Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hey, M. Ward said Park West is his favorite venue of the moment. So sad I missed his show there last month; it is a great venue in a very grown-up sense (i.e. not a dirty smoky dungeon like the Bottle, which I love in its own way of course). It'll treat Neko Case well next month.
Got myself a ticket for the early Thermals show tonight and am excited to hang with the high school crowd. Hopefully they'll make for some good crowd shots, they seem to be more angsty and dress more ridiculous than most of-age hipsters. Review and pics later this week!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Today my coworker burned me a copy of the new Bloc Party album. After one listen, I must say I'm very unimpressed. First of all, after the first song played, I had to double check that he burned me the right album; Kele's once vibrant vocals sounded pretty generic and dumbed down. The sound overall is much more typical brit-rock with absolutely no great dance tracks in the vein of "Banquet" and "Helicopter." Too bad.

Other albums I've been checking out lately:

The Besnard Lakes- Are the Dark Horse: Great fuzzy, distorted rock from Montreal.

Fujiya & Miyagi- Transparent Things: I've been playing a lot of tracks from this on my show lately and I really like it. Funky, groovy music that runs from loungy to downright danceable. And no, they're not actually Japanese.

Eluvium- Copia: A nice, classical-sounding instrumental rock record. "Prelude for Time Feelers" is my favorite song off the album.

Very excited to hear: The new !!! album, Myth Takes, which drops next week. As those of you who heard my show last night heard me say, it really seems like singer Nic Offer's vocals are finally catching up in quality to the rest of the music. The song I played last night even features a quality falsetto- he must have been taking lessons or something!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Grrr . . . Blogger is being a massive pain and isn't letting me switch over to the new Blogger, which is giving me problems in posting from Flickr. If anyone knows how to help, please let me know! In the meantime, you can just click over to my Malajube pics here.

MALAJUBE w/ ALEKS AND THE DRUMMER, 2/23/07 @ Beat Kitchen

Even though I only got their new album the day of the show, I was intrigued to see the much buzzed-about French Canadian indie-rocker Malajube as they passed through Chicago last night. I feel like it's rare to have a foreign band make an album entirely in their first language and have it take so quickly in the US (the only other one that comes to mind right now is Dungen).

Amusingly, in the past week upon telling people we were going to see Malajube, fellow radiofreechicago writer Kirstiecat and I were told by two different sources that the band was supposed to be extremely attractive. I don't know what we were expecting, but I think our expectations were probably too high as they turned out to be your typical scraggly hipster kids (maybe the rigors of touring have taken their toll?). You can judge for yourself in the accompanying photos.

The band kicked off their short set with their most notable song, "Monogamie," probably the most light-hearted song off of <>Trompe L'Oiel. Though most of the tracks on the album are rather dense to begin with, live they proved to be even heavier than on record; they spent their fair share of stage time jamming out with some serious guitar riffs. In between songs singer Julien Mineau would charm us with his cute french-canadian accent and say self-deprecating things about the French (even though I don't know if French-Canadians fall under the "arrogant French" tag), and the set overall was fun and energetic. My only complaint was that the sound was not ideal; though I realize we can't understand anything anyway since the lyrics are in french, it was really hard to hear the vocals over all the fuzz. Maybe it was my fault for standing too close to the monitors. I'd be interested to try to see them again when 1) I've spent more time with the album, and 2) there's better sound (or I just stand farther from the stage perhaps).

Meanwhile Aleks and the Drummer opened with a unique set reminiscent of Pit Er Pat with their jagged keyboard sounds. A couple songs were sung in what I believe was Polish, and Aleks had a great stage presence, even though she was wearing what appeared to be a lampshade for a shirt. Still, that couldn't take away from how pretty the singer is, or how photogenic. Having never even heard of this band before tonight, I came away pretty impressed.

Finally, apologies for the sub-par photos, but this was by far some of the worst lighting I've had to deal with in a while. The best pictures were used with flash, and I otherwise tried to catch the flashes going off from other cameras, to little avail.

Friday, February 23, 2007

For those of you procrastinators, several big upcoming shows have already sold out: TV on the Radio sold out both March 12 and 13th at the Metro, Thermals have sold out next Wednesday's show at Subterranean, and of course, Peter Bjorn and John sold out within days.

New shows added to the schedule, get your tickets fast!

Junior Boys @ Empty Bottle, Thursday May 3 (I usually have a rule that I don't see a band again until they have a new album out so I don't see the exact same show twice, but I'll gladly see the Junior Boys repeat their last Empty Bottle performance)

Man Man w/ Icy Demons @ Abbey Pub, Friday March 23

Dead Science w/ the Parenthetical Girls @ Abbey Pub, Monday March 26 (Damn, the night of my show! I really want to see the Parenthetical Girls)

Brightblack Morning Light @ Empty Bottle, Friday April 27

Art Brut @ Subterranean, Friday April 20 (they've sold out the Metro and now they're playing Subterranean?!?!?)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Damn. Check out this mp3 of a new !!! track off of their forthcoming album, Myth Takes, called Infinifold. It is so unlike anything they've ever done before (read: you most definitely cannot dance to it). This album has some serious potential to be awesome.
If you're looking for something to do tonight, head on over to Subterranean for this month's edition of Bandwidth, sponsored by RFC. Tonight's got the best lineup yet, and we're doing a mix-CD/tape exchange, so stop by.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

So all the kids over at tinymixtapes have been creaming their pants over the forthcoming solo album from Panda Bear (of Animal Collective), Person Pitch. Sadly, it's only February and people are already talking about it topping best of 07 lists (because every music critic's life is only substantiated by the year-end list). Since it doesn't come out until March 19, I haven't heard the whole thing yet, but the couple tracks I've listened to online seem promising and are proving to be relatively more upbeat than those from his last solo album Young Prayer, an ode to his late father that sounds sort of like a wolf crying in the woods (which I mean in a good way, and makes sense upon hearing it). According to Matt Weir from TMT, Person Pitch "is like Oh Inverted World with tribal drumming". Hmm, interesting.

More info on Panda from Brooklyn Vegan here.

Animal Collective will be making their way to Chicago May 17 @ the Metro; not sure if their intimate campfire-esque shows will translate to the big stage, but it's probably worth finding out!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In case you hadn't perused the comments section lately, alert reader Dominic posted a link to the Grizzly Bear "He Hit Me . . ." cover, from a live session on KEXP. Check it!
Wow, Pitchfork isn't kidding, this new Ted Leo track is oozing with Dismemberment Plan influence, to the point where I think Mr. Leo owes Travis Morrison a few royalties. If the song sped up just a tad more, it would be "The Dismemberment Plan Gets Rich."

EDIT: Whoops, silly me, forgot to include the link!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Last week of the pledge drive, so listen up tonight and call in with a donation! Help support the Perfect Face for Radio! No special theme tonight, just a good 2 hours of music like usual.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

So is everyone going to be falling over themselves to get tickets to the Peter Bjorn and John show scheduled for the Empty Bottle May 8? I'll admit I still haven't checked out their music other than downloading "Young Folks," which is quite catchy. Maybe I should get on the bandwagon?

EDIT: I went ahead and bought tickets- don't want to miss a chance to see them at the Bottle now and have them doing a three-date stand at the Chicago Theatre next year!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Neko Case update: For those of you who still haven't gotten a ticket, the Thursday show has sold out. However, they've added a third show on Wednesday, March 28. She sure must love her Chicago fans!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ah, the Arcade Fire. One day they're playing the Empty Bottle, the next their playing a three-show stint at the Chicago Theatre that will probably sell out in five minutes.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sasha Frere-Jones goes on- and on and on- about the Arcade Fire in the New Yorker this week.
Just a reminder that the WLUW pledge drive starts today and runs for the next two weeks. I'll be celebrating the first day of the drive tonight with a dance party to get you groovin' in between my pleas for support. Check out the website to see what pledge premiums we're offering this time around, then call in or pledge online tonight or next Monday and tell the operator you like my show!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Grizzly Bear w/ Dirty Projectors

Grizzly Bear
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
The Dirty Projectors opened up for Grizzly Bear with a unique set showcasing DP mastermind Dave Longstreth's impressive vocals, which he often pushed to their limits. Having only heard one song before, I wasn't prepared for their odd mix of unstructured rock, funk, lounge and who can say what else. I probably won't be picking up any Dirty Projector albums anytime soon, but I do have to say it was a really interesting performance I'm glad I got to see.

Grizzly Bear, meanwhile, played the tightest, most flawless set I could have possibly imagined they would play. Their music, which can sound flat coming out of my crappy work speakers (my usual listening station), came totally alive in Subterranean, the dense layers of sound wafting all over the room. The male harmonies that often involved all four members sounded amazing, especially during my favorite song (and everyone else's favorite, judging by the number of covers), "Knife," where sounds I would have thought were coming from an instrument were proven to actually be coming from Chris Taylor's mouth. The fantastically repetitive choruses of "Lullabye" and "Colorado" ("Chin Up/Cheer Up" and "What Now/What Now . . . ) echoed beautifully around the room. For the second time in as many shows, I heard a cover of a Crystals' song; while last week Asobi Seksu covered "And Then He Kissed Me" in their signature style, Grizzly Bear followed suit by doing a Grizzly rendition of "He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss)". The band wrapped the show up sans encore but on a on a huge up note with their most upbeat song, "On a Neck, On a Spit", sending me skipping out the door with the tune in my head. It reminded me that what I love about this band is that they somehow hide these incredible pop melodies under all these thick layers of fuzz, and it makes for something so beautiful.

On a side note, at the end of the show singer Ed Droste told the crowd that drummer Chris Bear, a Chicago native, had his family in the audience, and that after the show we should all do shots with Sue Bear. Best mom name ever.

On a second side note, here's a little Wikipedia history of "He Hit Me . . "; I'd heard of the song but never listened to the lyrics before hearing Grizzly Bear sing them, and I wondered if they were meant to be satirical back in the 60s or not. In true Wikipedia style, the entry already mentions the fact that Grizzly Bear has been covering it live.

Grizzly Bear vs. the Knife: Knife/Heartbeats Weirdly, here's an attempted mashup of two of my favorite songs of the past year, Grizzly Bear's "The Knife" and The Knife's "Heartbeats." I really don't think it works, mostly because I'd rather just hear each song on its own. But you can be the judge.
Dirty Projectors- Imagine It
The Crystals- He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss) Sadly, couldn't find an mp3 of the Grizzly Bear cover, so here's the real thing.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Some upcoming show notes:

-Pretty Girls Make Graves just broke up, but apparently their last show is going to be in Chicago on May 12 at the Empty Bottle. One last time to hear the awesomeness of "Speakers Push the Air" live!

-The Locust has a show coming up April 7 at the Logan Square Auditorium. I've never seen them live, but you can expect a lot of crazy, one-minute bursts of yelling from guys in funny outfits who brought us such great song titles as "Who Wants a Dose of the Clap?", "Twenty-Three Lubed Up Schizophreics with Delusions of Grandeur," and "The Half-Eaten Sausage Would Like to See You in His Office." I think their song titles are longer than the songs. Check out more great Locust song titles here.
Word on the street from the WLUW boards . . .

A northwestern student group is sponsoring a MAN MAN show tonight at Northwestern!

The show starts at 7-7:30 with two opening college bands; the show costs $10 for non-NU people. You call about tickets and info at:

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Village Voice finally contributes their 2006 round up, Pazz and Jop, a bit late to the game.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

James Mercer of the Shins tells the Onion all his thoughts on Valentine's Day, love and relationships.
I'm surprised it took someone this long to write about this. Everyone at my party noticed it immediately!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I have had these dreams many times. Just last week I dreamt the cd player kept shutting off mid-song, over and over again, while I was trying to train a new DJ.
Last night's show will be posted tonight. I'm only on the air for the first 1 1/2 hours- my trainee took over for the last half hour to get some practice before starting his own show on Tuesdays from 4-6am (ah, those were the days!). His musical tastes didn't veer far from my own, though, so all two hours will be posted.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ok, so Prince played "Purple Rain" at last night's half-time show- cheers to that. But what was with the Foo Fighters cover?

Edit: Apparently Kelefa Sanneh of the New York Times thought it was the greatest half-time show ever.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

How cool is this:

This American Life Live
March 1, 2007
Chicago Theatre

Join Chicago Public Radio's own host Ira Glass and contributors including Sarah Vowell, Dan Savage, David Rakoff, and special musical guest, Mates of State, for a live performance of the program that's been hailed as "the vanguard of a journalistic revolution." The evening will also be the premiere of the show's television adaptation for Showtime.

In other upcoming show news, the Friday, March 30 Neko Case show is already sold out- get your Thursday tickets quick!