Emerging Artist: Yoko and the Oh No's

Imagine walking into a dimly lit room, colored lightbulbs casting a yellow and red glow over a group of young twenty-somethings adorned in denim jackets and plaid. They lean against the wall and take swigs of beer, resting cooly in a futile attempt to beat the suffocating heat of the summer nights. Meanwhile, Best Coast-esque beachy alternative rock reverberates through the hot air, providing some solace as the crowd is transported to a breezy coastline. The sound has strong West Coast vibes, but with a local Chicago spin jazzing it up.

A couple other underground alternative indie rock bands play their sets, riling up these angsty city kids. The crowd gradually grows with the rising heat. The lack of air conditioning somehow adds to the atmosphere, however, as the walls even begin to perspire and the entire room reverberates with sound. I step outside with my sister to get some relief from the heat for a moment, and find edgy art school students and musician types smoking cigarettes on the back porch. One of them asks me about my camera, and we converse for a while. The fresh salvation of the open air grips me, but the deck becomes overcrowded and my sister and I are anxious to see Yoko & The Oh No’s, so we head back in.


Finally, Yoko and the Oh No’s begin to set up, and my lovely friend Max Goldstein, poster child for the band, greets me with a big grin on his face. “I’m so happy you could make it!” he exclaims to me over the hubub of anticipatory youths. He’s wearing a pair of pale denim overalls, unbuttoned on one side, with a pair of docs and a gold chain, which glints against the orange hues of the colored lights. His ensemble is just the right amount of laid-back and uniquely intriguing. Max’s rich, soulful voice fills the room, strong vocals complementing songs such as “Movin’ On” with a bluesy feel.