Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Mooninites are outer-space delinquents who greet visitors with a raised middle finger."

And a follow-up article that calls out the ridiculousness of people reporting on the Mooninites who've never heard of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The new Of Montreal album is fascinating. Kevin Barnes is no stranger to writing dark or depressing lyrics (unrequited love, loneliness, necrophilia) masked in sheer pop bliss, but usually the pop bliss part overshadows the subject matter. On Hissing Fauna, the formula is the same, but with the topic focusing on his recent divorce, this is the first time you can really hear the pain through all the sweetness. "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal" especially is incredibly painful, difficult, and amazing; it's 11 minutes of Barnes pouring his heart out over repetitive and driving guitars with some creepy "ooh-ooh"s going on in the background. Not the typical three-minute pop I'm used to from Of Montreal (though there's plenty of that too- see "Suffer for Fashion," another gem). The lyrics are pretty killer too: "I fell in love with the first cute girl that I met / that could appreciate George Bataille / Standing at a Swedish festival / discussing "Story of the Eye." Of course, the fact that Story of the Eye is supposed to be psychotically disturbing might have provided some foreshadowing as far as the rest of the relationship goes. (Actually, I've been meaning to read it, so I should probably hold judgment until then :) ).
Last night's show recorded successfully and will be posted this evening. I was training a new dj during the last hour, so if I sound frazzled at all, you can blame it on that!

Speaking of WLUW, the WLUW pledge drive starts up in two weeks. More info to come.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Applseed Cast w/ Asobi Seksu @ Abbey Pub, 1/26

Asobi Seksu
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
Alright, I'm finally back on the photo blog! Three cheers!

Asobi Seksu made things hard on my first time taking pictures in months, as they played in almost total darkness, save for a few backlights and christmas lights strung around the instruments. My only opportunities to grab pictures came when they punctuated the music with a strobe light coming from the front of the stage, making for an interesting visual experience. Aside from the lighting, Asobi put on a great show that made me enjoy their music even more than I had on CD. I also gained a new appreciation for adorable frontwoman Yuki's unique voice, which came off quite powerfully in the small Abbey Pub music room. I was also surprised to find out that she had no Japanese accent to speak of. Meanwhile, the rest of the band rocked out pretty hard behind their wall of distorted rock. After running through most of Citrus, the band wrapped things up with a fuzzy, distorted, Asobi Sesku-fied cover of the Crystals' "And Then He Kissed Me," which worked surprisingly well with Yuki's voice and the band's sound.

The Appleseed Cast came on next to the cheers of the young emo crowd, who lapped up everything the band did. I've enjoyed some of the Appleseed Cast's mix of instrumental post-rock and emo in the past, but something about their show this night just had me sort of underwhelmed. The instrumentals seemed to end too abruptly, and the vocals when they did sing were unremarkable and lost in the guitars. The kids loved it though, especially the young'uns next to me who kept trying to get the crowd to dance to the incredibly un-danceable music. I ended up leaving early, satisfied with my Asobi experience and ready to go to bed like the old fogey I'm turning into!

More Asobi Seksu:

Pitchfork interview
Live track: "And Then He Kissed Me"
Asobi's myspace page

Friday, January 26, 2007

In case you're looking for something to do this weekend, there's a Lily Allen pre-release party at the Continental:

The Continental
2801 W Chicago Avenue
Saturday January 27
11pm until 5am

DJ Tankboy and the Lily Allen pre-release party

More details from DJ Tankboy:
"We'll be spinning some tracks off her CD as well as offering giveaways from her label, tickets to her Chicago appearance at the Metro, and other surprises from local vendors. We will have some cool giveaways to tie into the release of Damon Albarn of Blur's new supergroup, The Good, The Bad & the Queen as well."

Lily's also coming to the Metro February 8 as part of the "MTV Discover and Download Tour." It's pretty crazy how this girl has blown up over the past few months, from a myspace page to Pitchfork buzz to MTV sponsorship. Is it deserved? I actually haven't heard anything other than "Smile," which is cute and all, so I can't really say.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Just picked up the new Of Montreal album from Reckless. Hard to believe, but it's packaging almost rivals Menomena's in awesomeness and creativity. I hope the music is equally great!

Plus, you just have to appreciate Kevin Barnes' commitment to glam.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007



I can't decide if this website is fake or if it's real and has just been infiltrated by indie-pranksters, but either way this supposed Christian ministry's list of "gay" bands is pretty comical. The abundance of indie ("Merzbau"?) and the unexpected inclusion of Sufjan Stevens makes me think it's a joke or people's "submissions" have been a joke, plus the fact that Cyndi Lauper made the "safe bands" list (unless the right-wing Christians can't understand innuendo . . . ).
Silly me, I'm still clearly not used to the new Monday time slot as I totally forgot to record the show (realized in the car ride to the station). Which is too bad, because it was a pretty good one- more calls then I ever got in the morning, which was a pleasant surprise. So you'll have to wait for a new podcast next week.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I realize I have a tendency on this blog to go on and on about a band for weeks' worths of posts, so let's just call January the Month of Menomena posts (this must be what, my 5th or 6th?). Their Pitchfork-approved album comes out tomorrow and it's streaming in its entirety on Barsuk's website, which is great considering it will probably take Insound a week or two to ship it to me. Get your tickets for their March 20th Empty Bottle show now! I've seen them twice at the Bottle, always opening for someone else and always drawing the largest crowd anyway (though never a sold out crowd, which this show will surely be as the word spreads). It's interesting to see how the Pitchfork-machine has grown even in just the last three or so years; I Am the Fun Blame Monster was a Best New Music pick back in '03, yet they couldn't even headline a show outside of Portland back then; nowadays the BNW tag pretty much ensures sold-out shows across the country. But hopefully, no matter how big they get, Menomena will never get rid of their utterly ridiculous website.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Califone at the Hideout was enjoyable as always, though the packed house and low stage made taking pictures impossible- not a big deal, since I did just take pictures at their Empty Bottle show a couple months ago. Next Friday I will make it a point to get some good ones of Asobi Seksu.

Added to the concert schedule: Neko Case @ Park West, March 29 and 30! I haven't seen her since Fox Confessor Brings the Flood came out, and Park West will be a great venue to do so.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Everyone who hung out with me in London circa 2002 will be super excited about this.
I'm really into this El Perro Del Mar album. If I had checked it out last year, it would have been in my top 25 for sure, probably closer to 1 than 25. It's like really sad twee, which is probably an oxymoron. "Party" is by far the best song, a sad call to an old flame inviting him to what sounds like the most depressing party ever. She's coming from Sweden to play at the Lakeshore Theater March 6.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

After having not been to a show since Devotchka December 2, and not having taken pictures at a show since Joanna Newsom, I'm finally getting back into the scene starting with Califone at the Hideout this Friday. From then on I'll be back to the ol' approx. once-a-week pattern, with Asobi Seksu next week and plenty more on the way in February and March (Grizzly Bear! Menomena! The Thermals! TV on the Radio! Huzzah!). So expect more in the way of show reviews and photos over these next few weeks and months.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Indie-music-in-commercials-watch: Just heard the New Pornographers' "Bleeding Heart Show" in a commercial for the University of Pheonix. "Hey la, hey la, hey la . . ."

Monday, January 15, 2007

If I was ever ambitious enough (which I'm not), I'd put together a show where all the songs were related to current events in the news. I thought of this when I inadvertently played Les Savy Fav's "Kidnapped" on my show, then realized it's story of a kidnapping victim who falls in love with his kidnappers totally mirrored the story of the Missouri kid who didn't seem to want to take the dozens of chances to escape from his perpetrator.

That song totally rules, by the way.
The new Menomena album is, indeed, in the studio, just in time for my first show of 2007! I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but the album artwork alone deserves mention. This picture doesn't do it justice because you can't see how the cover and the CD itself . . . interact!

Friday, January 12, 2007

I saw Children of Men last night. It was really good. I'm glad to know that even in the darkest, most dismal of futures, people still smoke pot and listen to Radiohead.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

After some discussion on the TMT boards and a writeup by my favorite Salon TV critic, I decided to check out the season premiere of I'm From Rolling Stone, a new reality TV show where six kids get a summer internship at Rolling Stone and one gets an actual job at the end. I don't know where they got these kids, but only two of them seem to have actual journalism experience. I can probably pick out right now which one is going to win. One of the interns, a drunken Australian (no stereotypes being broken there) on a crew scholarship, didn't appear to have any journalism experience, nor seem to know anything about music. But he does like to write his articles drunk. One girl read part of her article out loud, and her first sentence was so long and wordy I had no idea what she was talking about. Apparently next week the kids get to go out and interview bands, and according to Salon, their interviewing skills aren't exactly "up to par," to put it nicely. But I'll probably keep watching to see what sort of train wreck the show turns out to be, and to make myself feel like if one of these morons can write for Rolling Stone, then so could I! Not that I'd really want to, the magazine pretty much blows now.

Scenes from the upcoming season revealed that the "writers" spend significant time at Intonation (where one interviews Ghostface) and Lollapalooza, so look for some good Chicago on-air time!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Speaking of Menomena . . . they're coming to the Bottle, Tuesday, March 20 w/ Field Music! I don't think I need to remind you all how great they are.

Other exciting new additions to the schedule:
El Perro Del Mar @ Lakeshore Theater, Tuesday March 6
Ratatat w/ 120 Days @ Logan Square Auditorium, Wednesday March 21 (hello dance party!)
Next week marks the return of the Perfect Face for Radio at its new time slot, 8-10PM Monday nights! Yippee. Let's hope for some good new stuff in the racks, hopefully some advance copies of upcoming 2007 releases (Menomena's new one comes out this month!).

Monday, January 08, 2007

My new year's resolution to get back into the show scene is starting off well with some recent ticket purchases. Excited for these shows:

Califone @ the Hideout- January 19
Asobi Seksu w/ the Appleseed Cast @ the Abbey Pub- January 26
Grizzly Bear w/ the Dirty Projectors @ Subterranean- February 9
The Thermals @ Subterranean- February 28
TV on the Radio @ the Metro- March 13
Of Montreal @ the Metro- March 15
The Books @ Old Town School of Folk Music (!)- April 28

Friday, January 05, 2007

A co-worker of mine has an advance copy of the new Shins album, Wincing the Night Away, so I got a chance to preview it today. First impression? Sort of boring. Maybe it's a grower?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

According to Matador Records, they've signed their first band of the new year, and the band's name is . . . wait for it . . . TIMES NEW VIKING. Now here's the question: is that the best band name ever, or the worst?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Modest Mouse single, courtesy of the yearly email I seem to get for being on the Modest Mouse email list. It's making me really excited for the full length!!! I think I'll be listening to a lot of Modest Mouse at work tomorrow. The email also said: "World tour to follow". How likely is it that Modest Mouse would do a 4-night stand at the Metro or something? That would be my dream. Sadly, it's more likely that they'll play at the Aragon and I'll have to refuse to go, since the Aragon is the worst venue ever.
Schuba's Tomorrow Never Knows festival is next week, and according to Pollstar, it's already great line-up (French Kicks, Ponys, Office, Bound Stems, Dirty on Purpose) has gotten even better with the addition of Man Man on the 11th! It doesn't show them on Schubas website yet, but Pollstar is usually pretty reliable. I missed them at Pitchfork and at Subterranean last year, and even though I think their music is a bit too novelty for me to listen to regularly on CD, I'd definitely like to see them live.

EDIT: Looks like Pollstar was indeed wrong. Damn them for taunting me that way!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New year's resolutions? I don't do them, but if I had to say something, I suppose this year I should:

*Listen to more new music than I did last year
*Go to more shows than I did last year

In other words, get back to 2005, when I was probably at my musical peak. I think with my radio show moving to the evenings, resolution #1 will be much easier since I'll be awake enough to pay attention and have time before and afterwards to burn things I like. As far as resolution #2, well, hopefully if I achieve resolution #1, I'll in turn want to see all these new bands live.

Here's hoping!