Saturday, December 31, 2005

Here's a pitchfork writer's defense of Pitchfork's inclusion of so much mainstream rap on their year-end top 50, and their general movement toward mainstream rap coverage in general.
Here's a link to someone's best videos of 2005, with links to watch each video. Definitely some good ones on there!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Here's an intriguing article about the rise and fall of Lookout! Records.

"The Strokes will be coming to downtown Chicago on January 3rd to play an exclusive Q101 Show at a very small venue. Listen to Q101 Thursday (12/29) at 5pm for the official concert annoucement including venue location, onsale info for the general public, etc."

Hmmm, wonder what their definition of a "very small venue" is?
From Dr. D: Who wants New Year's Eve Wolf Parade tickets for $200?

Seriously, I think Coldplay tickets at the Metro didn't go for much more than that. Aren't indie rockers supposed to be poor? And smart enough to realize that they'll be back again in 2006 at a reasonably-sized venue such as the Metro?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

This morning on the bus, a guy got on who was still SHAVING.

So glad this is only a two-day week for me.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Office Xmas party, part three:

Well the pictures were developed and put out on the company network. There is definitely more than one picture like this:

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Good lord, Mogwai is playing at the Logan Square Auditorium on March 1. That is a very small venue for the LOUDEST BAND EVER TO GRACE THE STAGE. I came late to the Curiosa festival two summers ago to catch only their last song, and even in the Tweeter Center's huge outdoor amphitheatre, my ears were bleeding within seconds. I think their live show could be used as a torture device in the War Against Terrorism.

The show scene has been unbelievably dry for awhile now, though a few are starting to pop up on the horizon (horizon being February and March). Here's some I'll have my eye on:

Friday, February 17: Stars at the Metro
Sunday, February 26: Cat Power w/ the Memphis Blues Band at the Vic Theatre (word is she's getting less shy on stage!)
Friday, March 3: Matthew Dear as Audion at the Smart Bar (I have still to check out the Audion album, but I hear it's quality sexed-up techno-rock, so this could be a hotttt time)
Saturday, March 11: Stereolab at the Vic Theatre
Saturday, March 18: Akron/Family w/ Larsen at the Empty Bottle (very excited for this, I've heard their live show is amazing and if I hadn't gotten their album so late in the year, it probably would have made my top 25)
Friday, March 24: Scout Niblett at Schubas (she's FABULOUSLY weird live)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The big TMT year-end extravaganza is up now, check it out and waste away your day like I have been going through everything. No big surprise with our #1, in my opinion. I think my favorite part is Matt Weir's drawing/description of Animal Collective's "Grass."

Here's my top 25:

25. Spoon- Gimme Fiction
24. Royksopp- The Understanding
23. Bloc Party- Silent Alarm
22. Xiu Xiu- La Foret
21. Stars- Set Yourself on Fire
20. M83- Before the Dawn Heals Us
19. MIA- Arular
18. Broken Social Scene- Broken Social Scene
17. Caribou- Milk of Human Kindness
16. Thunderbirds Are Now!- Justamustache
15. Robot Ate Me- Carousel Waltz
14. Architecture in Helsinki- In Case We Die
13. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
12. Bonnie Prince Billy and Matt Sweeney- Superwolf
11. New Pornographers- Twin Cinema
10. Antony and the Johnsons- I Am a Bird Now
09. LCD Soundsystem- LCD Soundsystem
08. The Hold Steady- Separation Sunday
07. Sleater-Kinney- The Woods
06. The Decemberists- Picaresque
05. Andrew Bird- & the Mysterious Production of Eggs
04. The National- Alligator
03. Sufjan Stevens- Illinois
01. Animal Collective- Feels (tie)
01. Wolf Parade- Apologies to the Queen Mary (tie)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

From Gapers Block, here's a profile of Jay Ryan in the Chicago Sun-Times. He doesn't look like I'd pictured him.

Parade of cute animals into fire!
P4k's top 50 albums of the year is out now, thankfully not the same day as TMT's or I'd be spending all day at work looking at year-end music websites. What's up with the picture they've got on the front page? I don't know if I get it- it's like New York skyscrapers with a Logan Square street sign in front. Whatever.

I'm down with Sufjan as #1, but much of the rest of their list leaves some things to be desired. I still don't get this Art Brut band and what makes them so fascinating, other than they're supposed to be ironic or something. I don't get why albums that they consider "best new music" during the year don't even make the top 50 (Architecture in Helsinki, Black Mountain, Caribou). Andrew Bird is sorely missing, even though the site raved about him fairly regularly and gave "Fake Palindromes" five stars.

The idea of a top singles list also doesn't make total sense to me, since I'm not sure what makes something a "single" anymore. I'll stand by Kelly Clarkson at #4, Antony's "Hope There's Someone" was a nice change of pace at #1, but most of it is mainstream rap singles with random indie stuff thrown in the midst. Why is Animal Collective's "Grass" considered a single while nothing from Illinois can get single status? Stylus Magazine's top singles were also very, very odd choices.

Still have no clue what will be on TMT's top 25 tomorrow, other than Sufjan of course! We have a nice "song" list that is purely writers blurbing about some of our favorite songs of the year. Once again, take a wild guess what I added to the list.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My work X-Mas party antics and calling-in sick message at 3 AM continued to follow me today back at work, where I was called in for an "impromptu meeting" and presented with the sounds of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," as well as my phone message and one that came before it that I'd completely forgotten about that was made from the bar (both of which had apparently been played mercilessly on Friday). I find it hard to believe that NO ONE did anything crazier than I did, but apparently, that is not the case (although one man's wife went into labor the next morning when he was quite possibly still drunk).

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Sigh . . . if only DJ Lazer were coming home for New Year's Eve again . . .

Meanwhile, while I thankfully didn't make out with anyone or trash the CEO's car, I did start drinking at 4 PM, get soaked in white wine, call someone I'd just met by the entirely wrong name several times, and end up on the bathroom floor calling in sick at 2 am (a message that certainly must have made it around the office Friday morning). At least I was instructed by my boss that I could only call in sick if it was from the bathroom floor, so no harm done. I requested Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" from the DJ, but he ignored my plea :( .
For better or for worse, former PFFR co-host Rockey aka DJ Lazer aka Flying Squirrel is back on the airwaves:

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My plans for tonight. If no one makes out in front of everyone or gets fired tomorrow for jumping on the CEO's Jaguar, it won't be a real party.
I've been assigned to write a 200 word blurb about Sufjan's Illinois for Tinymixtapes top 25 albums of the year (though I wasn't told where the album ranked on the list). I want to relate it somehow to the fact that I live in Illinois. How to do that, I'm not sure yet . . .

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wasn't it supposed to, like, snow today or something?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I think I'm in dire need of a $215 Louis Vuitton IPod carrying case.

Here's a question: what type of music do you think is on an iPod that's carried in a $215 Louis Vuitton IPod carrying case?
Having a radio show is so much more fun when you have a theme, and best of the year is always a popular one. It's nice coming in every week and playing new music I've never heard before, but sometimes it's also nice to come in and play almost entirely songs I know and love, love, love. Let's hope recording of the show went well, well, well. I think I squeezed in music from at least my top 12 bands.

I think Valentine's Day this year falls on a Tuesday, so you can expect a killer anti-Valentine's Day theme show that morning!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Forgot to mention, since tomorrow is my last show of 2005, I'm going to celebrate with a focus on my favorite songs and albums of the year. Preview some of my top 25 before I post it next week, and hear my favorite song from my favorite album of aught-05 (gee, what could it be?)

Actually, it'll be from one of my favorite albums, since this year I've got a tie for first. I just couldn't decide!
Last night I saw Calexico and Iron and Wine at the Congress. Sadly, no pics since we were too far away in the balcony to get anything good- hopefully after the new year when the shows start up again, I'll get back on board with the photoblog. The show should more aptly be called "Calexico, Iron and Wine, and Friends," as short sets by Langtry (Paddy from Iron and Wine), Salvador Duran (the operatic voice on "In the Reins,"), and an out-of-nowhere reunion of sorts by Red Red Meat (old band of several Califone members) peppered the show. Meanwhile, during Calexico and Iron and Wine's sets, anywhere from two to 15 or so musicians would come on stage to join in the fun. Calexico highlights included a totally new version of my favorite song, "Not Even Stevie Nicks," that picked up the pace and added a long instrumental interlude, and "Alone Again Or," a Love cover (probably best known from Wes Anderson's Bottle Rocket). Iron and Wine's show was considerably different from the last time I saw him play solo at the Abbey Pub with the fuller-than-full band on hand. As usual Sam Beam played none of my favorite songs, but he definitely refasioned the ones he did play, slowing down the faster ones ("Woman King") and speeding up the slower ones. The show wrapped up with the big "finale," if you will, where Calexico joined Sam on stage to touch on songs from their recent joint E.P., In the Reins. Salvador made his way on stage for the 5 seconds of singing he does in the title track, and my favorite song from that EP, "Sixteen, Maybe Less," got some lovin.

Craziness ensues this week as I try to get through work, studying, editing end-of-the-year tinymixtapes articles for our big year-end issue, and X-Mas shopping I still have yet to do. I think a sick day may be in order . . .

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Friday, December 09, 2005

My year-end list is in, but apparently I forgot to follow the rules of making hip year-end lists.
ABCNews states the obvious.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A somewhat cryptic message from the Andrew Bird newsletter:


Also, ahem, Andrew’s last show of the year is actually NOT on December 17th, it is on December 18th.

However, I am not at liberty to announce the location of this show until December 17th. SO you must check the website on the 17th for more info, OK?'s Scanner blog has this hilariously pathetic attempt to talk to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's lead singer Alec Ounsworth about sex. Really, what sort of questions was he expecting to get from a website about sex and relationships?

Scroll down farther to see the sexy priest calendar, which is "available now (unlike the models)". HA!
CBGB update: It's staying where it is for another year, giving the owner more time to find a new location.

Anonymous sources tell me: Pitchfork and Intonation have "split ways" and realized they are both trying to run their own summer festivals for 2006 when they both attempted to book Feist. Where's the indie rock love?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What's this? Out of nowhere, it appears Chicago has passed a smoking ban!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The big end-of-the-year Tiny Mix Tapes extravaganza is tentatively scheduled to come out Wednesday, December 21, which means it's time for me to put together my top 25 albums of the year. I've got a rough draft 25, but as usual, I feel like I may be missing an album that deserves to be in the 20-25 range more than what I've got now. Hmmmmmmm . . .

Either way, I'll post my top 25 sometime next week.
Let's all hope when I get home this morning that the show recorded successfully, because it's a good one! I've never gotten so many calls inquiring about a song as I did when I played Solvent's "My Radio" from Apples and Synthesizers. Also, Gravenhurst's new album has a song named "Nicole." It's got some strange ship/captain theme to it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

CBGB might be moving to Vegas? Does that seem wrong?
Here's an interesting article from the LA Weekly about blog buzz and bands, with references to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and the Aracde Fire. Soon these articles will be referencing the Perfect Face for Radio as a major tastemaker, right? Haha.
An interesting little interview up on P4k with Wolf Parade, though not with my favorite member, singer Spencer Krug. They reference the Illinois tollway system and iPass and answer to Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire comparisons, saying what I've always thought, that they come much closer musically to Frog Eyes than to the Arcade Fire.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I think my iPod is making me go deaf. I listen to it every day at work at a very low volume, but still, I'm concerned. I started wearing earplugs to shows to try to prevent deafness from loud speakers, but I'm pretty sure the only way to prevent my iPod from making me deaf is to stop listening to it. But listening to music at work makes the day go by so much better. What to do?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ooof . . . my brain hurts.

Now that I'm halfway towards becoming a certified public accountant, I think I need to find some way to combine my love of music with, you know, being an accountant. Maybe I should start some sort of music club for CPAs. "CPAs for the Advancement of Independent Music" or "Rock n' Roll CPAs" or something. We could have stickers and buttons and tshirts, monthly meetings and club dues. I should put a call out on craigslist.

This is probably just the post-4 hour accounting exam delirium talking, though.

Maybe I should write an article for TMT about the struggle between leading the indie rock lifestyle and having a professional corporate job- no one on either side really gets what you're doing, exactly. I don't think I've even told anyone at work I have a radio show! And once I told some pretentious artist girl I worked in finance and she wrinkled her nose at me. Oh well, I'll just claim I'm being "ironic."

Monday, November 28, 2005

I went to Paul's Club Saturday night, my favorite Madison bar that has the best bar jukebox EVER. I've yet to find a comparably great jukebox in Chicago- please tell me if there is one I should be aware of. The Paul's selection is always evolving, and Saturday's offerings were no disappointment- the new Wolf Parade, M83, Spoon, LCD Soundsystem, Death From Above 1979, the list goes on- I spent more $$$ on songs than I thought I would, thus requiring my group to stay longer than we probably would have waiting for my songs to come on. There's just something so great about hearing your favorite music come on in a bar.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Turkey weekend!

I saw Harry Potter again last night with the family, and it was still great. I still think I need to start a death-metal band called Avada Kedavra . . .

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Long Winters have a new EP out to tide us over before their next full-length comes out in a couple of months, and there's a free download of the song "Ultimatum" available on the Barsuk Records website. It's quite good. I've always claimed singer John Roderick to be one of the funniest men in indie rock, and he doesn't disappoint in this interview with Believer Mag.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Lucky me got to see the new Harry Potter movie at the IMAX theater on Navy Pier this weekend. As a Harry Potter fan (who has yet to read the 6th book so DON'T TELL ME WHO DIES), I must say this is the best movie adaptation yet. It's been a couple years since I read Goblet of Fire, which probably helped me enjoy the movie more than if I had all the book details left out of the movie fresh in my mind. I only wish there had been more of the Weird Sisters band at the dance- a.k.a. Jarvis Cocker and Johnny Greenwood. You heard the singing for about five minutes, but only got a good two-second look at the band. Awesome.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sad to say, I still watch the Real World, even though I generally despise all the people on it. But since I'm usually exhausted Tuesday nights from the show in the morning, it's nice mindless stuff to watch while vegging out on the couch. This season in Austin the Real Worlders got to make a documentary about South by Southwest, which of course the vast majority of them couldn't appreciate because they'd rather dance half-naked on the tables at the exact same bar every night. Anyhoo, they picked three bands to document, the glorious Enon and two unknown, completely forgettable pop-punk bands named Halifax and Hellogoodbye. Of course, all the cast members minus the indie-rock girl who picked Enon loved the whole bland pop-punk thing, while they thought Enon was weird- go figure- and Halifax and Hellogoodbye got most of the airtime (unsurprisingly, they were also the bands who wanted to get wasted with the cast on air). I wondered when the bands would start to capitalize on their national MTV exposure, and sure enough, both bands have shows at Beat Kithen coming up in Chicago just as the Real World season wraps up this Tuesday.
PFFR New York Correspondent Report:
Maggie O'Meara, chair of the orginal PFFR fan club, celebrated her birthday last night and it was a blast.

Armand Van Helden played a live DJ set at club Avalon this past Sat night. First he played a remix of Franz Ferdinand "Do you want me" then mixed Blur "Song 3" into the White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" into INXS "I need you tonight." It was bloody brillant.

New Rapture material heard live sounds different. Think more experimental electronica (?).

Go Team! played Webster hall live. Lots of running around on stage and great music. Definitely worth seeing.

New Annie single, "Wedding," is excellent live. Should be released very soon.

New Junior Senior song "We are the handclaps" is also excellent. Don't know when it will be released.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Radio Free Chicago is counting down Robyn's top 7 indie albums of the year, kicking off with a lengthy rant about the greatness of Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary. "I'll Believe in Anything"- greatest song on any album, anywhere, in 2005? Quite possibly, yes.

Last night I saw the Plastic Constellations and the Driftless Pony Club at Beat Kitchen. I hadn't seen DPC in at least a year and a half, and they played all new songs I'd never heard before (ok, I'd heard one before, once). They were good. Very good. I especially liked the one that ended with Craig yelling. Meanwhile, I've now seen the Plastic Consty's in a Ukranian Village basement and now one of the smallest venues in Chicago. After their Frenchkiss Records debut comes out January 24 and Pitchfork gives it an 8.5 and a "best new music" tag, they'll be headlining shows at Schubas or the Bottle, then opening for Les Savy Fav or the Hold Steady at the Metro or something. Get on the wagon now.
Pete Doherty of the Libertines/Babyshambles proves to be more and more of a winner every day. Apparently he has two kids, and here's a recent quote regarding one of them, picked up from

"Poor little fucker. My sister sees him all the time, so there's affection as a family for him. I don't really want to go into that because it's not fair on the kids or the mother."

In other news, they're putting the lights up on Michigan Avenue!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Here's an interesting article about and the site's musical ambitions from financial website the Motley Fool. Apparently Myspace was bought by NewsCorp???? How cool can something be if it's owned by Rupert Murdoch?
Arrested Development on Showtime? Let's hope so!
Here's an interesting article on about a recent book detailing Wicker Park in the '90s and all its hipster glory (notable quote: "It also connects Wicker Park to a larger narrative of the American urban economy, which over the course of 40 years or so has shifted its focus from heavy industry to image production and high-end consumption, a process in which hipster neighborhoods like . . . Wicker Park have been crucial").

Note: If you're not a member, you'll have to watch a 15-second commercial to read the full article. That's 15 seconds, NOT 15 minutes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Looks like Katie Holmes just has terrible, terrible taste in men.
I just don't know if I really understand the picture that goes along with this story.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Should we really be surprised by the #1 use of the video iPod?
I played a really great track by Akron/Family on my show this morning, and methinks I must look into them further. They just put out a split disc with Angels of Light (though really, it's all the same musicians involved in both bands), and they reportedly have an amazing live show. File them next to Devendra Banhart, Animal Collective and Joanna Newsom as "Freak-folk"- whatever that really means, of course.

Monday, November 14, 2005

That Franz Ferdinand sure is catchy.

Best blog idea: EVER.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I knew that the Bottom Lounge was closing due to the El track renovations, but I guess I didn't realize it had already happened. Looks like they'll be opening in a new space in the West Loop in February '06- I'll be interested to see how that shapes up. The Bottom Lounge was never one of my favorite venues due to its low stage and mostly punk-pop lineups, but I saw a few good shows there in my time.

It also appears that Brian Peterson, the owner of MP Shows and promoter for the Bottom Lounge has started booking shows at Beat Kitchen, which explains the recent rash of great lineups that have been popping up at that venue.

Friday, November 11, 2005

As the holidays get closer, the show scene starts to dry up. There isn't much to see anytime soon at any of the usual venues, Empty Bottle, Schubas, Metro, etc., but if you're looking to pick up on some more under-the-radar bands, here's a few smaller shows that I would highly recommend:

November 17- Plastic Constellations w/ Driftless Pony Club @ Beat Kitchen. I already plugged this show once before, but the PCs are seriously on their way up. They have a new label, a new album coming out this winter, and lots of buzz.

December 2- Islands @ Beat Kitchen. Remember the Unicorns? Crazy quirk-pop Canadians from Montreal that dressed in pink? They broke up and two of the members started this new band that's been sort of shrouded in mystery. Word is members of the Arcade Fire are pitching in on their debut album.

December 17- Single Frame @ the Red Line Tap. I don't even know where the Red Line Tap is. But I love Single Frame.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Anyone seen Kanye West on tour yet? He's coming to Chicago eventually, but according to a TMT writer:

"I was at the Philly stop of kanye west's tour, and during 'Bring Me Down' they had a huge screen that scrolled exerpts from negative reviews of Late Registration. and which quote was first? 'Let's get this out of the way right up front: Kanye West is narcissistic and egotistical.' - Tiny Mix Tapes "

Awesome! What better publicity than that?
Holy crap! My bandwidth usage this month has soared to ridiculous heights. I'm guessing this means more people have been downloading the podcasts than usual. Excellent! Of course this means I'll be shelling out more money for the bandwidth, so here's a gentle reminder that buying anything from through a link on this site gives me a small cut . . . just click on the Amazon logo on the sidebar! :) Go get Wolf Parade or Animal Collective if you haven't yet.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

In case you had nothing to do this weekend, here's a couple options:


Come to this FREE special screening of the new DVD of GBV's final show, filmed at Metro on New Years Eve 2004. Pre-order the DVD and receive a free GBV shot glass and poster!

Free Pabst Blue Ribbon from 7-8PM!

7PM-10PM / 21+OVER / FREE!

or perhaps if you're a Laguna Beach fan, like Liz is, you can go hang with them at Crobar.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

From the Wisconsin Union Music Committee homepage:

Win a chance to open for Bon Jovi!

Press kits due by Nov. 4 at 5 pm

The WUD Music Committee is asking local bands to submit a biography, two original songs on a CD, contact information, references and performance history. Entries can be submitted via email to or dropped off at WUD Music Committee, ATTN: Stacey Lansig / Bon Jovi Contest, Room 514 Memorial Union, 800 Langdon Street, Madison, WI 53706

The students will select a winner to open for Bon Jovi when their Have A Nice Day World Tour comes to Madison. The winner will also be entered in a national competition, where one band will be selected to open for Bon Jovi at Giants Stadium in the summer of 2006.
As it goes every year, supposedly "leaked" Coachella lineups always come out months in advance. Whether these early contenders will actually grace the stages or not, who knows, but as anyone who regularly reads this blog knows, I always like to fuel speculation:

The Arcade Fire
The Strokes
Depeche Mode
Roxy Music
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Franz Ferdinand
65 Days Of Static
Lightning Bolt
Super Furry Animals
The White Stripes
Sigur Ros
Death Cab For Cutie
De La Soul
TV On The Radio
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Explosions In The Sky
Massive Attack
Devendra Banhart

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'll be taking a break from the show tomorrow morning to catch up on some sleep, studying, and sanity (the three S's?). But be sure to tune in next week for a very special THEME show!
I went back to Madison this past weekend, making it the first time I'd been back since the smoking ban in bars went into effect. Very, very nice. What was really fascinating was watching the socialization of the smokers outside of every bar. I think Chicago proponents needs to start selling the ban as a big boon for the singles scene- at least, the smoking singles scene. You segregate a bunch of people with something in common (smoking!) and they have an instant icebreaker topic to discuss (so, doesn't this smoking ban suck?).

Friday, November 04, 2005

And now another New Year's show: The Changes at Schubas. This one is pretty underwhelming. Not sure yet what the Abbey Pub is doing, but at this point if you're dead set on going to a show, I'd go with the New Pornographers at the Metro (unless you just saw them) or Wolf Parade at the Viaduct. Not sure yet if I want to do a show or something else altogether- New Year's has almost never lived up to the hype for me, so I won't think too much about it until it's closer.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Another New Year's show has been added to the growing list: The Juan Maclean at the Empty Bottle. Last year their NY's show featured experimental indie rock, this year it appears to be all about the dance.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Well this is a novel idea for the city of Chicago: instead of taxes, hold more rock concerts! I'm glad that the city has apparently realized that they need to hold more shows at Grant Park, even if it's only because they've proven to make so much money.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ah, good ol' Madison Halloween, the fun never stops! Actually, it looks like it will next year.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Check out the Halloween mixtape we put together on Tinymixtapes today.

In other online 'zine news, looks like P4k is throwing a New Year's party/10th anniversary party at the Viaduct Theater 12/30 and 12/31. It's pretty cheap ($20/$35) and the lineup ain't bad:

>> Friday, December 30
The Books

>> Saturday, December 31
Wolf Parade
Blood on the Wall
Jason Forrest

I don't normally see bands twice in the same few months, but I'd see Wolf Parade again in a second. Add this to the list of growing New Year's shows to choose from, and prepare to read about it every week in some self-referencing way in every P4k news story!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Broken Social Scene w/ Feist

Broken Social Scene
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
Friday night was spent at the Metro with Broken Social Scene and Feist. Feist's opening set was incredibly fun and energetic; Feist herself proved to be entertaining and bursting with personality, and many of her songs rocked a bit more than the studio recordings. She played much off of Let It Die, including "Mushaboom" and "Secret Heart," closing with my favorite song, the heartbreaking "Let It Die," bringing a whole new life to it.

The four musicians that make up Broken Social Scene's horn section came out for a brief introduction before the rest of the 10+ members made their way out to start things off with "Jimmy and the Photocall" and then "KC Accidental." The setlist mostly featured the most rocking tunes from You Forgot It In People and the new self-titled album. The ever-growing band featured two new members to the live lineup, a violinist and a new female vocalist. The violin added a nice touch, but the vocalist, a virtual Kirsten Dunst-look-a-like sporting a very odd Princess Leia-esque hairdo, proved to be incredibly bland and boring on stage, a strong contradiction to the rest of the bands' infectious energy. After having seen Emily Haines of Metric and Amy Millan of Stars sing "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl" at the Coachella and Intonation festivals, both bringing an incredibly energy and passion to the song, the new girl's rigid, blank presence on stage made for a huge disappointment. When Feist eventually made her way back on stage to sing "Almost Crimes" and "Shoreline 7/4," it was obvious who did and who didn't fit in. After the anthemic "Almost Crimes" brought the entire band out to sing along with every ounce of joy they had, I was sure the show was over- a better ending couldn't have been had. Unfortunately, the band dragged the show out about 20 more minutes with a sudden change toward the mellow- "Lovers Spit" and an ill-prepared cover of "You've Got a Friend" ended the show, and the encore featured a lot of silliness in the form of a down-tempo dance number, a made up country song, "I'm Still Your Fag," and some overdone Bush-bashing, before finally bringing back the energy with "It's All Gonna Break."

The best part about Broken Social Scene live is seeing 10+ musicians lined up across the stage, playing their hearts out and having a blast. The guitarists played like they've been practicing their guitar moves and kicks in front of the mirror since they were 9, and it really made for a fun environment. BSS's only real flaw of the night was not knowing when it was time to stop, but can you really fault them for that?
I went to the Decemberists show in Seattle on Friday. Overall, a solid performance, but oh, how I miss they days where they would play tiny coffeeshops so you couldn't help but get up close and personal with the accordian player. Now it seems like they have a million people on stage with them. I know it's supposed to be good for their rich sound and stuff, but I really think they're at their best at smaller and more intimate settings. And they didn't play the Turkish prostitute song. That makes me sad.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Broken Social Scene tonight w/ Feist at the Metro! BSS put on an amazing show at Coachella, which was followed up a year later by an inferior set at Intonation due to the awful sound. Hopefully it will be redeemed tonight when I finally see them at an indoor venue. I have high hopes for Feist's opening performance as well. Hope to have some pictures up, it's been awhile!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Looks like Beat Kitchen has the bands-as-other-bands action going on for Halloween this weekend too:

Friday, October 28th

Featuring... CATSPLASH (as Radiohead)
THE BON MOTS (as Elvis Costello)
EPICYCLE (as The Wings)
ALL CITY AFFAIRS (as David Bowie)
9pm, $8, 21 & Over
...featuring six of your favorite local bandsperforming as six or rock's most legendary artists!

Saturday, October 29th

Featuring...DEAD ELECTRIC (as AC/DC)
DOPPLER SHIFT (as Morphine)
THE WEBSTIRS (as The Fixx)
THE DELAFIELDS (as Talking Heads)
INCHWORM (as Neil Young)
Well, I think I'm just going to have to go to this show now, and if you're smart, you will too:

Thursday, November 17: The Plastic Constellations w/ the Driftless Pony Club @ Beat Kitchen

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I mentioned earlier that a Neighborhoodies store is opening up on 1300 N. Milwaukee, and that they're having a grand opening party on Saturday at 8 pm at the store to celebrate. Apparently, that party will include free Goose Island beer! Check out the "morning announcement" video they shot about the opening, set fairly obviously to Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago."
Hot off the news wires:


New Pornographers Tour Suspended Due To Bassist's Exploding Appendix

Disaster struck the New Pornographers as they prepared to take the stage attheir sold-out show on Thursday October 20th at the Metro in Chicago. New Pornographers bassist and producer John Collins complained of pain in his abdomen, saying to drummer Kurt Dahle "I think it's my appendix or something". Collins perservered and played the show in various degrees of pain, but declined to party with the band after the show, instead retiring to his hotel room. Soon Collins could stand the pain no longer and called himself an ambulance. He was then rushed to hospital where an appendectomy was performed, including a laprascopic surgery that involves "three holes". Collins does not have extended medical insurance for the United States. The New Pornographers were in the final stages of wrapping up a sold-out North American tour in support of their new album "Twin Cinema". Also on the tour was Immaculate Machine and Destroyer. The final two shows of the tour, scheduled in Minneapolis and Madison, were postponed. John Collins has flown home from Chicago and is currently recovering in Vancouver, reportedly feeling "a bit sore", but otherwise on track for a full if costly recovery. The New Pornographers' next scheduled shows are Nov 1 & 3 in the UK. There is no immediate word on whether Collins will be able to make the trip.
I did a pretty thorough updating of the upcoming concerts page today, though to be honest, there aren't a whole lot of really notable new shows coming to the midwest. There's always a significant lull as the holidays approach that really picks up in the new year.
The Double Door's big Halloween bash is this Sunday, the 30th. See these bands dress up as old favorites:

Local H as Hall and Oates
Giant Step as the Kinks
Ness as the Smiths
The Last Vegas as Jane's Addiction
The 8th Grade as Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
San Tropez as Fleetwood Mac
Blackbox as the Smashing Pumpkins
I think my entire office is out sick today! Too much partying from the into-the-night White Sox victory!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

From Punk Planet:

Hey there,

Last Thursday we received some distressing news--the kind of news that made our very bones ache when we heard it; the kind of news that felt so significant we simply couldn't function after it sank in.

With a few days time and the ability to process it, we decided it's news worth sharing: It was a letter from the president of the Independent Press Association, the not-for-profit organization that owns the company that distributes the majority of Punk Planet's copies, BigTop Newsstand Services. The letter acknowledged the truth of a rumor that had been running through indie publishing circles for months now: the distributor was having cash flow problems. Payments to publishers for magazines already distributed had been and would continue to be effected for an unknown amount of time. In case you don't operate a magazine, the money coming in from newsstand sales is vital to publishers' bottom line. For a magazine like Punk Planet, where our ad rates remain very low to cater to independent businesses, those distributor payments are even more critical.

This news leaves us in a tight spot: BigTop is the last distributor that specializes in distributing independent press magazines like Punk Planet. When we started 12 years ago, there were close to a half dozen such distributors; each one that has gone belly up dragged a few magazines with it. Because BigTop is owned by the IPA, an organization whose mission is to "amplify" the voice of the independent press, we don't expect that they will go out of business; but we also don't know when we will see the money we are owed.

What does this mean for the future of Punk Planet? The truth is we don't yet know. But we do know there are things you can do that will help us in both the short term and the long term.

1. Please consider subscribing (or resubscribing) and purchasing some merchandise from our webstore today. If you have a product, idea, or event to advertise, purchase an ad.

An immediate influx of cash will allow us to pay off back debts--to contributors, printers, web hosts, etc--and better enable us to weather any coming storm caused by nonpayment from our distributor. Our annual end-of year subscription sale is just starting now—get a whole year for only $18, or really help us out and buy a couple of them!

2. Please forward this information--or this whole email--on to your lists and friends, and specifically ask them to subscribe or buy merchandise from us. In addition to a two-year subscription for only $30, you can pick up any of our amazing books—Joe Meno's HAIRSTYLES OF THE DAMNED, Bee Lavender's LESSONS IN TAXIDERMY, Mark Anderson's ALL THE POWER, or Jay Ryan's brand-new 100 POSTERS 134 SQUIRRELS now available for pre-order! We've also got Punk Planet T-shirts, underpants, and the awesomely cool PPAP: Punk Planet Artists' Prints wearable art series

3. Consider donating to the Community Supported Journalism Fund. It's a small-fund donations program, made up almost exclusively of donations of less than $20, but it's already allowed us to bring you the amazing END OF RADIO cover story of PP69: four full articles on different aspects of radio creation and tons of teeny interviews with audio experts. It wouldn't have been possible without your support!

4. Please continue to support independent print media. The payment issues affecting us are not singular--there are others in the same predicament that need your support as well.

Thanks so much,

Dan Sinker

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hip-hop promotion, from today's New Republic:

GET RICH OR DIE TRYING: The rapper Cameron "Cam'ron" Giles, who was in Washington, D.C., over the weekend for Howard University's homecoming, was shot early Sunday morning while driving in his Lamborghini. According to today's Washington Post, he seems to be keeping things in perspective:

"I got shot three times and my album comes out Nov. 22," Giles said as he left Howard University Hospital yesterday afternoon with an entourage of friends, fellow rappers and bodyguards. "We love Howard."
Let's talk about how excellent the new Animal Collective album, Feels, is. I bought it at Reckless this weekend and fell in love with it pretty much instantly. The structure is very similar to 2004's Sung Tongs, with the most song-oriented guitar tracks early in the album and the more meandering songs in the second half. "Banshee Beat" is glorious. I can't get enough of this band.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm not sure what to think about this column today on Pitchfork. Is it a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of the writers, or is it too personal for a music website?
Finally saw the New Pornographers last night, and Liz is right, the panda t-shirt they had for sale was uber, uber-cute (and designed by Madison alumni Aesthetic Apparatus!).

Destroyer opened, and I wanted to check their set out to see if it would help me get more into them. Some people seem to really love Destroyer, and I haven't been able to get on board. I hoped a live set might show me what I was supposed to be missing. Sadly, that was not to be- I found Dan Bejar & Co. to be just as boring as I do on CD. Oh well.

The six members of the New Pornographers eventually made their way up on stage and each took their place, never again to move from their respective spots. For such a fun band, I was surprised they didn't move around a bit more on stage- it seemed a bit low energy, at least during their main set; things seemed to pick up a bit during their two encores. They started things off with "Twin Cinema" and "Use It" and proceeded to play a set sampling fairly equally from all three of their albums, with a slight emphasis on Twin Cinema. Hilariously, every few songs or so, Dan Bejar would make his way on stage to sing "Jackie Dressed in Cobras," and every time he'd come out progressively more tanked, with a new drink in his hand. By the time he made it out for the second encore to sing "Jackie," he could hardly stand or open his eyes, prompting jokes from Neko and Carl Newman about his drunken attempts backstage to pick up an English woman.

As I've already mentioned, the band played two encores, one they dubbed the "Electric Version super-set" with "Testament to Youth and Verse" and "Miss Teen Wordpower" and one the "Mass Romantic super-set" with "Jackie," "Body Says No" and, thankfully, "Letter From an Occupant" (I don't think I would have forgiven them if they hadn't played that, but it was such an obvious closer I wasn't too worried about it). Those last three songs were probably the best of the night, when the band seemed to be having the most fun on stage, Neko's voice was strongest, and Dan Bejar was totally trashed.

Final note: looks like the New Pornos are coming back to the Metro for New Years Eve- $60 a ticket (a steal! said head Porno Carl Newman). Hopefully there'll be a lot of great new year's shows to choose from this year!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I am just really obsessed with this Wolf Parade album. I've been incredibly stressed out lately, and I've found it to be the perfect antidote, for some weird reason- it's not like it's soothing by any means. I also get really excited when I hear awesome transitions between songs on albums, and the transition from "Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" to "I'll Believe in Anything" is just great.
If you're hitting up the New Pornographers show tonight at the Metro, stop by the merch area, where Megan and I will be staffing the WLUW table before the show and during the first opener. Get some free WLUW and PFFR swag!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

On the Tinymixtapes online forum, we were having a discussion of Cat Power's live show. Here's what one writer had to say of her performance last week, in reponse to someone who said he's seen shows where she either played two songs and run off the stage crying, or played a full set with her back to the crowd:

She played a full (~80-90 min.) set, facing the crowd, trading off between guitar and piano, and even engaging in a little bit of banter. Example: when at one point she couldn't figure out what to play, she was bombarded with about a dozen requests, so she chuckled "Okay" and sang a couple lines from "Freebird". I don't know about antidepressents, but at one point she said, "Does anyone have some scotch, maybe, with no ice," and she was presented with a flask from which she drank quite frequently for the rest of the show. There was no encore, but, you know, everybody was pretty much glad she didn't cry and run off the stage.

Perhaps her stage fright is improving?
Hopefully tonight I'll go home to find a fully and successfully recorded show, ready to be posted for downloading.

Music website Stolen Mix Tape wrote a nice blurb about me in it's blog this week- I swear I didn't pay them too.
Flower Booking's 15th anniversary is this year, and they're putting on a big charity auction to go along with their week-long concert series in November, featuring bands like Ted Leo and reunions from the Smoking Popes and the Promise Ring. In addition to items like private balcony seats to the shows, they've got private biology tutoring from Andrew Kenny of the American Analog Set, bowling with Jimmy Eat World, a recording session with Ted Leo, and much more. See all 100+ items here on eBay.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Friday night I went to Schubas to see Wolf Parade. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera, so there aren't any shots to post to the photoblog (and they would have been great shots, too!). I must say, it was one of the best shows I've been to in awhile, one that fulfilled my need to be genuinely moved by a band, even if just for a brief moment. I've been really enjoying their new album, Apologies to the Queen Mary, but with all the buzz Wolf Parade's been getting lately, I didn't go in with too many expectations for their show for fear that I may be disappointed. Luckily for me, the band brought with them an amazing energy on stage that really excited me and the crowd.

Wolf Parade's songs are mostly split between two singers, guitarist Dan Boeckner and keyboardist Spencer Krug. Before going into the show, I didn't really notice a difference in vocals from song to song, but on Friday it became completely clear to me that all of my favorite songs were sung by Spencer. Dan had a great rough, smoky, Springsteen-esque rock voice, but Spencer's was weird and unique and beautiful- it was obvious he brought the more experimental force to the band, and his Frog Eyes influences were clear. In fact, I could hardly keep my eyes off of Spencer the entire night because everything about him was so fascinating- it was almost as if he was in a totally different band on stage. While the rest of the 4 band members (including a former member of Hot Hot Heat who took a break between songs to take a piss in the alleyway) rocked out like all good rock bands do, Spencer sat quietly in a corner behind his two keyboards, singing intensely with his eyes closed the entire show. He and his voice gave me chills. Their last song before the encore was the utterly amazing "I'll Believe in Anything," which seriously brought tears to my eyes. The song is one of my favorites of the year, and the band couldn't have done it more justice than they did. It's an anthem. My $12 were worth it for that song alone.

During their set, Wolf Parade debuted a brand new song (featuring Spencer on vocals) that absolutely blew me away. If that song is representative of the road WP is going down, I want to hear more.

The show wasn't perfect- a couple songs were nothing special, and they should have skipped out on the encore and just ended with "I'll Believe in Anything," since it was pretty obvious they'd run through all their good material during the main set. But I think you can forgive those sorts of things with a new band, so you know they have room to improve and grow. No one wants to see a band peak with one album and never live up to it again.

After the show, I went back and read the Pitchfork review of Apologies to the Queen Mary, and I must say it almost perfectly captures how I feel about the album. It's rare that I give a P4k review credit for more than wordy, self-referencing hooey, but this time I think they got it right.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I'm not sure if I can really get into Deerhoof's weird, cutesy music yet, but the cover of their new album, The Runners Four, is FABULOUS. I wish I could show the entire insert unfolded.
What do ya know, a Neighborhoodies store is opening up next door to me, at 1300 N. Milwaukee! It opens November 1, and some party is supposed to be happening on the 29th (Halloween-related, or just a coincidence?)

In other news, Calexico and Iron and Wine are coming to the Congress Theater on December 11! Huzzah! I've never been to that venue, does it suck?
I totally forgot about it, but my Royksopp/Annie concert review is up now on TMT.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Last night I dreamt that the Dismemberment Plan was doing a couple of reunion shows in December. What a wonderful dream! How sad I was to awake . . .

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wilco will be headlining a benefit concert for hurricane relief that's happening on Tuesday, November 1 at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre.

Maybe it's time to start doing concerts for earthquake relief in Pakistan- from what I understand, the Red Cross has received too much money for Katrina!
Check out the hilarious new video for the New Pornographers' "Use It," starring David Cross. So excited to cross them off my list of bands to see next Thursday. Have I mentioned how fabulously awesome the new album is? Yes? Well I'll say it again, it's fabulously awesome.
And the iPod innovations continue.

Is there really a market for buying music videos online though?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

. . . or not, because it appears I incorrectly set the recorder. Sigh . . . you'll just have to wait for next week's show, and hopefully I can get back into the proper Tuesday morning routine of show preparation.
I was so busy at work today, I didn't even have time to blog about the show or anything- but it will hopefully be posted tonight, tomorrow night at the latest.

Monday, October 10, 2005

On a non-music related blogging-at-work note, my company just moved into new offices and is in the process of putting up art around the floors. So far, the CEO's taste in art has proven to be extremely odd and somewhat creepy- a huge (HUGE) collage of eyeballs in the shape of an inkblot and a painting of a group of ventriloquist dummies sitting around a table. Pretty cutting-edge for an investment firm.
Looks like Cat Power will be touring next year with the full band, including her upcoming solo show at Park West. I think that solves my dilemma on whether or not to go to that solo show- I've heard she's more likely to melt down on stage by herself than when she's got a band behind her.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Now this is hip-hop I can get into. It's a collaboration between Danger Mouse and MF Doom that is centered around the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim- Sealab, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman! I just heard a song on WOXY that included a bunch of killer Sealab quotes, and the song was very much in the vein of the opening theme to ATHF, which is great.

Speaking of WOXY, I think it's quickly becoming my favorite internet radio station. I've been testing a few out on days that I don't bring my iPod to work, and I think WOXY has been consistently better than KEXP in playing music I want to hear, both new stuff I haven't heard yet as well as songs I know and love.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I have to get on the bandwagon and say that the new Wolf Parade album is pretty great. I've had a tendency lately to resist albums that get drooled all over, but Apologies to the Queen Mary is just a really quality indie rock album. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over when I listen to it- I'm listening to it right now at work, and I have to keep pausing to listen more closely. Me likey.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Oh good God, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are having a baby. I thought she was saving herself for marriage as the good Catholic girl she is?
I've gotten some new CDs lately. Here's what I think so far, although I've really only listened to each one casually once or so. Since most albums evolve for me well beyond first impressions (both good and bad), take it for what you will:

Broken Social Scene- Broken Social Scene: There are some really good songs, and some songs that I didn't really notice as the album played. The artwork is neat. The bonus EP seems a bit gratuitous. I'm a fan of off-key singing (also see: Prefuse 73- Now You're Leaving).

Franz Ferdinand- You Could Have It So Much Better: I actually downloaded this album because I knew I wouldn't buy it, but I was curious to hear it. From what I understood from reviews, it sounds much like the first album. I'd say that's correct. I'll have to listen more to see if the catchiness overrules the lack of originality.

Metric- Live It Out: More Broken Social Scene-related goodness. I'm liking it. There's one song on it where the beginning guitar riff sounds just like the Driftless Pony Club- very strange, because Metric sounds nothing like the Driftless Pony Club, and neither does the rest of the song- just that first 30 seconds. Very odd. I saw Metric live last year when I didn't know most of their music, and Emily Haines is unbelievably cute and entertaining, making it a good show to watch when you didn't know the songs.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

In more minor-celebrity Chicago news, Jen the Bachelorette goes to my new gym. Perhaps we'll take a class together!

Is it sad that my last minor-celebrity Chicago news was also Jen the Bachelorette? When will see John Cusack running around town?

Is this an indicator of my brilliance or of Pitchfork's predictability?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Here's a fun game you can play at work that we've started on my tinymixtapes forum. Place bets on what score you think Pitchfork will give the next big release, regardless of whether you yourself have heard the album or not. For example:

the new Broken Social Scene: 8.4
the new Animal Collective: 8.9

Someone on my forum accurately guessed the score for both Big Star and Liz Phair. BSS's new one comes out tomorrow, we'll see how I do!
I cannot believe how amazing the band in the new Harry Potter movie is: Phil Selway, Jonny Greenwood, Jarvis Cocker??!?!?!?! Those Griffindors will have the best school dance EVER. It's coming out in November or December I believe. I may be lining up outside the theater with my striped scarf.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Racist hipsters?

I feel like I've seen these "Kill Whitey" things around town, but I'm not sure . . .
Looks like Chicago is moving closer to a smoking ban in bars!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sadly, my cold did keep me from the show last night :( . I hope it was a good one.

In non-music related topics, the top story on today is "Will Deadly Virus Plague the World?" Talk about building a culture of fear. It reminded me of this guy I saw on the Daily Show a few weeks ago, Barry Glassner, who wrote a book called The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Is it just me, or does Apple tend to put products out on the market before they've been fully tested, just to be the first?
A couple people I know have extra tickets for the Sleater-Kinney show coming to the Metro next Thursday, Oct. 7. I believe both would be free. If anyone is interested, send me an email and I'll hook you up!
Upon first listen of the new Wolf Parade: I like it. Is it original? Not especially. Will it continue to grow on me? Probably.

A cold may be sidelining me as far as going to Schubas tonight goes, though there's still a chance that I'll recover in time. If anyone else plans on going and/or is going to be taking pictures, feel free to tell me how it goes if I don't make it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tomorrow is chock-full of shows in Chicago, very odd for a Wednesday night. Arcade Fire at the Riviera w/Wolf Parade (next big thing, y'alls!) and Bell Orchestre, an Arcade Fire side project that includes the "Napoleon Dynamite guy" and the violinist; MIA at the Metro; and Robot Ate Me and the Heavenly States at Schubas. I'll be found at Schubas, since I just saw MIA at the Metro and last fall's Arcade Fire show at the Empty Bottle has spoiled me from ever seeing them again at any other venue. Plus, I'm really digging the new Robot Ate Me album, I hear Ryland Borland is pretty crazy live, and as always, I adore Ted and the Heavenly States. If you have tickets to the sold out Arcade Fire show and are dying to see even more music, you can bring in the stubs to Schubas after the show to get in for half-off.

Speaking of Wolf Parade, Pitchfork's completely expected glowing 9.2 review of their debut album of course means this band is about to be huge. Not that being released on Sub Pop and being produced by Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse hurts. I'm going to pick up the album today and see what I think, though I do like what I've heard from their earlier EPs. They're headlining their own show at Schubas on Friday, October 14, so I'd suggest getting tickets now before they're headlining the Riviera next year with the next "next big thing" opening.
New stuff from the Double, Flotation Toy Warning and Devendra Banhart on this morning's show, which will be up for downloading later tonight. Huzzah!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Apparently singer D'Angelo was critically injured in an SUV accident last week.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Holy crap! Brady posted this in the comments section, but I thought I'd recreate it for those who don't read comments. Troubled Hubble is breaking up, just as they were starting to get national recognition:

Final Show @ Schuba's

For reasons, both physical and personal, the band has decided to make next thursday, september 29th at Schuba's the final Troubled Hubble show. it's been an amazing journey for all of us over the last six years, and we're so thankful to all of our friends and family for supporting us along the way, not to mention all the amazing friends and fans we've met all over the country. you have no idea how much we'll miss seeing you!as for the show, happily it's all ages, so anybody willing and able can attend. if you want to be sure to make the show (especially if you're traveling), we suggest you buy tickets ahead of time's going to be a great show, and we're excited for the opportunity to end a career that we're so proud of on a high note. with any luck, we'll see you there.

The National/Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

The National
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
I caught the National and buzz band CYHSY this past Friday and have pictures up now on the photoblog. As expected, the crowd was primarily there to see CYHSY, and Schubas was completely packed. They started out with two new songs, which I liked, and played most of their recent self-titled album. Their sound was very tight, and keyboardist/tambourine man Robbie was a barrel of fun on stage, jumping around constantly with the biggest smile on his face. They hardly spoke a word in between songs and had a good stage presence, but nothing spectacular.

The crowd thinned a bit for the National, with the true fans clearly up front while a lot of people rudely spent their set talking loudly in the back. Unfortunately, the good sound from CYHSY didn't carry over to the headliner, as the bass was way, wayyyy too loud. Singer Matt Berninger was by far one of the most intense singers I have ever seen- he sang every song with his eyes tightly closed, appearing to be on the verge of tears at any moment. Clearly, his songs mean a lot to him. The other highlight was their violinist, who was the most rockin' violinist I've seen yet in a rock band. Most of the set came from their latest album, Alligator, except for my two favorite songs of course, "Karen" and "Friends of Mine." An audience member called twice for them to play Karen; Matt claimed they forgot how to play the song, and dedicated the next song to "'Karen,' that song we forgot how to play." Bummer.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rock for Kids Auction

Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
A couple pics are up now on the photoblog from last night's auction. Thax rules!
Last night's Rock for Kids charity mixtape auction was a lot of fun. Our 3-disc mixes sold for something like $22, we schmoozed with some local bloggers, label owners, and Thax Douglas, and I was outbid on almost everything I went for. When I left at 9:00, I was the high bidder on the Thax's mix, but I haven't heard whether I got it or not- with 45 minutes left of bidding, I'm sure I was overtaken. Ben Gibbard's mix was at $75 and Johnny Marr's tape (and offer of a lunch date) were well over $100 when I headed out. We went home with a screen-printed poster of the event and a cd of electronic music made by children in Cabrini Green who benefit from the program.

I took some great pictures, including one of us with Thax, which I'll post later tonight. Also stay tuned for pictures from tonight's National/CYHSY show at Schubas!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I got an email from Matt Rucins, the Schubas' promoter, today imploring everyone on the email list to see Black Mountain tonight:

To Music Fans:

I very rarely, if ever, write an e-mail specifically touting one show. I apologize if this is intrusive, but I must encourage people to come see the Vancouver based super rock group Black Mountain TONIGHT at Schubas. Black Mountain has managed to make one of my favorite albums of the year, which gets heavy play on Schubas' juke box, and they also played the best show I have seen at Schubas this year back in April. All of this occurred long before pop super group Coldplay personally asked Black Mountain to kick off their North American tour. The band impressed and, likely, confused many Coldplay fans for a month straight, all the while garnering critical praise, which is much deserved. If my word doesn't sell you, then maybe the indie rock holy book that is Pitchfork will:

How often does that happen? It almost makes me want to go to the show. Almost.
This weekend Honda is hosting some sort of party to show off their 2006 car line-up. Hot Hot Heat and the Von Bondies will be playing for free as you immerse yourself in all things Honda. It's in Villa Park, a near-west suburb, and it sounds very, very strange. Register for free in advance at this website and see Honda try to make themselves ultra-hip with a cross-country tour they claim will feature the hottest in "hip-hop, indie rock, reggaeton, house and techno." Apparently Chicago represents the "indie rock" part of that equation, as other bands in other cities include 311, John Legend, Common, Staind, and Damien Marley. I've noticed Honda using all things indie in their recent advertising, including MIA and more. All I have to say is, WTF?

So I think that American Idol tryouts are going on at the W hotel next to my work, judging by the line of people out the door dressed like idiots. Lots of sequins. Lots. Maybe Simon Cowell will be eating lunch nearby today? Probably not.

In other musical reality television news, I caught the end of "Rock Star: INXS" last night to see Chicago's Marty Casey lose out to JD to become the lead singer of INXS. But apparently his band, the Lovehammers, once known as the Swinging Lovehammers (worst . . . name . . . ever . . .), gets to open for INXS on their upcoming WORLD TOUR! So they can finally get out of their regular gig at the Double Door. Marty seemed nice, but his voice was a little too Creed for me. The robotic, lifeless Brooke Burke announced at the end that you can send in a tape to be on the next Rock Star- what band could possibly be next?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Royksopp and Annie

Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
I'll keep this blurb brief, as I'm reviewing this show for tinymixtapes, so I'll just post that when it goes up on the site. Annie's performance was overall more fulfilling than her Sonotheque gig due to the atmosphere, with thumping beats and flashing lights, but her thin voice wasn't able to fill up the expansive space of the Metro. Royksopp was good fun and got the crowd having a blast, minus two girls next to me who stood around with hips cocked, cigarettes dangling from their fingers, looking bored and disaffected as they tossed their bangs out of their eyes. "Poor Leno" and "Only This Moment" were highlights, and they wrapped things up with a "Poor Leno" remix. They brought along the female vocalist featured on their new album, and I couldn't decide if her cheesy, over-emoting fit the euro-pop style of the music or was just annoying. I'm bordering on the side of annoying. Overall, much more fun than what I'd usually be doing on a Monday night. Lots of pics on the photoblog, check 'em out!
I hit up the Royksopp/Annie Norweigan Invasion show last night at the Metro and had oodles of fun dancing on a Monday night. I'll post pictures and my thoughts later tonight.

The shows are finally heating up again in Chicago after a long hiatus since the summer festivals of July, and I'll be hitting up my third in a week this Friday with the National and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Schubas. Pitchfork posted a live review of the show today and said that the crowd cut in half after CYHSY ended their set; as the reviewer said himself, those people who left are idiots, because the National are fantastic and have been long-overlooked in the indie scene. I'm so excited for this show.

Monday, September 19, 2005

So Brad K and I got invited on behalf of Radio Free Chicago to make a mix tape for the 3rd Annual Rock for Kids Auction, a fundraiser for music education. This Thursday from 6-10pm at Smart Bar, mixtapes donated by local musicians, venue owners, disc jockeys, concert promoters, music journalists and record label owners will be auctioned off. After Ben Gibbard's mix tape gets auctioned off for a couple thousand dollars, we'll hope our mix can garner a few bucks :) .

More info over at RFC; the Rock for Kids website has complete details and a list of donors.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sufjan Stevens

Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.

This weekend I caught Sufjan Stevens on the first of his two sold-out shows at the Metro from the Metro's balcony. After a long-winded set from Laura Viers, who was a good musician but otherwise unremarkable (though backed up by the notable Karl Blau, a very large bottled-blond with pigtails), Sufjan and his numerous bandmates came out in their Illinois cheerleader outfits, with Sufjan taking a few numbers in some sort of Captain America pajamas or something. The set was made up almost entirely of songs from "Illinois," not surprisingly, save for "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" and a solo encore of "To Be Alone With You," both from Seven Swans. "Jacksonville," "Decatur," "Metropolis," and "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." all made the set list, and as would be expected at a show in Chicago, Sufjan ended the show with "Chicago." Had they not played the song, a riot surely would have broken out. The crowd was a bit excessive in their excitement to hear every Illinois reference, with cheers breaking out when an Illinois flag was placed on stage and pretty much every time the word "Chicago" was uttered, but it could have been worse. Before several songs, Sufjan led the band in a cheer, at one point constructing a human pyramid on the already very busy stage, at another point rhyming "Metropolis" with "Balki Bartocomus." Regardless of what you think of the gimmickry of the whole 50 states thing, there is no denying that Sufjan's voices is unbelievable. Oh, to be serenaded to sleep every night by that voice.

Unfortunately, since I was on the balcony, I couldn't get close enough for any great pictures, but check out the photoblog for a dozen pics of the night.

Friday, September 16, 2005

This is hilarious- it's the Cliff Notes version of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Hideout Block Party is the weekend, and the line-up does not look as good as last year's, which has Mouse on Mars and Califone (who treated us to an hour of classic rock covers). Still, it's always a good time.

Music Schedule
September 16
7 p.m.: The Autumn Defense
8 p.m.: The Lamentations
8:30 p.m.: Freakwater
9:30 p.m.: Devil in a Woodpile

September 17
3 p.m.: Kevin O'Donnell's Ensemble General
4 p.m.: Eleventh Dream Day
5 p.m.: The Sam Roberts Band
6 p.m.: The dB's
7 p.m.: The Ponys
7:45 p.m.: The M's
8:30 p.m.: The Redwalls
9:30 p.m.: Nomo

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

When The Onion becomes Reality.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Good show this morning, though I'm dragging now since I still haven't mastered the 4:30 wake up. A couple of quality requests and a song from the much-anticipated (at least for me) Calexico/Iron and Wine collaboration. It'll hopefully be up for podcasting later tonight.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I've been listening quite a bit to the new Feist (a.k.a. Leslie Feist of Broken Social Scene) album, Let It Die, and I've concluded that I love it. Specifically, the first half of it, which are her own songs- the rest are covers (though I only recognize "Inside Out" by the Bee Gees). "Let It Die" is especially amazing. It's not typically "my style" as far as music goes, very smooth and jazzy, but it sure is lovely. I'm going to put it up on the recommended page shortly with the usual link for anyone who may want to purchase it from (and thus support the costs of running this page!). She's opening for Broken Social Scene in October and I cannot wait.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I opened up my US News and World Report this morning to find this blurb about concept albums, featuring a big picture of Sufjan Stevens and the gang in their Illinois cheerleader outfits.
Here's an interesting and somewhat awkward interview on TMT with Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu. Apparently he used to be a preschool teacher. I'm going to guess he kept the semen and penis references out of the classroom back then.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Now set to replace the iPod Mini- it's the iPod Nano!

There's a point where something gets so small it's almost guaranteed to get lost.
Hey UW peeps- Liz Waters is going co-ed!
Cat Power at Park West, October 23!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Antony and the Johnsons won Britain's Mercury Prize tonight, upsetting the favored Kaiser Chiefs as well as the British people for getting nominated on a technicality- he was born in England, but lives in New York. I can't wait to see Antony in October at Park West, I Am a Bird Now grows on me more and more every time I hear it.
Looks like Lady Sovereign is being courted by Jay-Z to sign to his label.
I can't think of a weirder place to see any band, much less Elton John, than Rome's Colesseum. It's so strange that the Colesseum is now nestled nicely between lots of large highways.

Meanwhile, after a few nights of poor sleep, I forgot to record my show today. So get last week's if you haven't yet and call me next Tuesday at 4:30 AM to remind me.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Just an update for those that care. Last night in Rome I saw Elton John play at the Colluseum. I would never call myself a fan of Elton's, but it was a very enjoyable evening out. As all good free outdoor concerts go, some interesting people come out to show their faces. My favorite attendee last night? A 50-something man standing next to me, who while wearing an uber-preppy yellow polo shirt, spent most of the night jumping straight up and down (think mosh-style) to songs such as Candle in the Wind. He was, of course, unaccompanied, and of course, had bad BO.

Friday, September 02, 2005's music critic has an interesting roundup on the effect Hurricane Katrina is having on the New Orleans music scene.
This sounds great. Now I just need to catch up on my Season 2 viewing.

The Onion & Schubas present:

Arrested Development
Season Premiere Screening

followed by...
A DVD Screening Of Palm Picture's Directors Label v.4 - v.7
featuring the work of...Anton Corbijn, Jonathan Glazer, Mark Romanek and Stephane Sednaoui

Monday, September 19 - 7:00 p.m. - FREE

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Rising gas prices got you down? Over at Handlebar, my local vegan bicycle bar, they're lowering 312 beer prices for ever dollar that gas rises at the BP down the street. $6 a gallon=free beer!
Here's another article about the Pitchfork phenomenon, this time in the New York Times.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Death Cab for Cutie feature on which seems to focus on the bands "inoffensiveness." Not sure how big a compliment "Coldplay for thinkers" really is.

Kanye West signing Thursday, Sept. 1
5:00 PM
Borders Books & Music
830 N. Michigan Ave.

The Grammy-winning artist signs his CD "Late Registration." Proof of purchase of the CD from this Borders store location is required to guarantee a place in line.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Some interesting info on the White Stripes in this interview in Rolling Stone. Here's a quote from Jack White on why he Meg White pretended for so long they were just brother and sister:

"When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, you think, 'Oh, I see.' ... When they're brother and sister, you go, 'Oh, that's interesting.' You care more about the music, not the relationship -- whether they're trying to save their relationship by being in a band."
Jolly good show this morning. Check out the playlist and download it tonight.

Meanwhile, here's a funny website.

Monday, August 29, 2005

By the way, did anyone see the MTV Video Music Awards last night? Can someone tell me what R. Kelly was doing? Was there demand for a lip-synced mini-play where Kelly "acts out" the different parts of "Trapped in the Closet?" If I have it correct, the song involves a cheating wife's husband's gay lover? Does anyone else have any R. Kelly questions they need answered?
I got a copy of the new Nada Surf album, The Weight Is a Gift a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had time to listen to it until this weekend. Musically it's fine, sounds much like Nada Surf as we know them, but lyrically, it's abominable. Let's have a sample, shall we, from track 3, "Almost Love":

To make a mountain of your life
Is just a choice
But I never learned enough
to listen to the voice that told me
Always love…hate will get you every time
Always love…Don’t wait till the finish line

I can't write anymore without getting ill, but the full lyrics are here.
Don't forget, the show starts up again tomorrow morning, bright and early at 6am! Podcast will be available later that night.

The new New Pornographers is pretty great. The only thing missing is the big Neko Case number, a la "Letter From an Occupant" or "The Laws Have Changed." Her songs this time around are more of the ballads rather than the big numbers. But they are still excellent. Also, "Jackie Dressed in Cobras," a sequel to Mass Romantic's "Jackie," is about a zillion times better.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Empty Bottle is participating in a project that has the potential to be incredibly cool. It's free and involves Scandinavians. What more could you ask for? From the Bottle's website:

The Empty Bottle, in conjunction with our Norwegian 'sister club' Blå, is pleased to announce an ambitious club exchange program to be held in concurrence with the Norwegian centennial celebration. This 'exchange' program will first bring the Empty Bottle itself to Blå, where we will transform the space in the hopes of offering Oslo the opportunity to experience a night at the Empty Bottle first hand, in real time. The second program installment will bring Blå to Chicago, where we'll all have the opportunity to experience a night out at the venerable Norwegian institution here within the walls of the Empty Bottle. (So, yeah, wildly ambitious, we know - totally crazy, right?) The staff of the Empty Bottle - bartenders, doormen, production persons, et al - will leave for Oslo to set up shop in Blå for a special 'Chicago' program curated in-house by the Empty Bottle that will take place on Friday, September 2nd. The show will include live performances from PIT ER PAT, DIVERSE and LICHENS. Then the crew from Blå will come to Chicago to begin familiarizing themselves with our space, in preparation for a live program taking place on Saturday, September 17th, one that will feature JR EWING and deejay JOAKIM HAUGLAND. Customers will be greeted at the door by Blå employees and their drinks will be served by Norwegian bartenders, making for a rare, transformative concert going experience. The event taking place here at the Empty Bottle will be free of charge, so we're encouraging all Chicagoans to come out and support this auspicious endeavor. And, of course, we here at the Empty Bottle would love to see some familiar faces in Oslo as well.

Broken Social Scene is playing at the Metro on Friday, October 28 w/ Feist (a.k.a. Leslie Feist, the female singer on "Almost Crimes" and others, whose album I've been meaning to check out for awhile). Also that night, the Hold Steady and Constantines are playing at Logan Square Auditorium. Now, I've already seen the Hold Steady twice, but I've been trying to see the Constantines for over a year now, always with a conflict. I've seen BSS twice as well, but both times in festival settings. What do I do? Has anyone see Constantines who can tell me if their live show is worth skipping BSS over? Maybe I'll wait for the new Constantines and BSS albums, see which is better and pick a show based on that.

What to do?
I'm really proud of Tinymixtapes news stories lately, they're clever and well written, and quite often it seems we've been putting out stories only to have Pitchfork follow up with the same story the next day . . .

This one today about the Mountain Goats is especially hilarious for anyone who is a fan of Seinfeld or J Peterman clothing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Monday, August 22, 2005

So You Wanna Be an Indie Rocker?



This album actually comes out tomorrow, and I cannot WAIT to rush right over to Reckless after work to buy it. Or to see them at the Metro in October.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I saw Thunderbirds Are Now! last night at the Empty Bottle, my first night there since early June. I must say, I really regret forgetting my camera, if not for the band, for the two guys jumping around in front of us with absolutely no abandon. Their show wasn't much different from the one we saw at Intonation, but this time it was just in a tiny, smoky bar instead of a huge outdoor park, so we got to experience the antics up close. The keyboardist, who looks exactly like a young Val Kilmer, was the wildest on stage, yet somehow while he was down on the ground doing the worm or something, he still managed to throw his hand up on the keyboard and play exactly the right notes. The people in the crowd were a lot of fun as well, with most everyone dancing in some form or another. The band seemed somewhat surprised and grateful for the good turnout they had, and they'll be back at the Bottom Lounge September 16 with Minus the Bear and These Arms Are Snakes for anyone who missed them this time around.

Friday, August 19, 2005

So I learned that Neighborhoodies has launched a music service, where they sell CDs for no more than $11.99 with free shipping. Wow, I say, that's awesome! In fact, the New Pornographers' new album, "Twin Cinema," is available for pre-order (comes out Aug. 23, the day it would be shipped) for only $9.99. What a great deal, 10 bucks, free shipping! Then as I'm going through the checkout process, I see the terms:

Standard Shipping (Item Ships by Monday, Sep 14) $0.00
Rush Shipping (Item Ships by Tuesday, Aug 27) $20.00
Presidential Deluxe - CEO Michael De Zayas will hand-deliver your item (Item Ships by Friday, Aug 30) $350.00

The presidential deluxe is funny, but seriously- it may take over three weeks just to get the CD, and my only other option is $20 for it to take a week instead? A three week wait isn't worth the 2 or so dollars it would cost for me to go to Reckless and buy it there instead of on the day it comes out. I guess I'm willing to pay for a bit of instant gratification.
Former WLUW DJ Pat VanHulle has started up a booking agency. If your band is looking for an agent, try Pat!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

An interesting follow-up to the RIAA's declaration that CD burning is actually worse than downloading- here's the Powerpoint presentation delivered by RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol on August 12, during a meeting of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers.
I'd just like to say that Tinymixtapes really hit the jackpot today with their news stories, specifically the LCD Soundsystem story and the 13 & God story. Laugh-out-loud funny.
This week is the Chicago Underground Film Fest at the Music Box Theatre on Southport, a week chock full of local indie films. The complete schedule and ticket sales are available on their website ( I'd suggest heading over there on Sunday for the 10 pm screening of Burn to Shine 2, a music documentary that features local bands playing in an empty house that's about to be demolished, the second in a series that began in Washington, DC. It features live performances by Wilco, Tortoise, the Ponys, Pit er Pat, Shellac, the Lonesome Organist and more. Check out the great press photos here. It also comes out on DVD August 23.
My review of the new May or May Not album is up on Tinymixtapes now. It was hard to write, since I pretty much said all I needed to say about them on my review of their Four Songs EP last year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

This just in from an anonymous source and is completely unconfirmed:

"Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will be signing to 4AD in the very near future, and will eventually open up for the Pixies in Japan."

Do what you want with it, and hopefully I'll have more confirmed info in the future!
If you live in Chicago, check out the current issue of UR Magazine. The cover story is about indie media and gives a rundown of notable local Chicago zines and blogs. Totally unbeknownst to me, they mentioned Radio Free Chicago and my name as one of the contributors. Unfortunately, the blurb isn't available on their website, but the publication is free. Hooray for good press!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Get your indie rock ringtones here!
How about this- locals the Katie Todd Band have iTunes' Single of the Week starting today, with "Face Down" from their new album. Open iTunes up and download it!

Monday, August 15, 2005

My brother just told me I missed Single Frame on MTV2's Subterranean last Sunday! Hopefully the episode will be rerun sometime soon . . .

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Gapers Block has some interesting information that supports my continuing quest to expose the hypocrisy of American Apparel. Also, I hate their ads. See what they had to say here.
"Wait a minute . . . illegal downloading isn't the problem- CD burning is!" says the RIAA.

Friday, August 12, 2005

This was in my Merge Records email newsletter today. It pretty much speaks for itself. Also, does dressing like you're going to a funeral make you a "glamorous trendsetter"? Discuss.

ARCADE FIRE take CBS by storm!

For your viewing pleasure!

Fashion Rocks returns! The Conde' Nast Media Group will kick off New York Fall Fashion Week in style, presenting the second annual Fashion Rocks live concert. The star-studded concert at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, September 8, 2005, will honor the extraordinary relationship between fashion and music and feature a host of rock’s most glamorous trendsetters. CBS will air a two-hour primetime Fashion Rocks special on Friday, September 9, 2005, from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST.

In addition to Arcade Fire, the September 8th concert will feature live performances at Radio City Music Hall by David Bowie, Destiny's Child, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw, Nelly, Shakira, Gwen Stefani, Joss Stone, and Rob Thomas.

No word yet if Derek Zoolander will be in attendance, but look for the Arcade Fire's Tim Kingsbury doing "The Blue Steel" during the band's performance...

Also, Arcade Fire will be taping The Late Show with David Letterman on September 14th! More details when we have them, but set your TIVO!
WLUW is back on the fundraising path with it's biggest pledge drive of the year- listen up and call in over the next week or so to donate, or hit up the website and also see the fun gifts you get for donating while you're at it.
Well this is pretty cool- according to Gapers Block, the Metro is going to take over the former Hi-Fi Records space next door, reopening on September 1st as the Official Metro Store. They'll sell tickets, logo merchandise, and sundries, as well as have listening stations, exclusive in-stores and meet-and-greets.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Just did a big update of the concerts page, here's a few new ones coming up to look forward to:

Tuesday, October 4: Antony and the Johnsons at Park West

Thursday, October 6: Sleater-Kinney w/ the Ponys at the Metro
-Gosh darn it, I just went and saw them at the stupid Riviera and now they play the Metro?

Saturday, October 8: John Vanderslice w/ the Double at Schubas
-I love John Vanderslice, and I sure hope his upcoming album Pixel Revolt is good.

Friday, October 14: Wolf Parade w/ Robbers on High Street and King of France at Schubas
-Get in now on another "next big thing," Wolf Parade, aka "the Arcade Fire."

Friday, October 28: Dios Malos at Subterranean

Friday, October 28: The Hold Steady w/ Constantines at Logan Square Auditorium
-I adore the Hold Steady and I've been trying to see the Constantines unsuccessfully for over a year now. Holy crap, will this show rock so hard.

Saturday, November 12: RJD2 at the Abbey Pub

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

So I'm sitting at my computer listening to a CD of Eartha Kitt's greatest hits that Tori burned me for my birthday (inspired by a Canadian public radio station we listened to randomly during a road trip to Vancouver). I'm completely unfamiliar with her work, but suddenly a very familiar song comes up- "Lilac Wine," which is a Jeff Buckley cover on Grace- I've always known it was a cover, but never knew who it was a cover of exactly. I'm assuming Eartha is covering it too, which leads me to wonder, who originally sang it?

Further investigation (have you heard of this wikipedia thing? It's great!): It was written by a British songstress named "Elkie Brooks," and has since been sang by a ton of people, most notably Nina Simone (who 's version actually nspired the Jeff Buckley cover). I looked it some of the different versions on ITunes, where you can also find the Album Leaf Remix of Nina Simone's version. Seriously.
Those of you who saw Radiohead at Coachella last year can relive the experience by downloading a video file of their performance here. It's a large file and you have to register to get it, but it may be worth it to relive "Creep" live.
I'm sitting here at work listening to Memonena and thinking about how much I love Menomena and wondering when they'll finally put out another album. Then I get an email from the band that let's me know, soon! According to the Menomena email update, the band is finished with recording, mixing, and mastering their second album and are in the process of designing the artwork. They hope to have it out by the fall. Apparently, the music was originally written for a modern dance performance by a Portland dance squad, and they liked the material so much they decided to re-record and mix it into an album.

Not only that, a 3rd album is in the works for release in Spring 2006! My Menomena cravings will soon be satiated.