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Review Sat Jan 31 2015

Schubas Got Down with Saint Motel on Friday Night


It might've been chilly outside on Friday night in Chicago, but inside Schubas Tavern things were heating up -- fairy lights were twinkling, Panama hats were being sported, and a sold out crowd was getting down with LA indie popsters Saint Motel.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Review Fri Jan 30 2015

Bahamas Took Another Trip to Chicago


"I feel like a golfer at a PGA tournament" singer songwriter David McMillin joked to the sold out and reverently quiet crowd at Lincoln Hall on Thursday evening. McMillin (who was voted best folk, country, or Americana act by the Reader in 2008) moved between guitar and keyboard for his set, working his way through his solo material as well as tracks "White Roses" and "Plastic Hearts" from his Chicago based band Fort Frances. The singer-songwriter played beautiful Americana that ranged in style from upbeat folk to heart wrenching ballads, but he never took himself too seriously onstage, jokingly telling the crowd as he pulled on his harmonica: "I got my beard stuck in this last night. So you know it was a good excuse to clean myself up...although not too much obviously" as he pointed at his scruffy facial hair.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Concert Mon Jan 26 2015

Faith No More Returns to Chicago


Faith No More have always reminded me of PiL on steroids. Amp PiL's post-punk sound to hardcore and metal, throw some rap, funk and R&B in the mix and have a jack-of-all-trades vocalist (Chuck Mosley & Mike Patton) who can sing as well as scream. For years FNM made some awesome music and seemed to always be doing something different. After a long break, the band got back together in 2009 and have done shows here and there (mostly there) since. In May, they'll return to Chicago for the first time in a while.

Faith No More headlines Concord Music Hall on Thursday, May 7. Tickets are on sale this Friday. It's 18+ and $44.50. Concord Music Hall's at 2047 N Milwaukee.

James Ziegenfus / Comments (0)

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jan 26 2015

Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Tickets On Sale


The Pitchfork Music Festival has long been a celebrated destination for avid music fans who appreciate a distinct array of musical styles. Pitchfork has the ability to perfectly curate a weekend full of fun festivities alongside matchless musical performances. This summer marks a heightened special occasion as the fest celebrates ten years of indie darlings, veteran rockers, and up-and-coming artists performing dynamic sets among Union Park's lush landscape.

Tickets are now on sale for this three-day fest's 2015 experience, occurring from July 17 through July 19 this year. Three-day passes are available in limited quantities for $150, and single day passes are available for $65. With each three-day pass purchased, a complimentary one-year subscription to The Pitchfork Review will be included, with its next February issue featuring an in-depth, not-to-miss interview with celebrated avant-garde artist Björk, among other outstanding topics.

Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Review Fri Jan 23 2015

Fall in Love with the Universal Togetherness Band

Universal-Togetherness-Band.jpgThe Numero Group is easily the most well curated archival record label. They find a way of digging through decades of musical offerings and shining a light on forgotten or mishandled musicians, giving them the spotlight the always deserved. Their releases span the world with the label's hometown of Chicago being no exception.

Recently they have been looking a pretty obscure segment of Chicago history. During 23 weeks of 1982, "The Chicago Party" hit WCIU airways with a heavy dose of R&B, disco, funk, and soul. It was a more authentic and outrageous "Soul Train," embodying the Chicago South Side at the time. This week The Numero Group released a small collection of songs from one of those performers, Chicago's Universal Togetherness Band, a band that you didn't know you loved until now.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

Concert Wed Jan 21 2015

Sofar Sounds Brings Bands into Music Lovers' Living Rooms

Matthew Santos performs at Sofar Sounds: Chicago. Photo: Jim Vondruska

As the last light of the evening streams through the windows of a Wicker Park loft, uneven rows of people sit cross-legged in reverent silence.

Bottles of beer or wine sit by many of them. But there's no talking, no clanking glasses. Just music.

The source of these songs stands at the head of the crowd: a standing bass, a guitar, unplugged. A singer croons out into the room.

This is Sofar Sounds, a global phenomenon that's taking music out of traditional venues and into living rooms, stores, and random spaces around the world.

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Mike Ewing / Comments (1)

Stars Align Tue Jan 20 2015

Rock Riffs and Indie Moods: Brad Sawicki and Bryan Kveton at Stars Align

Photo: Carolina Mariana Rodriguez

Bryan Kveton (Sunjacket) and Brad Sawicki (Ancient Friends) concocted a simple but potent mix of indie atmosphere and rock riffs at this month's Stars Align.

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Mike Ewing / Comments (0)

Tomorrow Never Knows Mon Jan 19 2015

Family Crest Wrapped up TNK Festival at Schubas Sunday Night


"It's like speed dating. You have no idea who we are but just smile and pretend you're enjoying it. It'll be over soon," Bryan Simpson of The Whistles and the Bells told the crowd at Schubas Sunday night. The openers for Sunday night's TNK headliner The Family Crest were self deprecating and delightful, a far cry from the cringe-worthiness of speed dating. The group created a unique brand of bluegrass/folk/rock with a diverse set of instruments (a good warm up for the orchestral Family Crest), including a range of strings -- guitar, mandolin, banjo, and stand up bass. Simpson's voice is both sharp and haunting - an appropriate conduit for the group's songs which deal with rather heavy themes including questions of belief and faith.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Tomorrow Never Knows Sun Jan 18 2015

Alvvays Bring Sunshine Vibes to Schubas, 11/17

The inventive Toronto five-piece Alvvays crafted one of my favorite releases of 2014. After swiftly building their fan base, their debut self-titled album featured summery rhythms, that infectious twee sound, and stunning vocals by lead singer Molly Rankin. Would the sugary melodies be too sweet in a live setting, or would they prove to decrease our winter blues just a little bit?

Carbon Tigers opened up the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival show at Schubas with their powerhouse ballads. I honestly think they could have headlined their own show with the spiritual-experience-inducing tunes. Begun in Chicago, their sound is unique and inventive, with lead vocalist Chris Wienke's commanding vocals drawing you in instantly. They dazzled the crowd with songs off of their first and second EPs, and off of their full length album being released this year. They shared their penchant for learning covers of their favorite songs, and played an exquisite version of Chris Isaak's hypnotizing "Wicked Game."

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Tomorrow Never Knows Sun Jan 18 2015

Metro Celebrated Saturday Night with Jukebox the Ghost


There is very little more satisfying than seeing a group of women take the stage to play rock and roll. To be certain, there are some great female singer songwriters, solo acts, and vocalists out there, but female bands, especially rock bands, are few and far between -- which is why it was such a delight to see Secret Someones take the stage as the first opener at Metro on Saturday night. The female fronted band consisting of Bess Rogers (guitar), Hannah Winkler (guitar/synth) and Leila Broussard (bass), with drummer Zach Jones, played a quick set of loud, brash, fun, intelligent rock music off their 2014 EP I Won't Follow.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Tomorrow Never Knows Sat Jan 17 2015

Landlady Connected with Lincoln Hall on Friday Night


It's always interesting to learn the story behind an artist's songs. Partially because it gives you tidbits to obnoxiously throw into the conversation when a song comes on: "Oh, fun fact, when I saw him live, Vance told the audience that he wrote Snaggletooth about Sia" but also because it can honestly give new insight and appreciation into a band's tracks.

Brooklyn based collective Landlady opened for Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen on Friday night at Lincoln Hall, and lead singer/keyboard player Adam Schatz was throwing out some of the most interesting openings to his tracks I'd ever heard. Some of them instantly made my understanding of the song crystal clear. Before "The Globe": "This is a song from the perspective of aliens who are cutting up the Earth." Yep, yep and yep - that makes total sense. Others were a little more enigmatic and intriguing. Before "Girl": "This is a song about a man who is calling customer services about his defective sex's dedicated to my twelve year old cousin who's in the audience tonight." ...Huh.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Concert Fri Jan 16 2015

Dead Announce Final (Yes, Really) Shows This July at Soldier Field


For the band's 50th anniversary, and apparently their swan song, legendary musical psychonauts The Grateful Dead today announced a series of three shows at Chicago's Soldier Field — scene of the group's last run before the death of frontman Jerry Garcia in the summer of 1995. Dubbed "Fare Thee Well," the three shows — July 3, 4 and 5 — will feature guest musicians Trey Anastasio, Jeff Chimenti, and Bruce Hornsby, all artists with a history of collaborating with the Dead or its various members' post-Grateful Dead projects. The shows will apparently mark "the surviving original members' last-ever performance together."

Want tickets? In a tip of the hat to the Grateful Dead's pioneering (at the time) mail-order ticket system of yore, tickets will be made available starting Jan. 20 via old timey, actual, postal mail, with a subsequent online pre-sale beginning Feb. 13, and a public on-sale beginning Feb. 14.

Dan Snedigar / Comments (1)

Tomorrow Never Knows Fri Jan 16 2015

Kishi Bashi Took on the Athenaeum Theatre for the Second Night of TNK


Kaoru Ishibashi is nothing if not versatile. The man behind Kishi Bashi is a violin virtuoso, a human beat box machine, a story teller, a conductor and a looping machine expert (I suppose having toured with Of Montreal probably prepares you for a range of scenarios no matter how bizarre). Last time I saw Kishi Bashi was at Metro a couple years ago -- my last visual on him was when he launched himself into the crowd, sporting a hat with cat ears over his multi-colored Mohawk, and waving his GoPro around to document the experience, so I was curious as to how he would adapt to the seated and much more sedate Athenaeum Theatre, leading a string quartet for the second night of TNK.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Stars Align Thu Jan 15 2015

Join Us for Stars Align with Brad Sawicki and Bryan Kveton

Brad Sawicki and Bryan Kveton; Photos by Katie Scarlett Leu and Sunjacket

Brad Sawicki (Ancient Friends) and Bryan Kveton (Sunjacket) are promising a night of stripped-down rock that will make you dance for this month's Stars Align, tonight at 7:30pm at the GMan Tavern, 3740 N. Clark St.

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Mike Ewing / Comments (0)

Tomorrow Never Knows Thu Jan 15 2015

Generationals Dazzled Lincoln Hall for the First Night of TNK


Chicago loves Lincoln Hall and Schubas. The sparkling clean sister venues bring us all our favorite bands in a small intimate atmosphere with a stellar sound system -- of course we love them. And clearly Lincoln Hall and Schubas love us back. Sure, when the lake thaws and the Ferris wheel starts mobilizing again, Lollapalooza and Pitchfork and North Coast and Riot Fest all open their gates and declare their love for the city, but what about those months of negative degrees? When the streets get dark at 4:30 and our heating bills somehow quadruple while our pipes still freeze? Lincoln Hall and Schubas have our backs. In the midst of the bleakness of winter they give us Tomorrow Never Knows -- the five day multi-venue festival hosted by the sister venues every January.

The first night of TNK kicked off yesterday with Operators at Schubas, The Both at Athenaeum and Generationals at Lincoln Hall. Although they were up against some stiff competition and they had just played Thalia Hall back in October, the Generationals still managed to pull in a sold out crowd at Lincoln Hall Wednesday night -- and nobody left disappointed.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Classical Fri Jan 09 2015

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - January 2015

By Elliot Mandel

In memory of my friend, colleague, and arts publicist extraordinaire, Eric Eatherly. He was one of the good ones.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Mon Feb 2 2015
Yonatan Gat @ Empty Bottle

Wed Feb 4 2015
Cut Cats Courier Winter Bash @ Empty Bottle

Wed Feb 4 2015
Leo Kottke @ SPACE

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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