As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block is on indefinite hiatus. The site will remain up in archive form while we evaluate our options, which may include a redesign or sale. ✶ Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. ✶
This wasn't the first time I've set an alarm to buy Jeff Tweedy solo tickets for his show at the Vic.
The first time was way back yonder in 2009, where my 17-year-old self eagerly bought the tickets with my parents credit card at 10am on a Friday morning during Winter Break, only to be utterly devastated to find out -- after purchasing the tickets, of course -- that the show was 18 and up. My parents call it one of the best shows they have ever seen. I sulked for the entire week.
Five years later, I finally got my chance to redeem the follies of my teenage self. Seeing a solo Jeff Tweedy show has long been on my bucket list, with reason Numero Uno being that Jeff Tweedy is the ultimate Chicago hometown golden boy, andfrontman of what may be the Chicago-iest Chicago band in recent times: Wilco. Tweedy and co. are practically an institution at this point, and every year around this time, Tweedy plays a string of solo shows at the Vic to benefit an academic scholarship for the Montessori school his children attended. Tickets to the show weren't cheap -- they ranged from $75-$150, but hey, they're tax deductible... I think.
Steep price or not, the show was worth every penny. With hair like a mad scientist and an arsenal of acoustic guitars that rivaled Neil Young's (OK, a stretch, but it was an impressive array nonetheless), Tweedy played a set of deep cuts, covers, and die-hard favorites.
Did you get some new gear for Christmas? Did you not get the gear you asked Santa for? Are you just trying to get the clutter down to Hoarders level? Looking for someplace warm to drink on Saturday? If you answered Yes to any of these questions, or if you're just cool, head out to Schubas (3159 N. Southport) Saturday for the First Annual Gear Swap. Bring your used guitars, pedals, amps, drums, keyboard (no keyboard cats) and any other instruments you have lying around the house from 12 noon - 4pm.
Vendors will be buying and selling used and vintage gear all afternoon, plus there's a raffle where you can win all sorts of goodies, like items from Chicago Music Exchange and Third Coast Guitars, or studio time at Rax Trax and, naturally, five-day passes to the upcoming Tomorrow Never Knows Festival!
Best bonus? All proceeds benefit Rock For Kids, a local non-profit that provides music instruction to at-risk youth in Chicago.
Beer will be provided by Revolution Brewing, who'll offer up $3 Anti Hero, Bottom Up Wit and (the delectable) Eugene Porter for your drinking pleasure (21+, of course).
If you want to sell some gear as a vendor, email Gear@Schubas.com to reserve some free table space!
It's not your by-the-book Valentine's Day event, but your heart might just melt at this benefit show at Schubas Thursday night. Come out for the guitar-and-drum-fueled fury of White Mystery, and show your Valentine you Choo-Choo-Choose to rock.
White Mystery will perform their ginger-haired brand of rock this Thursday fresh off of their European tour. And what better way to welcome this brother/sister team back to Chicago than with a rollicking show at Schubas on a February night? Forget all that lovey-dovey stuff, and let White Mystery warm your body from your ears on down.
In a whirlwind announcement this morning, Andrew Bird (and friends), will add to his Chicago performances this December, with a special show on 12/22 at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia), benefiting local music education charity Rock for Kids. Early-bird tickets sold out pretty much instantaneously, but there are still general admission and VIP tickets (which include a meet-and-greet with Mr. Bird) are still available, running $100 and $200, respectively.
Now, before you get all huffy about the price, remember this charity show will benefit a special Andrew Bird Scholarship Fund at Rock for Kids, and try let your heart grow a few sizes before you Grinch out about it. If you can shell out the cash, you'll also get a special show poster designed by Jay Ryan in addition to admission to this cozy venue. So that, plus an intimate setting with Mr. Bird and friends, is a nice present to yourself, at least.
Chicago's own JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound team up with a whole lineup of bands Wednesday for a concert benefiting WXRT's 30th Anniversary of the Holiday Concert For The Kids. I spoke to JCBUS bassist Ben Taylor and got to ask all the important questions.
You know, I didn't realize until I read the press materials that the reason you're the Uptown Sound is that you're from Uptown.
Yes, we've been based out of Uptown the whole time, we started in the spring of '07, five years ago.
I got to see JCBUS in the musical production Passing Strange last year, it was amazing. Was the full band in that show?
Yes — there were four of us, and right after that is when we added our keyboard player Andy Rosenstein full time. The heart of the band was there, and some extra people — there were two extra people that just did the production with us.
There was a lot there that really resonated with people, it was a great experience. It was a lot of work going into it; right after recording an album we had to throw ourselves into learning and doing a show, do a 6 week run of it, then we immediately finished that and started touring.
So what can we expect to see at the Metro show?
This show is us previewing the new songs we're working on for our new album which we're going up to Montreal at beginning of December to record, and actually have a ton of new material we're going to be playing; this show is kind of like a re-launch, the unveiling of what comes next.
You may have heard about Ashley Pruneau, a cook at Mana Food Bar who was assaulted in her home on July 1. A benefit to help support her recovery takes place on Wednesday, August 8 at The Dark Room (2210 W. Chicago) featuring music by DJ White Shadow, Casa del Sol, and Lightfoils. There will be food and drink from Mana Food Bar, among many others, and a raffle and silent auction for goodies from a slew of area businesses. $15 gets you in, for more info visit Infoonashley on Facebook. Event begins at 7pm.
The show is scheduled for Thursday, April 19. Doors open at 8pm, Show starts at 8:30pm, $10 suggested donation at the door. All proceeds will be donated to Rudy, who is recovering. For more info visit Double Door.
You may have heard about the Asrai Garden robbery earlier this month, when Asrai employee Kristen Romaniszak was assaulted. She is recovering, but has been unable to work. If you've been wondering what you can do to help, Double Door (1572 N. Milwaukee) is hosting a benefit show on Monday, March 5 to help make up for her lost wages and other expenses. The lineup includes Sweet Cobra, Canadian Rifle, and Paul Cary & The Small Scaries. Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 7pm, tickets are $10 suggested donation.
New York DJ Jonathan Toubin has put on his straight-up bananas parties all over the country (and numerous times in Chicago), but not since mid-December when he was the victim of an accident in Portland, Oregon where a taxi crashed through his hotel room and left him in bad shape. Benefit shows around the country have been helping with his medical expenses. On Friday, the 20th, Chicago lends its talents with a benefit show highlighted by Hozac rockers Radar Eyes and Outer Minds. A slew of other familiar faces will be playing music throughout the night.
Radar Eyes headlines. Outer Minds and House Sounds also play. James Porter, Emilie Jaeger, Kristin Marx, Naomi Walker, Alex White and Brent Zmrahl will take care of the tunes between sets. It starts at 10PM and it's just $8. Consider you'd probably drop $8 just to see these bands on their own. But now you get to see them and give to a good cause. The Empty Bottle's at 1035 N Western. For more information on Toubin, visit I Heart JT.
The fine folks at CHIRP thought that this past weekend's storms would spare their studio, as it's up on the third floor of a building in Lincoln Square, but they were wrong. A drainage issue in the building meant that Saturday morning there was more than an inch of water in the studios where the Chicago Independent Radio Project broadcasts online 24/7. They've got a disaster recovery crew helping to tear out drywall, carpet, and ventilate the space (in the meantime, they're broadcasting an automated format via computer) as well as an electrician to help sort out the damage the water has done to the system. They do have some insurance money helping to pay for the recovery, but what insurance doesn't cover is quickly adding up. Please consider donating now to help make sure that CHIRP can get back on the air quickly. Keep up with their Twitter for the latest. While there are no specific flood-relief benefits planned, you can always donate online, or attend a CHIRP-sponsored event already on the calendar: the August edition of The First Time reading series at the Beat Kitchen on August 10th where invited writers share stories on a single topic. This coming month, it's The First Time: First High.
Friday's forecast calls for the Triple H: Hot, Hazy, and Humid. But at Beauty Bar Friday night the weather's going to be cool and crisp with three masterful DJs set to spin and a beach party theme sure to get a fair share of skin showing. The Wet Hot American Beach Party kicks off at 9pm with DJ sets from Empires, My Gold Mask's Jack Armondo, and Greg Corner. There's a hosted vodka bar from 9-10pm and tropical drink specials. Plus, $3 Bud Drafts, $3 PBR Tall Boys, $4 Well Drinks, and Beauty Bar's classic $10 Martini and Manicures deal. As a bonus, each drink purchase means a donation gets made to Rock for Kids, an amazing local non-profit that brings music programming to at-risk youth in Chicagoland. There's also a $3 suggested donation at the door which goes to the charity (if you're not going, but like the idea of helping kids, make a donation online).
Beachwear is suggested, so drag out those coconut bikinis that have been gathering dust since Halloween! Beauty Bar is located at 1444 W. Chicago Ave. RSVP on Do312.
As mentioned before, the second annual Neon Marshmallow Festival is fast approaching (June 10-12) its rendezvous with the Empty Bottle. In the meantime, there is a way to both support the festival and acquaint yourself with many of the acts on the bill.
From now through the festival dates, you will be able to purchase a compilation cassette featuring many of the acts at this year's Neon Marshmallow festival for $6 ppd in the US. All proceeds will go toward the upfront expenses of the Neon Marshmallow Festival. Paypal buttons can be found on the front page of the Neon Marshmallow website.
Extra added bonus, we've made this event the site of our April Gapers Block Get-Together, so come and say hi to some of your most musical of GB staff friends. Come out and support a worthwhile cause, and walk away with some sweet tunes for your ears and a warm spot in your heart. Tickets $10 (available online or at the door). The first round of auction items goes up for bidding at 6pm (get there early!) and the whole auction runs until 10pm. DJs TBA. Smart Bar is located under the Metro at 3730 N. Clark St. 773-549-0203.
Year after year, folks all over the country celebrate Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras by throwing around cheap beaded necklaces and getting sloppily--and selfishly--drunk.
No longer! This year, on Tuesday, March 8, drink and dance for a good cause at Division Street's Mardi Gras celebration. Expect drink specials, dance parties, contests, and local DJs and bands, including Mike & Joe and the Big Shoulders Brass Band. To allay any booze-induced guilt, rest assured that a portion of the night's proceeds will go toward helping the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, a cause devoted to helping musicians still in need in the New Orleans area. The event kicks off at 7 pm at Bootleggers (13 W. Division St.) and moves on down the street to The Original Mother's (26 W. Division St.) and She-nannigans House of Beer (16 W. Division St). Visit Rush & Division for more details.
At Transmission, we're big fans of combining rock and roll with helping young people, and this weekend you can do just that as the Chicago Children's Museum hosts Hide N Seek. Z-Trip (who you may remember from such presidential mixes as 2008's Party For Change and Victory Lap 2009) will be on hand providing the evening's soundtrack with a live DJ set. Tickets for the benefit are $125 ($100 apiece if you purchase two or more) or $200 for VIP, and include cocktails and Hors d'oeuvres, plus the opportunity to be a kid again and explore the museum's interactive rooms. So get out your big girl and boy dress up clothes and head over to Navy Pier this Saturday for some grown up fun in a youthful atmosphere.
The event begins at 9pm. The Chicago Children's Museum is located at 700 East Grand Avenue.
You may already know that Mucca Pazza, Chicago's own 30-piece, cuckoo-bananas, circus punk marching band, is a whole hell of a lot of fun to see live. But did you know that they want to transfer that magic to film? It's true! The group, along with Chicago-based artists Danièle Wilmouth (filmmaker) and Peter Carpenter (dancer/choreographer), will star in the short film Marching Banned.
This is where you come in: In order to see the light of day, the group is seeking to raise $4k through Kickstarter. As of this writing, they're already more than halfway to the mark, but the trick is if they don't raise enough dough by the end of the allotted amount of time, they don't get any of it. Boo. Check out their hilarious video explaining the project on the Kickstarter site, and give a little, won't ya?
It's a big month for CHIRP, Chicago's independent, all volunteer run, online radio station (CHIRP is acronym for Chicago Independent Radio Project). Not only is CHIRP launching a month long celebration in honor of its first 365 days on-air, but CHIRP is also celebrating a major victory in the passage the Local Community Radio Act - the bi-partisan bill which will decentralize radio and expand community radio in urban areas.
From its launch on January 17, 2010, CHIRP has dedicated every on-air hour to providing Chicago with community radio focused on the representation of local people, events and issues alongside an eclectic array of independent, under-appreciated and local Chicago music. CHIRP volunteers have also dedicated many off-air hours to lobbying for the passage of the Local Community Radio Act.
On January 15, 2011, admission is free for the gallery and graffiti art show. Various ticketed daytime events include a film screening and dance battle (tickets range from $3-$5). The evening's main event on 1/15 costs $10-$15 and starts at 8pm (buy tickets). This year's evening event will be a presentation titled "Original Style: Exploring the History of Chicago House" and will host a panel including legends of Chicago House music such as DJ Frankie Knuckles (groove out to some amateur video of him DJ-ing below) and local music promoters, and a screening of an "archival film" from Chicago's House scene in the 1980s and '90s. A free after-party follows.
Want to warm up on the dance floor and help out a great cause this evening? Then head over to Smart Bar where they're throwing a benefit for Chicago House DJ Paul Johnson. Johnson,who was scheduled to play Smart Bar tonight, was seriously injured in a car accident this past weekend. He is currently in the hospital facing surgery. Prior to this accident, he already used a wheelchair because of an injury he sustained after being shot in the 1980s.So in order to help out, Smart Bar is turning his scheduled event into a benefit to help aid Paul's medical expenses. The line-up includes a large outpouring of love from the Chicago House community, showing just how much Chicago is one big musical family.
Wednesday December 22nd 2010 @ Smart Bar
5 Magazine hosts a benefit for Paul Johnson with DJs
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Glenn Underground, Stacy Kidd, DJ Gant-Man, Melvin Meeks, Eric Martin, Rees Urban, Czboogie
There is a $5 suggested donation (remember, all the money is going towards helping Johnson's medical expenses), and the show is 21 & over. Doors and Show kick off at 10pm.
Can't make it out tonight? You can still show you're support by sending a donations via Paypal to email@example.com.
The Chicago Zine Fest is now fund-raising for its second year, and you can help them raise money by attending their benefit show this Saturday, December 18 at The Juicer (house show), 1238 N. Noble St. It is near the Division stop of the Blue Line and it will be from 7 to 10:30pm.
Have you played Crazy Train for the thousandth time in Rock Band 3, while in guitar-pro mode, yet still feel a bit empty inside? Well now, not only can you can shred your sadness away, you can also bring joy to your fellow gamer at the Chicago Loot Drop Rock Band Tournament at Lincoln Hall.
The Chicago Loot Drop is an event that raises funds for the Child's Play charity. The charity was started in 2003 as a way to rally the vast online community of gamers toward the purpose of providing children stuck in hospitals over the holidays with games and toys. The charity's main fundraising drive runs from November to December, but donations are accepted year round. Interested gamers and music fans alike can buy tickets for $30 at chicagolootdrop.org or at the door the night of the show. Ticket purchases will also score you two drinks at Lincoln Hall, and more importantly, will count as a tax-deductible donation to the Child's Play charity.
Chicago Loot Drop begins at 7pm on Wednesday, December 15th 2010 at Lincoln Hall. Chicago's very own I Fight Dagons will be judging the intrepid instrumentals of the generous gamers competing in the event. Lincoln Hall is located at 2424 N Lincoln Ave., 773-525-2501.
Remember that special person in your life who helped guide and shape the person you are today? We all think about the people who took time out of their lives to mentor and teach us during challenging times in our youth. When we look back, our lives are richer because of them and our place in the world, a bit more clear.
The Tutor/Mentor Connection knows how important this relationship is and is throwing The Tutor/Mentor Jam happening this Sunday, August 29th at Darkroom. It is a back to school benefit for the non-profit that helps provides an organized framework to empower and encourages adult volunteers to contribute their time, effort, ideas and advocacy toward creating life-changing solutions for children in educationally and economically disadvantaged areas.
The event includes bands, entertainers, and local businesses as a communal music filled experience to draw public attention and foster support toward volunteer-based, non-school tutor/mentor programs in high-poverty/high-crime neighborhoods throughout the Chicago region. The line up includes a variety of local sounds featuring The Usual Suspects,The Black Temple 21, Alexander Webb and Trakan. Carnivore collective Man B Que will be providing complimentary food to those hungry to participate.
This unique and worthy cause is worth checking out, hearing some awesome music and finding out your role in helping change an at risk child's future.
Darkroom is located at 2210 W. Chicago Ave. The benefit is $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Doors and food at 5. Music starts at 6. For more information call (312)492-9614.
Bad times for Chicago's Graveface Records since they were hit last month with some severe rain storms. The indie record label--which released bands like Black Moth Super Rainbow, Jason Molina, Octopus Project--lost about 65% of their stock, including handmade materials, which blows, and even worse--insurance does not cover the damage!
In an effort to keep the label running, Graveface Records is holding a donation-based raffle with prizes that might provide you with an incentive to enter. By now, everyone is probably talking about that cup of urine thanks to Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu and that bass guitar designed by Mike Watt. The Flaming Lips have also donated a secret gift.
Everyone who donates will get a .zip file of some rarities, and those who donate at least $25 will get records or CDs and be entered into the listed raffles. For more details on the damage and the prizes, visit their page here.
Like it or not, if you are a music minded person in Chicago, you are a part of the local music community. How involved one is and how they participate varies on the individual. However, when there is a crisis involving a member, the community will assemble and find a way to give support.
Your community is calling to help Matthew Leone, the Madina Lake bassist who suffered horrific trauma after he heroically intervened in a domestic abuse situation where a woman was being beat by her husband last month. Matthew was able to stop the assault, but was then attacked himself so severely that he required two brain surgeries and now faces mounting medical bills.
A benefit called From Punk To Funk will be held this Tuesday, August 17th at Reggie's Rock Club. The event includes a massive line up and starts with a free buffet! All proceeds go to The Matthew Leone Fund through Sweet Relief Musician Fund, a non-profit that provides financial assistance to musicians during intense times of need. The benefit is $20 in advance, $25 at the door. If you can't make the show, you can make a donation to the fund at the From Punk To Funk Website.
Doors are at 6. Reggie's Rock Club is located at 2109 S. State St. (312) 949-0121.
In addition to the massive Smashing Pumpkins benefit we posted yesterday, a ton of other Chicago musicians and businesses are stepping up to the plate to raise money for Matthew Leone's medical bills, including two major shows at the end of August featuring some of our best local talent. The first show is taking place Saturday, August 21st at Double Door. Two of Matthew's bandmates, Nathan and Mateo, will be performing an acoustic set alongside sets from AM Taxi, The Fold, The Lifeline and David Costa. Over at the Hard Rock Hotel the following day (Sunday, August 22nd), The Lovehammers, Kill Hannah, Scott Lucas (of Local H), Makeshift Prodigy and The Frantic will be performing. In addition to the money raised from ticket sales, the Hard Rock Hotel will be donating $15 for every room booked throughout the entire month of August. A silent auction will be held at both shows featuring a plethora of items from local businesses, and an eBay auction is being held with items ranging from a signed platinum record of A Perfect Circle's Mer De Noms to a Lego sculpture commissioned by Pete Wentz.
Tickets for the Double Door show are currently on sale, and tickets for the Hard Rock Hotel show will be available starting July 26th. Both shows are 21+, $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets for both shows may be purchased here. Even if you have no interest in either of these shows, please still consider taking out your wallet and making a donation directly to Matthew Leone's Sweet Relief Fund.
The Smashing Pumpkins have just announced they'll be stopping by Metro next Tuesday night as part of a benefit for Madina Lake's Matthew Leone. Last month, Leone was hospitalized after being severely beaten following his attempt to intervene in a violent domestic dispute (more information here).
With no health insurance, Leone now faces a growing number of medical bills, and the Pumpkins' benefit should hopefully relieve a large chunk of that debt. The tickets will be raffled off, with $10 raffle tickets and no raffle ticket limit per person. This will not only serve to raise a great deal of money for a well-deserving musician who did a brave and selfless thing, but will also give fans a chance to see the Pumpkins for the ridiculously low price of $10. And for those of you feeling particularly charitable, VIP tickets (which will get you guaranteed entry and upstairs seating) are going for $100, and VIP tickets with sound check and meet-and-greet access will set you back $500. If the Pumpkins aren't your thing, feel free to earn some good karma and donate directly to Sweet Relief.
The benefit concert happens Tuesday, July 27th at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 8 pm. Raffle and VIP tickets go on sale today at noon via Metro's website, with raffle tickets available until 2pm on Saturday and winners notified by 5 pm Saturday evening. Tickets are non-transferable and ticketholders must show ID at the door matching the raffle entry. Kill Hannah opens.
From blues to jazz to post-rock, we are a city filled with a rich musical history that can compare to no other. What is even more important are our personal histories, stories and memories. The Metro for many of us is a strong part of what helped shape our formative concert going years and a place where we still create memories and recall some of the best shows of our lives.
That history is now documented in a benefit compilation entitled Metro: The Official Bootleg Series, Volume 1. The compilation includes live tracks from local favorites The Alkaline Trio, The Sea And Cake and Tortoise as well as The Decemberists, Guided By Voices and Sleater-Kinney. The album will be available July 22. All profits from sales of the CD will be donated to Rock For Kids, a local non-profit which provides music lessons for underprivileged youth in Chicago. Advance copies of the CD will be available at the Rock For Kids booth at the Pitchfork Music Festival next week. For $20 you can grab a piece of the past, what makes a huge part of our lives and possibly hear yourself cheering in the background.
Metro: The Official Bootleg Series, Volume 1:
1. The Flaming Lips: "Race for the Prize"
2. Guided By Voices: "Fair Touching"
3. Sleater-Kinney: "You're No Rock 'n' Roll Fun"
4. The Decemberists: "We Both Go Down Together"
5. Indigo Girls: "Galileo"
6. Alejandro Escovedo: "I'll Follow You Down"
7. The Sea and Cake: "Jacking the Ball"
8. Tortoise: "Along the Banks of Rivers"
9. Alkaline Trio: "Radio"
10. Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and Kurt Elling: "Freedom"
campers take the stage at the Girls Rock! Chicago end of June camp extravaganza on Saturday, photo by J.H. Palmer
The Metro was a hive of activity on Saturday afternoon as Girls Rock! Chicago presented their end of session extravaganza. Due to increased demand, there will be two camp sessions this year: one that ended last week, and a second session that will take place in August. In all, 17 bands performed on Saturday afternoon to an audience of parents, grandparents, and siblings who mingled with GR!C counselors and Metro staff.
Downstairs in the green room, campers and counselors prepared for the show. I caught up with the members of Bling, comprised of: guitarist Ciara Butler, age 13; drummer MacKenna Butler, age 11; guitarist Jesse Osborne, age 13; and bassist Tafari (Taffy) Rhodes, age 11. This is the second year that Ciara and MacKenna have attended the music camp, the first for Jesse, and the fourth for Taffy.
"Girls Rock proves that just because we are girls doesn't mean we can't rock out," Taffy said when I asked what the camp meant to her, "it teaches us that just because we're girls doesn't mean we can't do things." She furthered her point by invoking the story of Amelia Earhart, "which proves a girl can do anything." "When it's all girls you can express yourself fully," Ciara added.
Chicago's ever-entertaining experimental band Tortoise plays a special benefit show tomorrow night at Lincoln Hall. Benefiting The Drummond Montessori School, the show will be a sweet break from the post-holiday work-a-day grind. If you're not familiar with the band, Tortoise is an ensemble of sorts, bringing 20+ years of harmonious improvisation to their lives shows as well as recorded material. Tortoise released Beacons of Ancestorship in 2009 along with a remix album the same year (you can take a listen to the albums at the Thrill Jockey website). Their songs can be ethereal and shrouded in fog, or blissfully upbeat in a rolling-down-a-hill-of-freshly-cut-grass kind of way. I find their music a mood-lifter, even with their quieter, mellower sets. Tortoise is a bit of a sticky wicket to categorize. They're synthy, funky, jazzy. Their music has a way of making me think of college dorms and black lights, while also coming off as adult, polished, professional, and insanely smart. Any way you like to think about them, make tracks to come out to Lincoln Hall and take in the show Thursday. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing your money is going to a worthwhile cause, and the smugness of knowing you're spending your Thursday night right where you should.
Break out the baby barrettes and write SLUT across your belly -- it's a Riot Grrrl cover show at the Locked Out (3951 W. Fullerton) on Saturday, May 22. Bands include the likes of Careful Q, Dalice Marie, Buzzcunts, SFO, Birdtalk, The Ovens, Blue Ribbon Glee Club, and a whole lot more. Hosted by the Bloody Rag Collective, the show starts at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. doors), and a $5-10 donation/cover goes toward the Chicago Women's Health Center.
Doors are at 7pm, Show at 8pm (21+) and leave your dog at home, OK? They're asking for a suggested donation of $10 at the door and all funds raised will be used to help sponsor bully-friendly rescues and individual dogs in need.
Type 1 Diabetes attacks the pancreas, corrupts the body's immune system, and is an all-around major bummer, to say the least. One child is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes every hour, which will mean a constant threat of heart disease and kidney failure, along with other debilitating effects. Dare 2 Dream is here to make a difference with their eighth benefit concert at the House of Blues. Past artists who have performed at Dare 2 Dream events include Common, Gavin Rossdale and Kings of Leon. This time around, southern rockers Blues Traveler will be hitting the House of Blues stage to raise money for Chicago non-profit Partnership for Cures' diabetes research. Whether you've been directly effected by diabetes or not, we could all use a little good karma.
Dare 2 Dream is going down Thursday, April 15th at House of Blues. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased here. The show is 17+ and starts at 8 pm.
Now that you've got your bike out and are riding it to and fro in the early spring warmth, it's time to fasten that milk carton to the back seat as well - Spring means Record Fair season is here as well. Returning to the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union (1340 W. Washington), the 2010 CHIRP Record Fair and Other Delights should be good cause to warm up your vinyl-scouring fingers. Local shops and labels, record distros, and personal collections will all be in attendance, as well as entertainment from bands and DJ sets throughout. And proceeds go to CHIRP, so you can support independent radio (even if you secretly just want to be a vinyl junkie). Mark your calendar for April 10-11 - the early bird gets the Funky Worm on 7" vinyl.*
(*We can't promise this will be there, but if you find a copy, let us know. That would blow our minds.)
A surefire sign that spring is just around the corner is when everyone in the music industry starts packing up their suitcases (or band van) and heading to Austin, TX for the SXSW music festival, a yearly gathering of some of the hottest bands coming up through the ranks today.
The festival has exploded in popularity since it first started in 1987, and now includes a film and interactive offshoot, both their own massive event. The music version basically takes over downtown Austin, with every band ever written about on a music blog playing venues, bars, bbq joints, and even the sidewalk. I'd like to think of it as a working spring break for the music industry, emphasis on working for the bands that play multiple shows a day during SXSW.
The festival is a lot of fun, but it's a long way from home for the many Chicago bands that make the trek to Austin. So the fine folks over at the Hideout are planning a send off party to benefit the Chicago artists that are heading south later this month. For $10 you get a full day of music featuring 11 hometown acts including Tom Schraeder, Mittens on String, Waco Brothers, Life During Wartime DJs, and The Hood Internet. A pretty diverse bill, and just a handful of some of the bands that will represent Chicago this year in Austin. So stop by the Hideout, dance your ass off, and give some gas money to the folks heading down to SXSW.
The 4th annual SXSW send off party is this Saturday, March 13th at the Hideout. Music starts at 3pm, the show is 21+ and tickets are $10. You can buy tickets online here Correction: Tickets are now only available at the door, first come, first served.
We here at Transmission are big supporters of getting the members of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir back on their feet and back on the stage since their horrible van accident last September which claimed most of their gear and left them with significant medical debt.
The next event benefiting the band is a BBQ--scratch that--MAN B QUE (seriously, the sizzling sounds on their website are giving me the giggles) taking place tomorrow night at Darkroom where there will be--you guessed it--FREE BBQ! And, of course, music: live performances from The Whiskey Drifters, Mikey Peterson, and The Trust Weepin' Willows, plus DJ sets by Bald E. (Metro/Smartbar), DJ MR (Lincoln Hall/Schubas), and SYGC member DJ Elia.
It's just $15 to get in, but get there early because things get started at 8pm. Darkroom is located at 2210 W Chicago Ave. 21 & up.
Who's not a sucker for kittens? I certainly am, and that's why I couldn't pass up tomorrow night's show at the Empty Bottle (especially when it's dedicated to the Bottle's very own kitty, Radley, who passed away last year). Local musicians Brice Woodall, One & Only, Cobalt & the Hired Guns and Todd Kessler will all perform on behalf of the kitties at Tree House Humane Society in their 5th Annual Kittypalooza. Tree House has found homes for nearly 15,000 animals since their opening in 1971, and is currently home to 300 cats while they wait for adoption.
Did I mention there will be kitty themed drinks? It's just a $10 suggested donation to get in, and besides the satisfaction you'll get in knowing you're helping the Tree House kitties, there will also be a raffle with prizes from Newleaf Natural Grocery, Karyn's Raw, and Namaskar Yoga, among others. Doors open at 8pm and the music gets started at 8:30pm. 1035 N. Western.
Cover shows are usually a fun way for bands to dress up in costume and pretend to be someone else for the night. This year the word cover means so much more as Lincoln Hall puts a spin on the idea and presents Covers for Cover II, a benefit for Connections for Abused Women and their Children. CAWC is a place where women can establish independence from their abusers. They provide shelter for women and children, counseling, advocacy, and a 24-hour hotline for people affected by domestic violence.
This unique benefit showcases local female musicians as their favorite bands. Some of the acts include The Maybenauts as David Bowie, IRIS as The Breeders and Sally Timms (of The Mekons fame) as Nico from The Velvet Underground. If that wasn't enough to get you out the door for a great cause, the event will be MCed by Rattina, the lady rat puppet from the most rockin' kids music show Chic-A-Go-Go!
The first Covers For Cover benefit was in 2006 and raised $1,500.00 for the women's homeless shelter, Deborah's Place.
The show is on Wednesday, December 23rd and is $12, but in the spirt of giving, a donation of new toiletries will get you $2 off the price of admission at the door. Advance tickets as well as the entire line up can be found here.
The ladies get the music going at 8. Lincoln Hall is located at 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. (773) 525-2501
Hey, if Cyber Monday has you all fizzled out clicking around some big box retailer's website, try getting some one-of-a-kind music collectibles while making a donation to a worthy Chicago charity. This Friday marks the 21st Annual Rock for Kids Rock n' Roll Auction at the Park West, and they've just added 50 more awesome items to their bid sheets. Of note are a signed poster by President Obama, Wilco and Otis Clay from a fundraiser performance in July 2008; a baseball bat signed by Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Melloncamp; a Madonna 2009 calendar signed by the material girl herself; a poster signed by Jermaine and Brett of Flight of the Conchords; a banjo signed by Steve Martin (pictured above); and a Jonas Brothers signed tourbook (*squee*). View items up for bid at the Rock for Kids Flickr page. These items and so much more are available for bid now online by proxy, or in person Friday night at the Park West. Tickets are $25 (or $75 VIP) and are available online.
No doubt you've heard about the horrible van accident that The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir was involved in last month on their way to a gig in Cincinnati. While most members of the group are still pretty banged up, they remain positive--Jim DeRogatis details here how they are "on the mend." Luckily no lives were claimed in the accident, but most of their gear was, and they were left with some pretty hefty medical bills. SYGC and Bloodshot Records are "so grateful for the support fans have shown so far" and want to thank those who came out to the SubT Halloween benefit, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Wondering how you can help? Bloodshot has just announced three more benefit shows (plus the band's Paypal account is still open for donations). Details after the jump.
As CHIRP's physical station is nearing completion at 4045 N. Rockwell St. (and Congress and the FCC are in the midst of reconsidering the law that limits new low-power broadband FM radio stations in big cities), the group is asking for donations to help bring the noise via the Internet. Contributions start at $1 and can run up to as much as $10,000, if you're feeling like that. Through November 11, CHIRP is offering various premiums for donations, from buttons and tote bags to signed silk-screened posters and free CDs. Hell, if you donate $500, various CHIRP DJs are available to spin at your house party!
Don't be left out of this Friday's 7th Annual Rock for Kids Music Mixer at SmartBar. Dozens of Chicago musicians, artists, local labels, and music lovers (like ourselves) were tapped to once again create unique mix CDs that will go to the highest bidder (see a growing list of mixers online). Rock for Kids is a wonderful local non-profit which provides music programs like ethnic percussion, choir, guitar, rock band, piano and production classes to help underprivileged and homeless children strengthen music, academic and social skills and build self-esteem.
What to expect? Well, we've got a slew of mixes from our wizened Transmission staff including ones with titles like: "The Mullet Mix", "The French and the Swedes in America", "Lady Names", "We Sing of Only Blood or Love: On the Road" (which is packaged in a copy of Kerouac's On the Road), "PUT ME IN YOUR BELLY!!!", "All My New Favorite Old Stuff", and much more! See Rock for Kids' Flickr set of a few of the donated mixes.
Update: Here's a slick preview photo of Bob Nanna's grab-bag-o-fun for the mixer. Includes a rare Braid / Poghoh split 7" test-pressing, some Faesthetic magazines, Threadless buttons and more. Also, we hear the following will also be up for bid:
Damon Ranger blackbox Mix CD includes rare tracks including an unreleased song from Foo Fighters.
Aware Records includes a 23 CD Aware Music collection, including signed CDs from John Mayer, Jack's Mannequin, Brandi Carlile and more.
Hot Doug's mix includes $25 worth of gift certificates to Hot Doug's and a certificate to be the Celebrity Sausage for a day.
The Empty Bottle's mix CD come inside of the original light board for the venue - a collector's item for any Empty Bottle Fan!
Johnny Marr's mix CD doesn't have swag, but it's by freakin' Johnny Marr from the Smiths and Modest Mouse.
It just gets better, so you better come out and bid!
Girls Rock Chicago, a non profit that helps girls express themselves and develop community through rock music is having a Camp Kickoff party and BBQ this Saturday at the Hideout. The evening will be filled with a line up of local lady rockers including 8 Inch Betsy and Lemmy Caution. The event starts at 1:00pm and goes until 5:00. This is an all ages show and admission for everyone under 16 is free! $10 for everyone else.
Stay after for post punk disco clash bands The Guystorm at 9 for $8 and then a Hideout Dance Party with Chance Dances Djs who take the floor at 11:30. The dance party is a $5 admission. All this takes place at 1354 W. Wabansia (773) 227-4433.
If you're headed out for the final day of music, etc. at the Pitchfork Music Festival, don't forget to stop by the Rock for Kids booth and bid on awesome silent auction goods. Just donated yesterday by the always-generous Ice Cream Man are a pair of albums (a 7" and 12") from Jack White's new project The Dead Weather. These babies went for over $500 each on eBay recently, but now's your chance to outbid your fellow festival-goers and walk away with some pretty sweet swag. Rock for Kids is a Chicago-based non-profit, created by local musicians, which provides music education to at-risk youth.
Local group Bumpus takes the stage on Thursday with former member Rachael Yamagata for the first time since 2002. Rachael has since gone on to celebrate success as a solo singer/songwriter. Her emotional ballads have fittingly appeared in television shows such as Grey's Anatomy and The O.C. She even had a cameo in the season finale of 30 Rock (remember the "Kidney Now" drive?). But not one to forget her roots, she got her start here in Chicago with funk-fusion band Bumpus. The group has seen a lot of people come and go over the years, but this is your chance to see new Bumpus and old Bumpus all in one show.
The reason they're all back together? For charity. Ryszard Basiura, the father of a close friend, suffered a life-altering stroke last year as the result of a cerebral aneurysm. All ticket proceeds from Thursday's show will benefit the Ryszard Basiura Fund. Darren Spitzer, of the former Chicago group The Changes, will lend his hand at the DJ sets for the evening. Plus there will be a raffle for prizes such as gift certificates, art by local artists and a 5-night stay in Tulum, Mexico.
The night of music and fundraising takes place this Thursday, July 9 at Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N Kedzie). Doors open at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25 in advance / $30 at the door. 21+
You: bought that guitar or (insert instrument here) fully intending to sign up for lessons...but that was years ago. Or, you've upgraded amps and cords, and now the old stuff is just sitting in your basement gathering dust. Whatever your case, if you've got equipment lying around your house that you're not using, it's time to give it to some girls who will.
Girls Rock! Chicago is holding a "gear drive" this Saturday at four area Whole Foods locations. Gear will be used for music education at Girls Rock! Chicago's annual summer camp as well as additional programming and events throughout the year. You can drop off your donation--including guitars, basses, amps, drums, cymbals, cases, pedals, microphones, cords, etc--from 10am until 6pm at any of the following Whole Foods stores: Lincoln Park (1550 N. Kingsbury), Lakeview (3300 N. Ashland), South Loop (1101 S. Canal St) or Gold Coast (30 W. Huron). The new flagship store in Lincoln Park will also be holding live performances throughout the day.
As I like to say, you never who know who you might be enabling to rock the next generation. The next Kim Gordon or Karen O. might be growing up just around the corner from you.
Over the years, the Hideout has not only played a vital role in fostering the local music scene, but it's also often linked up with various organizations that strive to improve the social and cultural quality of life in the city of Chicago. This weekend, they bring these two traditions together yet again as they host a three-way benefit event, and a superb lineup of Chicago acts have signed on to take part.
Kicking off at 4 PM and continuing throughout the evening, the benefit features a rich and diverse billing of Chicago artists. The roster includes a double dose of homegrown avant-folk from Spires That In The Sunset Rise and Pillars & Tongues, some Puerto Rican styled bomba y plenta from the percussion & dance ensemble Afri Caribe, as well as a set of spaced-out latin psychedelic pop from local favorites Allá. The band Roommate will also be putting in an appearance, and headlining for the evening is Baby Alright -- the funk/soul covers project whose lineup includes Dan Bitney of Tortoise and poet/former D-Settlement frontman Marvin Tate. This being a Saturday night, the Hideout's Dance Party follows, with DJ Céline.
See the full schedule for the event below, after the jump.
Chicago natives filmmaker Alex Beh and guitarist for pop-punk band Fall Out Boy Joe Trohman are teaming up for a good cause tomorrow night and hosting an event to support the non-profit organization Falling Whistles.
The two met at New Trier High School, and collaborated on the film The Laundry, which they will be screening at the event.
The Falling Whistles organization uses the symbol of the whistle to call individuals to courage and join local leaders inside the Democratic Republic of Congo to build a Free World. The war-zone of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been an ongoing feud that has resulted in a torn country and countless lives (many children) lost. Actual whistles are sold along with the story of the organization and ask people to be whistleblowers for the war. The proceeds go to rehabilitate child-soldiers in Congo.
The event has been billed as "a huge collaboration of artists, musicians, designers, activists, dancers etc, all using their talents for human freedom." Sounds like a good reason to throw back a few drinks and check out a new film, all while helping heal a country and children that really need aid and support.
The event will be held at Angels and Kings tomorrow, February 5, at 8 p.m. Angels and Kings is located at 710 N. Clark.
Andrew already clued you in to Jeff Tweedy's upcoming shows at the Vic to raise money for Emanuel Congregation in Edgewater, Near North Montessori, and Kawasaki disease that are coming up on February 13 and 14. What he didn't know at the time (none of us did, really) was that these won't be the only shows that Tweedy is going to be doing for a good cause.
The Wilco frontman will be hitting the Northeast with shows March 26 in Burlington, VT, March 27 in Northampton, MA, and March 28 in Beacon, NY. Remember, this is a charity show so tickets probably won't be cheap once they go on sale. You can pick them up here. Here's hoping that there are people reading this outside of Chicago that can make use of that info.
It's a hard life being an up and coming band. Endless shows, lots of time making new fans on the internet, and much hard work to prove yourself. Thankfully there are some good people out there to help you make the right connections and hook up with other acts that will garner you exposure in this day and age. Indie rockers The Jakes took this last suggestion to heart, entering a contest on Sonicbids to open for Kings of Leon at their Chicago House of Blues benefit show this upcoming weekend (which Gapers Block will be spotlighting later today). They'll be flying out from sunny California this weekend to open the sold out show Saturday night, but before they head to the Midwest we spoke to lead singer Sameer Gadhia about their trek to our fair city, what the band is listening to these days, and winning their pretty swank weekend gig.
Thought you couldn't go to the Kings of Leon show at the House of Blues next week because it was sold out? Think again. A limited number of tickets will be released for sale this Friday at 5pm on Ticketmaster. Tickets will be $200 for general admission and $250 for VIP. If this sounds like a lot, consider that you could be paying $300 to $500 on Craigslist for the same ticket, and half that profit would be going into somebody's pocket instead of to the kids at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Proceeds will benefit pediatric cancer treatment and research at Comer.
A certain number of "Golden Circle" tickets have been held for parents from the school and Emanuel members for $250. General admission tickets go on sale this Friday, Jan. 16, at noon via Ticketmaster or at the Vic box office, 3145 N Sheffield. Early reports pegged general admission at $150 a pop, but Ticketmaster lists them as $100.
What better way to spend the holidays than to see some great live music and give back to the community? The Greater Chicago Food Depository distributes donated food to almost 500,000 adults and children in need per year. This year, the Metro is teaming up with the Chicago Independent Radio Project (C.H.I.R.P.) for a series of concerts to benefit the food depository. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring canned food items to the show, and on December 22nd a canned food item will get you $3 off the ticket price of the show!
Home for the Holidays kicks off tonight with The Hush Sound, Treaty of Paris, and This is Me Smiling, and runs until December 28th with the Midwest Ska Fest. All shows will be at the Metro, 3730 N. Clark Street. Tickets will be available at the Metro box office.
Please note that the Greater Chicago Food Depository is most in need of canned chicken and tuna, canned corn beef, canned fruit, canned vegetables, dried or canned beans, fruit juice, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pasta, peanut butter, rice, and whole grain cereal.
Come check out what's new in the Chicago music scene while giving back to those in need. Full schedule to follow.
Rock For Kids is a 20-year-old Chicago charity devoted to "bringing free, quality music education into the lives of Chicago's under-served children". (As someone who took a music class or two at even a moderately well served Chicago public high school, let me tell you: this is a good idea.) The main program, Youth Jam operates at fifteen sites around the city, and provides everything from teachers and curriculum to instruments for kids who otherwise likely wouldn't get a shot at playing a note. (And according to their website, only 11% of their income is spent on fundraising. Pretty good numbers.)
The organization is currently auctioning two VIP tickets for The Fray's sold out January 9th show at the Metro, (Vedera opens) with passes to meet the band. And guess what? The winning bid is even tax deductible. It's a perfect opportunity to see yourself on the other side of the velvet rope and help out some Chicago kids whose lives might well be changed for the better by getting to play some music.
Rock for Kids was started by local musicians and others in the industry as a fundraiser to buy holiday gifts for homeless children. This idea appropriately evolved into Youth Jams, an after-school education program which brings free music instruction to underprivileged and homeless children. After-school programs in general are great for keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble and giving them somewhere good to direct their energy. Programs offering a creative outlet like Youth Jams also help them gain confidence and self-esteem, and might even pique their interest in music and set them on a path they might not otherwise ever get to see. Better yet, this program offers the opportunity to learn about current music that's a little more modern than what they're probably exposed to in school. I know if I was a kid, I'd be way more interested in learning how to play guitar or drums like my favorite band than playing "mary had a little lamb" on a recorder.
This Friday, Rock For Kids holds it's Twentieth Annual Rock & Roll Charity Auction at Park West (322 W. Armitage). The auction includes signed items from Wilco, Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana, B.B. King, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, and more. The Auction begins at 7pm. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. The VIP bash begins at 6pm and you can buy tickets for that and the auction for $75. You can also bid online up until Friday.
Boy are the artist over at Chicago based label Bloodshot Records keeping busy these days. They had two bands on the CBGB Bluegrass festival this past weekend, and now another artist, Waco Brothers, are rocking out for a good cause as well.
The Winn's (the lovely family pictured on the flyer above) are facing hardship like many of us during these rough economical times. The Winn family is dealing with the stress of medical bills related to some recent surgeries for mom Jovon. After a visit to the ER myself this past summer, I know the incredible debt a hospital visit can burden a family with. Plus it's the Holidays folks, and I can think of nothing better then helping a family with three kids have a more secure and happier Christmas!
Waco Brothers will bring their rollicking, up-tempo, legendary romp of a country rock show to The Hideout December 1st. The show is 21+ and tickets are $10. The show starts at 8pm and in case you forgot, The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia. Hope to see you all there!
Intonation may not be throwing festivals in Union Park anymore, but they are still very active in the Chicago music scene, just on a smaller level, as in with smaller people. Now Intonation Music is a Workshop for kids ages 6-18, putting instruments in their hands and giving them instruction and opportunities to perform. The workshop is a band-based after-school program meaning drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and amps--not your typical high school marching band. Their goal is to provide this type of programming in neighborhoods where kids might not otherwise be exposed to music. They've already expanded to two locations in addition to their Fuller Park program, and even more sites are in store for next year.
Thursday night Intonation Music Workshop is throwing a Launch Party Fundraiser at The Butterfly Social Club (728 W. Grand Ave.) from 5-8pm. There will be a silent auction with items from Hot Doug's, Parasol Records, Hejfina, The Score Sports Radio and many more. From 5-6pm you can get complimentary beer courtesy of the guys at The Half-Acre Brewing Company. Free beer? And feeling good about donating to charity? What better excuse do you need? And you never know, you might be enabling one of the next generation's great rock bands. Tickets are $10 at the door and all proceeds benefit Intonation Music Workshop.
The Empty Bottle is hosting a dance party this Sunday 11/16/08 to help cover the recent vet bills of the feline Empty Bottle CEO. Poor Radley's years of excess have led to a necessary teeth pulling excursion (ouch!) DJs include: Alex Valentine, Hologram Trav, Willy May, DJ Hugsen Kissus, and DJ Miles Raymer.
Chicago son Twista, New York rappers EPMD, and up-and-comer Mic Terror perform Wednesday night at the Metro at a special benefit performance for the Humane Society. If you ever wanted to head to an intimate rap show on the northside, this is your chance. Adding to the evening's entertainment, the Humane Society of the United States will also showcase its End Dogfighting in Chicago campaign through special appearances by the dogs and kids of its Pit Bull Training Team–Chicago. The proceeds from the evening's entertainment will go towards this very worthy cause.
Mic Terror (featured on Ray Protege's Hipster Hop Mixtape) will start the night out at 9pm and doors open at 8pm. Tix $18/adv, $22/door. 18+.
Sure, you could sit out all in the Millennium Park glory that is the Pritzker Pavillion on Wednesday, September 3rd along with every other indie music lover in the midwest and wait for Andrew Bird to take the stage for a free show, or, you could put your money where your mouth is, and do some good for the children at the same time. Rock For Kids, the same awesome non-profit organization that helps at-risk youth in Chicago through a variety of music-oriented programs is auctioning off not one but two chances to meet Mr. Bird and sit your butts in some cushy premium seating at his upcoming event downtown. Bid here or here, but do it soon — the auction ends on Monday, September 1.
In a city where street fairs and festivals are a dime a dozen, it's refreshing to see a new one pop up with a pretty cool name and some good acts too. The Raven makes it debut this weekend at Chase Park (between Ashland & Clark off Leland) with a few stages, lots of bands that would draw good audiences at Schubas or the Empty Bottle, and even a Kids' area.
Saturday evening is headlined by Minneapolis' music blog darlings Tapes 'n Tapes, who're out promoting their latest record, Walk It Off. The Columbia, MO/Brooklyn sextet White Rabbits plays as a tough act to follow since its members switch instruments throughout their shows, even mid-song. (They're pretty entertaining.) Another Missouri band, the horrendously-named Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and Chicago's own Chin Up Chin Up also play on Saturday. Brooklyn's shoegazing Dirty on Purpose and Chicago's poppy M's, whose new album Real Close Ones is fantastic, highlight Sunday's lineup. Local bands Bound Stems, who were at last week's West Fest, and Detholz! also play late Sunday afternoon.
Gates open at noon both days. A $5 donation goes toward the renovation of Chase Park's playground.
Act quick, and get cheap $10 tickets to see world-renowned Thrill Jockey artists, indie rock innovators, post-rock experimentalists (and Chicago boys) Tortoise (read our review of their 2006 box set A Lazarus Taxon) at the Empty Bottle this Saturday, 7/12. The catch? Only a potential windfall for Stella Ackerman, the daughter of former Bottle employee (and member of Lustre King) Craig Ackerman, who has an undiagnosed blood disease. Proceeds from the (nearly sold out) show will go towards the Ackerman's medical bills and cancer research.
Tortoise plays the benefit show for Stella this Saturday, 7/12 with special guests Tight Phantomz and Disappears starting at 10pm. Tickets are $10 (limited number) and $15 after that. Questions? Ask the Empty Bottle, 773-276-3600.
Since when do you get the chance to support a tattoo parlor, the Anti-Cruelty Society and rock n' roll at the same time? Since local tattoo establishment, Insight Studios set its mind to celebrate its anniversary each year with a benefit. This year marks #3 for the studio, and they'll be running not one but two parties, as well as sharing all of their tattoo and piercing profits March 28th-30th.
At last night's Galapalooza event, it was revealed that Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings will play the fundraiser on July 31 and also do a set during the August 1-3 festival. This will make the second year in a row the Dap-Kings play the annual festival. This year, though, their frontwoman should be more stable than last year's.
Flowers, dinner, chocolates, handmade valentines that express your true love and desire -- how passé. What will really woo your sweetie over is some good ol'-fashioned popping and locking. Remember how Turbo was so inspired by his lady love in Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo that he started breakin' up the walls? Your love is like that, except without the cut-off mesh shirt and genie pants.
Ditch the conventional Valentine's Day hullaballoo and watch as area b-boys and b-girls (including Chicago's own Brickheadz crew) work it out at the breakdance battle and video game competition. Live DJs will play, and the video games will be projected on a huge screen. It really is something to watch as competitors dance, though I warn you now: You will feel a bit old and creaky in comparison.
It takes place on Friday, February 15 at Alternatives rec center (4730 N. Sheridan Rd.); the doors open at 6 p.m., and the battle begins at 8. Admission is $5, which goes toward Alternatives programs and battle prizes.
Two weeks from tomorrow, Chicago singer/songwriter Andrew Bird and longtime Chicago underground rock band Dianogah will join forces and perform a very special night of music to benefit the Presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama. Get set for a night of guitar strums, exceptional whistling, crooning lyrics and generally pretty rock, all broadcast from the truly intimate stage at the Hideout. Also of note: Dianogah has a new album due out in early June, so expect some new material Jay Ryan and the boys. Ticket-buyers will receive an exclusive, ultra-limited-edition hand-screened poster by local poster artist Kathleen Judge (read all about her work here in a previous "Three Questions For:" column previously on GB).
Tickets will run you $100 (suggested minimum....it is a fundraiser afterall) and are only available from Obama for America's website (Note: This means they are not available at the Hideout.)
Andrew Bird and Dianogah play at 7:30pm 2/28 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia.
This weekend at the Hideout, you can hear some hot tunes that'll melt your heart. This benefit for the New Orleans' music festival, the Ponderosa Stomp, features some amazing Soul and Blues musicians. The Festival (this year slated for April 29 & 30 at the House of Blues in New Orleans) celebrates the legacy, revitalizes the careers and preserves the history of American music's unsung heroes. Through oral histories with musical stylists, iconoclasts, and trailblazers, and a regular concert series staged at New Orleans' Ogden Museum of Southern Art, among other concerts including its signature annual concert, The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation provides musical legends a platform to perform and expose audiences to their pioneering cultural contributions to American contemporary music.
Nestled amidst all of the recent development in Printers Row, the loft venue and recording studio The Shape Shoppe has been an intimate, off-the-path hub for fractured pop and DIY experimental merriment. Aside from being a local nexus in the Elephant 6 network, a number of fringe-dwelling luminaries have either played or recorded on its premises over the past few years—including Dan Deacon, Beirut, Man Man, Icy Demons, Pit er Pat, the Bird Names, and Akron/Family.
But this past spring, proprietor Griffin "Blue Hawaii" Rodriguez began renovating the recording studio in order to give it a much-needed upgrade. To help offset the costs of the undertaking, the Shape Shoppe will be throwing a big ree-raw benefit show at The Hideout this Friday. The Killer Whales, who recently reformed after a lapse in activity, are scheduled to play. Also on the bill are ramshackle pop-folksters The Bird Names, Michael Columbia, and swingin' 70's west-coast groove revivalists Bronze. Given the line-up, its' the sort of show that'll provide non-stop opportunities to shout, sing, and dance along. DJs Hologram Trav and White Lightning spin between sets. 1354 W. Wabansia, 9pm. Admission is $10.
On January 19th, The Dill Pickle Food Co-Op is holding a fund-raiser that should appeal to anyone's inner hedonist and activist at the same time. Based on the famous Dill Pickle Club from the turn of last century (a place that "welcomed hoboes, prostitutes, professors, and every variety of nonconformist passing through Chicago"), the organization is aiming to create a storefront food co-op on the north side. They've worked for years to establish themselves as a non-profit entity, raise awareness, and raise money through grants and fund-raisers. You can do your part to help by attending one of these very events, this one showcasing performances from Pit er Pat, Detholz, and Reds and Blue. DJ sets from Bobby Conn and WLUW's Mary Nisi will end the event on a dancin' note from 11:30pm 'til 1am. A donation bar on top of everything else brings you one fine evening for 15 bones. All proceeds go towards the Co-op, so drink with a clean conscience. Doors open at 8pm, performances start at 9pm. It all happens at the AV-Aerie at 2000 W. Fulton (the old open-end gallery).
Sunday, December 23 at 9PM, radio station WLUW 88.7-FM presents a benefit in support of the Chicago Independent Radio Project, which is striving to "to secure a broadcast license for a new community radio station in Chicago that is committed to local, independent programming, and generally to further the causes of localism, diversity, and independence in broadcasting. The group is working to convince Congress and the FCC to remove existing barriers to the granting of low power FM radio licenses in urban areas, including Chicago."
The benefit is being organized by two WLUW hosts who call their show the "Hump Day Dance Party" (it airs on Wednesdays from 8-10PM, and the party, called "Weird Kids 2: Christmas Bugaloo," is exactly what it seems. Performers include Lord of the Yum Yum, who does A Capella beat-boxed versions of classical standards, the Anatomy Collective, who promise a holiday pageant, and Cup 'N' String, who sing "sea shanties for the American Midwest."
WEIRD KIDS 2: CHRISTMAS BUGALOO
Sunday, December 23 Darkroom (2210 W. Chicago)
So you couldn't get you and the kids into Shellac. Oh well, nice try. How about this show at the Abbey Pub instead? On Sunday, Dec. 16 two bands on the Bloodshot Records label get silly for an afternoon. While this should be par for the course for the alt-kids music supergroup known as Wee Hairy Beasties, it could prove to be a little more difficult for the baroque, indie pop of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir.
This is being billed as a kid's holiday show, so expect to see your fair share of hungover, grizzly Santas in the crowd and up on stage. Get there early for this 1:30 pm showtime. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids with proceeds going to the Rogers Park Montessori School.
The entire concert lineup on stage at the same time, singing with the audience.
Back in September on this page, I predicted that the Old Town School of Folk Music’s sold-out 50th Anniversary benefit concert celebration, which was held this past Saturday, would end as a giant sing-a-long. I was wrong. In fact, the singing started before the concert even began, in the lobby and on every floor of the enormous Auditorium Theatre, led by both school faculty and volunteer ensembles. The joyous pre-concert hootenannies exemplified all that the Old Town School stands for -- community, inclusiveness, and fun -- and were the perfect prelude to an extraordinary 17-act musical montage of what the school offers year-round to us lucky Chicagoans.
Expectedly, the audience didn’t have to wait long before the next participatory opportunity. As the lights dimmed, Old Town School faculty members came out in increments to perform Pete Seeger’s hit “Turn! Turn! Turn!” in many different styles and variations, the final variation being, of course, a sing-a-long. As a result of some superb technical coordination, the faculty continued to perform in-between acts through the entire evening – both on stage and in the balconies – so that not one minute of the precious 3-hour concert was wasted.
Limited tickets are still available in all price levels for the Old Town School's 50th Anniversary Benefit Concert, featuring Bela Fleck, Jeff Tweedy, first Old Town instructor Frank Hamilton (who will, btw, be giving a couple of workshops) and many others. This should be a fun time.
I asked if there would be rush tickets the night of and the answer was NO! For a preview, listen to 98.7WFMT Saturday at 7PM for a Studs Terkel Program rerun featuring the school's 40th anniversary celebration (Disclosure: I work for WFMT).
@ Auditorium Theatre, December 1, tickets at Ticketmaster.
You read this blog and, therefore, you go to shows. And, more often than not, the shows are loud.
Now consider your grandparents, who probably have problems hearing what you tell them, and then imagine yourself when you get to be 80 or so years old. While growing up, your grandparents didn't have iPods, stereos, ultra big speakers at rock concerts (or rock for that matter). You experience those noises every day, and what the American Hearing Research Foundation is trying to tell us, essentially, is that we're screwed if we don't do something about it.
On Sunday, November 18, 2007, the American Hearing Research Foundation (AHRF) will hold a benefit concert at the Empty Bottle to help raise awareness of noise-induced hearing loss. Proceeds from the show will help the AHRF fund research into hearing loss at universities and hospitals throughout the United States and Canada, which the Chicago-based foundation has been doing for more than 30 years with over 165 research projects under its belt. Local bands Le Concorde, The Handcuffs and The Its will perform (all have or have witnessed hearing loss). Free Earlove earplugs for the first ones in.
Admission is only $8. Click through for hearing loss facts and signs:
Tomorrow, I know last minute but we are VICE is just how we roll, we are throwing a fundraiser in Chicago for our buddies the Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda. The band is the center piece of our new movie "Heavy Metal in Baghdad." The long of the short, they need to get out of Iraq where they are receiving death threats about their music and ways. So we are raising money to get them out. How? The only way VICE knows how, drinking and having a good time. So far we have raised over $13K.
Tomorrow night, Lyric Opera of Chicago holds its opening night gala performance of “La traviata” starring superstar Renée Fleming followed by a gala at the Hilton. Participants will walk down a red carpet as they enter the Civic Opera House (sans any real celebrities, however – this is still Chicago, and not L.A., after all, and definitely for the better) and will then be greeted by heralding trumpets at the Hilton. Gala entertainment will be provided by the Stu Hirsh Orchestra, a wedding band, proving once and for all that not even opera fans can resist "Love Shack" or "YMCA."
According to an email from organizer Michael Patrick, the “Power to the Peaceful” festival will be happening in Chicago. “It most certainly is happening. . . most of our press has been very underground. Kind of artist for artist sake kind of thing,” said Patrick. This grass-roots, separate and smaller version of the original San Francisco Festival will happen next weekend, September 28 and 29. Proceeds will go to Amnesty International.
This Saturday at 11AM, tickets go on sale for the Old Town School of Folk Music’s 50th anniversary “Really Big Show” at the Auditorium Theatre on December 1st at 7PM.
10 years ago, for its 40th anniversary concert, folk superstars like Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne and Arlo Guthrie performed at the Medinah Temple. This year, the lineup is a more diverse, including not only traditional folk musicians such as guitarist David Bromberg, but also sounds from the Sones de México Ensemble and a work by the Luna Negra Dance Theatre. Banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, harmonica master Corky Siegel and a slew of other folkies will also be there along with Wilco band leader Jeff Tweedy (Tweedy?! Well, as bluesman Big Bill Broonzy, who performed at the school’s opening night in 1957, once said, “all music is folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song”).
Done in by rain and wind and falling debris a few weeks ago, the Rock for Kids Music Mixer will really (for real) happen this Thursday night, 9/6, at Smartbar. Come out and bid on sweet and unique mixes by Chicago's music community including Time Out: Chicago, Pitchfork Media, Bloodshot Records, the Empty Bottle, and even little ol' us, Gapers Block: Transmission (see everyone who's contributed a mix here). You can get yourself a one-of-a-kind set of new tunes, and help out Chicago's homeless and underprivileged youth at the same time. The bidding gets going at 6pm and runs until 9pm at Smartbar, 3730 N. Clark. There's a $5 suggested donation at the door.
Hey all, we were all psyched to head out last night to the Rock for Kids music mixer that Transmission staff have submitted eight specially-made music mixes to, but then the skies opened and the lights went out in Wrigleyville. They'll be rescheduling the event, and we'll let you know about the new date and time as soon as we know.
Come together along with Chicago's music community Thursday night for the 5th Annual Rock for Kids Music Mixer at Smartbar. Rock for Kids is a local organization that provides support, inspiration and assistance to children that are homeless or in need. Rock For Kids works with families and organizations to positively impact and celebrate young lives. At the mixer on 8/23, you can mingle (or mix, if you will) with members of Chicago's music scene, and bid on dozens of specially made, one-of-a-kind mix CDs from the music staffs from Time Out: Chicago, Pitchfork Media, Bloodshot Records, The Empty Bottle and, yup, Gapers Block: Transmission. There will also be mixes put together by members of Chicago bands such as Catfish Haven, Chin Up Chin Up, Office, DJ Matt ROAN and local celebrities like Hot Doug himself, Doug Sohn. A full list of participants is here. The fun gets going from 6pm-10pm Thursday at Smartbar (located beside the Metro) at 3730 N. Clark St. There's a $5 suggested donation.
With the future of one of the true local indie radio stations in question, Chicagoans might be apt to say that non-for-profit radio is going the way of commercial stations due to pressures from the Web and satellite outlets. But a local group calling themselves CHIRP (Chicago Indie Radio Project) has united to keep free radio alive and well in Chicago. Formed by a large group of WLUW volunteers who aren't sure what the future holds after WLUW goes back into Loyola University hands, CHIRP is working hard to build up enough funds and interest to start a low power FM radio station for the Chicago independent community. Having sponsored a couple impressive benefits already, they are hosting two more in the upcoming days. This Friday at Quenchers come see The Strange Attractor, Spectaculo, and About Nothin for $5. On Monday all you blossoming rock stars better represent your A-game. Stop in at Piece for a Guitar Hero Tournament with proceeds for entry going to CHIRP. The theme is 80s so break out the hair spray, neon-stretch biker shorts and friendship bracelets. Let's see who has the skills to be a true hero all while playing for a good cause. 9 p.m.
If you've been following your Transmission feature stories, you'll no doubt remember Lampo. For those that need a brush-up, Lampo is the Ukranian Village-based venue which has spent its first 10 years of existence bringing 100 concerts of extraordinary experimental musicians from all over the world to the area, generally for exclusive performances of new works, often for their first performance in our fair city.
After 100 shows, the Lampo planned to move to a new location in time for its fall season. Unfortunately, funds are proving to be tight. That's why they are currently on the hunt for 100 people who would be willing to donate $9.99 to help them to continue bringing artists like Zbigniew Karkowski, Eliane Radigue, Lasse Marhaug, and Leif Elggren to Chicago. The money will be spent upgrading the sound system (when you're hosting a sonically demanding artist like Maryanne Amacher, you better make sure your speakers are fully functioning), paying the rent on the new space, and, most important for anyone who has sat through one of these hour long-plus performances, NEW CHAIRS. Not to mention bringing internationally-acclaimed artists in from every country in the world and making sure they're adequately compensated for their efforts.
Click the Lampo membership page for more information on how you can help. Other payment levels (which include important swag like free tickets and t-shirts) are also available.
A big evening at Darkroom is shaping up for this Friday. It's the big DJ LA* Jesus Benefit Birthday Bash, and plenty of participants have piled on to celebrate and make the thing happen for a worthy cause. DJ LA* Jesus been an amusing fixture on the local club scene these past few years, and not unlike his namesake, has landed his own devout following around town. He's slung a good many crafty bootleg remixes (Missy E's "Pass The Dutchie" atop New Order's "Blue Monday," anyone?), and has recently done some legit remix work for The Flaming Lips and Apostle of Hustle. And this Friday is His his birthday, and a big to-do is in order. Entertainment-wise, DJ LA* Jesus himself will be spinning, as will Bald Eagle of the Life During Wartime crew, and deejay Lipschitz. But wait, it ain't over! The evening will also feature an appearance by dance-popsters Walter Meego, who will reportedly contribute to the DJing and perform a live set, as well.
As for the Benefit portion of the evening is concerned, proceeds will go to Rock For Kids, the Chicago non-profit organization that helps provide music education and lessons to homeless and underprivileged children. A lot of folks have signed on to provide incentives, and there will reportedly be giveaways that might allow you to chance to get free stuff from Threadless, studio time at Rax Trax studios, a free haircut from Ben Mollin, and tickets to upcoming shows around town (word has it that the Metro will be holding a raffle for tix to see Clap Your Hand Say Yeah and Cold War Kids). 2210 W. Chicago. It all gets underway at 9pm. $6 at the door or you can buy advanced tickets from the club.
If the demise of the Lakeview Lounge has sent you scrambling to get your fix of favorite house band Nite Watch, you're in luck. The venerable trio (Larry, Raul and Gilbert) will be reuniting on stage this Sunday for a special benefit show at Martyrs'. Rounding out the enticing bill are other Chicago favorites Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor and Robbie Fulks. The show will benefit Paul Mooney, a local writer, teacher and musician who has cystic fibrosis and is in need of a lung transplant, and will also feature a raffle, silent auction, magician and a psychic along with the good tunes. There is a $20 suggested donation price, and music starts in the afternoon at 2pm. Martyrs' is located at 3855 N. Lincoln Ave.
After this week's whole snow/slush nonsense, it's about time spring has elbowed its way into its proper place. To celebrate, I suggest you attend Thaw, a benefit for Links Hall at Sonotheque. See, Links Hall (1444 W. Chicago Ave.) is a nonprofit studio for experimental performance, and what better way to see what you're supporting than by watching performances, take in video work and live installations, all while shoving down complimentary hors d'oeurvres and drinks. Afterwards, you'll need to work all of those tiny foodstuffs down, so pull up your pants and dance with until 2 a.m. with an assortment of DJs.
See? Everybody wins. The shindig is from 7-10 p.m., and $30 will get you food, drinks, and admission to the late-night performances. If you just came to shake a tailfeather, $10 will get you in the door. Check here, or call 773/281.0824 for more info.
Along with the Shellac/Dianogah/Sound On Sound benefit at Subteranean on April 27th, Catlick Records is releasing a 2XCD benefit compilation entitled For Callum to help raise money for Callum Robbins' care fund. The CD features rare and unreleased tracks by Maritime, The Eternals, Mission of Burma, David Grubs, Life and Times, as well as rare demo of Jawbreaker'sI Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both.
1. All the Way Rider - Luxembourg
2. Arcwelder - The Hope (demo)
3. Careers In Modeling - Acorn
4. Chad - English Girl
5. Channels - Cast Away
6. E. Fowlkes Sextet - Rory Corrigan
7. Engine 88 - Get Off
8. Engine Down - Your Suit
9. Eternals - Rawar Style
10. Gordonovich - Au Revoir (Char's Garden)
11. David Grubbs - A Dream to Help Me Sleep
12. Halloween, Alaska - Halloween (remix)
13. The Icy Shores - Backseat
14. Imaginary Johnny - Little Dimes
15. Jawbreaker - I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both (demo)
16. Kingfield - Penny
17. Bryan Knisley - Madeline
18. Joe Lally - Mistaken Identity
19. Life and Times - Catching Crumbs
20. Maritime - Tearing up the Oxygen
21. Medications - Domestic Animals
22. Bill Mike - Secure
23. The Million - Waterfront (demo)
24. Mission of Burma - N.S.U.
25. Travis Morrison - Represent
26. Drew O’Doherty - You’ll Believe A Man Can Fly
27. The Oranges Band - Operator
28. Pilot to Gunner - All the Lights
29. Roh Delikat - Ant Overthrow
30. Self-Evident - World As a Verb
31. The Spectaculars - Dopasetic
32. Story of the Sea - West Bank
Even though he's made his name in the Washington D.C. area, J. Robbins (Government Issue, Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Channels) has friends all over. And when it was learned that his son, Cal, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, those friends came together to do something for the Robbins family. In Chicago, on Cal's 1st birthday, January 27, Eleventh Dream Day, Chin Up Chin Up, Bobby Conn, The Life and Times, Red Eyed Legends, and a special guest that's perhaps a Chicago band with an equine name (or so a little bird told me) will play for Cal's benefit at the Empty Bottle. Admission is $15 and all proceeds will go toward the Robbins family. If J. Robbins' music has ever affected you, please consider attending or donating.
Blogger tinyluckygeniushas the tip on a benefit show for fledgling indie paper out of Pilsen called The Skeleton over at Mr. City "#1 in elusive downtown warehouse spaces" Friday night. Playing will be experimental rock group Bird Names along with The Coughs (plus more TBA). $5. Mr. City (despite being elusive) is at 1133 Fulton (enter on May).
Tomorrow night, you can hit the first in a series of fundraisers for the independent feature film, Snap, at the Double Door. The headlining band, Baldwin Brothers, is featured on the upcoming Samuel L. Jackson movie soundtrack, Snakes on a Plane, for which they produced a remix of the All American Rejects song "Can't Take It." The show will also feature the dub reggae stylings of The Drastics, and DJ Sid Delicious featuring Jarrett from Walter Meego. A raffle with prize giveaways includes the chance to win a walk-on role in Snap. The show starts at 9pm and the cover is $10. All proceeds go towards the production of Snap. The Double Door is located at 1572 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago.