Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

More indie rock love

My indie romance updates via People.com gets a doozy with this announcement that Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard are engaged. People.com failed to tell me that they were ever dating though.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chicago in DC

Chicago music comes to the Inauguration!

On Monday, January 19th, the Black Cat in Washington DC is hosting a special pre-inaguration bash presented by The Hideout and Interchange, featuring short sets by Andrew Bird, Tortoise, Waco Brothers, Eleventh Dream Day, David "Honeyboy" Edwards with Michael Frank, Ken Vandermark, Jon Langford, Sally Timms, Freakwater, Icy Demons, and Judson Claiborne (basically, the standard Hideout favorites). Tickets are $50, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Future of Music Coalition and the Chicago Public Schools marching bands program. Chicago residents can purchase tickets at the Hideout. So if you're one of the lucky ones to have a DC friend with a couch to crash on for free, this would be a great way to experience Chicago in DC.

Speaking of Andrew Bird, on January 3 you can stream Noble Beast in its entirety at NPR Music. The album comes out January 20.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Best of 2008

Nicole's favorite albums of 2008:

15. Bonnie "Prince" Billy- Lie Down in the Light
14. Why?- Alopecia
13. Neon Neon- Stainless Style
12. Department of Eagles- In Ear Park
11. Dodos- Visiter
10. Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
9. She & Him- Volume One
8. The Acorn- Glory Hope Mountain
7. TV on the Radio- Dear Science
6. Santogold- Santogold
5. The Helio Sequence- Keep Your Eyes Ahead
4. Wolf Parade- At Mount Zoomer
3. M83- Saturdays=Youth
2. Cut Copy- In Ghost Colours
1. Beach House- Devotion

Not sure if my inability to get to 25 was due to a "just ok" year of music or my lack of exposure to a lot of new albums.

Best albums from 2007 I didn't discover until 2008:
Yeasayer- All Hour Cymbals
Bat for Lashes- Fur and Gold
Le Loup- The Throne of The Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly
Low- Drums and Guns
Burial- Untrue

Favorite songs of 2008:
Santogold- "L.E.S. Artistes"
Why?- "Fatalist Palmistry"
Neon Neon- "Raquel"
Helio Sequence- "Keep Your Eyes Ahead"
Hot Chip- "Ready for the Floor"
M83- "Kim and Jessie"
Beach House- "Heart of Chambers"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More year-end fun

TinyMixTapes has its annual year-end extravaganza up today. I was less involved in its production then in previous years, though my list was still thrown into the mix. I'll post my favorites tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Andrew Bird @ Hideout, 12/15/08

Last night's Andrew Bird show was a fun, intimate time with everyone's favorite violin-looping, whistling Chicagoan. As Tim Tuten eloquently explained before launching into a diatribe about how everyone at the Hideout would soon be bailing out all the Republican Douchebags in Wrigleyville who made bad investments and brought our economy down, whatever that meant (though his delivery was good, I think the guy has been taking some stand-up comedy lessons in his spare time), the Hideout purposefully didn't oversell the show so we could enjoy our personal space while experiencing excellent sight lines of the men on stage.

Dosh played a short 30-minute set of his ambient electronica+drumming with Mike Lewis on saxophone and bass to warm up the crowd before the main event. Andrew Bird and his touring band (currently Martin Dosh- drums, Jeremy Ylvisaker- guitar, Mike Lewis- clarinet/bass) took the small stage, which was barely able to fit the spinning horn speaker he's been touting around lately. Turns out these two small shows were added in order to get footage for the album's first music video, with secondary opportunities to preview the entire new record and let the band practice the songs live. This aspect of the show proved to be necessary, as there were several times where Andrew needed to stop and restart songs, or a pedal didn't work properly; however, in a setting like this one, the mistakes only made the show feel that much more quaint and intimate, like we were a part of something special and behind-the-scenes that the crowds at the Riviera or Millenium Park would never get to see.

"Fitz and the Dizzyspells," the track warranting the video, was clearly the most poppy, radio-friendly of the record, featuring plenty of hand claps as well as the members of Mucca Pazza roaming the crowd while the audience flailed around; by the second time we ran through the song (yes, we heard it twice in a row for video purposes), I had a feeling it was a song I could easily get sick of, catchy though it was. Much more interesting were "Souverian", a darker song than we're used to from Andrew Bird that had more layers than I thought possible from Bird's looping, and a drum machine-driven song apparently developed when Bird heard a Dosh song he liked and decided to add violin and vocals. This Dosh-inspired song made for an interesting departure that I thought would make for a great collaborative album between the two in the future (Bird noted that "Simple X" was also a Dosh song he added to, interestingly enough).

Towards the end the band gave the audience some familiarity with "Imitosis," "Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left" and "Tables and Chairs." It was interesting hearing these older favorites next to the newly unveiled tracks; Andrew Bird could probably play these in his sleep, and it was interesting seeing the confidence and energy during these songs compared to those that clearly needed more practice. Again, it only added to the intrigue of seeing the beginnings of what these songs will be when they are ready to take them on the road.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Onion's Favs

It's year-end list time! I'll post mine at the end of the week. Here's the Onion's top 30; I think we're looking at another TV on the Radio number 1 sweep (though not on my list).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bird Show

Man, those Andrew Bird shows took longer to sell out than I thought it would - last time he played the Hideout it sold out in about 20 minutes. I guess that one was better publicized beforehand. I'll be there on Monday, can't wait! If you missed out, he'll be back at the Civic Opera House in April.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Andrew Bird show

If you're quick, head over to ticketweb for tickets to see Andrew Bird and Dosh at the Hideout this Sunday and Monday. The show was just revealed in Andrew Bird's fan newsletter this morning, and tickets went on sale at 10am. Go!


Radio Free Chicago posts a musical tribute to our great governor Blago, a.k.a. "The Hair."

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Common on how Obama as president will change hip-hop, as delivered to CNN.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

If you haven't seen it yet, "Prop 8- The Musical" is pretty stellar, and star-studded.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Readers' polls

Tinymixtape's hilarious sendup of a "Readers' Poll", their answer to Pitchfork's "Readers' Poll", where you can select from of surprisingly short list of albums they pick out for you with one lone space for a write-in vote.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Got nothing to do tomorrow? Check out the latest Venus issue release party:

Monday, December 01, 2008

Dan Deacon

Dan Deacon continues to innovate with his live show, this time by pulling together a 15-member live band (not unsurprisingly comprised of members of his B-More collective, like Ponytail and Videohippos) to preview cuts from his forthcoming album, Bromst. I'll be very intrigued to see how his weirdo-spazzy electronica will translate to actual instruments. Sadly there's only one Brooklyn date down with the full band, but perhaps he'll take it on tour after his album drops in March.