Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Spencer Tweedy might be the coolest 13-year-old ever.

You may had already heard that Jeff Tweedy's 13-year-old son is a a rockin' drummer when his band, The Blisters, played the kids stage at Lollapalooza two years ago, but what you may not know is that Spencer Tweedy is a proficient writer, blogger, and has his own software website/company. That's right, I said he's 13.

On his blog, he talks about all of the above, among other pre-teen musings like his Bar-Mitzvah and how he spent his birthday--with Neil Young, Pegi Young, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jack McBrayer, Fred Armisen, and his family--oh, and filling in for Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche at Madison Square Garden. Yup, just your typical American kid...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Andrew Bird @ The Hideout 12/15

I was bummed that there were no hometown Chicago dates when Andrew Bird announced his tour beginning in January, but then last week I found out about a "secret" show at The Hideout, which ended up being two shows, and I was lucky enough to be at the one on Monday. It was in a word, amazing. Even my boyfriend, who didn't understand the hype, but still respected him as a musician, told me half way through the night that he finally gets it.

Andrew started the set with "Oh No," the only track being previewed from his new album, Noble Beast (scheduled for release in January on Fat Possum). Self described circus-punk marching band Mucca Pazza was there, which at first I didn't understand, because there was no way that entire band would fit on the tiny Hideout stage with Andrew and crew, but then he revealed that that they were filming a music video for one of the new songs, "Fitz and the Dizzy Spells." He explained that the video would be something along the lines of him shooting a flaming arrow from the top of The Hideout as a call for people to leave their jobs and congregate there for a party. He went through the song twice, and Mucca Pazza positioned themselves throughout the audience and danced with their instruments in the air. It was surreal from the middle of the room and I can't wait to see how cool it looked from outside the mob!

It was a comfortable show, Hideout co-owner Tim Tuten himself said that they didn't over sell it (how could they with all the members of Mucca Pazza mulling about!) and to make yourself at home, and that we did. It felt more like a house party, a gathering of friends than a typical concert, especially given the humble surroundings of The Hideout and Andrew's missteps, dialogue and equipment malfunctions. We even went out to the bar for a drink midway through the show, and then ran back in when I heard the opening beats of "Imitosis." He played for almost 2 hours, playing every song from the new album and treating us to a couple of my older favorites including "Fake Palindromes" and "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left." I was also especially struck by the new song "Effigy," I don't really know why; maybe it was because he told us it was about the man that sits at the end of the bar writing poetry, and wondering what his story is.

After hearing the entire album, I'm excited for the release of Noble Beast next month. I'll probably even get the Deluxe Edition so I can get that bonus instrumental album that includes collaborations with another favorite artist of mine, Glenn Kotche.

**Tankboy took the photo above, and some great others you can view on Chicagoist. Although I didn't see any of the unicorn sweater...

**PS--Andrew is also going to be at The Hideout's Big Shoulders Ball in DC for the Presidential Inauguration!

Wednesday, December 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). 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!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Review: CSS @ Metro 12/14/08

It's tough going to a show on a Sunday night. You're probably worn out (read: hungover) from the weekend's previous activities, and visions of your 9-to-5 loom in the not so distant future. It takes something special to get you out of the house (especially in the middle of a Chicago winter). Enter Brazilian band Cansei de Ser Sexy, better known to us in the States as CSS. They became a sensation last year after Apple used their song, "Music is My Hot, Hot Sex," in an iPod Touch commercial. They're known for their exuberant live shows, and I had seen the crazy get-ups that lead singer Lovefoxx wears, so I expected quite the spectacle at the Metro last night.

You knew you were in for a party when Lovefoxxx ran out wearing a tribal print spandex unitard with an Indian feather headdress, and the drummer started the show shirtless. I honestly couldn't take my eyes off Lovefoxxx, wondering what she would do next as she danced around the stage like you would dance around your bedroom with your hairbrush as a microphone. She interacted a lot with the audience, they mimicked her hand motions and dance moves, and she threw a bunch of balloons into the crowd for them to blow up and throw in the air. She even talked with two guys in the front row and gave them new beers! While the show was spontaneous and chaotic, it was controlled chaos. You can tell CSS are professionals at entertaining--there were no awkward moments, and the music didn't suffer at all. In fact, they sounded incredible and tight. They put some serious "rock" in dance rock.

A couple of times during the show, though, it looked as if there were some sound problems on stage. Crews brought more speakers out to the stage, and at one point keyboardist Ana Rezende was waving down the sound guy and eventually walked across the stage to get his attention. Kind of made me wonder if they even sound-checked, but nothing sounded off from my perspective and Lovefoxxx's antics made it easy to forget the interruption.

The energy really pumped up during their last couple songs and the encore, by the end the crowd was going crazy. Watching a packed house from the balcony of the Metro becomes a sea of lights and people moving as one entity, and Lovefoxxx dove right in and surfed the waves.

*Kirstie Shanley took some great photos of the show you can see on Gapers Block.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chicago NYE Roundup

Check out my Feature for Transmission this week with my picks for what to do on New Years Eve in Chicago.
New Year's Eve is still more than two weeks away, but its about time to start making plans or you just might end up sitting at home by yourself watching the ball drop (insert image of sad person wearing a pointy hat blowing a kazoo here). Here's a look at some of my top concert picks around town to help you bid adieu to 2008 and ring in 2009 the right way.

Revolution Number 9 @ Congress Theater
"Revolution 9" may have been a revolutionary Beatles song, but this year the name is all about the year's hottest electronic dance music. We recently talked about French DJ duo Justice's documentary, A Cross The Universe, which followed them on the final three weeks of their spring tour. But, for one night you can experience them live as they team up with up with Ed Banger labelmate So Me for a pumping dance party. Local electro band Hey Champ, who just returned from a month long tour with Lupe Fiasco, will open, and will be the only ones on the bill playing as a full band. Other DJs who will keep the party going into the early morning include Willy Joy, DJ Zebo, The Glamour, Dark Wave Disco DJs, Skyler, and Bearries. The party starts at 7pm. The Congress Theater is located at 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave. 17 & up. General Admission tickets are $60 and VIP access (which includes express entry, back stage views, and a private bar) is $200.

The Dandy Warhols @ Metro
The Dandy Warhols are known for their fun version of psychedelic pop rock with hits like "Bohemian Like You" and "Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth," and this year they released their sixth studio album, ...Earth To The Dandy Warhols... on their very own label, Beat The World Records. As if starting a record label weren't enough to keep them busy, they're also spearheading the Breathe Easy Benefit, which is a collaborative album project with a bunch of other artists that raises money for Three Rivers Land Conservancy.
We've already told you how excited we are that The Dandy Warhols were announced to play NYE at the Metro, and turns out the Dandys are pretty excited too. If you go to their website you can order a special limited edition t-shirt (just make sure you order before December 19th to get it before New Years). The show starts at 9pm. The Metro is located at 3730 N. Clark St. (18 & over.) Tickets are $55 in advance ($65 day of). VIP Tables are available for $500 and include 4 tickets, 4 seats, 4 limited-edition posters, and 4 drink tickets per person. Formal Attire Encouraged — you could use an excuse to clean up every once in a while.

The Sea & Cake @ Schubas
The Sea & Cake are my favorite band to listen to on a chill, lazy afternoon. Sam Prekop's smooth, infectious vocals can lull anyone straight into relaxation. While they qualify as a pop rock band, they have a heavy jazz influence. They've been making music in Chicago since 1993, but each member has their own side projects, including solo albums and drummer John McEntire's involvement in Tortoise. Their latest album though, Car Alarm, was recorded without taking a break after their previous album, and the result is an even tighter sounding group. The show starts at 10pm. Schubas is located at 3159 N. Southport. (21 & up.) Tickets are $40. There is also a pre-party in the bar before the show from 7:30-9:30pm. Tickets are sold separately for $30 ($35 at the door) and include drinks and appetizers. (This show is part of a two night set, so if you really want to see The Sea & Cake but don't want to shell out 40 bucks, you can see them the night before for half that price.)

Local H @ Bottom Lounge
They found mainstream success with "Bound For The Floor," but that's not all Local H are known for. The alternative duo's live shows are always energetic and always unpredictable. Scott Lucas and Brian St. Clair are finally back home after a nationwide tour supporting their latest album, Twelve Angry Months, which came out this spring. Fellow Chicago bands Sybris and pop favorites OFFICE open. Show starts at 8pm. The Bottom Lounge is now located at 1375 W. Lake St. (21 & up.) Tickets are $35.


For those of you who don't want to break the bank, but still want to have a good time and hear some live music, head on over to Quenchers at the corner of Fullerton and Western where the cover is only $10. Local bands Tight Phantomz and Cougars will rock your face off with some hard hitting, classic rock 'n roll. Quenchers is located at 2401 N Western Ave. Music gets going at 9pm.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Loneliest Monk Haunts and Enchants

If you're looking for something to do tonight, think about heading over to Bottom Lounge for a concert that's a little different than the usual rock show. He is a member of local indie rock band All Things Lucid and runs Kilo Records. She is a master cellist who has played with Phillip Glass, Kanye West, and even the Foo Fighters in their 2008 Grammy Awards performance. Together, Miles Benjamin and Michelle Morales form the experimental duo The Loneliest Monk. Their cool, ambient music is a nice departure from the standard 4-piece rock or jazz group. It's little bit rock, a little bit classical, a little jazz infused, and completely intriguing.

They will be handing out "Magic Buttons" at the show that you can bring to the Empty Bottle on December 21st (their first headlining show) for a handmade Loneliest Monk Christmas gift. The buttons were designed by Aaron Albarran, and will reveal their new logo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What is the future of music?

If you're near downtown Chicago after work tonight, you should definitely go to this. I love these guys and I would love to see what they have to say on the topic, but I can't make it. Go and tell me all about it!

Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis have a ton of knowledge between them in rock music and the going-ons in the industry. You've heard them on "the worlds only rock 'n' roll talk show," Sound Opinions, and now you can join them live to discuss the future of the music industry in this uncertain time.

It's no secret that the Internet and the digital age have changed the way we listen to music, buy music, are exposed to music, and generally enjoy artists we like. Record companies are left scrambling to try to figure out how to still make a profit in this new time, but what does it mean for you the consumer/ listener, and for the musicians themselves? Kot and De Rogatis promise to break it down for you tonight at Columbia College's Conway Center (1104 S. Wabash). It's free, but space is limited so get there early. Doors open at 5:30, and the talk begins at 6pm.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Noble Beast out earlier than expected, now in Deluxe Edition!

Andrew Bird has pushed the release date of his new album, Noble Beast, up one week from January 27 to January 20. What I thought was to be released as two different albums, one instrumental, has been pressed into a special-edition two-CD set. This Deluxe Edition will come with different artwork by Diana Sudyka, extra photos, a fold out poster, and a 24-page illustrated lyric book and will only be available through pre-order at Fat Possum and on release date at record stores.

The hook? You can only get the extra instrumental CD, Useless Creatures, (which by the way includes another hometown guy--Wilco's Glenn Kotche--on percussion) with the Deluxe-Edition (although I'm sure it will eventually be released on it's own...). Otherwise you'll just have to settle for the Standard Edition.

(Album art above is from the Standard Edition)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Intonation: Helping Kids Rock Since 2006

If you're in Chicago tomorrow you should stop by this happy hour that one of my co-workers is involved with (which I actually didn't know until I was researching the organization)...

Here's the write-up I did for Gapers Block: Hope to see you there!

Intonation may not be throwing festivals in Union Park anymore, but they are still very active in the Chicago music scene, just on a smaller level, as in with smaller people. Now Intonation Music is a Workshop for kids ages 6-18, putting instruments in their hands and giving them instruction and opportunities to perform. The workshop is a band-based after-school program meaning drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and amps--not your typical high school marching band. Their goal is to provide this type of programming in neighborhoods where kids might not otherwise be exposed to music. They've already expanded to two locations in addition to their Fuller Park program, and even more sites are in store for next year.

Thursday night Intonation Music Workshop is throwing a Launch Party Fundraiser at The Butterfly Social Club (728 W. Grand Ave.) from 5-8pm. There will be a silent auction with items from Hot Doug's, Parasol Records, Hejfina, The Score Sports Radio and many more. From 5-6pm you can get complimentary beer courtesy of the guys at The Half-Acre Brewing Company. Free beer? And feeling good about donating to charity? What better excuse do you need? And you never know, you might be enabling one of the next generation's great rock bands. Tickets are $10 at the door and all proceeds benefit Intonation Music Workshop.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

There is more to Glenn Kotche than Wilco

Glenn Kotche is the drummer for a little Chicago rock band you might have heard of called Wilco. What you may not know, is that Wilco is just one of Kotche's many projects.

Kotche joined Wilco in 2001, right before the band went rogue (sound-wise and label-wise) with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Its no surprise that Wilco took an innovative turn at that time, when you consider Kotche's background and other projects. He was in the experimental rock trio Loose Fur with Jeff Tweedy and Jim O'Rourke when Tweedy asked him to join Wilco. Currently, he makes up half of the jazz experimental duo On Fillmore with Darin Gray. He also recently collaborated with fellow local Andrew Bird for one of Bird's upcoming albums. And on top of all this, right now he is busy recording a new album with Wilco.

As if that wasn't enough to keep your plate full, Kotche has a burgeoning solo career of his own. In 2006 he released his third solo album, Moblie (Nonesuch Records). His creative exploration of rhythm and the space between is nothing you would expect and incredibly intriguing. It's also diverse, from the ambient title track "Mobile Parts 1 & 2" to the intense jam beats on "Projections of (what) Might."

Tonight "indie classical meets indie rock" when he appears with classical group eighth blackbird at Harris Theater. They will perform works from Mobile, and Kotche himself will perform a solo set. What can you expect? Lots of unorthodox percussion instruments and a departure from rhythm you're used to hearing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Song of the Summer

Every summer there is a song that gets constantly remixed, played in dj sets, covered all over the place by other bands, earns the top spot on "Top 25 Most Played" playlist on your iPod, and just downright seeps into your brain.

There has been some talk that this year's song was "Kids" by MGMT, but if you ask me, that song didn't get hot until the end of summer/beginning of fall. For me, 2008's song of summer was definitely "Cold Dust Girl" by Hey Champ. They're local, so this one didn’t dominate across the country, but in my world, it was huge. First of all, they're my friends, so I was going to all their shows anyway, but then they filmed a video for "Cold Dust Girl" starring a bunch of friends (yours truly making an appearance) and it started popping up in DJ sets around town and all over local blogs. And now they're signed to a label and touring with Lupe Fiasco. On top of all the hooplah, the song is incredibly catchy and fun to listen to. The perfect summer soundtrack. What was your song of summer?

Past year's “songs of summer":

2007: "Young Folks" - Peter, Bjorn & John
2006: "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley
2005: "Mr. Brightside" - The Killers
2004: "Toxic" - Britney Spears (ok, guilty pleasure, but I was guiltlessly into pop.)
2003: "SexyBack" "Rock Your Body" - (alright, another guilty pleasure*, but this song rocked my summer on the boat at Party Cove.)

Geez, I had great taste in music for a while there...

*When I bought this cd I actually put it under another cd so no one would see I was buying it--yeah, thats back when we still bought cds, so instead of being on an iPod playlist, the cd was probably in the little holder on the visor in my car.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tom Schraeder wears His Ego on his sleeve

Tom Schraeder is 24 years old, but sings with the sorrow of a man twice his age. Upon first listening to his new EP, Lying Through Dinner, I found it a nice little Americana album, but it wasn't until a few more listens that I was really gripped by the heart in his songwriting. There is some real emotion in this album. There is heartache, a couple of foot-stomping singalong moments, and some passages that can make you feel the lost hope of someone drinking alone in an empty bar at closing time. Tom has a talent for evoking the feeling you've been there before, even if you haven't. He is such an excellent songwriter, that while you feel the hurt and yearning in his songs, he is still a joy to listen to. And somehow, with all the pain experienced in his lyrics and acclaim he's received, he still manages to keep a cool head.

Tom Schraeder & His Ego are back in Chicago for one show this Saturday at Schubas before heading out on tour. It's a record release show and everyone with paid admission will receive a free copy of Lying Through Dinner. Watch the promo video below to get a little preview of the first song on the album, "Needle Will Bite."

Tom Schraeder Promo Video: Schubas Saturday 11/15

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Band of the Living Dead

I take Halloween very seriously, so when I decided I was going to be a zombie this year, I had a lot of homework to do--turns out there is a lot to learn! You've got slow zombies, fast zombies, and a whole different set of rules that have evolved to go along with each of them.

Since I like zombies and I like rock bands, what could be better than combining the two, right!? I went to the Double Door last night to see Venom Lords pay homage to the master, George Romero. If you listen closely to the lyrics, they'll tell you all about how the 'dead hate the living' and they want 'more brains'; that is if you can hear them. Their songs are all guitar heavy punk/garage rock, but what else would real zombies listen to?! And what better soundtrack to accompany a zombie attack in a movie?

A fun show to see on a Tuesday night drinking with friends. One thing that would make this show better though: actual zombies. I wish that at least one of the band members would black out their eyes... and maybe just a little bit of blood?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reviewed: Girl Talk @ Congress Theater

I went to Girl Talk at the Congress Theater with a bunch of my friends this weekend, and we had a blast. It was debauchery from the moment we walked in the door (okay, maybe not quite as much as Lolla, but still nice to let loose and dance for a night).

I wrote a review of the show for Transmission. The only thing I didn't talk about is how annoyed I was about the coat check. Right when we walked in we went up the stairs to the coat check just to be told it is full and they are not taking anymore coats, while I'm looking at a huge empty space behind them. I'm sorry, its 30 degrees outside and this is a sold out event, you should accommodate all your patrons. This venue has been here for 80 years, its not like we didn't know it was going to be cold in Chicago in November! And Congress, I couldn't help but notice that your website touts "high capacity coat check service"...

Anyway, enough of my rant, go read my review of the actual show.

P.S. Tankboy got some AWESOME pics of the show you should check out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Keep On Dancin'

Ghostland Observatory is made up of two guys from Austin. Thomas Turner dances around the stage wearing a get-up that looks like American Indian meets '70's hippie while Aaron Behrens wears a Dracula cape and plays the drums. There are colorful laser lights everywhere, and that's just their stage show. The title of their latest album, Robotique Majestique is a good indication of what the soundtrack is like: electro pop of the future, a very groovy future. They play the Metro tonight with DJ sets by Mister Wolf.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Umbrella Music Festival

My first post went up on Transmission yesterday about Umbrella Music Festival. It's basically a festival showcasing creative and improvised jazz music. It started last night with a free show at the Chicago Cultural Center and continues through the weekend.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a slight affinity for this type of music, since I dated a jazz musician and was subjected to it for a year. Unfortunately we broke up before I finally grew to appreciate it. (Hmm, maybe this blog is going to start to become a little more personal...)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mich is writing for Gapers Block!

Hi folks, I'm excited to report that I am now writing for the Chicago website Gapers Block in their Transmission section (about music, duh)! I'll still be posting here, and even re-posting some of the things I do for them on here too.

I'm super excited! Check me out!

And bookmark it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Happy Election Day! As the kids say, 'you can vote however you like', just make sure you vote!

Polls are open from 6am to 7pm (in Illinois).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Get Pumped for Election Day!

Election Day is tomorrow! For all you Obama fans out there, here is some inspiration to get to the polls.

Z-Trip - Obama Mix (mp3)

There have been a lot of Obama "mix tapes" surfacing in the last days of this race, but Z-Trip is by far the best one I've heard.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey Champ Becomes a 'Superstar'

Congratulations to our hometown boys in Hey Champ! Yesterday they offically signed with Lupe Fiasco's record label 1st & 15th!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This Is Your Brain on Music

Check out this weeks episode of Sound Opinions (hosted by Chicago’s own Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, of the Sun Times and Tribune, respectively) where their guest is neurologist Oliver Sacks (of 'Awakenings' fame). They discuss the mysterious connections between music and the mind, including the effects of music on patients with amnesia or who are otherwise unresponsive. They also touch on the importance of music education in schools and those nagging earworms.

On a similar note (heh), I am currently reading This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin. Levitin is a former record producer and engineer turned psychologist. The book is also about the connection between music and the human brain and the psychology of why we like it so much. I’ve only gotten through the chapters on music theory and the human brain, which are both daunting topics, but Levitin’s writing makes it entertaining and easy to read.

Monday, October 13, 2008

OFFICE - the good kind

Anyone in Chicago looking for something to do tonight should make their way to Schubas to see OFFICE perform as part of their October Residency.

The best part? Its FREE, so you don't have any excuse. (Yes, I know its Monday, but what better day to listen to some cheery pop music to make you forget that you still have 4 days of work left...)
If you're lucky, they'll play some songs from their as-yet-unreleased new album, Mecca (which is faaaaantastic).

Kevin Barnes has offically gone off the deep end...

Spin warned us. Stereogum gave us our first glimpse. And now they are freaking everywhere. Everyone is talking about the ridiculousness of this new of Montreal stage show (I guess singing from atop white horse - in shorty shorts - on stage in New York City will do that.)

I for one can not wait to see it. Their shows have always been a spectacle, but this is above and beyond. Luckily I’ll be seeing them twice! First in St. Louis (10/24 @ The Pageant) and then back in Chicago (10/27 @ The Riviera).

Find all their remaining tour dates here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Song of the Day: Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot

I'll admit, I didn't know much about Sonic Youth until last year at Pitchfork Music Festival when they played Daydream Nation in its entirety, and I was totally blown away. First because it was so amazing, secondly because I was disappointed in myself for not knowing how amazing it was before that day. I went out the next day and bought the (lucky for me) newly-released deluxe edition of Daydream Nation.

Teen Age Riot - Sonic Youth

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A New Fave

I have a new favorite song. "be be your love" by Rachel Yamagata. I didn’t know anything about her (other than that she is originally from Chicago) until last night when I saw her at Lakeshore Theater. The girl is almost too cute and charming, with her little anecdotes between songs, even pausing during her set to say hi and give kiss to an old friend. A folk rock singer/songwriter, some of her songs are quiet and reflective, some rock, all are incredibly heart felt. But the part that really got me - her voice, that voice! She’s got a new album coming out October 7th, so you can check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New PBJ Out, oM Release Pushed Back

The new Peter Bjorn and John album Seaside Rock came out yesterday, and while it is a unique collection of instrumental songs and monologues, as a whole it doesn’t blow me away quite as much as the first single did. Still worth a listen though.

In other album release news, of Montreal has pushed back their Skeletal Lamping release date from October 7 to October 21. Guess all those "different iterations" turned out to be a little more to handle than they anticipated! They have been busy though, find them this fall in a Spin feature and gracing the cover of Paste Magazine. Oh, and then there's this...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Freedom of Press?

I had heard about the ABC camera man who was assaulted by St. Paul Police outside the Republican National Convention, but I did not know the extent of what happened outside the convention until today when reading the liner notes for Ted Leo’s new EP Rapid Response. How was this treatment of the press and protesters not covered more prominently in the mainstream media? It’s a violation of the First Amendment in the freaking Bill of Rights for christs sake!

I generally try to stay away from discussing politics, especially in a blog forum, but I felt that this could not be ignored (and it had to do with a band recording, so it fits into the site). It is no secret that I am a left wing democrat, but whether you are democrat or republican we should all be able to agree that the treatment of these people outside the RNC was wrong and unconstitutional. I am glad that someone decided to stand up and say something. Ted Leo and his band decided to record this EP to raise awareness and contribute to the causes Democracy Now! and Food Not Bombs. (You can read the liner notes and purchase Rapid Response here.)

Let’s try to be vigilant citizens and inform ourselves of the issues and get out and VOTE on November 4th.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Velvet Underground meets Deerhoof?

I was listening to woxy this afternoon, when the dj described this band’s sound as “Velvet Underground meets Deerhoof.” Really? But then they played the song, 'Black Rice' by Women, and surprisingly, it actually sounded a little like Velvet Underground meets Deerhoof. I did not think that mix could exist, alas, I was wrong.

And then they followed it with a Velvet Underground track. Very clever, Shivvy, very clever.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rock out at Denny's

This is probably one of the most hilarious things I've ever heard. Denny's and rock bands.

Denny's has just rolled out this "Rockstar Menu" with the items created by bands, and it's only available between 10pm and 5am. Seriously, Eagles of Death Metal pancakes - shaped like hearts. Watch Jesse Hughes "take over" the kitchen here.

Man, I was at Denny's between 10 and 5 all the time in high school, and there was nothing this cool going on.

mmm... I totally want the Taking Back Sunday "Taking Back Bacon Burger Fries" right now. So disgusting and delicious.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Spiritualized was amazing at the Metro Monday night. Tankboy does a better job putting it into words than I could. Read his blog here.

All Songs Considered also has a podcast of their show at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club on July 25 you can find here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

**I can’t believe I just blogged about Britney Spears…

Last night I watched the MTV Music Video Awards and I realized that I have no idea what is going on in the world of popular music. I say that I love music, but I had no idea who most of the artists nominated were, or just wondered how those could be the acts chosen over others I know. (I was excited to see The Ting Tings play though, even if it was just into a commercial break.)

MTV certainly does not have the cutting edge that it had in the 80’s when it was breaking barriers and setting new standards. It has become like a corporate monster machine that churns out teen idols like the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. Even the much-talked-about Britney-Madonna kiss was so staged, it had no real edge. Breaking the rules became the scripted thing to do for MTV without any real innovation or progress. What happened to the days of Rage Against the Machine climbing the stage scaffolding in protest? Or Snoop Dogg being arrested right after performing on the show?

And for the record, there must be some sort of deal with Britney Spears to resurge her career, because everyone knows this girl’s cred is in some serious need of assistance after the last year… Apparently last night was her first time winning a Moonman, and she won three. While I don’t know her new material, there is no way it could be as good as her days of red plastic jumpsuits and snake dancing. (I have to admit… I was a big fan of Brit-brit during her heyday because I was a dancer and she was a spot-on performer.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Skeletal Lamping Leaked

of Montreal’s latest album, Skeletal Lamping (set to be officially released October 17 on Polyvinyl) leaked on the internet last week. Stereogum and Pitchfork must have already got their hands on it: Stereogum already did a “premature evaluation” of the album, Pitchfork posted a new track, I even heard an unreleased track on an internet indie station. I’ve been listening to it non-stop for the last three days and its fantastic.

It starts and ends with a bang. "Nonpariel Of Favor" starts immediately with a hectic hyper fast beat. There are a couple slower, quieter songs in the mix ("Touched Somethings Hollow" and the slightly creepy "Women’s Studies Victims") to give you a little break from the party so your head doesn’t explode. The closing track and first single released off the album, "Id Engager", honestly didn’t give me much to be excited about, of course it was fun and dancy, but luckily isn’t representative of the rest of the album.

The album appears to continue on the manic trip that we were introduced to at the end of Hissing Fauna where Kevin Barnes alluded to his freaky desires, but never went this explicit. No more ironic depression set to bouncy pop tunes, here are the times of slinky yet still bouncy tunes with a sexual undertone. Okay, make that overtly sexual. Lyrically, it sounds like of Montreal has grown from a fantasy loving child to a horned up adolescent. With lyrics like “We can do it softcore if you want, but you should know I take it both ways,” “I want to make you come 200 times a day,” “ejaculate till its no longer fun,” “I wanna be with you my pleasure puss, I wanna know what its like to be inside you / I wanna know how it feels,” I think I’m blushing. And there are a lot more innuendos where those came from, half of which I probably haven’t even noticed yet!

Skeletal Lamping will be available for purchase in many different packaging formats: “CD, LP, T-shirt, tote bag, button set, paper lantern, and wall decal set. Each item in the Skeletal Lamping Collection includes both the digital album and its unique packaging of the album art.” A creative way to still profit in this new age of file sharing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Results of Intimacy

"We hoped Bloc Party's last record, A Weekend in the City, would be the group's version of U2's October-- an endearingly awkward transition between a bracing debut and a masterpiece every bit as outsized as the ambitions of its creators. Sadly, album number three is less War than Evil Urges."

Wow! Slam to Bloc Party AND My Morning Jacket in one sentence! Read the entire Pitchfork review here, where you can also find a slam to The Smashing Pumpkins.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

That One Guy From Dave Matthews Dies

Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore died Tuesday from complications stemming from a June ATV accident.

Did you know they’re still touring? Did you also know that they've come out with a new studio album since Busted Stuff? Neither did I.

Really though, it is a very sad tragic accident and my condolences to his family. The band has set up a fund honoring his life and benefiting several charities that you can find by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The saddest little street festival

I thought I had been to the saddest little street festival ever a few weeks ago at West Fest, but I was proven wrong yesterday. Enter Raven Fest. First of all, I didn’t even know this festival was happening, which is shocking to me since the bill had some pretty great bands. When we walked in, it looked like a carnival graveyard; all the inflatable bouncers lay deflated on the ground. And there were children EVERYWHERE. We rush over to the stage to find some adults and there are only about 15 people standing around, most wearing cut-off jean shorts (must have missed the memo). We finally found people we know and we headed over to the opposite stage where The M’s were playing – an hour and a half early. The band scheduled before canceled? The festival literally ended at 8pm. Ticket booths closed, beer sales over.

The day wasn’t a total wash, we got to see a good band minus a huge crowd, and we got out early enough to enjoy a few more beers on a local bar’s patio.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bloc Party Suddenly Release New Album

Bloc Party announced today that they will be releasing a new album, Intimacy, on THURSDAY. (Nice work keeping that one a secret!) I'm not a huge fan of the new single 'Trojan Horse'. Their press release says "Some songs are Bloc Party at their most wildly experimental, while other tracks are simply classic Bloc Party, fitting in seamlessly amongst fan-favourites 'Helicopter', 'Banquet' and 'So Here We Are'." but 'Trojan Horse' sounds a little more Weekend In The City than Silent Alarm to me. Hopefully the rest of the album will sound more like their other new single 'Mercury'. I guess we'll find out Thursday...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Holy Wow.

I just heard the new single from Peter, Bjorn and John and it is awesome. It’s a lot darker and a huge departure from their old stuff (well, maybe not if you get really into the end of Writers Block). Apparently this new album, Seaside Rock, is all instrumental and its only coming out on vinyl and mp3. It comes out September 23. Sign me up.

"Inland Empire"

Do it do it do it now.

I finally figured out what song this was last night. I’ve been hearing it everywhere, including in that new Girl Talk mashup that is Feed The Animals, but I couldn’t remember who it was! The video is actually pretty cool, I like the half painted girls and the play with colors…

Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Super Concert Day

Today is Super Concert Day. I have bought tickets to three different concerts happening in the coming months. Jamie Lidell, Cut Copy and Girl Talk. All the great concerts happen in the fall after the "radius clause" wears off, and bring me back to the small local venues that I love so much. I am also pumped for tomorrow night's James Murphy DJ set at Smartbar. For those of you who don't know who that is, you may know him better as the man behind LCD Soundsystem. That's right, LCD Soundsystem hand picking the tunes in your local bar.

Dance. Party.

Oh, and my friends Hey Champ will be DJing at The Burlington on Saturday. More dance party happiness.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Last night I found myself at a party where a band called The Hamburglars was playing. Yes, I'm referring to the same Hamburglar we all knew as a child who was always trying to steal all Ronald McDonald's hamburgers. There's a cartoon of the good 'ol Hamburglar on the tv, and then a bunch of guys come out dressed as, well, Hamburglars. Black and white striped suits, masks, hats and all. It was pretty loud and the words were somewhat unintelligible, but then my friend runs up and tells me to listen to the lyrics - they're singing nothing but "robble robble robble, cheeseburger." The songs sound like the songs they are covering, but they are very much about cheeseburgers instead.

Why didn't I take any pictures?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hey Champ

You may have seen them around town as Hey Champ DJ’s or heard their remixes, but this Chicago trio has their own band, not-so-shockingly called Hey Champ. You’re right if you think you heard synthesizers, they do sound like something straight out of the 80’s dance scene. I’ve even heard that sometimes, vocalist Saam Hagshenas just likes to stay home and play synthesizers.

They have so many songs, their live show is always a little different, but you can bet Cold Dust Girl will be on the setlist, and there will be dancing in the audience. Watch out for Jon Marks to rock out a drum solo (or three) and Pete Dougherty, the most recent addition to the band, wail on the keyboards.

Come see them live, in full effect tomorrow at Market Days on the Roscoe Stage at 4pm.
(*And wish Saam a Happy Birthday :))

Hey Champ - Cold Dust Girl

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wilco @ Wrigley

Wilco sings take me out to the ball game @ Wrigley and Jeff Tweedy talks Lolla and St. Louis roots.

from Pitchfork

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


You can put –palooza on the end of just about any word and instantly incite ridiculousness. Pre-parties, After-parties, after-concerts - the party really just didn’t stop for 3 straight days (4 for some of us). My how you’ve grown. Is it possible that it’s grown too big? 75 thousand people each day? Sold out every day? That’s a lot of people descending on a relatively small area of Grant Park for 3 days straight. Friday we waited in line for 45 minutes to trade in our tickets for wristbands. The anticipation was killing me, and it was hot as hell. Saturday, organizers closed the crosswalk at Congress, so festival goers were forced to enter on the north or south side and walk back around to get to the entrance at Buckingham Fountain. I know I spent a lot of the time complaining that it’s too crowded, it’s not about the music anymore, there’s too many people, oh I’m not coming next year, I’m only going to the after shows. But that’s because I am a music snob, and I’ll admit it. But understand Lollapalooza has become about the experience as a whole, including the music.

It is also a weekend to plan your outfit accordingly, a weekend to express yourself through your clothes, especially with what is written on your t-shirt. I saw a larger man wearing a t-shirt that said “I’m too fat to be a hipster.” Made me laugh. Wish I had taken his picture. I also saw the all important “I listen to bands that don’t even exist yet” t-shirt. Hipsters, Hippies, Yuppies, White Trash, Lolla has turned into the festival for everyone.

And then there were the Rage Against the Machine fans… all I can say is I’m glad they were all wearing Rage t-shirts so I could identify them and stay the hell out of their way. I swear, everyone I saw in one of those t-shirts was being a total asshole. I really wanted to see RATM, sort of fulfilling a teenage dream, but after seeing how their fans acted all weekend, I decided I wasn’t going anywhere near that stage because things were going to get violent, and I’m not much for getting crushed to death at a concert (but what a way to go!). I did hear they had to stop the concert several times to tell everyone to calm down and take ten steps back. Crews were pulling people out from the front because they were getting crushed from the crowd surging forward.

Instead I went over to Wilco for Saturday’s headliner, which for my music taste now, is a band I love so much more than RATM. They were incredible. Mixing the new and the old, playing the best of their enormous catalog. A lot of people say they don't get Wilco. It did take me a couple years to get into their somewhat experimental, sometimes noise sound, but once you're there, it's a great place to be. They sounded great, but maybe that was because I was dancing 3 feet away from a large speaker. Tweedy kept talking about how much sewing they had been doing in their off time, all decked out in their new multicolored suits that looked patched and bedazzled.

On Friday Jeff Tweedy also did an acoustic solo at the kid's stage, where he played down in front of the stage, in the crowd with the kids. He asked the kids if they had ever heard of the band Wilco, and if they knew any Wilco songs they would like him to play. He was so cute, their first couple suggestions he refused – too sad for a kids show, too adult for a kids show. “Parents – you need to tell your kids some of these Wilco songs deal with adult themes.” But then he played Heavy Metal Drummer, so cute, so upbeat (changing a couple of words, bringing it kid friendly). A happy little set with Wilco’s sweetest sounding songs.

Also on Friday, The Black Keys. Can I get some bass drum? These guys rock so hard. I hear Patrick Carney puts a cinder block in front of his bass drum to keep it from falling over. He hits the drums so fucking hard! I heard somewhere that rock drummers are equally conditioned physically to professional athletes... They were both soaked sweaty at the end, singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach looked like a wet rat. For only two guys, they put a hell of a lot of energy into a show. One question though - Why weren’t there more people with their hands in the air?

The Ting Tings set was a bright start to my Saturday morning. Katie White is the cutest rocking girl I’ve ever seen with her fluffy blonde hair, bright green and red outfit and her cute little British accent. Does anyone remember Jem and the Holograms? I would love to have a little Katie doll if I were a little girl. She danced and bounced all over the stage, rocking out their songs like That’s Not My Name. They’re another duo that makes it hard to believe that just two people can produce that much energy on stage. They ended the set with their hands in the air - waiting, waiting - and then Jules started wailing on this huge bass drum on the other side of the stage (I had wondered why that drum was just sitting over there!) Oh, I almost forgot the cowbell.

The afternoon crowd at MGMT surprised the hell out of me. Have they really grown that popular? I mean, I think they're great, I just didn’t think they had caught on that much. Their set kicked a lot more ass than I expected it to. I’ve seen them a few times at smaller venues, and I agreed with warnings from other writers that their live show isn’t as energetic as you would expect it to be. So, they proved me wrong. They started off slower and moved into more dancy songs like Electric Feel, Time to Pretend and ended with Kids.

I was getting a little worried at the beginning of Jamie Lidell’s set. I had talked his live show up so much since seeing him at Pitchfork last year. Last year he was solo, this year he is touring with a band, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. They played about 4 songs of new stuff full band, and while the music was good, and Jamie was entertaining, it felt a little like a lounge act. But then, the band left the stage one by one, actually walking out into the crowd back towards the festival entrance, leaving Jamie solo on stage. Here. We. Go. He walked over to his keyboard/computer becoming the man behind the umbrella and the show really got going. He started beat boxing, looping, singing and beat boxing and singing over his own vocal loops. It was fantastic. He can make some incredible sounds with his voice, and turning it into music is something special. The band came back for the last few songs, and the endless finale, which was like something out of The Blues Brothers.

Battles = Math rock? Whatever, these guys just rock. John Stainer, former drummer for the band Helmet, has made his high hat cymbal his symbol. He just beats the crap out of his drum set. Is this the year for heavy percussion or what? The set hit its climax in the middle when they played Atlas. Incredible. A little disclaimer… I may be a little biased since I saw them at their Double Door after show that night. Right up front, couldn’t get much closer to Tyondai without being on stage myself. Danced my face off.

So this is where all the really fucked up people are… I popped into Perry’s, which was his incarnation for an outdoor nightclub during the day, for DJ AM’s set. I stayed for about 5 minutes when I was already getting hit on by some Australian dude and decided I’d had enough clubbing.

Sunday was a fairly tame day for me, I spent most of the day on our sheet laid out on a hill by the bar (drinking beer of course). I did get up for Girl Talk though, and I’m glad I did. It was packed. Tens of people dancing on stage, toilet paper guns, a guy crowd surfing in an inflatable raft, a guy dressed as Spiderman, somebody in a gorilla costume climbing a tree… Insanity. Dance-party-insanity.

I closed out the evening, and the fest with headliner Nine Inch Nails. I felt transported back in time to my high school days locked up in my room blaring The Downward Spiral. It was amazing. So much anger, but so much passion. I love it. I left the set before it was over, so I didn’t see the end, but I had to get to a party at the Hard Rock… And we all know how that ended up…(put -palooza on the end of that one.)

All the other bands from the fest I either didn’t see, didn’t care enough to write about or didn’t dislike enough to write about either. All in all, another great Lollapalooza. I didn’t buy any t-shirts this year, but I did get a tattoo, so I guess that will have to do as my souvenir for 2008.

Rock Hard.

I’m still working on getting my Lollapalooza post together, but I just had to get this one out there…

Hard Rock Lollapalooza After Party: File this under things I will remember forever, even though I don’t remember much. Probably the best party I’ve ever been to. Ever.

My friend dj-ed the party the day before, so we were met at the door and escorted upstairs, given the full tour. The guy looks at us and says, “Everything is free. Enjoy.” Holy shit. So, everything was FREE (Including the tattoos, which I am proud to say I now have a new tat on my hip). There were food tables set up everywhere, free booze in the VIP, there must have been a tequila promo or something because people were mixing everything with tequila.

While I am sitting in a chair getting tattooed, two of my girlfriends are sitting next to me getting their hair done. All I can think is What in the world is going on and Where are weIs this for real probably slipped in there too.

I had just been complaining how Lollapalooza had become so corporate and not as edgy as in the old Lolla days (even Pointfest) where you could get tattoos and piercings and all kinds of crazy stuff at booths set up on the festival grounds. Now it’s just a MySpace photo tent and a Q101 Hammock Heaven. Well, I guess the real party is where the artists are.

I’m sure that I met a lot of really cool artists and musicians that I love after the tattoo, but I hardly remember any of it. I do remember dancing – a lot – and there are pictures to prove it.

I’m still trying to piece together everything that happened that night, one thing is for sure though, everyone had a ton of fun.

Tortoise at Pritzker

After a full weekend of music, I didn’t make it to work the next day, but I somehow managed to make it to another concert – an afternoon show from Tortoise at Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Pitchfork started doing this lunchtime music series there on Mondays called Audible Architecture, the tagline being “nightclubs at noon.” Another brainchild of Pitchfork Festival leader Mike Reed, Audible Architecture was made possible through collaboration with the Chicago Cultural Center and presented by local clubs and promoters. The idea came so late in the year, that they had a hard time booking available bands and they didn’t have much time to promote the series properly. Despite that, the season is rolling along and creating a successful reputation.

The concert itself was amazing. Tortoise is an experimental instrumental band mixing rock, jazz and electronica that gave rise to the indie genre that exists today. I had never seen them perform live, although I own two of their albums and I’ve seen guitarist Jeff Parker play many times. All the members are multi instrumentalists, moving around the stage after every song, switching instruments, picking new things up. At times, they even had two drummers. You can get lost in a Tortoise song, and I certainly did (especially considering my state of mind). The beauty of this being an afternoon concert and being FREE, is that we were could have front row seats. As the show ended and my friend and I looked at each other – “Can you do an encore at an afternoon show?” You certainly can and they did.

Hideout’s Tim Tuten gave an inspiring opening speech commending Chicago for its innovative and supportive music scene and expressing how important programs like this are. I always find it interesting to hear people in the industry talk to the general public about the innerworkings of Chicago’s music scene. I have so many friends in the industry I forget that most people probably don’t realize what all goes into putting on a concert, or putting an album together. There are so many people behind the scenes that make it possible for you to go to a free concert like this, or see 10 bands for $5 at a street festival. It is true that public support keeps programs like this running, and Chicago has set a great example.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pitchfork '08 - In Review

Pitchfork Music Festival
2 days, 2 posts:


Pitchfork Day two (Day one for me) was a pretty big disappointment. I suppose it started with the weather, which is out of anyone's control. The day did clear up later in the afternoon, but it started off rainy wet and muggy, which led to a lot of mud – and mud people (but you had to want to be covered in mud, because while there was a lot of mud, it wasn't that muddy – this isn't Woodstock, people). (And props to festival leader Mike Reed who I saw hauling plywood out to the softball fields where the bathrooms were so festival-goers didn't have to stand in the mud.) Anyway, lets get to the music. There weren't a lot of bands that I was that excited to see on Saturday anyway, but the ones I did want to see didn't turn me on.

With Fuck Buttons I expected a dance party, but all I got was a big drone that kept feeling like it would go somewhere - its going to break down any second - but it never did. I'm sure it got better at the end of the set, but I wasn't sticking around to find out. Now, I actually really like drones that build anticipation, but in a festival setting with other bands competing for attention, we want to move.

!!! were just yuk yuk yuk. I wanted a dance party, but not just from one guy gyrating his hips into the audiences faces.

The only band that lived up to expectations was Fleet Foxes. Their sweet sound filled the air with delight and I swear it actually brought out the sunshine. While they do sound like a cross between My Morning Jacket and Sub Pop label mates Band of Horses, that's not a bad mix to have. Band leader Robin Pecknold did a solo song half way through their set that was downright beautiful.

And to my disappointment, Vampire Weekend actually sounded pretty good. The first time I heard them in the dead of Chicago winter, I knew I would like them better as an upbeat summer band, and I did. (But I still don't think they live up to all the hype that deserved a Spin cover story, or a spot on SNL.)

And The Hold Steady. I really don't have anything to say about this band. I still think they suck. I don't understand how so many people think they put on such a great live show. Are we hearing the same thing? If I wanted a beer drinking band to sound like they were playing at a bbq in my backyard, I would hire my own drunk friends to do it.

I almost feel like a traitor writing this review about Pitchfork because I look forward to this weekend all year. Hopefully Sunday will be better, and I'm pretty confident that it will. The weather is already looking better and we've got some guaranteed dance bands set to hit the stage. And of course, Brit Daniel and Spoon closing out the weekend. I'm stoked.


I spent Saturday waiting to be blown away, and Sunday did it. Three words: Les Savy Fav. I had heard about Tim Harrington's stage antics, but had no idea what I was in for. He came out on stage wearing only a tie-dye t-shirt and shiny red underpants, he stumbled around yelling random things and then burped into the microphone. I figured he had to be wasted – maybe he was, maybe he wasn't, maybe he's just crazy, but I had to get closer for this show. I ended up over on the left side of the stage, only a mud pit separating me from the front corner. Within five minutes of standing there, Tim descended into the audience right in front of me, blue tarp in tow. He had a crazy look in his eye, looking around for someone to grab. He found two guys, screamed lyrics in their faces, and then waded through the mud back toward the stage, but not before dropping down on his hands and knees and covering himself in mud. There was one "costume" change (if you want to call it that), he came out wearing a white bodysuit with organs crudely drawn on for the song lyrics "this is my body, and this is how it works." It wasn't long before all the mud on his front side soaked through and there, uh, wasn't much left to the imagination… Who rocks the party? Les Savy Fav sure does.

And you wanted a dance party? You got three of them: The Apples in Stereo, Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, and Cut Copy all delivered the remedy to Saturday's let downs.

The Apples pumped out their bouncy pop tunes, but it was still a little early, the crowd was still rolling in. Too early to be drunk yet, and probably still nursing day-two's hangover - and it was HOT - the audience didn't seem much like it wanted to move under those conditions.

The Occidental Brothers are a special treat to Chicago. They provide just the right mix of rock, African influence, jazz and, of course, dance. Good luck trying to stand still at one of their shows.

I thought I had arrived just in time to see a Cut Copy encore, but apparently they went on late because of a flight delay. For only being able to play for 20 minutes, they jam packed as much energy and fist-pumping as you would expect to experience in a full length show. Lights and music were certainly on my mind after this set.

Back on the main stage, Spiritualized was as amazing as their name would suggest. It's not often that I can use the word awesome and really mean that it inspired awe.Somehow Jason Pierce (or J. Spaceman as he likes to be called) has found the perfect balance between their famous spacey-sound and rocking out.

Two groups I didn't see much of, but still impressed – Dinosaur Jr. and M. Ward. For being a relative newcomer to the sounds of influential Dinosaur Jr., I was excited to have the opportunity to see them live after their reunion. M. Ward is an artist I've always wanted to experience live. His simple set up and beautiful guitar solos charmed as much as the first time I heard Chinese Translation.

Spoon returned to Pitchfork after playing the fest in 2006, this time to headline, and they were a welcome repeat. This year they played mostly songs from last years GaGaGaGaGa, and mixed in favorites from their expansive back catalog. I unfortunately didn't get to actually see any of their set, but I was close by enjoying every note. They sounded great, and I can only assume from experience that Britt Daniel led a stage show brilliant enough to match.

So, to sum up the weekend? Remarkable. I discovered a couple bands I didn't know much or anything about, I was disappointed by a few that I expected to be great and I found a couple new favorites - par for the course at music festivals I've learned, always a pleasant surprise.

Mich joins the bloggosphere

Well, here it is, my brand new blog. Now I have a place to put what I'm thinking, even if you don't want to hear it. I'll probably start posting blogs even before I edit the "about me" section or even get the layout together. I'll probably be posting a lot about bands and music, so I hope you like indie. I'll also post websites and things that I think are hilarious, and other general musings of my life. Enjoy.