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Transmission

mp3 Wed Feb 28 2007

A New Addiction

Some people might claim that Youtube or Myspace lead the way in sucking souls into an Internet addiction.(or at least are frontrunners for killing time by the hours) These people have yet to met the Internet Archive. While "Archive" has over 200,000 professional video clips, podcasts, open source texts and other digitial items, their Live Music Archive is a real blessing (or a curse) for the serious music fan. With nearly 38,000 concerts available to stream or download, (in various forms) the Live Music Archive has something for every music fan. Want to know if the current lineup of Camper Van Beethoven are worth seeing live next time they come to town? Check out the 10 shows they have on Archive from last year. Haven't got out to see local buzz band Suffrajet? Don't worry. Give one of their six shows a listen from the comfort of your own home. Most bands have under 20 shows, (the Grateful Dead and String Cheese Incident have thousands) but the list of bands is extensive. The majority of the taping found on Archive is done by amateurs with their own gear and a passion for live music, so not all recordings match actually being there. (check the quality ratings provided for each show) But many of them are. Plus you can hear them without the smoke, high beer prices and Ticketmaster surcharge fee. Now that's the foundation for a good ol' Internet addiction.

Brent Kado

Concert Wed Feb 28 2007

Charalamba...wait, how do you spell that again?

Someone alert Blastitude, because Charalambides are coming to the Empty Bottle Thursday! I specifically invoke the name of Matt Silcock's fine music e-zine/blog here because I've yet to find any other music critic who has documented this free music/guitar drone trio with such passion and clarity (scroll alphabetically through the reviews to find 'em), even though all music writers love this group. Their new album, titled A Vintage Burden, was released in 2006 on Kranky. Zelienople and Estesombelo open. 9:30 p.m., $8

Chris Sienko

Concert Wed Feb 28 2007

Drums come rumbling over the hill...only to fizz into a sea of oscillators

The Elastic Arts Foundation, going strong since 2001 (currently located at a "sound and vision gallery" simply called ELASTIC, 2830 N. Milwaukee Ave.) offers a breathtaking variety of jazz and improvised music almost every weekend in March, and more than a few weeknights. This Saturday, EAF continues its "Elastro Electro/Acoustic" series with some very special out-of-town guests.

Jason Khan, born in NY but relocated to Zurich, brings his introspective combination of live percussion and analogue synth in collaboration with frequent collaborator Jon Mueller (check out his Flash-y site!). The duo have an a history together, as evidenced by 2006's Supershells CD (Formed Records).

Opening up will be Chicago trio Haptic. Featuring members of the dropp ensemble, the Civil War, pan American, and On, Haptic compare themselves to Morton Feldman (at his most serene/static) and Supersilent (at their most tumultuous), a claim that would sound like hubris coming from the mouths of lesser musicians. French guitarist Sylvain Chateau guests with the trio. 9 p.m., $5 - $10 donation suggested.

Chris Sienko

Review Wed Feb 28 2007

Blues a Bit Up North

Any given night in this wide city of ours, someone hits a couple of licks on a guitar or blows a bit into a harmonica or does a pickup on the drums and thinks about the blues.

Tuesday night was a great opportunity to see purveyors of the art give both grateful listeners and potential sidemen a chance to appreciate the music, as Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials showed up at Bill's Blues in Evanston to promote their latest album Rattleshake.

First off, the show was delayed by the appearance of a bar employee in the CBS show "The Unit." Many people walked in at the supposed show time, saw a roomful of people watching the projector screen, and promptly walked out. They missed a helluva show, if they bothered to come back.

While the show was an hour late in starting, it wasted no time in moving people's asses in their seats. The band spent the next hour and a half rocking and imploring the audience to a challenge. "We'll do requests," Lil Ed implored. "If we know em, we'll play em. If not, we'll do em anyway."

After the initial set, the band invited some local players to come and join in a mostly electric jam session, with harmonica and trombone joining the ensemble on stage.

All in all, a great evening of music. They'll be at B.L.U.E.S. and Buddy Guy's Legends in mid-March, so there's still a chance for y'all who didn't make the trek up to Evanston last night to catch what should be a crowd-pleaser.

Troy Hunter

Concert Wed Feb 28 2007

Umpteen Different Words for "Snow"

As Cypress Hill proved with their post-debut output, nothing wears out its welcome quicker than a one-topic candidate. To hear some tell it, the lyrical bulk of the sophmore release by Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury, deals with the duo's former drug-dealing activities. Granted, they're far from the only ones in hip-hop dropping slang about slinging 'caine and shelling out obligatory Scarface references, but emcess Malice and Pusha T exhibit a verbal prowess that more than compensates for the limited subject matter. They're remarkably confident and crafty on the mic, flexing with a rhyme metre that bobs and weaves around the beats, sometimes making the Neptunes' backing tracks sound like only so much gratuitous golf-course applause by comparison. Which is no small feat, considering many are claiming that the album features some of the production crew's best work of late.

Clipse will be taking the stage at Metro this Friday night. In the opening slot will be Philadelphia deejay Low B, formerly known as Low Budget. B's the sole member of Hollertronix since his partner Diplo split to make his solo move a few years back, and he's kept busy in the interim. Back in 2005, he collaborated with NYC DJ Aaron LaCrate on the widely-circulated Bmore Gutter Music mix-CD. His latest mix joint, Club Shotta, finds him getting both gully and yardie -- grafting dancehall vocals on top of Baltimore club beats, as well as throwing in plenty of crunk and dirty south hip-hop. As always, the thing sports no shortage of curveballs -- like when he drops some r&b acapellas over a severely down-shifted spin of "The Bed's Too Big Without You." Expect a lively and relentless set. Tickets are $21 in advance, $25 the day of. Doors open at 11pm.

[mp3]: Clipse - "Wamp Wamp"
[mp3]: Low B - "Jamrock Club Remix"

Graham Sanford

Concert Wed Feb 28 2007

Beautiful and Treacherous Thing

The Spares are officially a duo, but on their new record, Beautiful and Treacherous Thing, they have a fuller sound adding drums, bass and mandolin to the mix. Jodee Lewis' crystal clear, soaring vocals are reminiscent of Allison Krauss'. Musically the band sounds more like some type of hybrid, newgrass rather than the alt-country or americana descriptions found in their bio.

The Spares will bring their full lineup to Martyrs for an early show on March 2nd at 7pm.

[mp3]:Waiting For The Smoke To Clear

Craig Bonnell

Concert Tue Feb 27 2007

Can Your Monkey Do The Dog?

Sheer joyous and unbridled idiocy. There's something to be said for it, seeing how regular doses of it are often the only thing that makes adult life bearable. And the all-femme Floridian trio Yo Majesty delivers the appropriate soundtrack for it like nobody's biz. Case in point: the leave-it-all-behind mantra of "fuck that shit" that serves as the chorus for their current club hit, "Club Action." It's pure, plainspoken transcendence on the most humble of budgets, and the girls deliver it with a hearty abandon that makes me want to start doling out hugs.

Comparisons to the Bronx punk-funk outfit ESG have been numerous, and on some levels, it works. They go to it with an energy that's disarmingly unpolished, if not giddily sloppy, at times. Unlike ESG, they're unrelentingly raunchy and play like they're throwing a party by themselves. "Kryptonite Pussy" is the funniest girl-rap thing since Fannypack's "Camel Toe" -- as salty and sassy, but dropping three times more bounce. And I don't know exactly what they have in mind with that "rub on my monkey" directive, but as far as invitiations go, it's the most intriguing I've heard in some time.

In realtime, Yo Majesty kicks it live as a full-fledged band on drums, keyboards, and guitar. Their debut EP favors a ramshackle electro-crunk sound, and several of their tracks have touched off something of an internet remix frenzy. They'll be performing a set at the Funky Buddha Lounge this Thursday, in what will be one of the few dates they're doing outside of their home turf. They're playing in an opening slot for headliner E6. Deejays Matt Roan and Lee Foss will also be there to keep things bumping.

[mp3]: Yo Majesty - "Club Aktionist" (Duran Duran Duran remix)
[mp3]: Yo Majesty - "Warning"

Graham Sanford

Contest Tue Feb 27 2007

Quickie Contest: VIP at Metro's Anniversary Party

We mentioned awhile back that The Metro turns 25 this year, and that they're kicking off a year-long series of celebrations with a huge show at SXSW. Well, if you can make your way down to Emo's in Austin on March 14, we have a pair of VIP laminates for you. The first person to email inbox{at}gapersblock.com with the message "I'm a jet-set rocker" gets them. (We just checked and Southwest can get you there for as little as $220 round-trip. Just sayin'.) UPDATE: We've got our winner! Congatulations, Bianca!

Andrew Huff

Concert Mon Feb 26 2007

Oh, for the Love of...

Australia seems to grow them a little bit, well, differently Down Under. The Melbourne trio Love of Diagrams have been plodding along since 2001, cutting their teeth on a tasty full-length CD, The Target Is You, and a smattering of EPs, including the most recent, self-titled release.

And what, pray tell, do Love of Diagrams sound like? Try this on for size, Junior: add equal parts English post-punk and NYC New Wave; add edgy guitars, thick bass lines, back-and-forth girl/boy vocals, and a healthy dose of Riot Grrrl attitude, a la Slant 6. Now set the oven to 350 degrees, and get your sweet self to one of two Chicago shows to hear it for yourself, as they play Schubas on Friday, March 2; and the Hideout on Saturday, March 3.

Kara Luger

Album Mon Feb 26 2007

Rauhouse of Pain

For those lucky enough to have gotten tickets to see lovely siren Neko Case on Friday, March 30, you're in for more than just her nightingale song. Opening act Jon Rauhouse, who has toured with Case before as well as recorded with her and other Bloodshot Records notables such as Calexico, Kelly Hogan, and the Waco Brothers, will bring his sweltering steel guitar instrumental style to the Park West stage. For those locked out of seeing his live gig, Bloodshot will proffer his third full-length for your home stereo on March 13th. Entitled Steel Guitar Heart Attack, 5 tracks of the 18 track collection contain a first for Rauhouse's oeuvre: vocal accompaniment. Including guest spots from Kelly Hogan and Neko Case, the songs chart a new progression for Rauhouse's Hawaiian-inflected melodies, who closes the record himself with a vocal performance covering "The Fishing Song," also known as the theme from The Andy Griffith Show. No, I didn't know it had any lyrics either - unless you count whistling - but evidently, it does. The record is also a personal triumph for Rauhouse, who underwent extensive medical treatment for heart blockages and an ominously-named condition called a Widowmakers Lesion before finishing it. Check out a track from the forthcoming LP below, and for those who got tickets to the March 30th show with Neko and Jon I say this: "I want to be you."

[mp3]: Ballad of the Black Chihuahua

Brandon Forbes

Concert Mon Feb 26 2007

Et tu Art Brut?

English troubadours of jittery rock hooks and ridiculous hipster stories Art Brut have announced they will be gracing the stages of North America for a mini-tour in April. No doubt thanks to the intervention of Mayor Daley mining the indie faithful for a few votes before tommorrow's election, Eddie Argos and his friends are planning on stopping by our very own Chi-town on Friday, April 20th. Why the early notice? Let's just say it won't be surprising when this sells out ASAP, considering the currently scheduled venue is the Subterranean, a most intimate place to settle down with the dynamism that is Art Brut live, a power Chicago already felt on the big stage at the Pitchfork festival last year. Get your tickets early and in the meantime check out the kicking and streaming single "Nag Nag Nag Nag" here or on iTunes and look for a sophomore full-length on Downtown Records in June.

Brandon Forbes

Television Mon Feb 26 2007

Ted Leo Documentary - World Television Premiere

For those of you who are paying for expanded cable, or those who built a homemade dish out of tin cans, an umbrella, and an inexplicable string of christmas lights - prepare for a good evening concert from your couch. Touch and Go's shiny new acquisition Ted Leo will have his 2003 concert documentary Dirty Old Town shown on Starz tonight at 10PM. Commercially released in 2004, it depicts a summer day in Coney Island with the band, both performing tunes and telling the camera about road life glamor and how the line-up has completely solidified since the mix-and-match accompaniment of the first Pharmacists albums.
Then again, tell us, Dorian and Ida: where have all the rude girls gone?

Dan Morgridge

Contest Mon Feb 26 2007

Really Quick Contest! Music to your eyes and ears

Hey, there. Just in time for the cold, couch-filled nights to return, Transmission's gonna offer you a chance to win some stellar Chicago jazz and blues you can enjoy from the comfort of your own DVD player. The folks over at Delmark want you to see and hear what we've been raving about in our feature this week. So the first to email inbox (at) gapersblock.com with the subject line "I can see the music!" wins a pair of DVDs of Jimmy Burns Live at B.L.U.E.S. and The Ethnic Heritage Ensembe Hot N' Heavy: Live at the Acension Loft. Hop to it, and start your week off right! [Update!] We have our winner! Congrats!

Anne Holub

mp3 Mon Feb 26 2007

The Zincs' new record and SxSW Showcase

The Chicago band The Zincs are heading to SxSW. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when the group's leader Jim Elkington checks in at registration. When this Englishman claims to be from Chicago I bet he'll get a few stares. When SxSW says there's been a mix-up maybe he can put on a Chicago accent and throw in a couple "da Bears."

Given the band's English heritage (Elkington moved to Chicago in 2000) it's hard to peg them with any kind of midwestern sound. The band's new album, Black Pompodor, comes out on March 20 on Thrill Jockey. "Head East Kasper" is the first song released off the new record and it continues to develop the sounds and themes from their 2004 debut, Dimmer, in particular its dark pop sound, Elkington's deep baritone and the way the guitars cut huge swathes in space. The band will play Uncle Flirty's Loft in Austin as part of a Thrill Jockey SxSW showcase on March 17.

[mp3]:Head East Kasper

Craig Bonnell

Concert Sat Feb 24 2007

Tonight, and the Week in Preview

The warmer weather may be slow to arrive, but schedules at local venues already appear to be thawing from the usual winter doldrums.

Tonight, Chicago's perennial avant-jazzsters 8 Bold Souls will be playing at Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge. For those looking for livelier, more dance-friendly fare, afro-house trackmaster Osunlade will be laying down the grooves at Sonotheque this evening. Deeper Soul Recordings associates Josh Deep and Dom Ritmo will also be spinning.

From the way that the Empty Bottle's calendar has shaped up for this coming week, you'd think it was already time for the Four Million Tongues Festival. Firstly, on Tuesday night the Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra takes to the stage. For the occasion, Plastic Crimewave sent out an open invite to colleagues and friends, telling them to bring their amps and axes and take part in a Glenn Branca/Rhys Chatham-styled all-guitar ensemble. The maestro claims (tongue-in-cheek, perhaps) that the whole endeavor will be exorcistic in intent, calibrated to chase certain malign spectres from the American cultural landscape. It may not levitate the Pentagon, but it's guaranteed to kick up a caterwauling soundscape...in the designated key of E, no less. Primordial Undermind and Screaming Yellow Zonkers open.

For those enthralled with the weed-choked surrealism of the New Weird America stripe, two pioneering artists of the genre will be appearing at the Bottle this week. Wednesday finds MV & EE (aka Matt Valentine, formerly of Tower Recordings, and Erika Elder) set to play, with Tirra Lirra and Dirty American Organ on the supporting side of the bill. And on Thursday, Charalambides bring their haunted backwoods dronescapes to the venue, with Zelienople and Goldblood kicking things off by way of the warm-up. Check the Bottle's website for complete details.

Graham Sanford

Music & Film Fri Feb 23 2007

You got your pictures in my sounds! You got your sounds in my pictures!

Saturday, the University of Chicago Film Studies Center and WHPK present Pictures and Sounds, an annual event in which local musicians improvise soundtracks to silent films. The program is free, and is located at 5811 S. Ellis Ave in Hyde Park.

This year's participants include Robb Drinkwater, Vertonen, and Bird Show, and films to be scored include "Portrait of a Young Man" (Rodakiewicz), "Return to Reason" (Man Ray), "Anemic Cinema" (Duchamp) and "The Sick Kitten" (George Albert Smith, from 1903!).

Chris Sienko

Concert Thu Feb 22 2007

Now for something completely different - Leiff Elgrenn @ Lampo

Are you tired of the same old venues, the typical linup of bass, drums and guitar, or even of the limitations of the best dj driven music? Then how about checking out Lampo. Lampo is a Chicago non-profit that presents experimental music and intermedia events. Lampo brings artists from all over the world to Chicago, as well as supporting local composers of avante-drone material. They have a particular fondness for Sweden, in part because some of their funding comes from the American-Scandanavian Foundation and the Consulate General of Sweden.

On February 24th at 9pm they're presenting the latest work from Swedish composer/video artist Leif Elggren titled "If Other People Exist Then They Are Totally Sealed Secrets (The Voice as an Irregular Sound Generator." The show will take place at 60Dum, which is located at 2116 W. Chicago Ave. The event is being described as consisting of "voice and video, motors and vibrating tin can crowns." After Leif's solo performance he'll perform as a duet with Chicagoan Kevin Drumm. I can't honestly tell you what to expect, but perhaps the unexpected. As an aside, Leiff also has a day job as co-monarch of Elgaland-Vargaland. Here's a brief descripition of this unusual territory:

"Elggren also is the benevolent co-monarch (with Carl Michael von Hausswolff) of Elgaland-Vargaland, all areas of no-man's land, territories between national boundaries on both land and sea, digital and mental spaces. This nation has its own national anthem, flag, coat of arms, currency, citizens and ministers."

So There.

Craig Bonnell

Concert Thu Feb 22 2007

Better Than a Commercial Break

Here's one of the more novel Oscar tie-ins I've heard of: The Delafields will be playing at Simon's Tavern, 5210 N. Clark St., this Sunday -- but only during the commercials and "boring parts," allowing you to catch the awards and a concert.They'll also have an Oscar pool, with prizes like a massage and tax consultation -- from members of the band! How's that for service?

Andrew Huff

Feature Thu Feb 22 2007

New Delmark CD/DVD releases: Art without Pretension

Two new additions to Delmark's CD/DVD series by Chicago veteran performers demonstrate how the dual-release strategy can combine entertainment and education, and exploit the ability of jazz and blues to speak to both the heart and to the mind. In both instances, the DVD offers added value to the recording, and is more than just a mere visual record of live performance.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Concert Wed Feb 21 2007

Local Band Still Doing OK

Umphrey's Mcgee, local prog-jam rockers, take off tonight on an extensive tour in support of their soon to be released double disc of B-Sides entitled The Bottom Half. The tour begins in Fort Lauderdale, FL and stretchs for nearly two months ending with an appearance in the city at the Green Apple Music Festival. As the band swings back through the Midwest in the middle of the tour members of the group have some very interesting gigs apart from the band. On Thursday March 8 drummer Kris Myers will play with Glenn Kotche, Rich Stitzel, and the Elmhurst Percussion Ensemble at Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel at Elmhurst College. Guitarists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger will play as a duet at the Chicago History Museum the following night. (Cinninger is one of the most unheralded guitarist in all of music, if you've yet to get a listen, this intimate venue is a perfect spot) Look for The Bottom Half in stores on April 3.

Brent Kado

Concert Wed Feb 21 2007

Free Show: SYGC, Submarine Races, Shelly Short @ Empty Bottle TONIGHT

Mondays are usually free nights at the Bottle, but tonight a is a special exception for the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir release party - this hump day you get three bands and a DJ, todamente gratis. Recent Chicago transplant Shelley Short will kick things off at 8:30, followed by Elia and company at 9:30 performing the new single and some old favorites. Ex-Pony Ian Adam's Submarine Races (who were Bob-Mehr-approved), will cap things off at 10:30. Erik Roldan from WLUW's Think Pink will be spinning in between sets.

Dan Morgridge

Concert Wed Feb 21 2007

Kaspar Hauser's new disc and record release show

Thomas Comerford is a filmmaker and songwriter who has been making music under the Kaspar Hauser moniker since 1999. Kaspar Hauser's new, self-released record, QUIXOTIC/Taxidermy, is a completely DIY affair due out on the band's own label on February 22. You know the type of disc I'm referring to: the kind with the hand screened artwork, cardboard sleeve and an under produced, "local band" sound. Consider this an exception to the rule. Since the nature of music blogs is to write about one song, I've chosen my favorite, "King Pop."

I like many of the lyrical fragments on "King Pop" like the lines "reinvent yourself, the records didn't sell" and "you trade your kingdom for a song." These lyrics and others like "a final relic, vinyl relic" and "the stadium is full of beer and louts" make me think this is about Michael Jackson, but I could be wrong. Musically it's jangly, midwestern rock embellished with keyboards and electronics. You can buy the new record from Kaspar Hauser here. The record release party is February 22 at The Hideout.

[mp3]:King Pop

Craig Bonnell

Concert Tue Feb 20 2007

Wanna French?

Singing in French doesn't automatically mean insta-chick magnet, but it certainly can't hurt. The fellas of Montreal indie rock group Malajube (that's pronounced "MAL-a-zhoob," yo) are going to get the inevitable comparisons to fellow Canucks the Arcade Fire, but Malajube wander into more proggy, nearly jam-band waters. Their latest album, Trompe-l'oeil is fantastically lush, featuring aggressive drums, spaced out guitar licks and enough stylistic know-how to choke the cast of "You Can't Do That on Television."

See the Fantastic French Foursome when they play this Friday, Feb. 23 at the Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont).

Kara Luger

Concert Tue Feb 20 2007

The Forest for the Trees

Despite the small and insular nature of the Baltimore indie music scene, guitarist Dave Heumann sports an extensive cee-vee. He formerly provided backing guitar in Will Oldham's band, in Papa M, and for Cass McCombs. He's also played in a boatload of hometown outfits. Lately he's been most active as frontman for Arbouretum, whose second album, Rites of Uncovering, was recently released on Thrill Jockey. The album offers an evocative and ruminative journey. Dusky at the edges, its mood is often as hard to nail down as a waking dream scattered amidst knotty roots and ground fog. Musically, the whole thing's steeped in an early 70s folk-rock sensibility, with echoes of 'Skip' Spence's Oar drifting throughout. Admittedly, on the shorter numbers the band sounds a little overly mannered and hemmed in. They're at their strongest, however, when they allow themselves room to stretch out. Things coalesce and tension builds when the rhythm section lay down a low-timbred murmur, a bedrock from which Heumann strikes out with improv-ish soloing that builds and back-steps and ambivalently courts resolution. They'll be playing at the Empty Bottle Thursday night. Mason Proper and the Portland duo 2% Majesty open. The show starts at 9:30 PM, admission is eight bucks flat.

Graham Sanford

Tape Findings Tue Feb 20 2007

Skolnick Conspiracy Lecture

This tape is of a lecture by Sherman Skolnick, a Chicagoan who wrote the book "The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage" concerning the crash of United Flight 553 in Chicago on December 8, 1972. He was one of the main conspiracy theorists who believed the plane was brought down by the government to take out Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt's wife, Dorothy Hunt. I don't know where or when this lecture was recorded. I would imagine sometime in the mid '70s.

More info here:
Sherman H. Skolnick website
United Airlines Flight 553
A 1994 interview with Skolnick about the crash here.

[MP3]: Skolnick Flight 533 Conspiracy Lecture (9:23)


RJ Porter

News Tue Feb 20 2007

Thumbnailed

Local label File-13 has a storied past and, today, they're releasing a little bit of that past for your mp3 player. Through the series called Digital Demand, File 13 is adding a collection of rarities from original emo-kings Thumbnail and a 7" from their little known side-project New Action Four to their downloadable corpus from iTunes and eMusic. The Thumbnail compilation contains 20 tracks culled from demos, 7 inches, singles, and splits over the course of their late '90s/early '00s hey-day and is entitled A Careless Act of Faith (Singles + Rarities). The New Action Four self-titled release captures three songs from this short-lived Thumbnail side project. To tempt your sonic palate, check out the gritty screamo tones of "New Action One" from New Action Four 7" here and the jagged punk of Thumbnail's "A Letter to the Editor (That Never Gets Opened)" from the Faith collection here.

Brandon Forbes

News Tue Feb 20 2007

Flame On!

Last week's New City (still available in those handy boxes 'round town if you're lucky) features a cover story on local indie label Flameshovel Records. Home to such favorites as Chin Up Chin Up, Russian Circles, Bound Stems, Make Believe, and Maritime among others, Flameshovel gets the in-depth treatment with interviews with co-founders Jesse Woghin and James Kenlar as well as various label artists. As former Promise Ring and current Maritime drummer Dan Didier notes in the article, Flameshovel is all about "friends putting out friends' records." Can't you just feel the love?

Brandon Forbes

Random Mon Feb 19 2007

The Dude Owns Property!

It usually takes a fair amount of effort for me not to include a link to Achewood, my official Favorite Thing On The Internet, in every post, but since we already did one hip-hop Lincoln post today, I figure I should chime in with The Notorious L.I.N.C.O.L.N.

Happy President's Day, suckas!

Nilay Patel

mp3 Mon Feb 19 2007

Bobby Conn and Baby Teeth

I know it must seem like someone's paying us here at Transmission to cover Bobby Conn but that's just not true (the check's in the mail, right?). The fact is Bobby Conn could go a long way to putting Chicago back on the map as a home for creative, experimental, pop music. Today's post deals with the collaboration between Bobby Conn and the Chicago band Baby Teeth on the song "Sarah". We Live Here is the new four song Chicago-centric ep from Baby Teeth. It's being released in advance of the upcoming disc, The Simp, coming out on March 13 on Lujo Records.

The four songs on the new ep are covers of Chicago bands and some feature other Chicagoans as guests, most notably Bobby Conn and Kelly Hogan. "Sarah" has that Quensy over the top sound that Baby Teeth is becoming know for, while "Fool For You" is a bedroom psych-pop reimagining of The Impressions' soul classic. These songs are all free downloads. You can buy Baby Teeth's forthcoming cd, The Simp, directly from Lujo Records here for $10 and receive a free ep by The Heathers and a poster to boot.

[mp3]:Sarah Baby Teeth w/Bobby Conn
[mp3]:Fool For You Baby Teeth
[mp3]:Bad Weather Baby Teeth w/Kelly Hogan


Title track from The Simp:

[mp3]:The Simp Baby Teeth

Craig Bonnell

News Mon Feb 19 2007

Pandora.com Meet-Up

The folks behind Pandora, home of the Music Genome Project and the popular Internet radio station the project inspired, are organizing meet-ups across the country to share the company's history, get ideas from audience members, and, of course, hand out some swag. The tour hits Chicago on Friday, February 23 @ 7pm at The Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway St. The event is free and open to the public via an RSVP. To be added to the guestlist, e-mail: tour [at] pandora.com.

JP Pfafflin

Artist Mon Feb 19 2007

Historical Gangsta Rap

Just in time for President's Day, local writer and comedian David Wolinsky has released Abe & Ben: History's First Thugs, the first entry, to our knowledge, in the new genre of Historical Gangsta Rap. A genre that will soon be burgeoning with new, er, old, talent.

Learn marginally more here.

Andrew Huff

Concert Sun Feb 18 2007

Tonight: Goldblood, Locrian, Thee Bastard Swords

Enemy performance space (1550 N Milwaukee Ave, 3rd floor) used to be something of a "when the mood strikes us" place for shows, but it seems that the artic winds have bolstered their determination to regularly bring strangers (and bands) in from the cold, in hopes of pummeling the frostbite away with heavy jams.

Tonight, Enemy presents you with the Plastic Crimewave spinoff band, Goldblood (as featured on this site). Steve Krakow's drone-folk duo will be accompanied by local guitar druids Locrian and newcomers Thee Bastard Swords, a group who, it must be noted, is composed primarily of the people who pay the rent at Enemy. At least they won't have to go far to stash their gear! $5 donation, 9 p.m. sharp.

Chris Sienko

Concert Sat Feb 17 2007

Concert Review: Rhymefest @ Rednofive, 2/16

Rhymefest made an very brief appearance last night at Rednofive for the Collaboraction fundraiser. After the house DJ finally let the crowd's ears recover from a couple hours of way-too-loud music, the makeshift stage was lit. Some very besequined actors sang and rapped for a while, but then finally introduced "Mr. Che Smith" to the stage. Wearing a fisherman's cap and some shades, The Blue-Collared One got the crowd into "More", doing some call and response with the chorus before then launching into an unaccompanied freestyle. He wrapped things up with a new track, presumably the title track of off "El Che"- an autobiographical rap with a Morricone-tinged beat that sparked enough interest to turn everybody's heads to the stage. After he finished, he wrapped things up by thanking "Michael Jackson" (The MC wearing the over-sequined jacket) and disappeared with his entourage.
Link: Rhymefest's El Che YouTube Teaser ("Can't Help It")

Dan Morgridge

Concert Fri Feb 16 2007

It's Ashtrays and Airhorns Time, People!

Depending on who you talk to, Uffie's "Ready to Uff" was either one of the hottest, most bangin' club cuts of the past year, or the most fatuously annoying. But whatever Uffie lacks in skills or street cred, she's gained by way of affiliation. That being that her tracks so far have all been produced by fidgetty French electro-house auteurs Feadz and Mr. Oizo. All involved are hooked up via the Parisian label Ed Banger Records, a stable whose calling card is a gritty electro thumpitty-thump that's been this year's hipster flavor of choice. Sure, it comes highly endorsed by those swell folks at Vice magazine, but as far as getting your guilty pleasures go, you could easily do a lot worse nowadays. All awash in analog keyboard squeal and squelch, it's riotously loud and distorted in a way that sports no shortage of crossover hooks for the rockishly inclined.

Which can all translate into raw, dirty dancefloor fun if you're not too worried about sweating up your Sevens. The skinny, then? Feadz will be performing at Sonotheque on Saturday night, and Uffie's slated to step to the mic and do her thing. Dark Wave Disco deejays Transcid and Mark Getz will also be aboard to keep the beat kicking, as will C-Mass. 1444 W. Chicago, 9PM-3AM. Admission is $15.

[mp3]: Uffie - "Dismissed"
[mp3]: Feadz - "110 Cloches"

Graham Sanford

mp3 Fri Feb 16 2007

Reminder about Josh Abrahms' Reminder

The big news this week in the indie record label world is Ropeadope's move to all digital (mp3's). The plan is to release new music on their website the first Tuesday of every month priced at $7.98 per "album". The first batch of releases just dropped, and Chicagoan Josh Abrahms is prominently featured in the mix.

Reminder is the solo project of Josh Abrahms. Over the last decade Josh has played with Town & Country, Sticks and Stones and Prefuse 73, and has become a prominent member of the Thrill Jockey extended family. Guitarist, Tortoise member and Chicago jazz mainstay Jeff Parker contributes to the track below. Back in the day they'd call this acid jazz (mixed with a little dub), but in 2007 that would be a little passé. Check out "Halfsies" to see what you'd call it. Buy West Side Cabin #1 here.

[mp3]: Halfsies

Craig Bonnell

Concert Fri Feb 16 2007

The Goddamn Shame: Catch 'em While They're Still Alive

It seems like every time South Side noiseboys (and girl) The Goddamn Shame have played a show recently someone has told me it's their last show, like, ever. I can only speculate as to the reasons for this, but there are precious few possibilities:
1. Alcohol.
2. Alright, so it's just booze.
In any case, the Shames return to the Elbo Room this Saturday night to ply their shoegaze wares. I've heard rumours that their new EP is slowly turning into a full-length but at the rate they're going they'll be lucky to release anything before one of them spontaneously combusts. Saturday, Feb 17th, 9PM at the Elbo Room, 2871 North Lincoln Ave. $7, 21+. Part of a benefit for Naisy Dolar, 50th ward aldermanic candidate. With The Jesters, The Blue Line Riders and Greenfield Park.

Nilay Patel

Stores Thu Feb 15 2007

Not all Reckless buying in the loop need be at the BOT

Those of you who work (or live) downtown and seek a new place to browse away your lunch hour can rejoice; Reckless Records has announced the forthcoming opening of a third store, to be located at 26 E. Madison, in the heart of downtown!

The store's web site says that we can expect to wait 4 to 6 weeks for delivery, but that you should keep bringing in your used CDs, LPs, DVDs, and video games to the current store locations for cash or credit. Isn't it always a bit weird (in a good way) to be browsing through a record store's used section, only to bump into a record you used to own - not like another copy, but YOUR old copy! Like bumping into an ex-, but with a laugh, rather than a shudder, of recognition.

Chris Sienko

Concert Thu Feb 15 2007

THIS is called The Show.

The struggle of old-school artists of every stripe has been with relevance. Do they push on with making records? Do they bask in the acclaim of yesteryear? Do they just do what they do best?
Next Friday will be a display of all three with a show loaded with old-school. In hip-hop, the names of Doug E. Fresh, Rakim, and KRS-One evoke different reactions to aficionados, but no one can deny their place in the music's history. Part of Miller's nationwide tour for The Craft, a group of musicians who play backup in each event, next Friday's concert at The Vic may be anything from vaguely disappointing to electric, but odds are that the crowd to which those names mean anything will know the words to most everything.
Show details are here. Show-time's supposed to be at 8:15; closer to 9 should be par for the course.

Troy Hunter

Artist Thu Feb 15 2007

Dave Fischoff Continues Low-Level Flight, Thanks You For The Add!

Dave Fishoff has got to be wondering where, exactly, the radar is located, because he's been skimming the bottom of it for a while now. After being picked as Spin's Artist of the Day back in December, being written up by PopMatters and even getting some local love from TimeOut Chicago, it looks like he's finally hitting the mainstream by getting picked as a MySpace.com Featured Artist.

Okay, maybe not. But that's a crying shame, since Fishoff has picked up the blip-pop cause in convincing fashion with The Crawl, the sort of basement recording that makes Ukranian Village basement apartments seem far more appealing than they actually are. Full of samples culled from the Chicago Public Library's sound bank and lush vocal layering, Fischoff has made a strong play towards replacing that one Postal Service song on your go-to first date makeout playlist. Now we just have to convince you to drop Lady In Red and our work here may finally be done.

[MP3]: Dave Fischoff - "Ghost Of An Afternoon"

Nilay Patel

Concert Thu Feb 15 2007

Charm City Loosies

For the uninitiated, Baltimore house is the reigning booty music of late. Unlike its Chicago cousin, it's fast, gritty, and lewd -- a distinction that's earned it a number of nicknames, perhaps none so telling as "gutter music." Fueled by a punchy, accelerated beat, it guarantees a full, sweaty, and (um) nasty dancefloor whenever it gets cued up. And in the D.C./Baltimore area, it's DJ Jesse Tittsworth who's really been bringin' it these past couple of years. He made his first Chitown appearance back around Thanksgiving, and this Friday night he'll be back for a return engagement at Spot 6. His noteriety rests on the relentlessness of his sets; where he blazes through tracks and remixes on the fly, laying a Bawmer ghetto-house beat behind everything from The Cars to Ray Charles to Gnarls Barkley.

The Bodymore bounce owes much of its energizing spark to the same style of pitch-shifted, sped-up breakbeats that made classic jungle cuts such a rush back in the day. With some of his recent tracks, Chicago's DJ Zebo splits the difference, tweaking his own old-skool junglist steez by mashing things up with some added gutter kick and remixed soul and hip-hop samples. He and his SES crew will be at the Spot as well, throwing their own selection of B'more club tracks into the mix. DJ Frankie Banks is also scheduled to spin. 3343 N. Clark St. Cover is $10.

Graham Sanford

Contest Thu Feb 15 2007

Really Quick Contest: Be a King for a Day!

I just know our feature today on Chicago performer Bobby Conn has totally piqued your interest in seeing him live, and now, thanks to Chicago label Thrill Jockey, you've got your chance, for free. The first to email us at inbox (at) gapersblock.com with the subject line "It's good to be the king!" gets the "King for a Day" package, which includes a pair of tickets to the CD release party this Saturday at the Empty Bottle and a copy of Conn's new album and an autographed poster! Five other runners-up will get their own copy of the album and an autographed poster too. Keen! Email now now now! [Update!] We've got our fill of winners! Congrats to you all!

Anne Holub

Random Thu Feb 15 2007

Deep Cuts of Southern Soul

You may recall an article in the Reader last summer about Chicago DJ John Ciba's discovery of Neal Hemphill's recordings and the compilation, The Birmingham Sound: The Soul of Neal Hemphill, Vol. 1, that came from his digging (and a lot of help from Hemphill's family). It features some of Birmingham, Alabama's best deep southern soul. On Saturday, Ciba and James Porter, operating as East of Edens Soul Express, DJ late at the Hideout spinning gems and floorshakers. The fun starts at 11:30 and costs $5.

James Ziegenfus

Concert Thu Feb 15 2007

Concert Review: Midlake, St. Vincent @ Schubas, 2/14

On this Valentine's Day, Texas was, indeed, the reason. A double shot of sold out Texas-based pop graced the wooden stage at Schubas last night . Opener Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, who expects a full-length out on Beggar's Banquet this spring, exhibited the true anachronism of the phrase "one-man band." Taking her mighty Epiphone in hand and, coupled with a few stints at the keys and an ingenius use of an amp pickup run through a bass equilizer to serve as a "stomp" kick drum, Clark asserted the power of the rock side of feminine subjectivity all by herself. Taking cue from Tori Amos in subject matter and Ani DiFranco in guitar attack made Clark's set the perfect anti-Valentine atmosphere as its subject matter covered mulitple songs about murder and relationship trouble. The loud to soft dynamics of "Now, Now" were perhaps the most abrasive, showcasing Clark's guitar playing as she scattered notes all across the fretboard and used a second, muted mic for call and response that conjured up aural memories of AM static or old phonograph magic. Subdued, tongue-in-cheek "Marry Me John" followed traditional piano-based pop a la Carole King but still kept its jilted approach as the song's narrator implored the matrimonially hesitant John to follow Holy couple Mary and Jospeh's example but "without the kid." Closer "Paris is Burning" served as a stirring anti-war anthem and ended the set on a contemplative note and revealed Clark's kinship with Joanna Newsom in vocal range.

After a brief interval, Denton TX's finest quietly took the gear-strewn stage armed only with their trusty beards and the panther mask featured so prominetly in the artwork from last year's genius LP The Trials of Van Occupanther.

Continue reading this entry »

Brandon Forbes

Concert Thu Feb 15 2007

Four Star, meet Lone Star

The Hideout has recently gotten in on SXSW fever. The crew from the tucked-away nightspot won't be re-locating to Austin for a week, however they will be celebrating Chicago's journeymen. On Saturday March 10th, the Hideout will host a 12 hour event featuring 16 bands, in order to raise money for their travels to Texas.

The mini-festival is set to kick off at 12:00 noon on Saturday with entrance on a first come first served basis. Doors will open at 11:00 am with no tickets available for sale ahead of time! Tickets are $10, all funds benefiting the band with Goose Island and Whole Foods contributing food and drink for the long haul.

The initial line-up includes: The Office, Sally Timms, The M's, The Redwalls, The Race, as well as Sybris, Maritime, and The Narrator from the Flameshovel camp. Additions to the 16-band line-up will be announced soon.

Check out The Hideout Calendar for updates and show information.

John Lombardo

Feature Thu Feb 15 2007

Bobby Conn's King for a Day

It's been three years since Bobby Conn's last studio release, Homeland, which was born out of contempt and fascination for this country's politics and popular culture. And now he, the Glass Gypsies, and guests from Detholz! and Mahjongg, among others, are responsible for King for a Day, a self-described Don Quixote that straddles and blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Even just a quick glance at the entirety of the album's artwork can give listeners a good idea of what they're in for throughout this concept album.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

News Thu Feb 15 2007

Metro Turns 25, Celebrates at ...SXSW?

Twenty-five years ago, a little-known college rock band from Athens, Georgia took the stage at a brand new venue. R.E.M. had yet to become one of the biggest bands in the world, and likewise, Cabaret Metro (as it was known back then) had yet to become one of the best-known and best-loved concert halls in the world.

Yep, the Metro turns 25 this year, and to celebrate, they're throwing a huge party ...at SXSW? Well, yeah. It's the music industry's biggest event, so of course they're going to play it up for the people who keep the bands coming. It's also a great opportunity to possibly introduce the world to the possible next R.E.M. — the party is a showcase for a dozen of Chicago's up-and-coming bands and a bunch of DJs (see schedule below).

But don't worry, this is just the beginning of a year-long series of anniversary concerts right here at home — the details of which will be announced at the show — and on the Metro's email list — March 14.

Metro 25th Anniversary Party
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Noon to 6pm
Emo’s
603 Red River, Austin TX 78701

Emo's (Main Room)
1:00 - 1:30 This Is Me Smiling
1:50 - 2:20 Sybris
2:40 - 3:10 The Hush Sound
3:30 - 4:00 The M’s
4:20 - 4:50 Catfish Haven
5:10 - 6:00 Smoking Popes

Emo's Jr. (Side Room)
12:45 - 1:15 Of The Opera
1:35 - 2:05 The Prairie Cartel
2:25 - 2:55 Cameron McGill & The Quartet Offensive
3:15 - 3:45 Office
4:05 - 4:40 The Changes
5:00 - 6:00 The Redwalls

DJ sets by Bald Eagle (Life During Wartime), DJ JS (Metro), JAM DJs
featuring DJ poseur, DJ Anejo and dj lo-fi, DJ MR (Schubas) and more TBA

Andrew Huff

Concert Wed Feb 14 2007

Floor-filler Funktional

If you were in the electronic music tent at the Pitchfork fest this past summer, you might've seen how Matthew Dear got the whole crowd dancing. Dear specializes in pared-down, lightly textured, ever-so-slighty poppish tech-house fare -- the sort that made the Cologne/Kompakt sound so austerely and refreshingly sexy a few years back. When recording under his Audion moniker, Dear keeps things very lean, chilled, and strictly business in the classic Detroit minimal techno style. But with the two LPs and numerous EPs released under his proper name, he offers a lot more by way of counterpoint; favoring a more melodic, soulful, funkier sound that rests comfortably alongside the efforts of fellow traveller Jamie Lidell.

As a DJ, Dear brings a fat satchel to the party. He'll be playing at Sonotheque this Thursday night, mixing up a deep selection of tech-house material. That means lots of skittering hi-hats and four-on-the-floor thump that'll keep dancefloor prerogatives at the top of the agenda, and enough glitchy scribble to make things edgey and interesting. Residents Kate Simko and DJ Sassmouth will also be sharing deck duties. 9pm-2am, 1444 W. Chicago. Admission is ten dollars.

[mp3]: Matthew Dear - "Dog Days"

Graham Sanford

Music & Film Wed Feb 14 2007

Berwyn Rhapsody

Take a collective breath and feel a little older, everyone - It's officially the 15th anniversary of the release of Wayne's World. For those of you who aren't dolled up for the Flosstrapromus, or who have a '76 AMC Pacer and a taste for licorice rope, hop in the car and re-enact one of the most famous sing-a-longs in Chicago and movie history. Don't forget to visit the Cermak Plaza Spindle!

Dan Morgridge

Concert Wed Feb 14 2007

Prom Revisited

The Matt & Kim/Flosstradamus Valentine's show we reported on earlier this month has recently been re-billed as FlosstraPROMus! In addition to the previously announced cute-as-all-get-out NYC duo and hometown DJ tag team, Milwaukee dance-punks The Glamour and Waterbabies (mem. of Mahjongg) will perform, along with the Sega-inspired video mixing of Thunder Horse.

Check out the bling-riddled flyer here and Thunder Horse's nostalgic video flyer below.

For the uninitiated, I have gathered every free Matt & Kim MP3 on the web:

[mp3]: Yeah Yeah
[mp3]: Verbs Before Nouns
[mp3]: Silver Tiles

also, here is one from Matt & Lil' Kim (feat Shanice):
[mp3]: Verbs Before Nouns, Mothafucka

John Lombardo

Concert Wed Feb 14 2007

MCA Unplugged

In addition to their seasonal Tuesdays on the Terrace and the smattering of musical events hosted year-round, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art has recently announced a new event, playfully titled The Magical Acoustical Musical Showcase. The monthly series works directly with some of Chicago's longest running venues (Metro, Schuba's, Hideout), asking each to select their favorite singers and songwriters.

The performances take place in the MCA cafe on the fourth Tuesday of every month and are FREE to the public. February's performance (on 2/27) will be the curated by The Empty Bottle and will feature an hour long acoustic set by Tim Kinsella.

John Lombardo

Concert Tue Feb 13 2007

Get Scruffy

British DJ and producer Mr. Scruff says that he likes to hit the Windy City every time he's stateside because Chicagoans know how to put a dancefloor to proper use. Back home, his club dates and radio appearances have made him a top-biller with folks who like their music swinging and funky. His key to success? No pandering to the audience, and no flashy tricks on the decks -- just play great records and the party will fall right into place.

Scruff's three LPs on the Ninjatune label favor a jazzy, playful, downtempo sound. His DJs sets, however, find him cleverly hop-scotching across genres with a crowd-pleasing mix of soul, funk, reggae, house, jazz, afrobeat, and whatever else keeps the vibe tight. He's appearing at Smart Bar this Friday night. As is his usual preference, he'll be spinning the entire evening, working his way from deep head-nodding grooves up to the high-energy stuff that keeps the place jumping. 3730 N. Clark St. 10pm-4am, admission is $10.

[mp3]: Mr. Scruff - mix session

Graham Sanford

News Tue Feb 13 2007

El Che: The Musical

Per an interview on Pitchfork, Chicago MC and Kanye protege Rhymefest is hard at work on his follow-up to last year's dynamite record Blue Collar. Tentatively entitled El Che, after his given name Che Smith, the record will be a concept story that Fest hopes to transpose into a stageworthy musical. Yes, that's right, a musical. Fest's interview is great so check it out here, but meanwhile enjoy this hott Chicago-centric video of "Fever" off of Blue Collar - it will help you fight the blizzard.

Brandon Forbes

Concert Mon Feb 12 2007

Richard Buckner Returns To Schubas

Richard Buckner (warning: terrible website) makes his return to Chicago next week to promote his new album Meadow (AllMusic link; trust me, it's better this way) which is a return to the rock bluster of 1998's Since. Buckner may live in New York, but he always seems to kick ass in Chicago, and specifically at Schubas, even going so far as to release the semi-secret Live at Schubas Tavern several years ago to showcase his powerful live show. Meadow is full of archetypical Buckner moments, a wash of cinematic progressions and sparsely percussive instrumentation that provides just enough context for Buckner's uniquely ragged voice. Hell, the tracklist itself reads like a poem about driving west: Town. Canyon. Lucky. Mile. Before. Window. Kingdom.

You get the idea. Richard Buckner, Friday Feb. 23rd at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. $12, 10pm. 21+. With Six Parts Seven.

Nilay Patel

News Mon Feb 12 2007

"This Harness" on YouTube

The sweet, jittery animated video for Chicago's favorite post-punk crafters Chin Up Chin Up's "This Harness Can't Ride Anything" is being featured on YouTube's mainpage today. Link here or view the video below to experience the animated hijinks of a snowy day full of quirky pop goodness.

Brandon Forbes

Concert Mon Feb 12 2007

Concert Review: The Shins, Viva Voce @ Congress Theater, 2/10

Saturday night was the kind of cold that shook you to the very bone. Good thing The Shins brought the perfect thaw: an hour of burning pop brilliance. Standing in the massive line that snaked outside the Congress waiting to get into the sold out venue, I kept hoping the hype I had heard about this tour was for real. The usual live reviews of The Shins I had read were all about how subdued, boring, and similar to their recordings their sets often were. But a few new blurbs promised an expanded Shins line-up for the Wincing the Night Away tour as well as an improved dynamic sound that was bigger than anything they had done before. By the time I got through the packed lobby and past the absurdly priced beers, I was ready to see if James Mercer & company could live up to my expectations.

But another band from Portland made The Shins payoff wait.

Continue reading this entry »

Brandon Forbes

Concert Mon Feb 12 2007

The lost art of singing well.

After last night's Grammys, it is pretty evident that some peple can perform, but not everyone can really sing. Dianne Reeves can do both.

A top talent, she seems to perform in a jazz vacuum. Bereft of much publicity, she nonetheless continues to perfect her craft, managing to show up in a couple of mainstream appearances while keeping credibity in the jazz world. She appeared and sang in Good Night, and Good Luck, and she'll be at the CSO this Friday, February 16th, at 8. Ticket details over here.

Troy Hunter

Concert Mon Feb 12 2007

Episodic Jam

Former Revolting Cock, Wax Trax! producer, and Reckless Records mainstay Chris Connely will be performing material from his new solo record The Episodes in celebration of its release on Feb 17th. The intimate Hideout show will be a full band show, the first that Connelly has performed in 10 years!

Joining Connelly will be the all-star lineup of musicians that collaborated on the album, including U.S. Maple's Adam Vida, Tim Kinsella, Ben Vida, Josh Abrams, Nate Kinsella, and Jason Adasiewicz!

For additional show info, check out hideoutchicago.com. Connelly's UK label, Durtro, has release details at here.

John Lombardo

Concert Mon Feb 12 2007

Machine Records hums along with shows at Schubas and Uncommon Ground

I think of Machine Records as a Chicago label despite the fact that they're based in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. They've signed both local talent like Martha Berner and national acts like The Apparitions. Confirming my assumptions about Machine Records and the windy city is the fact that two of their artists have a busy week coming up in Chicago. On Friday, February 16 Martha Berner opens up for Toby Lightman at Schubas and all month long Hayward Williams plays Wednesday nights at 8pm at Uncommon Ground.

Martha's debut cd was well received last year, which led to a new ep which came out just last month. Her recorded output separates itself from the more pedestrian singer-songwriter offerings by featuring her husky vocals, complex arrangements and literate lyrics. Here's her song "Down and Out In San Francisco" from the Ten Tiny Little Pieces ep.

[mp3]: Down and Out in San Francisco Martha Berner

Hayward Williams resides in Wisconsin and has been mentored by the great young singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault. On record his earnest folk often takes a drastic turn towards grungy rock or paint-by-numbers alt-country but this month of Wednesday's should showcase his softer, folkier side. Hayward William's Machine Records debut, Another Sailor's Dream, comes out March 7.

[mp3]: A Glance Back Hayward Williams

[mp3]: Redwoods Hayward Williams

Craig Bonnell

Artist Sat Feb 10 2007

Bloc Party Listening + Free Bushmills = RSVP Right Away!

There's a listening party at the Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., tonight (Saturday) for Bloc Party's new album, A Weekend in the City, and there's free Bushmills whiskey from 10pm to midnight if you play your cards right at RSVP to rsvp@enpriseentertainment.com. DJs Mother Hubbard and DU4Play also spin. No cover, 21+.

Andrew Huff

Concert Fri Feb 09 2007

It's getting cold out here, so take off all your clothes...

Gays in the Military only promise two things: total rock and total filth. A tall order on both counts, you might say! Yet, in their five years of pounding Chicago down with a heady mix of Butthole Surfers-influenced sludge rock, lurid visual spectacle (half-naked dancers, crowd agitators on roller skates, and a "porno fairy" who hands out free XXX DVDs for you to take home and "cherish"), and incomprehensible stage patter, it's hard to think of anything the city of broad shoulders has to offer that resembles the full-on drop-trou GitM experience. Maybe a trip to an old-school Division Street bathhouse with Joe Spinell as your chaperone.

Tonight, Cal's Liquors (400 S. Wells) hosts the last Gays in the Military live experience until April. Also on the docket will be Cleveland's next emissaries of the avant garage The Pages and Chicago's own "Wizards of the Forest" (Forests? Around here?) Druids of Huge. If you're not warmed up after this show, have a doctor check you for frostbite.

Chris Sienko

Concert Fri Feb 09 2007

Concertgoers! Post Your Photos!

Goin' to a show this weekend? If you have a flickr account, you can share pictures of the show on Transmission by joining the Transmission flickr group!

Andrew Huff

Concert Fri Feb 09 2007

Friday night, bands to be enjoyed...what are you waiting for?

[Sent in by our girl Kara] Let's not waste time with idle chit-chat, people. Just know that two amazing bands will be playing tonight at Northwestern University's Norris Hall, in the Louis Room (1999 Campus Arts Drive).

Why, I'm talking the lush 'n awesome indie group Margot and the Nuclear So and So's (you might remember when we talked to them about a month ago), with the drunky-pirate-meets-Tom Waits awesomeness of Man Man.

The show hasn't been very highly publicized, which means all the more for you. Things kick off at 7:30pm, and you can get tickets ahead of time by calling the box office at 847/491-2305.

Anne Holub

Television Fri Feb 09 2007

The Naked Sea

Local rockers Tortoise, who are reportedly set to release an album later this year, provide the soundtrack to this breakthrough Vaseline commercial currently airing overseas.

Some "making-of" clips can also be found here and here (Possibly NSFW).

JP Pfafflin

Concert Fri Feb 09 2007

Diana Jones. The best singer you've never heard!?

Diana Jones is the most critically acclaimed, alt-country chanteuse that you've never heard of. Really you're not to be blamed. Where are you going to hear music this beautiful and emotionally raw on the Chicago's radio landscape? "Pony" is Diana Jones heartbreaking tale of an Native American girl taken from her family and from her home on the reservation. It's an adoption story gone wrong from a woman who was herself adopted at a young age. "Pony" has been nominated as Song of the Year and Diana Jones as Emerging Artist of the Year by Folk Alliance. Diana Jones' 2006 debut Rememberance of You has been praised by No Depression, The Chicago Tribune, BBC, and Nashville Scene.

You can hear Diana Jones at Old Town School on March 11 when she opens up for Peggy Seeger.

[mp3]: Pony Diana Jones

Craig Bonnell

Concert Thu Feb 08 2007

A Weekend of Mittens on Strings

Dirty, dark, and cold. These adjectives are on the tips of all Chicagoan tongues these days and, on Friday night at the Subterranean, they'll be in their ears as well. A veritable triumvirate of somber, muddy melody makers, local collective Mittens on Strings, avant composer The Dirty Projectors, and break-up darlings Grizzly Bear, will bring the house down tommorrow night beginning at 10 PM at the Wicker Park haunt. While Pitchfork and blogosphere hype have assured Grizzly Bear's place as one of the current "it" bands and the fuzzy postmodern art songs of The Dirty Projectors have always had a niche crew, local opener Mittens on Strings are also deserving of attention. With a rotating cast of friends and accomplices, Mittens on Strings, who have existed since 2001 but only been in Chicago for the last couple of years, produce mournful sing-a-longs for the shadows that would tickle the ears of both Lou Reed and Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous. Having played both South by Southwest and CMJ in recent years, the Mittens put their last LP, Look Up in the Sky!, out on Mountain Goat alum label Emperor Jones, and currently are offering the Strongmen, Tin Sins EP for FREE download on their webpage. Plus, there's a remix EP which should be available in April featuring, among others, mashup DJ Girl Talk, so good things are on the horizon for the band. While the bad news for those that don't already have a ticket is that the Subterranean show is sold out, the good news is that Mittens on Strings will be playing a free in-store acoustic show on Saturday at 3PM at Ukranian Village newcomer Permanent Records at 1914 W. Chicago Avenue. And if that's not enough for you, their website is offering an open invitation to come see some friends play at the Mittens on Strings loft on Sunday evening. Here's the word form the band about the private gig: "Evan from Pillars and Tongues, Elephant Micah, Cell Mates, and To the Left will all be performing starting around 8 PM. Email us if you would like more details (like an address) - mittensonstrings@hotmail.com." Sounds like you just got yourself some weekend plans.

Brandon Forbes

Concert Thu Feb 08 2007

Romantic Gyrations Beat Dinner Reservations

Ladies, gents, quit agonizing about a certain notorious date next week immediately. Are you planning time with your baby, but can't afford the florist and the five-star restaurant? Are you single, hating Hallmark for making up this holiday in the first place, and just wanting to shake your thang? Subterranean will be hosting Flosstradamus with Matt & Kim on Valentine's Eve, 10PM. It's a very reasonable five dollars, and leaves plenty of time for you to eat out, catch a movie, or eat a plate of ramen noodles shaped into a heart.
Catch the afterparty at the Continental, where fellow IHeartComix friends Ocelot, Kampfire Killahs, and some omnipotent camera from everyoneisfamous.com will merge over from their Fuck Love party with Venus Magazine. If this combined crowd at a 4AM bar on Valentine's Day doesn't yield some final chance for a hook-up, I don't know what will.
This will also be your last chance to catch the hometown heroes for a few weeks: Josh and Curtis take off for Portugal tomorrow to kick off a 12 stop tour of Europe with A-Trak and Kid Sister.

Dan Morgridge

Feature Thu Feb 08 2007

Our Favorite Record Stores, Vol. 3

This time around, our record store reviewers take you to a couple of great establishments that you're probably missing out on, simply because they're not on the Red Line. Read about the service, selection and atmosphere at The Old School Records in Forest Park and Beverly Records (in Beverly, oddly enough) and then strap on your boots and get out there! Nothing beats the winter doldrums like some new music between your ears, and what better place to get it than at a couple of fantastic mom-and-pop record stores.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Album Wed Feb 07 2007

Dolly Varden's back (Undertow Music, April 17)

You would have had to been hiding your head in the sand for the past decade or so not to have bumped into the Chicago band Dolly Varden. Somehow that sentence above describes me. Luckily, I was introduced to their music through leader Steve Dawson's excellent solo disc Sweet Is The Anchor and now Undertow Music is about ready to introduce a whole new generation of fans to this Chicago group.

The song "Everything" is the hook-laden rave up off of the upcoming record The Panic Bell. It's a fine example of the heartland rock meets British invasion sound of the band. Pre-order this April release here.
The band's record release show is March 9 at Martyr's.

P.S. Download "Love Is A Blessing" from Sweet Is The Anchor and put it away until February 14, then spring it on the one you love...trust me.

[mp3]: Everything Dolly Varden
[mp3]: Love Is A Blessing Steve Dawson

Craig Bonnell

Concert Tue Feb 06 2007

Press In the Flesh

Some of Chicago's finest independent musicians are gathering to support one of the city's newest independent publications. The Skeleton News, a new monthly underground newspaper out of the Pilsen, celebrates its fourth issue on February 16th with a release party/fundraiser show featuring belly dancing, a kissing booth, a drawing booth, film screenings, and a sweet raffle manned by its staff! Musical performances will include Rollin Hunt, Binges, Scalpels, and scandalous folksters Root Shoot Leaf.

The festivities are set to take place at 217 N. Wolcott at 8:00pm. For more information about the paper or details about contributing, check out www.theskeletonnews.com.

John Lombardo

Review Tue Feb 06 2007

Review: Under the Influence of Giants

I can't tell you exactly why Los Angeles-based Under the Influence of Giants didn't get more attention than they did last summer, when "Mama's Room" was all over MySpace like the disco-rock version of ForBiddeN. Maybe it was because they didn't wear as much vinyl.

I have a better theory, though, and it's sort of counter-intuitive. I think it's because they're on Island. It's hard to trust a band that sounds like UTIOG when they're signed to a major. It's like that terrible fall of 2003, when like, corduroy jackets and Ramones t-shirts became super fashionable. The world was suddenly full of women that for all the world looked like maybe they had something interesting to say, but then you'd look up from how good that Joy Division logo looked stretched across a push-up bra and listen to them prattle on about how much of a contribution Ross Robinson had made to The Cure* and realize that you'd been bamboozled by The Man once again.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Concert Tue Feb 06 2007

Venice Gas House Trolley?

You might be asking yourself what the heck is a Venice Gas House Trolley? Well quite simply it's a three-piece jazz ensemble formed in the tradition of the Holy Barbarians of the Venice West Beat scene. (The Gashouse was their main hang) Make sense? If not here is a little more info. The band is on a mission to bridge the gap between poetry and music and does so in beat and jazz forms. Adam Pergament, a long time Madison spoken word stalwart, leads the band in a very chill yet gripping self described Flowpoetry. Swing into Phyliss' Musical Inn Thursday night for some hip jive cat daddy.

Brent Kado

Concert Tue Feb 06 2007

Last-minute show announcement

If you're masochist enough to want to leave your house tonight, the Empty Bottle offers three performers who will wrap you up in warm and fuzzy blankets of abstract sound. Neil Jendon (also of Zelienople) plays his first solo show of 2007, and it's gonna be droning organ reverie with processing. Zeropoint (Robb Drinkwater and Jason Soliday) build and re-wire cheap, discarded audio junk and turn it into the equivalent of one of those tactile books for children - rough and hurty one moment, soft and smoothy the next. Lobisomem harbors such musical criminals as Jason Ajemian (Born Heller, Triage), Garon Gaston, and Brad Loving; on the basis of their Myspace samples, it sounds like they've got Musik Von Harmonia on the brain.

9:30, and $7 at the door. Bundle up and have that whiskey order ready.

Chris Sienko

News Tue Feb 06 2007

Hey, man. You gotta follow your dream.

Today's NY Times has a piece (and video) about Chicagoan Ted Atkatz, who has given up his role as lead percussionist at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in order to pursue his dream of leading an alternative rock band. Think that sounds like the plot to a teen movie about bucking tradition and following your heart? Yeah, so do I. His band, NYCO, will be releasing an album later on this spring. Catch them still giddy from national exposure as they play at Schubas this Thursday, Feb. 8th at 8pm.

Anne Holub

Concert Tue Feb 06 2007

Flowers Under the Attic

If you thought the days of taking the orange (or blue) line down to Pilsen to see mind-blowing art/noise/rock spectacles were over after Texas Ballroom closed its doors, it’s time to feel like it’s 2002 all over again, because there’s a new roof over your heads, and its called the Flowershop (2159 W. 21st Place [at Leavitt] – Pink or Blue line to Damen stop). Believe it or not, the name is functional, not conceptual – the shows actually take place in the greenhouse of a flower shop! Please check your throwing-stones at the door.

This Friday (February 9, 9:00 p.m., $6 suggested donation), prepare thyself to deal with four miracles, as Lambsbread ride west from Columbus, Ohio to batter skulls with the thighbones of Eloe Omoe (the Sun Ra sideman or the No Wave duo, your choice); Locrian spin webs of rainy-day elegy from piles of guitar-based slippery (Robert) Frippery; Mark Solotroff and Jason Soliday rep for their respective home-teams in a microphones vs. micro-tones cage match that’s sure to incite the audience’s thirst for blood; and Binges chop and dice the history of improvised jazz into pungent bouquets for sensitive folks with noses for ears.

More show and venue information can be found here.

Chris Sienko

Concert Mon Feb 05 2007

Best Leather Jacket Band Name Ever

The gritty, urban-tonk sounds of the distinguished Detroit Cobras will give Chicago two things to rejoice about this spring. First, on Friday, March 2nd, the Cobras will strike Logan Square Auditorium. Thanks to a major promotion push by Irving Park Road country dandies Bloodshot Records, this event will not only be FREE, but feature an opening set by Chicago legends The Blacks, who will reform yet again to tantalize the ears of the dirty roots faithful. The Blacks last played at a reunion show in July of last year, and a video clip from that amazing performance is included below. But I digress: the second exciting moment brought to Cobra aficionados will be a new record, their first since 2005's Baby (check out a track from that record here), entitled Tied & True. Look for free Bloodshot samplers as give-aways at the Logan Square show and for the new Cobras record to hit shelves on April 24th.

Brandon Forbes

Review Mon Feb 05 2007

Cold....and Still Swingin'

To be classed a music legend, you can’t have greatness dulled by suckiness or even mediocrity. Also, if your mentor is a legend, you don’t get far by resting on your laurels and riding coattails.

Friday night, the Count Basie Orchestra and the Joey DeFrancesco Trio played to an almost capacity crowd at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Count Basie Orchestra has been in the business of swinging for years; Joey DeFrancesco is a student of Jimmy Smith, a titan of the Hammond B3 organ who passed away in late 2005.

Both guests are known for up-tempo arrangements, but the slower selections also accentuated the musicianship of the performers in the context of solos and in the group. Not to say that the up-tempo stuff disappointed; the solos fitted seamlessly, and the show rolled along quickly, clocking at just over two hours. All in all, a night where a jazz institution were in top form, and a player on the upswing of his career may have introduced himself to a new audience with a strong performance.

Troy Hunter

Concert Mon Feb 05 2007

Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel - "Yellow Rose"

Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel are national treasures who just happen to be based here in Chicago. I just bet there are music fans in Nashville, Austin, and LA who are kicking themselves that people in Chicago can just walk out their front door and see Anna Fermin perform. My hunch is confirmed by the fact that Anna Fermin's new disc, Go, recently reached number one on a national Americana radio chart.

Go was available at shows at the very end of last year but has only just been made available nationally via CDBaby. The song "Yellow Rose" is a Texas-inspired ballad that doesn't forget to have a little fun. Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel plays next on February 10 at Fitzgerald's opening for Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men.

[mp3]: Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel Yellow Rose

Craig Bonnell

Concert Fri Feb 02 2007

The Queers Are Here

Remember a band called The Queers that had minor stardom in the mid-Nineties? Well they're back for a 25th Anniversary party and you can see them at The Note Tuesday night. The band has released a new DVD called The Queers Are Here, a new CD (Munki Brain, hitting the street the the day of the Chicago show) and a zig-zag nationwide tour. The band formed in 1982, but didn't really get a record deal for another 10 years. Once they did, the three albums they released on Lookout Records sold decently and the band developed a dedicated following. The Queers play pop-punk with a sprinkle of surf and hint of humor. Often mistaken as anti-gay or sexist, (and with songs like "Ursula Finally Has Tits" and "Fagtown" it's an easy mistake) the band is really more about shock and adolescent hi-jinks, not negativity. Stop in The Note Tuesday night and celebrate 25 years with a band that knows how to have a crazy time.

Brent Kado

Concert Fri Feb 02 2007

Hipster Girls, Hot Topic, and A Retelling of Moby Dick, Or The Life and Times of MC Lars

Yes, it was embarrassing. And yes, it was silly. By it was damn catchy. Deadeye Dick's early '90s ode to hippy chick resurgence entitled "New Age Girl" is now forever relegated to "Best of the '90s" comps, but for a time in '94 it served its purpose. Hoping to not end up relegated to the same fate is Brooklyn cultural commentator/rapper MC Lars, whose recent single "Hipster Girl" does for Williamsburg fashionistas what Deadeye Dick did for Sierra Club hotties. A recent Stanford grad, Lars has churned out a couple EPs and last year's The Graduate LP for a surprising large fan base (dude has over 500,000 Myspace friends and his first EP sold over 10,000 copies). Unabashedly self-compared to Weird Al, the Bloodhound Gang, and collaborators Bowling for Soup, who add vocals to The Gaduate's "Download This Song," Lars wears his critical heart on his sleeve via ProTools approved samples and late '80s whiteboy rap delivery. Constructing clever tales of corporate label stooges searching for the next big thing ("Signing Emo") to setting the facts straight about consumer capitalism's absorption of punk style ("Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock") to relating the ins and outs of the ever-changing hipster aesthetic ("Hipster Girl"), the message is clear: examine your culture critically because it might just be playing you. Perhaps Lars falls into some of these corporate traps himself, however, by labeling his DIY genre as "post-punk laptop rap" for easy identification as well as pining for fame and riches on his Myspace page, but these errors are almost excusable in light of the fact that Lars can also retell Melville by way of a Supergrass sample. Check out the below video to see what I mean:

Whether he'll end up identified as "guilty pleasure" or "blogosphere stud," Chicagoans will have a chance to judge the self-proclaimed MC for themselves at the beginning of next month. On March 3rd at Champs Rock Room MC Lars brings his game to the Windy City. Holla.

Brandon Forbes

Concert Fri Feb 02 2007

Welcome to Cambridge at the Underground Lounge TONIGHT

I just got word that local fashion-rockers Welcome To Cambridge will be playing a secret show tonight at the Underground Lounge. They're fresh out of Gravity Studios with their new album, Sex and Exes. I'll put up more info as it comes.
9pm, Underground Lounge, 952 W. Newport.

EDIT: It's $7.

Nilay Patel

Concert Fri Feb 02 2007

Bears vs. Colts? How about Rats vs. Ponys!

Coming down from the ecstasy high of a Bears Super Bowl victory won't be easy - and if they lose, let's not kid ourselves, the self-loathing lows will be deep and long-lasting. To pre-empt the Monday comedown, try out a double dose of quirky pop at the Empty Bottle Sunday night at 9:30. Opening local act We Will Eat Rats To Survive received a Worst Band Name of 2006 nod from the Onion's AV Club, but their Myspace page quotes a section from Louise Erdrich's Tales of Burning Love that seems to place their band name in a more philosophically enlightened position. Either way, as another group on the "Say Hi To Your Own Pet By The Trail of Dead" name bandwagon or as band representative of human striving against Darwinian odds, We Will Eat Rats deliver musically with quirky acoustic and banjo-laden pop that recalls Oh No! Oh My! and They Might Be Giants. Headliners Pony Up! take an all-female approach to the now familiar sounds of Montreal-based indie rock. Just like We Will Eat Rats, Pony Up! seem dead set on bearing the ugly truth of existence - just take the wistful harmonies of existentially disturbingly entitled single "The Truth About Cats And Dogs (Is That They Die)" off of their latest LP Make Love To The Judges With Your Eyes. Whichever way you look at it, the Empty Bottle show should be a sobering indie pop fest to bring you back from the world of men who play games for six-figure salaries to the real rat race of which you are a part. Hmm, I'm feeling that self-loathing comedown already.

Brandon Forbes

mp3 Fri Feb 02 2007

Southside Superbowl

We REALLY like this whole "Bears go to Super Bowl, song gets made/recorded/performed" thing, so let's continue with the two most visible Chicago hip-hop artists and their contribution. Apparently, while taking breaks from both of their albums (due out later this year), Common and Kanye decided to show love. After a Bears win, maybe this (with a special verse) will show up on one of their albums.

Troy Hunter

Music & Film Fri Feb 02 2007

Rex Grossman is Robin Thicke

Attention all students of Marshall McLuhan: there is a doctoral thesis being written for you in the city of Chicago as we speak.

In 1985, the Bears went to the Super Bowl. They marked this event by recording the Super Bowl Shuffle, which eventually was nominated for a Grammy. (It lost to "Kiss" by Prince).

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Artist Fri Feb 02 2007

If Only This One Had Christopher Walken In It

There's a new Deerhunter in the culture lexicon, but instead of a harrowing tale of war and Russian Roulette, this one's a pleasantly avante-garde band from Atlanta. Now here's the question: they're out on Chicago label kranky, they're booked by Chicago bookers The Windish Agency, they've even given a glowing review from local scene-setters Pitchfork. So why don't they have a Chicago tour date yet? Show some love for your home-away-from-home, fellas!

In the meantime, we'll have to make do with enjoy this video for Strange Lights:

For the truly brave, you can check out their other video for "Lake Somerset", but I'm warning you - it's creepy.

Update: Psst: Windish says Deerhunter will be playing here on April 4th at the Empty Bottle!

Dan Morgridge

Concert Fri Feb 02 2007

Automatic Sweethearts

Honda Pavarotti, featuring members of Number One Cup & The Fire Show, The Velmas, Long Division, and Fast Product, bring their undeniably catchy and melodic indie pop to The Hideout tonight, sharing a bill with Josh Hudson's (Grimble Grumble) Titmice. 10 pm. $8.

Chris Baran

Random Thu Feb 01 2007

Bear Down Karaoke-style

With so many versions popping up, do you really need another? Oh yes. Featuring the barely-day old custom helmets on the lions at the Art Institute, Chicago citizens singing in a "We Are the World"-type studio set and a couple of appearances by George Wendt you can watch or sing along to this version of "Bear Down, Chicago Bears" presented by the Illinois Bureau of Tourism. Don't know the words yet? Just follow the dancing bear. [Thanks, Sarah]

Anne Holub

Concert Thu Feb 01 2007

“And the rockets Redglaer [sic], sound-bombs bursting in air…”

Bob Bellerue’s week beats, if not your year, at least your month. Based in Los Angeles, this noise performer/installation artist/theatre designer/curator/writer has his fingers in enough pies to open a very unhygienic bakery, and the only thing it seems he hasn’t done since 1999 is rest. You may know him as Halfnormal (releases on Banned Production, Iatrogenesis, and his own Anarchymoon Recordings), but he’s got a heaping helping of other projects, sporting colorful names like Feed the Dragon, Vegan Murderers, and The Meteor Headed for Us.

On Friday, February 10, he performs at Wicker Park performance space Enemy (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 9 p.m., $5 suggested donation) as Redglaer, a project based around large, cascading whorls of textural sound, or as his catalog copy poetically puts it, “ions seduced by sunspots.” Readers of The Wire may have caught the favorable review of the new Redglaer 10” in the December issue, in the section fittingly titled “Size Matters” (it’s a 10”, geddit?).

Continue reading this entry »

Chris Sienko

News Thu Feb 01 2007

Friends with Benefits

In the wake the of the great success of the recent benefit organized by Jessica Hopper & Co., a second benefit for Callum Robbins has been anounced here in Chicago. Headlining the event, slated for April 27th at Subterranean, will be reclusive hometown heroes Shellac along with prog-pop champions Dianogah and Sound on Sound.

Friends and musicians throughout Chicago, New York, and DC have mobilized to show their support for producer J. Robbins' son Callum, who was recently diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Tickets for the 21+ show are $25 and can be purchased online. If you can't make it to the show, direct donations can be made here as well.

John Lombardo

Contest Thu Feb 01 2007

Really Quick Contest: Free show, Free tunes

If you've read our feature this week on The Eternals and Skybox, you know that these bands are really worth checking out. We're going to help you hear one of them for zero clams this weekend. Just be the first to email inbox(at)gapersblock.com with the subject line "Arco Iris" and you'll get a pair of tickets to see Skybox headline at Subterranean this Saturday, Feb. 3. One lucky runner up will get the brand new Skybox CD! Hop to it! [Update: We have our winners! Congrats!]

Anne Holub

Music & Film Thu Feb 01 2007

Valentine's Day at the Debonair Social Club

Look sharp, kids, Valentine's Day is fast upon us. Is this the year you finally break the mods/rockers barrier and ask that one guy for a ride on his Vespa? Will you find true love in the nailpolish aisle?

Probably not, because you're hopeless. Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy knows that, and wants to help. He'll be sharing the upstairs decks at the Debonair Social Club with everyone's cuddliest local beatmaster Matt Roan this February 14th, and if these two swamis of the middle-school love affair can't help you get to first base you're probably better off just giving up and staging a wedding for your cats. Lord knows Mr. Nibbles and Bit-Bit have been living in sin for entirely too long.

As an aside, I am forever in love with the Debonair, since the very first time I went there someone took my photo and I ended up getting called a "good man" in the Red Eye. It's not the highest of high points, I know, but I'm not the one putting my cats on YouTube.

February 14th at the Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee. With J.Lee and B$, free

Nilay Patel

Music & Film Thu Feb 01 2007

Da Bears! Super Bowl Shuffle, Part Deux

The Bears may very well lose this Sunday, but rest assured Chicago will win the competition that matters most - best Superbowl theme song. The Hoyle Brothers have updated and put a honky-tonk spin on the Super Bowl Shuffle of yore. Their new song, "Another Super Bowl Shuffle, Part 2", is available as a download from iTunes for $.99 with most of the money raised going to the Make a Wish Foundation. The song can also be found on WLUP's Monster's of the Midway Tribute CD available here.

I'm sure The Hoyle Brothers will play a rousing version of their shuffle this Friday at their weekly Empty Bottle love in (5:30pm, free). Two step your way to Western Ave. for happy hour and free country music, and get your Bears weekend started off right.

P.S. Dag Juhlin from Poi Dog and Slugs fame also contributes a track to the tribute cd.

Craig Bonnell

Feature Thu Feb 01 2007

The Eternals and Skybox: Sound Like Chicago?

Unlike California's skate punk or the South's tendency toward all things dirrrty, Chicago has never been known for a particular "sound." Now, this is not to say there aren't many excellent musical acts that call the Windy City home — far from it. Instead, Chicago nurtures artists from many stylistic venues. Take The Eternals and Skybox: both pull from an eclectic mix of influences, reworking those into something that seems to elude easy definition. Is it indie or is it just odd? Is it reggae, rock, hip hop, or a spaceman freak-out? More importantly, does it even matter? Just enjoy.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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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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