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.