Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Music Mags

Tough times in the music publishing industry- Vibe Magazine is closing down "immediately". Blender also folded last year, and the Source recently emerged from bankruptcy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lolla Aftershows

Lollapalooza has announced its after party schedule, with shows from bands like the Decemberists, TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes and more around town at area venues, mostly the HoB, Metro and Double Door. See here for the full schedule.


New York newspapers continue to chronicle the many ways in which Brooklyn hipsters and poor college grads deal with the recession. While some are forced to accept less trust fund money from their parents and scale down Williamsburg condo purchases from $900K to $500K, others just pitch tents in their friends' backyards for $100/month. "We have parents that could give us money to get an apartment . . . but it's nice to be independent" one says in true anti-trustafarian style. We'll see how long that lasts once the five people already living in a two-bed one bath apartment have to share that bathroom with the three squatters, much less attempt to bring home the ladies.

More insight into these fellows comes here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dirty Projectors

I just got the new Dirty Projectors album, Bitte Orca, this weekend and am still trying to figure out what I think of it as some people are freaking out about its awesomeness. I'll get a good chance tonight as they play a free show at Millennium Park with the Sea and Cake, where I'll be found in my best picnic garb. Pitchfork made it sound like Dave Longstreth has finally succeeded by reining in his weirdness, though on first listen I'm not finding the sound to be much different from Rise Above. Time will tell.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wicker Park Fest Update

The other day I mentioned the lineup for Wicker Park Fest, happening July 25 and 26. Sadly, Silver Wrapper has an update that Jamie Lidell will not be playing at the fest per se, but as part of a special Wicker Park Fest afterparty at the Congress on the 25th- which costs $20. Which is not nearly as cool as the idea of seeing Jamie at a little stage on Damen Avenue for a $5 suggested donation. Way to get my hopes up, Silver Wrapper, only to have them come crashing down. Really, the Congress?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Girls Rock

Jessica Hopper, music critic for the Chicago Reader, Tribune and countless other publications, is putting out her first book, The Girls' Guide to Rocking, which gives young girls a complete "how-to" for getting into music, from starting a band to recording an album and setting up shows. It features quotes from Debbie Harry and the Go-Gos, and is being promoted through online videos starring members of Flosstradamus, Broken Social Scene and Girl Talk. Very cool! Makes me wish I had a resource like this when I was young. The Daily Swarm provides some excerpts from the book.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Pitchfork points to this hilarious interview with someone from a band named "Psychedelic Horse****", where in expletive-filled rants he dumps all over all the bands in the currently hot "lo-fi" scene (Wavves, Times New Viking, No Age, etc.) that he's ostensibly a part of. In line with Monday's post, one of the commenters calls him out as a trustafarian. Hilarious! And probably an apt reference for the singers of both of these bands too. Yikes, people.

I still can't wrap my head around what is so enjoyable about these bands. Granted, I've written off the genre completely after hearing and seeing Times New Viking, but pretty much any review that compares a band to TNV kills any chance of me wanting to listen to that record. If Wavves actually makes it to Pitchfork, I guess I'll have another opportunity to try it out, but I'm not keeping my expectations high.

Monday, June 08, 2009


The Atlantic asks how the recession has impacted people making "nothing at all":

And then the recession came for hipsters . . .

Answer: Dwindling trust funds.

EDIT: on the heels of the above link comes a snarky posting from my favorite Wall Street tabloid blog, Dealbreaker, linking to a New York Times article on the same topic.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Very sad news. I saw Jeff Hanson open for the Decemberists at a tiny coffee shop in Madison back in 2003 when they were both on Kill Rock Stars. He had an incredibly unique voice that was initially shocking but ultimately beautiful. :(

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Have you forgotten your mother and your friends? Long lost DJ Lazer will be fated to see MGMT this summer at the All Points West Festival at Liberty State Park. This is my decision. Now let's have some fun.

Marissa Nadler

One of my favorite songs of the moment: Ghosts & Lovers, by Marissa Nadler. Hear it on her myspace page.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wicker Park Fest

Wicker Park Fest is back this summer July 25 and 26, and features another great lineup, including Jamie Lidell and the Junior Boys. How Chicago manages to get great lineups year after year for dozens of street festivals each summer is a mystery to me, but it's certainly part of what makes this city great.

Bands (schedule still TBD):
Jamie Lidell LATE NIGHT
The New Deal
Junior Boys
Tortured Soul LATE NIGHT
Big Sam's Funky Nation
Heavyweight Dub Champion
Mickey Factz
Company of Thieves
Van Ghost
Backyard Tire Fire
Two Fresh
The Wonderful World of Bald Eagle
Autobody featuring Felix Moreno of Future Rock
B.S. Brass Band

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Do Division Fest, Menomena @ Empty Bottle

It was a good weekend for music in Wicker Park/Ukranian Village. I only caught the last song from Portland, OR's Viva Voce; per a friend who saw them both at the fest and at the Empty Bottle the night before, they played exclusively music from their latest album, and not only were the set lists virtually identical both nights, but the jokes and between-song banter were too. Whoops. Handsome Furs also treated us to a set of exclusively tracks from their latest album, Face Control. Dan and Alexi sported new hairstyles since the last time I saw them, with Dan trading in his punk-mullet for a more boyish short on the sides, spiky on top look, and Alexi bleaching her dark hair blond (she can certainly pull off both). Their set was short but sweet (barely over 30 minutes); the married couple has great chemistry with each other and serious intensity on stage, though I was bummed we didn't get even one track off of Plague Park.

I skipped seeing Menomena at the fest on Sunday in favor of checking out their Empty Bottle show last night; I figured that since they're now more of a Metro band, it was a good chance to get to see them in the intimate setting of their early years. I was not disappointed; in addition to reminding me that "Strongest Man in the World" is unfailingly amazing, the guys were clearing having a blast. It was keyboardist Brent Knopf's 32nd birthday, and Justin requested that audience members give him 32 spankings after we all sang him happy birthday. His girlfriend also baked him a cake, and he blew out the candles on stage. Good times. Rumor has it that after a year and a half of doing their own thing they are back in creative mode and working on a new album; they did debut one new song featuring Brent on vocals that I thought sounded great. In an ongoing theme for the weekend, the majority of the set came from 2007's Friend and Foe; I was a little surprised they didn't mix it up a bit more as they aren't touring on a new album. Still, I won't complain, as I'll take whatever I can get from one of my favorite bands.