences of the past while adding a modern kick to the mix. With the addition of U.P. transplant Ryan Staples on bass, and Iowa born powerhouse drummer Nic Dell, the band’s sound has come together in what continues to be a series of addictive catchy songs that people are happy to have stuck in their heads. As a reviewer from The UnCool.comwrote, The Black Tape is “delivering music that is as accessible as a high-five, as bright as the sunlight reflecting off of rolling waves." The Black Tape is eager to keep the waves rolling as they continue to make their mark in Chicago and beyond.

They've also played the first annual Bunbury Festival in Cincinnati, OH which was headlined by Weezer, Jane's Addiction, and Death Cab for Cutie, played Chicago's "The Taste of Chicago," had their music featured on WXRT in Chicago, and debut a music video for the track "I Love You"

Band Members