(updated on 2.25.07)

Live Electronic Dance Music? Electronic rock? “jamtronica?” — call it what you will, but there are a bunch of bands that are pushing the live EDM enevlope these days, continually creating new dance-party vibes and wowing audiences in the process. A bunch of these groups recently announced or updated their tour dates and are slated for various festival appearances, so I thought I’d offer a round-up…

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Photo by little dragon

The Disco Biscuits
The Disco Biscuits have finally entered the millennium with a fresh website re-design (better late than never). They recently released a a free soundboard from their 12/29/06 show at the Electric Factory (available on the LMA), and have some festival dates already slated for the spring and summer, including stops at Langerado, moe’s snoe.down festival, and 10KLF. Word on the street is that Marc Brownstein’s got another baby Brownie on the way and the band won’t head back out on the road until later in the spring.

Brownstein and keyboard wiz, Aaron Magner, will also be joining UM’s Brendan Bayliss for a benefit concert for the UStorm Foundation (founded by Bayliss last year to raise money for music and art education programs for youth in Chicago). If you’re curious what the Bisco boys have been up to, here’s a quality flickr photo set from their recent show at the Starland in NJ, courtesy of HeadyLife.

Sound Tribe Sector 9
STS9 recently fleshed out their spring tour, complete with 5 nights at the Boulder Theatre and stops at Langerado and the NOLA Jazzfest. They’re also slated to play Bonnaroo this summer and just released a fresh podcast taboot. As Justin said, these guys are definitely on fire these days, so I’m stoked to see what they’ll bring down to Florida at Langerado!

The New Deal
Once a large draw in this category, the New Deal has slowed things down by touring lightly over the last couple years. They’ve done some dates in the Northeast and I managed to catch them a few times here in the Chi at the Logan Square Auditorium (one of those shows happens to be a huge favorite of mine, and is available on the LMA). But, other than that, the Canadian trio has been rather quiet, which I find odd for a band that is so focused on the live improv angle. They’ve got a couple of dates in Cali in May, including a stop at the Joshua Tree Music Festival on 5/19.

Lotus
Lotus is another band that I’ll be seeing at Langerado in a few weeks. They’ve also got a pretty heavy spring tour scheduled throughout the East and Midwest, and are slated to play Wakarusa this summer. I also recently discovered the band’s video site, which has some pretty solid video highlights of four shows from 2005-2006.

Brothers Past
Brothers Past has fleshed out its spring touring plans (previously covered here), adding shows in the Midwest, including a two-night run at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago as a part of the Green Apple Music Festival, a late-night slot at the snoe.down festival, and a spot at SummerCamp here in Iillinois. BP has also released some new downloads on their “digital downlow” site, giving fans soundboard quality tastes of some recent touring highlights, including a stellar show last fall in Northampton.

the Pnuma Trio
The Pnuma Trio definitely showed up a bit late to this whole “live EDM” thang, and their sound is very reminiscent of the New Deal (especially with the same set-up of keys, bass, drums). That said, these guys have some friggin chops and lots of energy. They’ve also managed to rise quickly among the jam-scene ranks and are slated for a slew of heady festivals spots this summer, including the Joshua Tree Music Festival, Wakarusa, Summer Camp, and 10KLF. They’re currently on tour down South and then wrap up their spring dates in March with a run through Colorado. If these guys can distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd, they could do some serious damage. It’ll be cool to watch their stars rise.

Future Rock
Perhaps a bit less well-known than all the guys above is the Chicago trio, Future Rock. In my opinion, this band has really been steppin up their sound over the last 6-8 months. They’re currently hitting up some East and Midwest spots, will be playing with Lotus in Milwaukee, and are doing a “post STS9” thang in Boulder on 3/15. If you’re in need of a fresh workout mix, I highly recommend downloading their 11/17/06 show from the Sonotheque here in Chicago last November.

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