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.