Tuesday, May 31, 2005

We've been without internet at my apartment since Saturday, which made it difficult to update things on the site. Today I realized I could steal internet from our neighbor's wireless, and thus the upcoming concerts page has been updated fairly substantially. Upcoming concert of note: Xiu Xiu and Frog Eyes at the Bottom Lounge, Friday September 9. Sit back and wait all summer for two extremely bizarre bands to join forces and wierd out everyone in the venue. This is an experimental music fan's dream tour.

Also, I'm currently listening to the new Sleater-Kinney album, which I would say "rocks," in the classic sense. Hello, 11 minute guitar solo. That should be interesting to see live (Thursday, June 16th at the Riviera, in case you forgot!)
Spoon has been added to the line-up for Lollapalooza, as well as some random bands for the Kidz Stage (?) and a few other bands that aren't as worthy of mention as Spoon, so just check the website for updates. Tickets for the festival are now up to the "happily cheap" price of $115.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I just added the Hold Steady's Separation Sunday to the recommended listening section. The Hold Steady may not be for everyone; Craig Finn's talk/singing might get a big grating for some. But if you like to rock, like guitar riffs and bar music, this is for you. Lyrically, it's fantastic, featuring about 1,000 references to Minneapolis, where Craig Finn's old band, Lifter Puller, was based (apparently he moved to Brooklyn for the new band so he wouldn't always be "that guy from Lifter Puller" around the Minneapolis stomping grounds).

My recommended albums lately have been really rock-oriented, I just noticed. And I'm planning on buying the new Sleater-Kinney this weekend. I guess I've been rock-deprived for awhile, huh?
Wow, since the Animal Collective review has gone up with my photoblog link, the views of those pictures have gone from like, 10 to 70. Let's hear it for cross-self promotion!
If you didn't already know (or just don't care), fembot Carrie Underwood won American Idol last night. This take on it by a Salon.com writer who watched AI for the first time is hilarious. (Note: you'll have to watch a short commercial if you aren't a salon.com member).
A new music website has been launched called Loose Record, with more of a focus on live reviews than other sites.Yet another site you can add to your daily music reading.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My new love . . .
My Animal Collective review is up on Tinymixtapes now. Note the photoblog plug!

Speaking of the photoblog, it hasn't been updated quite as furiously lately thanks to a much needed respite from shows (four in a row is just too much when you have a day job), but here's some shows/events you can look forward to seeing in pictures soon:

RFC Night at Leadway this Friday, May 27
Architecture in Helsinki @ Schubas, Saturday June 4
Caribou w/ the Junior Boys and Russian Futurists @ Empty Bottle, Tuesday June 7
I've been wanting to check out Sonotheque (aka "the club for people who don't like clubs") for awhile now, but there haven't been any DJs or acts lately that have made me want to go. Their June schedule, however, is coming together nicely, with DJ sets by Mouse on Mars on June 9, David Cross and Death From Above 1979 on June 10, and Norway's Annie singing with her DJ on June 30. Unlike with Crobar, they don't sell tickets in advance, so line up early for these ones.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The next installment of Radio Free Chicago Night is happening this Friday at the Leadway Bar and Gallery up by Damen and Foster. Not only will there be cool DJing, but there will be a mix-tape/CD exchange as well! Bring a mix, get a mix, it's that easy. Since there will only be turntables this time and I'm "analog-challenged," I'll be kicking the night off at 9pm with an iPod DJ set. As usual, more info can be found here.
Back by popular demand (ha!), we're going to give a comments section another try for a trial period. The Perfect Face for Radio goes interactive! So comment away. Or don't, I won't be offended.
I just had to point out that today's Pitchfork review of Stephen Malkmus' new album makes a Pho reference (PHO). Specifically: " If 'It Kills' is the fried egg squatting atop a bed of noodles, let 'No More Shoes' stand for the whole Pho shop." Seriously, what?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Here's a cool new website for bands struggling to book tours outside of their hometowns: www.showtrades.com. You go on and find people in various parts of the country who are looking to play in your neck of the woods, and then hook each other up. The future of the booking agent is in peril!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Last night's MIA/LCD Soundsystem show definitely fulfilled my dancing quota for the month- I don't think I've danced that hard since the Rapture show last year. No pictures of this show since I wanted to focus on the dancing, but let's just say it was pretty great. MIA kicked it off with Diplo as her DJ and a fellow woman MC in tow as they did semi-choreographed dance moves in front of a large video screen. Her set kicked off with video of Tony Blair looking on while President Bush appeared to say "MIA" over and over. She did an encore, which I found a bit tacky considering she was the opening act, but otherwise it was a good time. LCD, however, totally rocked my world. I don't know what my expectations of what their live show would be, but James Murphy always struck me as a very complacent-looking guy in pictures and interviews- not the case. He was boiling over with energy, screaming into his mic and rocking his tambourine for an hour straight, playing only the most dance-oriented of his songs- Beat Connection, Daft Punk, Tribulations, On Repeat . . . and just when I thought, "you know what we need right now? A good 10-minute 'Yeah' breakdown," he launched right in to just that. How I love gratuitous use of cowbell and tambourine.

After the show we headed down to Smart Bar for the Diplo afterparty, where he played quite a bit off of the Piracy Funds Terrorism mixtape, as well as some hits like "Bombs Over Baghdad" and even some sort of rap mash-up with Britney Spear's "Toxic," which you can imagine excited me to no end. Apparently the band Keane was hanging out at Smart Bar after their show with Brendan Benson. It's a pretty decent club considering you get to go in for free with your Metro wristband. My ability to dance like a crazy person wore off at about two and will probably not resurface again for some time- or at least until the next DFA-related event.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Looks like Arrested Development got renewed for a third season! Yay Fox. Now I just need to catch up on the second season reruns this summer.
If you can't get enough of the voyeurism that is blogs, check out Tori's new one.
Alright, just bought my two-day pass to the Intonation Music Festival! $22 for the entire weekend? Yes please.

Meanwhile, I noticed today on Pitchfork that the minute the tickets went on sale at noon, it became their "top story." I know I've harped on this before, but seriously- how can a music news/reviews site maintain objectivity when they are suddenly covering themselves so shamelessly?

I emailed them today asking about that, and like all the other emails I've ever sent to Pitchfork, I'm sure that one will be lost in the black hole of the pitchfork mailbox.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Breaking news: Kylie Minogue diagnosed with breast cancer!
Some album reviews in five words or less:

Architecture in Helsinki- In Case We Die
Holy crap, is this fun.

The Hold Steady- Separation Sunday
Even better than the first.

Scout Niblett- Kidnapped by Neptune
First songs great; rest ok.

Russian Futurists- Our Thickness
See: Architecture in Helsinki review.
David Cross making fun of Pitchfork on Pitchfork. HI-larious.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Thank God, someone gave Pitchfork a clue! They've announced the entire lineup for the Intonation Music Festival, as well as a new, bigger location and advanced ticket sales that begin May 18, now at $15 a day. Huzzah for Les Savy Fav taking a break from hiatus to appear!

I have much more confidence in this event now.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Prefuse 73

Prefuse Drummer
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
Prefuse 73 put on a great show Friday night at the Bottle. Scott Herren brought along a live drummer and bassist and a couple of DJs for the entirely instrumental, very danceable set. Hardly anything was played off of the new Surrounded by Silence, which was surprising considering both Beans and Tyondai Braxton of Battles guested on the album and could have come on stage for some collaboration. Other than that, I didn't mind that they skipped on the vocal tracks, because without the real vocalists/rappers there, it would have been pointless. And I like One Word Extinguisher more than Surrounded by Silence. Battles played some very, very mathy rock, which was interesting until it seemed like they were just showing off their time signature changing abilities (because that's all math-rock is, right?) Beans opened up, squeezed into a tiny corner of the stage, where he rapped to a CD and danced like a crazy man to his own rapping in his awesome sweatshirt.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A link from Something Awful.com:

Insane Shane McKane

"Are you ready for a middle aged in-your-face country rapper with such edgy songs as "I Put The 'Ho' In Hoedown" and "Nobel Peace A' Ass Prize"?"

I really don't know if I am.
Flickr is being lame right now, so hopefully I'll have Prefuse pics up tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I'm currently listening to the new Hold Steady album. Upon first listen- it's pretty darn good.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Wendy's is giving away free frosties this weekend to say thanks to everyone who stuck with them through the whole chili-finger incident. No serious, look here!

And more hilarious food news, all courtesy of gapersblock.com.
Prefuse 73 tonight! Here's what Salon.com's music critic, Thomas Bartlett, had to say about the live show. Since openers Beans and Battles both make appearances on the new album, Surrounded by Silence, I wonder if there will be an on-stage collaboration or two . . . we'll see it in pictures tomorrow!
Thanks to Megan for subbing for me- I sent her off with a booklet of CDs of many of my favorites, and she did a great job of plugging me and the Perfect Face for Radio!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Some sad PFFR news: though tomorrow morning is my last show of the spring, I've found my new job too demanding to allow me to get up that early tomorrow morning. I know, wipe away the tears. But luckily, my wonderful roommate Megan, who does the 4-5am slot before me, is going to continue the show as my sub and play a very Nicole-esque show, chock full of PFFR plugs. So stay tuned for the podcast as usual!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I feel like a lot of my posts lately have been for free downloads from upcoming albums, but seriously, all these great bands/artists are putting out their second, third, or fourth album this year and putting up mp3s from it. This time: a track from John Vanderslice's new upcoming album, Pixie Revolt, called Trance Manual. Here's what Vanderslice had to say about the album:

"The songs on Pixel Revolt began as a result of some of the anger I had after the 2004 election. The first batch of lyrics was all political, either dealing directly with the war, or more generally with themes of survival in a dangerous era. But then, [my] real life crept in. I came home from a long year of exhausting touring, and fell (intensely) in love. When we broke up, so did I. Writing about the outside world didn't really feel relevant anymore, so the themes of the songs I'd started writing started spilling over into lyrics about my life."

The new album's lyrics were written with John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats. You can read more about his recording experience through JV's recording diary.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Books

Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
The Books invaded the Empty Bottle last night during their first tour ever. Cellist Paul de Jong and guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto seemed nervous and intimidated by the crowd, which was incredibly endearing. Seeing them recreate their music through live instrumentation, audio samples, and some pretty fascinating video footage made for an incredibly compelling show. Paul's intense cello playing was especially fantastic.

I'll have a full review up here and on TMT very shortly- it's almost done as I write this in fact.

Next show to appear on the photoblog- Prefuse 73 w/ Battles and Beans this Friday at the Empty Bottle.
Here's an interesting interview with John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats on Nerve.com.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Get a free download here of the first single from the new Sleater-Kinney album, coming out in May. It fuckin' ROCKS man, I hope the rest of the album is as good.

I should probably get tickets soon to their show at the Riv in June, as they are also on my list of bands I still need to see before I die.
Built to Spill Saturday night- excellent. They are no longer at the head of the "must see before I die" list, a list which is whittling down pretty fast. They played a few new songs that were actually really great, along with a nice mix of songs from their best albums- "You Were Right," "Virginia Reel Around the Fountain," "The Plan," "The Sidewalk," "Car," "Carry the Zero" . . . mostly songs from Keep It Like a Secret really. And good lord, can those guys jam with the triple-guitar threat . . . they didn't speak much and spent too much time dilly-dallying in-between songs, but wow, can they play.

Tonight: the first Books tour ever! Pictures will be up tomorrow night when I get home from my NEW JOB!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Check out the TMT review of the new Nine Inch Nails album. Hilarious!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Had some issues talking today during my show, I think the two weeks off left me a little rusty. But I did make a killing on new CDs:

Architecture in Helsinki- In Case We Die
The Russian Futurists- Our Thickness
Scout Niblett- Kidnapped by Neptune
The Hold Steady- Separation Sunday
The Vanishing Kids- The Selfish Mirror

All of which are featured on the show today.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

My photoblog is now the official photoblog of Radio Free Chicago- check out today's posting. Just call me "Chief Image Coordinator."

No, seriously, call me that.

The next show to be photoblogged: The Books with Tim Rutilli (of Califone) on Monday- their first tour ever!
I've added another album to the recommended page- Thunderbirds Are Now!'s Justamustache. Nothing earth-shattering or novel here, but if you like high-energy rock in the vein of their labelmates Les Savy Fav, you'll like Thunderbirds Are Now!- they're tons o' fun. Check them out in Chicago with Enon sometime in June, venue TBA.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

***Perfect Face for Radio News***

With only two weeks left before the end of the WLUW spring schedule, many of you are probably wondering what the future holds for the Perfect Face for Radio. Well fear not, faithful friends and listeners, the answers are here!

First up, I'll be taking a break for my regular show for the summer to remember what it's like to actually sleep again. I plan on subbing for other people's shows as much as I can, and I'll be sure to announce when that will happen (and subsequently podcast those shows). On weeks when I'm show-free, I'll post an archived show from the spring for downloading and podcasting purposes, so you can relive the PFFR magic once again.

For the fall, I'll be moving into the revered 6-8am drive time slot on Tuesday mornings, a much, much more desirable time slot, if I do say so myself. I'm moving on up in the community radio world!

Thanks for listening!
mp3s of tracks from the upcoming albums from the New Pornographers and Stephen Malkmus are up on the Matador Records mp3 page.
An interesting article from USA Today about music piracy in China.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
So Spoon last night was fantastic, definitely the best of the four times I've seen them perform live. I wish that was the first time I'd seen them play; even with the (great) new album coming out, they still managed to play all of my favorites from Girls Can Tell and Kill the Moonlight, as well as the token "Car Radio" and "30 Gallon Tank" from A Series of Sneaks. Britt was totally on last night, and with the venue at barely half capacity, I got to lean on the stage and get some fairly decent pictures this time around. The night would only have been flawless had I won the trip to Bonnaroo they gave away at the end of the night. Putting up with the Jack Daniels overload was more than worth it, and amusingly enough, neither Spoon nor openers the Zincs even mentioned their sponsor.

Of course with this 4th set of photos I've gotten to the point where I had to buy the "pro" Flickr account as opposed to the "free" Flickr account. So . . . click on the amazon.com link and buy some CDs! Heh.
Secret, free Spoon show last night at the Metro . . . awesome. Pictures and details up later tonight.

ITEM: Word on the street is DJ Lazer will be back for the big Perfect Face for Radio dance party weekend May 19 and 20- will Chicago be able to handle it?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Aesthetic Apparatus, one of my favorite screen printers from Minneapolis (and two former UW grads), will be in town for an art opening party at the Foundation Gallery on 700 N. Carpenter. I have a couple of concert posters by them, and they rock. The reception is from 6-10pm, and their work will be up through May 29.
Yesterday I went to see Palindromes, the newest movie from my favorite director, Todd Solondz. Though I usually love going to movies alone, this is one case where I really wish I'd gone with someone- specifically, someone who is also familar with his work- because it really warranted serious discussion afterwards. As I walked out of the theater, everyone who'd gone with a friend was talking about it. I tried following this couple for a block or two to listen in to their conversation, but it was mostly unsuccessful.

As usual, there's no reason to see this movie if you aren't a Todd Solondz fan, and especially a Welcome to the Dollhouse fan. Dollhouse is all over this movie, from Dawn's funeral at the beginning after she commits suicide to her brother Mark (who grew up to look even nerdier and more pathetic, if that's possible) giving a very loaded speech in the end about free will and change. As usual Solondz is tackling pretty intense subjects like rape, abortion, sex, disabilities, right-wing Christianity, and of course, pedophilia in ways that are shocking and, dare I say, make you laugh uncomfortably.

I'm still trying to decide what I think of the movie, and hopefully I'll eventually run into someone to talk about it with. But it was a reminder of why I love Todd Solondz, because his movies really require discussion and inspire extreme emotions- every review I've read of Palindromes (and of all of his movies, in fact) has been either a total lashing of the film or featured immense praise.

So if anyone wants to watch it and talk about it with me sometime, let me know!

Next movie on the agenda: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Dizzee Rascal

Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
The Dizzee Rascal show last night was ridiculous. After DJ Wonder spun a history of grime which was totally danceable, Dizzee and friend came out wearing his own clothes and a Bulls hat for the last show of his US tour. I can't believe this kid is like, 19. The show made it clear to me that most of my favorite songs are on Boy in Da Corner. Meanwhile, Dizzee is an excellent entertainer- he was funny, personable and engaging. At one point, the entire crowd was jumping in unison and you could feel the Double Door floor swaying with the crowd- who knew it had so much give? Totally excellent show. A review will probably go up sometime this week.