Chicago Through the Eyes of Pop Group Lala Lala

Head over to Illinois with us to meet young band LaLa Lala. They’ve just released their first album Sleepyhead, filled with saturated pop that’s just as melancholy as it is catchy. Below, band member Lillie West takes a moment to tell us about her favorite places in Chicago, from its rollerblading parties to alternative music.

What’s the first place you take visitors in the city?

Honestly I love the bean (Editor’s Note: Cloud Gate, a sculpture by Anish Kapoor in the shape of a bean). The way people act around it is so strange. Otherwise I just take people to shows, Chicago has such an amazing varied music scene and that’s what I want visitors to see.

Where do you go if you want to have a crazy night?

Rollerblading. Great rollerblading spots in Chicago. Also karaoke at Alice’s Lounge.

What concert venues would you recommend?

My favorite DIY space is Eco in Pilsen. Great place run by great people. Otherwise the  Hideout is my favorite venue.

What does your typical Chicago resident look like?

There is no typical Chicago resident. The city is very diverse.

What’s your favorite place to do nothing?

The Garfield park conservatory. Or my bed.

What’s your favorite street?

I like Halsted because it’s easy to ride my bike down it from my house to anywhere else I want to go.

What’s a stereotype about Chicago that annoys you?

I think a lot of people perceive Chicago to be all about sports (Editor’s note: the Chicago Bulls, Bears, Cubs, etc.) I almost never see anything sports related.

Which celebrities from Chicago are you proud of?

Herbie Hancock and Dan Savage (Editor’s note: Dan Savage is a journalist and LGBTQ activist).

What’s a local event you prefer to avoid?

There are some pretty disruptive music festivals in Chicago but I don’t actually really mind them. Downtown gets very shitty on St. Patrick’s Day though and I can’t stand that.

Tell us about a great spot that it took you a long time to discover?

Arts of Life is a really cool art center I wish I’d known about sooner. Extremely wonderful place with also provides help for adults with developmental disabilities.

Which work of art, novel, movie, etc. best describes Chicago?

Devil in The White City by Erik Larson is a good book about Chicago. I like the movie Wayne’s World too. And Kanye West has a couple great songs about Chicago.

Are there any local bands you think we should know about?

My favorite Chicago music right now is The Hecks, Heavy Dreams, Morimoto, Nnamdi, Date Stuff and Sports Boyfriend.

Lala Lala’s Bandcamp page :
Lala Lala’s new album Sleepyhead :

Article translated and edited by Andrea Perdue

Discover our selection of alternative and cultural spots with our city guides Indie Guides.