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.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Here's a new magazine I read about on Gaper's Block for the uber-cheap (or "Frugal," if you will) like myself. Of course, I'm also very lazy, and I'm assuming being "frugal" often means "doing-it-yourself," which I'm also assuming means doing extra work. My desire not to spend lots of money thus conflicts with my desire to sit on my lazy ass.

Apparently, you can also get it . . . for free? Which only makes sense, considering who the target audience is, eh?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Damn, check out the Chicago show choices for Wednesday, September 28:

The Arcade Fire w/ Wolf Parade and the Bell Orchestre at the Riviera Theatre
The Heavenly States w/ the Robot Ate Me at Schubas
MIA at the Metro

Since when is Wednesday a hot show night? I think I'll be at the Heavenly States and Robot Ate Me, since I just saw MIA at the Metro and the Arcade Fire at Lollapalooza and the Empty Bottle last year. Though I am interested to check out Wolf Parade- they are getting a lot of buzz, are from Canada and sound quite a bit like . . . well, the Arcade Fire.
Alright, Liz! Way to get on the bandwagon. I look forward to the celebrity gossip that my lack of a subscription to US Weekly is keeping from me.

If you're really bored, you might want to try doing something fun, like going to Sheboygan to eat 35 bratwursts in 10 minutes.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Yes yes. I'm bored as well. This is what happens when I get bored. How many weblogs can there be?
A great list featured on's blog from Charles Bissell, main member of the Wrens:

Five things that really did go through my head onstage at last week's Intonation Festival (although ultimately, we really did have a great time):

1. Crap, the bass is broken for two songs now and we sound weird and dated like we're WAY too 'rock' and yet still shrill and tiny. But we played so well just last night. I can't believe folks are clapping. Could that be sarcastic applause? Is there such a thing? What am I gonna do? I wish I was out there watching this ship go down rather clutching the mast like some sad jackass. And I smell like old shoes.

2. At 21, I watched Live Aid from a bar in South Jersey, soundchecking w/ a band I was in. Ten years later I was becoming desperate to 'make it,' whatever 'it' was, and already feeling kinda old. Now I'm 41 and here we're actually playing this amazing festival and...I don't know. Life is funny.

3. I would dig up and re-kill several dead uncles for a decent guitar sound. Please, satan, help me.

4. Pay attention. This probably won't happen often. Or, um, ever again.

5. I can't believe a couple hours ago I watched our friends in the Hold Steady fill their onstage 'water' bottles with whiskey or something and it's already hotter than Syria out here. For they are men. And we are but middle-aged boys. One Pom, please.
Looks like Annie will be opening for Royksopp on their upcoming tour, which stops at the Metro September 19 and is a must-see. I hear they put on a great show, and I guess Annie will have some live instrumentation this time, in addition to her DJ. Also, she's next in line for a DJ Kicks mix! Though I don't know if anyone will beat Erlend Oye's. More info here.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Here's a site that helps your organize your entire music collection online- probably more effectively than my excel spreadsheet does right now. You can organize by year, date you bought them, etc.
Fascinating news from the wires . . . Yikes.

Man Gets Death for Killing Wife After Sex
- - - - - - - - - - - -
August 04,2005 PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- A man who got angry with his wife because she wanted to cuddle after sex when what he really wanted to do was watch sports on television was sentenced to death for killing her with a claw hammer.

Christopher Offord, 30, was sentenced Wednesday by Circuit Judge Dedee Costello, who said the brutality of the crime outweighed any mental problems Offord may have had.
"The defendant struck his wife approximately 70 individual blows after spending a happy interlude with her," the judge said. "Her desire to cuddle after sex does not justify the extremely violent, brutal response of the defendant."

Offord pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2004 slaying of Dana Noser, 40, at his apartment.

He confessed to a bartender at a sports bar before his arrest. He told investigators that his wife had been nagging him to come back to bed.

Offord did not speak in court but said in a jailhouse interview in June: "I figured I killed her so I deserve to die."
How about that, the Arcade Fire appears to be playing at the Riviera Theatre Sept. 28. Empty Bottle to the Riviera!?! I guess they're too big for even the Metro now!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Some recent CD purchases I've made lately:

Xiu Xiu- La Foret
- Grows on me each time I listen to it, though it isn't quite as good or as easy of a listen as Fabulous Muscles ("easy of a listen" being completely relative, as Xiu Xiu is rather challenging music no matter how "accessible" one says it is). "Bog People" is phenomenal.

The Robot Ate Me- Carousel Waltz
- This album was a very pleasant surprise, as I bought it totally on a whim. Much more straight-forward than Ryland Bouchard's past albums, which tended towards an odder, more experimental tone. He still retains his quirkyness, but its just an easier, more engaging listen this time around.

I hope to be making many more CD purchases in the near future, once a few paychecks have rolled in!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Thank goodness- it looks like Franz Ferdinand have changed their minds about their ridiculous idea to name all of their albums "Franz Ferdinand" with the same album cover, just different color schemes. The new title, "You Could Have it So Much Better... With Franz Ferdinand" is pretty cute, as is the album cover.
Some interesting Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon) news:

According to, recent reports originating on Pitchfork that a new Sun Kil Moon album is on the way were false. Here's what Mark had to say:

"Pitchfork Media recently ran an article headlining, "Sun Kil Moon Tours Some, Works On New Material." The article reports that "Mark Kozelek is reportedly working on new material for a new solo project or Sun Kil Moon record." The article prompted other online magazines and newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronical, to publish the same information. The information is vague and baseless. There is no official or newsworthy "work on new material" happening, and Mark has no plans to record a new album - solo or otherwise - at the present time."

However, he does have one other project on the horizon- a "slowcore supergroup" if you will with Alan Sparhawk of Low called "Retribution Gospel Choir," which will be touring in September (dates to come).

Monday, August 01, 2005

One of my favorite blogs about all things Chicago,, is looking for contributors. If you are looking to get in on the blog bandwagon and know a lot about Chicago, you're a likely candidate. More details here.