Monday, December 6, 2010

Buke & Gass

I would totally be at this free Empty Bottle show tonight if I didn't have a super early flight in the morning.

See Buke & Gass Tonight For Free

Brooklyn duo Buke and Gass are truly a DIY band, having essentially created their own musical instruments. Aron plays what they've dubbed the "gass", a guitar/bass hybrid, while his female counterpart Arone is on the "buke", a modified baritone ukulele. Their music is as unique as their makeup; they teeter the line between mainstream and avant garde, sometimes with so much going on, you'd expect it to be overwhelming, instead finding it intriguing. It's near impossible to assign a single genre--sometimes folk, mostly rock with experimental and pop injections (especially on songs like "Your Face Left Before You" and "Medulla Oblongata" (free download), which would be the closest things they have to singles). One thing they always have is a big sound, whether epic or just plain loud.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today (Attempts To) Go Viral

OK Go appeared on the Today Show (my morning ritual) this morning as part of their "Today Goes Viral" series, and put the anchors into one of their creative creations.

See the "making of" (and listen to Matt whine) here.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Don't Runaway

In my album-mountain I've been traversing the last few days, Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the one I seem to be defaulting to most--and that was before I finally got around to watching this Runaway film. Remember Thriller? This is like MJ x1000. The images in this video are so beautiful, you could freeze any frame into it's own amazing stand-alone print. The music is basically a showcase of the album, which you won't get any flack from me about. And there are ballerinas.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In With The Old

I’m in the midst of a new music marathon, with several different albums vying for my attention, all that I’m dying to listen to. At this very moment, though, I’m happily lost in the midst of Sam Prekop’s new solo record, Old Punch Card. It’s classic avant garde (is that an oxymoron?)—electronic, noise, sounds—a total departure from his previous solo albums and his work with The Sea & Cake (I totally appreciate when someone says that an album is totally different, and then it actually is. It’s a much overused description, even by myself.). Although considering the circle of musicians he collaborates with, maybe it's not that much of a surprise...

I cant wait to write my preview for The Sea & Cake’s Lincoln Hall show next weekend.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This Might Take ALL DAY

Everyone is going bananas over the new Girl Talk album released this morning. Getcher FREE download (no strings attached) at Illegal Art (be patient, it might take a while to download since the site is being bombarded right now!).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Party Hard, Stay Thirsty

When something is called The Most Interesting Show in the World, naturally you're going to be skeptical. But last night's show at the House of Blues, hosted by rocker-slash-partier Andrew W.K. and presented by, you guessed it, Dos Equis (who brought us The Most Interesting Man in the World), was pretty damn interesting and entertaining. High energy song and dance numbers mixed with, well, lets just call them various carnival acts. Not bad for a free event with free beer!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Black (Keys) Friday


Apparently it has something to do with Record Store Day, which I do not understand because Black Friday is not Record Store Day, but whatevs. I also have no idea if it will be available for purchase on the site, or just in record stores like RSD.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quiet Time

I know, I've been quiet lately. A 2 week illness and a 2 week work project will do that to you. Here's what was missed:

-GORILLAZ. (Tankboy can die happy.)

-I made the executive decision to skip Mizzou Homecoming (which will never happen again) along with an of Montreal show in STL that would have made for one hell of a weekend.

Tonight? Sleigh Bells @ Metro. Let's hope they're as loud as they're meant to be.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daft Phoenix

After a long, busy day at work, I'm finally getting around to watching the youtube videos of Daft Punk joining Phoenix on stage at their Madison Square Garden show last night. (Fun fact: Phoenix guitarist Laurent Brancowitz was in a band with the Daft Punk guys before they were, ya know, wearing robot helmets and standing in atop a pyramid.)

OMFG is about all there is to say:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crush Back On

Saw mah favorite band, of Montreal, at the Riv on Saturday. After a disappointing previous album and tour, Kevin Barnes is back. Check out my full review on Gapers Block.

(photo by Andy Keil)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Girl On Film

If you've ever seen Girl Talk live, you know it's a ridiculous, fun, raucous good time. Re-live the dance party through a short documentary of his NYE show at Congress:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Ain't that some shit!"

We'll call it the song of summer even though it didn't come out til the end...

Here's the video for Cee Lo's "F**k You!", complete with back-up singers.

"Ain't that some shit!"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good Times.

A short video from our trip to a friend's lake house in Burlington, Wisconsin last month. Yeah, it was as fun as it looks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


No I'm not dead.

Yes, I know it's been almost three weeks since Lollapalooza ended, but I've taken a well deserved break after two music super-fests (and a weekend at Party Cove). I think I'm finally "back" though, as I've spent my morning combing venue schedules and entering shows into Gapers Block's "Slowdown" calendar.

My Lolla music and general fest coverage is up here, here and here, but GB is not is not the place for me to brag about all the parties I went to, all the access I had, and all my celebrity sightings--this is. So here it goes... (disclosure--parts of this have been written over the last three weeks, and I'm really just tired of looking at it, so it's posted as-was)

We kicked off the weekend Thursday night at Perez Hilton's "One Night In Chicago" Party at the Hard Rock Hotel (where we began and ended most days). Free drinks and lots of "important" people looking to be seen. Local lady Kid Sister performed, among others, and of course there was a Gaga rumor that didn't come to fruition.

Our first daytime stop at the Hard Rock's Music Lounge we heard the lounge area was closed off because Ke$ha was inside--which isn't really worth mentioning except to link to this. That same day we hitched a ride back to the festival grounds that afternoon on the Vitamin Water bus, where Stars were guest DJing on-board. There was Vitamin Water and vodka, and a bottle of tequila, which led to fuzzy memories of Lady Gaga's set (with a little help from a bottle of wine that Sam's dad bought us) and a massive Saturday hangover.

During my first stop in the press area I found myself walking right past The Black Keys' drummer Pat Carney, and then I realized there are musicians all over doing interviews and the like. On Saturday we even saw what I'll call a pop-up acoustic performance by Phoenix for FUSE. You never know what your're going to see back there, from an interview with Erykah Badu, to a bunch of kids bum rushing the fence in an attempted break-in. Britt Daniel (Spoon) was even hanging out back there during the performance (who I was constantly running into for the rest of the weekend, and no, I never talked to him, and yes, I will be made fun of forever for it).

Tankboy took part in a Celebrity Kickball game early Saturday, which if nothing else was entertaining. I took a ton of pictures (yes, that's a picture of Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, and no, I didn't talk to him either).

That night was my photo pit debut at The Black Keys show at Metro. Tankboy was kind enough to let me shoot the band (based on an earlier deal we had) and well, it was awesome. I was so nervous. I don't know that my shots were that amazing, but you can't help but get some good ones with just two performers on stage, plenty of lighting and only one other guy in the pit.

Oh, and on the final day, there was a rumor started via Twitter by Time Out that David Bowie would be joining Arcade Fire on stage. I chose not to address the "disappointment of no Bowie" in my official coverage because I felt it took away from Arcade Fire's moving performance, which was amazing all on it's own.

And then I slept.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New oM Video

Here is the new of Montreal video for "Coquet Coquette."

Cannibalistic. That's close enough to zombies for me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Here We Go...

Is it possible for me to work all day and party all night? We'll find out as I approach another long Lollapalooza weekend. The weather is looking nice and I'm all prepped. This year I'm "press" so I get some perks, but it also means I've got a lot of work to do in between watching bands and partying.

Tankboy and I both have passes for the Hard Rock night parties again which are so fun (you better believe I'm gonna be all up in Phoenix's business when they DJ), and there are so many parties and concerts tonight to kick off the weekend I cant even keep them straight.

Check back in on Monday to see if I've made it!

Good Reasons To Get There Early

Tomorrow is the big day: Lollapalooza. I have spent the last three weeks listening to every band on the lineup, and I have to say the end of the list may be the most exciting part. A lot of great up-and-coming bands playing early. I wasn't familiar with most of them, but they've got me wanting to roll out of bed early to check them out. Plus, being part of the early crew means less crowds so you can get closer to the stage.

Here are my picks for the early shift:

These United States
The Ettes
The Constellations
Mimicking Birds
The Soft Pack
Son of a Bad Man
Miniature Tigers
The Antlers

See the rest of my "custom lineup" here.

I'll be covering the festival for Gapers Block, so you can follow my weekend there with daily postings, and this year we've teamed up with Chicagoist and PBS News Hour.

See you on the fields.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Surprise! oM Adds Chicago Date

Saying I was incredibly upset that of Montreal didn't have a Chicago date on their upcoming False Priest tour would be an understatement. I was trying to finagle a trip to one of the shows in St. Louis, Milwaukee, and even Urbana to coencide with other plans.

Well now there is no need! Yesterday The Reader's Early Warnings email alerted me that oM will be playing at Riviera Theater on 9/25! Now, the Riv isn't one of my favorite places to see a show, BUT one perk is that the show is on a Saturday (instead of a Monday like the last one, ugh).

And hey, there's no saying I won't still hit up that show at The Pageant in St. Louis...

Tom Hanks & MJ Would Be Proud

I've been listening to her album, Ultraviolet, nonstop at the gym for months now, but after seeing Kid Sister's hometown performance at Pritzker Pavilion, I'm officially hooked (despite the curious blockades and barricades).

Here's her new video for "Big N Bad":

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The End of an Era...

Well, not Lisa said, "Sweet Treat is just vacationing, we're not dead!"

Beauty Bar has decided to forgo early DJs during the week, making tomorrow our last Wednesday there, so we've decided to have a Pink Slip Party! Join us from 7-10pm as we go out with a bang, playing whatever we want!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Love and Music

Somebody bring me some coffee to the Continental tomorrow night because I'm DJing with my boyfriend Tankboy til 5 in the morn!

The significance of tomorrow night? It will be two years to the day that Tankboy and I met at that that very spot. Come celebrate with us, and eat some tamales!

Thanks to Clayton Hauck for snapping that shot of us at West Fest shortly after we met.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To Do Tonight:

Get To Know Local Artist Clip Art

clipart andy.jpgAndy Rosenstein is a busy guy these days. Skipping out on film school in LA to stay in Chicago and concentrate on music, he now splits his time between Bumpus, Terrible Spaceship and has even contributed to JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. Clip Art, however, is all his own pet project, and tonight is the group's EP release show at Empty Bottle.

I've been raving quite a bit lately about a certain band that's been described as 70's glam rock, but now it's time to turn our attention to this local band that falls in a similar arena, but is still rooted in pop. You'll hear quite a bit of piano, as on the ballad-esque tune "I Was Gone" (one you'll probably find yourself singing along to by the end), along with Elton-John-worthy belt-outs on "Better." Tonight, expect to hear some new material, see some feet tapping, some swaying--especially on the EP's title track, "Broken By Design"--and maybe, just maybe, some falsetto.

YellowFever and Mittens on Strings also play tonight, but get there early, because Clip Art takes the stage promptly at 9:30pm. Plus, Rosenstein tells us that "if you tell the man at the front that you're there to see Clip Art, you'll get a free prize!" Tickets are $8. 1035 N. Western. 21 & up.

Coming Up For Air

Sleigh Bells
Photo by George Aye

I'm usually a little late in getting my posts up after a show, especially a three-day marathon like Pitchfork Music Festival, but here it is, my full weekend review on Gapers Block. It was a hot one to say the least, but it was another successful weekend of fun, friends and of course, kick ass bands.

Be sure to check out all of Lisa's Conversations At Pitchfork too, accompanied by some amazing montage portraits from our photographer, George Aye.

Now it's back to the grindstone to prepare for Lollapalooza in less than three weeks!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sweet Treat Pitchfork Night

Lisa and I had so much fun at Sweet Treat last night playing tunes from current and past Pitchfork Music Festival artists. Thanks to everyone who came out! Here is our setlist to prepare you for the (HOT) weekend, and reminisce about years past.

Animal Collective - My Girls
Beach House – Norway
Broken Social Scene – Forced to Love
Free Energy - Dream City
Vampire Weekend – A-punk
Matt & Kim - Daylight
Dirty Projectors - Stillness is the Move
Neon Indian – Deadbeat Summer
Netherfriends – Bret Easton Ellis Novel
Beirut – Postcards from Italy
Spoon – I Summon You
St. Vincent – The Apocalypse Song
Why? – One Rose (Atlas Remix)
The Mae Shi – See You Again
Bear In Heaven – Wholehearted Mess (Pink Skull Remix)
Lindstrom and Christabelle – Baby Can't Stop
Junior Boys – In The Morning
Cut Copy – Lights and Music
Fujiya & Miyagi – Collarbone
CSS - Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above (Spank Rock remix)
Delorean – Deli
Big Boi – General Patton
Battles – Leyendecker
!!! – Pardon My Freedom
Girl Talk – Play Your Part (Pt. 1)
Jamie Lidell – When I Come Back Around
Titus Andronicus – My Time Outside The Womb
Modest Mouse - Tiny Cities Made of Ashes
Sonic Youth – Silver Rocket
Pavement – Unfair
The Flaming Lips – Unconsciously Screamin’
Clipse - When The Last Time
Major Lazer – Hold The Line
Cool Kids - Basement Party
LCD Soundsystem – Time To Get Away
Sleigh Bells – Riot Rhythm
Dâm-Funk – A Day at the Carnival
Robyn – Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do
Of Montreal – Gallery Piece (Jon Brion Remix)
Lightning Bolt - Magic Mountain
The Apples in Stereo – Can You Feel It
The Black Lips - Veni Vidi Vici (Diplo Remix)
Liars – Plastic Casts of Everything
Klaxons – It’s Not Over Yet
De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays
Grizzly Bear – Knife (Girl Talk Remix)
Tortoise – Prepare Your Coffin
M83 – Don’t Save Us From The Flames
Voxtrot – The Start of Something
Os Mutantes – A Minha Menina

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Make Friends With Netherfriends

I've been busy gearing up for Pitchfork this weekend, but I wanted to take a minute and highlight one of the bands I'm previewing for the fest on Gapers Block, Netherfriends. Shawn Rosenblatt is one of the bands in that very first one o'clock slot on Saturday (and unfortunately up against Free Energy in the other one). Right now he's in the middle of his 50 songs 50 states tour, basically couch surfing and writing and recording a song in each state. Take a listen to his song "Bret Easton Ellis Novel" below. (Yes, THAT Bret Easton Ellis.)

Bret Easton Ellis Novel from Shawn Rosenblatt on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I saw Rush last night. I liked them, but not near as much as everyone around me. I haven't been to a concert like that in a long time, where almost everyone is wearing the band's t-shirt, and you almost question whether the people who aren't in the band's tee are real fans.

Here are some of Tankboy's photos from the evening on Northerly Island.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let's Party!

Today is Tankboy's birthday. Happy Birthday Tankboy! You look great for 24 again!

It's also Sweet Treat Wednesday, so come by Beauty Bar early for the party where I'll be playing some of Tankboy's favorite songs! Expect lots of Blur, Bowie, Flaming Lips, and maybe I'll even play something from that Fun. band...maybe.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm A Geek

I just pre-ordered of Montreal's new album False Priest on 2xLP because it comes in red vinyl that is limited to 2000 copies. I am a nerd. I was already looking forward to the release, but I think what pushed me over the edge was an email that Tankboy just got from their publicist gushing about how good and different this album is. Hey, it's only 20 bucks and it comes with tons of free stickers when you pre-order (NERD!). Oh look, there's even a countdown clock on the album download page: only 66d : 12h : 10m until it's available for download. Sheesh.

If you want a preview, you can download the first single "Coquet Coquette" for free right now on Polyvinyl's website.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Spinderella Cut It Up One Time"

Normally I avoid the Taste of Chicago like the plague. In my mind sweat and crowds and food should not mix (I was scarred on my first visit years ago by a large sweaty man in a sleeveless shirt, and a turkey leg). But, one thing the Taste does have is music (and from what I remember the stages are sufficiently separated from the food portion), and tonight, beginning at 6:20pm, Salt-n-Pepa take the stage, followed by Bell Biv Devoe. Most bands that usually play fests like this I could take or leave, but something is telling me that I should see Salt-n-Pepa at least once in my life.

The taste continues through July 4. Wondering if there any other acts worth seeing? Download their kick ass app here to have the full schedule at your fingertips.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lolla Aftershows Announced Today

The first Lollapalooza aftershow I went to was of Montreal (a band I had barely heard of at the time) @ Schubas in '06. Things have changed quite a bit since then. At the time, aftershows seemed a bit of an after thought, with just a few announced just a few weeks before the festival. This year there are 21 official pre-parties and aftershows with even bigger headliners than before. The Black Keys @ Metro? Phoenix @ House of Blues? You can bet you'll find me there, even if you don't find me at the festival.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Good Reason To Hit Up Velvet Lounge This Weekend

Sad news yesterday for the Chicago jazz community. Fred Anderson suffered a serious heart attack and is now in a drug-induced coma. Anderson is best known these days as the owner of Velvet Lounge, but he has been a staple in and supporter of Chicago's creative music scene for decades. I've met Fred (at Velvet Lounge, of course, as he is an almost constant figure there, no matter the evening's turnout) and seen him play many times, and he is a kind man and talented, respected musician.

The Reader's Peter Margasak has more details on his condition, and boy are people upset he does... (scroll down to the comments). Flutist Nicole Mitchell suggests in Neil Tesser's article that the best way to show support "would be to pack the Velvet Lounge this weekend." I'd place a bet that that place will be hoppin' this weekend.

UPDATE 6/25/10:
Unfortunately, Anderson passed away yesterday at the age of 81. RIP.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Chelsea Dagger" Stuck In My Head

The weekend basically started last Wednesday in Chicago when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. I don't know anyone that actually got any work done after that point without really struggling to focus! I'm not even really a hockey fan, but it was crazy to see the city transform. From the spontaneous rally in the streets in Wicker Park (and everywhere else in the city) after the final game to the official parade and rally on Michigan Avenue on Friday (hopefully I'll have my own pictures uploaded soon!), one song you couldn't escape was the Fratellis' "Chelsea Dagger" which was the team's goal song.

Congratulations Blackhawks!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back From The Bayou

I'm finally back in the real world after returning from my first NOLA vacation (well, at least back at work). I've got about a million stories to tell, so if you see me, ask me about the the beignets, the hand grenades, the jambalaya at Mother's, getting caught in a downpour in a cemetery, how Vanna White almost ruined my first trip to Cafe Du Monde, how I got pelted in the head at Oyster Fest, or any multitude of other questions!

One thing I will say is that it was really cool to be immersed in a different musical culture for five days, and hearing it from almost every doorway and window. While I didn't get a chance to see the "mind-blowing jazz" I wanted, here's a sample of a band I DID get to see a few minutes of (they unfortunately took a break right after we walked in!) at Le Bon Temps Roule in Uptown (thanks to the recommendation of @Marcusist): Soul Rebels Brass Band.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Treat Wednesday Sans Moi

I'm in New Orleans stuffing my face full of po' boys, oysters and beignets right now, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't still go to Beauty Bar for Sweet Treat! DJ White Lightnin' will be holding down the fort playing our usual awesome tunes from the usual 7-10pm.

And don't forget about their $10 martini and manicure special!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Long Weekend

You could almost say my weekend started on Wednesday, since LCD Soundsystem kicked my ass so hard I'm really just now recovering. Here's what I thought of their show at Metro, plus some pretty pictures of James Murphy to look at:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary Blue Note! (And other awesome Wednesday goings ons)

Tonight is the free, outdoor of Montreal concert in CoMo that I will not be attending. There are not enough sadfaces in the world. Why did it have to be on a WEDNESDAY?! Why couldn't Columbia have been this awesome when I lived there?!

Okay, enough whining (besides, I'll be at the LCD Soundsystem show at Metro tonight anyway!). The show is a part of 9th Street Summerfest presented by The Blue Note who is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year! Congratulations Blue Note!

Plus it's Wednesday, so that means I'm DJing Sweet Treat @ Beauty Bar from 7-10 (well, 9:30 tonight since I have to take off early to cover LCD). Come by for a drink and a manicure before the show! (and maybe give me a ride to Metro?)

Monday, May 24, 2010


I had every intention of laying low and relaxing (and catching up on sleep) this weekend. But then Tankboy told me that he was shooting the pop-up Dead Weather show. So, Saturday night we found ourselves at Marquardt Trucking Company for this secret show put on by KIN, and it was awesome. I'm no superfan, but they put on a hell of a show and I was blown away by Allison Mosshart. I wasn't sure if she wanted to fuck the microphone or choke it to death. Oh, plus there was an open bar. Thanks, KIN.

Check out the rest of Tankboy's photos on Chicagoist. Also check out shots from our friends Brian Leli, Kirstie Shanley, and Lizz Kannenberg.

The Roaring Night

Tonight will be Roaring--and sweltering--at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park as The Besnard Lakes take the stage for the first night of this year's Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays series. The Montreal duo's atmospheric rock is sure to sound amazing on that incredible soundsystem. And with the open air and night's sky serving as tonight's venue, well, this is why I live here.

Temps nearing 90, free concerts in the park, and the infamous red sheet has made it's reemergence from the closet; As far as I'm concerned, it's officially summer.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Dave Grohl Band

Tuesday's Them Crooked Vultures show was a little on the long side, two hours, but I'm totally satisfied watching Dave Grohl wail on the drums for two straight hours. Hey, remember that huge crush I had on him when I was like 16 and totally into The Colour and the Shape? Yeah.

And check out that photo Katie got! HOTTT!

My review, with more of Katie Hovland's photos, is here. Tankboy's review, with equally awesome photos, is here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

That's My JAM!

Ever wonder what makes me act like this? Here's your answer:

Sweet Treat Wednesdays @ Beauty Bar

My DJ partner Lisa (aka DJ White Lightnin') and I (DJ Shellster) scored a regular DJ gig at new kitch hotspot Beauty Bar! Every Wednesday from 7-10pm you can catch us playing "old classics, new indie favorites, and a good dose of not so guilty pleasures."

Stop by tonight to help us ring in our new residency on our inaugural night!!

(Photo courtesy of Ian Merritt from last year's Gapers Block Anniversary Concert)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sometimes You Kick

As you've likely already noticed (especially if you've been anywhere near The Corner's jukebox lately), we're on a big INXS kick right now (and we're talking the Michael Hutchence version, not whatever that reality tv trainwreck was a few years ago). So I was thrilled to hear that Beck's Record Club (where Mr. Hansen and friends rerecord a classic album all in one day, without rehearsal) was recreating Kick. The new tracks are excellent. I cant wait for them to be available for download in some way, shape or form.

Tracks (and video!) are posted by the week, and here is one of my favorites so far, "Need You Tonight" with St. Vincent on vocals. And you thought Hutchence was sexy on that song... (Be sure to check out the new lyrics on "Mediate" too.)

Record Club: INXS "Need You Tonight" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

DJ Tankster

"I'm here for the DJing!"

If you missed our one-off Tankster Tuesday at Burlington this week, don't be sad. You can see me, DJ Shellster, team up with DJ Tankboy once again tonight at Old Oak Tap. Get ready for all INXS all night long...ok, maybe not all night, but a healthy dose!

Vote for us! Vote for us!

Lollapalooza is looking for a few good Chicago music blogs to help cover the artists playing the fest this summer. Here, I'll make it easy. Just cut and paste the links below into this page.

Hell, you can even vote for this blog if you want:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Work Hard.

I can't say enough good things about the new Shout Out Louds album, WORK. And their live show at Lincoln Hall more than lived up to it, especially for a Monday night (I hate Monday shows, I need my beauty sleep).

Read. And look at pretty pictures.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ratchet: Pushing Jazz Forward

Well, the feature that I've been toiling over for the past month went up on Gapers Block: Transmission last week. The piece explores the highs and lows of a free jazz series called Ratchet. Every Monday at the Skylark in Pilsen this group presents froward thinking creative music.

The article was funded in part by a Community News Matters grant from The Chicago Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Features supported by the grant are to be "locally oriented and primarily about underserved neighborhoods and issues that affect them." I never would have thought to take on this project without Gapers having been awarded that grant last year. It gave me the inspiration to dig deeper in myself and in the community and really dive into a subject matter that I was familiar with and thought should be shared.

I've already gotten tons of really great feedback. I'm really proud of the piece itself, but I'm also really glad that I was able to put a spotlight on the work this group is doing.

So what are you waiting for? Go read it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's Not You, It's Me

I've been absent from the blog for a while. It's not even that there wasn't anything going on, I was just super busy finishing up (and stressing out over) this feature I was writing for Gapers Block (which should go live on Thursday). Work has also kept me super busy the last couple of days, which is why I'm writing this on Wednesday instead of Monday (as if you cared).

I was so busy that I didn't even promote my own DJ gig with my partner Lisa White at Beauty Bar last Friday! In case you're wondering, it went great. A bunch of our friends showed up and people seemed to really like what we played. I hope to DJ there again soon (fingers crossed!)!

Here's the cliffs notes version of everything else I missed:

The Max Wienberg Sev... Big Band?

Max Weinberg (yes, THAT Max Weinberg) is coming to SPACE in Evanston on June 21.

Yes, it's going to be Big Band, but it's MAX!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rockin' Mixes For Kids

Tomorrow is the Rock for Kids Music Mixer at SmartBar and a bunch us from Gapers Block: Transmission have put our own mixes together for your bidding. Over 75 groups and artists representing the Chicago music community have contributed mix CDs that will be up for bidding, but I have to say, I'm a little partial to the GB staff offering. Here is a preview of my own playlist:

James Brown - Turn Me Loose, I'm Dr. Feelgood
Robert Palmer - Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)
Huey Lewis & The News - I Want A New Drug
Ray Charles - I Don't Need No Doctor
Memphis Minnie - Doctor Doctor Blues
The Beatles - Doctor Robert
The Lemonheads - Hospital
Mötley Crüe - Dr. Feelgood
Bon Jovi - Bad Medicine
The White Stripes - Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine
The Replacements - Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out
Bobby McFerrin - Good Lovin'
David Seville - Witch Doctor
Charlotte Gainsbourg - IRM
The Faint - Take Me to the Hospital
The Velvet Underground - Lady Godiva's Operation
The Smiths - Girlfriend In A Coma
Death Cab For Cutie - What Sarah Said
Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds

I had a lot of fun coming up with a theme and putting it together, and found a bunch of new (to me) songs in the process. Of course you could take this song-list and put together your own mix CD, but wouldn't it be a lot more fun to get a CD that is already made (with awesome album art, i might add), and know that youre helping out a good cause in the process? I thought so. Tickets to the event are a $10 donation, and as an added bonus, our friends from ManBQue will be offering up nosh for the evening (seriously, try the bacon-gouda burger, it will change your life). See you tomorrow night!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yes, This Is Happening.

This video is hilarious.

I'm glad they didn't dub the recorded version over the audio.

Can't wait to see him at Pitchfork.

That is all.

DeRo Moves On

The big news in our little corner of the universe yesterday was that Jim DeRogatis has resigned after 15 years as pop music critic for the Sun Times. He is one critic that I respect, can always count on to be honest, and have looked up to since I started writing about music myself not too long ago. Look at me talking like he's gone away....really nothing changes for me, I'll still be reading his stuff online and listening to the same podcast like I always have! He is moving on to teach full time at Columbia College, but will still be writing, now for WBEZ's Vocalo blog. Of course there are opinions and WTFs galore, but I'm just happy that he's still going to be on Sound Opinions with Greg Kot (often dubbed the Siskel & Ebert of music). I look forward to that podcast every week.

So, who will replace him at the Sun Times? But does it matter who replaces him? As @ourmaninchicago said on Twitter, "DeRo's move to Vocalo is a huge statement, both about @WBEZ and @SunTimes." It's no secret that newspapers are slowly dying, and now that DeRo has jumped ship, there are two very important points to make. One is a point that Bill Wyman made on his Hittsville blog--that people like DeRogatis and Roger Ebert are major contributing factors in what make the paper still relevant, so what happens when they leave? The other is that one of the only reasons the music reviewer position was still relevant (in print) was because DeRo had it for so long. His familiarity, experience and reputation made it relevant. And thats a brand he will take with him to Vocalo. So, in my opinion, whoever takes on that position vacated by DeRo better come with a reputation of their own, or they may as well be jumping on a sinking ship.

Here's a little more info and insight on his move:

Robert Feder announces the news on Volcalo.

Tankboy provides some insight into why his move may not be such a shock at all.

Monday, April 19, 2010

OK Go Come Home For A Night

Hey whats up. So I went to see this little band called OK Go this weekend, who has this little album called Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky out, and who just started this little record label, and just left a BIG record label, oh, and they have a couple little videos you may have seen.

All kidding aside, the show was awesome, the band is awesome, and they have become one of my favorite bands around. (That may or may not have anything to do with how I think Damian Kulash is way sexy.)

N-E-WAYs, I wrote this little review of the show, and Tankboy took some pictures.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Betty the Beagle Celebrates Record Store Day

When we got home from record store shopping, we saw that Betty had done some shopping of her own in our record collection!

How could you get mad at that face? Betty, next time you want to listen to a record, just tell Dad and he will put one on for you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Turned On

My friend Aubs just sent me this album by Little Dragon, Machine Dreams, and it's all kinds of awesome.
And I'm only about half way through it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Consider This...

I love when I turn on an All Songs Considered podcast and it's a group episode, and this week's Spring Preview is just that. Bob Boilen, Carrie Brownstein, Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson crack me up when they get together behind the mic. Sometimes I make the greatest discoveries through their show (as with their kick-ass SXSW coverage), while other times I've really gotta question their song selections (I'm lookin at you Robin and Steven*).

This week I was turned on to The Mynabirds' song "Give It Time." That Laura Burhenn could give Miss Cat Power a run for her money any day, add just a dash of Loretta Lynn twang. I don't usually dig too many female vocalists, but there is something downright haunting about Burhenn's vocals that just doesn't let go. Give it a listen here--along with the rest of the songs previewed on this week's All Songs podcast (including a new one from The Black Keys).

*Just kidding guys (well, except for that Valentine's Day podcast).

UPDATE: The Mynabirds will be performing at the Do Division Street Fest in Chicago on June 6.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Festival Crazy

It's been an exhausting week in Chicago concerning the two biggest summer music fests: Lollapalooza and Pitchfork both finalized their line-ups, but not with out lots of fanfare. There were letter games, number games, and big parties. But now it's all out in the open and all we need are the schedules so we can bitch about all the bands that are playing opposite each other.

In other summer music news, the MCA announced the dates for jazz at "Tuesdays on the Terrace", and Downtown Sound's line-up at Pritzker Pavilion is nothing to sneeze at either. Still waiting for that Edible Audible Picnic schedule though...

If you're not getting pumped for summer by now, there's got to be something seriously wrong with you. Seriously, see a doctor.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Officially Lolla

Oh look! There was some other big news today! The Lollapalooza line-up is finally official! Yay!

I have not even bought tickets yet, and I say yet because I know I will go, and I will have a great time, and I will get sunburned, and I will make snarky comments about bands and attendees, and I will say how much better it was in '05. I'm not even waiting because I expect to get in as "press" because I don't, but 200 bucks is a lot of money, and last year I didn't even end up going on Saturday. And you know what, I've already seen a lot of the bands I would want to see under better circumstances. So maybe I'll wait for the schedule to come out and buy single day passes. I have said in the past that I would skip the festival proper in the future and just attend the aftershows, maybe I'll just do that.

Who am I kidding, I know I'll end up buying the three day pass and going for the "experience," but I still can't bring myself to do it just yet.

So who are you excited to see???

Kele Goes Solo

Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke is branching out on his own and releasing a solo album while the band takes a break. It will be called The Boxer.

According to Pitchfork: "Kele teamed up with Spank Rock producer XXXChange to make an album of electronic pop. In a press release about the album, Kele said, "The key for the sound of the record was to take things as harsh and as physical as I could make it." Yikes. This could be great, or really, really awful. Guess we'll have to wait til June 14, when the first single "Tenderoni" is dropped, to judge for ourselves.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Last minute tickets to Spoon? Don't mind if I do!

My review of last nights Spoon show is up on Gapers Block! Complete with pictures courtesy of Katie Hovland! I'm really happy I got to say everything I wanted to about Transference, and looking at my notes from when I first listened to it, I'm glad I got to spend more time w it before I went and reviewed it. Anyway, go read what I had to say about it and the show (including the Aragon - ick).

Plus read Tankboy's thoughts on them being better suited to smaller rooms. I totally agree (especially for the songs on this new album), just couldn't fit it into my article, and wanted to focus more on my other points anyway.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I was sooo bummed on Sunday night when I found out tickets to Janelle Monae's Monday show at Schubas were sold out. I had planned to go with my friend Lisa, but didn't think it would sell out! Especially since she was playing two nights! Well, I was wrong, and both nights were sold out. That's what I get for waiting. I was even more bummed last night after seeing these tweets:

"Holy crap people- if you can find a way into the Janelle Monae show at Schubas tomorrow, you need to do it. Wow."

"Janelle Monae just wrapped up her set. Fucking incredible. I am in complete awe of what a fantastic specticale this was."

And this: "Gotta reiterate - Janelle Monae at Schubas last night was BONKERS. James Brown + Gaga + a funk robot. "Tightrope" -"

And then today? More tickets released! As of right NOW, they are still available for purchase. So what are you waiting for?!?!

Check out @lizzkannenberg's awesome photos from last night's show on Flickr!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You can only take so much...

Paste reports that there is a glimmer of hope for WOXY, but also says that the current staff is skeptical of signing back on even if there is a financial agreement reached that would revive the station. And who can blame them! They've ridden this roller coaster three times already and that would be exhausting for anyone. After a while you have to kind of lose hope that this will be the one will really stick.

And honestly, things wouldn't be the same over at WOXY without Shiv and Mike and the rest of the DJs. At this point I'd be more likely to follow Shiv where ever he ends up instead of listening to a "new" version of WOXY. So maybe, as much as it pains me to say it, maybe it's time to let sleeping dogs lie and let WOXY rest in peace.*

*That said, my fingers are still crossed that a real solution can be found.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Looks like WOXY has bit the dust (again). This note appeared on their website this morning:

WOXY Listeners, Fans and Friends...

Due to current economic realities and the lack of ongoing funding for WOXY's operations, we've been forced to suspend our live broadcasts as of March 23rd. We're continuing to explore options to keep The Future of Rock and Roll alive. For business inquiries, please contact Bryan Jay ( or John at Future Sounds (

Thanks for your years of dedicated support.

- Mike, Shiv, Joe, Paige, Brian and Bryan Jay

I have no words. I have been listening to this station for years. I weathered the last economic roller coaster of death with them, and was thrilled when they made the move to Austin and became an internet only station. I have never found another indie station that appealed to my taste so much--as I said yesterday, and almost every day that I listened: "man, woxy is on fire today."

All I can do now is second Robert Duffy at Done Waiting:

Please, someone with money buy WOXY. Shiv and Joe and others moved their families from Cincinnati to Austin and things were just starting to get going – just look at this past week of amazing SXSW coverage.

Goddamn it.

Okay, I'm going to go cry now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Downtown Sound

Guess where I'm going to be EVERY MONDAY NIGHT this summer...

Awesome Downtown Sound Line-up Revealed

(I'm vaguely starting to remember why I loved living in this city.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Okay, now this is getting ridiculous...

First it was Wilco inspired sandwiches, now... Wilco (The Beer)? Lagunitas Brewing Company has a new brew they're calling "Wilco Tango Foxtrot," but apparently the name has nothing to do with the band. Suuuuuure. Read all about it over at Pitchfork.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Look! We're famous!

Clayton Hauck is a pretty cool guy. Besides being a really great nightlife photographer, the guy gets to throw himself a day-long birthday party with the likes of Flosstradamus and The Hood Internet as DJs. In fact, there will be almost 30 local DJs and MCs playing throughout the day, including my very own DJ Tankboy at 3pm. Like I said before, this party spans the entire day beginning at noon going all the way til closing time. Did I mention it's free before 10pm?

So even if you're planning to spend Saturday celebrating the impending St. Patricks Day, start the day with some Guinness & Eggs w/ your buddies and then make your way to Lincoln Hall, because judging by last year's photobooth shots, there's tons of fun to be had.

Check out my preview for Gapers Block, which includes a full list of DJs scheduled to appear.