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.