Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wrapping up the year

As seems to happen every year, my holiday vacation has given me time to catch up on critcially acclaimed 2007 albums I didn't get the chance to hear during the year. These past few days I've picked up Yeasayer All Hour Cymbals, Burial Untrue, Bat for Lashes Fur and Gold, Low Drums and Guns, Holy Fuck LP, and Phosphorescent Pride. Burial and Yeasayer especially have stuck out to me as albums that possibly would have made my list had I heard them earlier (much like El Perro Del Mar snuck up on me late last year). As far as Burial goes, I don't know what I thought "dubstep" was exactly, but I wasn't expecting this low-key, atmospheric ambiant music- it's nice. And Yeasayer is just quality weird folk in the vein of Akron/Family and Castanets. I can dig it.

I'm giving myself a couple more days to catch up on any missed gems, and then it's time to look forward to what's coming out in 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ultimate Reality

For those of you Dan Deacon fans who didn't get tickets to the now sold out shows w/ Girl Talk at the Metro January 26 (due to laziness, a distaste for Girl Talk, a fear Dan's show won't translate to the Metro, etc.), you can check him out in a different form the night before at the Lakeshore Theater, where he and Jimmy Roche will showcase their Ultimate Reality DVD accompanied by live music from Deacon, Roche, and drummers Kevin O'Meare of Video Hippos and Jeremy Hyman of Ponytail, all members of Baltimore's Wham City collective. Get a (very) brief preview here, and buy tickets here- for $8.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Presenting . . . Best of 2007

The Tinymixtapes 2007 year-end extravaganza is up now, so check it out and all the fun things that come along with it. I wrote a couple of blurbs on my #1 song and #1 album of the year, so look for those there.

Meanwhile, here's the goods:

Nicole's Top 25 of 2007
25. Battles – Mirrored
24. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
23. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
22. Secret Mommy – Plays
21. Eluvium - Copia
20. M.I.A. – Kala
19. Deerhunter- Cryptograms
18. Junior Boys – The Dead Horse EP
17. Simian Mobile Disco – Attack Decay Sustain Release
16. !!! – Myth Takes
15. Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings
14. Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
13. Okkervil River – The Stage Names
12. Sunset Rubdown- Random Spirit Lover
11. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
10. Besnard Lakes – Are the Dark Horse
09. Fujiya and Miyagi - Transparent Things
08. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
07. Handsome Furs – Plague Park
06. Panda Bear – Person Pitch
05. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
04. Matthew Dear – Asa Breed
03. The National – Boxer
02. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
01. Menomena – Friend and Foe

Honorable mention:

Jose Gonzalez – In Our Nature
Nina Nastasia and Jim White – You Follow Me
The Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
Feist - The Reminder
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Caribou - Andorra
Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
The New Pornographers – Challengers
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Radiohead – In Rainbows

Song of the year: "Unless It's Kicks", by Okkervil River, just edging out Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" and LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" (which I realize was everyone else's song of the year). "Unless It's Kicks" was my personal anthem of 2007 and sits along nicely with my 2006 and 2005 songs of the year ("In the Morning" by the Junior Boys and "I'll Believe in Anything" by Wolf Parade, respectively).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When you're done perusing Pitchfork's best albums of 2007, be sure to take the "reader poll" and tell P4k which of their favorites were your favorites! Though it looks like there's space to write in one album that's not on their list . . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

Long-Forgotten Christmas Music

This is a fun holiday-themed article in tinymixtapes where the writer goes to a thrift store and buys random holiday albums for 10 cents each, then listens to them.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I saw Juno yesterday, and of course loved it. My semi-inappropriate crush on Michael Cera continues. The majority of the soundtrack came from Kimya Dawson, and though I was never a big Moldy Peaches fan (I like things quirky, but not overkill), her music was a great fit for the movie. There was even a song with a line about driving up to Madison but taking a wrong turn and ending up in Michigan.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


The Onion's top 25. Not a whole lot of overlap with mine, surprisingly.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Fun

More holiday events on the way:

CHIRP and WLUW are working with the Metro and the Greater Chicago Food Depository on a holiday food drive during the Metro's Home for the Holidays concerts on Friday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Dec. 22 (which is also a benefit for Show info:

12/21: Office / The 1900s / The Narrator / Mannequin Men, 18+, doors @ 8pm / show @ 9pm

12/22: Skybox / Company of Thieves / The Young Sea / Sars Flannery / DJ LA*Jesus, AA, doors @ 6pm / show @ 6:30pm

Anyone bringing a can donation will be allowed to use that as a discount ticket
12/21 full price: $10, discount: $7
12/22 full price: $9, discount: $6

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wilco shows

If I was a bigger Wilco fan I'd probably be pretty excited about this- alas, I am not. What band would I want to see do a five-night stand covering their entire catalogue? Modest Mouse and Radiohead are two bands that tend to leave out significant parts of their back catalogue in favor of general live favorites- dare to dream!
The Renegade Craft Fair this weekend was a lot of fun; I got a lot of good feedback on the music, including one astute shopper who stopped by to confirm the underrated awesomeness of Blur's Think Tank upon hearing "Ambulance." Underrated, indeed.

Tonight is my last radio show of the year before I go on holiday hiatus through January; check in to hear all my favorite songs of 2007. Listen up!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Chuck, on Shuffle

Chuck Klosterman on the small-talk question: "What kind of music do you like?"

Upcoming CHIRP events

CHIRP is involved in a couple of events coming up this weekend that will be worth checking out.

*Renegade Holiday Craft Fair, December 8-9 at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. CHIRP DJs will be supplying the music throughout the fieldhouse; you can find me DJing in "Gym 1" from 2-4pm on Saturday afternoon and hanging out at the CHIRP table beforehand. Stop by and say hi!

*Danny's "Peace Party", Monday, December 10 at Danny's in Bucktown. More info courtesy of CHIRP here:

Come out and dance with CHIRP, the Chicago Independent Radio Project at Danny's THIS MONDAY 12/10! We're known to be party-goers and party-starters, so come by and help us rock Danny's! Be sure to visit the bar, as 50% of drink sales will help bring community radio to Chicago. Tunes will be provided by CHIRP DJ's Mary Nisi and Michael Ardaiolo.

Peace Party is a monthly party hosted at Danny's for a worthy cause, to which it heavily tips the bar till. This month, your extra beer bucks go to the Chicago Independent Radio Project, an organization working to lobby congress, raise money and awareness to bring diverse, independent and community radio to Chicago's media landscape. Danny's is located at 1951 W. Dickens in Bucktown.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Best of

My top 25 is finished and is actually a top 35- apparently I listened to more good music this year than I thought, and I couldn't stop at just 25. That being said, after reviewing all the music I've picked up over the past year, I think I heard a lot of good stuff that was worth noting, but not as much that really blew me away; I feel like in past years I had more albums I truly loved but fewer vying for the 15-25 range. Anyhoo, suspense will be maintained a bit longer, with some of it being revealed on my best of 2007 show next Monday, and the final list coming out the same day we do our year-end extravaganza at Tinymixtapes. Holla!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Last night's radio show recorded successfully and is available for downloading. I had the most calls I'd ever had last night, including a guy who was recording the show and had me listen to a couple songs I'd played earlier to tell him who they were. Craziness in the studio! The every other week trend continues as I'll be out of town next week, returning with what should be my best of 2007 show on the 10th.

Speaking of being out of town, I'll be in San Fran the next couple days and in New York early next week, so blogging will be sporadic over the next week. I'll spend that time refining my top 25 albums, which I'm having more trouble than I was expecting determining. Guess I've listened to more good music this year than I thought.

Musical Elitism

(From this t-shirt.)


Don't you just love reading completely arbitrary album lists? Some yahoos over at the Guardian actually made a list of the 1,000 albums to hear before you die.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Schubas Goodness

I've never gone any shows during Schubas' Tomorrow Never Knows Fest, much less bought a 5-day pass for it, but I must say the lineup for the 2008 version is the best I've seen.

Wednesday, January 16: John Vanderslice w/ the Ms and Young Galaxy
Thursday, January 17: Bobby Conn w/ NOMO and Hylozoists
Friday, January 18: Cloud Cult w/ Illinois, Bon Iver and Wax Fang
Saturday, January 19: White Williams w/ Cadence Weapon, Ohmega Watts and Ecstatic Sunshine
Sunday, January 20: The Walkmen w/ White Rabbits and White Denim

Meanwhile, speaking of Schubas, check out this awesome-sounding show:

Friday, January 4: Is She Weird Is She White (Pixies Tribute) featuring Bobby Bare Jr. & Friends with The Teenage FBI (Guided By Voices Tribute) featuring members of Silver Jews and Clem Snide

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Year's

New Year's shows are starting to pop up again, with Margot and the Nuclear So-Sos at Schubas, Jon Brion at the Harris Theater, Spoon at the Metro and now Black Kids at the Empty Bottle. Usually when hyped up bands play small venues I make a point to see them before they blow up even if I'm not sure I'm into them, just in case they could win me over live (see: Peter Bjorn and John). But I definitely won't bother this time, even if it wasn't New Year's Eve . . .

Happy holidays! Back on Monday, both blog and radio show.

EDIT: But wait! This show gets the award for most depressing New Year's show:

Everclear and the Lovehammers @ the Hyatt Regency O'Hare


Monday, November 19, 2007


Yesterday I took the Old Town School of Folk Music's DJ Turntablist Workshop with local DJ Danny the Wild Child. I came away with a serious new respect for turntablists and the level of skill involved, was told about this documentary which I added to my Netflix queue, and learned I am really bad at scratching (though it was definitely fun trying it out). Looks like I'll be sticking with radio DJing for now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Metro Survey

Apparently it's survey season in the indie world- Pitchfork's got a reader survey up on their site and now the Metro is seeking feedback from its patrons as well (wonder who got the idea from who . . . ). The survey ends with a trivia question (a question no Metro-goer could possibly get wrong), and everyone who answers it correctly (i.e. everyone who takes the survey) is entered into a drawing to win:

1st place – Two tickets to one Metro show per month for each month of 2008
2nd place – Metro VIP package – tickets for four and a VIP table for one show of your choice
3rd place – Metro Merchandise prize package including Metro hoodie, tshirt, hat

I kind of wish they'd both publish some of the results from these surveys. I'd be interested in seeing the average age, salary, musical tastes, etc. of Pitchfork readers and Metro customers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2007 . . . where did it go?

So we over at Tinymixtapes are about to gear up for the big 2007 Year End Extravaganza (see 2006 here). Which means, holy crap, this year is almost over and I'm supposed to put together a list of my 25 favorite albums! Truly frightening. Prepare for what will probably be a very predictable list from yours truly, and a year-end radio show featuring all the year's best (TBA when that last show will be as I'm not sure when this fall schedule is wrapping up yet . . .).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Band of Horses Pt. II

Alright, so virtually none of my BoH pics turned out- I'll throw the five that were OK up on flickr if you're curious.

Speaking of Band of Horses, I must say that I'm really surprised by how much I've been listening to the new album lately. For whatever reason I was expecting to think it was ok, but nothing special; I'm still not sure I would say it's better than their first album, but with every listen I love it more and more. It just puts a smile on my face. I think it's one of those cases where I was in just the right mood for it when it came along. "No One's Gonna Love You" just hits me right *here* (cue fist to the heart motion).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

PFFR is back!

Wow, my show actually recorded successfully for the first time in a couple months! Download an entire two-hour episode now. I'm back on the every other week plan due to some upcoming work trips, so I'll have a sub next week and be back on the 26th.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Band of Horses

Caught Band of Horses last night at the Metro with the Drones and Tyler Ramsey, a.k.a. guitarist for Band of Horses. Tyler kicked things off with a solo guitar set that was very Iron and Wine-y, ending with a cover of Dylan's "Wallflower" that was pretty awesome.

Then the Drones played. I think in a previous life they were known as "Buckcherry."

I saw Band of Horses last year at Schubas, and though the set was rife with technical difficulties and too much tuning, Ben Bridwell's sparkling personality saved the show for me. I wondered how they would fare in the bigger Metro, as it's probably not intimate enough for Ben to be able charm everyone in the same way. This show was totally different from that Schubas show, however; they were much tighter overall and while they still had some moments of downtime in between songs as Ben changed between his 6 or so guitars, the fact that they had a roadie whose sole job was to sit behind the stage and have the next guitar tuned and ready for the next song, the amount of time sitting and waiting was much reduced. (Guess when you have a tour sponsored by Zune and a bus with your name on it, you can afford to pay people to do these things for you!). Meanwhile, Ben stayed much quieter this time around, probably due to the fact that he "had the plague", which he mentioned immediately, though he admitted later in the show that it was going "much better than he thought it would." The set was probably about 60/40 Everything All the Time/Cease to Begin, with everyone of course doing the most freaking out during "Funeral."

Band of Horses ended the evening with a pretty thrilling cover of Them Two's "Am I a Good Man" (a song I'd never heard of before but went googling after this performance). It proved to be a powerful soul number that really showed off Ben's singing ability; his voice sounded much less quirky than it usually does and it just soared over the audience. They definitely need to put that cover on an EP or something. Here's a video someone took on Youtube, and a link to the original song.

I took a few pictures during the show and will see if they turned out and post them tomorrow.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Les Savy Fav

Tim Harrington is in a PSA for malaria. Dressed as a giant mosquito. Let's watch below.

Les Savy Fav has some tour dates going on, including what sounds like an awesome New Year's Eve show in New York at the Bowery Ballroom, but sadly nothing yet in Chicago. I will continue to cross my fingers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Stray with me

You know what I love? When instead of playing one show at a large venue, bands play six shows at a smaller venue. The Magnetic Fields are coming to the Old Town School of Folk Music with six shows from March 14-16. I've already got my ticket to the Sunday 6:30 show, and tickets are going incredibly fast considering its over four months away. The last Magnetic Fields tour in summer 2004 also made an extended stop at the Old Town School, with lesser known violin sensation Andrew Bird opening. Strangely, the Fields could probably open for Bird now.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Slowly but surely . . .

I'm happy to say that I finally was able to record my show last night and it will be posted tonight. Unfortunately, my computer crashed about 45 minutes into the recording of it, so you'll only get to hear a little less than the first half. Luckily, I'm finally breaking the every-other week pattern and will be back on the air next Monday, so hopefully it will also be the return of a full 2-hour podcast. Dare to dream!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Torquil's rage

Man, Torquil Campbell of Stars sure rips Pitchfork a new one in this Onion interview, leaving Animal Collective and Menomena in his angry wake.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Weekend Notes

- Manos, Rock Opera of Fate: can I just say, wow? A Tenacious D-esque narrator, an ending culled from the Usual Suspects (so perfect considering Torgo's large thigh disability), a song called "Can't You See the Torgo (Inside of Me)"- it doesnt' get any better than that. Total hilarity. I'm glad I have things like this to appease my inner geek every now and then.

- Sunset Rubdown @ the Empty Bottle on Saturday: This show was disappointing for a variety of reasons, most of them which couldn't completely be helped by the band. Spencer Krug and crew were late getting into town and had to do their full sound check before their set. . . and it took about 45 minutes to an hour to take care of, making the crowd unbelievably antsy. This wait did not help the fact that I was surrounded by the biggest bunch of douchebags ever to grace the Empty Bottle's grimy floor. We're talking mindblowing levels of idiocy here, which I had to sit through for the hour wait since I didn't want to lose my spot. There was an in-depth discussion of the three lamps on the stage and what their purpose might be (the final consensus: to light up the stage. Wow.) I had to break my silence when the guy behind me starting going on about how he wasn't that into Menomena because they were a Christian rock band (not true, though for the record, two of the members were in a Christian rock band in high school). I just couldn't let this jerkoff spread false information about Menomena; I don't think he believed me, but I do think I frightened him a little (I was getting ornery, ok?). The douchery didn't end when band started either, as apparently someone next to me brought what must have been his frat-boy cousin, who kept dancing at inappropriate times in a manner that made it seem he was prepping for the big fight, waving fists in the air and stomping his feet so hard I could feel the ground shake. He also commented on how "tasty" keyboardist Camilla Wynn Ingr looked and then told his cousin some "chick" in the crowd was "definitely checking him out." Then when someone yelled for Spencer to play "I'll Believe in Anything" and Spencer said he wouldn't because "that's not this band", some really tall guy bounded through the crowd to stand in front of me saying "this is my favorite song!" before realizing he misunderstood the whole "not gonna play it" part of the discussion. Yikes. But beyond all of that, the band just seemed sort of tired; considering this was their last show of the tour and they had just annoyed a sold-out crowd with an hour-plus soundcheck, I suppose they thought they'd lost control of the show and weren't going to get it back. They sounded fine and all, but this was nothing at the level of their Schubas show last year. The deep passion and intensity was missing this time around. Too bad.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Decemberists' tour cancelled!

Let the record show that the city of Chicago got to witness the only two Decemberists Long of It/Short of It dates. I wouldn't be able to tell you which one of the members was sick, though . . .

Top of the Pops

My Halloween night was spent with the Hold Steady and Art Brut at the Metro last night. All the bands got into the Halloween spirit, I'm happy to report, with the Hold Steady going western and Art Brut (except the bassist for some reason) coming as a hodge podge of costume-in-a-bag looks, including Eddie Argos as Elvis. I gotta say I enjoyed Art Brut far more this time around than I did at the Hideout Block Party; they had a slide projector that highlighted the names and select lyrics of every song, which makes sense since the lyrics are the best thing about Art Brut, cause we all know all their songs sound exactly the same. I still would never buy an album and listen to it, but they're fun and Eddie Argos is a trip. And I'll always love Hold Steady singer Craig Finn's stage presence; he always seems to lose complete control over his body, his arms and legs waving randomly in the air as he yells things at the audience no one can hear when he steps away from the microphone. Finn was kind enough to assure us that Chicago was only tired that one night, and hasn't been since.

And the Hipster Couple Costume of the night was . . . The Knife! The costume for those too cool to go as Jack and Meg White.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Decemberists Long/Short of it Tour 2007

Here are my pics from the Decemberists shows these past two days. I was all about to write a review when a phone call distracted me . . . so expect one later in the week instead.

Music critics and hot air

By now most everyone has read/heard about Sasha Frere-Jones' article in the New Yorker about music in the form of indie rock has gotten all white 'n stuff, lacking soul and rhythm. I'll admit I could hardly make it through the whole thing because it was so frustrating to read, and obviously informed by his own personal musical tastes. One could easily make the argument that indie rock has found rhythm in the past few years. Anyhoo, now's Carl Wilson responds to the article by saying the indie rock issue is about class, not race. Frankly, I think everyone is thinking too hard. Controversy for controversy's sake?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Decemberists- the Long of It

Last night I caught the first night of the Decemberist's Long of It/Short of It tour, and tonight will be round two, The Short of It. Interesting how their fans have transitioned from hipsters to the XRT crowd. Even more interesting how the XRT crowd loooooves to make that "Woo" sound . . . a lot. Anyhoo, the show was great, and I'll post a full review once I can compare both nights later this week, hopefully with pictures.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bandwidth @ the Hideout, November 5

RFC's got another night of Bandwidth coming up at the Hideout on November 5, featuring the Panda Band from Australia and Pale Young Gentlemen from Madison, WI. They must be a new band since I left Madison in 2004; I'd be intrigued to see what the town is putting out these days. I won't be able to make this one due to my radio show, but be sure to report back to me if you go.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bon Iver

I'm currently in love with Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. I decided to check it out after hearing musician Justin Vernon was originally from Wisconsin, went to UW-Eau Claire (!) and recorded the album in a hunting lodge. It's hushed, lo-fi guitar folk, similar to early Iron and Wine but with more . . . I don't know, soul? Basically, it's gorgeous. It's self-released, so you can only buy it at his myspace page, but you can also stream it here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

DJ/Rupture on Oink

DJ/Rupture has a very interesting post in the wake of the Oink crackdown.

Oink: Busted.


But seriously, though: what took so long?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Blog Hype

The latest buzz band of the moment is Black Kids, who have nothing more than a 4-song myspace demo to their name at the moment (called . . . wait for it . . . The Wizard of Ahhhhs). I downloaded the demo this weekend and must say . . . I don't get it. Apparently, neither does Pitchfork writer Jess Harvell.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Manos: Hands of Fate

In high school I was a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, to the point where many of my passwords to this day are related to the show (and no, don't try and guess what they are). So you can imagine my excitement when I read on Gapers Block today that the New Milennium Theater Company is currently running a production called Manos: Rock Opera of Fate. It runs through November 3, so get tickets quickly, or wait for Pod People: the Musical.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Take your kids to TMT day

Continuing on this theme of music and kids, today Tiny Mix Tapes is handing the reins over to its kids- children, siblings, cousins, etc. of the staff, from 9 months to 17 years. The Silver Daggers review is the best. The cutest thing ever. TMT rules.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I've got these chores

The new Animal Collective album is good, though it hasn't grabbed me as immediately as Feels did- funny, since Strawberry Jam is supposedly their most "pop" and "accessible" album yet. But I am starting to feel like their music is increasingly made for the 4-8 year old set. There a song called "Chores", and of course Sung Tong's "Sweet Road" was (fittingly) used in a Crayola commercial and all. Unfortunately I don't have access to any kids to see how they might respond to some Panda Bear and Avey Tare, but I feel like it might be something like this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Elevator Music

I was in New York the last couple of days, and this morning I walked into the elevator of my hotel to hear LCD Soundsystem's "Watch the Tapes" (somewhat loudly, at that). Is this the new Muzak? I had a deep urge to start dancing in the elevator, but there were other people in it who might not have appreciated it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reefer Duberland

I've been kind of stewing about this today, but I suppose I'll weigh in with my two cents.

As we'd all guessed, last night's "secret show" did involve Interpol, as well as Liars and Bradford Cox of Deerhunter. Indie royalty for sure. But instead of getting some great late night treat for the Chicago independent music community, we got a bunch of big indie stalwarts sitting around on the stage making shit up and looking bored while doing it. Maybe I was a little naive in hoping the Bottle had something really big and special planned that would be talked about for a long time to come, but at least the guys could have looked like they were having a little fun in the meantime. Listening to Angus Andrew and Bradford Cox make bird noises over the same bassline endlessly while Paul Banks cowered in the corner and Daniel Kessler looked like he's rather be in the Bahamas did not make for a compelling show. After realizing "this was it", I moved to the back, realizing over half the audience had cut out as well. Some guy at the water station asked me if I thought it was "unanimous that this was terrible." I headed out to the pool room only to find Carlos D standing around somewhat sheepishly. Guess he wasn't invited to the party.

Was this the Empty Bottle's idea of an amusing practical joke to play on its regulars, or were they surprised by how much it blew too? Did they think we were the type of people who would be happy to pay 10 bucks just to be in the presence of Angus and Paul, even if they had nothing interesting to offer? Maybe the people who saw them at the Aragon earlier that night would be into that sort of thing, but I'm pretty sure everyone who was actually there is beyond that sort of star-struck behavior.

Sort of makes me want to boycott the Empty Bottle for awhile. But I've got tickets to Sunset Rubdown coming up, and I don't want to boycott Spencer Krug. Maybe I just won't buy any beer. Take that!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I almost didn't go to the Grizzly Bear show last night, which would have been a huge mistake. After having seen Grizzly Bear at the Empty Bottle, Subterranean, and Union Park, I must say Park West is definitely the venue for them. Their sound last night was amazing; you could hear every note of every instrument, and everything was so incredibly clear. Ed Droste's voice rang out gorgeously across the entire room, and "the Knife" almost brought tears to my eyes. Stunning.

Beach House was really good too, I hadn't really taken the time to get into them, but it might be worth picking up their last album. I've heard their sound described as "summery" though, which I didn't get at all. Maybe rainy-day summer?

Also spotted in the audience last night: Deerhunter singer Bradford Cox. Wonder what he was doing in town . . .

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Let's Stay Friends

I'm a big fan of Les Savy Fav (their actual music too, not just their ridiculous live show), and am so glad they have finally put out an album after so long, Let's Stay Friends. I don't think people often make a big deal about their lyrics, but how awesome are the lyrics to "Pots and Pans," the lead track:

There was a band called the Pots and Pans.
They mad this noise that people couldn't stand
and when they toured all across the land,
the people said, "No, no, no!"
But the drummer said, "Yes, yes, yes, this tour is a test."

Has your skin grown thick from bands that make you sick?
Has your skin grown thick from a thousand stinging pricks?
Have you been made dense standing upon the fence?
Have you been made dense from polish and pretense?

Well, this is where it stops.
This is where it ends.
Let's tear this whole place down and build it up again.
This band's a beating heart and it's nowhere near its end.

Besides the fact that they are obviously singing about themselves, I just love the idea of a band called "Pots and Pans." Brilliant. This song is almost as lyrically awesome as Go Forth's "Adopduction."

Monday, October 08, 2007


Hmmm, doing my show every other week lately seems to be affecting my skills . . . luckily if you didn't tune in tonight you won't have to hear my marble mouth as I didn't have time to record the show. Unfortunately this every other week theme is going to continue for the rest of the month as I'll be in New York next Monday and at the Decemberists show of the 29th (was that the "long of it" or the "short of it"? No matter, I'll be at it). Rocktober is just such a busy month, what can I say? Luckily my friend and fellow former WSUMer Ashley will be filling in for me on both of those days. Back again on the 23rd!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


My review of last Thursday's Beirut show is up now on Radio Free Chicago. I didn't take any pictures, but be sure to check out Kirstiecat's pics over on flickr.

Empty Bottle Special Guest Guessing

Alright, I've caved to the pressure, bought a ticket to the Empty Bottle's "secret show" on Thursday, and put some time into analyzing who it could possibly be. Assuming this "special guest" is a bigger band playing in town around that time, I've checked out the bands playing the Riv/Aragon/etc. on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday; my prediction is it's either Interpol or Spoon, two Empty Bottle-friendly bands that would definitely sell out the venue "in a matter of minutes" (Interpol even more so). Spoon does have a history of doing these sorts of special shows at smaller venues (though usually sponsored by Jack Daniels or Budweiser or something), but Interpol does play the Aragon at 7:30 Thursday night, so it might make sense that they head over to the Bottle afterwards for this "late night" show. Time will tell! Put in your bets now.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Two wrongs make a . . .

One of the members of Beirut was wearing this t-shirt yesterday, which upon further investigation is for sale at Ghostly Interational's website (???). The question is: does the combination of two of the worst t-shirts ever make for a really awesome t-shirt, or a supremely awful one? Discuss.

Suprise EB Guest

So my latest edition of the Empty Bottle Show List email tells me there's a show coming up on Oct. 11 with a special surprise guest. In fact, you may have to buy the tickets and show up without knowing who that guest is. Per the email:

Also, you'll find it curious that we've got a 'special surprise guest' playing here on Thursday, October 11th. We may or may not be disclosing the identity of said group, but we can tell you that the show would sell out in minutes if and when we announce them. You adventurous types may want to hedge your bets and buy a ticket now, assuring yourselves the opportunity to see some old friends play a late night set.

Hmmmm, old friends . . . how very cryptic.


There is much to say about last night's Beirut/Colleen show at the Portage Theater; I'll have a full review up hopefully this weekend. If you missed the show or just can't get enough Beirut, tonight's episode of Radio M on WBEZ at 9pm features an interview with Zach Condon, and next Friday's episode will replay last night's show over the airwaves.

I'd also like to point out the hilarity of watching a big, buff, bearded man throwing down Jameson straight from the bottle play progessively more and more emasculating instruments- an extremely tiny tuba, the French Horn, the bells, a clarinet, a flute, the smallest ukelele I've ever seen . . . just one member of the merry band of misfits that comprise Beirut. It's like the cast of Undeclared formed a band. I didn't bring my camera last night, but hopefully Kirstie from RFC got some good pictures, which I'll be sure to link to when she's got them up.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Upcoming Shows

This next week is chock-full of good shows. You can catch me at the following, with reviews expected to follow:

-Beirut w/ Colleen @ the Portage Theater, Thursday 4
-Fujiya and Miyagi w/ Dirty on Purpose @ the Empty Bottle, Friday 5
-Bandwidth @ the Kinetic Playground, Saturday 6
-Califone, Flosstradamus, the Poster Children, the Eternals, etc. @ the MCA, Sunday 7 (free!)
-Grizzly Bear w/ Beach House @ Park West, Wednesday 10

I've never been to the Portage Theater, so that should be a fun new experience . . .

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

1900s In-Store Performance

Local indie-poppers The 1900s are celebrating the release of their new album Cold and Kind with an in-store performance at the Wicker Park Reckless Records this Friday, October 5th at 6pm. Reckless in-stores are always a good time.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Did anyone go to the Deerhunter show on Saturday at the Empty Bottle? I'd thought about it, but thank goodness I never made it, because apparently singer Bradford Cox had the flu and, according to Pitchfork's Amy Phillips, "spent much of the performance crouched down at the front of the stage, coughing and sneezing and, at one point, even vomiting." I usually stand at the front of the stage at the Bottle and, as most of my friends know, would not have been able to handle watching that. Blech.


Radio Free Chicago's regular concert series is back this Saturday night at the Kinetic Playground featuing Rivulets, Margo May and Five Foot Nine. The RFC Staff will be DJing early on and in between sets; I'll update when I know what time you can hear my play my usual DJ fare.

Full info:

Saturday, October 6th, 2007 @ Kinetic Playground


Kinetic Playground - 1113 W. Lawrence, Chicago, IL
(Right off the Lawrence Red Line Stop)
*Free Parking Out Back
Doors 7:00 PM - Show 9:00 PM
21 & Over | Only $5

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Here's another sort of random event coming up on Saturday, October 13: The Macy's Day of Music at the Symphony Center, which features free performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as Tortoise, Mucca Pazza, Branford Marsalis, and a similarly eclectic lineup.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TMT Drunken News-a-Thon

Over at Tiny Mix Tapes, in honor of the fact that we're moving over to real-time news instead of a static four stories a day, the newswriters have decided to "celebrate" by getting totally wasted and then writing their news stories, which are being posted throughout the rest of the week. Some of the writers appear to be better able to handle their liquor than others.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Last night's show is up now for downloading, with new music from Liars, Dirty Projectors, M.I.A., Jose Gonzalez, etc. I've been training a new DJ for the past couple weeks, and she takes over the last 1/2 hour of my set; she'll also be taking over my entire show next week as the final test of her new DJ-ness, so I'll be off until the 8th. Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Band Crash

Chicago band Oh My God got into a rather serious car accident this weekend, forcing the band to cancel its current tour. Thankfully all members came out ok, but they do have a variety of injuries that will make it impossible for them to play any instruments for awhile. More emerging details here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bonde de Role w/ Juiceboxxx @ the Empty Bottle, 9/21/07

Bonde de Role
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99
After a long week of work, there was certainly nothing better to raise one's spirits than the combination of Bonde de Role and Juiceboxxx. Their high-energy, at times absurd and totally instrumentless performances made for an extremely fun Friday night at the Bottle.

I almost had the opportunity to see Milwaukee rapper/DJ/producer Juiceboxxx a few years ago in Madison, which is funny to me now because he must have been about 17 at that point (his myspace page claims he's 21, which is sort of hard to believe upon seeing him). But he's been plugging away during these past four years, getting enough attention to earn a spot touring the country with Bonde de Role, which isn't half bad for a youngin' from a city not particular known for its music scene. I wasn't sure what to expect from this kid, but I have to say, he knows how to get a crowd going. After watching him crawl behind the curtains lining the back of the stage, he let us listen to the Boss' "Born to Run" in its entirety before bouncing out amongst the streamers and balloons that draped the stage and breaking out some pretty catchy rap. His short set had him running from the stage, through the crowd, onto the amps, all the while leaving those at the front of the stage to untangle themselves from the web his microphone cord was weaving. At one point the members of Bonde de Role were enjoying themselves at the front of the stage, throwing more streamers at Juiceboxxx and generally enhancing the spectacle of it all. I had been feeling pretty tired before coming to the show, but Juiceboxxx's energy was infectious, and I left his set pretty pumped for the craziness Bonde de Role was sure to bring to the stage.

Needless to say, the Brazilians did not disappoint. After taking a good half hour to "set up" (i.e. bring a laptop and some water onto the stage), Rodrigo got behind the computer and MCs Pedro and Marina came on stage, bit into some fake blood capsules and got the show started, their aggressive vocals competing over the baile beats. I'll admit I've never really taken the time to get into Bonde de Role's music, but that certainly wasn't necessary to have a good time; their music was fun and their stage presence spunky, with Marina's legendary raunchy dance moves at the forefront of their antics. I suppose if you don't play any instruments, it's best to have some way of entertaining the crowd, and having Marina grind her head into Pedro's crotch is definitely one way to do that. But while in some cases that might have annoyed me, Marina was so ridiculously adorable that seeing her rip off her shirt while making some of the ugliest faces I've ever seen a woman make was almost a welcome contrast.

Several of their songs featured the trio rap/sing/screaming over well-known tracks like "Shook Me All Night Long," "The Final Countdown" and even "Summer Nights" from Grease, which were overall pretty hilarious. Meanwhile, each song also seemed to have some sort of theme, and at one point we were allowed to vote on which we'd want to hear next: the Love Song, the Heavy Metal Song, the 90s Grunge Song (Heavy Metal won, though it was hard to distinguish what made it any more "heavy" than their other songs). Being in the front row proved to be a bit dangerous, as Marina had a tendency to spit on everyone in front of her; luckily she had poured enough water on herself to wash most of the fake blood out of her mouth first. After a thwarted attempt to get audience members to come on stage and dance, Marina came down into the audience and got her groove on with some of her rabid fans. By the time the encore was over, Marina was soaking wet on the floor and Pedro had drawn real blood after Marina accidently punched him in the mouth while trying to jump him. I think that's a sign of a succesful show.

I'll probably never go out and buy a Juiceboxxx or Bonde album, but there's no doubt that they both put on a ridiculously fun show; not a bad way to spend a Friday night, that's for sure.

Check out the photoblog for my pics from the show!

Intonation Returns

Here's an interesting event at the MCA that is sponsored by "Intonation Festival LLC", whatever that means: a quality line-up of local artists throughout the day on October 7 to celebrate the exhibition Sympathy for Devil: Art and Rock and Roll since 1967, featuring Califone, Flosstradamus, the 1900s, the Poster Children and more.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Chemical Brothers 9/21 NYC

The Chemical Brothers put on a magnificently mind-blowing show at the Hammerstein Ballroom last night. They started right off with the climax of "Galvanize" and the packed crowd went ballistic. A nearly 3 story LED screen projected everything from psychedelic tunnels, freakish clowns, dancing British police silhouettes, and architectural blueprints to churches all perfectly in sync to the music. The set never missed a beat. Some highlights did include a remix of "Out of Control," a harsh, unexpected reworking of "Believe," and live, soulful instrumentation for "Das Spiegel." All the favorites, "Block Rockin' Beats," "Chemical Beats," "Golden Path," and "Star Guitar," sounded as good as ever. The only thing missing was "Salmon Dance."

The Bohemian Playboy, DJ Alex English, and I wandered off to a Metric/Crystal Castles afterparty in the Lower East Side afterwards. Backstage, I knocked a beer on a fog machine and almost mixed my drink with cleaning solution. Crystal Castles are pretty good djs.

DJ Lazer

Thursday, September 20, 2007


So annoyingly, accordingly to Blogger the place I used my blog design from is no longer hosting that particular design, which is why it went all "1996" on me. I've got a temporary Blogger design for now until I have time to play around and find something new.


I've always known that I work in a boy's club by day (the business world) and a boy's club by night (the music industry). Here's a post on Pandagon, with a reference to another post by Gawker, that talks a bit more about the issue of women (or lack thereof) in music criticism. Interesting that neither blog is actually a music blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Pitchfork made it to SMD last night; their comments and pictures here.

Lloyd Dobler

So in the biggest bummer ever, I didn't make it to Simian Mobile Disco last night due to a work dinner going absurdly late . . . boo! I bet it was a great show too. So I'll have to wait to get my dance on until this Friday with Bonde de Role.

But in totally unrelated news, I've been in Chicago for three years hoping to one day run into John Cusack . . . finally saw him last night at Hugo's Frog Bar! Some of the people I was at dinner with were from Europe and didn't know who he was, and when they asked what movies he'd been in lately, I frankly couldn't think of anything except that awful-looking "Must Love Dogs" movie . . . but we'll forgive him for the pure genius that was "Grosse Pointe Blank."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


So overall I'm really enjoying the new M.I.A. album, and though I'm not sure this was the intended reaction, I sometimes find myself laughing out loud. Am I not the only one who finds "Jimmy" hysterical? I understand it's a cover of some old Bollywood song, but it sounds like Abba, and every time M.I.A. sings "Jimmy" followed by some sort of "Hot-cha" in the background, I lose it. Also, I enjoy the fact that "20 Dollar" sort of covers New Order and the Pixies. She is so random.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Show, Shows

I've got a sub for my show tonight, so you'll have to wait until next Monday for more radio fun. Meanwhile, I got a couple good shows coming up this week, including Simian Mobile Disco tomorrow and Bonde De Role on Friday, both at the Empty Bottle. Two dance-tastic shows in one week! So hopefully I'll get some pics and reviews up over the next few days.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We were only freshman . . .

Let's hear it for this month's 90s throwback additions to the show calendar: Blind Melon at the Double Door, Tuesday October 16!

And let's not forget about The Verve Pipe at the Double Door, Saturday December 15 and the Wallflowers at Park West on November 7!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

PBJ show moved . . .

The Peter, Bjorn and John show on 9/25 has been moved from the Riv to the Vic . . . did they overshoot on expected ticket sales or something? The Clientele will be opening.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dan Deacon @ the Hideout Block Party

After the debacle that was Dan Deacon's set at the Pitchfork Music Festival, I was both excited about getting a second chance to see him at the Hideout Block Party and nervous that seeing him at another outdoor festival would mean more of the same. To be sure I'd actually be able to see him this time, I got there extra early to make sure I'd be up close. Luckily, the 4pm time slot meant the festival was still reasonably empty, and there was only a small group of people standing around the table with two speakers that was set up on the ground in front of the south stage. After noticing no one seemed to be standing behind the table yet (and being told it was ok to do so), I got myself a nice spot standing directly behind Dan (which explains why most of my pictures are of his back!). Already, things were looking up.

As the crowd grew, Dan wandered over to finish setting up in all of his neon glory, with his trademark large red glasses taped around his balding head and a bright yellow tie-dyed shirt tucked into black cut-off shorts. After a short intro by the omnipresent Tim Tuten, Dan pointed up on stage to the guy who would be watching over the crowd making sure everyone was safe, an obvious response to the fact he had to end early at Pitchfork due to problems with the large crowd crammed in the small space. His services weren't needed, however, as the crowd proved to be able to have fun and be respectful of everyone's personal space at the same time.

Dan started us off with some stretching to "Under the Sea," then proceeded to have the crowd countdown from 45 (numbers 34 to 10 to be done silently while leering at a stranger in the crowd) before finally kicking off with "Okie Dokie" from this year's Spiderman of the Rings. The best part of actually seeing Dan Deacon this time around was watching him dance while he played his little keyboard and twisted the random knobs; his whole body sort of jiggles in a way that made me think of lemon jello.

I didn't recognize a lot of the songs Dan played, as only a couple of them were from Spiderman, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. Seeing him outdoors was clearly different than what his typical late-night show would entail, in part because he apparently has some effects that only work in the dark, but mostly because, as Dan said, "the crowd is usually belligerently drunk". I've been saying I'd like to see his legendary performance space shows, but something tells me they might border on out of control (anyone who may have gone to the AV-Aerie show later that night can confirm it for me?), and I'm getting too old for that- I'd rather just jump up and down in my own space and not have sweaty people ramming into me. Apparently, everyone else agreed; it was fun standing behind the set-up and looking out at the ridiculously happy faces of all the fans in the audience (are faces at all concerts always that jubilant, or was it just faces at Dan's? Something to think about . . .).

Dan threw in some more audience involvement activities, including having two lines of people form a "gauntlet" with their arms that audience members would have a "strut-off" through, which also gave some people in the back the opportunity to move up front when the space cleared out a bit. I guess it's easy (or maybe necessary?) to coordinate these sorts of games when the majority of your music is coming out an iPod.

Overall, Dan is fun, hilarious and original, and I'm glad I finally got to actually experience his show the way I'd been hoping to two months earlier.

Night Falls Over Kortedala

I'm not sure I'm able to get into Jens Lekman. He might be too "theatrical" for me. Sort of like Patrick Wolf. But they both still might be worth seeing live; Jens is coming to Logan Square Auditorium November 2.

Monday, September 10, 2007

More Dan Deacon News

Apparently Dan had something stolen from him at his AV-Aerie show after the Block Party. Bizarre.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dan Deacon @ the Hideout Block Party, 9/8/07

Dan Deacon
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99
Pics from the great Dan Deacon show (finally!) at the Hideout Block Party are up now. More of my thoughts on the show in the next day or two.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I'm sort of underwhelmed by the news of this new I-Pod Touch. It's just an I-Phone without the phone- what's the point? It only has 16 gigs of storage and costs the same as an I-Phone.

More here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

No duh

Some study says rock stars are more likely to die young. Big shocker.


CHIRP (the Chicago Indie Radio Project) has a fundraiser next Sunday at the Finch Gallery, above the Fireside Bowl at 2648 W. Fullerton. The dance party featuring "future former" WLUW DJs starts at 7pm, and there's an open bar. Check out the flier here.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Shows 'n stuff

Alright, finally got Monday's show up for downloading after a ridiculously busy week, so check it out. So busy that I'm just way too tired to make it to the Stereo Total show tonight, even with a free RSVP and all. Luckily, the shows will pick up again starting next week, when I'll have two nights of the Hideout Block Party, Simian Mobile Disco, Bonde De Role and the National, all in a week.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rock for Kids, take two

The Rock for Kids Auction that I'd mentioned was cancelled last week due to the storm, so it's been rescheduled for next Thursday, September 6 from 6-9PM. More info at their website.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's wrong with quirky?

Some ornery Atlantic Monthly writer hates on my favorite brand of humor.


And the Coachella reunion rumors begin . . .
Today on the el I saw a guy email someone on his blackberry "Facebook is a poor man's Myspace." He looked to be about 30. Something about that was sorta sad.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First show of the fall!

Tonight's show went relatively smoothly and will be posted sometime tomorrow evening or possibly Wednesday. Good to be back on the air!

Thoughts on Okkervil River

I finally picked up the new Okkervil River album, Stage Names, after some critical acclaim, having never really listened to them before. The first two songs, "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe" and "Unless It Kicks" are the definite highlights of the album, songs along the line of Arcade Fire's "Neighborhood #1" or the Shins' "Kissing the Lipless" that get that well of emotion building up in your chest and make you lose focus on whatever it is you're doing when they comes on. The rest of the album mellows out a bit, which I suppose is a good thing because an entire album of songs as intense as these two might make be a bit overkill.

They are coming to Logan Square Auditorium September 18, and though I'd be interested in seeing if the emotional intensity of these songs translates well to the live stage, it's the same night as the Simian Mobile Disco show at the Empty Bottle, which I already have tickets for. The perennial problem of living in a city with so much music to offer.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Britney Spears + Conor Oberst = LUV

Today Pitchfork posted a link to a new Britney Spears song via Perez Hilton. Out of sheer curiosity (and the fact that I have tons of time while I wait out this storm), I listened to it. Is it just me, or has she been dealing with her problems by listening to a little angsty Bright Eyes? I think she lifted that keyboard line from "Lover I Don't Have to Love." Judge for yourself.

And yes, the song is horrendous.

The Long and Short of It

Via Pitchfork, how awesome is this tour, where the Decemberists play two nights at smaller venues, one with the longer songs in their catalog and one with the shorter songs. Though nothing will top the free Decemberist show at Millenium Park, I'm digging the concept tours they've got going at small or interesting venues; if it were just a regular tour, I probably wouldn't feel the need to go.

The Decemberists hit the Vic Theatre October 28 and 29 (unfortunately a Sunday and Monday, the two worst days to hit up a show) with Laura Veirs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More like super awesome

In case anyone was wondering, I saw Superbad today and it did not disappoint. Michael Cera is so hilariously awkward, and as per usual Judd Apatow-related films, there were cameos by past Freaks & Geeks/Undeclared alum, this time by Undeclared's Lizzie in a brief but pretty gross role.


Also, how many times have you been talking to someone and say goodbye, only to have you both start walking in the same direction? A scene in the movie just reminded me of that. Man, I hate it when that happens.

If you're also a George Michael Bluth fan, you can check out Clark and Michael, his and a friend's online mockumentary about them trying to get a script out. Funny stuff. The opening sequence is especially priceless.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rock for Kids

The Rock for Kids Charity Music Mixer is coming up again on August 23 at Smart Bar, where high profile music-related folk make mixtapes that are auctioned off to the highest bidder. If you can't make the event (6pm - 10pm), you can bid online as well. The full list is here, and includes mixes by Bloodshot Records, Chin Up Chin Up, DJ LA Jesus, the Empty Bottle, Johnny Marr, Neko Case, Pitchfork, etc. etc. etc.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More CHIRP Info

This is a few days old (see above), but here's an interview with Shawn Campbell about CHIRP, giving more specific details about the goals of the group.

Back in business!

The PFFR headquarters moved this weekend, and I've finally got my internet installed after a few rough days without. The new digs are now closer to the Metro and Schubas than the Empty Bottle or Double Door (all real estate decisions should be based on proximity to music venues).

Friday, August 17, 2007


A cute article from Salon about how Guitar Hero is inspiring kids to rock for real. I remember when I saw School of Rock I was inspired to learn an instrument for awhile. That faded though, much like the time I saw a commercial for Rosetta Stone Language CDs and was inspired to re-learn French or the time in college when I went to a Bright Eyes show and was inspired to start writing concert reviews. Oh wait, I actually did do that.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You've got it all wrong

This guest list from Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington on P4k, besides being hilarious, has reminded me of the severe awesomeness of Archers of Loaf's "Wrong"; I've been listening to it all morning. It would be so awesome to see LSF cover that live.

Return of the Radio Show

Amongst all the WLUW craziness, let's not forget that the station will remain the same for the next year and I'll be back at the same time slot starting Monday, August 27, Monday nights from 8-10pm. I've missed it so!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

George Michael

I am so unbelievably excited for this movie.


By some amazing stroke of good luck, I now have 2 1/2 weeks of paid vacation as I transition between jobs. This means I have a ton of time to catch up on any albums I've been missing out on, and see a couple shows I wouldn't have seen otherwise- I've never been able to go to a free Monday night Empty Bottle shows or the Schubas Monday night residencies, so now here's my chance! Any other suggestions for the next couple weeks, both show or album-wise?

Monday, August 13, 2007


I spent the weekend in Vegas, where I went for the first time for a bachelorette party with 15 girls, one of whom works for MTV. Man, I can't party like I used to. It's been a long time since I've been to crowded nightclubs and paid $11 for drinks, and I think I've had my fill for now- get me a PBR at a dive bar immediately! After a Friday night filled with awful, awful music (is there any reason that Boyz 2 Men should be found in club playlists these days?), I found a DJ on Saturday that threw me a bone with some New Order and Daft Punk.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Since You've Been Gone

I'm not sure what I think about this cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" by Robyn- it's a little overwhelming. It's hard to beat Ted Leo's cover, really.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Next stop: Three date stint at the Chicago Theatre . . .

Yeah, definitely saw this coming:

Riviera Theatre, 9/25, all-ages, on sale 10 AM Saturday (8/11)

Totally bypassed the mid-size Metro and Vic too . . .

Daft Punk is Playing at Coney Island Tomorrow

DJ Lazer will be there.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Wear a gown?

This is so very bizarre . . .

FOR RELEASE AT 5:00PM TODAY: Monday, August 6, 2007

A Gala Event! September 26 - Riviera Theatre

Beastie Boys return to Chicago for a very special show in the extremely intimate confines of the Riviera Theatre on September 26th! This show will be all about instruments and songs - some with vocals and some without, but all featuring the band and the inimitable Mixmaster Mike jamming it out live! The band's latest release The Mix-Up showcases their unmistakable originality and their endless quest for re-invention. Expect the unexpected and get ready for some's the Beastie Boys!

Who: Beastie Boys - A Gala Event - Exclusive
Instrumental Show

Where: Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine Ave,

When: September 26, 2007 @ 8:00pm Sharp!

Tickets: $50.00 general admission, on sale this
Saturday, August 11th
at 10:00am
through, all Ticketmaster ticket centers or charge by phone 312-559-1212.


THE GALA EVENTS will be in smaller spots, more exclusive, more intimate. This will be more like quality time, our time, just you and the band sitting by a fire on a tropical beach late at night being serenaded with love songs. These shows are for people that are into our weird stuff, so if you want to get weird together, this is your call. These shows will be based around the instruments. Some songs will have vocals, others will be instrumental. BUT if you'd like to come to one of these shows, then DRESS TO IMPRESS, wear a suit, a tie, a dress, a gown or whatever you feel dressed up in... AND PLEASE leave your cargo shorts, Birkenstocks and t-shirts at home, this is not that kind of party.

For more information contact John Bell, (312) 440-9191,

Blog Frequency

My posts may be a bit less frequent over the next couple of weeks as I'm in the midst of moving (the main reason I didn't make it to Lollapalooza this weekend) and will also be out of town here and there. The show calendar is definitely building up for next month though, so show reviews should continue in force then.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Shawn Campbell, the now former program director for WLUW, is starting a new non-profit organization working towards bringing Low Power FM radio to Chicago, which I plan on being involved in. Check out the following press release for more info and upcoming benefits:

New group holds its first two fundraisers the weekend of August 10th, 2007

The Chicago Independent Radio Project (or Chicago Indie Radio) is a new group formed for the purpose of securing a new low-power FM radio station in Chicago.

CHIRP is the effort of WLUW volunteers, staff, and friends who do not want to see community radio in Chicago come to an end when Loyola University retakes programming and management control of WLUW radio in June of 2008. The group’s board members have experience in areas ranging from station management and broadcast
engineering to small business start-ups and the formation of non-profits.

Right now, there are no low power FM licenses available in Chicago or any other major city. But a new bill introduced in both Houses of Congress on June 21, the Local Community Radio Act, would change that. The bill has bipartisan support in each House, and seems to have a good chance of passage. Recently, all five FCC commissioners went on the record as saying they believe the expansion of LPFM into urban markets is worth consideration. You can find out more about this effort at

The goal of CHIRP is to apply for and receive a low power FM license once they become available in Chicago. In preparation for this effort, the group will lobby for expanded LPFM signals in urban areas and raise money so CHIRP will be in good position to be able to fund the application, buildout, and management of a new radio station. Our goal is to raise at least $25,000 over the next year.

The first official CHIRP fundraisers are set for the weekend of August 10th. On Friday the 10th at Double Door, it’s a show featuring Canasta, Plane, May or May Not, and Driftless Pony Club. The show starts at 9PM, and is 21+. Admission is $10. On Sunday the 12th, it’s an all-day, family-friendly acoustic jamboree outside at the Montrose Saloon (2933 W. Montrose) with Waiflike, All About Me, the Dime Store String Band, the Mudflapps, Kent & Dorothy McDaniel, Feathergun, the Delafields, John & Ellen Wright, Eva Destruction & her Outlaw Band, and more. 12-7PM, $5 (kids under 12 free).

If the Local Community Radio Act does not become law, CHIRP will donate funds raised less administrative costs to the Prometheus Radio Project (, an organization dedicated to helping build new community radio stations.

CHIRP has a myspace page at A website,, is under construction. The group’s e-mail contact is

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Musical Journeys

Over on Tinymixtapes we've posted a follow up to that article I wrote a few months ago, featuring responses by TMT writers and readers about their own musical journeys. It's fun reading about other people's lives.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wicker Park Fest

Our thoughts on Man Man and the Thermals over on Radio Free Chicago- the pics are from Kirstiecat. I took a few pics as well, which I'll post up later this week- mostly of Maritime and Centromatic, who played earlier in the day.

Monday, July 30, 2007


OK, the subtitles on the DVD for this Office episode actually spelled it "Menamamah". But it still rules.

Travis Morrison

My boy Travis Morrison is streaming his new album in its entirety on his website. I hope people are nicer to him this time around.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Future of WLUW

Another look at the WLUW/Loyola debacle, courtesy of the Chicago Reader . . .

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Besnard Lakes w/ Handsome Furs @ Schubas, 7/24/07

My review of the Besnard Lakes and Handsome Furs show at Schubas on Tuesday is up now on Radio Free Chicago.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

World's Largest Music Lesson

This is very cool- join the Old Town School of Folk Music in the World's Largest Music Lesson on August 7, 2007 at Welles Park to try to set a Guiness Record- it's free to anyone who registers and you have to bring a guitar.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Six months to go . . .

Huzzah! What will the Empty Bottle be like without cigarette butts on the floor and the smell of smoke ingrained into the walls? Answer: even better.

Strawberry Jam

I really don't want to be that person who gets pissed when one of their favorite bands gets "known", but sometimes it's hard; this John Norris MTV piece with Animal Collective just really bothers me! And with each year John Norris ages, he tries to look another five years younger.

Speaking of the AC, they have a new album coming out called Strawberry Jam and an upcoming show at the Vic Theatre (!) on Monday, September 10. Will this be their breakthrough "pop" album? Let's hope not :) .

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mirah @ Logan Square Auditorium, Tuesday, July 17

Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99

I first saw Mirah a few years ago at a hippie co-op in Madison. It was just her and her sister with guitars in the middle of a room (no stage even), and while it definitely had its charm seeing her in such a setting, I definitely thought the experience would be even better with say, some drums ("Cold Cold Water"'s impact is so much less without the drums). Luckily, on this occasion at Logan Square Auditorium, Mirah brought along a drummer and keyboardist, both of which very much enhanced her amazing songwriting skills and sweet voice.

Mirah began her set with my favorite song, the heartbreaking "We're Both So Sorry" from 2004's C'Mon Miracle. She started out alone before the drums and keys slowly made their way in just in time for the song's powerful ending, and it was gorgeous. The beginning of her set was made up mostly of songs from C'Mon Miracle, and in between songs she won the crowd over with her adorable anecdotes about angry bus drivers and her own clumsiness. Seriously, Mirah was so cute, you could hear the "awwwww"-ing over the crowd every time she spoke. Unfortunately, these asides also gave the audience the opportunity to start talking amongst themselves, often creating a low buzz that didn't die out until a few seconds into the next song. Luckily, before this could become a serious annoyance, Mirah ever-so-sweetly called the audience out on it by saying "are you guys going to do that thing where you talk over my guitar intros and then stop when I start to sing?" And it never happened again.

As some Mirah fans may be aware, her forthcoming album, done in partnership with Spectratone International, is a series of 12 songs about insects set to a suite of animated films. Because she didn't feel she could play the songs live without her collaborators, she still gave the crowd a fun taste of what to expect from the album by playing a sort of game: she would sing a verse of a song, and we would guess what insect she was singing about. We heard verses about the dung beetle, glowworms and more, and much fun was had by all.

The last third of Mirah's set fell more heavily on material from Advisory Committee, including "The Garden," "Make It Hot," and "Mt. St. Helens," with the big, obvious finale being the aforementioned "Cold Cold Water". After a brief exit from the stage, her bandmates returned without her, and after a hilarious rendition of some hip-hop song that I'm sure is popular now but I've never heard, Mirah returned. After reminding us that she recently put out a remix album (Joyride: Remixes), she told us she was going to do "someone else's remix of one of her own songs," and then proceeded to sing "The Light" while her drummer beatboxed in the background. It was hilarious and awesome, and certainly nothing I'd ever seen done at a concert before. Finally, she wrapped things up with her self-proclaimed "sing-along song", Advisory Committee's "Apples in the Trees" and its chorus of "You don't have to wait until you die," which for some odd reason, only the right half of the audience seemed to be singing along with. Either way, it was a great song to end on.

I can't say enough good things about Mirah; her music is subtle, beautiful and thought-provoking, and in person she is utterly sweet, funny and unpretentious. She doesn't tour often, but let's hope she and Spectratone International do get on the road (with the videos perhaps?) so we can learn more about the intricacies of insect life.

Friday, July 20, 2007


After being so disappointed by the circumstances surrounding Dan Deacon's performance at Pitchfork, I was excited to see he was coming to Chicago again to play at the AV-Aerie (formerly known as the Open End Gallery) . . . until I realized it was the same night as the Hideout Block Party (September 8), which I've already bought tickets to. Luckily for me, they've added Deacon to the lineup! Not sure if that means he's doing both or if he's been officially moved to the block party, but either way, here's his chance to redeem himself. As long as he plays ON THE STAGE this time around (or I get close enough to enjoy it for myself).

Download This

So that Download Festival I mentioned a few weeks ago moved from Alpine Valley to Chicago's Northerly Island Amphitheater/Charter One Pavillion (Alpine too big I'm assuming?), and they've solidifed the lineup for September 2. One of these things is not like the other:


Man, Snoop Dogg must be feeling pretty good about taking second billing to the Shins.
Saw this coming: Menomena's next Chicago stop is at the Metro. I guess I couldn't see them at the Empty Bottle forever!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Decemberists @ Millenium Park- Amazing.

The free Decemberists show last night at Millenium Park was pretty stunning. I didn't even mind the light rain, which actually fit in pretty well with the mood of the music. The Decemberists' music translated wonderfully with the orchestra, the sound was amazing, they played songs from every album- and best of all, we heard it all for free in a beautiful park against the backdrop of the city skyline while chilling on a blanket drinking wine- seriously, it doesn't get any better than that. Chicago rules, basically. I was pretty blown away by the crowd; we were lucky enough to get a good spot on the lawn, but people were spilling out all over the grass and sidewalk well outside the pavillion. Somehow Kirstiecat got up close and has some pics up on Flickr. What a great night.

Mirah on Tuesday was fabulous as well- review and a few pics still to come.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Now that Pitchfork talk is over, it's time for Harry Potter talk, starting with this awesome article about "Wizard Rock."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Future of WLUW

An update on the WLUW situation from Chicagoist . . .
Pitchfork has an interesting interview with Of Montreal after their show on Saturday (scroll down to bottom) that puts a lot of what we saw in some interesting context. My question: is it weird for his wife to step in and play bass on songs that are about her?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dan Deacon hanging in the audience

I should have stopped him and told him how annoyed I was he didn't play on stage, but he looks so nice . . .

2007 Pitchfork Music Festival

Of Montreal
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99
Pics up now, check 'em out!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pitchfork Wrap-Up

I realize I've been a bit down on this year's Pitchfork festival since they announced the line-up, my main argument being that the majority of the bands tour through Chicago all the time; festivals are best when they bring out some surprises. But since it's been awhile since I've made it to a show, I was actually pretty excited for the festival to satiate my need of live music; plus, the weather was great.

Unfortunately, Saturday turned out to be a big disappointment, primarily due to the significant problems of the 3rd stage, or "Balance" stage, where several of the acts I wanted to see were playing. The sound was terrible; there were only four small speakers on stage (probably due to fear of sound bleed), and if you were any farther back than the sound tent, you couldn't hear anything. The set-up was horrible; the stage was stuffed between the street and the Record Fair tent, so the audience was squished into a long rectangle- not only could you not hear, you could not see. I stopped over to try to catch Fujiya and Miyagi and left partway through after realizing it was pointless being there. Next year, bring back the DJ tent or find a bigger park.

Second of all, the act I was most excited to see all weekend was Dan Deacon; once I saw the Balance stage, I went there early to try to get closer to the stage. I was pretty satisfied with my location and my sight line when Dan Deacon started . . . and we realized he was set up on the ground in front of the stage, not on the stage. He then proceeded to put on a killer show . . . for the 30 people standing around him. We heard music and watched photographers on stage taking pictures down into the crowd. People tried to climb trees and bodysurf up to see the action. I left just as he started a really awesome dance contest (or so we were told). The problem is he tried to recreate his usual live show, which typically takes place in small performance spaces, for a large festival audience, and it was a huge mistake.

As far as the rest of the Saturday line-up, Grizzly Bear was gorgeous as usual; Iron and Wine was pleasant enough, was joined by members of Califone, and played a lot of new stuff (also, he's grown his hair out to shoulder length, which was pretty amusing); Cat Power played a lot of covers from her forthcoming covers album; and Yoko Ono was totally insane, as expected.

Luckily, Sunday played out much better, possibly because all of the acts I wanted to see were conveniently on the main stages. Sound problems still plagued one of the stages, causing both the Ponys and the Junior Boys to blow out the speakers several times, but the performance level from all the bands I saw was high. Deerhunter pleasantly surprised me (although their singer's gaunt appearance frightened me) by managing to rock out over all the ambient fuzz; Jamie Lidell was another hit of the day, showcasing his powerful voice over some crazy electronic beats. I was worried about seeing PFFR favorites Menomena and the Junior Boys in a non-Empty Bottle setting; both fared well, with the Junior Boys especially proving themselves well-suited for an outdoor environment as their crisp beats soared over the audience. I was concerned about the lack of Neko Case in the New Pornographers line-up, but Carl Newman's niece Kathryn Calder proved herself a worthy substitute, and the band showcased a lot of new material from their upcoming album as well. The highlight of the day was, without a doubt, Of Montreal; the costumes, the interpretive dancing, Kevin Barnes' various S&M wear, all while seamlessly and confidently playing mostly tracks off Hissing Fauna . . . (even squeezing in the spectacular 11-minute "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal" into their 50-minute set)- they were fun, crazy, hilarious, and most of all, played us some great music that energized the crowd.

I did take a few pics that I'll be posting on the photoblog tomorrow night, so look for them then! Still to come this week- Mirah @ Logan Square, Decemberists @ Millenium Park.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Well, this sort of blows.


So I learned this morning that the blue line between Western and Clark/Lake is going to be closed all weekend, starting tonight. My question: how on earth are all the hipsters in Wicker Park, Bucktown and Logan Square going to get to Pitchfork? And even worse, get home from it? Poor planning by the CTA methinks. They'll have a "shuttle bus" running between the aformentioned stops.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm a winner!

Even though I've had P4k tickets since day 1, the competitive spirit in me saw this contest by Time Out Chicago that was giving away two weekend passes to those who could answer the following question: Which 2007 Pitchfork artist received both a score of 0 and 10 by the website? (Answer: Sonic Youth.) Everyone who guessed it right was entered into a drawing for the passes, and I won! (Which sort of makes up for NOT getting free Spoon tickets . . .) So congrats to my friends Theresa and Nick, brand new owners of three-day passes to the festival.

Pitchfork Picks: Sunday, July 15

Here's my game plan for day three of the Pitchfork festival:

Sunday, July 15:

1:00- Deerhunter vs. Fred Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox OrchestraFred who? I haven't been able to get into Deerhunter as of yet, though they've been getting a ton of praise lately. I've heard they're supposed to put on a pretty good live show, so if I don't decide to stay home until 2, I'll check Deerhunter out.

1:30- The Ponys vs. Fred Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra
See above, inserting "Ponys" for "Deerhunter."

2:00- Menomena vs. Brightblack Morning Light
I'm actually bummed by this matchup; I'd be intrigued to see what stoner freak-folkers Brightblack Morning Light bring to the stage, and I'm afraid after three glorious Empty Bottle shows over the past few years, seeing Menomena in this environment will be a letdown. Still, the Menomena pull is far too strong, and hopefully this is early enough that the crowd won't be too crazy yet.

3:00- Junior Boys vs. Nomo
Junior Boys. Duh.

4:00- The Sea and Cake vs. Craig Taborn's Junk Magic
Time to hit up the hot dog stand.

5:00- Jamie Lidell vs. The Cool Kids
Jamie Lidell is one of the handful of acts at the festival that I a) haven't seen and b) want to see. After lounging around during Sea and Cake's set, I'll be ready to dance to Jamie's brand of funky dance music.

6:00- Stephen Malkmus vs. Cadence Weapon
Are the Jicks involved, or is it just Malkmus solo? If Janet Weiss is drumming, count me in for some Malkmus, otherwise I'm not sure a solo gig would excite me enough. Meanwhile, it seems like most of the up-and-coming hip-hop ended up on the Balance Stage's Sunday lineup, but again, the lack of British accents means it's probably not my thing.

7:00- Of Montreal vs. the Field
I actually wouldn't mind checking out the Field, one of the few purely electronic acts of the weekend, but my love for glam and Of Montreal trumps all.

8:00- The New Pornographers vs. The Klaxons
Time-tested power pop vs. the latest blogger buzz band? I'm excited to hear new material from the Porno's forthcoming album, and hopefully Carl Newman's guitar will be tuned correctly this year. Is Neko going to be there, or just Carl's fill-in niece? Keep your fingers crossed.

9:00- De La Soul
TBD, depending on my level of exhaustion and the knowledge that I'll have to get up at 6:45am the next morning.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pitchfork Picks: Saturday, July 14

Since there are choices to be made at Pitchfork this year, I'm going through hour-by-hour which stage you'll find me at (if I'm at a stage at all). Sunday's picks come tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14:

1:00- The Twilight Sad vs. Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound
-Honestly, I probably won't even be here this early. Are you more into jazz or more into morose Scottish rock?

1:30- Califone vs. Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound
-If I make it early enough, I'll definitely catch Califone; I saw them play an outdoor festival in Madison, and their music and the way they play it (sitting down) somehow worked outside (the fact that they are playing so early to smaller crowds will probably work in their favor). Of course, 30 minutes may also mean a whopping four songs considering they can jam, so we'll see how they deal.

2:00- Voxtrot vs. William Parker Quartet
-I have no idea who the William Parker Quartet is, and I still haven't really taken the time to check out Austin indie buzz band Voxtrot. I might use this time to check out the record fair and food options, or park in the shade near Voxtrot and see if they live up to the hype.

3:00- Grizzly Bear vs. Beach House
-No question here, my love for Grizzly Bear runs deep and Beach House sort of bores me. It will be interesting to see how GB's layered, fuzzy pop sounds when it's not contained by four walls.

4:00- Battles vs. Fujiya and Miyagi
-This is one of my tougher decisions; I'm much more into Fujiya and Miyagi in general, but I did just see them in May; meanwhile, I've been trying to get more into the Battles record, which could be helped by a live performance. And the song "Atlas" has to be pretty cool live. The jury is still out on this one.

5:00- Iron and Wine vs. Professor Murder
-Soft, lilting folk or dance-punk? I've liked the few Professor Murder tracks I've heard, but I'll probably end up at Iron and Wine to get a preview of his new material. I'll probably be getting a bit tired at this point too, so chilling out on the ground listening to Iron and Wine will probably hit the spot.

6:00- Mastodon vs. Oxford Collapse
-I'm not into metal, and I'm really excited to hear "Please Visit Your National Parks" live. Oxford Collapse it is.

7:00- Dan Deacon vs. Clipse
-No contest, I've been looking forward to Dan Deacon's spazzy electronic for months, and anyone who reads this blog knows I'm not really into hip-hop that doesn't involve British accents.

8:00- Cat Power vs. Girl Talk
-This will come down to how in the mood I am to dance. If I'm sweaty and exhausted, expect to see me at Cat Power; if Dan Deacon didn't wear me out, I might stick around the tent for Girl Talk.

9:00- Yoko Ono
-Thankfully no matchup here; I'm really intrigued to see what Yoko gives and who these "special guests" will be (obviously Cat Power, and probably a few others from Yoko's recent remix album Yes, I'm a Witch).

Monday, July 09, 2007

More ways to win . . .

Another way to win Spoon tickets: just buy the new album (that name again: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga) at any Reckless tomorrow and give them your info. Winners are announced on Thursday!

Recently added shows

Some great new shows added to the calendar:

Harry and the Potters @ Harold Washington Library, Wednesday July 17 (If the movie and the book aren't enough HP for you this month . . . but it's the same night as the Mirah show, how will I ever choose?!?! Voldemort can't stop the rock! If you're interested, you can go with the Chicago Harry Potter group)

Dan Deacon @ the AV-aerie (2000 W. Fulton, used to be Open End Gallery), Saturday September 8 (in case the Pitchfork tent isn't an intimate enough location to see him)

Simian Mobile Disco @ the Empty Bottle, Tuesday September 18
Bonde de Role @ the Empty Bottle, Friday September 21
- Hot dance week at the Empty Bottle!!!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Indie-rock-in-commercials-watch: Just heard Architecture in Helsinki's (a Bruce Willis favorite, apparently!) "Souvenirs" in a Sprint commercial. It was pretty cute, actually, one of those adorable, heartwarming ads.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Free Spoon Show?

Um, what's this? Spoon is playing a free show next Friday at Schubas at 11PM, sponsored by Bud Light? And you can only win tickets from Schubas or WXRT (or from Bud Light reps in "bars around town", whichever those may be)? Apparently Spoon is all about doing the free pre-album release shows sponsored by alcohol(last was Jack Daniels at the Metro). Annoyingly, this is during P4k weekend, but I'll try to win tickets anyway. Or go on a massive bar crawl this weekend.

Let's pretend we're in Antarctica

Tiny Mix Tapes Story of the Week

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Shows Shows Shows

So I've been in a concert rut since just before I went on my trip, meaning this blog has been pretty dry of concert reviews as of late. It's making me sort of antsy, actually. But fear not, fair readers, because after Pitchfork next weekend, the music calendar heats back up again with shows from Mirah, the Decemberists in Grant Park, the Besnard Lakes/Handsome Furs (marking my first show at Schubas in over a year!)and the Wicker Park Fest w/ Man Man and the Thermals. Reviews and photos to come. Huzzah!

Speaking of Pitchfork, I'm sort of annoyed that actual bands are playing in the tent this year instead of just DJs; it means that I'll have to make choices between acts that I didn't have to in previous years, something I always appreciated about Pitchfork over festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza. I'll think about it over the next few days and post my choices later next week.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Not that I really care about the Smashing Pumpkins anymore, but isn't it strange that they've announced their fall tour and it doesn't include a single Chicago date? They passed us up for Normal, Illinois! No love.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Hideout Block Party

Looks like the Hideout Block Party is starting to come together:

Chicago's Hideout Announces ANDREW BIRD, BLOC PARTY and THE FRAMES,to perform at 11th Annual Hideout Block September 7 and 8.

More bands to be announced.

Friday September 7: London's reining indie kings and Vice recording artists, BLOC PARTY have been festival favorites around the globe since their debut Silent Alarm took the music world by storm in the spring of 2005. Touring in support of their 2007 release, A Weekend in the City, their last Chicago appearance sold out the Congress Theater. Expect an intense and incredibly danceable performance.

Saturday September 8: ANDREW BIRD will headline his new album,Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum) has been receiving rave reviews from around the world. This summer he's had a concert webcast on NPR, appeared on Conan O'Brien and David Letterman Show, and recorded a live video on "Imitosis", live from La Maroquinerie in Paris. His last Chicago appearance sold out the Rivera Theater. The band will play his full 90+ minute set. This will be his only Chicago appearance of the summer and fall.

THE FRAMES one of Ireland's most beloved bands, are having an amazing year. This July while touring the US, their leader Glen Hansard will appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Last Call with Carson Daly. Then it is straight off to Australia and New Zealand in August where The Frames have beenpersonally invited by Bob Dylan to open for him on his first tour there in four years. The band's most recent album, The Cost, (2007) has received widespread praise, and if that's not enough, the film Once, which stars The Frames frontman Glen Hansard and was directed byone-time Frames bass-player John Carney, won the World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic prize at this year's Sundance. The Chicago Tribune gave "Once" four stars, calling it "more emotionally satisfying thanany of the Broadway-to-Hollywood adaptations made in the last 20 years."

$35 two-day passes will be for sale on line at

Pumped about seeing Andrew Bird somewhere that's NOT the Riviera. Also, though I'm not into the Frames, I heard the movie Glen was in is amazing; can't wait to get it on my Netflix.