Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, May 18

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News Wed Jul 29 2015

Neo Closes Iconic Lincoln Park Location

 photo 44b0c305-858b-494e-95b7-1e6758d9dffc_zpswrlc59pt.jpg
Neo's famous alleyway. Photo by Stephanie Griffin.

After a lease dispute with the building's owner, legendary Chicago club Neo will be closing the doors on its home for the last 36 years, 2350 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park. Neo has been home to fans of punk, new wave, goth, and industrial (as well as people who just like to get weird) for decades.

While Neo's owners look for a new spot for the club, their popular Thursday and Friday night programming will be moving to Debonair Social Club at 1575 N. Milwaukee Ave starting August 6th. Everyone from Neo's door staff to bartenders will be working at Debonair, so if you're bummed about Neo's closure, making the trek to Wicker Park is a good way to show your support.

There's still two more chances to hit the dance floor at the current location - once a haunt of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Trent Reznor, and the Wachowski siblings, among others. Tonight Neo hosts a Fare Thee Well: Dark Wave Disco night featuring DJ sets by Kill Hannah and Dark Wave Disco. Neo's final night at 2350 N. Clark will be tomorrow, the last Living on Video night for this dance floor.

Neo opens each night at 10pm but plan to arrive early if you want to make it inside. Last week's 36th Anniversary parties drew lines all the way to Fullerton and around the block, and these final two nights will be even more crowded.

Stephanie Griffin

Album Fri Jul 17 2015

Downloadable Presents from Wilco


Is it Christmas in July? Wilco just surprised us all with a band new album of 11 new songs! The best news? It's FREE and available for download (for now) at Get thee there and sign up for a download. (Word to the wise, they're pretty swamped. It took my download link about 8 hours to show up in my inbox.)

Can't wait? Stuck at work? Try the album streaming on YouTube:

Or, just wait for Wilco to dust off some of these just born songs tonight when they headline the Pitchfork Music Festival at 8:30pm. We'll be there, and we'll bring you our recaps all weekend long.

Anne Holub

Video Wed Apr 29 2015

Dastardly Releases Music Video for New Single "The Hollow"

If you haven't listened to local favorite Dastardly yet, I am here to urge you to do so. With a unique sound that is unparalleled and unable to be located anywhere else, their music has only grown richer and more innovative with each release, keeping us listeners hooked on the offerings from this four-member outfit. Lilting accordion ballads from the talented Sarah Morgan permeate their one-of-a-kind sound, blending Americana with folk undertones, while frontman Gabe Liebowitz embodies the unique persona of each song, within it, a delicate story to tell. Themes of despair, struggle, and triumph abound amid vocal accents that constantly surprise, from exquisite harmonies, to urgent speeches, and even a bit of yodeling.

After a three year hiatus, the group is back with a more unique sound than ever before, as they took a break to hone in on their music and refocus. Liebowitz, who is also a music producer, has merged his passion for production with the creation of Dastardly's tunes, and has allowed Dastardly to create vibrant, cinematic ballads for their new material. Dastardly has released their newest single, and its music video. "The Hollow" begins with an ethereal, haunting opener, which leads into lush harmonies and beautiful accordion, string, and guitar backings. This intriguing storyline is showcased amid gaze-catching shots and dancers. A dreamscape is created effortlessly, drawing you into their unique world of music. Here, Dastardly emerges, more confident in their unique craft than ever before.

Take a listen to "The Hollow" and catch the mesmerizing music video below. If you dig what you hear, they'll be playing Lincoln Hall on July 10, so mark that date on your calendar: you won't want to miss their hometown show after what is poised to be such a triumphant return.

Sarah Brooks

News Tue Feb 10 2015

Mucca Pazza's Tiny Desk Runneth Over

Everyone's favorite punk rock marching band, Mucca Pazza, journeyed east recently and ended up at NPR where they broke some serious records. As a gang of 23 musicians and cheerleaders, they became the largest ensemble to wedge around All Songs Consdiered editor Bob Boilen's desk for their very own Tiny Desk Concert. Check it out, and breathe some life into your work day:

You can also download the band's 14 minute concert as an mp3.

Anne Holub

Riot Fest Fri Sep 05 2014

Riot Fest Announces Daily Schedules and Pussy Riot Panel Information

Today was a busy day for the folks at Riot Fest. First, they announced the daily schedules which can be found here. Then, they announced further details about the Pussy Riot discussion panel.

Let's talk about Pussy Riot and their panel first. The big news is that Henry Rollins will be moderating it. The panel itself looks like it will be a discussion examining the relationship between art and politics. Can art be used as a viable agent of social change? These are the things the panel will seek to discover.

The full panel is: Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina of Pussy Riot; Greg Graffin of Bad Religion; Tim McIlrath of Rise Against; Marcelle Karp, one of the founders of Bust Magazine; and Michael A. Petryshyn, founder of Riot Fest. The discussion will be moderated by Henry Rollins of Black Flag.

Continue reading this entry »

Justin Freeman

Riot Fest Thu Aug 21 2014

Riot Fest Now Has a Mini-Golf Course and Is Substantially Larger


So, it was just announced that this year, Riot Fest will have a 9-hole mini golf course. This, in of itself, is excellent news and worthy of all the celebration as drinking beer and playing a round of mini golf on a autumn Chicago night as the Wu-Tang Clan plays a few feet away sounds kinda incredible.

Continue reading this entry »

Justin Freeman

News Sat Jul 12 2014

Taste of Chicago Cancels Saturday Event & Concert


Much to our dismay, the Taste of Chicago has cancelled their event for the entirety of Saturday due to inclement weather. This includes the sure-to-be-phenomenal concert at 4pm, featuring Chicago favorite Jeff Tweedy and legendary Lucinda Williams.

With rainfall that has already accumulated, a looming flash flood warning, and severe storms in effect throughout the day, the Taste of Chicago will re-open the event as scheduled on Sunday. The Taste of Chicago team notes that the safety of their patrons is their top priority. All tickets for the concert event will be refunded immediately, and I'm hoping, that Tweedy and Williams consider re-scheduling what was to be an amazing show.

Sarah Brooks

Concert Wed Apr 30 2014

2014 Downtown Sound Lineup Revealed


The City of Chicago finished announcing their various summer festivals this past Monday as they announced the lineup of the always popular Downtown Sound Music Monday series.

Things get started on June 2 and continue Mondays at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park until August 11. The Downtown Sound series is known for their eclectic and well curated indie and world music bookings. This year is no different with offerings that range from the punk singer/songwriter stylings of former Hüsker Dü frontman, Bob Mould (June 23rd), to the of hypnotic Syrian desert rock of Omar Souleyman (June 9th). A favorite of mine is local post-metal collective, Russian Circles (August 11th), who are in the the middle of a victory lap after releasing the absolutely fantastic album, Memorial, last year. I'm also quite excited for Wooden Shjips (August 4th) who are signed to Thrill Jockey and create intensely sludgy works that are kinda captivating. The seemingly omnipresent, White Mystery (June 30th), also make an appearance opening for My Brightest Diamond. All shows are free and start at 6:30 pm at Millennium Park.

Check out the full schedule below.

Continue reading this entry »

Justin Freeman

News Thu Aug 15 2013

Local Act Wins John Lennon Songwriting Contest

Jonas Friddle & the Majority won the 2013 John Lennon Songwriting Contest with their song "Belle of Louisville," earning $20,000 in cash as well as prizes from Avid, Mackie and Digital Media Academy. Friddle teaches banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and children's classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus will arrive at the Old Town School on Sept. 18 to deliver the band's prizes and conduct tours for students.

"It's more than just an honor to be chosen for this award," said Friddle. "It's a rare moment of encouragement that has given a great breath of support to the music we make. I'm grateful to the JLSC for that encouragement and so happy that they are bringing the tour bus to the Old Town School. So much of our music is wrapped up in the community that surrounds the school, and a visit from the Lennon Bus will the perfect way to celebrate with our friends."

Jonas Friddle & the Majority will perform a concert at the Old Town School on Dec. 1, with Ann Arbor's Orpheum Bell opening. Tickets are $15, or $13 for school members.

Andrew Huff

News Tue May 28 2013

Chief Keef's Big Week

Chief Keef was arrested in Northfield Monday night for going 110mph on the Edens. This after being arrested in Atlanta last week for "disorderly conduct" for smoking pot in a hotel room (he claims the security guard was racist.

Meanwhile, the rapper otherwise known as Keith Cozart posted on Instagram two photos of himself holding two handguns. Is he still on probation for illegal gun possession or is that all clear now?

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff

News Thu Apr 18 2013

Bye Bye, Congress Theater?

6307806574_03e46c7315_z.jpg(Photo credit: Hane C. Lee under Creative Commons)If you're a frequent reader of WBEZ's Jim DeRogatis or just have a mild interest in the city's music scene, you're probably aware of the fact that Logan Square's Congress Theater has had some recent problems. That's actually an understatement. The 87-year-old, 3,500 capacity theater and its unpredictable owner Erineo "Eddie" Carranza could easily be the center of a drama fueled reality television show -- one that's about to have its season cut short.

Yesterday DeRogatis' blog "Pop N Stuff" reported that at 11am today, April 18, Cook County Circuit Court will rule in the case of an emergency injunction filed yesterday following the Congress' most recent round of inspections. If the court rules against Carranza, the theater's owner will be prohibited from "renting, using, leasing or occupying" the Congress and police force will be used if he does not immediately vacate the property. As DeRogatis notes in his report, this type of action by the city against a music venue is "without precedent."

In the past, complaints about the Congress Theater have ranged from poor condition of the bathrooms to rampant drug use at concerts to neighborhood safety to poor insulation. The city motion filed yesterday detailing the many, many safety violations puts the Congress' problems in a scary new perspective.

Continue reading this entry »

Katie Karpowicz

EDM Tue Mar 26 2013

Spring Awakening Music Festival Finalizes Lineup

Had enough festival news for the day yet? Well, if you're head's not spinning (and your wallet's not empty), here's some more.

The second annual Spring Awakening Festival (held at Soldier Field) has churned out its last wave of artists, completing what was already an impressive lineup.

As for the third headliner, Moby will be returning for his second year at the fest. This is great news considering Moby's DJ set was one of the most buzzed about sets last June but his late evening set time clashed with several of the festival's other high billed acts. This year, he'll be uninterrupted.

Continue reading this entry »

Katie Karpowicz

News Thu Mar 07 2013

Electric Daisy Carnival Chicago Announces Lineup

Our city is still buried in about five inches of snow (in March nonetheless) so the obvious thought would be: what better a time than to discuss summer music festivals?

This morning came with a mysteriously under-hyped announcement of Electric Daisy Carnival's (EDC) lineup for its first Chicago installment set to take place over Memorial Day weekend.

Seriously, for as huge of a festival event as this Las Vegas-born festival has been in the past, I expected a slew of Facebook posts and a Twitter feed clogged with the #EDCChicago hashtag as soon as this news finally came out. Instead, a simple article from Gret Kot announcing the lineup and discussing the festival's history was published to the Chicago Tribune's website early this morning to relatively little reaction. Currently, the festival hasn't even published the lineup to its own website yet, instead sharing Kot's article across its social platforms. See the full lineup after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Katie Karpowicz / Comments (3)

News Wed Feb 27 2013

Old Town School Debuts New TV Show on WYCC

The Old Town School of Folk Music and Chicago's PBS affiliate WYCC have teamed up for a brand new live concert television program focused specifically on bringing world music to U.S. audiences.

"Musicology: Live from the Old Town School of Folk Music" will debut Friday, April 19, at 9pm on WYCC Channel 20, immediately following the legendary, and similarly-themed, live music program "Austin City Limits." And much like "Austin City Limits," "Musicology" will present 45 minutes of pure live music taped in Chicago at The Old Town School's own Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, in addition to interviews and other cultural, historical, and musical context from the artist.

Continue reading this entry »

Marc Fishman

News Tue Feb 12 2013

Lady Gaga Postpones Chicago Shows

Lady Gaga announced today the cancellation postponement of her concerts in Chicago on Feb. 13 and 14, as well as shows in Detroit and Hamilton, Ontario, citing a case of synovitis, a painful inflammation of the membrane lining the joints. If you have tickets, hold onto them, as they'll be honored at rescheduled dates.

Lady Gaga posted the following message on her Facebook page:

There's an unfortunate announcement coming out right now, concerning myself and the Born This Way Ball. Im so sorry. I barely know what to say. I've been hiding a show injury and chronic pain for sometime now, over the past month it has worsened. I've been praying it would heal. I hid it from my staff, I didn't want to disappoint my amazing fans. However after last nights performance I could not walk and still can't.

To the fans in Chicago Detroit & Hamilton I hope you can forgive me, as it is nearly impossible for me to forgive myself. Im devastated & sad. It will hopefully heal as soon as possible, I hate this. I hate this so much. I love you and Im sorry.

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

News Wed Dec 26 2012

Shiloh Announce Pre-Order/Instant Digital Download for New Album Mrs.

Local "scum-pop" band Shiloh will release its second full-length album, Mrs., early next year on a limited edition turquoise cassette courtesy of Nashville label Rhed Rholl Recordings. But for those who can't wait that long to hear more of the band's unpredictable garage-folk--or for those who lack a tape deck--Rhed Rholl has offered a preview of the album's first three tracks, as well as a pre-order for the physical cassette that allows access to an instant digital download of those three tracks. The physical cassette will also include a download code for the rest of the album.


Continue reading this entry »

Marc Fishman

News Mon Oct 22 2012

Postponed: Morrissey @ The Chicago Theatre

Morrissey has postponed the first few dates of his fall U.S. tour, including his scheduled performance at the Chicago Theatre this Saturday, in order to be with his mother, who is currently hospitalized in England due to illness.

Keep your eyes peeled for a rescheduled date, which the Chicago Theatre says will be announced in the coming days. All previously purchased tickets will be honored for the new date.

Morrissey's tour was scheduled to begin in Pittsburgh tomorrow and hit Chicago on Saturday. The tour will resume as scheduled on Monday, Oct. 29, in Minneapolis.

Marc Fishman / Comments (2)

News Sun Oct 21 2012

CANCELLED: P.O.S. @ Bottom Lounge

P.O.S., Minneapolis Rhymesayers MC and member of the rap collective Doomtree, appeared to be at the height of his career. With another successful record from Doomtree (2011's No Kings) under his belt, the rapper has finally squashed pleas for a new solo installment. We Don't Even Live Here hits stores this Tuesday, Oct. 23, setting P.O.S. up to embark on a U.S. tour in support of the new record, one that was scheduled to make a stop in Chicago at the Bottom Lounge on Nov. 2.

However, P.O.S. -- real name Stefon Alexander -- was forced to announce in a video last week (see below) that the tour has been cancelled. The 31-year-old rapper revealed that he's been battling kidney disease and that a kidney transplant has become inevitable. The rapper will be unable to continue dialysis from the road and is therefore forced to postpone any touring until he has received the transplant and returned to full health.

Gapers Block is saddened by the news. We wish Alexander the best and encourage readers to do the same. Until a proper donation campaign is organized, the Rhymesayers family has set up a Paypal account ( All donations will go directly to Alexander.

Katie Karpowicz

News Wed Oct 10 2012

ICE's Claire Chase recipient of 2012 MacArthur Fellowship grant

Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

On October 2, the MacArthur Foundation announced its 2012 Fellowship recipients, and for Chicago fans of contemporary classical music, one name in particular jumped out. Claire Chase, no stranger to the pages of Transmission, was among the roster of recipients.

Chase is the CEO and Artistic Director of the International Contemporary Ensemble, better known as ICE. Rooted in both Chicago and New York, ICE has presented programs of modern classical and experimental music ("new music," as it's often called) throughout Chicago, from the stages at the MCA and the Art Institute to small coffeehouses and galleries across the city. She is also a flutist with two solo CDs to her credit (Aliento, 2009, and Terrestre, 2012), interpreting both the classics and works by up-and-coming musicians. Passionate about her craft and the great works since childhood, Chase recounted a story during her January 2012 recital at the Art Institute of Chicago in which she asked permission to perform Edgard Varese's solo flute composition, "Density 21.5," for a middle school recital. She was denied the chance as a teen (a "Rite of Spring"-like riot might have ensued), but she blazed through the classic piece from memory at the Art Institute performance, making what could sound in lesser hands like a museum relic into a vital piece of living music. Chase's work with community outreach, new artist commissions, and interdisciplinary events were among the many accomplishments cited by the MacArthur Foundation.

Here is Ms. Chase speaking about her history with ICE, her love of new music, and her thoughts on winning this prestigious fellowship.

Congratulations to Claire Chase on this monumental achievement!

Chris Sienko

Radio Tue Sep 25 2012

WZRD: Radio in Exile

WZRD-FM 88.3WZRD 88.3 FM, Northeastern Illinois University's non-commercial, freeform student radio station known for playing an eclectic array of musical genres, was suspended from the airwaves this summer and replaced with an automated playlist.

On June 29, student DJs, known as the "Wizards," were called into a meeting on short notice by the Office of Student Leadership Development. Its former director, Sharron Evans, distributed a memo stating they were thereby banned from the WZRD office, canceling their scheduled radio shows, until further notice.

"We were handed a list of incredulous accusations," Jonathan Extract, a NEIU student and WZRD DJ, said.

Continue reading this entry »

Brianna Kelly / Comments (2)

News Thu Sep 06 2012

Chief Keef's Crude Tweet Lands Him Under Police Investigation

The Tribune and Sun-Times are reporting that 17-year-old much-buzzed-about local rapper Chief Keef is being looked into by police for connections to the tragically fatal shooting of fellow Chicago teen rapper Lil JoJo (real name Joseph Coleman). According to reports, Coleman's death follows a possibly gang related feud between Coleman and Chief Keef's (real name Keith Cozart) "300 squad." Coleman's recent song "3hunna K," released digitally, mocked Keef's crew, who are known to have gang affiliations.

Warning: explicit content

Continue reading this entry »

Katie Karpowicz / Comments (2)

Venue Wed Aug 15 2012

The Future of Cal's Bar is Uncertain

Cal's LiquorsA bombshell dropped in an offhand comment from one of the organizers of the Neutron Bomb reading series: Cal's Bar is in danger of closing later this year.

"I can't say yes, and I can't say no," said co-owner Cal Feirstein. He said that the building at 400 S. Wells St. is under contract to be sold by the bank that has owned the property since the 1980s, and the future of the bar won't be known until the new owner takes control. "There's nothing for sure," co-owner Fred Feirstein said. "So for now it's the status quo."

The South Loop bar and liquor store has long been a favorite of the punk scene as well as the city's bike messengers. Cal's has served as an important stage for punk and experimental music, making space for bands that are just starting out or not able to find a venue elsewhere. Gapers Block's The Grid documentary series visited Cal's in 2011.

Congress Conducts El at Cal's from The Grid on Vimeo.

Photo by Jasmine Davila

Andrew Huff / Comments (2)

News Wed Jul 25 2012

Congress Theater To Undergo Renovation

Congress Theater in Daylight
Photo by Daniel X. O'Neil

Chances are you've been to Logan Square's historic Congress Theater venue, located at 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., to see shows; whether it was a packed house for one of its frequent DJ acts, or featured an indie rock band, the Congress has been a versatile and popular venue for live music in Chicago. However, if you've been to a show there, you've also likely noticed the condition of the building itself. The Congress Theater's structure has posed issues for its upkeep and maintenance, due to the fact that this historic landmark was built in 1925, boasting older materials that are more difficult to keep in check today.

Just announced, the Congress Theater will be undergoing a renovation beginning this fall, as the venue will be partnering with Doejo, a media development agency that has worked with many unique and popular spaces within Chicago. The project will work on aesthetic development for the Theater by updating the older building materials but still keeping the same Congress Theater historic look and feel. It will also feature partnerships with local businesses within the spaces of the entertainment center featured on Milwaukee Avenue's street level, some of which have been announced as becoming a farmers market-style grocer, cafe Flat White, and a restaurant in the works.

Continue reading this entry »

Sarah Brooks / Comments (2)

Blog Fri Jul 20 2012

Friday Quick Links

Here's some sweet video of Kelly Hogan's performance on Sound Opinions. Nice toes, lady! Kelly Hogan plays two Sold Out shows at the Hideout this Sunday, July 22, but you can grab her new album and pretend like you're there, right?

Kelly Hogan performs 'I Like to Keep Myself in Pain' on Sound Opinions from WBEZ on Vimeo.

  • Fresh off of Pitchfork, A$AP Rocky landed himself in trouble with the law in NYC.
  • Still waiting on their Chicago celebrations to be announced, but local label Thrill Jockey's turning 20 this year, and they already have some great commissioned posters for sale from Dexterity Press and Sonnenzimmer that both capture some label love.
  • Another awesome local label, Numero Group, is tracking down hit Illinois artists from the past, that you may have lost track of.
  • Nice in-crowd video of Ty Segall taking a little crowd surf at Pitchfork.

Anne Holub

Blog Fri Jul 13 2012

Friday Quick Links

It's easy to stay cool, when you're Tom Waits (hopefully also while watching Tom Waits perform). He sang his song "Chicago" on Letterman this past week:

Anne Holub

Blog Fri Jul 06 2012

Friday Quick Links

It's been hot, it's still hot. In classic rock n' roll style, there's a lot of songs about it. Let's cool down with a little Motown, huh? Here's "Heatwave" by Martha and the Vandellas (with some great B&W video [er, film].)

Or maybe, if you prefer, sing some "Summertime Blues" with Blue Cheer.

But really, here's some cool stuff about Chicago music happening around the web:

  • The Quietus interviews John Herndon from Tortoise about the band's pending back catalogue releases and what musical influences shaped the band's unique sound.
  • If you missed the tribute to MCA and the Beastie Boys at Lincoln Hall earlier this week, there are a ton of videos from the event, including a full stage performance of "Fight For Your Right" and an appropriately funky "Funky Boss."
  • Even more mixtape action comes from LFTF with tracks from Flosstradamus, Chief Keef, and more.
  • DJ Derrick Carter is a very knowledgeable driver, apparently. Ding ding ding!
  • Matador records loves local record shops, as shown in this profile of saki.
  • Brace yourselves for DJ Chrissy Murderbot's upcoming "Friendship" EP (due out July 24).
  • Pretty psyched to see the photos of concerts past at Metro/Smart Bar's 30th Anniversary "Metrospective" which starts with a gallery opening on July 12 at the Inland Steel Building at 30 W. Monroe.
  • Like some ambient drone? Check out new album "Stereo Stasis" from Chicago's Cinchel.
  • NPR takes a look back at Chicago's House Music legacy.

Anne Holub

News Mon Jun 25 2012

Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements Returns


Chances are you probably missed the Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements festival last fall. While the carnival/circus/music festival was high in entertainment, unfortunately it was also low in attendance. They're changing it up this year and dropping the rides and games (looks like you'll have to check out Riot Fest for your carnival fix this year), instead opting for the new tented Riverfront Theater. The complete music line-up announcement is still to come, but for now, it's not looking too shabby at all. The three-day festival will include performances by John Cale, Bobby Womack, Conor Oberst, Zola Jesus, Van Dyke Parks, and Helado Negro. They're also bringing back El Circo Cheapo this year, and as a new addition, there will be a line-up of comedians to perform after the music ends each night.

The festival takes place September 21 - 23rd at the Riverfront Theater, 650 W. Chicago Ave. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Tuesday, June 26th) at noon and will be available to purchase here.

Stephanie Griffin

Blog Fri Jun 22 2012

Friday Quick Links

This week was "Too Hot," don't you think? Yeah.

  • Next Wednesday is the deadline to enter Mucca Pazza's "Thought Bubble for a Mucca" contest. Prize includes a Safety Fifth CD, a t-Shirt and a tote bag. See the contest details and post your "thought" on Twitter or Facebook.
  • DJ Chrissy Murderbot plays a rare Saturday night show in Chicago at the Kioku Lounge at 2130 S. Wentworth Ave. this weekend. Starts at 10pm ends at 3am. Free beer from 312 from 10-11pm. Custom photo booth. Learn more on Facebook.
  • Churning out the...hits? R. Kelly owes the IRS a boatload of money. So naturally he's putting out a new album and a book this month.
  • Grab JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound's '45 for "I Got High" when you go see them at Fitzgerald's on June 30.

Anne Holub

News Wed Jun 20 2012

Riot Fest Announces More Bands, Single Day Tickets


With today's announcement of Andrew WK, Minus The Bear, Hot Water Music, Neon Trees, The Adicts, and Pegboy, this year's Riot Fest line-up is getting out of control. With the previously announced Iggy and the Stooges, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Elvis Costello, it's getting to the point of being more impressive than the Pitchfork and Lollapalooza line-ups combined. Three-day passes for the festival are now sold out, but two-day, single day, and VIP passes are available to purchase here, with day-by-day line-ups now available to view here. Riot Fest will be taking place September 14 - 16th in Humboldt Park.

Stephanie Griffin

Blog Fri Jun 15 2012

Friday Quick Links

With the return of the hot (and packed) days of summer, I thought it's only fitting that we jump back into this weekly post, and try to spread the word about all of the amazing music in Chicago you might otherwise miss. Feel free to make sure we're in the know, by Tweeting at us, or emailing with tips.

  • Thoughtful piece on Dale Watson, and his place among the country music canon. He plays Martyr's tonight (Friday) by The Reader.
  • The Grant Park Chorus and Orchestra celebrates Chicago history with the composition "An Exhaltation of Place." Catch it performed live (for free) in Millennium Park Friday or Saturday night this weekend.
  • Numero Group is adding another format to a recent album "spruce-up" with a release...on cassette. Fire up your boombox for Antena's Camino Del Sol.
  • Another past music venue, Lounge Ax, is putting on a cool retrospective at saki, along with some parties at the store (with live music, of course) August 10 and 11.
  • Interview with Chicago's "heavy instrumental" musician, Trevor de Brauw, of Pelican who plays Lincoln Hall on Friday, June 29. Tickets.
  • David Byrne and St. Vincent are keeping it freaky with a new collaboration. They'll play the Chicago Theatre on September 18.

Anne Holub

News Tue May 15 2012

Riot Fest 2012 Line-Up Announced


Just past midnight this morning Riot Fest made their initial line-up announcement for the 2012 festival, and with a roster that includes Iggy and the Stooges, Elvis Costello and Descendents, you can color me impressed. Hell, when two acts that have headlined in the past (NOFX and Alkaline Trio) are now midway down the poster, you know the line-up has gotta be good. Eschewing their standard 5-day fest of individual shows around the city, this year they're changing it up and going the outdoor festival route with a carnival in Humboldt Park. That's right, a carnival. They're also bumping the festival up to Sept. 14-16, from their typical first week of October. If you've ever wanted to see a bunch of green haired, studded leather jacketed, mohawked punks of all ages ride a ferris wheel, the time has come.

Act fast to snag a $22 Saturday/Sunday pass via Groupon. UPDATE: The Groupon sold out before 10am. Otherwise, Riot Fest's ticket page offers a $36 early bird special for the 2-day weekend pass, a $90 full 3-day festival pass that includes all secret shows, or a $155 VIP pass that will get you a private bar with 10 drink tickets per day and a special viewing area near the stage.

Stephanie Griffin

Concert Tue May 08 2012

The Smashing Pumpkins To Play Metro June 14

Photo by Stephanie Griffin

This morning Metro announced the inaugural Hot Stove Cool Music charity concert, featuring performances by The Smashing Pumpkins, The Figgs, Jenny Dee and the Delinquents, and members of Buffalo Tom. The event, which will benefit Chicago Cubs charities and Foundation To Be Named Later, goes down on Thursday, June 14 and will act as the kick-off party to the Cubs vs. Red Sox 3-game series at Wrigley Field. This rare chance to catch the Pumpkins at a small venue also falls just days before the release of their latest album Oceania on June 19, so it's safe to say we'll be hearing some new tracks from Billy Corgan & Co.

Tickets for the event are $50 and on sale this Saturday, May 12 at noon, online at Metro's website and fee-free at the Metro box office at 3730 N. Clark St. VIP tickets are available to purchase immediately for $1000 here, which includes tickets to the Cubs vs. Red Sox game the following day.

Stephanie Griffin

News Mon Apr 16 2012

North Coast Music Festival Announces First Wave of 2012 Lineup

North Coast Music Festival has been teasing fans all night on twitter about some big news, and just now the festival announced the first wave of acts to play Union Park this year. Gracing the stages August 31-September 2 are the following acts:

-Pretty Lights
-Big Boi
-Steve Aoki
-The Rapture
-Mord Fustang
-Felix Da Housecat
-Dan Deacon
-King Khan and The Shrines
-Rebirth Brass Band
-Van Ghost
-Maya Jane Coles
-Com Truise
-Auto Body

and many more to be announced. The initial lineup is already looking solid for the third year of the festival, with the promise of even more headliners and other impressive acts to follow. Check out their site here with more information including how to purchase tickets.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Mar 26 2012

More 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival Acts Announced

pitchfork2012.jpgThe lineup for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival took further shape today with the announcement of 11 more performers. Sleigh Bells, Dirty Projectors, Flying Lotus, Danny Brown, Clams Casino, The Olivia Tremor Control, Iceage, The Men, Purity Ring, Schoolboy Q and The Atlas Moth will play at the festival in Chicago's Union Park July 13-15.

Unfortunately for those who waited for more acts to be announced before springing for tickets, three-day passes are now sold out. Single-day tickets are still available for $45 apiece.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff

News Thu Feb 23 2012

Spring Awakening Music Festival Line-Up Announced, Tickets On Sale


You may have seen some rumors floating around on the internet for the past few weeks of a new electronic music festival popping up at Soldier Field this summer. Well as it turns out this thing is real, with a blink-and-you-missed-it Groupon sale for tickets that went live last night at midnight and sold out within minutes. The announced line-up so far includes Skrillex, Afrojack, Moby, Wolfgang Gartner, A-Trak and Diplo, among others. Unsurprisingly, there's no mention of Daft Punk.

Tickets run $99 for general admission at $199 for VIP (both are full 2-day weekend passes) and can be purchased here. The festival takes place June 16th and 17th at Soldier Field and is an all-ages event.

Stephanie Griffin

Concert Tue Nov 01 2011

Roger Waters Brings The Wall to Wrigley's Ivy, June 2012

After rumors surfaced a few days ago, it became official this morning when LiveNation announced Roger Waters of Pink Floyd would be bringing The Wall tour to Wrigley Field on June 8, 2012.

Waters had recently mentioned to Rolling Stone magazine that he was working on an outdoor version of The Wall to tour in 2012 and had even conducted several light tests in ballparks around the country, including Wrigley Field.

Tickets will eventually be available online. Prices for tickets at similar venues on this tour range from $55-$200 plus fees.

Breeann Tuch

Event Fri Oct 28 2011

Be In The Next Cool Kids Video


Chicago hip hop duo The Cool Kids are filming a new music video and they need your help! If you've got style and a free evening, head on over to the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St., on Thursday, Nov. 10 as the group performs songs from their new album, When Fish Ride Bicycles, and shoot the video for their latest single, "Rush Hour Traffic." Free food and Mountain Dew Code Red (which apparently still exists) will be provided. RSVP here and plan to get there early as space is limited. Sorry kids, this event is 18+.

Stephanie Griffin

News Tue Aug 16 2011

Portugal. The Man's Gear Found

Portugal. The Man announced on their blog today that the Chicago Police have recovered most of the gear stolen along with the band's tour van and trailer the day after Lollapalooza.

Andrew Huff

News Fri Aug 12 2011

Friday Quick Links

While we're humming the theme to "Love Boat" we're often online checking out cool stuff about music in Chicago.

  • Head over to the Old Town School of Folk Music's store this weekend for a humongous sale on absolutely everything. August 13-14, 9:30am-4:30pm at the Lincoln Avenue store only. (4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)
  • Sadly, the London riots are being dramatically felt in Chicago as stock belonging to local labels Thrill Jockey, Drag City, and Touch and Go were destroyed in fires at their London warehouses. Additional info.
  • Hot Biscuits has a special track courtesy of Irish producer Screendeath.
  • Get your dance on at the Mad Decent Block Party this weekend in Wicker Park. It's free, and will feature Curren$y, Dillon Francis, Dawn Golden & Rosy Cross, Bosco Delrey, Kito, Reptar, Lunice, BBU, Benzi and DJ Say Wut.
  • Daytrotter's popular touring party, the Barnstormer 5, will hit locally in Monticello, IL on September 5th (that's Labor Day). Grab tickets to enjoy White Rabbits, Wildlife, Princeton, Hacienda, and Hundred Visions.
  • A review of Kanye and Jay-Z's Watch The Throne collaboration in the Sun-Times.
  • Speaking of the Hood, download a new free mixtape.

Anne Holub

News Mon Aug 08 2011

Portugal. The Man's Van, Trailer & Equipment Stolen After Lollapalooza

In an unfortunate postscript to Lollapalooza, Portugal. The Man's tour van and trailer -- containing all of their equipment -- were stolen from an attended parking lot near Grant Park sometime after 7am today. The band sent out a plea for assistance via Twitter this afternoon:


Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff

Blog Fri Jul 29 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not trying to remember all of our online group coupon deals, we're eating half-price pizza, listening to music.

  • If you're going to the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival this weekend (there's a fabbo lineup including JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, White Mystery, Hood Internet, Hollows, The Eternals, Netherfriends, and so much more!) stop by the Gapers Block table and say Hi! When you're done festing, take your arm (with your fest wristband, and the rest of your body) to Saki (3716 W. Fullerton Ave.) and get 15% off your purchase!
  • If you're looking for a bit of nostalgia, check out the Soul Train photo exhibition at the Cultural Center, now through September 5th. If you go tonight, or any Friday before 9/2, there's a live DJ spinning a perfectly Soul Train-appropriate set from 6-8pm.

Anne Holub

News Thu Jul 28 2011

Welcome Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements

Chicago has outdoor music festivals aplenty, but add in Dan Deacon, Shellac, and some circus performers, and you've got a welcome addition to my fall schedule. Enter the inaugural Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements festival, coming to Eckhart Park in West Town September 16th - 18th and sandwiched right between A.V. Fest and the Hideout Block Party to ensure you will not be bored for one second this September.

The festival will include circus artists, comedians, short film, carnival rides, games, and music, including the aforementioned artists and also School of Seven Bells, Bill Callahan, Fool's Gold, Dark Dark Dark, and more (see the full schedule here). Admission to the festival grounds (which will include the Renegade Craft Fair) is free, but access to tented events will cost you $20 per day for music and $15 per circus act. My only complaint is that there doesn't seem to be any sort of all-inclusive day or weekend pass for those who want to experience all aspects of the festival and don't want the hassle of picking up tickets for every separate event. However, tickets are already on sale and available to purchase here, so you'll have plenty of time to plan out the weekend in advance.

Stephanie Griffin

News Mon Jul 25 2011

Nordic Thunder Takes Home the US Air Guitar 2011 National Title

us air guitar devil hornsThe US Air Guitar National Finals were held in Chicago for the first time Saturday night, and all around were signs that this was Chicago's time to shine. And it was four-time Chicago regional finalist Nordic Thunder who stood triumphant in the end, ready to represent the United States in the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland, in August.

Nordic Thunder (Justin Howard) had plenty of supporters in the packed crowd at the Metro, but he wasn't alone. Five of the finalists were from Chicago, including the defending national champion, RomeoDanceCheetah (Matt Cornelison), Thundergland and Mr. Serious (brothers Matt and Lee Barats), and Dry Ice (Aaron Alonso). But although the hometown crowd might have given an advantage to the local guitarists, it was anyone's show to win on the strength of their performance. "You could take a 21-sided die and assign a number to each of us and that's about as even a chance as we each have," Mr. Serious said earlier in the day.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

News Fri Jul 22 2011

Friday Quick Links

Thanks to everyone who said Hi at our table at the CHIRP Record Fair during Pitchfork. Great to meet label folk and artists face-to-face and oh, so many cool readers! Now, on to the good stuff.

  • Lollapalooza 2011 is now officially SOLD OUT. If you were waiting to buy your tickets, now you'll be stuck with the secondary market.
  • The A.V. Club decided they can put on a pretty awesome music festival, too. As long as there's funnel cakes, I'll be happy.
  • Download a set of (most of) the samples used in the upcoming Kanye and Jay-Z collaboration "Watch The Throne" from Fake Shore Drive.
  • Are you ready for Chicago vs. Atlanta? New tape compilation of psych rock bands from our two states called Vital-Sound I hits the shelves next month with lots of cool local art as an added bonus!
  • Chet Haze got himself an education (as well as a possible rap career) at Northwestern, that's for sure.
  • Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon do some service AGAIN to the history of rap. More of this, please.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jul 08 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not applying aloe, we're inside, applying aloe. Don't forget your sunscreen!

  • We'll have an intrepid gang of music lovers hitting the grounds at "Lakeside" for the DMB Caravan this weekend. Tickets are still available at the gate! Stay tuned for our reviews and pictures!
  • RSVP to stay in the loop for an upcoming August 18th benefit show at Lincoln Hall for the Garfield Park Conservatory! Lineup, additional details TBA.
  • The A.V. Club profiled Rogers Park venue/galleryImpala.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jul 01 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not outside getting awkward sunburns, we're inside, applying aloe and looking at cool stuff online. Have a great holiday weekend! USA! USA!

  • Wilco debuted new tunes at last weekend's Solid Sound Festival. No Chicago dates for their fall tour set...yet.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri Jun 24 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not trying to get George Michael songs out of our head (well, just the sax solos), we're often online looking at cool Chicago music news.

  • If you need a playlist for your summer bbqs, why not use this massive one from Girl Talk? With a little effort, it would be like Greg Gillis was AT your house.
  • Download the remix of Kelly Rowland's tune "Motivation" with raps by Kid Sister on RCRDLBL. Kid Sister ramps up this slow jam!

Anne Holub

News Tue Jun 21 2011

Q101 to Become an All-News Station?


News broke this morning that Emmis Communications has sold Q101 (WKQX) and the Loop (WLUP) to Merlin Media, led by former CEO of Tribune Co. Randy Michaels. While neither Q101 nor Merlin Media have officially announced the fate of the station, journalist Robert Feder tipped us off this morning that 101.1 will drop music and become an all-news station within the next 45 days. While we are still awaiting an official announcement, several Q101 DJs and employees have all but confirmed the rumors via Twitter this morning.

Q101 has been an alternative music institution in Chicago for the past two decades and their departure will undoubtedly leave a gaping hole in the heart of the Chicago music scene.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (6)

News Tue Jun 21 2011

See Billy Corgan on Chicago Live!

Photo by Stephanie Griffin

Chicago Live!, Chicago Tribune and Second City's weekly radio show on WGN, will be welcoming Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan next month in front of a live studio audience. Corgan will be interviewed along with Chicago Fire team captain Logan Pause and Trib editor Gerould Kern, and will follow the interview with a short acoustic performance. The taping will take place at the intimate Downstairs Theatre at the Chicago Theatre, which seats a mere 252 guests. After the show, audience members will be invited to a reception with the show's cast, crew, and guests. To snag one of these seats, head on over to Ticketmaster or the Chicago Theatre box office. Tickets are $20 ($26 with Ticketmaster fees).

The episode tapes July 21st at 6:30 pm, and will air on WGN as the show's season premiere Saturday, July 23rd at 11:00 pm.

Stephanie Griffin

Concert Mon Jun 20 2011

2011 Red Bull Riot Fest announces line-up

Let's start the week off with the announcement of another solid music festival in Chicago, shall we?

Riot Fest just announced their largest line-up to date, with headliners Weezer, Social Distortion, and Descendents, along with a special major headliner announcement on Friday June 24th. The festival will be in Chicago October 5th-9th, and this year it will expand and have Riot Fest East in Philadelphia, September 24th.

Thus far the line-up includes the following acts: Weezer, Social Distortion, Descendents, X (play "Los Angeles"), Youth of Today, Suicide Machines, ALL (Scott, Chad and Dave), Helmet, D Generation, Down By Law, The Business, Strike Anywhere, The Tossers, Macabre, Nachtmystium, The Flatliners, Flatfoot 56, The Menzingers, Banner Pilot, The Pavers, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Shot Baker, The Copyrights, Cheap Girls, Larry and His Flask, Chines Telephones, The Crombies, The Holy Mess, Van Buren Boys, Neutron Bombs, The Infected, and many more will be announced throughout the week.

Multi day passes and individual tickets go on sale Friday June 24th at 10 in the morning CST. Tickets will be on sales at Ticketfly. The 5 day festival pass will be $145, and includes access to all Riot Fest 2011 shows, and includes access to secret shows leading up to the fest this summer. There will also be the Congress Pass for $135, and that includes access into all the Congress Theater shows during Riot Fest 2011.

The Riot Fest shows will be held at the following venues this year: Congress Theater, Bottom Lounge, Double Door, Cobra Lounge and the AAA Warehouse. There will also be a shuttle bus that will take fans from venue to venue.

Riot Fest has really expanded fast since it kicked off in 2005. It's a great way to end the festival season, consistently offering up a solid bill and some of the best secret shows in the city (I recall the secret Naked Raygun show at the AAA Warehouse a few years ago being one of the best shows of the year for me). We'll announce the special headliner on the 24th, and then make sure you get online and grab a ticket before some of these shows sell out.

Lisa White

News Fri Jun 17 2011

Friday Quick Links

There comes a time in life to eat tacos and sit outside — this weekend is one of those times. But if you're on some wifi, maybe check some of these items out:

  • Enjoying some sweet offerings of dancey tunes at Hot Biscuits, including this "Good Love (May Mix)" track which is also available for download.
  • Before it closes 6/21, catch this art exhibit "Wow and Flutter: Dynamic Range in Analog Art" at Johalla Projects in Wicker Park.
  • Read up this long interview with long-time Chicago House DJ Michael Ezebukwu over at Gridface.
  • The Deli post a new video from Company of Thieves who will be opening for Hal & Oats at Ravinia next Sunday night. Lawn tickets are sold out, but some reserved seating is still available. And, you know, there's Craigslist.
  • Interesting interview with DEVO about the evolution of their music and the devolution of humanity.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jun 10 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not reading Goodnight Moon to the tomato plants, we're often looking at some cool stuff about music online.

  • Heading out to see (or hemming and hawing about) the Neon Marshmallow Fest at the Empty Bottle this weekend? Our intrepid experimental music lover Chris Sienko has the breakdown of the best of the fest. (Look for our epic reviews this weekend.)
  • If you got all teary watching the very last episode of The Chicago Code and want to relive it, check out the song that was playing by Parlours called "I Dream of Chicago." The band plays at Martyrs' on June 18. (Thanks, John!)
  • Video from Thao & Mirah at Do Division Fest last weekend. Oh my, remember when it was all sunny and hot? Seems like so long ago.
  • saki records is celebrating their first birthday next weekend (June 17-19) not only with three days of in-store performances but with deals and giveaways to boot! Details in their blog.

Anne Holub

News Thu Jun 09 2011

Billy Corgan's Brother Attacked on Red Line

Billy and Jesse on stage at the Aragon, 2008
Photo by Stephanie Griffin

Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan tweeted this morning that his younger brother, Jesse Andersen, had been attacked and robbed this morning. Confirmed this afternoon by the Red Eye, this attack was the mugging that occurred on the red line early this morning at the Chicago station. According to the Red Eye story, Andersen had his iPod snatched by a group of four males and one female, who punched him in the face when he tried to grab it back. Andersen, who is Billy's half-brother, suffers from cerebral palsy and Tourette syndrome, which adds an extra level of sadness to this story. We hope for a speedy recovery for Jesse.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (3)

News Wed Jun 08 2011

Kanye West Celebrates a Monstrous 34th

Amazingly, Kanye West is just about the only Chicago rapper not in the news lately for stirring up trouble. In addition, to turning 34 today, Yeezy has finally unveiled the final cut of the video for his latest single, "Monster".

West managed to rope all of the track's guest vocalists (Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver) in for the video shoot. It's a five-minute dark, twisted fantasy full of self-indulgent close-ups, controversial imagery and visuals that can only be described as eye candy--everything you might expect from one of hip-hop's biggest livewires.

Anyone else curious as to what sort of over-the-top shenanigans Kanye has planned for his birthday?

Katie Karpowicz

News Fri Jun 03 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not applying sunscreen liberally and regularly, we're often inside, looking at cool stuff on our laptops.

  • Heading out to enjoy the weather this weekend? Don't forget June means the start of neighborhood street festival season! Do Division Street Festival is this weekend with loads of music (including a family stage for your little dudes and dudettes). And check out Mayfest in Lincoln Square to celebrate some fine polka music and German heritage (happening in June this year, just to keep you on your toes).
  • If you're looking to sell some used CDs, they're in demand at Permanent Records, where they're using Chicago used CD stock to fill bins at their brand new L.A. outpost! If you're on the West Coast head over to their grand opening this weekend.
  • Working in the Loop has its perks, like the summer Lunchbreak Music Series at Millennium Park. Tuesday-Friday there's always music to enjoy and grass to lounge in, through September.
  • New Cool Kids album When Fish Ride Bicycles is due out in mid-July. Tracklist and cover art at Fake Shore Drive.
  • Speaking of Fake Shore Drive, they get a nod in a NY Times article on hip-hop blogs.
  • Listen to (and download) the new track by Hollywood Holt - "The Show".
  • Kind of loving this Hood Internet mix right now, and you can even buy it and give the guys some gas money: Hooray for Earth's "True Loves." Good cruisin' music.
  • Sounds almost like an April Fool's joke, but Coachella 2012 will feature two weekends of music with identical lineups. Good luck with that one.

Anne Holub

News Fri May 27 2011

DMB Caravan Announces Final Line-Up


The complete line-up has been announced for Dave Matthews Band Caravan, the inaugural event to be held at steel plant-turned-music venue Lakeside July 8th - 10th. Among the previously announced Ray LaMontagne, Kid Cudi and The Flaming Lips, new additions include jam bands Umphrey's McGee and moe. Single day tickets as well as 3-day passes are available to purchase here. Check out the full schedule below.

Friday, July 8
Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R., Ray LaMontagne, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Amos Lee, Drive-By Truckers, Soulive, Soja, Daniel Lanois' Black Dub, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Blind Pilot, Jeff Coffin's Mu'tet, Gary Clark Jr., and Bobby Long

Saturday, July 9
Dave Matthews Band, Kid Cudi, Umphrey's McGee, moe., Yonder Mountain String Band, Cornmeal, Ben Folds, G. Love and Special Sauce, Liz Phair, Vieux Farka Toure, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, TR3 and Bombino, plus a special performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

Sunday, July 10
Dave Matthews Band, David Gray, The Flaming Lips performing Dark Side of the Moon, Emmylou Harris, Michael Franti &Spearhead, Gomez, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, The Jayhawks, Mariachi El Bronx, Alberta Cross, The Wailers plus a special performance by Carter Beauford

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (2)

News Fri May 27 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not hugging a Vet, we're often sharing our music collection with them. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

  • The Sun-Times Interviews Bob Mould (where he also gushes just a bit about the Metro). See Bob DJ on Saturday, May 28th at self-same music club.
  • Facebook reportedly starting music service with Spotify soon.

Anne Holub

News Fri May 20 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not planting ter-maters, we're listening to a lot of music online:

  • Illinois Republican senate minority leader Christine Radogno quoted Wu-Tang on the state senate floor this week.
  • Watch the new Ha Ha Tonka video for "Usual Suspects" from their album Death of a Decade (the boys swing back through town on July 23 at the Wicker Park Festival).
  • Chris in the Live Fix blog has the dish on Pearl Jam's pending 20th anniversary re-release, Labor Day weekend of shows (along with some friends) up at Alpine Valley (pre-sales start Tuesday, 5/24), and Cameron Crowe-directed film.
  • Already thinking about the end of summer? New video posted shows a lot of joy at last year's inaugural North Coast Festival (The fest returns this year Labor Day weekend in Union Park).
  • Want to get out of town for Labor Day weekend? Maybe head to Austin, TX where Kanye (and Stevie Wonder) will headline the Austin City Limits Festival.
  • Do you subscribe to Permanent Records' monthly podcast? You should. Also, hit up the store on Saturday for a Crystal Stilts in-store performance at 1:30pm. Free, all-ages, BYOB. (1914 W. Chicago Ave.) [Read our preview of the show.]

Anne Holub

News Fri May 13 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not debating the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning, we're often rocking out in the basement.

  • Time Out has an interesting interview about the arts in Chicago with soon-to-be Mayor Emanuel over breakfast.
  • This blog series at NPR reminds me of phrases you might hear spoken incredulously by staff at a record store. I sense a meme growing. Might I suggest #overheardinrecordstores?
  • Watch video of Ha Ha Tonka, Blah Blah Blah performing on JBTV last week. Also an interview with Madina Lake's Nathan and Matthew Leone. Bonus video of a 1995 Metro performance by Mike Watt, Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder!
  • Also over at the A.V. Club, catch Low covering Toto's "Africa" in their continuing series UnderCover. (Super glad they're continuing that series, BTW.)
  • You're gonna have to dig deep in your pockets to get one of these limited-edition silk scarves designed by Kanye West. Only 100 of each if the five designs will be made, and they'll run you $364 each.
  • PBS Newshour delves into rap music's history after a historic performance by Common at the White House in honor of National Poetry Month (one which proved, if not controversial, certainly some firey Twitter fodder for a day).

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri May 06 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not raising baby hummingbirds, we're listening to a lot of music, some of which is online:

  • Download the entire new EP by WIN WIN on Epitonic. They play the Empty Bottle on Sunday, 5/8 (FREE w/RSVP) for the latest in the Bottle's Music.Friendly.Dancing series.
  • The Hood Internet mixmasters YG and MillionYoung, and check out a taste of what's going to be a whole album of Hood original productions!
  • Currently Thrill Jockey has 9 (NINE!) mp3s for free download by their artists on their homepage.
  • Thanks to the reader who tipped us to the mariachi version of Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me" in the comments of our Cinco de Mayo post. For your viewing and listening pleasure "Quiero Que Me Quieras" (note: there's some rather funny scantily clad dancing,and green screens).

Anne Holub

News Fri Apr 29 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not picking out a fascinator to wear to the Sox game, we're listening to a lot of wax cylinders.

  • Fake Shore Drive has Mic Terror's latest song "Sexiest Man Alive" (prod. by Million $ Mano).
  • Digging on some new additions to Epitonic's front page including Swim Club and The Shivers. Listen or download for free!
  • Watch the tUnE-yArDs live in Paris video of "Doorstep" (via).

Anne Holub

News Fri Apr 22 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not dodging puddles and base jumpers, we're often inside sipping on a nice mug of rootbeer, reading things online:

  • Quite the week for Kanye news, as his school charity, the Kanye West Foundation, shut down, and he got a lot of press for a very emotional performance at Coachella.
  • RIP Chicago blues guitarist Lacy Gibson who died last week.

Anne Holub

News Tue Apr 12 2011

Netherfriends finish 50 States 50 Songs project


When we first met Chicago nomad Netherfriends at Pitchfork Festival last year, he was working on an epic journey of 50 songs in 50 states. The idea was simple; stop working a day job, give up your lease, tour in a van and play anywhere, and record a song in all 50 states.

Well, countless miles, one broken and abandoned van, and one recovered laptop later, Netherfriends have finished their quest. And are releasing the first collection of recordings from the tour, Angry East Coast, complete with an mini-magazine detailing some of the hijinks and adventures from the tour. Here are some of Shawn/Netherfriends thoughts and reflections on the 50 Songs 50 States tour:

  • Alaska: Played a house show the night of my birthday in a huge log cabin with a spiral staircase in the middle and slept in this crows nest at the top of the cabin looking out over Fairbanks.
  • Mobile, Alabama: Running out of gas in at 3AM caused me to miss recording in the state. Got handed a bag of mushrooms for playing "a decent set.
  • Casper, Wyoming: Playing a steak house with Chad Lorne the tap dancing/beer on the head balancing act. INCREDIBLE! Taking that dude on the road at some point.
  • North Carolina: We got asked to take a picture with a bunch of dudes because they thought we were famous and then causing a handful of teens to do the same. When they asked who we were, we told them that we weren't really allowed to say, but they will find out soon.

Clearly ambitious, Netherfriends will now be heading back to the East Coast to face a new challenge: bike to each show. Bicycle Tour 2011 will start and end in Philadelphia, and I'm looking forward to the reports from Shawn of the many interesting stories and thoughts that I'm sure Netherfriends will encounter on this tour.

Lisa White

News Fri Apr 08 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not wasting spending time watching the Decorah Eagles Cam, we're often rocking out (while watching the Eagles Cam).

  • Can't afford records, or a turntable? Make one for free out of paper that also doubles as an April 2011 calendar.
  • So, Mayor Elect Rahm Emanuel got out and enjoyed (I hope) the Black Joe Lewis show at the Double Door last weekend. WBEZ has some suggestions for his next weekend jaunt.

Anne Holub

News Thu Apr 07 2011

Dave Matthews Band Caravan Brings New Festival to Chicago


In case you were just waiting for another summer music festival to blow into town, Dave Matthews has your answer: The Dave Matthews Band Caravan will be arriving for three days of rock and jams July 8-10. They won't be piling into Grant Park, or even Union Park, however, they'll be hitting the South Side. In the first concert on the site, the Caravan will take place on the yet-to-be-redeveloped "Chicago's Lakeside" community which stands on the old U.S. Steel South Works location, approximately located at 83rd Street and the lakefront, south of Rainbow Beach. [Check out several pieces on the site redevelopment, including a promotional video narrated by Bill Kurtis.]

Tickets (on sale to public on 4/15/11) will only be sold as 3-day passes and start at $195 (plus fees) up to $825 (plus fees) for a VIP package. They're also offering payment plans.

Getting there is another challenge. The site is ten miles south of the Loop. Parking will cost $50 (plus $5 fee) for a 3-day parking pass. The festival's site says they will also be arranging a ride-share program and long-distance shuttles (my guess is that those will likely run from nearby cities like St. Louis, Milwaukee, maybe Detroit). Public transit is going to be interesting as well. The nearest CTA train stop is the Red Line's 87th street station, which is three miles from the site (the fest's site says that shuttles will be in place from the station). Metra stops much closer, but requires at least one transfer when coming from the Loop (perhaps too complicated and not as timely as the CTA trains).

Time will tell whether this new summer festival can sustain itself, especially in a city which already has three wildly successful summer music fests planted, as well as (what remains of) stellar free music offerings by the City of Chicago. Hopes are that this new festival location might infuse the South Side with some much-deserved commerce and national attention.

Announced lineup (which of course includes the Dave Matthews Band itself) follows the jump:

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub / Comments (3)

News Wed Apr 06 2011

North Coast Music Festival Makes Its Return

2_image001.jpgAfter attracting 48,000 music fans during its inaugural year, Chicago's North Coast Music Festival is back for its second year. The festival, which showcases mostly electronica artists, MCs and jam bands, will be held in Union Park again over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2, 3 and 4). Union Park, also home to Chicago's beloved Pitchfork Music Festival, is located in the West Loop area at the corners of Lake St. and Ashland Ave. Last year's festival bill included acts like The Chemical Brothers, Umphrey's McGee, Pretty Lights and Lupe Fiasco.

Tickets for this year's fest go on sale April 16. Expect to see initial line-up announcements that day as well. Tickets will begin at $40 for single-day passes and $95 for three days. Check the festival's website on the 16th for more details on how to purchase tickets.

Katie Karpowicz

News Fri Apr 01 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not root, root, rooting for the home team, we're often rock, rock, rocking online.

  • Big surprise as Weaselfest at Reggies is cancelled.
  • June's Chicago Blues Fest will not only honor legend Robert Johnson, but also venerable Chicago blues label Alligator Records' 40th Anniversary.
  • Can You See The Sunset From The Southside posts it's "Pop Punk Junk, Vol. 16" for your enjoyment of a little blast from the past.
  • Interested in a new Chicago music tour to entertain your visiting relatives? Try out the new "Chicago Rocks: 1980-2002" tour this summer.

Anne Holub

News Fri Mar 25 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not debating the merits of soft-boiled eggs on the breakfast menu, we're reading a lot of things online about local music:

  • Live Music Blog has the skinny on the upcoming Midwest tour dates for The Budos Band, and some tunes to ease you into your afternoon. (They hit Subterranean on 4/21.)

Anne Holub

News Fri Mar 11 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not dredging things in panko crumbs, we're often reading things online about music:

  • A public hearing takes place on 3/22 at City Hall to discuss making Schubas a Chicago Landmark.
  • Download full sets from the Dismemberment Plan's two shows at the Metro on 2/19 and 2/20 from
  • Jim DeRogatis explored the media's varied accounts of 20th Ward Aldermanic candidate Che "Rhymefest" Smith.
  • Greg Kot interviewed Lupe Fiasco on his long and hard struggle to make and finally release his forthcoming new album L.A.S.E.R.S.

Anne Holub

Artist Thu Mar 03 2011

Introducing Skysaw


Besides this, we haven't heard all that much out of Jimmy Chamberlin since his departure from Billy Corgan & Co. back in 2009. After talk of a second Jimmy Chamberlin Complex album became seemingly an empty rumor, any concrete news of a new JC project is certainly welcome. Enter Skysaw, the new band featuring Chamberlin, singer Mike Rein and guitarist Anthony Pirog. So far they've just got one song available to download on their official site, but if you're itching to hear more from one of the greatest drummers of our time, they've got an upcoming album release in May on Dangerbird Records and are heading out on tour this spring.

Stephanie Griffin

News Sat Feb 12 2011 Bringing New Tunes To Your Inbox

Local musician and record label owner Casey Meehan is offering up a nifty new treat for fans of Chicago music. Starting Monday, Feb. 14, Meehan is launching's goal is simple: to highlight noteworthy local musicians playing throughout the city each week.

Meehan vows to scour the weekly live music listings for the nearly 120 (according to Yelp) Chicago venues for acts that stand out or simply shouldn't go unheard. Then he'll compile an .mp3 mixtape filled with tracks from a select number of bands which will be delivered to e-mail subscribers' inboxes on a weekly basis. Listeners are then encouraged to choose a favorite or two from the compilation and check out their live shows that week. "The idea is that we take all those thousands of acts and distill them down to a handful of bands that deserve attention," said Meehan.

As an added bonus new subscribers will instantly receive a "Starter Mixtape" featuring unreleased material from long standing Chicago favorites Oh My God and from up-and-comers JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound.

Katie Karpowicz

News Fri Feb 04 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not enjoying the sound of snowpants, we're often stuck inside during blizzards, finding cool music-related things online:

  • Get something free for Valentine's Day, like this Bloodshot Valentine's Day-themed sampler available for download on Amazon which includes tunes from Ha Ha Tonka, Alejandro Escovedo, the Old 97s, and more.
  • Don't miss out on a chance to see Elvis on the big screen at Sound Opinions' next movie screening, featuring Jailhouse Rock on Tuesday, February 8th at the Music Box. (Oh! Those hips!)

Anne Holub

News Tue Feb 01 2011

Chicago Blizzard Concert Cancellations

Thanks to the snowpocalyptic conditions, a number of Chicago's music venues have announced cancellations for tonight and tomorrow. Here's a rundown of what we know:

Meanwhile, some venues are proudly touting that they're staying open. The Empty Bottle will remain open for business, while Schubas is open tonight for Scott Lucas and the Married Men and is offering free soup to anyone who shows up for Wednesday's DICK WOLF! record release show. And B.L.U.E.S. boasts on Facebook, "15 years from today when your child asks you where were you during the BIG SNOW of "11"... you can say.... "we were listening to the B.L.U.E.S. until the music stopped then..."

Andrew Huff

News Fri Jan 28 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not teaching cats about détente, we're online, listening to a lot of music.

  • Chicagoist points us to what is sure to be a trend in orchestral programs in the coming decade: the Portland Cello Project covers Kanye West.
  • Check out the latest Schubas/Lincoln Hall Friday mixtape from this weekend's residents Tapes 'n Tapes. (We'll have a review of their Lincoln Hall show on Saturday, so keep eyes here for more.)
  • Jazzman Ken Vandermark will play in sweet home Chicago with friends before he kicks off a new European tour with CINC in February with some cozy nights at the Green Mill, February 4th and 5th.

Anne Holub

News Thu Jan 27 2011

Wilco Leaves The Majors

Today in not that shocking: The Trib's Greg Kot tells us that Wilco has abandoned the major life to create a label of its own: dBpm Records. The Chicago group has been known over the years for doing things their own way, as evidenced in great detail in the documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart where the band is dropped by Warner only to have a subsidiary of the major label pick up their now acclaimed breakthrough album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Wilco is currently at work in its famed North Side loft on a sixth studio album.

Michelle Meywes

News Tue Jan 25 2011

Afrika Bambaataa @ The Mid: CANCELLED

DJ Afrika Bambaataa has been forced to cancel this Wednesday's (Jan. 26) show at The Mid due to an illness. Bambaataa is the founder of the Universal Zulu Nation and currently tours dance clubs across the country spreading messages of acceptance and peace. Most notable for his wide scope of influences including hip hop, salsa, reggae, funk, jazz and African, Bambaataa has been hospitalized and, while he is expected to make a full recovery, will be unable to appear at tomorrow night's show.

Plans to reschedule the show will follow once the musician has recovered and is ready to perform again. Ticket refunds are available through The Mid.

Gapers Block wishes Bambaataa the best and a quick return to health.

Katie Karpowicz

News Fri Jan 21 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not typing with socks on our hands to stay warm, we're drinking 31 ounces of coffee in a sitting.

  • CMJ talks to Thrill Jockey artists Future Islands' frontman Samuel T. Herring. (They play the Empty Bottle on 2/19.)
  • Chris Catania explores whether going to fewer shows in 2010 led to better experiences, and how a dip in show attendance affected the music industry.
  • Download some tracks from Chicago psych/Kraut rockers Verma. (They'll play the Hideout on Saturday 1/22 as a part of Psych Fest.)
  • The Hideout's weekly (delicious) Soup & Bread events are getting more musical as of late, with reports of DJ sets from the likes of The Reader's Peter Margasak and music and vats of soup from Numero Group's Michael Slaboch who made Spicy Tortilla Soup last week (recipe). Recently behind the soup pot they've also had Sound Opinions producer Robin Linn, and Bloodshot Record's Rob Miller (with reports he brought over a Venison Chili). Check out who's up next by keeping an eye on the Hideout's calendar every Wednesday this winter, or the Soup & Bread blog.

Anne Holub

News Thu Jan 20 2011

Free Music From Whistler Records

As the weather gets colder, it gets harder to justify leaving the warmth of our homes. However, beginning in February venue/bar/art gallery/record label The Whistler is giving Chicago music fans a reason to get out every Wednesday. As part of the new, and rather self-explanatory, series "50 Free Records" the Whistler will be handing out free CDs to its first 50 patrons on Wednesdays starting on Feb. 2.

The free discs will all be selections from the Whistler Records catalog. In the months to come "50 Free Records" will also feature exclusive releases from The Whistler's favorite local artists and labels.

The Whistler is located at 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave and opens at 5pm on Wednesdays. For more information call The Whistler at 773-227-3530.

Katie Karpowicz / Comments (1)

Blog Fri Jan 07 2011

Friday Quick Links

When we're not exchanging trees for mulch, we're exploring music stuff online:

  • Did you get missed at the New Year's Day Hood Internet show at Lincoln Hall? Someone wants to find you!
  • Local jazz musicians take the shuttering of the Velvet Lounge for an opportunity to open a new music venue nearby. They'll launch on January 21st with the L26 Restaurant and Lounge.
  • If you missed out on Yeasayer's NYE and NYE-E shows at the Metro last week, you can still get a dose of them live by paying "what you want" for their Life At Ancienne Belgique album which was just released digitally.
  • A fan mashup combines beloved muppets and Kanye's latest "Monster." (NSFW or your impressionable kids)
  • The Chicago Reader interviews up and coming Chicago rapper, Rockie Fresh. I dig that tshirt!
  • Need a reason to test out those new speakers? Check out this 12-CD mp3 compilation of female-fronted heavy metal bands from 1976-1989. The title of the project lacks some imagination, Female Fronted Metal, but the music doesn't!

Anne Holub

News Thu Dec 16 2010

Department of Cultural Affairs Hands Off to Chicago Tourism Fund

Jim DeRogatis reported earlier today that the city has laid off twenty more employees of the Department of Cultural Affairs. However, clarifications from Peter Scales at the Office of Budget and Management seem to indicate a less-than-traumatic situation:

"The following functions will be transferred to the Chicago Tourism Fund, effective January 1, 2011: visual/public art; tourism; cultural programs and grants; events, production, and retail; and some finance/administration. Therefore, the 20 city positions that currently perform those functions in the budget have been eliminated, and a commensurate amount of funding is being provided to the CTF so that CTF can hire CTF employees to perform those functions... Because these functions and the commensurate funding are not being eliminated, but rather being transferred to the CTF, there will be no impact on current initiatives, including Downtown Sound, World Music Festival, Summer Dance, etc. In fact, this shifting of personnel should go unnoticed by residents and event participants."

DeRogatis and his sources fear things will not be so rosy, but it remains to be seen. However, Scales offered Gapers Block this amount of reassurance:

"The City cannot influence the hiring of employees by outside agencies -- which is what CTF is. The fund will be doing their own hiring for these positions. However, it is probably safe to say that should any of these folks choose to move from the City payroll to CTF that they would likely be seen as qualified to do the job they have been doing on the City side of the ledger."

The Daily Swarm, quoting Cultural Affair's employee Brian Keigher's Facebook, believes that music-man Michael Orlove should be fine: "Mike Orlove will still be working, but just under a new banner for Cultural Affairs moving forward."

With any luck, size and scope will not be affected - including the World Music Festival, collaborations with the Empty Bottle for Downtown Sound/New Music Mondays, and plenty of other non-musical events provided thus far by Orlove and company.

Dan Morgridge

News Fri Dec 10 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not doing egg nog shots, we're listening to music, while we're doing egg nog shots.

  • Get into the honkytonk Christmas spirit with the always anticipated downloadable Christmas music posted daily by Big Rock Candy Mountain. And it's sounds you won't hear on The Lite, neither.
  • Not too surprising that Kanye's latest is ending up on a lot of folks' "Best of 2010" lists, including Carrie Brownstein's.
  • Someone just give young Spencer Tweedy a record deal already. Here's his version of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" as a song about mathematics. (If you don't know, his papa is Jeff Tweedy, of WIlco fame.)
  • Speaking of Senor Tweedy, the Second City's annual 24-hourfundraiser starting on 12/14 will also host a raffle prize of an at-home concert by same said Tweedy.
  • ...and then a new track "Kiss Kiss Kiss" from Kid Sister. And a nod to her video for "Do! Do! Do!" up on Perez Hilton.
  • Great new dreamy stuff at Coach House Sounds from a Steve Krakow (Plastic Crimewave Sound) side project called Solar Fox.
  • Jim DeRogatis been making a lot of lists at the Mayor's Office of Special Events this week, but probably not the good kind. He wrote a pretty intense piece speculating on how political connections might play a part in the hiring at MOSE, and how hiring in turn influences summer music festivals. He then got a terse email from the Executive Director, Megan McDonald.

Anne Holub

News Fri Dec 10 2010

Chicago-based Venus Zine Ceases Print Publication


Earlier this week we got the sad news that Chicago based magazine Venus Zine will be ceasing print publication, and have also let their editorial staff go. The cause of course is money, as editor-in-chief Jill Russell stated that "Despite our best efforts--and we have done AMAZINGLY well this year on the editorial side, both in print and online--it's become an issue of finances, as always in media."

Some of the Transmission staff also contributed to Venus, so the loss of this publication hit close to home for many of us. The magazine, their home office located in the heart of Lakeview, always gave a nod to our hometown, whether it be showcasing new local acts or using our city and places as the backdrop for photo shoots or a storyline. Hell, we're so smitten with the magazine it even made it onto our gift guide this year before this sad news was announced.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White / Comments (1)

Concert Mon Nov 29 2010

Nein To Neubauten

Sadly, folks who purchased tickets for the upcoming pair of shows by industrial music pioneers Einsturzende Neubauten scheduled for December 8 and 9 will have to go back for a refund. Billions, the company responsible for bringing Neubauten to North America, announced today on their website that, while the visas were procured, it was not done in time to procure the appropriate visits with the overseas embassies and consulates ("a necessary final step in the process."). Because of the time-sensitive nature of the event, the shows will not be rescheduled, and refunds will be offered at the point of sale. (i.e. the Vic and the Metro)

More info here.

Chris Sienko

News Wed Nov 24 2010

Quick Links: Thanksgiving Survival Guide Edition

Want some ways to escape the humdrum old Thanksgiving traditions this year? Here's a few ideas for how Chicago's making the holiday week sound great:

Shopping. Sure there's Black Friday at the mega-stores, or you could help yourself to some local music-oriented deals.

  • Act now to get your hands on some just found Thrill Jockey vinyl released in honor of the shopping holiday. They've got the scoop on what they uncovered in the dark corners of the TJ warehouse. The stock is low, so quantities are limited.
  • Hustle over to Wrigleyville to check out Metro's Black Friday deals on everything from show posters to Metro and Smart Bar emblazoned gear, as well as show tickets and a special $5 bin of bargains. You can also enter a raffle to upgrade your New Years Eve Yeasayer tickets if you buy them on the 26th. [Speaking of, check out our New Years Eve show roundup.] See the Metro's homepage for details on Friday — but note the deals are only good in person at 3730 N. Clark St.
  • Buy some new tunes online from Bloodshot Records during their annual sale. Tip: If you also "like" Bloodshot on Facebook, you'll get the scoop on special deals from Bloodshot Rob's private stash during the sale, which runs through the end of 2010.
  • Head out to grab some special Black Friday releases at Reckless Records (any location). Items will be up for grabs to anyone who makes the trip in (no special orders or holds). All three locations will open at 10am.
  • Hit up Dave's Records for your vinyl-only Black Friday releases. They'll limit you to one of each item per customer until 2pm, then it's a free-for-all. List of releases to be carried will be posted today on Dave's MySpace blog. Dave's opens at 11am on Friday. 2604 N. Clark St.
  • Head north to Evanston's 2nd Hand Tunes for their Black Friday releases (selection TBD, but might include some of this list). 800 Dempster St., Evanston. They're open 10am-8pm.
  • Explore one of the newest Chicago record stores by heading to Saki in Logan Square for their Black Friday deals. No holds, limit 1 per customer for the first week of the sale. 3716 W. Fullerton Ave. Saki is open from 12noon-8pm.
  • Dance the blues away while you shop for "speculative fiction-fantasy books and horror vinyl" at Bucket O Blood Records in Logan Square with a Black Friday dance party and record release celebration for J+J+J at 8:30pm. The store is open from 11am-10pm Friday. 2307 N. Milwaukee Ave.
  • Get some bargains from Numero Group. Their "massive" sale started this past Monday, and will continue with one great deal per day until mid-December.
  • Dance your way to some bargain dance music at Groove Dis in Chicago, in person only at their warehouse. They'll have sales for Black Friday starting at noon-9pm. Deals include 12" singles 3 for $20 and all CDs for $10. Import and domestic are each on sale, but not multi-record/disc sets. 346 N. Justine St., #202. (Near the intersection of Ashland and Lake.)
  • Can't deal with work when you get done with a long weekend of gluttony? Check out Schubas' Cyber Monday deals on merch! [Update: Get $5 off all show posters November 29th in the Schubas online store.]

Shows. For when you need to hear some music that your parents will love, too.

  • Explore the sounds of Mar Caribe at the Hideout on Friday. They might be from Chicago, but they're bringing a melting pot of music with a little southwest flavor dipped in some South American style. Here's a cute lil' animated video for their song "Deux Petits Bateaux". They'll hit the stage just before fellow Chicagoans The Lawrence Peters Outfit and right after Majors Junction starting at 10pm. Tickets are $8 (21+). 1354 W. Wabansia.
  • Need a friendly, dark place to hide? Grab a quick beer and have a breather at the Empty Bottle while enjoying the hard country honkytonk sounds of the Hoyle Brothers for free, starting at 5:30pm on this Friday, November 26th (and most Fridays).
  • Check out Thrill Jockey artists The Sea & Cake at Lincoln Hall on Saturday November 27th for some dreamy experimentation that even your folks will groove on. Tickets still available ($18 adv/$20 door), 21+. 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.
  • Want to get vocal? Take the whole herd to the Music Box Theatre for the Sound of Music Sing-a-long show. Caution: You will get yodels on this ride. Screenings start on Friday, November 26th through Sunday, November 28th. Tickets range from $8-$15. 3733 N. Southport Ave. 773-871-6604.

Anne Holub / Comments (2)

News Fri Nov 19 2010

Friday Quick Links

What's that turkey to guest ratio again? Four pounds per person? That's what I thought.

  • Could you handle 50 shows in 31 days? Details on two big music fans' attempt at a "Rocktober" challenge over in the Live Fix Blog.
  • Need some new music? Maybe follow these ideas to learn about music that's maybe just new to you. (Psst: You're already doing idea #7.)
  • Get some Christmas music without the Fa La La's at Martyr's on 12/13. Shalloboi will play a "somewhat holiday-themed show" with Friends Having Fun (Essex Chanel side project) and the pawns.
  • Member of Pelican's spin-off band Chord gets going with a second album.
  • Great gift for that drummer in the garage band down the block (who you want desperately to be able to afford a new practice space): The Indie Band Survival Guide.
  • How do you like to spend your Thanksgiving? Coolio likes to mix up a nice batch of cranberry relish and chill. Just chill.

Anne Holub

News Fri Nov 12 2010

Friday Quick Links

Just can't get enough pumpkin.

  • Thrill Jockey upped their metal roster with a new band, Liturgy, this week.
  • Alarm Magazine explores half-Chicagoan emerging rap duo Themselves, who themselves, are exploring emerging rap.
  • Some nice synth available on a remix of "Night Game" from The Phantom via Trash Menagerie.
  • Fake Shore Drive points us to this new track "Big Talk" from the Cool Kids which definitely brings the mellow.
  • Kanye had a little problem with his interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, and just, ahem, today, announced he won't be performing on 11/26, as previously planned.
  • WFMU's Beware of the Blog has an especially funky selection of downloads available on their Mining the Audio Motherlode series. Funk Cargo? Yes, please.
  • Enjoy the musical selections from Fang Island in today's Schubas/Lincoln Hall Friday office mixtape. They play Lincoln Hall tonight!

Anne Holub

News Fri Oct 22 2010

Friday Quick Links

The triumphant return of Friday Quick Links is brought to you by jeggins.

  • If you've been, or will go to the Hideout in the near future, expect some changes (for the better) on Wabansia. Tim Tuten explains it all in true Tuten style.

Anne Holub

Concert Fri Sep 17 2010

Charlatans Show 9/18 @ Double Door Postponed

Fans wanting to hear the Charlatans UK this weekend can send their hopes for a speedy recovery to the band's drummer, but it's not going to make them pull into Chicago in time. The group's long-awaited gig at the Double Door has been postponed. The venue has posted a message to showgoing hopefulls that they should hold on to their tickets as they will be honored at a yet-to-be-scheduled future date.

From the band:

Charlatans Drummer Still In Hospital Following Collapse On Stage -
Chicago Gig Postponed

Jon Brookes, the drummer with The Charlatans, is still in hospital in Philadelphia following his collapse on stage on Wednesday night. Brookes has been undergoing tests and is in a comfortable condition but will remain in hospital overnight.

Fans are advised to check the band's website for news on further gigs.

Anne Holub

News Fri Sep 17 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not popping bubble wrap, we're working. Hard.

  • Tegan & Sara perform some ditties for WBEZ's Music Blog. Adorable!
  • Indiana Trivia Battle! Freddie Gibbs vs. Jessica Hopper! Fight!
  • Friday Mixtape from Schubas' awesome Tim Stephans. Kick it.
  • Would you buy another Walkman? Maybe if it had the lyrics of the song you're listening to?

Anne Holub

News Fri Sep 10 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not wrapped up in down comforters, we're internetting like crazy!

  • Getting your craft on at Renegade this weekend? Mucca Pazza and Environmental Encroachment will be rocking for your pleasure, plus loads of DJs from Reckless Records! Plus, records for sale! Bring cash!
  • Jim DeRogatis thinks Daley's departure from mayoral duties may be an opportunity to improve Chicago music.
  • St. Louis is wooing Jeff Tweedy pretty hard. It proclaimed August 29th, 2010 "Jeff Tweedy Day". That's some fancy calligraphy, but back off, Missouri!
  • Listen to Mavis Staples' latest and greatest album, You Are Not Alone, produced and partly written by Tweedy over at NPR. And more importantly, get out to your favorite local record store and pick up a copy when it comes out on 9/14! See her performance on the Tonight Show.
  • The Reader discusses the beautiful sounds of The Dø (and makes everyone scramble to figure out how to post that darn slashed o). They play Schubas Monday night, 9/13.
  • DVD from Metal Haven's final celebration is available to all headbangers who want to reminisce a bit.

Anne Holub

News Fri Sep 03 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not drooling over album tacos, we're wasting even more time online.

  • Coming to our party tonight at the Metro? It's FREE when you bring this flyer with you before 9pm (just $6 with the flyer after 9pm, and $9 at the door just by yourself). My My My, Camera, Reds and Blue and Hudson Branch play for your dancing pleasure!
  • WBEZ's Music blog looks at Rockford's Geronimo!.
  • Time Out praises Syl Johnson -- a Chicago soul powerhouse you really should be listening to.
  • I missed this article the Tribune did on Numero Group and how awesome they are (they're putting out Syl Johnson's forthcoming boxset).
  • Listen to Bloodshot artist Justin Townes Earle's forthcoming new album Harlem River Blues for free for a short time.

Anne Holub

News Fri Aug 27 2010

Friday Quick Links

Summer colds won't keep us down! (Though they do make us spend more time online.)

  • Come party with us! Gapers Block and CHIRP are hosting a night of awesome Chicago bands at the Metro on Friday, 9/3! FREE if you print out this flyer and come before 9pm! Details.
  • Ticketmaster/Live Nation launch a new blog called Ticketology, along with some changes in how they communicate pricing and fees. But has anything really changed?
  • DePaul students looking to save a few dollars can save 15% off food at Lincoln Hall with their ID.
  • Want to see Jim DeRogatis rock? Head to Madison for his punk band Vortis' next gig tonight (8/27).

Anne Holub

Blog Fri Aug 20 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not swatting mosquitoes, we're dabbing on calamine lotion and reading things like this online:

  • Get ready for Hollywood Holt's forthcoming album These Are The Songs That Didn't Make The Album But Are Still Cold As Hell So Shut The F*** Up Vol. 1 with this video of the remix for "Deep Cover" at Fake Shore Drive. Also Holt, did I sit just behind you at the Devo show at the Congress? If so, nice jukin'!
  • Speaking of much-praised up-and-coming Chicago rap talent, the Cool Kids have a new video that's sneaked online for "Gold Links."
  • Itching to hit the open road, and need a soundtrack? Download Big Rock Candy Mountain's Road Hog mix and start your engines.
  • This version of Tom Waits covering James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" reminds me of the outstanding (and ill-appreciated) '80s covers by local Tom Waits' tribute band B1G T1ME.
  • Stream (or even better, purchase) the forthcoming Sufjan Stevens EP All Delighted People on Bandcamp.

Anne Holub

News Wed Aug 18 2010

Help Graveface Records; Enter Their Raffle

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.

Vicky Lim

Preview Fri Aug 13 2010

Pelican Box Set To Be Released. Also, Pelican Beer!

The past decade has been filled with a sweeping progressive change in Chicago music. The drone filled textured sound has now become synonymous with our city has gained popularity and escaped purely experimental status. Pelican can be credited to a large part of the post-rock instrumental metal movement giving not only a name, but also a place to the epic, awe inspired music they make.

The band announced that they will be playing a very special show on October 23rd at Bottom Lounge to celebrate their 10 year anniversary and also are releasing a wooden box set which incorporates the quartet's four full-length releases and three EPs. It has a limited run of 500 copies and will be released by Germany's Viva Hate Records (Yes, the same guys who did the gorgeous Agalloch set) on October 19th . For more information keep checking the band's website

Three Floyds Brewery has joined in on the love fest by announcing a yet to be named Pelican-inspired Beer. The Doppelbock, which like their music is strong and dark will be available in local bars and specialty spirit shops for a limited time.

The Bottom Lounge show opens with A The Life and Times and Swan King. The show is $14. Bottom Lounge is located at 1375 W. Lake st. (312) 666-6775

Aharona Ament

News Fri Aug 13 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not making sweet sweet MIDI tracks on our C64, we're online looking at websites:

  • Stereogum talks about the Sea And Cake's Sam Prekop's forthcoming synth solo album Old Punch Card.
  • Seeing all the cool kids at music festivals makes one Lollpalooza-goer want to have kids, so he can bring his cool kids to music festivals.
  • Did you catch Rhymefest on WTTW's Chicago Tonight? In 2007 he was the first rapper to appear on the program. Love the handslap from Phil Ponce!
  • It's not just about radius clauses, it's about supply and demand. The A.V. Club writes about how those small neighborhood festivals are hurting local venues. But they are a good bet if you want to see Elevation play.
  • Today's Friday Office Mixtape from Schubas' staff features the auditory musings of Production Manager Paul Massaro (DJ PJMASS).
  • Listen to The Game rapping over Sufjan Stevens covering the Castanets' "You Are the Blood" on the free Brake Lights mixtape (via).

Anne Holub

News Fri Aug 06 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not hugging it out, we're checking things out online like these:

  • Weather looks great for Lollapalooza! Did you get your festival questions answered by Time Out: Chicago's Crabby columnist?
  • Get psyched up (or hear what you're missing) by listening to Future Perfect Radio's Lolla stream.
  • Will Arcade Fire reprise their cover of Jay Reatard's "Oh It's Such A Shame" this weekend? You'll have to wait and see.
  • What's a music festival without a day of celebrity kickball? A lucky 50 get to watch on Saturday.
  • Not into Lollapalooza at all? DeRogatis has a great list of ways you can fill your weekend with good ole hometown rock that have nothing to do with the festival.
  • Russian Circles had a terrible van accident last week, which totaled their van and most of their instruments, cost them their tour dates, but luckily spared them any serious injury. Hope the guys are back on tour soon! Donations can be made via PayPal.
  • Behind the scenes of Kanye's "Power" video with director/artist Marco Brambilla (Warning: it's got some naked bodies, so maybe NSFW.) And here's the video itself.
  • Some interns fetch coffee. Others end up on stage with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
  • Need a DJ for your right of passage? Why not book Paul Rudd?

Anne Holub

News Tue Aug 03 2010

Old Town School Celebrates Construction of New Facility

Image courtesy of Old Town School of Folk Music

To celebrate the beginning of construction of the Old Town School of Folk Music's new 27,100-square-foot building, politicians and young musicians will don hard hats and shovels to break ground in a ceremony this Thursday, August 5 at 10am.

The expanded facility, which marks the School's first new construction in its 53-year history and its third facility in Chicago, will become the nation's largest community arts campus and expects to create 250 jobs at the School and in Lincoln Square.

The $18 million investment will also increase the School's ability to accommodate growing class sizes and high demands for expanding multicultural music and dance programs.

Continue reading this entry »

Vicky Lim

News Fri Jul 30 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not rocking out with Prince, we're looking at things like these:

  • Howard Stern doesn't know who Carl Kasell is (pronounced like Castle, btw, Howard). Ass.
  • Reckless Records employee Chris Connelly uses his commute time well. He wrote a novel and two albums while on the "L".
  • Watch Chicago punk scene documentary You Weren't There for free online for just 1 week, courtesy of Pitchfork TV.
  • Get your limited edition Lollapalooza 2010 t-shirt right here. Designed by Chicago artist Cody Hudson (aka Struggle Inc.).
  • Sound Opinions' next night at the movies will take place 8/12 at Lincoln Hall features not only the film "Once" but also a performance by the film's stars, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, of The Swell Season. Tickets are $14. Quite the bargain!
  • Memories of Chicago's WMAQ, once the city's oldest radio station, which went off-air ten years ago, on August 1, 2000.
  • Speaking of Mr. West, I'd nearly forgotten the cuteness of this video for Kid Sister's song "Pro Nails" (in which Kanye makes an appearance). I think she rocks the brunette look much fiercer now, by the way.
  • Wolf Parade's Hadji Bakara is going back to college for more learnin' at U of C! Here's hoping the events committee finds him in time for Summer Breeze.
  • Does your favorite bar jukebox have a Twitter feed? Well, the one at Simon's Tavern in Andersonville does. Make suggestions by following @simonsjukebox.
  • We're not endorsing pirating anything, but there's some folks out there who are getting mighty DIY with making copies of vinyl records.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri Jul 23 2010

Friday Quick Links

It's not all about the music with us. Sometimes we read books...about music.

  • Also on your radar should be our free meet-up at the Art Institute Museum's Modern Wing on Thursday, July 29th after work for a special tour of their Sound & Vision exhibit. Insider's tip: enter at the Modern Wing entrance to avoid the long lines for free admission at the Michigan Ave. doors! RSVP on Facebook if you're fancy!
  • The Old Town is getting a little bigger. Plans for expansion across the street from its Lincoln Square location.
  • Does a hip-hop show automatically lead to overreaction from security -- tales from recent Kid Sister and Salt n' Pepa shows have online conversations flowing.
  • Win a 1-year subscription to Venus!
  • You have until tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm to get your raffle tickets for a chance at tickets to the Smashing Pumpkins benefit show at the Metro on Tuesday, 7/27. Help raise funds for severely injured musician Matthew Leone (more).
  • Also, if you haven't checked out WBEZ's new Music section, you can subscribe to their Thursday live music features to get easy reminders via RSS. This week's premiere "L Session" entry features an acoustic performance from St. Vincent.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jul 16 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not manning our table at the CHIRP record fair at the Pitchfork Music Festival (come on by and say howdy!) we're looking at things like this online:

  • Or, amp yourself up with a Pitchfork playlist from RCRD LBL.
  • BTW, tickets are still available for Saturday's Lilith Fair stop in Chicago at Northerly Island. In case you were wondering. Or wagering.
  • What unites the U.S. Congress? Voting on naming a Wrigleyville post office for Steve Goodman. (It passed both the House an Senate with unanimous Yea votes.) Way to be.
  • Least surprising is that there is and has been Chicago-style politics at play for the Lollapalooza beer vending contracts.
  • Spinner also has a reader-supplied Q&A with OK GO on their latest video for "End Love."
  • The latest Gossip Wolf column at the Reader's website has a sweet mix from Logan Square DJ Brenmar (who's also a member of These Are Powers).
  • NPR talks about how Live Nation is feeling the pinch from low ticket sales this summer.
  • Bloodshot's smoovest artist Andre Williams shows off his South Side digs.
  • Venus reviews Carney's appearance at the Taste.
  • No Age, who'll hit Millennium Park on Sept. 13th (perhaps with Cap'n Jazz), is designing a line of vegan-friendly shoes, along with their new album.
  • Download some free Devo off their new album.
  • NPR Music's summer music preview has a nice sampling of tunes from all over, and a friendly dose of radio giggles.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jul 09 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not mopping our collective brows, we're inside the air conditioner, where it's coolest, looking at things online:

  • Big Rock Candy Mountain makes up for lost time in praising Chicago music by offering up a swinging mix for your enjoyment.
  • Get The Hood Internet's latest free mixtape by signing up with Anatomy Magazine.
  • More free mix fun from Creamteam with Summerfun from Hard Mix.
  • First annual Great Midwest Ukefest is coming up on August 22nd right here in Chicago at Chief O'Neill's. Details on Facebook.
  • Can You See the Sunset from the Southside really got me liking Stegosaur.
  • Fake Shore Drive posts an aptly timed behind-the-scenes video of Mikey Rocks (Cool Kids) recording a rap song "The Choice is Yours" to lure LeBron James to Chicago. Well, we know how that worked out now.
  • Fake Shore Drive also posts a rumored track list for the upcoming Kanye West album due out this fall.
  • Chicagoist has Lilith Fair on the "deathwatch" after they've cancelled 10 dates nationally and headliner Kelly Clarkson pulled out of the Chicago stop of the resurrected tour.
  • A hilariously accurate review of Rush at Charter One Pavilion.
  • New Hit It or Quit It podcast is posted over at Vocalo with much discussion about Prince and all things he deems worthy.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jul 02 2010

Friday Quick Links

While fireworks explode in the alley, we're reading things online:

  • Kid Sister's "Big N' Bad" video hasn't come out yet, but the behind-the-scenes video has.
  • If you really need a new Kid Sister video, check her live performance in NYC at Webster Hall singing "Do Do Do."
  • Andrew Bird, a longtime supporter of Rock for Kids (an organization which provides music education to Chicago kids who can't get it anywhere else) has announced the Andrew Bird Rock for Kids Scholarship to provide one year of music instruction to a worthy student enrolled at ChiArts (Chicago High School for the Arts). Learn more and donate.
  • Pitchfork is playing blog roundup with its latest venture Altered Zones, to launch mid-July. It'll be an international music blog collective but no Chicago blogs on that bill (so far).
  • Chicago blogger Chris Catania of the Live Fix takes a long look at why concertgoers riot after a scheduled Drake show in NYC turned very bad very quickly when the crowd quickly surpassed expectations.
  • Need to get through the afternoon with a smile? Keep an eye out for Schubas' weekly Friday playlists selections you can stream from work, er...your own computer. Here's last week's gem from Digital Media Director Brendan Fitzpatrick.
  • The Reader previewed Chicago sound object artist and musician Nick Butcher's show at the Bottle.
  • Bloodshot artist Robbie Fulks covers Michael Jackson with his album Happy.
  • Free double EP by Chicago band Suns.
  • More analysis of the investigation of Lollapalooza's "radius clause" by Jim DeRogatis.
  • Bonus play: What future-famous lead singer originally fronted '70s rock band Montrose? (Be the first to answer this bit o' trivia in the comments below and we'll send you a Transmission sticker.)

Anne Holub / Comments (2)

News Fri Jun 25 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're fighting the Triple H (no, not that Triple H, we're talking hazy, hot, and humid), we're inside, sitting in front of our computer, looking at things on the internet.

  • Chicago Public Schools teacher Joe Becker is also a rap artist. He uses his music to reach his students at Rachel Carson School on the South Side. (Unfortunately, his contract was not renewed this year.)
  • The Onion's A.V. Club features Chicago band Rise Against in their "Undercover" project doing their best Nirvana impression.
  • Tweedy knows how to give the audience what they want. Here he is singing/reciting "Single Ladies" (sans leotard).
  • Speaking of, Lolla's radius clause policy also recently caught the eye of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
  • File under "Forgot to post earlier" but here's some video of the Dutchess & the Duke performing from the bar at the Empty Bottle earlier this month. (Actual singing starts around 1:30 in.)
  • It's like Frankenstein meets the Wolfman, but here's John Hodgman, Neil Gaiman and OK GO's Damien Kulash singing "So Happy Together" in St. Paul recently.
  • Gold star time. Name all the members of the muppets' band, which features Animal on drums (without using the Google!). Bonus for the full name of the band. Answers in the comments, please. Extra bonus stars for naming which instruments they each play.

Anne Holub

News Thu Jun 24 2010

R.I.P. - Fred Anderson

Transmission wishes to extend its sympathies and condolences to the family of Fred Anderson, who died today at age 81.

Anderson, a founding member of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), owner and operator of the South-side Chicago jazz club the Velvet Lounge, and a thoroughly revered and respected tenor saxophonist and bandleader. Anderson, by all accounts, was the proverbial guy about whom no one had a bad word to say, a respected pillar of the Chicago free jazz scene who acted as a mentor for many people now considered legends in their own right, including Douglas Ewart, Hamid Drake, and George Lewis, all of whom came through his ensembles.

Today's Sun-Times has an obituary for Mr. Anderson, while the Sun-Times' Jazz critic Howard Reich posted an article earlier this week about the possible fate of the Velvet Lounge. One thing everyone agrees on is that the only way to save the Velvet Lounge is to keep patronizing the Velvet Lounge. Take a page from our early Chicago forebears: vote early and often.


Chris Sienko

Lollapalooza Tue Jun 22 2010

Lolla Aftershows Announced

Phoenix, The Black Keys, The National, head is spinning. These are just a few of the artists announced today who will be playing those official Lollapalooza aftershows. What better way to keep the party going straight from the festival grounds late into the night?

Our friends at Do312 are the source for all things Lolla-aftershow, and their kickoff party is tonight at Debonair (1575 N Milwaukee). Dont forget to RSVP for your chance to win Lollapalooza tickets.

Tickets for all the aftershows go on sale this Friday at 10am. See the full list after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

News Fri Jun 18 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not streaming Ren & Stimpy episodes on our laptops, we're thinking about the jingle for LOG (from Blammo), and other great music.

  • Win front-row seats to Pavement's Millennium Park show (9/13) if you donate $35 or more to CHIRP by 10am Saturday, 6/19. [Tickets for the show go on sale Saturday at 11am.]
  • Win tickets to see Wilco in South Bend, IN on July 30th, courtesy of Jam.
  • Columbia College of Chicago professor Jeff Schiff was on NPR's The Story this week talking about his Deadhead experiences.
  • Kot has his picks on what shows you simply can't miss this summer.
  • WBEZ's Steve Edwards had a video interview with word-lover Rhymefest. "We're the conscience of hip-hip....Chicago artists can't help but tell you about our pain."
  • Speaking of radio shows in video clips, catch Bloodshot artists the Deadstring Brothers on Live on KXEP.
  • Remember when those Lady Gaga performances at the Chicago Theater had to be moved because the stage was too small for her production? Well, Lolla won't be a problem for Gaga. (via)
  • In other summer festival tidbits, Threadless held a contest for a Lilith Fair t-shirt design. The winning shirt is, well, a little girly.
  • Missed Bonnaroo? Listen to concert recordings at NPR Music.
  • MTV's new "Twitter Jockey" will earn $100K/year. Jaw officially dropped.

Anne Holub

DJ / Dance Thu Jun 17 2010

Spain's Sónar Festival comes to Chicago

logo2010.jpgRumors had abounded on whether or not Sónar was establishing a stateside version of their festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art at all, let alone which US city would play host to the now 16-year-old institution. An annual electronic music festival set in Barcelona, Sónar is well known for bringing together some incredible international talent as well as featuring Spanish artists and musicians for three days of exhibits, conferences, fairs and music, called Sonar By Day. Sonar By Night is a showcase of DJs and electronic music in a location outside of Barcelona and many of the sets are recorded and available online.

Well, it seems Sónar chose Chicago as its American home, and work is underway with the the city's own Department of Cultural Affairs to get the stage set for the weekend of September 9 through the 11th. No venues or acts are confirmed yet, and details are a little far off. What is sure is that it seems Sónar might make a permanent home here and with that, be able to share the spotlight with our little enclave of electronic music history.

Mica Alaniz

Video Thu Jun 17 2010

Dastardly at Lincoln Hall 6/19; Live Video

Chicago-based Americana band Dastardly have released a live performance video for their song, "Villain." The video can be viewed below. Dastardly play Lincoln Hall (2424 N Lincoln) this Saturday, June 19 with Aktar Aktar and Automata. The show is at 10pm, $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

Brian Leli

News Fri Jun 11 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not fainting during hockey games, we're reading things online:

  • Getting excited for the World Cup? (Check out our Tailgate section for previews of the matchups.) One local band, Manwomanchild, has released a single in honor of the soccer action in South Africa. They're rooting for the Chilean team with "Chile La Roja."
  • More great Chicago psychedelic rock? Yes, says Deli Chicago, from Secret Colours.
  • An interview with Bloodshot R&B artist Andre Williams before he plays Camp Bacon in Ann Arbor, MI next week. (mmm, bacon)
  • At Chicagoist, a downloadable mp3 and much excitement for Bad Veins (playing Saturday, 6/12 at HOB).
  • This past week Chicago Public Radio also interviewed the fine folks at Rock for Kids who are bringing music education to Chicago's at-risk youth.
  • More from the Nels Cline Singers with "Floored" as the "Song of the Day" on NPR's Music site this week.
  • Isn't this interesting: the same PR consultant who worked for the RIAA all those years is now working for BP. Maybe the Gulf will soon be plastered with tiny black advisory stickers.
  • RIP Marvin Isley. May your bass be especially funky in heaven.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jun 04 2010

Friday Quick Links

Too hot to handle, too cold to hold.

  • Speaking of Lolla, you can win 3-day passes at this First Fridays event tonight at the MCA featuring Mucca Pazza.
  • Ha Ha Tonka performs in a shower at Reggie's Rock Club.
  • Jessica Hopper at The Reader talks to Rhymefest about all things Chicago including what qualifies as the "East Side" (reprazent).
  • In case you missed Kanye West's new leaked single "Power," Fake Shore Drive also has the really cool album art.
  • Interesting afternoon activity once the weather starts to really warm up, check out the "Blues With a Feeling" photo exhibit.
  • I've been neglecting Big Rock Candy Mountain in my weekly web perusals. (Shame on me.) There's some good stuff from Ten Foot Polecats on there now.
  • CYSTSFTS has the line on some sweet honkytonk from Arliss Nancy, including a link to download the EP for free.
  • In his new Vocalo blog, Jim DeRogatis weighs in on the merits of Sleigh Bells and the moral highground concerning Tipper and Al Gore's pending divorce.
  • P.S. if you can correctly guess the song and artist from whence my opening line comes from without using Google or the internets, you get a gold star.

Anne Holub / Comments (3)

Concert Thu Jun 03 2010

Caribou Crossing


Want to see Canada's Caribou in a more intimate setting before he lights up the sky from Millennium Park in July? Our friends at Daytrotter are hosting Caribou — along with Quad Citians Datagun and Centaur Noir — for an all ages show at the Rock Island Brewing Company this Saturday, June 5.

Caribou is coming all the way from Dundas, Ontario. A tiny-fraction-of-the-way-road-trip from Chicago will complete the circle. (And while in town, might I suggest sampling the deliciously delicious Great River Brewery, Far Out Espresso Stout?)

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Rock Island brewing Company is located at 1815 2nd Ave., Rock Island, IL. 309-793-1999.

Brian Leli

News Wed Jun 02 2010

North Coast Music Fest Announces Lineup


Chicago has no shortage of summer music festivals, but that doesn't make the inaugural North Coast Music Festival any less welcome. With a lineup including The Chemical Brothers, Moby, Disco Biscuits, Cold War Kids and Flying Lotus, the festival offers an alternative for those in the Perry's Stage crowd at Lolla who don't want to pay high ticket prices to be tucked in a corner all weekend, and they're bringing along a few indie rock kids and jam band friends for the ride. At a very reasonable $35 per day ticket price, it'd be hard to find a better way to round out the summer. The festival takes place September 3rd - 5th at Union Park, and if you hurry, you'll be able to snag some discount 3-day $65 passes, available until June 13th.

Check below for the full lineup (so far):

Continue reading this entry »

Stephanie Griffin

News Fri May 28 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not dropping window A/C units off the second floor, we're inside, in the dark, reading things online.

  • Wow, thanks to everyone who came out to our party! We have photos so you can relive the night (or just plain ole remember it), as does Time Out.
  • A phenomenon of decorating bicycle spokes to create "scraper bikes" is rolling through Oakland, CA. I'm enjoying the musical wing of the movement. (And waiting to see Chicago's spin on it.)
  • Bono got emergency back surgery, which doesn't lend itself to a North American tour. All North American dates (including U2's July 6th Chicago show) have been postponed, to be rescheduled at a later date.
  • 30db (a side project of Umphrey's McGee and Yonder Mountain String Band members with Chicago connections) covers Wilco's song "Handshake Drugs."
  • One thing I didn't expect to find on Lincoln Hall's calendar: hockey. (Watch the Stanley Cup games in the music room next week.)

Anne Holub

News Fri May 21 2010

Friday Quick Links


When we're not digging in the dirt, we're reading things online:
  • Not a friendly reminder of their recent Chicago show, the band Torche had their van broken into after their Friday night Congress Theater performance supporting Coheed and Cambria. (via)
  • Are you a club promoter? Are you in a band? I hope this isn't a conversation you have often, or, ever. Epic. (via)
  • Venus is putting a boy on the cover! A boy!
  • Drummers and music lovers of all sorts can test their knowledge by playing Name That Drum Fill.
  • Like your music visual? Think what Girl Talk did wasn't all that hard? Check out this visualization of all the samples in Feed the Animals as they happen.

Anne Holub

Concert Mon May 17 2010

The Dead Weather "Secret" Free Show

Photo via The Dead Weather's official site.

You're probably gonna want to clear your schedule Saturday night - Kin, some sort of new cell phone/camera/text device, is bringing a certain rock supergroup featuring Jack White and Alison Mosshart to town, for free. Here's the catch: They're not letting us know where the concert is going to take place until a few hours before the performance. What we do know is The Dead Weather will be playing somewhere within city limits on the night of May 22nd, and the location of said concert will be announced on Kin's Facebook event page. Prepare to spend an entire Saturday afternoon refreshing Facebook, and I'll see you there.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

News Fri May 14 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not buying bootleg Strongbad email DVDs on Maxwell Street, we're often online reading things:

  • Bloodshot's Rob Miller (and Jon Langford) are having adventures in the land down under.
  • Logan Square-ites (and other music lovers) are you psyched for your new record store, saki?
  • The A.V. Club's Undercover project this week features Ben Folds covering Elliott Smith's "Say Yes." (Sounds almost peppy on his piano.)
  • A Google map for all the locations listed in Mountain Goats songs. Quite a few Chicago hits, but we're a minority.
  • An interview with Brian Mazzaferri of I Fight Dragons over at Deli Chicago.
  • Download a new mix by Chicago DJ Matt Roan at Chicagoist.
  • DeRogatis' former editor at the Sun-Times Thomas Connor takes over the job of pop music critic.
  • Hot Biscuits thinks Addison Groove is a fan of Chicago's juke scene. You be the judge.
  • N.W.A. was just kidding with all that 40 business. Some serious posse research by the L.A. Weekly.

Anne Holub

News Wed May 12 2010

Random News: North Coast Music Festival & Sleep

With a full summer of music lining up nicely, September may seem pretty far in the future. But it's not too far to start thinking about the newest Chicago music festival to take place at Union Park. Chicago heavyweight promoters Cold Grums, Kingtello, React and Silver Wrapper are collaborating for the North Coast Music Festival set for Labor Day weekend. Details are not abundant at this point, but the rich history of its braintrust should be plenty to drum up pleasant expectations. (And a likely rumor or two never hurts hype.)

In other completely speculative news, the legendary stoner metal band Sleep has confirmed a date at New York's All Tomorrow's Parties where they'll play their classic Holy Mountain. Like all news of reunions, the rumor mill has lit up and Chicago is noted as a probable stop on an upcoming tour. Sleep may now be cited just as much for the bands it spawned (High on Fire, Om) as for the music it made during its initial run through the 1990s, but there is no denying its extraordinary influence on stoner and doom metal over the last decade.

James Ziegenfus

News Fri May 07 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not paving the way for our new space ant overlords (Hail Ants!), we're often reading about music in Chicago online.

  • Remember all those great music classes you had in school? Many would go without if not for Rock for Kids' innovative music programs in Chicago. Vote every day for Rock for Kids to get a $50K grant from Pepsi to help them continue their awesome work.
  • How do you get tweens interested in baseball? Add some Bieber (squee!). [Suggested Cubs topper: Lady GaGa singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame."]
  • Speaking of Lady GaGa, don't say that NPR doesn't have a funny bone. Warning: if you prefer to not know what Rogert Siegel or Ari Shapiro look like, don't watch this video.
  • If you've lost your cat (while attending a concert?) look no further than the Metro. Reunited and it feels so good.
  • Tim Stephans of Schubas and Lincoln Hall took his time crafting his thoughts on SXSW 2010. Check out this entertaining blog post (and video!) which includes, puppies, kabab food trucks and duct tape.
  • The Hood Internet has a Tumblr now.

Anne Holub

News Tue May 04 2010

The Dead Weather Is Coming


The Dead Weather yesterday announced a string of summer tour dates, including a July 30 date at the Congress Theater. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, May 8. The Dead Weather's new album, Sea of Cowards, comes out next Tuesday, May 11. Video of the band performing the album in its entirety can be viewed on their MySpace page. A full list of tour dates, after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Brian Leli

News Fri Apr 30 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not running down hills covered in flowers, we're inside, in the dark, looking at our computers.

  • Hope to see you at our April Get-Together tonight at Beauty Bar! Transmission staffers Lisa White and Michelle Meywes will be spinning in the DJ booth from 7-10pm. Details, RSVP.
  • And wow, what a media sweep this week for Bloodshot artists! WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight program sat down with Chicago band The Blacks. And you can listen to The Bottle Rockets on NPR's Mountain Stage program. Also, catch Justin Townes Earle on this week's Prairie Home Companion, as well as in the upcoming episode of HBO's Treme (alongside his dad, Steve Earle). Dang, y'all.
  • Nice piece on the Uptown Theatre and one man who helps tend the ghosts.
  • Chicagoist has an adorable video of Kid Sister's cover of Extreme's "More Than Words." If only my high school talent show had been like this, instead of, well, more like Extreme's original (which follows).
  • Loud Loop Press has the word on some video shot of Thom Yorke performing "Black Swan" at the Aragon for Atoms for Peace.
  • CYSTSFTS takes a second listen to Friends of Friends debut album Deep Search and finds it agrees with him.
  • Love JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound's soulfull Wilco cover "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart"? We sure do! Here's a video to go with. (And keep an eye on this space for more about our love for this band.)
  • Hot Biscuits posted their second downloadable mix "Palette Two."

Anne Holub

News Thu Apr 29 2010

Edible Audible Picnic Returns This Summer

I was starting to think that city cutbacks were going to stretch all the way into summer music programming at Millennium Park, but luckily the schedule for this season's Edible Audible Picnic arrived in our inbox today and here we share it with you.

As you probably guessed by the name, Edible Audible Picnic is a music series that takes place at, you guessed it, lunchtime at Pritzker Pavilion. Every Monday afternoon beginning on June 7th, the "polyrhythmic music series" will present bands and DJ's spanning from around the world to right here from Chicago including Green Velvet, The Cool Kids and Orchard Lounge. It's like a party instead of work. You can step away from your computer for an hour a week for that, right?

All concerts begin at noon. See the full schedule after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

News Fri Apr 23 2010

Friday Quick Links

Sometimes, we like to keep it classy. Other times it's RC Cola and moon pies.

  • Speaking of, check out Thrill Jockey artists Tunng's mixtape for Magnet magazine.
  • Kind of random, but look at the music example in this week's blog post from Facebook about recent changes. (Hint: Kick, push.) Niiiice.
  • Was last week's Phish concert in 3-D as "phantastic" as seeing them live? Either way includes glow stick attacks!
  • Submit your fan photos and videos of Bloodshot artists Ha Ha Tonka for an upcoming documentary about the band. (High quality only. No cell phone pics.)
  • Hear the Hood Internet remix of Skybox's "In a Dream" at Hypemachine.
  • If you have an iPhone this may affect your future concert ticket buying. If you don't, it won't....I hope.
  • If you're already into buying anything Apple puts out there, try two iPads (microphone sold separately).

Anne Holub

News Thu Apr 22 2010

Daytrotter Presents: Barnstormer III


The Barnstormer III tour — presented by Rock Island's Daytrotter and featuring Delta Spirit, Ra Ra Riot, Nathaniel Rateliff, Pearly Gate Music and Free Energy — kicks off next Tuesday 4/27 in West Libertyville, IA. The tour makes its Illinois debut on Friday 4/30 in Monticello, but Chicagoans can take advantage of a shorter trek and an early start to the weekend in Lake Geneva on 4/29.

Camping is available at four of the tours five stops (sorry Milwaukee). Advance tickets are available now and about to be capped for the Monticello date. So head over to to purchase yours now. They're a bargain at $10 and include lossless downloads from Barnstormer 2009 performances. And if the cheap tickets and exclusive downloads weren't already enough, half the price of admission will go to someone in need:

Each night, half of every paid admission will go to someone who needs help. Maybe it's someone you know. We are choosing one individual or family — based on your nominations — to receive some help from the Barnstormer. So, write with a story of someone who's fallen on hard times and could use some assistance. We'll take the best five stories and do what we can to make things a bit better.

Full tour schedule, links to purchase advance tickets and Daytrotter sessions from all the artists after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Brian Leli

News Tue Apr 20 2010

Volcanic Ash Killing Live Music

We've just learned that Melissa Auf der Maur's appearance at the Beat Kitchen this Saturday has been canceled as she and the band struggle to find flights into the States. This is in addition to the already canceled Two Door Cinema Club show tonight at Schubas and the entire Mary Onettes tour. Spoiler alert: I'm pretty sure this volcanic ash is actually the smoke monster from LOST. The good news is Melissa's Venus Zine party and movie screening Friday night (details here) might still happen. We'll update this post with news and soon as we hear anything definite.

Stephanie Griffin

News Fri Apr 16 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not crate diving, we're listening to records. When we're not doing that, we're often online looking at things like this:

  • Sadly, long-time jazz and big band music venue Green Dolphin Street has suspended some live music and the restaurant's service for the time being. (We're trying to learn more.)
  • The Deli Chicago talks about Thrill Jockey artists Lazer Crystal. (More on Lazer Crystal, including two downloadable tracks, at Stereogum.)

Anne Holub

News Fri Apr 09 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not selling five copies of The Three EP's by the Beta Band, we're looking at these things on the internet:

  • We've got some other awesome upcoming musical events in Chicago along the right-hand side of the page as well as in Slowdown. They include a free '60s themed DJ set called "23 Skiddo" tonight at the Whistler, the Creative Chicago Expo at the Cultural Center on Saturday, and Scotland Yard Gospel Choir's Elia Einhorn's DJ set "Glascow vs. Manchester" at Lucky Number also on Saturday.
  • Saving Country Music blog has a nice appreciation for Bloodshot Records' newest artist Whitey Morgan & the 78's. "The fact that Bloodshot is looking for new talent, and then is able to find it means there's still hope and upward potential for REAL country music."
  • The Deli Chicago has the skinny on the upcoming Maps & Atlases album Perch Patchwork.
  • WFMU's Beware of the Blog has more .mp3s for your downloading pleasure including great stuff from Max Roach, reggae from Pat Kelly and lovely stuff from Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte.
  • Loud Loop Press gives more praise to burgeoning Chicago "zany space rockers" The Earth Program.
  • Sadly, Numero Group announced recently the first of its catalog items that's going out of print. Get your copy of all 33 tracks of influential power pop on Yellow Pills: Prefill now, or go without forever.
  • Happier news for Numero Group is this project (that I somehow either missed or forgot about) announced this winter featuring the History of Chicago Music (1908-1980) curated by historian Tim Samuelson.

Anne Holub

News Wed Apr 07 2010

SYGC Announce Return to the Stage

sygc_party.jpgWe've sent a lot of love, good thoughts and even money towards the members of The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir after their horrific van accident last fall, and now we have some great news to report--the group has announced their return to the stage! On Saturday, June 19th you can see them make their triumphant comeback at Subterranean (2011 W. North Ave.), which will no doubt be a celebration of life, friends and music. Tickets go on sale this Saturday and will be $10 a pop.

In other good news for the SYGC crew, "Topsy Turvy," a song from their first record, just appeared in an episode of Gossip Girls, plus they were recently featured on the cover of the Trib's Arts section for a story about the hot topic of health care and their own experience regarding the accident.

Michelle Meywes

News Mon Apr 05 2010

Hey Champ Announces Debut Album

heychamp_tennis.jpgHometown trio (by way of Rockford) Hey Champ has some big news to announce: After signing with new Seattle based label Townie Records, a release date of July 13th has (finally) been set for their debut album, Star.

Ever since we first saw the video for "Cold Dust Girl" we were hooked. The hit single could be heard everywhere last year, arguably becoming the song of summer, even landing them a spot on Lollapalooza's roster. We've gotten a taste of what's to come on the album at live shows here and there, which has made July 13th a day we will eagerly await. For your very own taste, visit their website for a free download.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

News Fri Apr 02 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not *achoo* we're *achoo*! Here's some stuff you won't want to sniff at.

  • Deli Chicago has the scoop on a soon-to-be-released free EP available from Stanley Ross. (Who's not the long lost son of Bob Ross.)
  • Cream Team serves up Pop Parfait with some recently released B-sides.
  • Alarm magazine's albums of the week include something solo from Pixies' frontman Frank Black (now back to his original stage name Black Francis) and "Ethio-jazz" from Mulatu Astatke among other gems.
  • Jim DeRogatis posts an enlightening graphic detailing Ticketmaster/Live Nation ticket price drama.
  • Freaky video animation rules in this latest from Chicago's Oh My God on Loud Loop Press.

(going back outside now)

Anne Holub

News Fri Mar 26 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not kicking ass and taking names, we're sitting quietly in front of a computer, looking at things like this:

  • Time Out also notes the changes present in the just-opened Beauty Bar (in the former Sonotheque space on Chicago Ave.). There's certainly a lot more glitter.
  • Have you been seeing the CHIRP Record Fair posters in your favorite local record shops and businesses? They're pretty sweet, and produced by Steve Walters over at Screwball Press (bit fan, here). If you spy one, take a photo and send it to micha(at)chirpradio(dot)org. They'll love you for it. And save your pennies, the fair takes place at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union hall on April 10-11, 2010.
  • In fact, the CHIRP Record Fair will be a great warm-up for Record Store Day on April 17th! We're compiling our lists of events and releases. Send any RSD gossip to transmission (at) gapersblock (dot) com.
  • It's been a pretty great couple of weeks for White Mystery. Their self-titled debut album ended up at the very top of CHIRP's CMJ list.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri Mar 19 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not soaking up sunbeams (in Chicago!) we're inside, in a dark room, getting a sunburn from our computer monitor while we look at this stuff online:

  • Speaking of WBEZ, Robert Feder explores the issue of gender disparity in morning drive-time radio DJs.
  • NBC Chicago has a photo stream of their picks for Chicago's Top DJs which includes DJ Matt Roan and Million Dollar Mano.
  • Grindcore from Plague Bringer on Record Store Day at Reckless' downtown store? Oh yes. The Reader has the tidbit here and a commenter corrects the info. about the purported 7" with the clarification that it will be a "limited edition CD-single box set," instead.
  • Ted Leo & the Pharmacists covered "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" in The Onion's A.V. Club's tiny (and awesomely decorated), round room. The 25-song "Undercover" project just started, and they'll post a new video each Tuesday. Squee!
  • Steve Goodman could be immortalized in the name of a Wrigleyville Post Office.
  • The Moneypenny DJs (with loads of Chicago friends) put out a free mix tape before heading to SXSW this week. Good stuff remixed from Kid Sister, Hollywood Holt, Flosstradamus and M.I.A. featuring Mic Terror (heyoo).
  • In case you hadn't heard, Big Star's Alex Chilton died this week (apparently from a heart attack while mowing the lawn at his home), just days before he was supposed to perform at SXSW. He was 59. Many remembrances online.

Anne Holub

News Tue Mar 16 2010

Awesome Downtown Sound Line-up Revealed

Pritzker 07.JPGWe had already heard about She & Him being one of the artists to play one night of the Downtown Sound Series this summer, and now DeRogatis has the rest of the kick-ass line-up to look forward to.

Downtown Sound is a free concert series offered by the city that takes place on Monday nights over the summer in Millennium Park. And this year, with the likes of The Besnard Lakes, The Thermals, Wilco's Nels Cline and hometown girl Kid Sister (and that's just a taste) scheduled to appear, there's not a Monday night that you're not going to want to be on the Pritzker Pavillion lawn.

The Downtown Sound Music Series begins May 24. See the full schedule after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

News Fri Mar 12 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not losing the office Oscar pool, we're hunched over our laptop, ruining our posture looking at these things:

  • Download Clash cover album The Sandanista Project for free (for a limited time) featuring Jon Langford, Sally Timms, more. (via)
  • Last week's "Honkeytonk Friday" selection at Songs:Illinois was Whitey Morgan and the 78s (the only non Bloodshot band selected to play both of their parties at SXSW next week). Keep an eye on Transmission for some fun vicarious SXSWmusic fun.
  • Classic rock meets metal at the apex of Bible of the Devil (straight outta Chicago). They play Quenchers, Saturday 3/13.
  • Naked Raygun goes back into the studio (and then back out on tour).
  • In Worst Week Ever news, EMI lost both a court case to Pink Floyd and the privilege of representing local-boys-made-good OK GO (the boys started their own label).
  • Pete Margesak at The Reader has the line on the reissue of Chicago's own Green's 1986 self-titled album.
  • WBEZ's 848 program delved into the dark underbelly of rockabilly this week.
  • If you like Kraftwerk (with vocals by Eve), you'll probably like Teddybears (via).

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri Mar 05 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not trying to find the right cable to charge yet another portable electronic device, we're glued to our screens checking out things like these:

  • Thrill Jockey Records' 2nd 12" subscription series is now taking orders. Act fast, fellow record nerds. They will sell out of subscriptions!
  • DeRo has the line on the He said/He didn't say controversy about the Elton John/Billy Joel tour that, no matter what, won't be returning to Wrigley Field.
  • Future Perfect Radio puts a spin on the standard "Best of" list and creates one for albums they're anticipating the release of in 2010.
  • Getting our listen on for bands heading to SXSW soon at NPR.
  • Last week ABC7 visited Buddy Guy at his house in Orland Park. I bet the crew for MTV Cribs never got homemade gumbo!
  • Windy City Rock posts about Small Chicago, a project which brings simply-produced music videos from Chicago bands. First up: Coltrane Motion. Next: The Warm Ones. (And hey, Small Chicago, how about some permalinks? Flash...grrr.)
  • The Reader profiles Robert Manis, a Chicago record collector who's giving back to the music community by way of his own reissue label.
  • A guy from Lakeview gets a slot on a TV show with his rap video. But it's not the show you think it is.
  • Loud Loop Press has some good video from YACHT at the Empty Bottle last weekend.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Wed Mar 03 2010

I'll have the Via Chicago. No, make that A Shot In The Arm.

Skybluesky.jpgToronto sandwich shop Sky Blue Sky has molded its entire menu around Wilco. Makes sense since the shop holds the name of the Chicago-based group's sixth album. Each signature sandwich is now named after a Wilco song. Unfortunately there is no Via Chicago, but you can get a Sonny Feeling, Say You Miss Me, and of course, A Shot In The Arm. See the whole track listing, I mean, menu here.

(via Pitchfork)

Michelle Meywes

News Tue Mar 02 2010

2010 Grant Park Music Festival Announced

mp.jpgIt's officially March which means you've survived yet another February in Chicago. Congratulations! But, as usual, snow still on the ground makes it hard to believe that you'll ever be sitting on the Pritzker lawn listening to music ever again. Well, here is a little light at the end of the tunnel.

With all the cuts the city is making, free music at Pritzker Pavilion is luckily not one of them as Millennium Park has just announced the 2010 Grant Park Music Festival taking place June 16-August 21. The Grant Park Orchestra will perform works from classical composers like Mozart, Chopin and Tchaikovsky. Plus, look for special appearances from guest composers and musicians, including one night featuring the world premiere tour of BBC's Planet Earth film with conductor and five-time Academy Award-winning composer George Fenton. See the full schedule here. And don't forget about those open rehearsals--get out of the office for an hour for lunch, or just an afternoon walk.

Warmer days will be here before you know it (at least that's what I keep telling myself...).

Michelle Meywes

News Fri Feb 26 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not watching Olympic ice dancing, we're staring into the void:

  • Are you coming to our Get-Together tonight at Risque Cafe from 8-10pm? Hope so! Transmission staffers Lisa White and Michelle Meywes will be making their DJ debuts from 8-9pm. And there's cheap beer! RSVP and get details.
  • Watch a video of The Hood Internet performing on Acid Marshmallow (well, the video is on the website "Acid Marshmallow", I don't know what keeps those guys going. Maybe Skittles?). The set if from their performance at Schubas' Tomorrow Never Knows Festival in January.
  • Thom Yorke's going to play Coachella, but not after he rocks Chicago.
  • Hear a new track "Becoming You," off the forthcoming new album from Canasta The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather (due out 5/8 with a special set of shows at Schubas). Just launch the popup player at the Canasta website. And keep an eye on the site, as they'll be streaming one new track each week this spring!
  • I color with a big box of DEVO.

Anne Holub

News Fri Feb 19 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not dreaming about fresh fruit (mmm, mangoes) we're burning out our retinas reading things online, like this:

  • Hot Biscuits features a new downloadable mix by DJ Kid Color: Palette One.
  • Oh My Rockness really digs blip-electro-pop-gadget-(something something) MNDR. They play the Bottle at the end of the month.
  • Tankboy over at Chicagoist is really keen on NYC's Menya, and there's a pretty sweet download available, if you do too.
  • Fake Shore Drive has video of Chicago rapper Mikkey Halsted, who was featured recently in an NPR piece on food deserts on Chicago's South Side.
  • WFMU has your mp3 motherload with half a dozen songs you can get online right now for free.
  • Red Threat has not one but two much-buzzed-about Gorillaz remixes available for download.
  • Daytrotter has a lot of great sessions this week, including some by Nurses.
  • And if you're super bummed (like I am) about the postponed Kings of Convenience U.S. tour, you can get a good fix from NPR and WFUV.

Anne Holub

Hip Hop Wed Feb 17 2010

Promoters Speak Out Over Doom / Not Doom Fiasco

mf-doom1.jpgAfter the Mos Def / MF Doom double bill at the Congress this past Saturday, allegations began to surface that an impostor performed as MF Doom. Local hip-hop blog Fake Shore Drive is heading the charge, claiming that the "DOOMpostor" and his DJ were performing to a recording of album tracks, and holding fast to the assumption that the performer was in no way Daniel Dumile.

The rumor mill's blame has fallen on the promoters and yesterday, representatives for React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress responded both to Fake Shore Drive and the Vocalo Blog. They maintain that they have no knowledge of whether the performer was MF Doom or an impostor, and the performer's behavior - while suspicious - gave them no clues. However, they are threatening legal action for a breach of contract if it becomes clear that MF Doom sent a stand-in.

Several videos of the performance have surfaced, so judge for yourself:

Mica Alaniz / Comments (3)

News Tue Feb 16 2010

Cap'n Jazz Reunion Show, Anthology LP Announced

Record label Jade Tree recently announced that Cap'n Jazz's surprise performance with Joan of Arc last month wasn't your last chance to catch them live. The seminal Chicago-based emo band will be headlining a show on July 17th at the Bottom Lounge.

Jade Tree also confirmed rumors that they would be pressing Cap'n Jazz's anthology Analphabetapolothology to a double LP, due June 15th. The release will come with a ton of extras, including new photos and liner notes by Tim Kinsella.

Tickets for the show are available on Ticketweb for $15 and will probably be snatched up before you can say kitty kitty cat.

Mica Alaniz

News Tue Feb 16 2010

2010 Lolla Rumor Mill Already Churning

It happens earlier and earlier every year, and while it's hard to think about with a foot of snow still on the ground, there is already speculation about who you will be braving the blazing heat and sun to see headline Lollapalooza in August.

Lady Gaga, Green Day and Soundgarden topped the list (via Chicagoist, The Daily Swarm), with The Trib's Greg Kot later reporting Arcade Fire, the Strokes, Yeasayer, the xx, Dirty Projectors, Cut Copy and Hot Chip are also slated to be a part of the festivities.

Although I would love to see Gaga live, I was a lot more pumped (and a little relieved) to hear about the second batch of artists. What about you? What do you think of the rumored leaks so far? Who else would you like to see take the stage at Lolla this year?

Michelle Meywes / Comments (3)

News Fri Feb 12 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not making snow angels, we spend a lot of time looking at websites like these:

  • Eric from CYSTSFTS also makes a departure from his normal punk album reviews to take a second and listen to the latest from electronica-influenced L.A. band Letting Up Despite Great Faults.
  • Fake Shore Drive cuts through the rumor mill on the supposed "leaked" track from the upcoming Lupe Fiasco album.
  • Trash Menagerie posted a sweet mixtape from L.A. DJs Nguzunguzu titled "Moments In Love".
  • We're planning some sweet SXSW Chicago music coverage for March, but in the meantime, get your stream on.
  • Cream Team takes a big step out front and tags the latest from The Irrepressibles as a potential Top Album of 2010.
  • WFMU's Beware of the Blog has a great post on Smersh. A New Jersey basement duo with a penchant for releasing tracks on cassette and never playing them again.
  • What does a skinny blond girl from Toronto have to do with African-American singer and Civil Rights activist Odetta? Chicago Innerview has the scoop on Basia Bulat. (She plays Schubas on Feb. 23rd.)

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri Feb 12 2010

Kings of Convenience @ Metro 2/20 POSTPONED till June


Word came in late last night from the Metro that the much-anticipated Kings of Convenience U.S. tour has been postponed a few months. Posts on the band's MySpace page is that Erik Glambek Bøe is sick.

On 2/9, Erlend wrote:

Eirik fell ill yesterday, and today the doctor says its a flu-virus. I dont know more than this at the moment , but check this space for more info today and tomorrow. The scheduled appearance at Jimmy Fallon show on thursday will in any case most likely fall out. :-( Erlend

So instead of rolling into Chicago next weekend, they're going to wait until June 10th to play the Metro. All tickets purchased for the February 20th show will be honored, so not to fear. If you cannot make the rescheduled date, refunds are available at your point of purchase. Speedy recovery, Erik!

Photo: Kings of Convenience Erlend Oye and Erik Glambek Bøe. (courtesy of the band's MySpace page)

Anne Holub

News Fri Feb 05 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not taking way too much time deciding which variety of orange juice to buy, we're online checking out these sites:

  • Chicago Underground Duo's latest album Boca Negra reviewed at The Deli Chicago.
  • Hollywood and recording industry star power gathered on Monday to record an updated version of "We Are The World" with the aim to send the single's profits to Haiti Earthquake victims. Chicago angle: Jennifer Hudson, Vince Vaughn (?!?) and Kanye contributed to the track.
  • Speaking of Kanye West, Gil-Scot Heron's latest efforts apparently has "Flashing Lights" samples. Not sure if this is the best thing or most disappointing thing ever. But it is a good hook. (via)
  • CreamTeam offers insight into Minneapolis-based house music providers The Moon Goons whose digital track rarity is a legend.
  • Oh My Rockness previews the Kurt Vile show at the Empty Bottle, 2/13.
  • Greg Kot takes a look back at Soul Train, hosted by Southsider Don Cornelius. A documentary airs on VH-1 February, 6th. Anyone else have lots of memories of the Soul Train opening as the cue that Saturday morning cartoons had ended? Check out some sweet video clips.
  • Familiarize Yourself blog has a recap of a sweet night with a lot of lady (bands) at Lincoln Hall last week including sets by Scotia Widows, The Maybenauts, Leslie Hunt and The Wanton Looks.

Anne Holub / Comments (2)

News Fri Feb 05 2010

Modest Mouse, Lightning Bolt, LCD Soundsystem to play Pitchfork


True to their word, our numeric-rating-centric neighbors have announced the first acts for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival. To no one's surprise (thanks to Greg Kot) Stephen Malkmus will be coming back with some band who's not the Jicks. Modest Mouse will be floating through their own Friday night performance (which so far has not been designated as a single-album performance, so keep your eyes peeled). Saturday night brings none other than LCD Soundsystem and Raekwon (who hopefully won't face any mixing board problems - James and the chef would be the last ones I'd want to sonically offend). On the other end, who knows what kind of production notes are given for Lightning Bolt on Sunday - suffice to say there won't be any napping going on at that point. But fear not! The charming St. Vincent, old-timey-but-not-that-old Cass McCombs, and rising duo of Sleigh Bells will be around to soothe you at some point Sunday as well (maybe directly after - Laughing With a Mouth of Blood could reach a whole new level with Brian Chippendale's drums tearing a cameo through it).

Here's the schedule so far:

Friday, July 16th:
Modest Mouse

Saturday, July 17th:
LCD Soundsystem

Sunday, July 18th:
St. Vincent
Lightning Bolt
Sleigh Bells
Here We Go Magic
Cass McCombs

Tickets go on sale today at noon, and can be purchased here. The price has gone up a bit this year, but Friday's festival will be starting at 4 pm (much earlier than past years). And hey, unless you scored yourself some Golden Tickets, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than Lollapalooza. Single-day tickets are $40, and a full three-day pass will cost you $90. Weekend passes will not be available this year.

[Stephanie Griffin also contributed to this post.]

Dan Morgridge

News Fri Jan 29 2010

Phoenix Phenom vs. Black Eyed Peas

Curious about that lawsuit filed against the Black Eyed Peas by Aurora-based producer Manny Mohr and Chicago singer Phoenix Phenom (aka Ebony Latrice Batts)? Compare the two songs in question:

"Boom Dynamite" by Phoenix Phenom:

"Boom Boom Pow" by Black Eyed Peas:

Now, consider that "Boom Dynamite" was released in January of 2008, while "Boom Boom Pow" was released as a single in March of 2009. The lawsuit contends that Phoenix Phenom sent their song to Black Eyed Peas' label Interscope in hopes of getting Fergie to sing with Batts. Whether the band ever heard the song is unknown, but it'd be hard to argue that there's no similarity between the former and the latter. We'll see how far the lawsuit goes.

Andrew Huff / Comments (2)

News Fri Jan 29 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not eating too many gummi bears, we're standing right behind you! Nah, just kidding, but we are online a lot.

  • Timbaland did little to entertain fans at HOB last week.
  • You can now join a Wax Trax remembrance group on Facebook.
  • Want to get your valentine something special-izzle? Snoop Dogg is bringing his show to the Metro 2/16! Tickets go on sale Saturday at noon. Details on a special presale code in Twitter.
  • Set your Tivos to record Jennifer Hudson, Bob Dylan, John Legend, and others at the White House's next "In Performance at the White House" series to honor music from the civil rights movement set to air online and again on PBS in early February.
  • Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick spends his days pining over a Thank You note from Paul McCartney that never was.
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain interviews Toronto's The Speaking Tongues who prove even Canadians get the blues.
  • Video of Lupe Fiasco performing live over at Chicago Now.
  • Country Music Chicago interviews aspiring Evergreen Park native (and aspiring country music star) Katie Quick.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jan 29 2010

The Hideout's Grammy Connection

Middle Cyclone.jpgNeko Case's Middle Cyclone was one of my favorite albums of last year, and not just for the stunning album art, which is absolutely outstanding on its own. Kathleen Judge, long-time Hideout bartender and design artist, designed the cover and is being recognized with a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package. It's also pretty well known that Case, who is up for Best Contemporary Folk Album as well, once upon a time tended the Hideout bar herself.

See more of the Hideout's Grammy connections on DeRo's Sun Times blog.

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards air this Sunday at 7pm CT on CBS.

Michelle Meywes

News Tue Jan 26 2010

DOOM @ Congress Theater Rescheduled

Due to some sort of scheduling miscommunication, Friday night's DOOM show featuring Mos Def and Mike Relm at the Congress Theater has been moved to Saturday, February 13th. All tickets for the January 29th show will still be valid on February 13th. If you've purchased a ticket and will not be able to make it on February 13th, a full refund will be available at your point of purchase.

Stephanie Griffin

Blog Fri Jan 22 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're (well, really just me) not getting in fistfights over the last pair of Hunter boots, we're often online.

  • You're coming to our party at the Metro tonight, right? Four bands for zero dollars if you do the right thing and bring our flyer to the door before 9pm. Details here.
  • Speaking of White Mystery, Greg Kot has more (very nice things) to say about them (even though he doesn't let it slip that you can get into this show for free, hrm).
  • Enjoy Chicago hip-hop and help Haiti earthquake victims all in one place at this upcoming show on the 31st at Reggie's.
  • Loud Loop Press has a list of some of the things that Chicago artists are doing to aid Haiti.
  • Bloodshot Records is proud to feature their "Drinking Buddies" (artists they like, but who aren't on the label) starting with Jane Baxter Miller (performing Saturday at the Hideout).
  • Peter Margasak has the line on the Pravda Records label reunion show at the Abbey Pub tonight.
  • I Fight Dragons won the award at Deli Chicago's Emerging Artists of 2009 poll. (Hey Champ came in second, with Netherfriends in third.)
  • And DeRo has the line on the expanded Lilith Fair lineup which actually has my interests piqued. It includes Loretta Lynn, Heart, and Cat Power (I'll believe it when I see her). No dates or specific city lineups set yet.

Anne Holub

News Tue Jan 19 2010

Empty Bottle to Open Logan Square "Inn"

comingsoon.jpgLocal venue Empty Bottle announced today that they are opening an "inn" in the Logan Square neighborhood. Something tells me the name Longman & Eagle may become a new part of our lexicon as another place for eating and drinking (and sleeping). Not many details are available, but they say the first floor is complete and the opening is set for January 20th. You can sign up for their email list at their website.

UPDATE: Urban Daddy Chicago has the scoop on the "wild boar sloppy joe and whiskey" joint. The gist? Get comfortable, and think of your bartender as your innkeeper.

Michelle Meywes

Blog Fri Jan 15 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not making slushballs and chucking them at alley rats, we're online looking at things.

  • I know, I know, you're sick of Top Artists of the year lists, but this one at Hype Machine has illustrations for all 50 of its top artists of 2009!
  • Alarm Magazine's Albums of the Week post details not only the creepy soundtrack to The Road (the movie) by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis but also the latest from Chicago jazz saxaphonist Dave Rempis.
  • Fake Shore Drive has 5 days of freestylin' by Chicago's own Twista.
  • Loud Loop Press has the skinny on what Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples have in common. (Hint: It's her new album!) She plays Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music in early February.
  • Empty Bottle's farmer's market happens Saturday at noon! See what it looks like in daylight and get some leafy greens from local farmers!

Anne Holub

News Thu Jan 14 2010

RIP Wax Trax Records Co-Founder Dannie Flesher

flesher.jpgOur fair city is many things to many people, and its music is no different. In electronic music, we're most renowned for being the home of house music. But Chicago has a legacy in an entirely different culture, and is known in more than a few circles worldwide as the home of legendary record label Wax Trax. Wax Trax released some of the most forward-thinking, genre-pushing industrial, industrial dance, EBM, noise, and new wave in the 80s and 90s, and its roster included seminal acts such as Ministry, KMFDM, Front 242, Underworld, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Throbbing Gristle, and The KLF.

Dannie Flesher, co-founder of Wax Trax, died of pneumonia this past Sunday in his family's home in Arkansas at the age of 58. Flesher and his partner in business and life, Jim Nash (who passed away in 1995), are largely credited with introducing our side of the pond to industrial, a new sound at the time in Europe combining the technology of electronic music with the aesthetics of the recent punk movement. They opened the Wax Trax record store and affiliated label in Chicago in 1978 and with it gave a home to imports, expatriates, outcasts and a bevy of musicians who've influenced rock and electronic music all the way to the mainstream.

Of course, Flesher and Nash didn't know how far their impact would reach at the time. In its heyday, Wax Trax had more in common with a family than a record label, both in relationships and in sense. Known for backing artists no one else would, and putting out releases without much regard for cost or business practices, the company went bankrupt in 1992 and was bought by TVT Records. But in that time Flesher and Nash's good ears for talent and unyielding support for their artists helped Wax Trax leave a lasting impression not just on Chicago, but the American music scene at large.

Mica Alaniz / Comments (1)

Television Tue Jan 12 2010

JBTV Announces New Host

PhotobucketJerry Bryant has been a staple in my house every Wednesday night since I was a wee teenager discovering alternative music for the first time. Between his big bushy gray beard and signature chuckle, the man was like my own personal Santa Claus bringing the gift of this world of music of which I had been completely oblivious. I cannot even count the number of times I pestered him via email to play the latest Smashing Pumpkins video -- requests which he usually obliged until one day he responded, "Enough Smashing Pumpkins!"

Now in its 25th year, Jerry Bryant's "JBTV" is the longest-running independent music television show. This morning, the show has announced that former Q101 DJ Ryan Manno (pictured above) will be taking the reigns as the new host. Considering Jerry Bryant has produced and hosted over 3,613 episodes of the show, these are pretty lofty shoes to fill. Never fear -- we'll still be treated with a Jerry Bryant fix via a weekly segment highlighting Jerry's archived footage from the past 25 years. Here's to an exciting new chapter in an iconic Chicago television show.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

News Mon Jan 11 2010

Rumor Mill: Pavement Headlining Pitchfork?

Pitchfork's festival isn't happening for roughly another half-year and the dates aren't even set yet, but it seems that there's already been a headliner subtly announced. In the Louisville Courier-Journal's article about Pavement's much-anticipated reunion, it's noted that "Chicago's Pitchfork Festival will likely be the closest" show to Louisville. Now, the real question is in how a person reads the word "likely."

The only confirmed Pavement reunion shows so far are at Sasquatch in Washington state in May and New York in September. If the band is walking (or bicycling) across the country, a mid-July date in Chicago aligns with those two just perfectly.

James Ziegenfus

Blog Mon Jan 11 2010

It's a Major Award!

Gapers Block: Transmission is honored to be the recipient of a 2009 Schubie Award for "Best Chicago Music Blog or Site". Gosh, thanks all! We're happy to be in the great company of The Walkmen (winner of "Best Headlining Band") and Art Brut (winner of Best 20th Anniversary Show, and tied for Best Supporting Band).

Here's Art Brut performing "The KKK Took My Baby Away" at Schubas:

Anne Holub

News Fri Jan 08 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not enjoying/complaining about/running through/cursing/photographing snowfalls, we're inside, staying warm, and reading things online:

  • Become Pitchfork's sandwich monkey, er, intern.
  • Cham-bana's Headlights featured on Daytrotter this week.
  • Lady Ga Ga addresses the Chicago venue change for her 3 shows in the only medium available: Twitter.
  • If you'd like to be a beta tester for the forthcoming CHIRP radio, sign up online. Testing starts Sunday, 1/10/10.
  • Loud Loop Press wants you to keep an eye on these 10 Chicago bands in 2010. We've definitely already expressed some love there.
  • Mashable touts the rise of digital and the return of vinyl in record sales metrics.
  • Download Thrill Jockey artist Radian's new tune "Git Cut Noise" [mp3] free.
  • Speaking of, you have until Monday 1/18 to mail a record jacket to TJ for their band Javelin to personalize. Check the details out here (about halfway down) or email

Anne Holub

News Thu Jan 07 2010

Slayer Cancels Tour Plans

Slayer vocalist/bassist Tom Araya's recently scheduled back surgery has forced the California metal legends to cancel their tour plans through April. This includes the cancellation of the American and Canadian Carnage Tour dates with Megadeth and Testament, which of course also includes the cancellation of the tour's February 5 stop at Chicago's UIC Pavillion.

According to a press release issued today:

"Tom gave various medical treatments more than a fair shot," said Slayer's manager Rick Sales, "but they just haven't handled the problem, so he's biting the bullet and is scheduled for back surgery at the end of this month."

The headbanging Araya, known for aggressively swinging his long mane of hair while performing, began experiencing back problems while on the band's Australian/New Zealand/Japanese tour last October. In spite of his rapidly increasing pain and discomfort, he carried on with the tour, but immediately upon returning home saw an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed a Cervical Radiculopathy. The rocker initially did not want to take the major surgery route, so the specialist recommended a series of minimally-invasive procedures. While those procedures have resulted in some improvement, Araya continues to deal with intermittent bouts of severe pain, numbness and muscle spasms. The surgical procedure that Araya will undergo, called an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion, is a relatively routine practice and the recovery rate is excellent.

Booking agents for both Slayer and Megadeth are already hard at work rescheduling the tour dates; tickets already purchased for these shows will be honored at the rescheduled dates.

Brian Leli / Comments (2)

Blog Fri Jan 01 2010

Friday Quick Links

When we're not nursing a sambuca hangover, we're looking at things online. Happy New Year!

  • Come out to the Hideout on Sunday for a special re-play of their annual Holiday Panto to benefit three castmembers who were left homeless and stuffless after a Christmas house fire.
  • Avant/Chicago lists out his favorites in Chicago music of the year.
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain has been counting down his top albums of the year. And what a long list! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 following Monday after a computer mishap (Y2K?) [Update, here's the final Part 4.].
  • Wow, the entire staff of Permanent Records did lists of their favorite albums of 2009. Kill some time at their site (just keep scrolling), then go buy some records.
  • STV SLV and ABX posted their favorite tracks of 2009 over at The Hood Internet site. WOOT!

Anne Holub

News Tue Dec 29 2009

Go Ga-Ga Somewhere Else


If thought you had one of the tickets to the upcoming Lady Ga Ga shows January 8, 9, and 10, 2010, well, you don't. The shows have been moved from the Chicago Theatre to the Rosemont Theatre due to production issues. Tickets to the Chicago Theatre shows (which sold out in 15 minutes) will not be honored by the Rosemont, so you'll need to get a refund on those. But there is an exclusive presale starting tonight at 5pm for those who had tickets originally. Details at the Chicago Theatre site, or click below to read a statement provided by the Chicago.

Update According to a Chicago Reader Early Warning email received this morning, any additional Lady Ga Ga tickets that are available after the pre-sale will go on sale Monday, January 4th at 10am.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub / Comments (2)

News Fri Dec 25 2009

Friday Quick Links

When we're not eating way too many cookies and dreaming about ham, we're clicking around the internet.

Anne Holub

News Wed Dec 16 2009

Empty Bottle Releases Extra Girl Talk NYE Tickets

girltalk.jpgBummed you didn't get tickets for the sold out Girl Talk NYE show at Congress? Well, you're in luck. The Empty Bottle will be releasing additional pairs of tickets over the next week to their friends on Twitter, Facebook and those who get their newsletter. That's a pretty cool Christmas present if you ask us!

Michelle Meywes / Comments (2)

News Tue Dec 15 2009

Tweedy Son Sits In on Beck's Record Club

We've mentioned before how cool we think Spencer Tweedy (teenage son of Wilco extradionare Jeff Tweedy) is, and now he has something else under his belt to brag about.

Beck has been doing these one day "Record Club" sessions described as an "informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day." Back in June that album was Skip Spence's Oar and in house that day were Leslie Feist, Jamie Lidell and the members of Wilco... including one, Spencer Tweedy. The "club" has been posting a song a week (to keep you wanting more I suppose), and this week's release is a kickass version of "Weighted Down" (video below).

The track Spencer sat in on drums for isn't up yet, but keep your eyes posted to his blog for when it goes live (and just to read how exciting it was to meet Beck).

Record Club: Skip Spence "Weighted Down" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Michelle Meywes

Blog Mon Dec 14 2009

Live at Lime with Tom Morello: A Benefit for Amnesty International

In conjunction with Human Rights Day on December 10, LimeWire Store released "Live at Lime with Tom Morello." The album features Morello performing covers of The Killers' "Human" and the classic folk song "Joe Hill." Hailing from Libertyville, Morello is a longtime activist and supporter of Amnesty International. All net proceeds from the album will go to them.

An accompanying video featuring a conversation between artist and activist Henry Rollins and Morello can be viewed in 4 parts below.

Continue reading this entry »

Brian Leli

Blog Fri Dec 11 2009

Friday Quick Links

When we're not frequenting our local music store and purchasing everything in sight, we read things online.

  • Time Out Chicago breaks down some new indie Christmas tunes just hanging out there on the interwebs (and the most disturbing ornament I've seen thus far).
  • Jim DeRogatis puts his Best of 2009 list out for consumption.
  • Check out Sunday's kids' show at Old Town School of Folk Music, including performances by a host of local talent, including Spencer Tweedy and The Blisters.
  • Loud Loop Press has the latest album from local experimental artist Mako Sika available for streaming.
  • The Deli Chicago talks about Meah!, a punk band out of Pilsen.
  • If you head out to the Hideout Holiday Craft Fair the next two Tuesdays you can also score some Bloodshot Records items from their table. See the full details in the Hideout calendar.
  • The Reader has the line on the latest hip-hop compilation to come out of...Adult Swim? Yeah, that's right.
  • And just in time for gifting, the Reader also reviews Chicago Folk, a collection of photographs.
  • More Best of 2009 lists from CHIRP DJs: this week is Jenny Lizak.

Anne Holub

News Tue Dec 08 2009

Steve Albini Is No Grinch

Every year, local record producer Steve Albini and his wife Heather Whinna play a bit of Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves, personally delivering gifts and donations to families who write letters to Santa. And we're talking real Christmas miracles here; they have been distributing more than $100,000 each year to less fortunate Chicago families, part of the money being raised through Second City's annual fundraiser (a large chunk of the funds coming from an auction for an in-house concert from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy).

But this year, due to changes at the U.S. Post Office, the names and addresses on those letters are blacked out. The original letters and contact information are still kept and filed by the Postal Service, but now donations have to be submitted to them directly and are sent by mail. The Postal Service cites privacy concerns in the changing of the Letters to Santa program last year.

In his Whinna's own words: "Just the idea of mailing a gift, it almost makes me think the postmaster general has never been to a housing complex. If there's no human contact, it will kill the program." The couple is currently seeking other ways to reach those needy families, including going through the Jane Addams Hull House Association. (via Pitchfork, Tribune)

Michelle Meywes

News Mon Dec 07 2009

A Song For A Son

Photo via

And here's one more piece of Smashing Pumpkins news to start off the week - the first song off their latest album, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, has been released this morning. The song? "A Song For a Son", a tune I fell in love with after the band performed it at the Chicago Theatre November of last year. The song will be available to download on, and is also streaming on I'm happy to say the band has done the song justice with the studio version, and it is certainly a refreshing change from the somewhat emotionless fare of Zeitgeist.

Teargarden by Kaleidyscope will be released for free online one song at a time over an unspecified amount of time, with a total of 44 songs. All songs will be available via the Smashing Pumpkins official site.

Stephanie Griffin

News Mon Dec 07 2009

What's up, Jimmy Chamberlin?

Photo via

Been wondering what drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has been up to since his sudden departure from The Smashing Pumpkins last March? Well, for the past several months he's been busy conducting free drum clinics at music stores across the country. This past Thursday he stopped by SSE Music in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the La Crosse Tribune has some exciting news to report from the event -- a new band! This is the name of Jimmy's new project. No, seriously, the ever-confusing name of his band is "This," and they'll start recording their debut album come January. Anthony Pirog, Mike Reina, and producer Roy Thomas Baker are all rumored to be involved. "This" is good news, indeed.

Stephanie Griffin

Blog Fri Dec 04 2009

Friday Quick Links

When we're not staving off frostbite at the bus stop, we're on the interwebs, reading about things.

  • Songs:Illinois also does Christmas music (with a promo shot of Lauren Graham from Bad Santa that makes me shudder).
  • Loud Loop Press has a free track from the upcoming album by Chicago's Puerto Muerto.
  • CHIRP starts a December series of their DJs' Best of 2009 lists.
  • Remember: Filling out the GB reader survey can win you a pair of tickets to see Jesus Lizard at the Metro on NYE.
  • Chicagoist has a free download of the latest from Lupe Fiasco.
  • Speaking of Lupe, Matthew Santos, who you might know from Lupe's backing vocals, has an album "preview" show tonight at Lincoln Hall.
  • What to Wear During an Orange Alert has a review of Thrill Jockey artist Javelin's latest.
  • Stereogum has your link to 40 minutes of Fugazi stage banter from the '90s. Sweet sweet nostalgia.
  • WFMU's blog has 20 minutes of Airwave available for streaming.
  • With no end date, it seems that UR Chicago is still taking submissions to win a pair of tickets to the NYE show at SmartBar, including sets from Hood Internet and Bald E.
  • The Deli Chicago is really into the new album from Skybox. (They're playing at Schubas' Tomorrow Never Knows Festival in on sale now and make a great stocking stuffer. I'm just sayin'.)

Anne Holub

Artist Mon Nov 30 2009

Hey Mixtape Champ

hey champ -  winner's circle.jpgHey Champ just released Winner's Circle, a remix album featuring tracks remixed by the band, including "Little Secrets" by Passion Pit and Cool Kids' "(We Are) Champions," as well as their own hit "Cold Dust Woman." Best of all, it's available as a free download. You can take a listen below.

Hey Champ will be performing live at Lincoln Hall Dec. 17 with French Horn Rebellion, and on Dec. 19 at the Metro with Kill Hannah and 1997. Tickets are still available for both shows.

Andrew Huff

Blog Fri Nov 27 2009

Friday Quick Links

When we haven't been cleaning, cooking, eating, or taking post-turkey naps. We've been looking at these things on the internet:

  • NPR provided a soundtrack for stuffing bread up a bird's hoo-hah. (Also good if you're putting together any food-themed mixtapes.)
  • Pitchfork put out its own 2009 Gift Guide which is great for the music-lover on your list (or yourself. Dang.)
  • Grab a new track from Pelican at RCDLBL.
  • Fake Shore Drive also has the latest track from Nikki Lynnette (who you might have seen if you stayed late at our last GB Anniversary Party at the Metro)
  • Get your speakers ready for Big Rock Candy Mountain's annual Holiday Music post-fest! The links get hot starting today!
  • What to Wear During an Orange Alert has a review of the latest from Boston's Truman Peyote. They head to Chicago in mid-January.
  • Get this: Elvis + Blago + Columbia College. Details here (and it's <em>free</em>).
  • Look at photos from Peaches' show at Metro last week by Tankboy. (And if opener Amanda Blank isn't doing American Apparel ads yet, she should be.)

Anne Holub

Blog Fri Nov 20 2009

Friday Quick Links

When we're not panicking about what to cook on Thanksgiving, here's what we're checking out online:

  • Download the latest mix from Chicago's own DJ LA Jesus - "Saves the Dance Floor, Vol. 4" (for free, folks).
  • Permanent Records turns three this weekend, and celebrates with a party at the Hideout. (And if you can't make it, you can still celebrate with their store sale next Friday, the 27th.)
  • Alarm magazine has a review of David Bazan's latest full band tour.
  • Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis both weigh in on the first night of the Pixies' weekend residence at the Aragon.
  • CYSTSFTS has loads of album reviews up this week, including the latest from an old favorite, Left Lane Cruiser.
  • Bust Magazine interviews Kid Sister (who's new album, Ultraviolet, is now in stores).
  • Red Threat has the line on the latest electronica from Jori Hulkkonen.
  • Twilight author Stephanie Meyer talks about her favorite bands at the Twilight: New Moon premiere, which include Bloodshot Records artists Ha Ha Tonka [Video]. That squealing you hear in the distance is coming from the Bloodshot HQ, I suspect.
  • Evanston's Ezra Furman is going to make you a special album. No really, just for you.
  • WFMU's Beware of the Blog talks about the latest from the Free Music Archive, including a remix contest which ends Dec. 20th.
  • Victim of Time blog has the line on the latest from Uzi Rash, an album that came from the "typical bedroom nutcase recording-style" and which produced Hight and Phree.

Anne Holub

News Thu Nov 19 2009

One More Chicago Music Festival in 2010


The Bamboozle is a 2-day music festival that has been rocking New Jersey since 2005, and branched out to California in 2006. In 2010, they're venturing out to a new location, and because Chicago is really lacking in the music festival department, they've just announced that they've decided to set up shop here. Looking at the Jersey and California line-ups from the past few years, it seems to be about 80% Warped Tour fare with a handful of artists in other genres mixed in. A few artists who performed in 2009: The Get Up Kids, New Found Glory, GWAR, Cage the Elephant, Ace Enders, Schwayze, Kid Cudi, Deftones, and The Vandals. If that sounds like your type of thing, mark your calendar for May 15th, when they'll be taking over the First Midwest Amphitheater.

Stephanie Griffin

Blog Fri Nov 13 2009

Friday Quick Links

When we're not compulsively washing our hands, here's what we're reading online:

  • The Beachwood Reporter checks out the latest in live session recordings to hit Chicago: Coach House Sounds.
  • Tankboy reviews the long long long awaited Kid Sister album Ultraviolet which hits store shelves 11/17.
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain has the line on a sweet show at Phyllis' Musical Inn this weekend, plus some Thrills for download.
  • Oh My Rockness has the line on the newest ukelele sounds to hit Chicago in the form of tUnE-YaRds.
  • Songs:Illinois breaks its "no videos" rule with a new one from Caroline Herring.
  • If you're really into Crooked Vultures, you can stream their new album online before it releases on Tuesday (Greg Kot reviewed it already).
  • Also, remember that on Saturday, MTV Jams hits Chicago.
  • Speaking of which, does anyone else miss the old Yo! MTV Raps? What is Ed Lover up to these days?

Anne Holub

News Thu Nov 12 2009

Kill Hannah's Van and Trailer Recovered

Philadelphia's ABC Action News is reporting that Kill Hannah's van and trailer, which had been stolen last night in a hotel parking lot in Philadelphia, has been recovered. No word yet on whether their $120,000 worth of gear was still inside when they located the vehicles, but any recovery is good news. No arrests have been made.

Stephanie Griffin

News Wed Nov 11 2009

Tomorrow Never Knows 2010 Dates Announced

TNK10logo_colorwide.jpgAs much as you might not want to believe it, winter is right around the corner, but one bright spot is that Schubas' Tomorrow Never Knows festival comes with it. And now that their new space Lincoln Hall is up and running, they're spreading the festivities across both venues.

TNK is a great opportunity to check out up and coming artists that haven't broken through the industry chatter quite yet. Plus it gives you the cred to say you knew them when... The line-up so far contains: The Cribs, Voxtrot, Final Fantasy, Bowerbirds, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Adam Green, Clues, The Dead Trees, Solid Gold, Julie Doiron, The Hood Internet, Gemini Club, Paul Green's School of Rock, and even more bands and DJs to be added.

Tomorrow Never Knows will take place Wednesday, January 13 through Sunday, January 17. Single show and five-day passes go on sale Friday, November 13 at noon. Visit or for more information.

Read all our Tomorrow Never Knows coverage.

Michelle Meywes

Benefit Tue Nov 10 2009

More SYGC Benefit Shows Announced (including one TONIGHT!)

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.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

Blog Fri Nov 06 2009

Friday Quick Links

  • Rogue Wave drummer Pat Spurgeon needed a kidney, right as the band was about to make it big. They made a movie about it, called D Tour. Catch it on PBS next week.
  • Is the Metro haunted? Ghost Lab investigates. The episode (titled "Murky Water") replays on Discovery on 11/10 or check online clips here (start with part 4).
  • Local blog Red Threat has the skinny on DJ Zinc and his latest EP. Is it Drum 'n Bass? Jungle Core? Grimehouse? You be the judge.
  • There's a disturbing trend of Best Albums of the Decade lists popping up on the interweb. And here's one more! A Top 50 to get you through Friday afternoon from the blog "Music for Kids Who Can't Read Good". (via)
  • CHIRP sure would like you to contact your representatives today about the Local Community Radio Act of 2009 (HR 1147).
  • Get your hands on a free download of a remix of Sufjan Stevens' Illinoise album, called, oddly enough, Illinoize, by Montreal-based producer Tor. More, um, oddly enough, Sufjan has a new album out all about The BQE in New York.
  • And have you bought your copy of the Tao of Wu yet? Do you think your Wu-Tang sword can defeat me?

Anne Holub

News Wed Nov 04 2009

Lilith Fair Returnth

Hold onto your Biore nose strips -- the for-the-ladies music festival known as Lilith Fair is coming back in the summer of 2010.

Lilith Fair originally ran from 1997 to 1999 and featured such luminaries as Christina Aguilera, Tegan and Sara, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, The Dixie Chicks, and the Indigo Girls. Our Holy Lady of Lilith, co-founder Sarah McLachlan, plans to take the festival overseas for the first time, as well as touring extensively in the U.S. No dates have been set, but Chicago is one of the cities the Lilith Fair will visit.

Kara Luger

Blog Fri Oct 30 2009

Friday Quick Links

A bit of what's freaking us out online this week:

  • Bloodshot Records' artist Jon Langford's album All the Fame of Lofty Deeds is getting the theatrical treatment starting 11/12.
  • Is Kanye Dead? Twitter tries to tell us so.
  • The Reader's Crickets blog has the line on Sepultura's Igor Cavalera's new dance music gig: Mix Hell. (Comes with a free download!)
  • In case your head's in a hole, that Michael Jackson tour movie came out. Greg Kot liked it. 
  • UR Magazine also has free Halloween mixtapes for download like this latest one from Moneypenny.
  • Need even more Halloween music for your party? Get some for a limited time on FoGB site
  • WFMU's Beware of the Blog resurfaces to bring us 6 great downloads from the interwebs.
  • Need some way to kill the time this afternoon? Try 101 videos from (via)
  • has been strangely quiet since 10/17? Perhaps they lost their braaaaains?

Anne Holub

Artist Mon Oct 26 2009

An 8-Bit Halloween with Bit Shifter

One of the premiere Game Boy-wielding 8bit electronic musicians in the world is Josh Davis, aka Bit Shifter, and subVariant and Front 312 are excited to have him perform at Ai Lounge on Halloween. Having played over 100 live shows armed with only two Nintendo Game Boys and two home-brew aftermarket music programs, he has a dedicated following and has been known to ignite dance floors with his high energy live performances.

Continue reading this entry »

Liz McLean Knight

News Fri Oct 23 2009

Friday Quick Links

Here's what we're also reading on the interwebs lately:

  • Pitchfork, the restaurant opens this week. Nothing to do with the music site, but bring on the jokes!
  • The Deli Chicago has the line on a cool event called "The Drop" at the Viaduct Theatre where bands drop off their CDs. New local music exposure ensues in coordination with WLUW. The next one is tomorrow night.
  • The Old Town School of Folk Music hosts Laurence Juber (of Wings fame) for a Martin Guitar Clinic. FREE 10/27.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Wed Oct 21 2009

Fake Fictions Fading Out


The Fake Fictions' studio rules (courtesy band Flickr page)

We got word yesterday that, sadly, Chicago fuzz pop band the Fake Fictions are calling it quits as of next month. We interviewed Nick and Sarah Ammerman of the band a couple of years ago when their very cool album Krakatoa came out and they had just performed on Chic-a-Go-Go. The band lasted for five years, though a studio fire, DIY experimentation with tape hiss, and attempts to make a little pop music art. It's sad to see them go. The band's last show will be Nov. 20 at Ronny's with The Laureates.

Anne Holub

Concert Mon Oct 12 2009

ChiPubLib Sound Off Winners Announced, Concert Date Set

CHIPUBLIB Sound Off Concert eflyer.jpg
Congratulations to Psalm One (aka Cristalle Bowen) for winning Chicago Public Library's Sound Off Music Contest in which local musicians were asked to compose an original song about the city of Chicago. Her entry, "My Bucket Song" was inspired by how much she missed Chicago after leaving to pursue musical endeavors in San Francisco last year. She returned in June and "was elated to be back." "Being in Chicago inspires me, and it makes me proud to be chosen to represent the city in my own special way," Bowen says.

The free concert will take place on Thursday, October 22 beginning at 5:30pm in Pritzker Park (344 S. State St., across from Harold Washington Library) where Psalm One will perform the winning entry, as well as some of her other original material. People's Choice Winner Shawn Pennington will open the concert with his submission "Doors Closing". Judges Jessica Hopper, Chris Force, Matthew Genthe and Rhymefest will also be in attendance.

Michelle Meywes

Concert Sat Oct 10 2009

The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir Hold Benefit Concert

artist_gal_sygc.jpgWe have an update on local band The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir who were in a van roll-over accident last month. While most of the members came out fairly unscathed, Mary Ralph and Mark Yoshizumi still remain in the hospital.

The group's van was totaled in the accident and so was the majority of their gear, and now they're asking for your help. The group is holding a benefit concert at Subterranean on Halloween to help out with medical bills and purchasing new instruments. So far Canasta & the Avondale Ramblers are scheduled to perform along with members of TSYGC. Admission is $10, but the group also has a Paypal account set up for additional donations. Show starts at 9pm.

Michelle Meywes

Concert Wed Oct 07 2009

Girl Talk to Play NYE Show

New Years Eve is already shaping up nicely for the Windy City with The Black Keys @ the Riv and Local H @ Double Door, and now Empty Bottle has announced that Girl Talk will be playing @ Congress Theater to ring in 2010. We were there last time Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis) performed at Congress, and one thing is for sure--you're in for one hell of a party.


(Photo by Tankboy)

Tickets are $35. Show starts at 9:30pm.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

News Tue Oct 06 2009

Lincoln Hall Tickets Now Available


Greg Kot gave us a preview of new venue Lincoln Hall last August over on his Tribune blog, and now tickets have finally been released for sale for upcoming shows at this Schubas-born venue, located at 2424 N Lincoln Ave. According to, Langhorne Slim, Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard, Neon Indian, and Detholz! will all be gracing the stage before the end of the month. For November, they've got Vic Chestnutt, Numero's Eccentric Soul Review, Art Brut, The Walkmen, Ari Hest, Flobots, and others listed for dates. The first show listed on the website is electropop duo La Roux on October 21st, but no word yet on whether that will be the official first show at the venue. Be sure to check out their Facebook and Twitter for further updates. All tickets are available to purchase online here.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (3)

News Mon Sep 28 2009

Tortoise To Perform @ Reckless Records

Influential Chicago group Tortoise has announced that they will be playing an in-store performance this Sunday at Reckless Records in Wicker Park in support of their new album Beacons of Ancestorship. The album is their first in five years and this will be only their third in-store appearance. They play at 5pm sharp, but since it's FREE, we recommend arriving early as they are sure to draw a big crowd to the small shop. 1532 N. Milwaukee.

In other Tortoise news, they are opening for Wilco at their two UIC Pavilion shows on October 18th and 19th. Tickets are $39.50. Show starts at 7:30pm.

Michelle Meywes

News Fri Sep 25 2009

Scotland Yard Gospel Choir In Van Accident

Six members of Chicago band Scotland Yard Gospel Choir were injured in a rollover accident yesterday in Indiana while on their way to Cincinnati. According to Chicago Breaking News, "Indiana state police said a preliminary investigation showed the band's 1999 Chevrolet van was southbound in the left lane when a tire failed on the rear passenger side, causing the van to roll over multiple times on the grassy median." According to the report:

--Mark Yoshizumi of Chicago was airlifted to Advocate Christ Hospital Medical Center in Oak Lawn with leg and internal injuries, along with major head trauma.
--Eliezer Santana Jr., 32, of Chicago, who was driving, was taken to Jasper County Hospital with a concussion and minor bleeding.
--Alison Hinderliter, 42, of Chicago was taken to Jasper County Hospital with a head injury.
--Ethan Adelsman, 32, of Chicago was taken to Jasper County Hospital with a head injury.
--Elias Einhorn, 29, of Chicago was taken to Jasper County Hospital with a head injury.
--Mary Ralph, 28, of Chicago was taken to Jasper County Hospital with head trauma and a shoulder injury.

We've also got word from Bloodshot Records that Ethan, Jay and Alison have been treated and released for their injuries.

Our thoughts are with them and all of the Bloodshot family in wishing them a speedy recovery.

UPDATE: A fund has been set up to help the band with medical bills and equipment replacement. Donate here.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (6)

News Thu Sep 24 2009

Last Banjo Standing Contest


The first Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival was a blast last year, and now they're at it again with a full day's worth of some fine roots music. This year's line-up includes Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, Dr. Dog, Van Ghost, Eddy Clearwater, the Emmit Nershi Band, and possibly [insert your band's name here]. That's right, they're giving you the chance to play at the festival with the Last Banjo Standing contest. The winning artist also gets a cool $500 prize. Pretty sweet, right?

To enter, submit two songs here by October 1st. From October 1st thru October 15th, the polls will be open to vote on the best tracks, with a limit of one vote per email address per day. After the voting period, the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival organizers will choose the winner from the top five artists. Simple enough. Local bands, get on it!

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

News Thu Sep 17 2009

Club Passport at House of Blues

Yesterday Live Nation announced they will be offering a "club passport" ticket deal, which lets you get into any House of Blues show in Chicago from now until the end of the year for $49.99. Granted, the House of Blues would place somewhere near the bottom on my list of best music venues in the city, but if you can find enough quality shows there in the next few months, this might be worth it (especially considering there will be no added fees on top of the $49.99). A quick look at their concert calendar tells me KMFDM, Revolting Cocks, Taking Back Sunday, Kid Sister, and GWAR all have gigs there before the end of the year.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (5)

News Wed Sep 16 2009

The Smashing Pumpkins to Release 44 Free Songs

Artwork via

The Smashing Pumpkins have just announced plans for their next album, titled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. The album will consist of 44 songs, released one at a time via free download, starting sometime in the next couple months. A physical EP will be released between every four songs (11 EPs total), and after all 44 songs are released, the EPs will be compiled into a deluxe box set. This will mark the second album the Pumpkins have given away for free - Machina II/Friends and Enemies of Modern Music was released online in 2000 after Virgin Records declined an official release.

Read Billy Corgan's official statement here.

Stephanie Griffin

Concert Thu Sep 03 2009

Riot Fest West Postponed Until Spring 2010


Riot Fest is the little punk festival that could, a celebration of music only in it's fourth year, but rapidly expanding and gaining a strong presences each year in Chicago. This year the line-up includes an impressive roster, from legendaries like Naked Raygun and Screeching Weasel to hometown heroes Alkaline Trio, and everything in between. And it was with great pride to find out that our "little" festival was spreading out West. So it's with heavy hearts to report that Riot Fest West has been postponed, and even heavier hearts to share the reason why.

The mid-November festival in Los Angeles will be pushed back until Spring 2010 due to health issues challenging the founder, Riot Mike. Very sad news, but we know Riot Fest will still be kicking Chicago's ass later next month, and have no doubt that come Spring 2010 L.A. will get a taste of it as well. Riot Mike's personal statement is after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White / Comments (2)

Radio Fri Aug 28 2009

Mr. Tuten Goes Went to Washington

For the past five months, a certain someone has been notably absent from The Hideout. That someone is Tim Tuten, co-owner of the venue (and staunch Obama supporter), who followed Obama to Washington to work for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

On September 1st at 9am, 89.5 fm will catch up with Mr. Tuten as they talk with him about schools, rock and DC. (via @hideoutchicago's Twitter stream)

Michelle Meywes

News Wed Aug 26 2009

RIP Radley

RADLEY-RIP.JPGIf you've ever been to a show at The Empty Bottle, you've likely asked your friends, 'what is that cat doing in here?' Well, that cat was Radley, the Bottle's house cat, and he passed away yesterday at the ripe ol' age of 19. We're sure that he fully lived all nine of his lives rockin' and rollin' over the years--any one of them worth envying. He will be missed.

Here is the original message the Bottle sent out last night:

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

News Wed Aug 19 2009

Califone Tour Dates & Film Trailer

Chicago-based Califone have released tour dates and a film trailer in support of their upcoming album, All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, due out October 6. The album is a companion-piece of sorts to frontman Tim Rutill's first feature film of the same name. The majority of the tour, which kicks off October 10 and 11 at the MCA, will find them playing a live soundtrack film performance. View the complete list of dates here.


Brian Leli / Comments (1)

News Mon Aug 17 2009

Anticipating Pearl Jam's Backspacer Release?

pjam dclinch.jpgPearl Jam's new album, Backspacer, doesn't come out until next month (September 20th to be exact), but right now you can watch a documentary on the making of the new record on MySpace Music. The ten minute short was directed by Danny Clinch and produced by Three on the Tree. You can preview the band's current single, "The Fixer," on MySpace as well. Also, don't forget they roll through town next week with two shows at the United Center on August 23 and 24. Tickets are $66.

(Photo by Danny Clinch)

Michelle Meywes

News Fri Aug 14 2009

Higher Than the Stars

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are set to release a 4-song EP titled Higher Than the Stars on September 22. The title track can be heard here. They play at Logan Square Auditorium on September 8.


Brian Leli

News Wed Aug 12 2009

Lollapalooza 2010 Tickets Available This Week (Seriously...)


Keep your eyes peeled on this week. They're holding a "secret" sale of $60 tickets for Lollapalooza 2010, happening August 6-8th. The sale will go live within the next couple days and will most likely sell out within minutes, so be prepared. On Monday, a limited number of Lolla tickets for 2010 will be sold at the 2009 price, which I'm guessing means that they might be hiking up the ticket cost big time next year.

Stephanie Griffin

Concert Thu Aug 06 2009

Peter Bjorn & John Replace Asher Roth

Asher Roth for one reason or another pulled out of his post-Lolla gig at Cubby Bear tomorrow night, and has been replaced by a group you never thought you'd see perform in a Wrigleyville bar: none other than the Swedish trio Peter Bjorn & John. Since the change happened so last minute, no tickets are required and the show is FREE. This is one aftershow we might actually consider hitting up now.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (2)

Event Mon Jul 27 2009

Jessica Hopper is your Rock Advisor

girlsguidetorocking.jpgJessica Hopper (Chicagoian, music journalist, This American Life music consultant, and now author) has had a busy year finishing up her book The Girls' Guide To Rocking. We talk a lot about girls rocking on Transmission, but don't think you have to be a girl to pick up this book, or a kid for that matter. If you're a musician looking to start a band, or you're already in a band trying to figure out how to book gigs, or you're just interested in buying your first guitar or drum set, this book has everything you need to know that won't find anywhere else (unless, of course, your best-ie is already a successful musician...)

Jessica is currently on a break from her book tour, but this Thursday she will be reading from The Girls' Guide To Rocking at Harold Washington Library (400 S. State St.). The book tour resumes on August 19th in Oak Park and she will be joined by Katie Stelmanis and her 5 girl band and twin sister duo Ghost Bees. Dates and deets after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

News Tue Jul 21 2009

YYYs Replace Beastie Boys at Lollapalooza

Well, that was fast! Just over 24 hours after The Beastie Boys announced they will be canceling their summer tour dates, Lollapalooza has announced that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will be the replacement band in the Saturday night headliner spot. While I doubt they'll have the draw that the Beastie Boys would bring, as a Yeah Yeah Yeahs fan I'm definitely glad for an upbeat alternative to Tool. No word yet on whether Lolla will be offering refunds to those who purchased one-day Saturday passes with the intention of seeing the Beasties.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

News Mon Jul 20 2009

Adam Yauch has Cancer: Beastie Boys Cancel Shows

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch announced today that he has parotid gland cancer, and the band will be canceling or postponing all upcoming concert dates -- including Lollapalooza and the show at the Congress Theater. Their upcoming album, Hot Sauce, has been pushed back as well. Here's his announcement, posted this morning on

Andrew Huff

News Fri Jul 17 2009

RIP Thax, well, not quite

Chicago poet and music lover Thax Douglas died this morning, according to a post on his Facebook profile by his dad. The post reads: "This is Thax's Dad. Thax passed away this morning at about 10am. I know he loved the many friends he had in Chicago and I ask that you pray for him this evening."

A dynamic bushy-bearded figure, one always knew it was a real Chicago show if Thax moseyed up to the mic to read a poem before the band went on. Read our 2006 interview with Thax here. More details hopefully to come.

Update: Tributes are starting:

Update: Not dead? Sick joke?
There is some conjecture about the death of Thax being untrue. Apparently a poem was published to his MySpace page more than two hours after the Facebook post claims he died. Also, the Chicago coroner has no record of his death today, according to WBEZ. More to come.

Update: The Decider has talked with the real father of Thax Douglas III, who definitely did not make the Facebook post. Still waiting to hear word from the man himself.

Final update: Thax is alive and well. He posted to his Facebook account this morning. It's believed his account was hacked yesterday when the fake death notice went out.

Anne Holub / Comments (5)

News Tue Jul 07 2009

NIN Announce Final Chicago Show...Again

While the ongoing NIN tour - which came through Chicago at the end of May - was said to be the last, it appears as though they will be coming back through town for one last "intimate" visit.

According to a post by Trent Reznor to the NIN website earlier today, the band plan to play a handful of shows in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles starting August, 22. The Chicago show is set to happen at the Aragon Ballroom. It will include Mew, and possibly others. More details will be announced soon.

Read Reznor's full post here.

Brian Leli / Comments (1)

News Mon Jul 06 2009

Sleepy Sun Announce North American Tour


Sleepy Sun - the Santa Cruz/San Francisco six-piece that are as creatively thriving and eclectic as the communities they emerged from - have announced dates for their upcoming North American tour. They will play Chicago's Chopin Theatre on Saturday, September 26.

Full list of dates below:

Continue reading this entry »

Brian Leli

News Tue Jun 23 2009

Bennett Death Ruled Accidental Overdose

JBennett.jpgFollowing up on the sudden death of former Wilco member Jay Bennett, the Trib's Greg Kot is reporting that he died from a painkiller overdose, specifically fentanyl. Bennett was likely taking the drug for the chronic hip pain, as he announced on his MySpace page in the weeks before his death that he needed hip replacement surgery.

Michelle Meywes

News Tue Jun 23 2009

Lollapalooza Aftershows Finally Announced

You may have heard about a Lollapalooza festival. The schedule was announced last week after months of speculation. And now, so have the aftershows. People may complain about a summer music festival capped by a 10PM curfew, but it certainly does allow for full evenings at various venues around the city that weekend. It also helps some people going to Lollapalooza work out their scheduling conflicts.

This year's highlighted official aftershow features the Beastie Boys at the Congress, but there are some top-notch shows elsewhere. The Decemberists, Arctic Monkeys and Fleet Foxes headline Metro. Thievery Corporation, Band of Horses and STS9 headline at House of Blues. TV on the Radio's playing Double Door. Lykke Li and MSTRKRFT headline the Bottom Lounge. So it's already shaping up to be a pretty good weekend. All shows go on sale this Saturday, June 27, except the Beastie Boys. (But they've got a presale right now and the password's their occupation - rappers.)

James Ziegenfus / Comments (2)

News Fri Jun 19 2009

Pitchfork Music Festival Schedule Announced


The official Pitchfork Music Festival schedule has been posted! Check it out here and start making your plans. I find myself with way more schedule conflicts for Pitchfork than Lolla (which we posted earlier this week). The National vs. The Black Lips? Mew vs. Grizzly Bear? Matt and Kim vs. Beirut? Such tough decisions!

Pitchfork Fest rolls through Union Park July 17th - 19th. Tickets may be purchased here. Hurry! Sunday tickets are already sold out, and remaining tickets for Friday and Saturday are limited.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

Artist Mon Jun 15 2009

On June 18 Fashion :: Sex :: Music Series Brings in Godsgirls, Drops the Beat

kelsey.jpgFashion :: Sex :: Music is a multi-disciplinary event series hosted by [NSFW] -- a Suicide Girls-type site that takes things a bit further -- that aims to showcase and cross promote fashion, sex, music, and art in a single night. With attractive girls in lingerie, a photo-installation from the site, a mixed media and fashion installation by My Broken Heart Mafia, and a diverse, dance-oriented sound from an all-girl DJ lineup, FSM delivers more than just another hipster dance music night.

The night also encourages community building and intra-industry networking by concurrently billing itself as a meetup for The Chicago Fashion Industry on, a group that has amassed more than 1,000 members. Judging by the comments and introductions on the site, the group is filled with ambitious and dedicated amateurs and professionals alike who work within or on the periphery of the fashion industry in Chicago. Combined with the increasing focus on Chicago as a fashion hub (with the relatively recent Chicago Fashion Week, for instance), grass-roots efforts like FSM that reach out to build a thriving network may help bolster Chicago's image as a fashion resource as well as a thriving and innovative music community.

The event starts at 9pm on Thursday, June 18 at Sonotheque, 1444 W Chicago Ave, and features an-all girl DJ lineup that includes Liz Revision, Fathom, Avi Sic, and Hilary Rawk.

Continue reading this entry »

Liz McLean Knight

Artist Tue Jun 09 2009

Not Too Insecure to Win

insecurities.jpgAs if Stubhy Pandav hadn't found enough success as the lead of Lucky Boys Confusion and Shock Stars, he's created another band by the name of The Insecurities who debuted to a sold out crowd at Elbo Room last June. What started as "an outlet for my songs that I loved but, for one reason or another, never made the cut in previous projects," Pandav says, can now boast that they will be opening for 311 and Ziggy Marley as the winners of an online Q101 contest.

With a familiar Stubhy power-sound, The Insecurities are piano-infused rock taking influences from Ryan Adams, The Counting Crows and Bright Eyes. They have an EP out now called Ban The Kiss Hello: A Social Commentary, and are currently writing songs a full-length album due out in August.

The annual Q101 Block Party will be held at Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island on Sunday, June 14. The show starts at 7pm and tickets are $37.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

News Thu Jun 04 2009

This is the Remix

Lollapalooza's Last Band Standing competition is back, but this year they're mixing remixing it up with a separate DJ contest. They're pitting Chicago artists against The World, and we know this city is known for its world-class DJs, so let's hear it Chicago!

Of course, in LBS fashion, there will be a final live event at Double Door on August 5th where the Top 4 (the final two contestants from each side) will compete for the title of Last DJ Standing. Oh, and for a slot at Lollapalooza on Perry's stage. Other prizes include a Dell Laptop, artist passes, cash money and tickets for your friends.

So if you think you've got the skillz, uh, skills, submit your best remix before June 25th.

Here's Perry himself to show you how it's done:

Michelle Meywes

News Mon Jun 01 2009

Live Nation Drops Service Fees (at least for one day)

Service fees. Oh, the agony. How can $9.65 on a $50 ticket be considered a convenience fee? They're responsible for the highest number of complaints among concertgoers. We'd love to do anything to get around paying them. But for shows at venues that are unreachable or without box offices, they're a necessary evil.

In a move that shows some people in the music industry actually do listen to the fans, Live Nation will remove service fees on Wednesday, June 3. Shows affected are mostly at large venues like Allstate Arena, Alpine Valley, whatever that amphitheater in Tinley Park is named these days, Charter One Pavilion, United Center and House of Blues. Paying face value for concert tickets? What a concept!

James Ziegenfus / Comments (1)

News Fri May 29 2009

Remembering Jay Bennett

Jay Bennett obviously made an impact on many people, and with his passing has come an outpouring of remembrances and appreciations of his life and music. Chicago Public Radio's 848 takes their own look back with contributor Robert Loerzel remembering Bennett with interview excerpts from 2001. He also shares some personal memories on his blog Underground Bee.


Loerzel took this photo while visiting Bennett's Pieholden Suites studio in Chicago in 2003.

Loerzel was one of the many gathered in Champaign over Memorial Day Weekend for a reunion concert featuring local bands from the same era as Bennett's Titanic Love Affair. "I was hoping to see Jay, but instead heard the sad news: He had died early Sunday morning at his home."


Bennett in Titanic Love Affair. Loerzel published these photos when he was an editor at the Daily Illini in 1988.

Michelle Meywes

News Sun May 24 2009

Jay Bennett Dead at 45

Undertow Music Collective is reporting that former Wilco member Jay Bennett passed away in his sleep last night. Bennett was recently in the news for suing Jeff Tweedy over unpaid artist royalties.

Still developing... check back for updates.

UPDATE: Bennett's Wikipedia entry has been changed to say that he died after undergoing hip replacement surgery. He announced that he needed the surgery on his MySpace page just weeks before the suit of Tweedy--the timing raised some eyebrows since he reportedly did not have health insurance.

Jim DeRogatis has also confirmed the news after talking with Edward Burch, friend of Bennett. He also put together a nice chronicle of Bennett's musical career.

Greg Kot also has a nice tribute to Bennett and a "best of" roll.

Jeff Tweedy issued a statement on Monday that he is "deeply saddened by this tragedy."

5/26 UPDATE: An autopsy was performed on Bennett this morning, but more tests, including toxicology, are needed to determine a cause of death. It could be two weeks before these results are available.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (4)

News Sat May 09 2009

Flaming Lips Now To Participate in "Write The Night"

FlamingLips.jpgDespite what we previously reported about The Flaming Lips not participating in "Write The Night" at Pitchfork Music Fest this year, turns out the band has flip-flopped again saying that they are "more than glad to be part of 'Write the Night'." Frontman Wayne Coyne also says "they will do their best to accommodate the wildest and most obscure of request - covers included."

So, if you hold tickets for Sunday, including three-day-passes, you can vote for just how obscure their setlist will be. Voting will end on June 12th. If you don't already have tickets and want to see The Lips, get on it because those three-day-passes have already sold out.

Updated p4k line-up after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

News Wed May 06 2009

Millennium Park Mondays in the Summer

You have to hand it to the Department of Cultural Affairs for dropping some surprises into Pritzker Pavilion's summer series. Now, there's nothing wrong with the classical, jazz and "world" music that dominates the schedule. But there aren't too many cities who hand over their downtown's prize architectural music venue to indie rock, electronic, reggae, experimental, and hip hop acts for free concerts.

After the Hideout in 2007 and a variety of venues in 2008 treated lunchtime crowds to weekly shows at Millennium Park, Edible Audible Picnics will do the same on Mondays from June 15 through August 24. Chicago's Pit er Pat kicks off the series that's followed by other local and national acts.

And on Monday evenings, DCA presents Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays with a schedule of performers that aren't exactly new, but are still worth heading over to see, highlighted by the Feelies and Red Red Meat (though, there is a TBA headliner on June 8 over Chicago's Mexican-American olio group Allá).

Continue reading this entry »

James Ziegenfus / Comments (1)

News Tue May 05 2009

Ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett Sues Jeff Tweedy

Ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett is suing Jeff Tweedy for (in excess of) $50,000 for unpaid artist royalties, breach of contract and damages alleging that he was not compensated by Tweedy for his work in the band from 1994 to 2001 and for his appearance in the 2002 documentary about the band "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart".

However, Bennett is suing in accordance of a band agreement that he neglected to sign, yet alleges that both parties were still subject to and held to the terms of the unexecuted agreement for the time he was in Wilco. (Chicagoist has the legal docs if you want to take a look here.)

It wouldn't be hard to feel sympathy for the guy. After Tweedy more or less kicked him out of the band, Bennett watched Wilco catapult even further but never found the same level of success on his own. And now on top of that, he's a "starving artist" looking at the cost (financial and emotional) of a major hip replacement surgery and doesn't have health insurance to cover it.

Which makes the lawsuit is suspiciously timely. We imagine medical bills for the surgery would be just around $50k since as Tankboy puts it: "It's hard to believe that an amount as minimal as that would really have to do with song royalties." If this lawsuit actually had anything to do with band dealings, you would think it would have come sooner than eight years later.

UPDATE: Apparently Tweedy has "no idea what these claims are based on."

Michelle Meywes

News Tue Apr 21 2009

Full Lollapalooza Line-Up Revealed!


If you missed the midnight line-up announcement at Rehab last night, check out the official Lollapalooza poster (via Stereogum) for the complete line-up, or click below for a full list (via Jim DeRogatis).

Who are you most excited to see on the bill?

Continue reading this entry »

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (3)

Stores Wed Apr 15 2009

Top Sellers: Laurie's Planet of Sound

This week's list of top sellers comes from Melissa Geils of Laurie's Planet of Sound, at 4639 N. Lincoln Ave., in Lincoln Square. Melissa titled her list "Laurie's Planet of Sound Top Sellers: '(Fairly) Under the Radar' Edition!" As always, Chicago artists are bolded.

Vee Dee, Public Mental Health System DLP (Criminal IQ)
Death, For the Whole World to See (Drag City)
Obits, Blame You (Sub Pop)
Lover!, Gathered in the Graveyard LP (Red Lounge)
Wavves, Wavvves (Fat Possum)
Mastodon, Crack the Skye (Reprise)
Coathangers, Scramble (Suicide Squeeze)
Various Artists, Local Customs: Downriver Revival (Numero Group)
Nobunny, Love Visions (1-2-3-4-Go!)
Woods, Songs of Shame LP (Woodsist)
The Mayfair Set, Already Warm 7" (Captured Tracks)
Nothing People, Late Night LP (S-S)
The Strange Boys, And Girls Club (In the Red)
Timmy's Organism, Squeeze the Giant 2x7" (Sacred Bones)
Yearling, No More White Horses 12" (Bronx Cheer)

Please note: I previously linked to the wrong Yearling band. It is fixed now.

Sheila Burt

News Tue Mar 31 2009

Taste of Chicago to Feature Chicago Indie Lables

Amid the funk stylings of Cameo (June 26) and the college radio love ballads of Counting Crows (June 27) and Barenaked Ladies (June 30), this summer's Taste of Chicago will also feature a side stage displaying talent from local music labels. Artists on the Thrill Jockey, Bloodshot and Earwig rosters will play on a special stage at the south end of the festival. Bands include Eleventh Dream Day, Fred Anderson, Doug McCombs and David Daniel, along with Bobby Conn. Extra bonus: indie music loving venue The Hideout will present a special performance titled "A Patriotic Salute to our 44 Presidents" on July 4th where multiple performers will perform songs based on each president. (As Hideout owner Tim Tuten heads to Washington DC this year to work for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, I'm sure this patriotic project will be a labor of love.)

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Mon Mar 30 2009

Morse Theatre Saga Wages on

It's apparently not a sure thing exactly how the Morse Theatre in Rogers Park will continue to operate, if at all, in the future. ChiTown Daily News reports that the theatre is closed until future notice while the owners and management hash things out. Fingers crossed they'll come to a reasonable solution soon. Read about the recent developments here, here and here.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri Mar 27 2009

The Flaming Lips To Close Out P4K Fest

TheFlamingLips.jpgIn case you were less than stoked about the Pitchfork Music Festival lineup thus far, we have a huge announcement to make. The Flaming Lips have been added to headline Sunday! They will also be participating in the new "Write The Night" series that until now, only the Friday night lineup was a part of. So, if you hold tickets for Sunday, you can vote for the set list they will play! Voting will end June 13.

The Festival lineup as it stands now, after the jump.

(Photo from the band's website by J. Michelle Martin)

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

News Wed Mar 25 2009

Hey Champ To Tour With The Sounds

heychampnye.jpgOne of my favorite local bands, Hey Champ, has just announced that they will be joining The Sounds on their US spring tour. The group had a breakout hit last summer with the dance single (and video) "Cold Dust Girl." Lately, the guys have been busy in the recording studio working on a new album, and if you've been at any of their live shows recently, you've likely heard a preview. The tour stops in Chicago on May 7 at Double Door. Can't wait that long? You can also catch them there this Saturday with Tigercity.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

News Tue Mar 24 2009

Jimmy Chamberlin Responds


Yesterday we reported that Smashing Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlin would be leaving the band, after a brief post made on last Friday, which makes The Smashing Pumpkins pretty much a solo project. Today, Jimmy shed a little more light on the situation, with a statement on the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex blog:

I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don't fully possess. I won't pretend I'm into something I'm not. I won't do it to myself, you the fan, or my former partner. I can't just, "Cash the check" so to speak. Music is my life. It is sacred.

Jimmy will be continuing on with the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, but it's still a sad, sad day in Pumpkin Land.

Photo via

Stephanie Griffin

News Mon Mar 23 2009

Final Lollapalooza Headliners Announced

Greg Kot is reporting Tool and The Killers will join previously leaked headliners Depeche Mode, Beastie Boys, Jane's Addiction and Kings of Leon at Lollapalooza August 7-9. I'm psyched for the Beasties and Depeche Mode, but I'm hoping for a few big surprises if they're expecting to top last year. DeRo reports Andrew Bird, Lou Reed, and Neko Case will also be on the bill.

If you're like me and missed the $60 Golden Ticket sale two weeks ago, make sure to mark your calendars for March 31st, when Early Bird tickets go on sale. The ticket price hasn't been announced yet, but judging by past years, expect to pay around $150-$175 for an Early Bird, which typically sell out within 24 hours. Check for more information.

Stephanie Griffin

Artist Wed Mar 18 2009

Back In The OFFICE

Worried you were never going to get to see OFFICE perform any of their new stand-out album, Mecca, live? Or that their catchy pop tunes were going to be sadly missed at all the street festivals since they had reportedly split up? Well, if Scott Masson was taking a break from the scene, it wasn't for long, because the band has listed some local performances coming up on their MySpace page including Rib Fest and a benefit at Double Door (benefiting Inspiration Corporation). There is also a new lineup listed--Scott, Erika, and Justin are still there, but there's a whole slew of newbies added. The crew is "well into the recording of a new album" after signing a two-album deal with Quack!Media.

Visit the band's MySpace page for dates and to download Mecca for free!

Michelle Meywes

News Tue Mar 10 2009

U2 to be Seen (Not Heard) at Metro Event Tonight

The Sun-Times is reporting that the rumor cat is out of the rumor bag. U2 will indeed "make an appearance" at the Metro tonight, but they will not (repeat: not) be performing, DJing or getting in any way funky. (Funky notation added by Transmission). Oh, and don't try to stalk Bono tonight on Clark Street. If you don't have a wristband, you're not getting in.

Anne Holub

News Mon Mar 09 2009

11th Hour Reprieve for Morse Theatre

The North Howard Neighbors Association is reporting on its blog that the owners of the troubled Morse Theatre (previous coverage here and here) have reached "an agreement in principle". The Theatre had announced it would be closing after the performance on Saturday, March 7. On Friday, the Morse announced that the somewhat mysterious group 86th Ohio LLC will be taking over management of the venue from current management which includes Andy McGee. No word on if the types of bookings will change at the Theatre in coming months, and if they will move away from their current programming which includes live jazz, world, classical and soul performances.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri Mar 06 2009

Lolla Headliners (sorta) Announced

How about some more summer festival line-up news... Although festival promoters are still keeping mum, Greg Kot is reporting that Jane's Addiction, Depeche Mode and Beastie Boys will headline this year's Lollapalooza. While they're still unconfirmed, they're pretty good bets considering the way summer tours are shaping up, and avoiding Chicago.

Lollapalooza takes place August 7-9 at Grant Park. And you might want to stay chained to your desk (or mobile email device) because it's about that time to keep your eyes peeled for those cheapie early bird tickets.

Michelle Meywes

Concert Fri Mar 06 2009

Pitchfork First Picks Announced

With a slight change of pace from previous years, the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival will not start with an evening of nostalgic full-length album performances. Instead, the Friday night lineup will feature four bands, all of them of the indie rock ouvre, playing sets that you, the early ticket buyer, vote on. Friday night, July 17th's performances, we've now learned, will come from a newly reunited Jesus Lizard, Tortoise, Built to Spill and Yo La Tengo. Other bands on board for the fourth annual summer festival which runs July 17-19, include Grizzly Bear, sad-core rockers The National, Pharoahe Monch, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Walkmen and Vivian Girls. Tickets go on sale March 13th.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

DJ / Dance Thu Mar 05 2009

The Heaven Seventies' Remixes Vol.2 available for free download

Chicago-based electroni-rock-pop outfit The Heaven Seventies have released a second volume of remixes of their tracks available as a free download on their site. Remixers include Slava of the local MomentSound collective and DJ/producer/promoter Quantazelle (er, me).

Liz McLean Knight

News Wed Mar 04 2009

It Ain't Easy Being Indie in the Windy City

As early as Saturday morning, word was making the rounds that the non-profit performance space AV-aerie had (once again) run into zoning issues with the City of Chicago. A benefit show being held at the venue on Friday evening had been raided and shut down by authorities, and now the venue (with the help of the Empty Bottle and other parties) was reportedly scrambling to move future AV-aerie shows to other venues around the city. This morning, TOC's Areif Sless-Kitain blogged about the AV-aerie's troubled state of affairs.

On a related note: Talk to anyone who's been involved in event booking or promotion in Chicago, and they'll tell you it's an exceedingly tough place to try and do business. With that in mind, Greg Kot posted an update on the current status of the city's proposed "Chicago Promoters Ordinance" via his column at the Trib.

Also, The Reader's Miles Raymer chimes in on both of the above topics here and here.

Graham Sanford

News Mon Mar 02 2009

Losers, Beautiful and Otherwise

While he may have once been a running punchline on The Young Ones, it seems that Leonard Cohen's pop-culture status has been overwhelming rehabbed in recent decades. So much so that, as he prepares to tour the U.S. for the first time in over 15 years, it looks like his fans (including those hoping to catch his performance at the Chicago Theater in May) might consider teaming up with those of Bruce Springsteen for a class action suit against Ticketmaster. The Reader's "Crickets" blog tells why.

Graham Sanford

News Fri Feb 27 2009

Here we go again...

I'm certainly not the first to break this news, but tickets for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival go on sale Friday, March 13. The indie music fest that rocks Union Park every year will do it again July 17-19, 2009. Want to know who will be playing the fest? Time Out: Chicago has some guesses.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

Album Fri Feb 27 2009

Neko Case Is All Over The Place

case.jpgIn addition to having AWESOME album art, Neko Case's latest album Middle Cyclone is also an awesome piece of work. A collection of love songs (which she swore to herself that she would never write again...) Middle Cyclone is a beautiful follow up to Fox Confessor Brings The Flood.

The first time I heard a Neko Case song (it was "Star Witness" for good measure) I was completely struck by her entrancing voice and Fox Confessor became one of my favorite albums. Sometimes I wonder if an artist can match themselves after putting out such a great album, but I would say she's one-upped herself with this one. Middle Cyclone is typical Neko in all the right ways, yet new and different in all the right ways. The opening track "This Tornado Loves You" is an energizing, powerful entry into the album, while "People Got a Lotta Nerve" is the catchiest tune that will most likely get the most airplay.

The Sound Opinions boys talk with Neko about the new album in this week's episode available today via podcast and airing on Chicago Public Radio tonight at 8pm (and again tomorrow at 11am). She's joined by guitarist Paul Rigby and backing vocalist Kelly Hogan for a couple of live songs, too.

Middle Cyclone doesn't come out 'til next Tuesday, but until then, NPR is streaming the album in its entirety as part of their Exclusive First Listen series. Also, if you pre-order on iTunes, there are a couple of bonus live tracks recorded at her old stomping ground, The Hideout.

In case this wasn't enough NekoNews for you, she is also embarking on a tour this spring, and makes her stop in Chicago April 24th at Chicago Theatre. Tickets are $30 but are also available at the Chicago Theater box office with no service fees (take that Ticketmaster).

(Photo by Jason Creps)

Michelle Meywes

News Mon Feb 23 2009

Touch and Go: The Reverb

An update to last week's Touch and Go announcement: Kot and DeRo weigh in.

While the Touch and Go label is still intact, the announcement that they are ending the manufacturing and distributing side of business may have much more of an impact on the music industry than we realize. The Tribune's Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis of the Sun Times discussed the label's announcement on their respective blogs, as well as on last week's episode of Sound Opinions, raising an interesting point: This change in operations could be devastating on the independent music scene as we know it. For the past 20 years, Touch and Go provided distribution for dozens of small labels across the country, including several Chicago labels. Who do these small labels now turn to for distribution when the business of music is already under such strain financially? And what does this mean for the future of independent labels and bands? This question has been looming for quite a while, and is part of a much bigger concern in the music industry (affecting majors as well as indies) brought on by the internet and file sharing.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

News Thu Feb 19 2009

Morse Theatre Update

Sadly, the Morse Theatre in Rogers Park, whose financial troubles we discussed last week, has announced it will close after a performance by Paris Delane slated for March 7. This was confirmed after Time Out: Chicago talked with owner Andy McGee. No word on if the restaurant, Century Public House, will remain open or not.

Fingers crossed that another group will step in and use this lovely restored venue in the near future.

Anne Holub

News Wed Feb 18 2009

Touch and Go Gone? Still Going

It looks as if a Chicago institution has bit the dust. Touch and Go Records is famous for invigorating the punk scene in the mid 80's after Corey Rusk took the reins and moved the label from Michigan to Chicago in 1983. They just released two debut full-lengths yesterday, but Time Out is reporting that the company is through and will only be handling back catalog from this point on.

Word is that they will issue an official press release sometime today, so check back for updates throughout the day.

UPDATE: Well, it looks like Touch and Go will stick around as a label, but they are ceasing their lesser known manufacturing and distributing side of business, which will still mean big changes on staff. Corey Rusk issued the following statement to the Tribune's Greg Kot where he blames, as expected, the economy.

"It is with great sadness that we are reporting some major changes here at Touch and Go Records. Many of you may not be aware, but for nearly 2 decades, Touch and Go has provided manufacturing and distribution services for a select yet diverse group of other important independent record labels. Titles from these other labels populate the shelves of our warehouse alongside the titles on our own two labels, Touch and Go Records, and Quarterstick Records.

"Unfortunately, as much as we love all of these labels, the current state of the economy has reached the point where we can no longer afford to continue this lesser known, yet important part of Touch and Go's operations. Over the years, these labels have become part of our family, and it pains us to see them go. We wish them all the very best and we will be doing everything we can to help make the transition as easy as possible.

"Touch and Go will be returning to its roots and focusing solely on being an independent record label. We'll be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure. It is the end of a grand chapter in Touch and Go's history, but we also know that good things can come from new beginnings."

Michelle Meywes

News Fri Feb 13 2009

New Kid on the Block Morse Theatre May Be Closing

Photo by Flickr user xol87

Just four months after it opened, the Morse Theatre in Rogers Park may be facing sudden closure. Citing disputes with the theater's investors, owner Andy McGee is no longer booking future dates. The venue has showcased local and national jazz, classical and other often underserved performances, including even a special free neighborhood viewing party for the inauguration last month. It would be a very sad thing to see this unique theater close, especially after such a brief lifespan.

Anne Holub / Comments (8)

News Wed Jan 28 2009

Are You Kidding Me, Billy Corgan?


Just over a month after Billy Corgan whined about the integrity of his band for twenty minutes at the Auditorium Theater, The Smashing Pumpkins will be debuting new material via a Hyundai Genesis Coupe commercial. Yes, you read that correctly. The commercial will premiere directly before the kick off at the Super Bowl on Sunday. The song, titled "FOL", will be featured in a 30-second spot with the theme "The Epic Lap".

Ten bucks says in two years time Billy will claim he was only playing the part of a washed-up rock star.

Photo courtesy Matt Carmichael/

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (16)

News Tue Jan 27 2009

R.I.P. Charlie Cooper of Telefon Tel Aviv

News has been circulating today concerning the death of Charles Cooper, member of the Chicago-based electronic music outfit Telefon Tel Aviv. Cooper's body was found yesterday, with the date of his death reported as having occurred on Thursday, January 22. As of this morning, the cause of death has yet to be officially declared, pending an autopsy.

The duo of Charles Cooper and Joshua Eustis first began working together as Telefon Tel Aviv in New Orleans during the late 1990s. They released their debut album, Fahrenheit Fair Enough, via Chicago's Hefty Records in 2001 -- an album of lush, jazz-tinged downtempo electronica that caught the attention of listeners and fit perfectly alongside the work of such contemporaries as Prefuse 73 and DJ Shadow. They relocated to the Windy City later that same year, and a second album followed in 2004. Having earned an international fan base, the duo recently signed to Ellen Allien's Berlin-based BPitch Control, and released their third LP exactly one week ago today.

On the eve of the release of TTV's new album, music critic Miles Raymer just recently profiled the band in the January 15 edition of the Chicago Reader; and today he writes about Cooper's passing on the publication's "Crickets" blog.

Graham Sanford

Music Business Fri Jan 23 2009

The return of Muxtape? Looks like it. Sort of.

The internet is currently abuzz with rumors that, after a long hiatus, the popular playlist-sharing site Muxtape may be up and running some time in the weeks to come. However, the site now bears the qualifier "in the service of bands" -- suggesting that the 2.0 version will probably come with be for restricted use. In a long explanation about the site's legal snags posted back in September, owner and operator Justin Ouellette indicated just what the revamped Muxtape might involve:

"Muxtape is relaunching as a service exclusively for bands, offering an extremely powerful platform with unheard-of simplicity for artists to thrive on the internet. Musicians in 2008 without access to a full time web developer have few options when it comes to establishing themselves online, but their needs often revolve around a common set of problems. The new Muxtape will allow bands to upload their own music and offer an embeddable player that works anywhere on the web, in addition to the original muxtape format. Bands will be able to assemble an attractive profile with simple modules that enable optional functionality such as a calendar, photos, comments, downloads and sales, or anything else they need."

So, just how this will differ from Myspace remains to seen; but interested parties should probably keep their eyes on the site for future developments.

Graham Sanford

Music Business Wed Jan 14 2009

Shrinking The Party Pool

Econ 101: In times of financial strain and hardship, people start re-prioritizing their expenses. And an individual's entertainment budget is usually the first thing to get a selective "dialing down."

In his "Turn It Up" column in today's Trib, Greg Kot gives a run-down of how the present economic downturn is impacting the concert industry in Chicago:

"Because bands don't make all that much money from recorded music, their primary source of income is the road, and they need to tour more frequently," [Jam Productions vice-president Nick Miller] says. "They look at Chicago, and they plug it in every three to six months, and that's where we will see attendance fall off."

That and more in the full article.

Also in related news today: If you blog, Twitter, or just routinely share YouTube vids with friends, the New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones points out that you might encounter some obstacles -- starting now.

Graham Sanford

News Tue Jan 13 2009

More Opportunities to See TNK Bands

alla.jpgIf you're super bummed that some of the Tomorrow Never Knows shows have already sold out (along with those 5-day passes), I have good news. Reckless Records is offering FREE in-store performances from some of the bands at their Broadway location. This Wednesday at 3pm you can catch Boston's Lost In The Trees before they run over to Schubas to play that night (still on sale). On Thursday, Chicago's own Alla will perform in-store at 4:30pm. Unless you have tickets for TNK Thursday night, this is the only chance you'll have to see them. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, who recently teamed up with TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone, Grizzly Bear's Chris Bear and Daniel Rossen on his latest album, will grace the store on Saturday, January 17th at 1pm. He is also playing the already sold out Friday night show of TNK. And finally, The Donkeys, all the way from San Diego, bring their beachy-pop with them to the store on Sunday, January 18th at 3pm. They also play TNK Sunday night (tickets still available). All in-store performances will take place at Reckless Records: 3161 N. Broadway (773-404-5080).

Read all our Tomorrow Never Knows coverage.

(Photo of Alla from their MySpace page)

Michelle Meywes

News Thu Jan 08 2009

Chat with Andrew Bird


The release of Mr. Bird's new album Noble Beast is just two weeks away, and we here at Gapers Block are pumped. In the meantime, NPR is giving you the chance to pick some Bird brain. Andrew will be signing in for a guest chat today at 1 p.m. to answer questions about his new album. You can join in on the fun here.

And if you can't wait until the 20th to hear Noble Beast, NPR will also be streaming the album all this week, and you can pre-order it over at Fat Possum's website. A deluxe edition of the album will be available, which will include Useless Creatures, an instrumental companion to Noble Beast, which is currently streaming here.

Stephanie Griffin

News Thu Jan 01 2009

New Year Dead

Things are all ready getting more interesting in '09, thanks to President-elect Barack Obama — starting with a return to the road with remaining members of the Grateful Dead. Thanks to some warm-up dates in the form of fundraisers for Obama, the band's stretched out its calves and they're ready to rock. The lineup includes original Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart along with Ratdog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and Allman Brothers Band/Gov't Mule guitarist Warren Haynes. They'll hit Chicago May 5th at the Allstate Arena. Start airing out your hemp pants, folks. Tickets go on sale January 13th.

Anne Holub

News Wed Dec 17 2008

The Hideout Brings Chicago to the Inauguration

If you've got plans to go to DC (and a place to stay...) for Obama's Presidential Inauguration, you can celebrate the night before with the folks from The Hideout at The Black Cat where they, with Interchange, present The Big Shoulders Ball: a Chicago concert celebrating change. Hideout co-owner and staunch Obama supporter (as is evident by the ENORMOUS picture of Obama hanging on the front of The Hideout), Tim Tuten, has chartered two buses to take the bands and company on the cross country trip. Why am I getting a feeling of America ala 60s full of VW buses, hippie braids and peace signs... Anyway, the lineup is stacked; Tortoise, Waco Brothers, Ken Vandermark and Icy Demons are among the local artists already slated to play. Tickets go on sale today at 4pm and are $50. You can get them from The Black Cat's website, or pick them up in person at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia). (UPDATE: The ball has sold out.) The exact date of the show is Monday, January 19 (just in case you've been living under a rock and hadn't heard when Obama would take over as Commander in Chief). The Black Cat is located at 1811 14th St. NW WDC 20009.

**UPDATE** Andrew Bird has been added to the line-up as well!

Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

News Mon Nov 10 2008

The Loney Swedes Invade Champaign

loney.jpgChampaign's Polyvinyl Records manager, Seth Hubbard announced today that they had signed Sweden's indie darlings Loney Dear, and plan to release their sophomore album, Dear John, on January 29th. He said, "We are so excited to be working with Loney Dear. Loney, Noir has been an office favorite since it came out so we jumped at the chance to work with such a great band." After a great deal of buzz was generated in 2006, Sub Pop records released the bands debut album Loney, Noir early last year. Lead singer Emil Svanängen describes the new album as a "marvelous album in dark shades with a lava-like glow from underneath". The band plans to tour the states in early 2009.

[MP3] Loney Dear - I Am John (from Loney, Noir)

Jason Behrends

mp3 Wed Nov 05 2008

Obama Extra Golden

Kenyan and American Thrill Jockey artists Extra Golden are rockin' the results today with the release of a free download of an extremely appropriately happy track, "Obama". Also check PBS' Frontline's interview with Extra Golden drummer Steve Onyango Wuod Omari on the eve of the election.

[video]: Extra Golden - "Obama"

Or, if you need more Obama tribute songs, check out Extra Golden's label Kanyo Records' comp Senator Barack Obama Hoyee

[mp3]: Extra Golden - "Obama"

Anne Holub

Music Business Tue Oct 21 2008

Because it didn't just go away...

Chances are you heard a fair amount this past spring about the so-called Chicago Promoters Ordinance, and about how -- after rapid grassroots mobilzation from the city's cultural community -- the Ordinance was tabled for a later date.

But in the face of the city's current budget woes, as municipal powers look for ways to fill a $496 million-dollar budget deficit, you can expect they'll be looking for a lot of ways to squeeze out revenue -- tapping into whatever resources that seem viable. Which most likely means that the Ordinance could be making a re-appearance at the earliest opportunity.

As Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis describes it, the Chicago Promoters Ordinance (aka the "Event Promoters Ordinance," or Chapter 4-157) constitutes "a full-on war against the music community." But that's only one part of the larger picture. In case you hadn't followed the details very closely, the Ordinance would have a detrimental effect on culture in Chicago that would extend far beyond the indie music and dance scene. It would also affect the city's art and performance venues of every stripe -- including theater, comedy, literary events, as well as alternative arts spaces and galleries. In short, the scope of the Ordinance would effectively sever this city's cultural life at the roots.

By way of a recap, local multimedia producers JaGoFF and TheRecordIndustry have put together their own video documentary Chicago's Promoters' Ordinance Kills Independent Music. Shot over the past summer and quickly posted for viral circulation, the documentary features interviews with Jim DeRogatis and Chicago Tribune music journalist Greg Kot; as well as commentary by a bevy of other Chicago scene-movers including Shawn Campbell from CHIRP, DJs Derrick Carter and James Lauer, Galapagos4 hip-hop DJ/producer Maker, and plenty of other figures from Chicago's multi-faceted cultural landscape.

The video's long on testimonials, but also features some excellent info and commentary -- most notably an extensive walk-through of the Ordinance provided by Henry H. Perritt Jr. As a law professor and cultural advocate, Perritt subjects the Ordinance to a relentless critique in terms of its legal and cultural ramifications, and offers the verdict that the thing is both "unconstitutional" and "just plain bonkers."

Stay tuned, because we'll most likely be seeing more of the Chicago Promoters Ordinance in the future. And that'll probably end up being sooner than later.

More to come.

[video]: Youtube version
[video]: Google version
[video]: Myspace version

Graham Sanford / Comments (1)

News Mon Oct 13 2008

Hearing Things

Pitchfork has a book coming out. The Pitchfork 500 hits stores Nov. 11.

Pelican's van was robbed in Rome, with thieves getting away with thousands of dollars in equipment. [via]

• Like a musical Voltron, Chicago Noise Machine is made up of nine bands. The result plays Nov. 14 at the Cubby Bear. [via]

J. Ivy is bringing a night of hip hop poetry to Flavor Restaurant in Flossmoor. [via]

HearYa posts a live session with Bloomington's Backyard Tire Fire.

Chicago Classical Music interviews cellist Abe Feder.

Greg Kot picks the best five albums by Bob Dylan and Lou Reed.

Jim DeRogatis rates James Bond theme songs, and gives Oasis fans their say in response to his negative review of the band's latest.

Miles Raymer contemplates sissy bounce.

Decider reports back on Tegan & Sara at the Riv.

Glorious Noise catches Dressy Bessy.

• The TOC Blog has dueling reviews of Ben Folds at the Congress and the Apple Genius Bar.

• Stereogum notes that there's a good number of live versions of Andrew Bird's latest songs floating around.

Lollapalooza will be back August 7-9 next year.

Andrew Huff

Concert Wed Oct 08 2008

My Morning Jacket Postponements

At last night's My Morning Jacket show in Iowa City, singer Jim James fell headfirst into the crowd and was hospitalized. Tonight's Jim James solo performance at a Barack Obama Victory Fundraiser has been cancelled and My Morning Jacket's sold out Chicago Theater shows later this week have been postponed. There's no word yet on a rescheduling.

If you really need to see a show on Thursday and/or Friday, may I suggest STNNNG and Cougars at the Beat Kitchen, Kid, You'll Move Mountains and the Fake Fictions at the Bottom Lounge, Silver Jews at Metro or Stereolab at the Vic?

James Ziegenfus / Comments (1)

News Sat Oct 04 2008

Other problems with Top Anything lists..

As my colleague Jason pointed out, there is a definite issue with Top 100 lists, especially as you wonder just what the hell the pollsters are thinking about with the inclusions of some, exclusion of others and placement of any.

This Monday, VH1's Hip-Hop Honors 2008 inducts their 2008 class and, as a bonus, decided to rank the Top 100 Hip-Hop Songs of All Time. Given that hip-hop is a genre of music that's almost 30 years old, there have been a number of entries in the pantheon, as well as no shortage of disagreement online and off.

Chicago's Big Two (it would be four if Twista's commercial success been more widespread and Da Brat wasn't female or down with Jermaine Dupri) are represented on the list, and the argument about their placement and song selection would center on, well, how odd they are.

Common Sense (as he was, back in the Resurrection days) placed with "I Used to Love H.E.R." at #69 and Kanye placed with "Gold Digger" at #20. Let the debate commence.

Peace to Stereogum for actually printing the list out.

Troy Hunter / Comments (2)

News Wed Oct 01 2008

Hearing Things

The Indie Band Survival Guide, written by members of local band Beatnik Turtle, is now available as a book. [via]

• Fake Shore Drive shares a Twista mixtape, Bad Guys Always Win.

• The Chicago Blues Examiner picks the city's best blues clubs. (Hint: none of them are named after a blues star.)

Verbal Kent has created a hip hop version of "Go Cubs Go" -- download it on Gowhere Hip Hop.

• Speaking of Cubs (and Sox), Greg Kot makes a mixtape for both teams' playoff drives.

• The Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival is coming in November; HearYa offers a preview sampler.

Largehearted Boy's Tuesday download roundup points to a live set by Local H and a torrent of Saturday's My Bloody Valentine show here.

Glorious Noise reviews said MBV show.

• Miles Raymer reviews Santogold at the House of Blues.

Steve Albini talks gear with Electronic Musician. [via]

Andrew Huff

News Mon Sep 29 2008

Know Your Audience (and Your Employer)

Even though the crowd was mostly Cubs fans celebrating a win, all clamoring for a chorus or two of Steve Goodman's tune "Go Cubs Go", musician Ted Wulfers should have let the request go the way of "Freebird". Instead, he played a few minutes of the song...while doing a set at a Milwaukee bar inside Miller Park. The Brewers fans didn't appreciate it, and he lost a future booking at the bar as a result.

"Go Cubs Go: 2008 Edition" [Video]

Anne Holub

News Thu Sep 25 2008

OK GO Says...

okgo_6178.jpgWhen musicians get involved in politics the results are not always what they had hoped for (See: Kayne vs. Bush). However, if they aren't being completely serious, and there are charities involved, then it just might work. Earlier this summer, Under the Radar magazine published its Protest Issue, which featured an array of musicians sharing their thoughts on today's political climate. Along with interviews, Under the Radar conducted photo shoots with those artists, each holding protest signs of their own making. Beginning September 30th, Under the Radar will host a 7-day eBay auction of the protest signs featured in the issue. All proceeds will go to benefit War Child International, a nonprofit that helps children in areas of conflict across the globe. This auction provides individuals with an opportunity to purchase a one-of-a-kind piece of art while also contributing to a worthwhile cause. Now the word art is always a sticky word, and can mean very different thing to different people. What Under the Radar means is they gave white poster board and black sharpies to several of their favorite musicians to see what they would do. So if you want a poster signed by Fleet Foxes that reads "Capitalism i$ unethical (and we're hypocrites)" then this auction is for you. Maybe you want a sign from Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips) that reads "Just Be A Nice Person" or one from My Morning Jacket the says "Puppiez y Kittens". Yes, they are protesting puppies and kittens, why not?

To view all of the auction items visit Under the Radar.

Jason Behrends

News Wed Sep 24 2008

Hearing Things

Kanye West is releasing his new album, 800 & Heartbreak, in November, because he got it done early.

• And speaking of Kanye, he and Rhymefest have teamed up to create a "Muppet Show"-like puppet show for Comedy Central.

• Wilco and Fleet Foxes have recorded a cover of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released," available for free download here. interviews the guys behind Gowhere Hip Hop.

• The Smashing Pumpkins are finally playing in Chicago proper -- their first since 2000. Here's DeRogatis' take.

Pitchfork reviews the soundtrack by The Final Solution for a blaxploitation film that was never made.

&bull Decider fills in the local background on this new Rise Against video:

Andrew Huff

Event Thu Sep 04 2008

Drag City via the Scenic Route

Gastr del Sol, Mirror Repair EP, 1994, Drag City Records

As it goes with music, the best art can often be a little unruly, a bit difficult -- doesn't behave, in other words. It can prompt discussion, steer conversation in unforeseen directions, or -- at its most poignant -- sometimes render speech useless altogether.

Throughout the course of its long and diverse history, the Drag City label has dealt with its share of musical artists who defy pat categorization -- releasing records by the likes of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Royal Trux, Silver Jews, Gastr del Sol, U.S. Maple, Joanna Newsome, and many others. Not only do many of these musicians also produce visual work on the side, but a few of them have collaborated with artists in other disciplines. Case in point: The stalwart experimental-rock outfit Red Krayola, whose ranks have included a number of internationally-established artists from the visual art realm -- benefitting from contributions by Albert Oehlen (see above) and Christopher Williams, as well as sometimes collaborated with members of the British conceptual art collective Art & Language.

To showcase this facet of the label's history, Drag City and the UIC's Gallery 400 recently mounted the exhibition Chances Are The Comets In Our Future - A Visual Introduction To Drag City. As expected, the show features cover art and various designs from the DC back catalog, but it also includes miscellaneous art-works from label artist such as Ian Svenonius, Neil Michael Haggerty, and Will Oldham. Also included as related pieces by Oelhen, Williams, Stephen Prina, and legendary punk designer/illustrator Savage Pencil.

The exhibition is currently on view at Gallery 400 at the UIC School of Architecture and the Arts, is free to the public, and runs until October 8. For directions, gallery hours and additional info, see the Gallery's website.

Graham Sanford

News Thu Sep 04 2008

Hearing Things

• Jim DeRogatis runs down a fall concert preview, as does Greg Kot.

Gowhere Hip Hop drop some new Cool Kids tracks.

The Sun-Times interviews Andrew Bird about his blogging for and his new album.

• Chicago Rock Examiner interviews local musician Mark Minelli.

Liz Revision interviews Modeskeletor, who played at Sonotheque on Wednesday.

The Sea and Cake are touring this fall; Live Music Blog has the schedule. (Two shows Nov. 15 at the Empty Bottle, if you're wondering.)

Jeff Tweedy now has a signature guitar, from Breedlove. Only 25 were made, and they run about $6,000.

Peter Margasak on post-Jazz Fest concerts last weekend.

Metromix picks the 23 most annoying frontmen in rock. [via]

• Can You See the Sunset from the South Side finally picks back up on its incomplete history of Chicago punk.

Andrew Huff

News Mon Aug 18 2008

Muxtape Gets Served

Although the details are still murky, it appears that our beloved Muxtape has run into the music mafia, the RIAA.

There is a short entry on the Muxtape blog that expounds on the situation a bit:

No artists or labels have complained. The site is not closed indefinitely. Stay tuned.

Beta users of Muxtape For Bands: you are unaffected by this outage.

More details forthcoming as they emerge.

Daniel Melnick / Comments (1)

News Mon Aug 18 2008

Hearing Things

• Fake Shore Drive has video from Lupe Fiasco's Coke-sponsored show at the Park West over the weekend.

• Speaking of, Gowherehiphop has a new Lupe track, "The Birds and the Bees."

• You can follow bands on Twitter, you know.

• At the Reader, Peter Margasak loves Brazilian music, and Monica Kedrick notes that No Depression is alive online and relaunching its website soon.

Is 8 too young to play the blues?

Andrew Huff

News Mon Aug 18 2008

"The Best of What's Next..."

Paste Magazine just announced that their September issue will feature their "The Best of What's Next - 26 Artists You Can't Miss". They will highlight 26 artist that they feel will make an impact in the year ahead. Paste claims to be among the first US press to spotlight Franz Ferdinand, The Arctic Monkeys, Josh Ritter, Sufjan Stevens, Jamie Cullum, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Damien Rice, Brandi Carlile, and many more. This years list has many names that the music fan will recognize, and even a few names that have been blog favorites for the last couple of years (Los Campesinos!, Islands, Bon Iver, etc). Yet, the most disappointing part of this list is that, with all of the excitement and activity in both Chicago's hip hop and avant-rock music scenes, there is not one Chicago name on the list. No Cool Kids, No Chandeliers, No Icy Demons, No Hollywood Holt, No Ezra Furman, nothing. A complete oversight, I will let you be the judge. However, if there was one name that I would say I was happy to see included it would be Dent May. The small town boy from Mississippi deserves some major attention. Take a look and tell us what you think.

Continue reading this entry »

Jason Behrends / Comments (2)

Artist Sun Aug 10 2008

Taking You There: Anti- Records Announces Release Date for Mavis Live @ The Hideout CD

Location can be everything, indeed. The best live recordings come from such circumstances, occasions where an artist finds herself at home with a warm, and responsive crowd, and the result is a friendly and intimate interaction between performer and audience. Live albums like Etta James Rocks The House and Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and Roland Kirk's Kirk In Copenhagen leap to mind, but there are plenty of others in the history of recorded music that serve as evidence to this effect.

Better yet, there's nothing like returning to a welcoming fold of friends after a long journey. Such was the case when Mavis Staples played a homecoming show at the Hideout this past June. Alighting from an extensive tour, Staples and her band played a 14-song, career-spanning set to a sold-out house. Given the Hideout's modest digs, the crowd topped out at about 200 attendees, making for a cozy and up-close show. Reviews and reports of the performance were radiant across the board, and the Anti- label was on hand to document the whole thing.

And now from the Hideout and the artist's website comes word that the resulting disc, Mavis Staples Live: Hope at the Hideout, is scheduled for an official release date of November 4th. Check the Hideout's website for the full tracklisting, links to reviews, and photos.

Graham Sanford

Artist Fri Aug 08 2008

Recent Chi Hip-Hop Roundup

Via the community aggregations over at Fake Shore Drive comes word of recent drops and flips from the local hip-hop scene. In recent days, the diligent and indefatigable FSD crew has passed along the following...

  • Rhymefest delivers a advance caveat to listeners before the release of the video for his new track "Stolen":
    "First of all, dumb ass n******s that can't think past the club, the block, or fat booty b******s, DO NOT WATCH THIS! Your brain will explode. Second, self-righteous hip-hop nerds who expect to hear me go line for line in a metaphorical circus, DO NOT WATCH THIS! You will be sorely disappointed."

    It gets deeper from there. Read the whole statement here. Also, catch the new leaked 'Fest tracks "In Between" and "Forces of Nature" over there.

  • Elsewhere, Lupe Fiasco leaks the rare track, "Gangsta (Up In Here)." Check it.

  • From the "Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza" Department of Misheard Lyrics comes a live clip of The Cool Kids kickin' it on the Rock The Bells tour. At first it seems everyone was reporting the new track as bearing the title "The Sound of Panties Hitting The Ground." It turns out the track is actually called "Pennies." That's p-e-n-n-i-e-s hitting the ground. But here's to wishful thinking, right.

  • In case you hadn't glanced over the magazine racks in the past month, Kid Sis Melisa's one of URB magazine's "Girls of Summer."

  • And hey, just as we might've guessed: Kanye sure is one cla$$y dude.

Graham Sanford

News Mon Aug 04 2008

Lolla Notes

radiohead cta shirt.jpg

• Reader Alia pointed out that Radiohead's Colin Greenwood was wearing a vintage CTA t-shirt onstage, as seen on the screen behind the band, above. See more in the official Lollapalooza photo gallery.

312 Dining Diva details the ill-fated "official" afterparty that was to feature Perry Ferrell and Deadmau5.

• Barack Obama was widely rumored to be joining Kanye West onstage to close out the weekend, but in the end he didn't show.

• Things took a turn for the worse during the Rage Against the Machine show; DeRogatis has a good write-up of the mayhem.

• Slash made a couple guest appearances with Perry Farrell, first in his DJ set and then again on the Kidz stage along with Farrell's wife and Samantha Ronson. The latter suffered technical problems, but led to a crowd-rousing version of "Jane Says."

Time Out gave the "worst stage banter" award to G. Love.

Andrew Huff / Comments (2)

News Thu Jul 31 2008

Hearing Things

• If our Lollapalooza guide wasn't enough, here's a couple more: Time Out; The Reader; Chicagoist day 1, day 2, day 3; Metromix.

Greg Kot shares some advice for Lolla-goers.

Thrillist talked to Girl Talk. So did Chicagoist. Maybe we should call ourselves Transmissionist so we can talk to him.

• Wall Street Journal: This was Maxwell Street (previously, in Merge).

• The TOC Blog collects some "fine lines" about the Uptown Theater sale, and interviews Does It Offend You, Yeah?

The Rock Music Examiner picks its top five concert venues.

Double O of Kidz In the Hall got badly beat up by bouncers in a Tempe, AZ nightclub.

The Brauerhouse, a popular Hillside punk venue, burned down this week.

Live Music Blog reviews Umphrey's Magee, to no one's surprise. (We kid, guys.)

• Gowhere has an unreleased Lupe Fiasco track for download.

Pelican is playing a free show at the Subterranean tonight, if you RSVP.

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

News Tue Jul 29 2008

Uptown Saga Continues

This morning, if you had a big fat check for several million dollars in your pocket, you might have been headed to a foreclosure sale for the shuttered Uptown Theater. Players in the game aren't a surprise — Jam Productions remains a highly interested party, along with Live Nation, Madison Square Garden Entertainment (who recently purchased the Chicago Theatre), and C3 (who will bring you Lollapalooza this weekend, as well as shows at Soldier Field and the Congress Theatre). We'll have to see who has the cash, and hopefully, the vision for this dusty diamond. Update And the winner is....Jam Productions!

Anne Holub

News Wed Jul 23 2008

Hearing Things

Time Out asks local bands, promoters and venue owners about Lollapalooza's "radius clause."

Fake Shore Drive heard from someone who claims to have Rhymefest's iPod, containing his not-yet-released album, El Che. Tracks will be leaking. [via]

Centerstage talks with Michael Teach about the Chicago Acoustic Underground, and profiles up-and-coming singer Matthew Santos.

• "Martin [is] the anti-Bono, dancing like an awkward little urchin instead of striking cool larger-than-life poses, and never hesitant to do his Schroeder routine at his black upright piano."

• Peter Margasak celebrates bossa nova's 50th birthday in Post No Bills.

Lindsey Lohan at Lollapalooza?

• On Glorious Noise, an interview with Polvo and a video interview with Chris Mills.

Windy City Rock tracks down local bands on Twitter.

• Haven't read enough about the Pitchfork Music Festival? Read more on Jim DeRogatis' blog: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. Or Greg Kot's blog: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. Or Time Out Chicago's coverage.

Andrew Huff

Artist Tue Jul 01 2008

Let's Get Stupid

Even though it's only been a matter of weeks since they dropped the hardcopy of their debut EP The Bake Sale, Chicago's indie-rap sensations The Cool Kids aren't taking a breather or kicking back on their laurels. The duo's just released a new downloadable summer jawn mixtape EP entitled That's Stupid. Six tracks deep, the mixtape shows that the Kids are keeping it moving. On cuts like "Oscar The Grouch" and "That'll Work," they're flexing in a slightly different mode from what we've been hearing from them over the past year or so. (And if I'm not mistaken, Chuck's flow is sounding a little bit more like that of Gift of Gab from Blackalicious.)

Download That's Stupid here. And then bump that.

Graham Sanford

News Sat Jun 21 2008

Girl Talk Feeds Fans, Critters

Between his quickly sold-out 2007 New Years Eve appearance at the Empty Bottle and the overwhelming crowds that swamped his third-stage appearance at the Pitchfork Festival last summer, it's fair to say that Pittsburgh-based mashup maestro Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis) has a solid fanbase in this town. And in case you were too busy to catch the news as it spread across the web yesterday, he's now making his forthcoming album, Feed The Animals, available in advance by way of a pay-what-you-want download via his own website and label, Illegal Art.

As far the download is concerned, Gillis is giving his fans three options. For the interested, any price will get you high-quality mp3s of the album, five bucks will get you the same plus one additional continuous-track version of the entire album (which is how Gillis claims he'd prefer people listen to it), and ten dollars gets you the downloads plus a physical copy of Feed The Animals when it's officially released in September.

Since the Illegal Art site was inaccessible at the time of this writing, it appears that traffic might be heavier than the site can handle. Whatever the case, it looks like there's now a mirror link for the download here.

Girl Talk hits the road later this summer and will be making his appearance in Chicago at Lollapalooza on August 3. Feed The Animals will see hardcopy release on September 23.

Graham Sanford

Random Wed Jun 04 2008

Keep the Crossover…or Expect a Backlash Beatdown

Heads up, y'all. In case you hadn't been paying attention, Chicago has become something of a hotbed for "hipster rap" in the past few years. This week's edition of the Reader, hitting the streets on Thursday, features an intriguing "Sharp Darts" feature by Miles Raymer on a new wave of haterisms – prompted by a couple of webzine articles that have recently stirred up some debate and are landing a number of Chicago hip-hop artists at the top of a couple of shit lists (see here and here).

Graham Sanford

Artist Mon Jun 02 2008

Sybris Releases Second Album, New Video

It's been nearly three years since Chicago indie-rockers Sybris put out their debut album. In the interim they've toured, played a lot around town, and taken their time crafting new material to their own satisfaction. Apparenly it was all time well spent, because in the past year, the group's managed to earn a reputation as a local Artist To Watch for 2008.

Sybris's sophomore album Into The Trees was just released on the Absolutely Kosher label. The video for the album's lead single, "Oh Man!", started circulating a few days ago and is now up on Youtube (or just see above). Currently, they're taking the new album on the road on a coast-to-coast tour. The bad will be winding returning to home turf in late June, just in time to play a set at the Belmont Arts Festival on June 28th.

[mp3]: Sybris - "The Best Day In History In Ever" (2005)

Graham Sanford

News Tue May 20 2008

Tuesday Transmission Quick Links

- Alarm Magazine interviews bass-driven Chicago favorites Dianogah.

- As noted in Merge, Chicago-gal Liz Phair will perform Exile in Guyville live in honor of the album's reissue, along with three unreleased B-sides and "Guyville Redux" DVD. Chicago concert date/location TBA.

- Third Coast Audio Festival's Radio Ephemera contest now offers a free t-shirt to the first five entrants. Details.

- Removed "out of some weird spite thing" after lil' label Mr. Hyde Records folded in 2006, the six albums are now back online.

- Tomorrow night, 5/21, is local label Contraphonic's DJ Night @ The Burlington.

- Final lineup for the music end of the Taste of Chicago has been announced. It's going to be Gomez and Alejandro Escovedo on July 4th, Bonnie Raitt and on July 5th, and Aly & AJ, A Cursive Memory, and Keke Palmeron on July 6th.

- And speaking of music at the Taste, if you want to participate in the Battle of the Bands during the Taste of Chicago there's info here [PDF] and the application here [PDF].

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Tue May 13 2008

Chicago lawmakers' myopic music legislation

In what can only be described as a myopic attempt to head off disasters such like E2 tragedy in 2003, Chicago lawmakers are attempting to pass legislation that will make it extremely difficult for promoters to put on concerts at established venues. The legislation would require independent promoters to acquire a license costing between $500 and $2,000 every two years, get fingerprinted and get a criminal background check, and secure as much as $300,000 in liability insurance and be 21 or older.

Adding another bureaucratic and economic hurdle to presenting live music in the city, this ordinance should be put in perspective by the fact that Chicago already has some of the strictest laws on the books in regards to promoting concerts. Given the recently published study outlining the economic impact of the Chicago music scene undertaken by the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Cultural Policy in conjunction with the Chicago Music Commission, one would hope the city would be doing things to encourage the arts rather than further constrict the ways in which promoters operate.

*UPDATE*: Apparently all the noise being made about the ordinance has had favorable results. For now the legislation is being "tabled" so it can be fine tuned for future proposal. We'll keep an eye on it when it resurfaces, but for now we can rest easy.

Continue reading this entry »

Daniel Melnick

News Mon May 05 2008

Muti to Join CSO. In Two Years.

Only a couple years after Daniel Barenboim's departure from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti has been named as music director. He will officially take over the position for the 2010-2011 season. Muti's most notable tenures have been with the Philadelphia Orchestra and La Scala. He has also been a guest conductor with numerous European orchestras, as well as the New York Philharmonic.

Perhaps taking a dig at Barenboim's displeasure with the music director's role in fundraising, Muti remarked on his openness to community relations, stating, "This is the most exciting part of the position of the music director." Although, Muti himself arrives with some baggage following his late turmoil at La Scala that effectively ended after a no-confidence vote from musicians and staff.

James Ziegenfus

Artist Sat May 03 2008

Wake & Bake, Yo: The Cool Kids Announce Release Dates for Debut EP

"Kickin' it like kickstands": Cool Kids emcees Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish

Those who've caught local hip-hop duo The Cool Kids at their shows around town in the past year will be quite familiar with a number of their signature tracks already; especially "Gold and a Pager," "Mikey Rocks," and "Black Mags." It appears that now -- many, many months after the announcement of it's pending release -- the Kids' debut EP The Bake Sale is finally slated to hit the streets. Running ten tracks deep, the EP will see an exclusive electronic release via iTunes on May 20, with the hardcopy version properly dropping on June 10.

From the looks of their schedule, The Cool Kids will be keeping busy for the summer. As of this writing, they're going out on the road, kicking off a tour that'll include the U.S., Europe, an appearance at Lollapalooza, and dates on this year's Rock The Bells roster.

As far as local, non-Lolla dates are concerned, The Cool Kids will be playing at the University of Chicago's outdoor Summer Breeze festival on May 17, as well as sharing the bill with All Natural for the Darfur Now benefit show at The Abbey on May 21.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Concert Wed Apr 30 2008

Shows Not Happening This Weekend

The announcement earlier this month that Sly & the Family Stone would play at the Vic this Saturday evening was greeted by potential concertgoers with emotions ranging from absolute glee to serious hesitation. Not surprisingly, considering Sly's erratic behavior over the last, oh, nearly 40 years, Saturday's gig has been cancelled "due to health reasons." Whether that is actually the case or not may remain a mystery in the same way that the Minneapolis cancellation the night prior is due to "scheduling conflicts." Reviews from last weekend's shows in Los Angeles (here and here) indicate inconsistent performances highlighted only by moments of greatness among many of mediocrity.

In other news about events that aren't happening, this weekend's rescheduled grand opening of the new Bottom Lounge has been postponed. Last weekend's Earth show had been moved and this weekend's shows by Urge Overkill and MU330 (They're still around?) have simply been postponed. Hopefully, the proper Ts and Is are crossed and dotted before next weekend's shows.

James Ziegenfus

Random Thu Apr 17 2008

R. Kelly (allegedly) wants to see what you've got...

Not only that, he wants to know how tight it is.

In a promotional campaign for his new single "Hair Braider," Chicago R&B crooner R. Kelly is propositioning fans to send him pictures of themselves. Pictures of themselves sporting their braids, that is. Zig-zags, cornrows, dookies, whatever -- he wants you to show them off by uploading your snapshots his site.

The song is the advance single off of Kelly's forthcoming album, 12 Play: Fourth Quarter, which is slated to be released this summer. Since the contest is being hosted via a Song BMG/Jive's webpage, we're assuming that the promo campaign cleared the label's legal department before going live.

Fans and visitors to the site are invited to vote on the entrees' photos. The contest's judges, however, may have a tough row to how, as it appears (after Gapers Block hit refresh about 20-something times) that people are randomly uploading pictures of their bald, buzz-cutted, be-hatted, coiffed, and mostly non-braided selves to site -- perhaps having mistaken it for just another internet social network opportunity. So, as expected, the jury might be out on this one for a while.

Graham Sanford

News Tue Apr 08 2008

Sly & The Family Stone to play Chicago in early May

Perhaps you've seen the date listed in the Reader, and today Pitchfork has confirmed as much -- Sly & The Family Stone will be playing four select cities in the U.S. next month. This abbreviated tour includes a stop in Chicago, where they'll be playing at The Vic on the evening of Saturday, May 3rd.

The news comes after many months of speculation and hearsay about a possible comeback for Sly and the band. First, there was the 2006 performance at the Grammys that featured a majority of the Family Stone joining Sly onstage; with a feature-length profile in Vanity Fair that followed some months later. Rumors about the Family Stone reuniting to record and perform began circulating, and were (somewhat) substantiated when Sly played a European mini-tour in the summer of 2007. A handful of shows in New York this past November and December helped kick the talk of a possible comeback effort into high gear.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

News Fri Mar 28 2008

Only in Amerykah.

We’ve told you about the apocalypse that may be coming in Lollapalooza, now, we’re gonna warn you about impending ticket apocalypse. Just part of our public service here at Transmission.

Ah, neo soul. This ain’t your sister’s funk cassettes, your aunt’s Stax eight-tracks, your granddad's original pressing Motown vinyl. The game has changed, and so have the names. The first name basis we were on with Aretha, Gladys, Anita, and Sharon are being phased out by the pop machine to clear the floor for contenders to Top Diva status.

There are a few contenders to the throne, and two have made Chicago a stop on their tours recently. Jill Scott, aka Jilly from Philly, stopped by earlier this month, and the tickets to her appearance sold out in less than an hour. Hence our PSA to you.

Erykah Badu, on tour supporting her latest musical opus Amerykah, comes to the Chicago Theatre with The Roots on May 30th, which promises to be an absolutely electric show. One of the music world’s best live acts, along with the bohemian soul sister? Perhaps a "You Got Me" or at least a Roots accompaniment through a few of Ms. Badu’s songs. Add to that the fact that the Roots’ next sound experiment is due to hit at the end of April and they’ll have new music to showcase to prove, leads one to predict that a lot will be brought to the table in what will most likely be a three hour break from the mundane. Could Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump (who is featured on The Roots' leaked Birthday Girl) show up for a surprise cameo?

This show will probably sell out with impressive speed. The internets are already spreading rumors that all that’s left are balcony seats.

The pre-pre-sale is past; today begins the official pre-sale. Tickets go on sale today (Friday) at 5pm, both online and at the Chicago Theatre ticket office. So go on over after work, or post up at our absolute favorite ticket broker’s site and prepare to take on $15 on top of $45.50-$65.50 tickets.

Troy Hunter

News Wed Mar 26 2008

Brace yourselves: Lollapalooza tickets on sale, rumors make the rounds

When I was a kid, I was certain that the apocalypse was right around the corner. The constant sabre-rattling of the nuclear arms race with the Soviets, a steady diet of evangelical dogma about the imminent approach of Armageddon; it all pointed to total annihilation occurring within my lifetime, or (more likely) before I even saw adulthood. What's more, in the spring of 1982, an ominous celestial event was to occur -- that being the rare phenomenon of syzygy, when all of the planets of the solar system were to briefly align in their orbits around the sun. Some theorized that the effects of this freak occurrence would create all sorts of seismic and tidal catastrophes on Earth. I recall a summer camp playmate telling me that, as he understood it, the event would result in the destruction of Earth; our planet would be ripped apart when it was caught between the dueling gravities of Jupiter and the sun. Yep, we were all gonna die. And soon.

Needless to say, the spring of '82 passed with nary a tremor; so obviously my campmate was wrong. This summer, however, might be another thing altogether. Thanks to the organizers of Lollapalooza, another ominous alignment might be in the offing. In recent weeks, some hearsay's had it that big-namers like Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and Bloc Party have agreed to play. But the big rumor that's been pinging around the internet the past few days is that the festival has scheduled the polar entities of Miley Cyrus and Nine Inch Nails to headline on the same evening -- with Cyrus appearing on one stage while the NIN crew play on other end of the festival grounds.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Concert Mon Mar 17 2008

Stop Watching TV!: The Boredoms' Circular Logic

Since they first came together on the Osaka noise scene of the mid-1980s, The Boredoms have always been one of the music world's most unwieldy and inexplicable acts. Starting out as an outfit of frenetic, genre-mulching rawk'n'roll destructivists, they've since undergone a circuitous musical evolution over the past decade. Like a supernova constricting into a neutron star, the band refocused its musical energy to become purveyors of dense and droning space-rock in the late 1990s before finally arriving at their present trance-inducing, tribal incarnation as the most apeshit drum circle on earth.

Boredoms fans will have a chance to see the band play a special "in the round" performance at the Congress Theater next Wednesday evening. The show will be one of the few dates on their current U.S. tour where the group will be able to perform the way they want to -- interfacing in a circle in the center of the venue while the audience will be free to gather around on the periphery.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

News Fri Mar 14 2008

Spring's coming! And so is Ravinia!

So it got above 50 degrees yesterday, which was awesome for those whose natural instinct is to come out of hibernation at temps above 40. Also, it's when the Ravinia Festival released their spring calendar.

Sure, you can look at the highlights they spotlighht on the main page - Robert Plant and Allson Krauss, Feist, Willie Nelson - but they make it almost impossible to look at one big list of shows, choosing to make you go through the calendar list view. If you page through the months (June, July, August, September, for your quick-click pleasure), odds are you'll find something to your liking. Issac Hayes. Donna Summer. The Backstreet Boys. Kenny Loggins. UB40. Dave Brubeck and Ramsey Lewis. And with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra making Ravinia their summer home, they'll be out there, too.

Getting there is easy, tickets are affordable, and the experience is unique. Tickets officially go on sale April 17th, so it gives you some time to plan out your summer outdoor concertgoing.

Troy Hunter

News Fri Mar 07 2008

Shellac announce globe-trotting mini-tour

Word went out earlier this week that Shellac will be launching a brief series of mini-tours over the next few months. The itinerary has Albini & co playing a number of dates in South America, continental and Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Macedonia.

As usual, the tour (reportedly) bears no correspondence to the band's schedule for recording and releasing new material. There's no word, at present, if stateside dates are to follow; but if you find yourself a stone's throw from Ljubljana or Zagreb in early May, tailor your travel plans accordingly.

See the band's page at Touch & Go for the list of dates and locations.

Graham Sanford

News Thu Mar 06 2008

Local Zine Names Best Female Guitarists

Venus Zine, the local Chicago music zine covering women in music, launched a huge project in it's current spring issue (available on newstands and online), nominating it's picks for the best female guitarists in the world. "The world" may be a stretch, but the list, a partial response to Rolling Stone's own estrogen-lacking guitar greats list from 2003, certainly does include the mainstays as well as some interesting inclusions. Bonnie Raitt, Polly Jean Harvey, Christina Billotte, and Joni Mitchell are all featured among the 46 "best", chosen by a panel including Amy Phillips, the senior news editor for Pitchfork and Jaan Uhelszki, writer for NME, USA Today, and Spin.

"Our original goal was to write a couple of paragraphs on each guitarist, but once we got started, we felt like we couldn't stop, there was just so much to say about all of the artists," Venus Zine Editor Amy Schroeder expresses. The comprehensive work that went into this project shows on the online version which kicks it up with video performances and other links.

The zine itself proclaims to cover the intersection of music, pop culture, fashion, art, and DIY for women and does it rather well in this latest issue. Check out the list for a good read and some contemplative commentary on that other part of the rock world.

Emily Kaiser

News Tue Feb 19 2008

Good Evening.....Hoffman Estates?

Tuesday night, the Hoffman Estates Village Board approved building an outdoor amphitheater called Prairie Creek just west of the Sears Centre Arena and in the shadow of the old Poplar Creek Music Theater, which closed in 1995. Residents near the proposed site have been vocal in their concerns over noise pollution from the amphitheater, but experts examining the design claim that it will comply with the regulations on noise limits. Also, perhaps in part to cater to the suburban residents' musical tastes, the acts to be booked at the venue won't exactly be of the thrash metal ouvre. Jerry Mickelson, a developer and co-founder of JAM Productions, remarked that Prairie Creek will book acts like Jimmy Buffett and James Taylor, who don't crank it to 11, if you know what I mean. Now, if your parents get a little boisterous singing along to "Cheeseburger in Paradise"... well, that's a whole other issue, isn't it? The 9,000-seat Prairie Creek amphitheater is slated to open in May 2009.

Anne Holub

Concert Thu Feb 14 2008

Police Return

The Police will be back in Chicago May 10, on the second leg of their reunion tour. Tickets for the Allstate Arena show -- for which Elvis Costello & The Attractions will be the openers -- go on sale Feb. 25. There's a four-ticket limit.

In other coming soon news, tickets go on sale this Saturday, Feb. 16, for the Breeders at Metro May 31 and The Mars Volta at the Aragon April 20.

Andrew Huff

News Sun Feb 10 2008

Further Grammy News: Cum Laude for Kanye

In another Grammy-related item, Kanye West won a number of awards tonight, including best Rap album of the year for Graduation -- beating out Nas, T.I., Jay-Z, and hometown colleague Common. As far as compulsory self-aggrandizing goes, he didn't disappoint in not letting the moment pass without pointing to himself as evidence to refute Nas's claim that "Hip-Hop Is Dead." But those who were waiting for another classic Ye tantrum may have to wait a few more days.

Graham Sanford

Concert Fri Feb 08 2008

Russian Circles' New Notes From the Underground

While the world has waited for the release of Chinese Democracy, metal has undergone a lot of changes. It's responded to the backlash against its hair-hopping halcyon days by absorbing influences and ideas from across the rock spectrum, splintering off into a number of enclaves that probe the perimeters of the genre's creedal heaviness.

Case in point, the Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles. The band's 2006 album Enter received a lot of glowing praise via print and online venues that cover the heftier ends of the musical spectrum, and it sent critics scrambling for labels to sum up the the band's sound. If you were to string all the resulting desciptives together, then Russian Circles are reputedly a math-/prog-/post-rock metal trio with melodic, neo-Mahlerian shoegaze affinities. Or something like that.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Random Sun Jan 27 2008

Quintron drums up business online, steers toward Chicago appearance

Before there was Dan Deacon and his battery of patchworked electronic gear, Chicago long ago embraced Quintron and his home-constructed Drum Buddy. The Drum Buddy, a custom-built light-activated analog drum machine of the artist's own patented invention, has long been a part of Quintron & Miss Pussycat's musical act.

In yet another music-related eBay story, the New Orleans-based entertainer is auctioning off the last model in a series of ten Drum Buddies via eBay. Recent purchasers of the Drum Buddy have included Laurie Anderson and Wilco's Nels Cline--the latter having reportedly bought two of the contraptions. Chances are that Quintron and his wife Miss Pussycat could use the profits, given that their 9th Ward home/business, the Spellcaster Lodge, was wiped out by post-Katrina flood waters back in 2005.

The auction of the last Drum Buddy kicked off with a starting price of $999, and is scheduled to end on February 5, the first day of Mardi Gras celebrations. After that, Quintron and Miss Pussycat will be hitting the road to serve as the opening act on Black Lips' nationwide tour. Both bands will be arriving in Chicago on March 1st to play a show at the Logan Square Auditorium.

[video]: Quintron - Drum Buddy demonstration film
[video]: Quintron & Ms. Pussycat - gets Zagreb dancing, live 2006

Graham Sanford

News Thu Jan 24 2008

Flosstradamus builds bomb, sells the tools

Word has officially gone out that Flosstradamus are aiming to release a debut album sometime this Summer. Floss DJs J2K and Autobot are reportedly handling all of the production work, laying down beats and crafting tracks to put behind appearances by Chicago cohorts Kid Sister and The Cool Kids. Also guesting on the album will be Philly femme-cee Amanda Blank, who you might've heard via her past guest spots on tracks by Spank Rock and Plastic Little.

Meanwhile, Josh (aka J2K) from Flosstradamus is presently auctioning off some of his own DJ gear on eBay. Up for grabs among the lot of mixed goods are a number of items autographed by the Floss guys--including mix-CDs, a Vestax portable turntable, and Josh's recently retired iBook G4 (complete with audio programs like Serato, et al.).

And speaking of The Cool Kids--they're getting mad love from the crew over at IHEARTCOMIX! Check out the site's pics and vids from the Kids' recent appearance in L.A. here.

Graham Sanford

Benefit Tue Jan 15 2008

Shaping Up

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.

[video]: Bronze – "On the Clock"
[video]: The Bird Names – Chic-a-Go-Go performance

Graham Sanford

News Tue Dec 04 2007

K-Paz de la Sierra's Singer Found Dead

After being kidnapped in southern Mexico on Sunday night, Chicago-based K-Paz de la Sierra bandleader Sergio Gomez was found dead in Michoacan on Monday. The group had spent extensive time in Mexico recently, although they made their homes in the Chicago area. Leaving a concert Sunday morning, the band and promoters were kidnapped. Everyone except Gomez was soon released. It's been a difficult year for K-Paz de la Sierra with many members leaving to form a new band, AK-7, in the spring.

The last few years have been quite brutal on Mexican band members who play a style of music based on drug trafficking drama known as narcorrido. Many have died in drug-related violence that puts them far too close to the environment that they sing about for entertainment. What makes the news of Gomez different is K-Paz de la Sierra's style is duranguense, a form of upbeat romantic music that does not glorify the drug trade. Also killed over the weekend was Zayda Peña, another Mexican singer whose songs were not related to narcorrido.

James Ziegenfus

Artist Mon Dec 03 2007

Fancy Knucklework

As Miles Raymer recently detailed in the Reader, Kid Sister and crew recently produced a video for Sis's track "Pro-Nails." The video's now been released via Youtube, so check it out...

Made here in town (at the Nails R Us on Western Ave) for a modest $3K, the song and video features a cameo from Kanye West, who stopped by the shoot to join in on the some finger dancing.

Graham Sanford

News Thu Nov 15 2007

Locust Music Hits The Critics Darling Mega Jackpot

Somehow the very avant Chicago-based label Locust Music has scored the most blogged about record of the 4th quarter. Hello, Blue Roses is a duo from Canada made up of Dan Bejar (New Pornographers, Destroyer, Swan Lake) and his girlfriend Sydney Vermont. Their new record arrives on Locust on January 22. In typical Locust fashion (it's a small label and probably run by it's bootstraps) there is no info on their website about this release despite the fact that it's the #1 track at the music blog aggregators and Hype Machine.

The first song released is the surprisingly low-key synth pop ballad "Shadow Falls". Most blogs I found were content to just cut and paste the press release, although it seems a few bloggers actually listened to the track and have called it "pleasant", "a fairly ordinary lullabye", "most austere" and "delicate sounding". So without further ado here's "Shadow Falls".

[mp3]: Hello, Blue Roses - "Shadow Falls"

Craig Bonnell

News Tue Nov 13 2007

Alice Peacock Stands Up For The Little Guy

(Alice Peacock on the right talks with Republican senator John Coryn from Texas)

Alice Peacock, one of the few Chicago artists of late to be signed by a verifiable major label, headed to DC yesterday to testify in front of Congress in an attempt to get musicians who perform on recordings residuals from radio airplay. She joined Lyle Lovett and Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel. She even played her song "Bliss" as part of the proceedings. Way to go Alice! Don't forget the little guys/gals. (via USA Today)

Craig Bonnell

News Sun Nov 11 2007

Kanye West's mother dies suddenly

News is out this evening that Kanye West's mother, manager and longtime Chicago resident Donda West, has died of undisclosed causes in Los Angeles. Anyone familiar with Kanye's music knows how influential his mother was not only in his decision to become a rap artist, but in the success of his career as she acted as his manager and the chair of the Kanye West Foundation. Donda West was also a noted scholar and former chairwoman of Chicago State University's English department. She was 58 years old. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Kanye and his family.

Anne Holub

News Mon Nov 05 2007

Case Study in Praise: Lyric Opera's 'Caesar'


Buried in this morning's headlines about ex-Disney stars being arrested are hot-off-the-press raving reviews of Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Julius Caesar," which opened this weekend. The former are about the kind of "stars" that probably had little talent to begin with. The latter focus on lead Danielle de Niese (pictured above as Cleopatra), who will probably remain a star of the opera world for years to come -- and not for being arrested in Walgreen's or any other way for that matter.

In fact, the whole thing is a kind of lesson in praise:

The Tribune writes "where do you begin cataloging the delights of Handel's 'Julius Caesar,' now gracing the stage of Lyric Opera of Chicago?" The Sun-Times starts off describing Caesar as "one of the most exciting, insightful, successful and audience-pleasing productions at the Civic Opera House in many a moon."

Amazingly, there are some tickets available -- even nose bleed seats, which are the cheapest at $31. Buy online at and also visit the site for audio and video clips.

David Polk

DVD & Video Mon Oct 29 2007

Of Poor Gods and Unclad Emperors

Okay, Chicago Punk Rock 101 time. Anyone with a sense of this city's indie music history knows Naked Raygun. Formed in 1980, they were once this city's most formidable reps on the national punk scene, banging out their own brand of "blast furnace monomania" and influencing the sound of countless bands around the country. Strictly textbook, as they say. And by now, even the half-attentive know that the band has reunited "for good"--back in action for the past year or so, playing occasional in-town shows and doing a little touring from time to time.

This month Naked Raygun will be playing Riot Fest at the Congress Theater for the second year running, headlining on November 17. But next week sees the release of What Poor Gods We Make, a DVD overview of the band's history. An exclusive screening of the documentary will be held at Reggie's this Sunday evening, with copies of the two-disc set will be available for sale before the thing properly hits the streets on November 6. The band will reportedly be on hand for some hobnobbing, as well. An afterparty featuring a bunch of other noisy young things will follow. 2105 South State Street. 7pm. The screening is all ages, the afterparty is 18 and up. (312) 949-0125.

[video]: Naked Raygun - "Rat Patrol" (from What Poor Gods We Make)
[video]: Naked Raygun - "Surf Combat"

Graham Sanford

News Wed Oct 24 2007

Four Million Tongues Festival schedule unveiled

For three consecutive evenings in the second weekend of November, Plastic Crimewave and the Empty Bottle will be hosting the fourth annual installment of the Million Tongues Festival. That means three nights of "acid folk," New Weird Americana, and a cross-spectrum array of experimental music. As of Tuesday evening, the final roster for the festival has been announced, and it looks like (once again) some additonal support is being contributed by the folks at Arthur magazine.

We're passing along the full schedule below. Note that, due to an especially packed billing and some resulting spill-over, all shows start at 9pm at the AV-Aerie except the Valerie Project. Check the Empty Bottle's website for more information regarding scheduling and tickets.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Artist Tue Oct 23 2007

Cool Kids debut release announced

For the past few months, the rumor's been that the southside rap duo The Cool Kids were aiming to release their debut EP, Bake Sale, at some point in the unspecified future. Now the word goes out that the EP has been picked up for release by the crafty Chicago-based label Chocolate Industries. The hardcopy product of the EP is slated to hit the streets sometime in January.

In the meantime, the “Black Mags” single is due to drop sometime next month–which means it’ll start circulated while The Cool Kids are on tour opening for M.I.A. The tour arrives in Chicago for a pair of shows on November 21 and 23, at the House of Blues and Vic Theater, respectively.

Graham Sanford

News Tue Oct 02 2007

Don't mess with Lyric

Soprano Elaine Alvarez

Lyric Opera of Chicago made international news last week when they sacked star soprano Angela Gheorghiu just a few days before the début performance of La Bohème last night for behaving too diva-ish. Gheorghiu missed 6 of 10 rehearsals, including both rehearsals with the first orchestra, and is apparently known (along with her opera singer husband) for throwing tantrums.

But this was great news for her understudy, Elaine Alvarez, who received a stellar review in the Chicago Tribune today. Before last night, she had never performed with a major opera company.

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David Polk

News Thu Sep 27 2007

We Roll Econo

Breakout southside hip-hop duo The Cool Kids have a new video out for their track "Black Mags." It's currently up on, and you help represent the the new Chi scene by voting to push the Kids up on the network's "Freshman 5" contest. Maybe I missed some stuff, but this may be the first appearance of a rap act proudly spotlighting shortie lo-buck rides since Another Bad Creation's "Playground."

In related news, Cool Kids associate Hollywood Holt became something of a international phenomenon a short while back when he dropped his video for "Throw a Kit." The clip was instantly relayed to moped-enthusiast websites and chatboards the world over, and -- for lack of any opposing candidates -- became something of a mopedder's hip-hop anthem. But word has it that Holt's moped was stolen a few days ago. Apparently the theft took place somewhere in the vicinity of Jackson and Western.

UPDATE: Reached for comment after presstime of the above, Mr. Holt reported: "Yeah. My cousin caught the dude. Thanx though man."

Graham Sanford

Concert Wed Sep 26 2007

Lollapalooza 2008 Dates Set

Wasn't Lollapalooza not even two months ago? Well, yes, but that doesn't mean you can't plan for next year already. The festival will be held August 1-3, 2008 throughout Grant Park again. So let's start speculating about who'll headline!

James Ziegenfus

News Mon Sep 24 2007

Vivaldi meets global warming?

Tickets to the Chicago Humanities Festival are on sale to the public starting today (members of the CHF were able to start buying two weeks ago) and the program includes a few musical events that relate -- or kind of relate -- to the grand theme of global climate change.

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David Polk

Benefit Sun Sep 23 2007

Yes, Peace Fest Happening

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.

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David Polk

News Wed Sep 19 2007

Peace Fest Coming to Chicago?

An occasional browse of the musicians' section on the Chicago Craigslist can sometimes prove to be a useful endeavor.

Yesterday, for example, one post called for volunteers to perform at an after party of a Chicago version of the Power to the Peaceful Festival, a San Francisco-based all-purpose peacenik music festival that just completed its 9th run a couple of weeks ago in Golden Gate Park.

The what??? If there is such a festival, they forgot to tell anyone, because other than an afterthought-looking MySpace page, little information exists for this event on the web, organizers could not be reached for comment (yet), and the supposed venues haven't publicized anything.

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David Polk

News Wed Sep 19 2007

Moved to Antarctica...left no forwarding address.

Transmission mourns the death of Lydia Tomkiw, former vocalist for the Hyde Park duo Algebra Suicide. In the late '80s and early '90s, numerous Algebra Suicide tracks (especially the enduring classic "Little Dead Bodies") made it to mixtapes everywhere. Tomkiw's spoken/recited poetry over Don Hedeker's (later of the Polkaholics) guitar and drumbox recreated that realm of cool first initiated on record by Patti Smith ("Piss Factory" 7") and seldom seen in such pure form since. The group was short-lived, putting out only a few full-lengths and 7"s - arguably, their best work can be found on the out-of-print (but worth searching out) LP/CD titled The Secret Like Crazy (RRR/Dom Records).

* Fond words from longtime Tomkiw friend Sharon Mesmer;
* WFMU Blog;
* Great article about Lydia's early life and the origins of the band, including her upbringing in Humbolt Park.

Also, the band's Myspace page has a few more songs for you to listen to.

Check out the video for "Little Dead Bodies," a track grown all the more poignant for the author's passing, here: (sorry, YouTube claims that embedding was "disabed by request")

Chris Sienko

Transmission Event Thu Aug 30 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0481.JPG Sorry no pictures this week -- damn if we didn't get our asses rained out last Thursday. But we're back with a vengeance, for the last weekly TX Thursday of the summer. That's right, summer's kiss is over, baby. We're going monthly from now on. Either way, we'll be drinking the sunshine away tonight, starting at around 930 or so, come on out and say hi! Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland.

PS. As an added bonus, it's Drive-Thru staffer Andie's birthday tonight, and I've promised her a cake made entirely of frosting. Will I deliver? Only one way to find out.

Nilay Patel

Transmission Event Thu Aug 23 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

This dude was so cool.Hey, we'll be at the Five Star as always tomorrow, but not until after we hit Rock For Kids -- so ditch work in time to make it to Smart Bar by 6 and make a night of it with TX. Last week at Five Star featured an array of social relationships, including one table of undercover lovers, one young woman who swore her love to my until I let my football allegiances known, and at least one nipple sighting. Pretty standard. We'll be back around 1030 to cause our usual ruckus, come out and say hi! Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. Pics from last week after the jump, as always.

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Nilay Patel

Transmission Event Wed Aug 15 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0533.JPGAfter a one-week absence we're back at the Five Star to drink with you, our loyal readers. The Five Star has gotten even cooler than before in that time -- check out this sick photo of the owner, Lyle, floating in space above Iggy Pop's head at Lollapalooza. Crazy. We'll be there to interrogate him about the experience, along with DJ Brad Owen and the finest in moderately-priced drinks. Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, two blocks east of Chicago and Ashland, we'll be there around 930. Come out and say hi! Pics from last time after the jump.

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Nilay Patel

Concert Wed Aug 15 2007

Get While The Getting's Good...

As you may have heard, the Beastie Boys recently released a new album. Entitled The Mix-Up, it's another sans-vocal outting from the guys; and to support the thing, they've kicked off a global tour. Reportedly, they've been booking mostly smaller venues this time around and are playing instrumental sets (or "mostly instrumental" sets, it turns out), with drummer Fredo Ortiz and DJ Mix Master Mike accompanying the band on stage.

The final stop of the tour finds them hitting Chicago to play the Riviera theater on September 26. Due to limited seating, a good many dates on the tour have already sold out. As of this writing, tickets for the Chicago show are still available. Tix are $48, plus (one expects) the standard add-on fees from...well, you can probably guess.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Update!: It now looks like a second Chicago date has been added. According to the Ticketmaster website, the Beasties will also be playing the Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island on Thursday, September 27. Tickets for the event are, at present, not yet available.

Graham Sanford

News Wed Aug 15 2007

"Bounce so hard, your knees hit your forehead..."

After the heat of summer and before the freezing of winter, the local hip-hop scene seems absolutely packed with good shows and the normal ramp-up to some artists' commercial efforts, seasoned with online tidbits and maybe a download or two.

-EstroJam is coming, and on the bill is an entire night of great indie and underground hip-hop. EstroJam in general will get Transmission love, but Friday night is sure to be a banger, as Transmission favorites Yo Majesty rock the house with an assortment of ladies who rock the mic right. Show love for reclusive (not by choice) Philly native Bahamadia and local heroine Rita J from the All Natural family. It's not until the middle of September, so you got time, but mark that down now.

-Courtesy of Spine Magazine, Rhymefest teams with Little Brother and T3 of Slum Village on Get Plugged". Production here seems understated, in order to draw attention to the lyrics. Hopefully the buying public will dig on that notion, but that may prove to be too much to expect.

-You love the Ye. You may hate the Ye. But you'll be hearing more of Ye in the coming months in the warmup for his Graduation album. On "Barry Bonds, he hands the production duties off and teams with Lil Wayne, who, if you don't know him now, you will if you listen to anything remotely commercial.

Stay tuned for more Chicago hip-hop; the next few months are going to see a couple of high profile albums and a number of concerts that hit before cruel Old Man Winter drives artists to seek warmer climes to tour. Enjoy!

Troy Hunter

News Thu Aug 09 2007

Pearl Jam's anti-Bush lyrics slashed from stream

The band's AT&T Blue Room live stream had a few second delay during their recent Lollapalooza performance, but that was apparently enough time for a content monitor to decide that the lyrics "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush, find yourself another home" during a performance of the song "Daughter" were as offensive as dropping a couple of F-bombs. Officials from AT&T say that the "overzealous" cut of these lyrics from the live show stream was a mistake, but the fans, and the band aren't taking the accident so lightly. Pearl Jam, in a statement on its website, calls the incident a "wake up call" and "about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band". The band ponders in the statement about "the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media". They're asking fans who have "examples of AT&T censoring artist performances around political content, to post examples on the official Pearl Jam Message Pit".

Anne Holub

Transmission Event Thu Aug 02 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0513.JPGThursday Thursday and what better way to get ready for the the scorching heat of Lollapalooza than by shooting some Old Crow with the TX crew at the Five Star? We're entering the final summer month of liquid festivities, so your opportunities to do something silly with a sticker are dwindling. Last week featured an unmistakable shift in focus from bare skin to alcohol-related antics, and we look to continue the trend tonight. DJ Brad Owen will be there as always, spinning New Wave, old-school punk, and other indie faves, and the Five Star is always good for some cheap drinks. We'll be there around 930, come say hi! Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. More pics from last week after the break.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Transmission Event Thu Jul 26 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star -- First Anniversary Special!

IMG_0481.JPGThursday again, and you know what that means: We'll be at the Five Star celebrating one long year of providing you, the discriminating post-hip hipster, with the best in Chicago music news and events. It's our birthday, so forgive us if there's a little extra nipple exposure involved -- you know how these things go. We'll be there around 9:30, we're the group with the tiaras and noticeable lack of self-restraint. Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. Come help us celebrate!

Update: Sorry, I forgot to add in last week's photos! I blame alcohol. Click on to see our usual debauchery.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Transmission Event Wed Jul 18 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0442.JPGThursday again, and what better way to slip into the warm embrace of a boozy summer weekend than to spend a night with your favorite music site at the Five Star? We'll be there around 930, along with our main man DJ Brad Owen and $3 beers, come on out and tell us about how the mean ol' hipsters at Pitchfork stole your hemp bike. Sorry for so few photos this week -- I had to be in a super awesome legal seminar the next morning and took off a little before the prime witching hour set in. Even still, friends were made, enemies were conquered, and sobriety was made to beat a hasty retreat. Success! Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. Shot of last week after the break -- come on out and Daddy gon' make you a star.

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Nilay Patel

News Tue Jul 17 2007

Big Government Vs. Small Party Biz

In a very hard-to-imagine-why-move, the city's Committee On License And Consumer Protection is meeting to talk about laying down so pretty harsh rules for medium and small size nightlife promotors.  The amendments contain some positive provisions, but others that can't be met by anyone without serious bank. They are asking all promotors to pay $1000 per year for a license, notify police of all events, have a liquor license and adhere to a slew of other rules that even the mega-clubs avoid. Why local government needs to get into the regulation of small time parties is beyond me, but if you attend these events or work in this field, you may want to contact your alderman or head down to City Hall Rm. 201-A at 11:00 a.m on Wednesday and have your voice be heard on the matter.

Brent Kado

News Thu Jul 12 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0239.JPGThursday again and what better way to warm up for the jangly drone-rock of Pitchfork than by drinking your ass off? Exactly. We'll be at the Five Star as always, sucking down $3 beers and aiming the camera at anyone who can either 1. smile or 2. do something inappropriate with a TX sticker, so come on out and try your best. Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. Click on for last week's pics. Word up, sister.

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Nilay Patel

Concert Tue Jul 10 2007

Strewn With Exclamation Marks and Brought to You With Love

artwork courtesy of Struggle Inc.

This weekend, there'll be no shortage of clubs hosting afterparties for the Pitchfork Music Festival, but it looks like the Empty Bottle has pulled out all the stops by stepping up with the most ambitious of all. Entitled "We ♥ Chicago," the Bottle's series of afterparty events offers three straight nights of merrymaking and dancing with a top-shelf selection of bands and DJs.

Looking down the schedule for the series, you probably notice a lot of exclamation points. And hey, that sense of excitement is perfectly appropriate because the whole affair is poised to be one of the biggest party events of the year. In case you missed it, here's the whole swoll package:

Friday, July 13
Gravy Train!!!!
The Cool Kids
GutterButter DJs

Saturday, July 14

Sunday, July 15
Yo! Majesty

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Graham Sanford

Transmission Event Thu Jul 05 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

We'll be there, 930pm. 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland.
God bless America.
You're all a bunch of communists. Consider this your punishment.
(Click to see original, amazing NSFW version)

Nilay Patel

News Thu Jun 28 2007

Don't Hate Da Rapper, Hate Da Man

Religion, Rap music and politics is a combination that shouldn't be lumped together.  But recently a church on the South side of Chicago purchase of billboard space calling some contemporary rapper's music trash seems to have broached the subject.  While the move has been met with praise, it is in fact moralistic grandstanding and false artistic interpretation. And while the moral and artistic shortcomings of the church's ploy could be deconstructed in detail, we find a historic angle that deserves commentary as well.  Music, more specifically black forms of he auditory art, have oft been criticized by the holier-than-thou types for it's ability to turn the good to evil or the passive to aggressive.  Blues music found detractors in both white and black judgment as it rose to popularity and was being co-opted into Rock and Roll.  Blues in its earlier forms had been called the devil's music and was cited as a cause for violence, inappropriate race mixing and sexual freedom.  Similarly, years later Disco (which was basically co-opted Funk) was lambasted by conservative types for many of the same negatives supposedly found in Blues, with drug use also included. Today Rap has found itself facing similar detractors

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Brent Kado

News Wed Jun 27 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0111.JPGIt's Thursday, so the TX staff will once again be rolling into the Five Star to listen to New Wave while the adorably annoyed staff serves us well liquor and watches us drop bleary-eyed game on strangers. Last week involved cupcakes, a birthday girl, and Guitar Hero, not to mention the charming asshole who tried to pick up my girlfriend by telling her how much his watch cost. (Answer: his dignity.) We'll be there again tonight, along with DJ Brad Owen and his uncanny ability to take hits from the 80s (yeah yeah) and make it sound so crazy (yeah yeah). Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just west of Chicago and Ashland, see you there after about 930. Also make sure to join our Facebook group -- how else are you all going to keep the flirt alive between Thursdays? Pics from last week after the jump.

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Nilay Patel

News Wed Jun 27 2007

HotHouse Pulling Up Stakes

According to TimeOutChi and a few other sources, the South Loop nightclub and music venue HotHouse issued a press release this week that confirms the uncertainty of its future. Due to an ongoing lease dispute, the club's schedule will be suspended as the owners look for a new location. For those who've paid attention, HotHouse has encountered its share of problems throughout its history, perhaps none so public as the recent shake-up on its board of directors. Over the years, the place has served as one of the city's most indispensable venues for world music, poetry slams and spoken-word events, local hip-hop, jazz, and plenty of top-shelf DJ appearances. No word yet as to where it plans settle next.

Graham Sanford

Concert Tue Jun 26 2007

A Basket Full of Mallets and a Yard Littered With Limbs

Tortoise pops its head out of its collective shell to make an in-town appearance at the Metro this weekend. Granted, it's been three years since they released an album of new material, but expecting a regular schedule from an entity that never fully behaved like a "band" in any conventional, rock-wise sense would be like asking Jackson Pollock to color between the lines. And it isn't like the band's their activities have been slack in the interim. Recent efforts have seen them all busy with their various side projects, be it the recent effort from The Sea & Cake, Doug McCombs continuing work under his Brokeback pseudonym, or guitarist Jeff Parker being the indefatigable and multi-skilled musician about town. Not to mention that this past week saw the release of the Bumps LP--a one-off project by drummers John McEntire, John Herndon, and Dan Bitney.

Despite all of the tangential bustle, Tortoise has reportedly been working on new material, and recently contributing some music for an upcoming documentary on Robert Moog. They're making a quick excursion of touring through major cities across North America. Sunday night will find them making a quick stopover at home base to play the Metro. Touring with the band and featured on the opening bill is Joan of Arc offshoot Make Believe. Somewhat newsworthily, the occasion marks one of Tim Kinsella's final performances with the group (in case you missed it, story here). So catch that while you can. First up on the billing is David Daniell. 3730 N. Clark. Tickets are $19. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8. 18 & over.

Graham Sanford

News Tue Jun 26 2007

Internet Radio's Day of Silence

If you're not hearing anything on your favorite Internet radio station today, it might be a silence you'll have to get used to -- Today, online stations like Accuradio and Pandora, along with terrestrial, taste-making stations like XPN and WOXY, have stopped streaming in protest of a royalty rate hike for online radio stations that's set for July 15. Some stations say that the 17 months of back royalties that need to be payed up next month could put them out of business, therefore making today's planned silence a permanent vacation. For more about how the rate hike could affect Internet radio, and how you can still contact your representative in support, read up in May's Transmission feature.

JP Pfafflin

Transmission Event Thu Jun 21 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

sorry, no boobs this week.Thursday again, and you know what that means: drinks, New Wave, and TX editors mounting a stripper pole against everyone's best judgment. Summer arrived in full force last week with an almost alarming display of skin, including the antics of a couple, shall we say, "busted looking Eurotrash hookers," but that didn't stop anyone from having a Time. $3 drafts will do that for a crowd. The TX crew --including Dear Leader Anne Holub -- will be back at the Five Star in full force tonight, stop in and say hi! The Five Star is located at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. Pics from last week after the jump -- and join our Facebook group here.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

News Tue Jun 19 2007

Tuesday Transmission Quick Links

- Readers and music lovers alike are lamenting the loss of Punk Planet magazine all over the interweb. Here's a YouTube love letter.

- Illinois State Senators want us to want "Cheap Trick Day" next April 1. No Joke.

- Catch Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco for absolutely no dollars at Sunday's Takin' it to the Streets festival in Marquette Park (67th Street and Kedzie). Details.

Anne Holub

News Tue Jun 19 2007

Two Endings, One New Beginning

As Andrew mentioned over in Merge, yesterday marked the official end of an era in beloved music publication: Punk Planet is no more. Their current issue (No. 80) will be the magazine's last with interviews with the G7 Welcoming Committee, Andre Schiffrin, and The Steinways. In their 13th year, the magazine lost the struggle over issues with a bankrupt distributor (issues that are also plaguing other indie publications like McSweeney's who also are sending up the warning flags). As PP puts it in their farewell note, "Benefit shows are no longer enough to make up for bad distribution deals, disappearing advertisers, and a decreasing audience of subscribers." The website will remain up and active, as will the Punk Planet books division, and we can all help to support them (*cough* buy something! *cough*) so that some day, some way, they can return to us.

Also in the Chicago music newswire, local label Contraphonic has cut the ties to its parent label, the No Karma Music Group (which also includes Loose Thread Recordings and Brilliante Records), and has struck out on its own, bringing a few bands along with. They've already signed Branches, Crush Kill Destroy, The Lesser Birds of Paradise, Joshua Marcus and The Thin Man over from No Karma. Joining them as well is former Jagjaguwar recording artist Bevel (aka guitarist Via Nuon of the bands Drunk and Manishevitz).

We wish you luck, little music label and remind everyone to support all of your local labels along with your local record stores (and favorite music publications) every day.

Anne Holub

News Fri Jun 15 2007

The Swedes Are Coming! Minty Fresh Signs Firefox AK

With the advent of digital files, p2p and a one world economy I find it strange that there are still different release dates for the same record in different countries. Case in point is last years electro pop record by Firefox AK. The band had a high profile release in Sweden called Madame, Madame. Now it seems Minty Fresh will be releasing the record in September in the states. Don't get me wrong this is a great development and I hope it's a success for Minty Fresh (then they can sign other Razzia Record's artists like Hello Saferide and Maia Hirasawa).

Video for "Madame, Madame"

Bonus Mp3's from Razzia Record's recording artist Hello Saferide

[mp3]: Hello Saferide - "High School Stalker"
[mp3] Hello Saferide - "Valentine's Day"

Craig Bonnell

Transmission Event Wed Jun 13 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

boobs!It's Thursday once again and you know what that means -- TX will be at the Five Star for another night of drinks, music, and poor decisionmaking. Last week's one month-iversary was a lot of fun -- or at least it looks that way from the photos. At this point we've handed out so many stickers and taken so many pictures that we've started popping up in other people's Facebook albums, so it's hard to tell exactly what was happening when. I think that means we're doing well, right? (Speaking of which, join our Facebook group here.) Come out tonight and see for yourselves -- we'll be there from 9ish onwards, along with DJ Brad Owen, most of your favorite tunes, and the devastating whiskey specials. Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland, see you there! Photos from last week after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Artist Sun Jun 10 2007

Rivers Known & Oceans Crossed

This week sees a pair of events celebrating the release of the new album from two Chicago jazz titans, tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson and percussionist Hamid Drake. Entitled From The River To The Ocean, the album was recorded by John McEntire at Soma Studios and it's a full-ensemble affair that features outstanding accompaniment from multi-instrumentalist Harrison Bankhead of 8 Bold Souls affiliation, bassist Joshua Abrams, and AACM guitarist Jeff Parker (of Tortoise, Chicago Underground Quartet, et al.) who steps in for three of the album's five tracks. Tuesday night, the full ensemble will be playing at an RSVP event at the headquarters of Stop Smiling magazine. The performance will be hosted by local author, curator, and musician John Corbett, who'll be conducting a public q&a with the band throughout the set. And on Wednesday night, the band will playing a regular evening set at Anderson's Velvet Lounge.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

News Thu Jun 07 2007

A Little Bit of Shhh...

Right. Let's face it: Some things just don't cross the pond, don't transplant to these shores. Some things are just too, uh, British. Case in point: grime and dubstep never really caught on here outside of a fringe listenership. And nobody here knows quite to make of all that "chav" and "tikkiny" slang biz. Which explains why Lady Sovereign has yet to really catch on with American audiences. Jay-Z thought he had a hot item on his hands when he signed her to Def Jam a couple of years back (after her first EP appeared on the Chicago-based Chocolate Industries label). And Def Jam's tried to throw some industry push behind her. First there was the guest appearance from Missy Elliot on the remix of "Love Me or Hate Me," and the new single "Those Were The Days" sports some mainstream hip-hop production that's clearly geared for the U.S. radio market. And now, as you probably heard, she's been touring with Gwen Stefani--meaning that she'll be appearing with Stefani at First Midwest Bank Ampitheater in Tinley Park on Friday evening.

Lady Sov will, apparently, also be appearing at The Underground in Chicago proper later in the evening, kicking out a short set at an RSVP aftershow engagement. Some buzz has culminated around the online video diary she's been keeping as she tours the States. And given the exhaustion she's reportedly been suffering on tour and the drama that transpired during her recent appearance in NYC, it may all be a wait-and-see affair. If you feel like taking your chances to see if she makes it or not, you can RSVP here. 56 E. Illinois. 10pm until whenever.

[mp3]: Lady Sovereign – "Hoodie" (SpankRock remix)

Graham Sanford

News Thu Jun 07 2007

Touch and Go Launches Digital Store

On Tuesday, Touch and Go Records officially launched its digital store, which offers DRM-free MP3s as both full albums and single tracks. It's also the only place where you can purchase the digital version Shellac's latest (and its return after a seven-year sabbatical), Excellent Italian Greyhound. T&G promises more digital-store exclusives in the future -- but in the meantime, I'll be DLing all the Killdozer my little heart desires.

JP Pfafflin

Transmission Event Thu Jun 07 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

Booty! Hot damn, it's already been a month. Last week's TX Thursday was about as wild as they get -- 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett showed up and eventually confided in me that he found Indian women attractive, several miscreants removed their clothing, and some dude offered me a press pass to Lollapalooza. Crazy -- but not enough. We're aiming to top all that tonight for our one month-iversary. DJ Brad Owen will be there as usual, spinning punk and New Wave hits, as well as other indie faves, and the Five Star is a bastion of cheap booze -- $2 drafts and $2 shots usually cause plenty of trouble. The Five Star is located at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Ashland -- we'll be there after 9, come out and say hi! Pics from last week after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

News Mon Jun 04 2007

Get Your Right Click On

Some dish from the Information Super Highway

Neko Case's Panties Are Worth $300

The Future Of The Wild Hare From The Owner's Mouth

Magnolia Electric Co. Tour and News

Brent Kado

mp3 Sun Jun 03 2007

New Kanye Mixtape

A brand new 25-track Kanye West mixtape entitled "Can't Tell Me Nothing (The Official Mixtape)" hit the Internet in the last week. Get the details and download it via illRoots. Make sure you check out the song "Us Placers," which features fellow Chicagoan Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams under the moniker "CRS."

David Schalliol

News Fri Jun 01 2007

Links You'll Love

Music News From Around the Net

Guitar Hero III Setlist Includes Pumpkins, Beasties, Muse And More To Sell 1.3 Million Unprotected Mp3s Covers over 2,000 Mp3 Blogs To See What's Hot

Brent Kado

Transmission Event Wed May 30 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

AwwwwWell, it's Thursday again, and you know what that means -- TX will be at the Five Star. DJ Brad Owen will be there as always, spinning your favorite punk and New Wave tunes, as well as some newer indie faves, and the Five Star will be pouring as many $2 drafts as space and time will allow. Last week was pretty wild for a rainy night -- many strangers were accosted, a few unfortunates took to the stripper pole, and eventually the barstaff just started handing out free shots. All in all, a TX kind of night -- check out the pics after the jump. We'll be back again this and every Thursday, see you there! (The Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland.)

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Artist Wed May 30 2007

With Hearts All Aflutter...

This has been a whirlwind month for Chicago’s Pit er Pat. They’re in the final stretch of a tour that’s had them playing 28 cities in as many days. It's their second — or is it third? — such excursion playing out to support their most recent LP, the John McEntire-produced Pyramids, which was released on Thrill Jockey this past fall. This Friday has them playing their final gig of the country-wide circuit, winding down with a homecoming set at the Empty Bottle. The show involves a meager $8 admission and kicks off at 10pm.Touring companions Priestbird are also on the bill, with local psych-folk trio Scalpels scheduled to open.

As a special bonus for fans, Thrill Jockey recently posted a page featuring Pit er Pat performing covers of some of their own cult fave songs. Featured are the band’s interpretations of tunes by Yoko Ono, Oneida, Sade (yeah, you read that correctly), and the perennial classic “Underneath the Arches.” Check ‘em out:

[mp3]: Pit er Pat - "Dogtown"
[mp3]: Pit er Pat - "Sheets of Easter"
[mp3]: Pit er Pat - "Feel No Pain"
[mp3]: Pit er Pat - "Underneath the Arches"

Graham Sanford

Concert Tue May 29 2007

In Case You Didn't Get The Memo...

Bouncy, synthy, power-pop hook-slingers Office pop their head up out of their cubicles to play a show at the Empty Bottle this Sunday. The up-and-coming local darlings, who've generated no small amount of buzz for themselves with their appearances at SXSW, are reportedly taking an extended breather for a few month until the release of their sophomore album that’s slated to drop in September. Their local gigs have been few and far between lately, so Sunday’s the night to go and catch them. Supporting them on the bill is the Detroit combo Freer, who are accompanying to promote their self-release debut CD, Secret Chorus. Favourite Sons also open. Show starts at 9:30, tickets are $8.

Graham Sanford

News Thu May 24 2007

This & Thats From Around The Web

Music Links For Your Enjoyment

The death of MP3s is here. Get to know Ogg, an alternative to the traditional online music format, free of licensing and patent restrictions.

Sally has released thier first single - Goldie Locks - From Long Live The New Flesh The Paribus Records label will release the album in early June.

Jambase reviews The Sea And The Cake's Everybody and talks to the band about the Chicago music scene.

Brent Kado

Transmission Event Wed May 23 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

Tranmission's first night hosting Power, Corruption, and Lies at the Five Star Bar and Grill last Thursday went great -- thanks to those of you that stopped by to say hello. DJ Brad Owen (former music director of the Metro) threw us a couple musical shoutouts in between his usual punk, new wave and Britpop tracks, I got into a couple heated arguments about Sky Blue Sky, and the Five Star served a lot of $2 drafts and even passed out free whiskey to everyone at the bar when the Bulls lost. We'll be there again tonight, like we will be every Thursday this summer, and until we get comments enabled, there's no other better way to tell us that we're totally wrong about your favorite band. Plus, a beer and a shot of whiskey costs all of $4. What's to lose? The Five Star is located at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. Come join us! Pics from last week after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

News Thu May 17 2007

Music Dish of the Day

In case you missed it

Bo Diddley has sadly had a stroke.  Get well soon "Orginator."

R. Kelly makes a pretty bold statement and gets tons of free press for his soon-to-be-released album.  Well that sounds a bit like Ali. 

Amazon is set to launch an MP3 service that contains no DRM.  Looks like someone is catching on to the rules of the new entertainment economy.

Brent Kado

Transmission Event Wed May 16 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

Power, Corruption, and Lies Hey, summer's here and to celebrate we're pleased to announce that Transmission will be hosting Power, Corruption, and Lies at the Five Star Bar and Grill every Thursday night. DJ Brad Owen (former music director of the Metro) will be on the decks, playing punk, new wave, Britpop and other indie faves, various TX staffers will be roaming around with cameras and conversation topics, and the Five Star has graciously proffered up a dizzying array of drink specials, including $2 drafts. We'll be posting photos every week, and there might even be a contest or two in store at the end of the summer if we like you enough. What's to lose? The Five Star is located at 1424 W. Chicago, just west of Chicago and Ashland. We'll be there every Thursday from 9 till late, come join us! Pics of previous Thursdays after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Artist Wed May 16 2007

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dancing

Four more years!!!: DJs Bald Eagle and Mother Hubbard

It's been four years since the Life During Wartime DJs crew came together and started spinning at clubs in Chicago. They're still at it, and their chosen moniker is, unfortunately, still relevant. The duo of DJs Bald Eagle and Mother Hubbard currently bills its homebase monthly appearance at The Hideout as “Chicago’s Dance Party.” While that may sound like a bold claim, it’s certainly apt. The past two years have seen LDW move to the top of the local popularity index, having proven themselves to be one of Chicago’s most reliable homegrown party-sparkers. This weekend sees them celebrating their four-year anniversary with a two-night dance party at The Hideout.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

News Tue May 15 2007

Notable News

Bits & Pieces From Around The Web

The Smashing Pumpkins have announced long residencies for two locations.  Eight nights at the Filmore in San Francisco and nine shows at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC.  That's right nine nights of the Pumpkins in Asheville, hippies beware.

The Reader reports that Lupe had a few tracks leaked to the Net again.  Looks like he needs to keep his studio on extreme lock down.

Flavorpill offers the skinny on Critical Metrics, a site with recommended music from industry and media people.  Rankings of what's popular in I-tunes, Youtube and all the other music players, make the site a worthy visit.

Brent Kado

News Wed May 09 2007

The Trouble With eMusic

The city of Chicago and it's citizens play prominent roles in the latest online music retailing brouhaha according to an article published on Yahoo. It turns out that at last week's NARM meeting (held in Chicago) there was the start of a mini revolt against eMusic. It turns out some record labels aren't that thrilled with the pricing policy/profit payout that eMusic has put into place. In a nutshell that policy is to keep costs low, sell songs on the cheap and pay out a smaller percentage than iTunes and other digital sites. According to CEO David Packman, "There's no question that eMusic pays less on a per-track basis than other a la carte digital services," Pakman says. But "it's not clear that 99 cents a song is the right price ... Music is an elastic good. If you lower the price, you'll sell more, and if you raise the price, you'll sell less." The hope was that eMusic would sell songs in such high volume that labels would be happy with the service. But with iTunes paying out $.70 per song vs. eMusic's paltry $.12 per song that arguement doesn't seem to be flying with certain labels.

Chicago's Victory label was the first to bolt, but now 6 more labels are rumored to be leaving eMusic. Despite being a fan of the service, Drag City's digital guru, Rian Murphy, also sounds the alarm, "I'm a subscriber of eMusic, and I love it," says Rian Murphy, head of digital sales for Chicago-based Drag City, who says he has no plans to leave the service. "But from the point of view of the label, the profit margin is greatly constricted, and it's a concern to anyone selling records. They would be better off being more equitable, or they will probably lose some labels. Everyone has to live."

This may be a case of the labels looking to pressure eMusic to re-negotiate or it may be the beginning of the end of a popular online destination for independent music.

Craig Bonnell

News Mon May 07 2007

Monday Morning Music Goodies

Local band Umphreys Mcgee (with Lotus and Tea Leaf Green) will play the annual Jam in the Dam next March.  This will be Umphreys third trip to the Venice of the North.

Newcity reports on their power 45 in the city's music biz.  Kayne West and Pete Wentz come in 1,2.  Double Door and Metro owner Joe Shanahan comes in at a high 3, beating out many corporate big wigs.  Our favorite - lucky number 13, Bruce Finkleman, Empty Bottle Owner.

Illinois Entertainer reports on local releases including Suffrajett, Shipwreck and Kurt Elling. But the Eternals mix of electro-dub may be the best album of the bunch.

Brent Kado

News Fri May 04 2007

Internet Radio Update, and a Really Quick Contest!

As an update to yesterday's Transmission feature, the SaveNetRadio coalition has decided to postpone its "Day Of Silence" scheduled for next week, after it was discovered webcasters will have until July 15 to face the new royalty rates, instead of the anticipated May 15 d-day. They will instead use the two-month reprieve to gain more momentum for its campaign, and hopefully raise its planned silent protest's profile. Making noise, however, is Saturday night's BANDWIDTH showcase, where SaveNetRadio reps will be on hand to let you know how you can contact your local representative to voice your opinion on the upcoming rate hikes. Appearing at the Subterranean show will be Eagle*Seagull, Cake Bake Betty, The Modern Temper and Stiletto Attack!, and we've got a pair of tickets to giveaway! Just be the first person e-mail inbox (at) with the subject line "Save Net Radio!" and get ready to rock.

JP Pfafflin

News Thu May 03 2007

Morning Music Links

In case you missed it...

While Intonation can't cut it, another mid-sized city festival has popped up. The Continental (yes, the of-the-moment bar) is having a music thingy June 23 and 24 with the likes of the 1900's, Airiel and Suffrajett.

RadioFreeChicago is doing one of their Bandwidth shows this Saturday at the Subterranean.  Bands include Cake Bake Betty, The Modern Temper, Eagle*Seagull and more. (See this week's feature for more information.)   

Looptopia will keep the Loop up for 24 hours with art, theater, classes and music.  While this events leans toward the enjoyable-for-all side, sounds from Mucca Pazza, The Ponys, Bobby Conn and the Symphony Orchestra make it worth a look. 

Brent Kado

News Mon Apr 30 2007

Ladytron DJ Tour Hits Chi

A little over a year ago when Ladytron released their third album, Witching Hour, the buzz around them was approaching deafening.  Now that the hype machine has temporarily moved on, Ladytron is still blessing us with glamorous music and making audiences take notice.(they recently opened for Trent Reznor on his European Tour) Chicago will get half a taste of the band when Reuben Wu and Mira Aroyo drop by Darkroom on May 18th.  Resident DJs Brock and Misa will be warming things up.  Brought to us from local events teams Chicago Suicide Club and Beta Theta. 

Brent Kado

mp3 Mon Apr 30 2007

Touch and Go to Launch Digital Download Store

Billboard reports that local label Touch and Go will launch a digital download store later this summer, offering up DRM-free MP3s from its roster with pricing at 99 cents per song and $9.99 per album. It will also be the exclusive place to purchase downloads from any of Steve Albini's bands -- the new Shellac album, Excellent Italian Greyhound, drops June 5.

JP Pfafflin

News Mon Apr 30 2007

E-Music Buzz According To The Tribune

The Chicago Tribune did a nice intro to the various music delivery systems on the net this Sunday. Specific mention was made of the Chicago music blogs Songs:Illinois (author's blog) and Can You See The Sunset From The Southside as well as to Pitchfork, Pandora, Chicago's Accuradio and many more. Read the complete article here.

Craig Bonnell

News Sat Apr 28 2007

Weekend Music News

Widespread Panic has announced their summer tour.  In what seems to be their recent trend they will play 3 nights at the Chicago Theater, July 13-15.

Machine Media's latest issue is out.  Read about The Mutiny, 10 Steps To Save Billy Corgan and The Fireside Bowl.  Machine Media has also annouced thier Machine Fest (formerly Music With Meaning) will run from July 17-28.

Wu-Tang Clan puts up 215 unreleased or rare tracks on their download page.  Just another wonderful example of why we are living in a Triumphant time for music.(via Idolator)

Brent Kado

News Wed Apr 25 2007

Hump Day Linkage

Some notable notes from the Web

Flavorpill discusses Other Music's new website which just officially launched.  Other Music will feature DRM-free tunes from 100-plus Indie-ish labels.

Centerstage takes a look at city waternig holes that offer up awesome tunes from the ol' juke box.

As reported yesterday on Merge of-the-moment buzz band Peter Bjorn and John will be playing a free in-store at the Apple "Temple" on Michigan Ave.  Stop by May 8th for some fluffy pop via Sweden.

Brent Kado

News Sun Apr 22 2007

And In Other News

Items of Interest From the World Wide Web

Post No Bills, the Reader's Column Blog talks about the rumored death of American Jazz and what some say we need to do to save it.

Jambase is one of the few places that gives us some thoughts on Umphrey's Mcgee's The Bottom Half and interviews their guitar master Jake Cinniger. 

If anyone cares, Billboard has released the Smashing Pumpkins tracklist for new album Zeitgeist. Due July 7.  No word on if the other half of the band plans to get on board.

Brent Kado

News Fri Apr 20 2007

Black Fire Quenched

News has been circulating that jazz pianist Andrew Hill died this morning, passing away at the age of 75 at his home in Jersey City. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Hill grew up on the Southside of Chicago. He recorded some of his earliest work for the Chicago-based Vee-Jay label in the 1950s, but first came to many people's attention via the recordings he made, both as a ensemble leader and sideman, for Blue Note in the decade that followed. Frequently working with such like-minded adventurous souls as Roland Kirk, Eric Dolphy, Sam Rivers, Ron Carter, and Bobby Hutcherson, Hill became know as one of a new generation of "out," avant-garde jazz musicians and composers. He faded from the public view (and from the memories of many) for years thereafter, even though he continued recording and performing the entire time. A delayed renewal of interest in his work came about in the 1990s after Blue Note reissued many of his stellar recordings from the his early stint on the label, including such essential titles as Black Fire, Point of Departure, and Judgement.

Graham Sanford

News Tue Apr 17 2007

New Radio From The Hype Machine Already Imperiled By Higher Royalty Rates

SaveNetRadio.orgIf you're reading this you probably already know about The Hype Machine and, the two competing mp3 blog aggregators of note. What they do is gather all the posts made by all the significant mp3 blogs in one place; you can read abbreviated posts, download mp3's and check the mp3 blog charts. Now on Hype Machine you can also tune into the best new radio stream on the net. Hype Radio works by streaming tracks posted over the last two weeks by the top blogs. You can now sit at your desk and very passively absorb all the great music being written about on the blogosphere. If you want to read the original post where the song came from that's easy too.

Unfortunately for us (and Hype) this may be a shortlived service as yesterday news came down the pike that the Copywrite Royalty Board upheld it's earlier decision to essentially double the rates streaming services have to pay. Sites last Last.FM, Pandora and popular online radio stations like Live 365 and Accuradio will have to shut down. According to Brendon Silver of Accuradio this could put a serious damper on many struggling Web 2.0 companies and result in a "virtual shutdown of all U.S. webcasting." If you want to get involved in some way to try to change this policy visit this link for more info.

Craig Bonnell

News Mon Apr 16 2007

Some Pitchforkery

Just in case you haven't caught the updates swirling about online concerning everyone's favorite hipster fest, the following bands have been added to the Pitchfork Music Festival in July (culled from the festival website):

"Atlanta psych-rock powerhouses Deerhunter, Portland-based experimental pop trio Menomena, dance-rock juggernaut Klaxons, sleek Brits Fujiya & Miyagi, upstart Sub Poppers : Oxford Collapse, neo-slowcore duo Beach House, fantastically insane one-man-band Dan Deacon , and boundary-breaking jazz ensemble Craig Taborn's Junk Magic."

Myspace rumor also places recent Pitchfork Best New Music recipient The Twilight Sad unoffically at the Festival as well (thanks RFC). Now, if they can only convince Bjork to appear...

Brandon Forbes

News Fri Apr 13 2007

Friday's Second Hand News

Some tidbits for your weekend:

- Flameshovel Records' own power metal instrumentalists Russian Cirlces got a "Band of the Month" listing from Refused TV in March. Check out a mind-altering live Refused TV performance of "Death Rides a Horse" here.

- Bits from an interview with Iggy Pop surfaced on Greg Kot's Trib blog today, including the inside scoop on how Iggy keeps that bod going. The Stooges play the Congress this Sunday. Get yourself psyched with some live videos here (via RFC).

- The unclassifiable pop of CocoRosie goes gender-bendingly visual with a new video for lead single "The Rainbowarriors" off of their latest LP, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn. Touch & Go is streaming the video here.

- Daytrotter's artist of the moment is shamed former Wilco contributer Jay Bennett, who offers four new tracks and an interview for those who want to give him a second chance, despite his performance in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. Also recently archived there are some great tracks from local Kinsella brother Mike's solo project Owen.

Brandon Forbes

News Thu Apr 12 2007

Kids, more PB & J's!

For those bummed about missing the boat on tickets to see Peter Bjorn and John at the sold out gig at the Empty Bottle on Tuesday, May 8, fear not - there's enough PB & J to go around. Because of demand, the Bottle has just announced a second, early show starting at 6:30. While those with tickets to the sold out 10 PM show will get to see Fujiya & Miyagi open, the early show will feature the smooth electronic sounds of Au Revoir Simone as an appetizer for everyone's favorite Swedish threesome.

Tickets for the early 6:30 show are $16 advance and $18 at the door but before you dash over to Ticketweb to grab a pair for you and your squeeze, take note that they don't go on sale until 10 AM this Saturday, April 14. Until then, play the below on repeat:

Brandon Forbes

News Thu Apr 12 2007

Thursday Quick Links

Interesting morsels from around the Blogosphere

Apparently Jessica Hopper of The Chicago Reader and other music publications will be in Da Capo Best Music Writing for 2007.(and is really into her pottery)

Local music blog Can You See The Sunset From The Southside? (CYSTSFTS?) continues their very informative and in-depth look at the history of Chicago Punk.  Today is Volume 18. (They're also doing some guest Blogging)

Wal-Mart may have REO Speedwagon, but Costo is selling Connor Oberst (aka Bright Eyes) signed guitars for a cool $899.99. No word on discounts for club members.(via)

Brent Kado

News Thu Apr 05 2007

What About Intonation?

The Lollapalooza rumor mill is loaded and the lineup will be announced next week. Pitchfork’s already confirmed a number of acts for their weekend in July. And yet nary a word about Intonation – perhaps last year’s best festival. Oh, there’ve been rumors – Jon Brion as curator, Public Enemy, PJ Harvey, etc. But it won’t happen in 2007. Intonation’s main man, David Singer, has said that they’ll instead concentrate on smaller performances (like Brion’s two shows last month). Hopefully, this doesn’t mean that Intonation as a weekend festival is finished. But don’t fret, I’m sure there will be plenty of other excellent weekends to hear live music this summer.

James Ziegenfus

News Thu Apr 05 2007

Canasta - New Video, A Big Show, a new T-Shirt and the Unofficial Chicago Theme Song!!

Local band Canasta is full of news today. First they play tomorrow night (Friday) at Beat Kitchen between Mark Mallman and Honeydogs. Second they just finished creating a new t-shirt designed by Steve Jones. And finally they just posted the video for the lead-off track from their full-length debut We Were Set Up. The album has been out for over a year but it still resonates. Here's the video for "Microphone Song":

In fact, now that I think about it Canasta should be on Daley's payroll. I bet they can sleep in the cab of a truck with the best of them, plus they write songs like "Slow Down Chicago" in which they sing of the el train, the intersection of State and Madison, the magnificent skyline and the 95th floor of the Sears Tower (?). Check out what really ought to be Chicago's new anthem. Can anyone make that happen, please?

[mp3]: Slow Down Chicago

Craig Bonnell

News Wed Apr 04 2007

More Voting

Exhausted by democracy yet? If voting in that other poll put a little springtime flush in your cheeks, go on and check out Metromix's annual Rock'n'Vote contest, which also opened today. Winners will play a free show at the Double Door on April 26th. Choices include hip-hop faves Animate Objects, longtime local sluggers The Saps, and my boys in Welcome To Cambridge, who are my boys basically because they've so wholeheartedly adopted the fashion rock label I drunkenly slurred out one night. Go, Democracy! If you can't sell out the Double Door, no one can!

Nilay Patel

News Wed Apr 04 2007

Rock the Vote with iGo

As a follow-up to a previous Transmission, erm, transmission, I-GO car-sharing program is now collecting your vote for which local bands you think should be included on a Chicago music compilation that will placed in each of its cars. Listen to the nominees and cast your vote here.

JP Pfafflin

News Tue Apr 03 2007

Hot Diggety — Diggin' in tha Loop!

Reckless Records has posted an announcement reminding everyone that this Thursday sees the opening of their new downtown location — on Madison, between Wabash and State. So, from here on out, folks working in the Loop can slip in on their lunch hour and pick up some tunes, or maybe catch the occasional in-store performance. Quite nice!

Graham Sanford

News Tue Apr 03 2007

Chicago Labels Respond To EMI Dropping DRM

Yesterday's big news that Apple and EMI would be dropping DRM from online sales of EMI's catalog sent some major waves through both the music industry and the online punditry hole we call the Internet. Response ranged from the typical Cory Doctorow overexcited idiocy to somber, computer-generated Microsoft boilerplate, all heralding the brave new word of unrestricted file formats. (Jesus. I'm a copyright attorney and I can't make myself buy that sentence. Sorry.) But EMI and Apple are pretty late to this game, as it turns out. Indie labels and alternative online retailers, like eMusic, ditched DRM a long time ago, with solid results. I got in touch with several of Chicago's more prominent indie labels to see how they were reacting to yesterday's big announcement. Overall, they seem pleased. Read on after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

News Mon Apr 02 2007

Golden Oldy

It's not every day that we get to report on a concert consisting of the oldest song in recorded history (Tribune link, includes video of the performance).

Andrew Huff

News Thu Mar 29 2007

Rock for Net Neutrality

On Tuesday, Ted Leo helped kick off the Future of Music Coalition's campaign for net neutrality. Some internet service providers want to institute a fee system to have some websites load faster than others, and FMC thinks this will play unfairly into the hands of indie musicians and labels who depend on the net to promote their music and sell directly to fans. The Rock The Net campaign already has the endorsement of local-ish band OK GO, while Chicago labels Touch And Go, Carrot Top, Bloodshot and Lilypad Records have also signed on for the cause. Fans can also show support by signing the petition here.

JP Pfafflin

News Thu Mar 29 2007

Not interviews, but innerviews

Chicago's own in-depth interview monthly music magazine, Chicago Innerview, put the questions to a couple of Chicago label bands in their April issue, which is online now. Ted Leo, whose Living with the Living is out now on Touch & Go, and hard to pin down Trans Am, whose latest bedazzler Sex Change is out on longtime label Thirll Jockey, both get the "innerview" treatment. Other bands hitting Chicago in April that are covered include The Decemberists, Snow Patrol, RJD2, and Blonde Redhead. Pick up hard copies of the magazine for free at fine distribution points throughout Chicago.

Brandon Forbes

News Wed Mar 28 2007

Charges Dropped Against Former Mest Singer

You might have read that the former lead singer of Chicago punk band Mest Anthony Lovato was arrested in connection to a fatal stabbing over the weekend in LA. The district attorney has announced today, however, that there wasn't enough evidence to charge Lovato, and he's been released.

Anne Holub

Concert Tue Mar 27 2007

Concert News

• A second Police date at Wrigley Field has been announced: Sting, etc. will perform again on July 6. Greg Kot reports that tickets for the July 5th show are being offered by ticket brokers for as much as $3400.

• Tickets go on sale this Saturday for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, which will play Toyota Park (the Fire's stadium) July 28. (Oddly, the official site doesn't list any info about this year's concert, but the Wikipedia entry does.)

• Punk legend Exene Cervenka will play The Hideout April 7 with her band The Original Sinners. Knuckeldrager (sic). Tickets are only $12, and since there are only 150 of them, you'd better act quick.

• Warning: Do not go anywhere near the Congress Theater on April 28. Insane Clown Posse will be performing, which means the quotient of 16-year-old, spikey-haired hoodlums hopped up on Faygo will be too high for normal humans to bear.

That other gig may have been a fake, but Weird Al Yankovic is really coming this time! He'll be at the Star Plaza down in Merrillville, Indiana on June 30; tickets are on sale now.

Andrew Huff

News Mon Mar 26 2007


Still haven't had enough of SXSW? Really, not enough? Ok, then, you'll be interested to know that NPR has a variety of streaming audio from several live sessions recorded at SXSW. Chicago indie poster boy Andrew Bird gets a session and the ever-popular Ponys offer up a few songs as well. Both are produced by KEXP, so the host to artist interviews are nice. For a general list of all performances, check the NPR SXSW page or visit largehearted boy's link list.

Brandon Forbes

News Thu Mar 22 2007

Pony Up!

Chicago's own The Ponys, whose latest Turn the Lights Out receives record review treatment in the current Transmission Feature, stopped by the Southside's Daytrotter studio earlier this week for one of Daytrotter's essential live sessions. Four tracks off of Turn the Lights Out get fresh treatment here, along with commentary from frontman Jered Gummere. And be on the look out at the end of the month for local Kinsella brother Mike, who plays solo under the moniker Owen, to stop by Sean Moeller's studio to play tracks off his excellent Polyvinyl release At Home, which came out earlier this year.

Brandon Forbes

News Wed Mar 21 2007

9 FM: Returning CDs for Make Benefit Glorious RIAA

In light of the recent decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board to substantially increase royalties paid by internet radio stations, which will most likely put an end to many online stations, Chicago's 9 FM has drummed up a plan to, you know, help the industry that is supposedly struggling so much to stay in the black. And that plan's simply to return the hundreds (thousands?) of promotional CDs given to radio listeners.

As 9 FM's Director of Programming, Matt DuBiel, puts it, "In the face of the RIAA's struggles, it just doesn't seem fair for us to be giving away free CDs to music fans who are fully capable of paying for the music themselves. That's why we're inviting everyone who has won a CD from 9-FM or any other radio station in Chicago this year, to return it to us and we'll exchange it for a 9-FM T-shirt and give the CDs back to the RIAA. Perhaps with all of those CDs back, the RIAA will have enough money so radio stations like 9-FM and other independent music sites can continue to affordably stream online."

So, if you're lucky enough to be the right-numbered caller and win a free CD from any Chicago radio station, do your part to give something back to the industry that's done so much to win your love over the last few years and return it to 9 FM for some swag.

James Ziegenfus

News Tue Mar 20 2007

A Little Lolla News to Tide You Over...

So you're bummed that Peter Bjorn & John's May 8 Empty Bottle show (with Fujiya & Miyagi, no less) sold out in, oh, about a day? Well, fret not because they'll be back for Lollapalooza. Also appearing at the festival that first weekend of August will be LCD Soundsystem. And, of course, there're dozens of other rumors floating around that will hopefully be confirmed when the initial lineup is unveiled in April.

James Ziegenfus

News Fri Mar 16 2007

1900s Get Spun

We're not sure if being named the Spin Band of the Day reaps many positive results beyond exposure to thousands of yuppies who might visit the band's Myspace page or maybe buy a song from their latest album off I-Tunes. Yesterday local psych-folk heros The 1900's were bestowed the honor by the magazine as they finished up their shows at SXSW in Austin. It's a nice nod for this rising band, but beyond the mainstream recognition, the article is a standard bio read. But you shouldn't expect much from a magazine that currently has Fall Out Boy on the cover.

Brent Kado

News Wed Mar 14 2007

Label Lounge

Looks like Chicago's best indie labels will be becoming even cosier with the confines of the Subterranean. Tonight at the Subterranean Lounge the second of a possibly endless series of Chicago record label DJ showcases, entitled lovingly "Shut Up and Listen!", will start at 9 PM. Basically every Wednesday from now until at least mid-May, a new Chicago label will DJ in the Lounge until 2 AM. The residency series kicked off last Wednesday with Southern Records, and the second installment is tonight, starring leftist punks Underground Communique Records. Expect lots of free giveaways and some sneak peeks of forthcoming records at every DJ night. Check the schedule and links below to figure out which DJ sets will tickle your fancy most, and definitely note that the Touch and Go night will feature local legend Steve Albini flippin' the wax...or pressing play on the CD player.

Shut Up and Listen! Schedule for Subterranean Lounge
3/14 Underground Communique Records
3/21 Victory Records
3/28 Flameshovel Records
4/4 Minty Fresh Records [live performance by Astrid Swan]
4/11 Seventh Rule Records
4/18 Touch & Go / Electrical Audio [DJ Steve Albini]
4/25 Thick Records
5/2 Brilliante Records
5/9 Bloodshot Records

Brandon Forbes

News Thu Mar 08 2007

Pitchfork Adds Another Day, Announces Some Performers

Greg Kot reports that this year's Pitchfork Music Festival is adding Friday to its weekend and it'll feature acts performing albums in their entirety. (Hmm... maybe they loved GvsB's Venus Luxure as much as everyone else at last year's Touch & Go Anniversary.) Also, Cat Power, Clipse, Girl Talk, Grizzly Bear, Iron & Wine, Jamie Lidell, Of Montreal, Powerhouse Sound, and Professor Murder are slated to appear Saturday and Sunday. Tickets go on sale next week at varying prices.

James Ziegenfus

News Thu Mar 08 2007

Lollapalooza Pre-Sale Leaves Out Many

Was there much more frustrating this morning than the ineptitude of servers hosting Lollapalooza's 2007 pre-sale? There seemed to be mounting evidence that there was no real queue and the only way to get through was to attack Front Gate Tickets with hit-upon-hit. According to the festival's website, the 3000 $60 3-day tickets (no shipping or service charges) sold out in twelve minutes. Regular tickets for a whopping $120+ will go on sale April 3.

James Ziegenfus

News Tue Feb 20 2007


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

News Mon Feb 19 2007 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]

JP Pfafflin

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 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
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

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

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

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

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

News Wed Jan 31 2007

Let Them Eat The Sea and Cake

For those of us who have been patiently waiting for the four giants of Chicago's independent music scene that compose The Sea and Cake to release another sonic gem, the wait is over. Or, at least according to a press release that went out today, it will be on May 8th. Thrill Jockey Records, who have released every one of The Sea and Cake's six LPs thus far, will again shoulder printing duties for forthcoming album Everybody. In fact, this will be the first The Sea and Cake release since 2003's post-rock pop collection One Bedroom. Another first finds Brian Paulson, who has worked with such acts as Slint and Wilco, taking his turn at production, a job reserved over the last six albums to drummer John McEntire, whom you might know from that other staple of Chicago post-rock, Tortoise. Everybody's tracklist is shaping up as follows:

1. Up on Crutches
2. Too Strong
3. Crossing Line
4. Middlenight
5. Coconut
6. Exact to Me
7. Lightning
8. Introducing
9. Left On

No doubt local dates will be forthcoming closer to the release date. Until then, brush off that copy of Oui and bask in the past indie glory of Prekop, Prewitt, Claridge and McEntire as a prelude to some brand new literate dream-pop.

Brandon Forbes

News Wed Jan 31 2007

The South Union Arts Will Rise Again!

After an early winter-induced hibernation, South Union Arts has recently emerged from its slumber. The all-ages DIY space, nuzzled on S. Union just south of Roosevelt, has recently announced a slew of show dates starting in March. The converted church, decked out with glass block & tile, a four foot neon hanging crucifix, and bench seating still in tact, has played host to all-ages shows and art exhibits as well as a frequently recurring DIY market throughout the last year.

Highlights for the 2007 season include performances by The One Am Radio, The Cassettes, By The End of Tonight, and Chicago's classical-rockers Cellmates along with a month-long poster exhibit featuring The Burlesque Design Group. For more information on one of Chicago’s most unique venues, visit or email

John Lombardo

News Mon Jan 29 2007


As the Chicago Reader music blog reports, the latest viral video to hit YouTube is the anti-gay sing-a-long, "The Bible Says" (it's since been yanked from the video clip site). After being forwarded all over the Internet with the preface of "No, seriously, this dude is for real," it looks like, thankfully, for the time being the song may be a hoax: The LGBT-activist blog Good As You uncovered similarities between "Bible Says" singer Donnie Davies and Bobby Conn's Glass Gypsies drummer Colby Starck. Over at Radar Online, Starck is denying he is Davies (other online sleuths say this is the guy), but the Internet exposé seems to come with pretty good timing, considering Conn's King for a Day drops next month (see below).

JP Pfafflin

News Mon Jan 15 2007

Sorry, Kids. "Weird Al" Just Ain't Coming

A man, claiming to represent pop satirist and polka-lover "Weird Al" Yankovic, recently conned local clubs FitzGerald's and Goose Island Brewery out of thousands of dollars in booking fees before moving on to scam other clubs in Geneva, IL, Georgia and Texas. The artist is currently not on tour. [Thanks, Matt.]

Anne Holub

News Fri Jan 05 2007

Legends in Motion

Three venerable Chicago music venues in just about a year are filling out change of address forms, including Buddy Guy's Legends which is getting the boot from Columbia College which owns its space. Prospective new spaces on the club's radar are the old E2 nightclub space and other locations on West Maxwell Street. Look for more details as the club's lease comes to an end in May.

Anne Holub

News Wed Jan 03 2007

On the Brink of Losing Another Chicago Jazz Venue

Chicago's Jazz Showcase, where legends like McCoy Tyner and Charlie Parker played, is no more. After a final night of performances on New Year's Eve, the venerable venue has lost its lease and shut its doors. Despite an upbeat message on its website, there are, apparently no set moving plans. Unlike another legendary Chicago jazz club, the Velvet Lounge, which was able to move to a new location earlier this year after it lost its long-time address, the Jazz Showcase has not been able to pull together resources enough to make the move into new digs...yet. For now, memorabilia is being stored in the owner's son's basement, and in the hearts and ears of all who heard the hot licks wherever the Showcase hung its hat over the past 60 years.

Anne Holub

News Tue Jan 02 2007

The Bunny and the Bottle

Playboy has named "America's 10 Best Rock Clubs," its list of venues that are booking the best in up-and-coming acts. Making the cut is one of Chicago's own, The Empty Bottle (and, yes, it's Safe For Work).

JP Pfafflin

News Thu Dec 14 2006

Ricki Lee Jones "Soundstage" Taping

Chicagoan, Grammy award-winner and 1979 Rolling Stone cover girl Ricki Lee Jones will perform for a taping of WTTW's "Soundstage" on Wednesday, December 20 at 8 pm. Tickets are free, but they're handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested parties can contact "Soundstage" at 773-279-2111 or e-mail soundstage [at] Leave your name, phone number and the number of tickets you'd like to reserve. 18+ only.

JP Pfafflin

News Thu Dec 14 2006

7 Alligators, 13 Nominations

Congrats to seven artists on the Chicago-based Alligator Records label for their total 13 nominations for 2007 Blues Music Awards. Chicago blues legend Lil’ Ed Williams and his band The Blues Imperials (who you might have caught when Conan was in town) received a total of three nominations (including nods for the coveted Entertainer of the Year and Band of the Year awards). Guitar Shorty also picked up three nominations. Acoustic blues duo Cephas & Wiggins and Austin-based pianist Marcia Ball each received two. Eric Lindell, Shemekia Copeland, and Siegel-Schwall Band drummer Sam Lay each received one nomination. The Blues Music Awards ceremony and concert will be held May 10, 2007 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis.

Anne Holub

News Tue Dec 12 2006

Evel Kanyevel

Billboard magazine today reports that the pride of Butte, MT, Evel Knievel, is suing Chicago rap producer Kanye West over his "Touch the Sky" video. Apparently, Knievel objects to West biting his style in the video, which recreates the legendary daredevil's failed 1974 Snake River Canyon Jump in a rocket-powered SkyCycle.

[Author name lost in database explosion]

News Mon Dec 11 2006

Healthcare Advice for Musicians

You don't have to suffer but so much for your rock and roll lifestyle. The Hideout website currently points musicians and artists to a free service provided by the non-profit group, the Future of Music Coalition. The group's health insurance guidance program for musicians, called the Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT), provides information online and also offers free phone consultations with experts to discuss affordable health coverage options.

Anne Holub

News Mon Dec 11 2006

Quick News Round-up

• The Bird Machine, home of concert poster superstar Jay Ryan, is offering special sampler packs for holiday giving. The packs contain seven posters at either 12"x24" or 18"x24" -- a serious steal, considering one poster usually costs at least $20. Order by PayPal to, indicating which set you'd like to order.

• HIDDEN CAMERAS have canceled today's in-store appearance at the Wicker Park Reckless Records. Apparently there was some trouble at the Canadian border.

• American Apparel and Time Out Chicago are throwing a party at the Empty Bottle on January 7. It's a 'Karaoke Dance Off,' featuring Rory Lake, DJ Major Taylor and DJ Damon Locks — and lots of dance karaoke, we imagine. $10 at the door, but it's free if you RSVP to (tell'em we sent you).

Andrew Huff

News Fri Dec 08 2006

Kick, Push...Grammy?

Congrats to local boy, Lupe Fiasco for his three Grammy nominations, announced yesterday. The summertime hit "Kick, Push" garnered Lupe with chances to win the award for Best Rap Solo Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album for Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor. The award ceremony takes place February 11, 2007.

Anne Holub

News Tue Dec 05 2006

Bloodshot Bargains and Bonuses

It's time again to start keeping your eyes peeled for end-of-the-year bargains, and local label Bloodshot Records has some great sale prices, free shipping, and free gifts for you the more you spend (so everybody wins)! It's happening now through the end of the year, but check out their list of artists early for the best selection. At least one album by every member of their family is on sale, including selections from Ryan Adams, Neko Case, The Detroit Cobras, Devil in a Woodpile, Alejandro Escovedo, Kelly Hogan, Old 97's, and The Waco Brothers.

Anne Holub

News Mon Dec 04 2006

CSO Back in the Recording Booth, on the Airwaves

Gramophone reports that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is recording albums again -- under its own label, CSO Resound. Its planned 2007 release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and mezzo Michelle DeYoung will be the first since 2001. The CSO also announced a return to radio broadcast in '07 with the debut of the BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series on WFMT. Read the official press release here.

Andrew Huff

News Mon Nov 27 2006

Bobby Conn's Forthcoming King for a Day Update

Next February, Thrill Jockey artist Bobby Conn will release King for a Day, a new album that he's referred to as his Don Quixote. Leading up to its release, episodes from a companion video will be made available at Currently in progress, the video is being directed by Usama Alshaibi, who also worked on Nice Bombs, which won Best Documentary at the 2006 Chicago Underground Film Festival. In true Bobby Conn fashion, the videos for King for a Day are inspired by 70s-era soap operas and being shot with vintage equipment.

James Ziegenfus

News Fri Nov 10 2006

How Bad Was the K-Fed Show?

This bad.

Andrew Huff

News Fri Nov 03 2006

If I Can Make It There...Oh, Never Mind

Well, we had a six week break from Thax Douglas's poetry. It's not going to last. He tells the Tribune that Chicago isn't that bad, after all, and it's certainly cheaper. So, recent hullabaloo over his departure notwithstanding, he's coming back.

[Author name lost in database explosion]

News Fri Nov 03 2006

Justice vs. Simian vs. Kanye

Last night's MTV Europe Awards featured a tantrum by Kanye West when he failed to win Best Video for "Touch the Sky." MTV's European voters seemed to think the video for Justice vs. Simian's "We Are Your Friends" was superior. ("Touch the Sky" is probably a better overall video, but the payoff at the end of "We Are Your Friends" trumps Evel Kanyevel's crash.) Notable quotes from Chicago's hip-hop star included "If I don't win, the awards show loses credibility" and that he should've won because the video "cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons." Apparently, a million dollars doesn't get you as far as it once did in the music video world.

Coincidentally, Justice performed a DJ set at Smartbar last night that had thick grooves, some cliché remixes, random people yelling in the mics, and a little bit of the ingenuity that made them a name in the first place. Interestingly enough, their live remix of "We Are Your Friends" sounded awfully different than the one that won Best Video at the MTV Europe Awards.

James Ziegenfus

News Fri Oct 20 2006

Chicago Reader Loses Music Critic Mehr to Memphis

The Chicago Reader's Bob Mehr, who wrote The Meter up until his last column, out today, is heading south. He'll be taking up a new job at the Memphis Commerical-Appeal starting November 1st. Bob wrote me today:

"As much as I love Chicago and hate to leave, The Commercial-Appeal is just a better opportunity for me at this point. Music critic gigs at daily papers — particuarly one in a thriving and historically significant artistic environment like Memphis — are as rare as hen's teeth. I kinda feel like I've done all I can in the alt-weekly world, having been a writer and editor for the New Times, Village Voice and Reader companies at various points over the last seven years. More importantly, just based on my own tastes, I've always felt a real connection to Memphis, and to the whole region in general. I've long been obsessed with the music and mythology emanating from the place and the chance to live and work in that environment was too intriguing to pass up. Plus, I feel like I'm going at a good time too — things are really flourishing there right now, particularly in the rap world and the garage rock community. And, my new office is basically across the street from Sun Studio — pretty inspiring to look out the window and see that every day if you're a music fan. So, yeah, I feel very lucky to have gone from one genuinely amazing music town to another. I can't complain."

You can look for Mehr's replacement, Miles Raymer's yet-to-be-named column, in the near future.

Anne Holub

News Thu Oct 12 2006

NewCity, NewMusic

This week's NewCity is full of music features, with a preview of the upcoming reopenings of Lava and the long-promised Ohm (formerly Red Dog), a feature on Chin Up Chin Up's new record, and a guide to the city's independent record stores from Evanston to the South Shore.

Kris Vire

News Wed Oct 11 2006

Crain's Explores Da Business This Week

Crain's has a feature focus this week on the music business in Chicago. While the treatment seems a bit fluffy, it is nice to see the buisiness end of the industry get its due. High points include a brief article about the Niles based Shure, the undisputed heavyweight in the microphone game.

[Author name lost in database explosion]

News Mon Oct 09 2006

Blockin' Chi-Town

MTV's "My Block," a show that takes viewers through the neighborhoods where artists came from, not just their nouveau-riche cribs, takes a tour through Chicago today. Here's a video preview of the episode and more background on the episode on

Andrew Huff

News Thu Oct 05 2006

Metro Looking for Alumni

Were you ever one of the proud Chicago music lovers who worked at the Metro and/or Smartbar? Next year brings the Metro into its big 2-5, and they're looking for stories, updates and your email. Send them in to Jenny Lizak (at Jenny {at}} to be added to the list for their big reunion sometime next year. Be sure to include your name (and/or nicknames), years you worked there and what position(s) you held.

Anne Holub

Artist Mon Sep 25 2006

Hotel Intercontinental Drops Jazz

The Hotel Intercontinental abruptly ended its 15-year-old jazz program last week, the Tribune reports, leaving featured performer Judy Roberts without a Chicago venue. Roberts had played piano in the hotel's streetside lounge since 1991, except for 2001-2003, when other musicians regularly filled in. Her last performance was Friday.

No replacement plans have been announced by the hotel. Fans can only hope that some other hotel or venue will pick up where the Intercontinental dropped off, and Roberts will be back to playing Thursday through Saturday every week. She still has a regular gig at Chambers in Niles; check her website for news of future shows in the city.

Andrew Huff

News Thu Sep 07 2006

KEXP, Live from... Chicago

Seattle radio station KEXP is in town for the next three days in recognition of Chicago's support during their Spring Pledge Drive. John Richards and Cheryl Waters are broadcasting the Morning Show and Midday Show from Engine Music Studios. Special performances by 11 local artists will highlight the programming. A listener party at Darkroom on Thursday night features the Sonnets (not the Swedish band) and the Ms. The event is free and starts at 9pm.

James Ziegenfus

News Mon Aug 28 2006

That's the Business

The Tribune published a report this weekend which updates the lawsuit between rockers Hawthorne Heights and local label Victory Records. Also commenting on the labyrinthine world of recording contracts is Enon member and former Braniac John Schmersal and local rock hero and Mekons member Jon Langford. Be sure to read the royalty capsule after the article, then hire a good entertainment lawyer.

[Author name lost in database explosion]

News Wed Aug 23 2006

Naked Raygun Reuniting

Before the Monorchid and after Big Black were announced to play at the Touch & Go 25th Anniversary in September, a Naked Raygun reunion was rumored. It made sense because almost everyone who'd been in the band would already be there with other bands. And then the Monorchid took the last spot. Considering that Naked Raygun never properly released anything on Touch & Go (Quarterstick reissued their catalog), it was forgivable, especially since so many other high-profile reunions would be taking place. Well, now it turns out that the reunion rumors were true, but the event was incorrect. Naked Raygun will actually be reuniting to play Riot Fest in November. And another Chicago band, Blue Meanies, will also be reuniting for it.

James Ziegenfus

Review Thu Aug 17 2006

This American Headache

Chicago's Headache City (Myspace) bring their gritty post-garage goodness to public radio Friday, contributing a remake of the hundred year-old American traditional "The Cat Came Back" to this week's episode of This American Life. TAL airs Friday at 7pm on WBEZ and will be available in streaming audio at their site shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, swing by Shit Sandwich Records and grab yerself a copy of Headache City's self-titled debut. Seamlessly blurring the lines between '60s garage soul and newfangled postpunk, with a dab of '80s new wave thrown in for good measure, Headache City comes off like cold PBR on a warm night with a hot girl--the music greaser teen motorcycle gangs would rock out on, if such kids existed anymore. El Goodo Audio's Robert Daniels deserves kudos for the way this record manages a greasy, sweaty swagger, even as the guitars ring clear, the vocals shine clean, and the drums always pound just so. Check out Headache City September 1st, when they headline at The Empty Bottle.

[Author name lost in database explosion]

News Tue Aug 15 2006

KEXP, live from the 312

Seattle's KEXP is going on its first field trip next month, and it's coming to Chicago, winner of its Fall 2005 Pledge Drive city-to-city challenge. Sign up on the station's site to attend the broadcast of morning and midday shows from Bucktown's Engine Music Studios. So far the announced line-up of artists who'll appear on-air is scant -- John Langford, M. Ward, Sally Timms -- but you never know who else'll stop by; you could get lucky. [via]

[Author name lost in database explosion]

News Mon Aug 14 2006

Rhymefest compares self to Maroon 5

Rhymefest's Blue Collar has had disappointing sales in its first month of release. The rapper came to his record's defense on his MySpace blog last week, noting that Blue Collar's first-week sales were higher than the slow-starting debuts of platinum artists Akon, Lyfe Jennings, and Maroon 5. Meanwhile, 'Fest shows the Chicago love in the video for Blue Collar's second single, "Fever," filmed mostly on the CTA (with a cameo appearance by Harold's Chicken Shack). Watch it here.

Kris Vire

Venue Wed Aug 09 2006

How About a Side of Jazz with Your Velvet?

Where would this city be without a little Jazz in its diet? Now there's a newly re-opened space just to fill that need. Viewed as a training ground for many of Chicago's creative jazz musicians since 1982, The Velvet Lounge is celebrating their grand re-opening this weekend with music performances by Fred Anderson(sax), Kidd Jordan(sax), Harrison Bankhead(bass), and Alvin Fielder(drums).

More than $100,000 was raised in private contributions to build out two new storefronts for this joint, and in it you're sure to love the added little touches from a vintage Chicago art deco bar to a musician's locker rooom. Don't worry, the old Velvet is still around, they've hung their trademark chandeliers and the 'Velvet lady' painting.

This party is on Friday Aug 11 and Saturday Aug 12 9pm. This is a non-smoking bar.
New Velvet Lounge
67 E. Cermak Rd. btwn Michigan and Wabash

[Author name lost in database explosion]

News Tue Aug 08 2006

Accusations Fly as Band Leaves Chicago Label

One of Chicago record label Victory's banner bands, Hawthorne Heights, announced yesterday they are leaving, and suing, the label (PDF). As you may remember, HH was the band that allegedly sent out a disturbing "call to arms" against R&B artist Ne-Yo, who released his album the same week the band released its latest, and there was an e-mail intercepted from the Victory street team supervisor who told all street teamers to hide Ne-Yo records in stores, so they could not be found. Yikes.

Anne Holub

News Tue Aug 08 2006

Volunteer and Get Free Beer + Rock

Here's a great opportunity for those of you who like to rock, but can't spare the cash. This September's Hideout Block Party/Touch & Go Records 25th Anniversary Party needs your help, and they'll reward you handsomely. For just a 4-hour shift, you'll get free admission to that day's events, plus 3 free beer tickets! All the details are on their website. [Thanks, Jennifer!]

Anne Holub

News Tue Aug 01 2006

Transmitting Our Feed

You can now grab the feed for Transmission, should you wish.

Andrew Huff

News Fri Jul 28 2006

RedEye Report Hobbled by Homonyms

Lest you were troubled by the RedEye story earlier in the week that pegged the life expectancy of an iPod at "four years," Apple has issued a clarification: the spokesperson quoted actually said "for [no U] years." Of course, it only takes two [with a W] years to merit the plural, so whether this is a reassurance remains unclear.

[Author name lost in database explosion]

News Thu Jul 27 2006

Posting No Bills Again

Peter Margasak has been the Reader's lead music critic for years, and was the paper's long-time music columnist until giving up the reins to Bob Mehr a couple years ago. Now Pete's Post No Bills is back -- in blog form. Posts so far have ranged from commentary on the death of record stores to concert previews to musings on musical ringtones. I'm excited to see where he takes PNB as he gets used to this new format.

Andrew Huff

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 »


  Chicago Music Media

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


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

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

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

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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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

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