Monday, April 30, 2007

Grrr . . .

Sigh . . . a week away and I've already forgotten the routine (i.e. TURN ON THE RECORDER BEFORE LEAVING FOR YOUR SHOW). Too bad, everyone missed hearing the new Meatwad Legal ID. Next week is my last show before I take a summer hiatus to focus on spending my nights outside instead of cooped up in a studio, so I'll be sure to remember to actually record it then (even if I am a little tired from the LCD Soundsystem show the night before).

What do you want me to say . . .

For some reason Pitchfork had a link to a review of the Dismemberment Plan reunion show that happened in DC this weekend, it wouldn't let me click through to it, and now I check again and the review isn't even posted anymore. Way to tease.

Oh well, I probably would just weep silently at my desk if I had to read someone else's account of that show knowing I couldn't be a part of it.

EDIT: Looks like they finally managed to get it up there. Commence weeping.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Well, I was just about to write up my diatribe about how I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed about the Pitchfork lineup, but then they go and add Yoko Ono and I'm a little less underwhelmed. Not that I can call myself a huge fan of her work or anything, but I recognize what a coup that is and think it would be pretty frickin' cool to see her. She is one sassy lady. And I think it's safe to say that Cat Power will be joining her on stage for a duet. Is anyone else on Yoko's recent album at the festival this year? I can't remember who all the guest appearances were.

Obviously, what makes these festivals so great is when they break out those artists that have been in hiding or rarely tour; aside from Sonic Youth and Yoko Ono (and yes, some of the more legendary hip-hop acts I'm not mentioning because they're just not my thing, though I of course respect the diversity etc. etc .etc.), the lineup is otherwise made up of bands that have played in Chicago in the last few months and will probably be back again soon. Slint would be a bigger deal if they didn't just do a big reunion tour, where I'm sure they played most of Spiderland anyway (plus I just haven't been able to get super into Slint; maybe seeing them live will help?).

Part of me wonders if it's more just me, and that the idea of a festival isn't as exciting as it once was precisely because I now live in a city where I have access to all these bands almost every night of the week. If I was still living in Madison, where we had to beg bands to make the stop between Minneapolis and Chicago, the idea of getting to see all these bands at one time would be amazing- I know it was when I went to Coachella back in college and I hadn't yet seen most of the bands that were playing.

Obviously the fact that I'll get to spend a summer weekend hanging out with friends and listening to good music for $50 shouldn't be denied- much like with the Modest Mouse show last weekend, I just need to accept that I've become extremely spoiled with my constant access to great music and that my expectations for things are beginning to become unreasonably high. Maybe I need to go live in Madison again for awhile so I can come back and re-appreciate how lucky I am to be in this city and get such constant exposure to awesome music?

Yeah, no.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Modest Mouse @ the Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis- 4/20/07

After having my flight delayed due to a mechanical problem and watching the pilots and mechanics scratch their heads in the cockpit for an hour, I luckily was rushed to a new plane and made it straight from the airport to the Orpheum just in time for the end of Love as Laughter's set. After having seen Modest Mouse twice in the most horrible venues in the country for sound (Aragon Ballroom and Eagle's Ballroom- stay away from those ballrooms), I was thrilled to finally get a chance to hear them in a theatre designed to house music. My anticipation only grew when I saw our seats- I don't know how it happened, but apparently two aisle seats in row P (read: pretty close) were still available as of Thursday when we purchased our tickets, something that would never happen in Chicago. I won't question our good luck.

Modest Mouse took the stage with two drummers and Johnny Marr and kicked off with "Paper Thin Walls," one of the more thrilling songs of the night and one of the few pre-Good News tracks we were treated to. Even though I was prepared to hear mostly new material, I guess I still hoped for some surprise classics; only "Dramamine" and "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" qualified for that tag, with additional representation from typical live favorite "Doin' the Cockroach". Probably not coincidentally, these were the songs that turned into some crazy 10-minute long jams (don't think Isaac Brock usually goes on for five minutes about "quotas" during "Tiny Cities"), while the new stuff was played pretty much straight off the records. Not unexpectedly, the Modest Mouse crowd had changed from what had once been a mix of hipsters and hippies to a mix of hipsters, hippies and scantily clad young girls.

Overall, everything sounded good and Isaac was doing some good crazy rockin' on stage, but I think the size of the venue, though smaller than what they usually play at these days, was still too big for me to feel much connection with the band, and for once, I couldn't blame the sound for that. "Bukowski" had some fire and "Missed the Boat" was certainly nice, but relatively close as I was, I still felt too far away from the band. Frustratingly, the excitement I've been getting from listening to the new album seemed to be missing for me when I heard the same songs live.

I hate to think I'm becoming too snobby about venue size, but sad to say I've been pretty spoiled with life at Schubas, the Empty Bottle and even the Metro. I have a feeling very few bands at this point will be able to thrill me much at a place larger than the Vic (Sigur Ros' show at the Civic Opera comes to mind, but their sound is a much better fit for a theatre than a rock band). I think I just need to accept that the live Modest Mouse experience I wanted happened about five years ago and isn't coming back, and just continue to worship their recorded material in the meantime.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New and Improved!

Oh my gosh, after several months of harassing the Blogger support team to get my blog on the new platform and getting nothing but moronic responses ("I see the problem, it appears you haven't switched to the new platform"), apparently over the weekend it magically fixed itself.

I'm still catching up after a busy, busy weekend away, and will hopefully get my thoughts on Modest Mouse up tomorrow. A big "wag of the finger" to Northwest Airlines for almost making me miss the show altogether.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Everything that keeps me together is falling apart

Woohoo! I'm headed off to Minneapolis for the weekend, and by a stroke of good fortune, I'll be checking out Modest Mouse tonight at the Orpheum Theatre! I was bummed that I'd be missing their Auditorium Theatre show on Sunday, but it turns out the Mouse is doing not one, but two shows in Minneapolis while I'm there! Huzzah! Depending on how close our seats are, I'll attempt to take pictures and will review it upon my return. Word on the street is they've been playing more old stuff than they used too (Tiny Cities?); still, even if they play mostly the new album, I won't be too mad since I think it's pretty great.

Back Monday!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

From the Tribune via Radiofreechicago . . . this is supremely awesome. Free Decemberists show in Grant Park backed by an orchestra? And once again, the Metro celebrates its 25th anniversary at a show having nothing really to do with the Metro. Looks like they'll be celebrating their anniversary all over town this summer, everywhere except their own venue.

No one wants to hear what you dreamt about, unless you dreamt about them . . .*

Last night I dreamt I was hanging out with Jeremy Greenspan of the Junior Boys and my childhood best friend Orelia (who I haven't thought about in years) before his big concert opening for the Rolling Stones (???) on some giant mile-long field with a stage on the end of it and a bunch of shrubbery in the middle. For some reason, keyboardist Matt Didemus didn't want to hang out with us because he didn't like me, so he wasn't there and I felt slighted. Then the lights dimmed on the stage in the faraway distance, Jeremy disappeared to start the show and Orelia and I jumped into an SUV with a steering wheel on both sides of the car; together we drove past the shrubbery, through the crowd of people and miraculously parked in the middle of it without running anyone over. Then I didn't even get to see the show because I woke up.

*Name that lyric!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

She put a little money into traveling . . .

I finally got the Peter Bjorn and John album so I'll be totally with it at the Empty Bottle show in a couple of weeks (btw, I'm kind of bummed they added that early show because it meant they split the openers between the two shows and I'll miss Au Revoir Simone; still, if I had to choose, I'd rather see Fujiya and Miyagi anyway). Anyhoo, I'm pretty sick of "Young Folks" at this point, but how incredibly awesome is the song "Amsterdam," both lyrically and musically? Way better, in my opinion.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Record Fair this weekend went amazingly well, we had more people come than ever before and Mucca Pazza scared the crap out of all the record fair shoppers when the 20+ members (including a couple of inexplicable cheerleaders) marched through each room before taking over the stage in the main room with their indie rock marching band orgy. You can see them again at the Empty Bottle June 2; maybe by then they'll be up to 40 members? How on earth will they fit on the EB stage?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Don't forget, the WLUW record fair is this weekend! Stop by tomorrow at noon to hear me DJ (expect a dance-tastic time w/ some LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Junior Boys, !!!, and more), then I'll be taking admissions from 1-4pm.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hipster + accountant = cool, really

Oh, this poor soul who felt like she was trying so hard to be a hipster but not succeeding, she had to write in to an advice column to seek solace.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Lollapalooza lineup is up on RFC, and aw shit, it's got Daft Punk. I wasn't planning on going this year, but now . . . I forget, do they sell one-day tickets eventually? I might have to go on that day . . .
Salon has an amusing "cultural discussion" of Sanjaya's presence on American Idol, featuring some prominent critics and their takes on the whole Vote for the Worst situation (most of their reactions being "why is this a cultural topic in the first place?"). I will admit to enjoying AI once they've gone down to the final 12, especially on the nights they do more pop stuff (loved Blake's takes on the Zombies and the Cure! If I ever cared enough to vote, I'd vote for him), and it gives me the opportunity to get to discuss music with my coworkers, which is usually limited to "you have a radio show? Weird." Gotta find common ground somewhere.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Classical vs. the Cure

A lot of people (read: music bloggers) have been talking about this article in the Washington Post that chronicles what happens when a superstar classical violinist goes into the DC Metro and plays during rush hour. Even though the idea is interesting, I HATE the way the author wrote it; talk about overdramatic. I also find the tone incredibly insulting (oh, those poor mid-level bureaucrats going to their sad little jobs, they wouldn't know good classical music if it hit them over the head with a violin on the way to work). I didn't know stopping to listen to a subway performer (granted, an obviously good one) was an issue of "moral mathematics." Then later he actually writes: "He is the one who is real. They are the ghosts." NO HE DIDN'T.
Indie music in commercials watch: I heard Feist's "Gatekeeper" in the background of an ad for HSBC's online savings account. Now that's two ads I've seen for investment-related products with indie music in it (the other being Of Montreal in a NASDAQ ad). Of course, the fact that I have an HSBC online savings account just reminds me that I must be maturing at the same rate my music is (though I suppose calling Of Montreal "mature" is a bit of a stretch).
I too am bummed by the news that Intonation won't be happening this summer. It was nice going to a festival that wasn't overly crowded, and even though I wasn't into all the bands, I appreciated the diverse lineup and the fact that I could relax during the bands I didn't know. I realize it's a dumb thing to complain about, but it sucks going to a festival when you want to see every band, because you will undoubtedly have to skip at least one in favor of food, shade, a seat and the bathroom at some point. Although, at least at Intonation/Pitchfork you still have the opportunity to see/hear every band; the Lollapaloozas and Coachellas of the world are guaranteed to put three of your favorites on at the exact same time.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

High Fidelity

As many of you probably already know, the WLUW Record Fair is coming up next weekend at the Pulaski Park fieldhouse. I'll be DJing in the second room for an hour at 12 noon on Saturday, the 14th and will probably be hanging around volunteering afterwards, so stop by and say hi.

More information, courtesy of the WLUW promo dept (with small edits by me, due to the excessive! use! of exclamation! points!):

Prepare for the WLUW Record Fair!
It's almost that time to organize your shelves, empty out your pockets and prepare to be rocked out. Spend Saturday, April 14 and Sunday April 15, 2007 at the 5th Annual WLUW Record Fair. Saturday from 10am-6pm and Sunday 10am-5pm WLUW-Chicago will be hosting our FIFTH annual record fair, a benefit for 88.7fm.

This is a banner year for us at Record Fair HQ. For five years, we have been bringing you two full days filled with the best selection of vinyl, CDs, posters, 'zines, and art available under one roof in the entire Chicagoland area. Come on out, even if you're just a casual collector or a serious crate digger (BTW, crate diggers, Saturday Pre-Admission 8am-10am entitles free admission for entire weekend!). It's only $7 each day or $5 with postcard/any ad. $25 for Saturday pre-admission.

Located once again at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse at 1419 W. Blackhawk, in Wicker Park, this event will have aisles and aisles of everything a music aficionado could possibly want. We'll have vendors offering rock, pop, psychedelia and folk, to soul, jazz, country, international, R&B, hip-hop, rock-a-billy and everything in-between. If it's rare or weird, we'll have that too. Also, videos, DVDs, posters, art, and anything that isn't nailed down. We'll also have championships in our Rec Room devoted to every music lover's favorite games: Guitar Hero and DDR!

Food will be provided by the Heartland Cafe all day, and be sure to check out special deals at the WLUW Bargain Basement. But if you're there for the music, you're in luck! The 2007 WLUW Record Fair boasts celebrity DJ sets from our favorite local bands, publications and labels: Numero Group, Pitchfork Media, Thrill Jockey, Flameshovel, Pit Er Pat, The Eternals, and Dave Fischoff. Live sets by Reddelicious, Unicycle Loves You, Rue Royale, and Leaves.Saturday is headlined by local power-poppers The Brown Party, and on Sunday, we're topping everything off with a performance by Dischord's Antelope (Members of Supersystem, El Guapo).

It's the Fifth Annual WLUW Record Fair, April 14th and 15th at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. For more info visit, or contact
Totally forgot to post Monday's show online last night, I'll be sure to do so tonight. I know no one listened on Monday night with the game going on and all, so here's your chance to catch up!

Meanwhile, here's some Joy Division-inspired sneakers.

Daft Punk is playing at My Coney Island

Daft Punk have announced their Alive 2007 North American tour dates here.

The Bohemian Playboy and I have procured tickets to their show in Keyspan Park, Coney Island, USA.

Should we dress up as the characters in the Around the World Video or the Cresendolls?

-DJ Lazer NYC

Monday, April 02, 2007

Check the charts

The new LCD Soundsystem album is indeed really good, and I'm now completely obsessed with "All My Friends," the album's centerpiece. It's the best song I've heard this year, and I can't wait to hear it live when they come to the Metro on May 6. Pretty much every review I've read mentions the "You spend the first five years trying to get with the plan / And the next five years trying to be with your friends again" line, but who can't identify with that? Check out an mp3 here.

Blech . . .

I've heard Modest Mouse's "Float On" in a variety of abominations lately, including 1) being covered by the American Idol contestants in one of those Ford commercials during the show, and even worse 2) as Muzak in a CVS Pharmacy, with some hokey male singer and a piano or something playing the melody at half the speed. I sort of wanted to sit down right in the middle of the magazine aisle and cry. The American Idol cover is sort of to be expected at this point of their popularity, but Muzak? Say it ain't so!