Thursday, October 28, 2004
Drag City Night@Open End Gallery (10/29)
This Friday night, local indie-label Drag City will be hosting a party at Open End Gallery to celebrate their release of Underfed, the latest release from Plush. The new album consists of material from the rehearsal tapes of what became the Japan-only release, Fed. According the folks at Drag City, this will be the first Plush show with a full band in quite some time. Also joining Plush on the bill is Alasdair Roberts, who is in town from Scotland finishing his Will Oldham-produced new record that should be out early next year. This will be one of only two US appearances this year for Roberts. Guitarist Matt Clark will open up the night with his latest project called From Lightning to the Womb. In between performances, interstitial music will be provided by Drag City DJ's. The Open End Gallery is located at 2000 West Fulton. Show starts at 10pm. Admission is $12 at the door.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
The Future of Radio... AccuRadio.com
Chances are if you have a broadband connection at home, you probably have clicked on Yahoo’s Launch internet radio service or perhaps you’ve given AOL's online radio a listen or two. Right here in Chicago, however, we have our own Internet radio portal that is seeking to provide an internet radio alternative to the corporate behemoths on the Net. With the slogan “Internet Radio You Control,” AccuRadio.com is a Chicago-based Internet radio portal featuring a wide range of specialty music channels. The brainchild of local media consultant Kurt Hanson, AccuRadio not only provides a variety of genres to choose from, it also lets listeners custom tune their favorite channels by allowing them to deselect artists that you don’t want to hear. For example, if you love 80’s music but hate the band Culture Club, all you have to do is click on the Culture Club tab once and you’ll never hear them again. (man, if WXRT had this feature, it would actually become listenable!) Unfortunately with this freedom, you sacrifice a bit of creativity. Like its counterparts on AOL and Yahoo!, AccuRadio isn’t really a radio station…at least in the traditional sense. There are no live DJs and all selections are played randomly from pre-programmed playlists. The term “radio” is used rather loosely, “on-line jukebox” is probably a more accurate term for these kinds of stations. Basically, AccuRadio is like having access to numerous iPods programmed by fellow music geeks. Speaking of which, this is where AccuRadio really has an edge over its corporate competitors. The individual stations on AccuRadio are created and programmed by people who genuinely love the music and specialty formats they are programming. For example, AccuRadio vice president Paul Maloney was a commercial radio program director during the alt-rock heyday of the early 90s. So, Paul created the “Modern Rock Classics” channel featuring classic alt-rock tunes from the 80’s through the mid-90s. Similarly, as a fan of avant garde music, AccuRadio tech guru Ralph Sledge created his own specialty channel in the classic format featuring some of his favorites from the scene like Steve Reich, John Cage, John Zorn, Philip Glass, etc. Take a glance at all of the formats offered and all of the niche channels located under each genre heading. Chances are you’ll probably find a particular music style or niche that you are directly interested in. While I’m still very partial to stations with live DJs, Internet radio stations like AccuRadio are a great alternative when you just want to sit back and listen to music without the chatter. Plus, even if you have an iPod and 50mb of MP3s, it would be still be very difficult to amass the amount of variety and depth in each particular format that AccuRadio offers. Besides, you’ve got to love a radio station that lets you delete Dave Matthews from their playlist. (Full disclosure: I actually used to intern for AccuRadio a couple of years ago. During my tenure, I created a channel consisting of one my obsessions, British Music. Check out the “Brit Rock” channel here)
Monday, October 25, 2004
New Releases Tuesday (10/26)
Local Label Releases: Chin Up Chin Up - We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscraper (Flameshovel) Other Essentials: Luna - Rendezvous (Jet Set) Leonard Cohen - Dear Heather (Sony) Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (reissue) (Matador) Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm a Machine (Vice)
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Live and on-screen Massacre this weekend
In what has turned out to be a bizarre coincidence or a brilliant marketing scheme, this weekend the Brian Jonestown Massacre invades Chicago live and on the big screen. Coinciding with the Massacre's appearance at the Bottom Lounge this weekend is the Chicago debut of Dig!, the award winning documentary starring the Massacre and their rivals, The Dandy Warhols. Actually, they didn't start out as rivals... Seven years ago, both were up and coming independent bands that were on the cusp of stardom. Recording, partying and playing shows together, the Dandys and the Massacre were creating all sorts of buzz in the industry and both were pegged to become "the next big thing." Unfortunately, things didn't exactly work out that way. While one band finally did breakthrough and achieve rock stardom, the other faced nothing but constant turmoil and commercial failures. Then, to add to the drama, one band member invents a bizarre and disturbing rivalry (ala Blur vs. Oasis) that the other band does not want to particpate in. By the end of the film, neither band is on speaking terms with each other. Even if you're familiar with the bands and you know how the story ends, you don't want to miss this film. Shot over seven years and culled from over 1500 hours of footage, Dig! brilliantly captures the triumphs and tragedies of two underground bands seeking artistic and commercial success. The main focus and real star of the movie is Massacre front man Anton Newcombe. A troubled genius in every sense, the documentary is a fascinating look at a brilliant yet seriously dysfunctional individual who truly believes that he can start a musical (and perhaps social) revolution that will change the world. Watching Newcombe in action is inspiring, frustrating and sometimes downright sad all at the same time. Director/Producer/Editor Ondi Timoner does a magnificent job of capturing what makes Newcombe such an attractive artist from a far but such an uncompromising asshole to those close to him. I was actually lucky enough to receive my very own VHS promo copy of Dig! and I must admit, I’ve become mildly obsessed with movie. At first, I was excited to see it because I’ve been a fan of the Dandy Warhols for years. However, for some reason, I had never heard much about the Massacre. (The name sounded familiar but I had never listened to any of their records…and I didn’t remember ever hearing their songs on college radio or MTV’s “120 Minutes.”) Now, after watching the film, I’ve become a fan of the Massacre and am really excited to see them play live this weekend. My advice would be to see Dig! first … (try to catch a Friday of early Saturday screening) and then go see Newcombe and Co. later at the Bottom Lounge. You’ll appreciate the Massacre a great deal more if know the back-story first. Plus, it will be a great exercise in cinema verite…the show will serve as a sort of live epilogue to the film! Dig! debuts Friday at the Landmark Centure Theatres, 2828 N. Clark The Brian Jonestown Massacre play Saturday night at the Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Concert Review: Interpol@Riviera 10/17
There are three scenarios you can experience when you see a live performance from a well-known band: 1. Disappointment Sometimes you go see a band play live because you love that one song by theirs that's played on the radio. Or...sometimes you go see a band play live because you've collected their last 5 records and they're finally coming town. Either way, there's nothing worse than wasting an entire evening and shelling out $20 to see a band that doesn't live up to their recordings. We've all been to these shows... Sometimes the band is a one-trick pony and all their songs sound exactly like their big hit (or vice versa, the one song that you like sounds nothing like the rest of their catalog) Sometimes the singer sounds like shit outside of the comforts of a pro-tools equipped studio...or maybe the band's sound overall sounds thin outside of the studio. Or perhaps the band has absolutely no energy or charisma on stage and their set lulls you to sleep. (my experiences seeing Black Rebel Motorcycle Club come to mind) Whatever the case, it all adds up to disappointment. 2. Exhilaration On the other hand, every once in a while you get lucky and you see a band that totally blows you away live. This probably happens most often with a band you don't know real well. Maybe you've heard your friend play a song or two in the car or listened to a couple of tracks at the record store. You like what you hear, but it doesn't exactly blow you away. Then, you see the band live and it's a revelation! Suddenly you understand the hype and why your buddy cranks up the band's CD in the car all of the time. A more rare occurrence, but one that's even more gratifying, is experiencing exhilaration when seeing a band that you think you know well. It's very easy to get a bad or lukewarm impression of a band by just hearing a song or two on the radio...or in the case of a veteran band, by just hearing an album or two. Even completely irrelevant and superficial things can impede your impression of band...maybe your ex- always listened to the band... or that dork from work or class that everyone hates always wore their t-shirt...or maybe you just don't like the lead singer's hair. However, all of that BS is erased when you see a band live and they completely rawk. This was certainly my experience (and probably the same for quite a few others) when I first saw The Flaming Lips. Sure, I had heard about them for years, but in the end I always just thought of them as the "Don't Use Jelly" one-hit wonders. Then, I saw them live and BAM!! They're now one of my favorite bands. Another similar experience that comes to mind was seeing the Eels live during the Souljacker tour. Even though the show wasn't nearly as much of an epiphany as seeing the Flaming Lips for the first time, I left the venue with significantly more respect and admiration for the band than I when I walked in. The songs that I did know sounded amazing live and the ones that I didn't know didn't send me racing for the bar. Then, out of the blue, they cranked out a seriously killer version of Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On." Yes, Eels covered Missy Elliot...and yes, it fucking rawked!! Much like the Flaming Lips, I realized that the Eels (particularly band-leader "E") are actually great artists, not just washed-up former MTV buzz-bin hacks. 3. Ambivalence Unfortunately this was the experience I had watching Interpol this past Sunday. While I wouldn't call myself "fanatical" about this band, I liked their first album (2002's Turn on the Bright Lights) and am currently really digging the lead single from their latest album, Antics. However, hearing them in concert didn't really do that much for me. I can't say that I had a bad time or that Interpol was merely "walking through their set." It was just a very average performance that didn't seem to build upon their recorded work. The songs that I recognized sounded good, but I didn't get anything new from hearing them played live. Furthermore, I don't remember hearing anything that I didn't know that caught my attention. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting a 20-minute guitar solo ala Phish during their hit "PDA," but when I see a band live I want to hear at least some variation in the live performance. You know, something like a slightly different tempo...or a bit more energy...maybe a guitar part I never noticed before...or even an extended break in the middle. But Interpol did none of these...the performance was almost textbook-like. (actually, I did notice one variation...They extended the dramatic pause during "PDA." However, it didn't really work...it just sounded forced and overly dramatic) Then again, I think some people like it when a band doesn't vary at all from the record when playing live. Fans at this sold out show certainly weren't complaining. Everyone was singing and dancing along for most of the show with many constantly professing their love for the band...particularly uber-trendy fan favorite, Carlos D on bass. There also was an extremely annoying rash of PDA (public displays of affection) throughout the show. I don't know if this is has anything to do with the fact that Interpol's most popular song is called "PDA," or if it was just some sort of strange irony, but it was annoying nonetheless. As I said before, I didn't exactly dislike the show nor did I develop a seriously bad impression of the band. I just won't be running out to see them play live anytime soon. From now on I'll stick to listening to their records at home where I won't be subjected to watching greasy fans making out for 60 minutes straight.
Monday, October 18, 2004
New Releases Tuesday (10/19)
Local Label Releases: Greg Davis - Somnia (Kranky) Growing - The Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light (Kranky) Other Essentials: Elliot Smith - A Basement on the Hill (Anti) El-P - Collecting the Kid (Def Jux) Beans - Shock City Maverick (Warp) Le Tigre - This Island (Strummer) Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Shake the Sheets (Lookout)
Friday, October 15, 2004
Celebrate Fela Kuti's Birthday@Sonotheque
Tonight at Sonotheque, Africa Hi-Fi presents "A Fistfull Of Fela," a celebration of the late Fela Kuti on what would have been his 74th Birthday. Resident DJ Ron Trent will be spinning the tunes with special musical guest DJ Kennedy Octane. In addition to the sounds of Fela, artist Jeff Henriquez will be conducting a live art installation in tribute to the late great musician and political activist. Henriquez will be painting one piece all night and will be seeking inspiration from the music and the audience in order to complete his work. Africa Hi-Fi is a monthly event at Sonotheque that is a musical tribute of respect to Africa and all that it has touched and influenced in World music and culture. The brainchild of Sonia Hassan and World Renown DJ/Producer/Remixer Ron Trent, the event will fuse music and social consciousness with art and dance every 3rd Friday of the month at Sonotheque. For more information about this and other events at Sonotheque, visit their website at www.sonotheque.net For more information about Fela Kuti, visit www.felaproject.net
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Celebrate Halloween early with Chic-A-Go-Go
Chic-A-Go-Go!, Chicago's (and perhaps the nation's) favorite cable access dance show will be taping their annual Halloween spectacular this Saturday. Attending a taping of Chic-A-Go-Go any time of year is like going to a great Halloween dance party, so you know that Ratso, Miss Mia and Co. will be pulling out all the stops for this very special edition of the program. Taping starts Saturday at 3pm at the CAN TV studios. (322 S. Green St...just off Van Buren, 1 block west of Halsted) As always, costumes are encouraged...but Ratso will also be providing some extra costumes for anyone who doesn't have one. Adults and kids of all ages are welcome, but Ratso says be prepared for "lots of treats and a few tricks!" Speaking of Ratso, also be prepared to laugh your ass off when you hear his famous knock-knock jokes in person. For more information on the Chic-A-Go-Go Halloween Spectacular, visit www.roctober.com/chicagogo/index.html. Also...a quick follow-up to a story previously reported here on RFC. The ordinance proposed at City Hall to provide funding for CAN TV passed! Here's what Ratso had to say about it in his last email post: As some of you may recall CAN-TV, the home of Chic-A-Go-Go, faced an uncertain future, and we asked for your help to write the Mayor and your alderman to support cable access and create a new funding structure. IT WORKED! The mayor and Alderman Stone worked something out and it passed on September 29th! Thank you so much for your help, and if you want to be classy, why not write thank you letters to the Mayor, Alderman Stone, and maybe your alderman. Email: MayorDaley@cityofchicago.org Email: Alderman Bernard Stone - firstname.lastname@example.org E-mail your alderman - you can find out your alderman's e-mail here (and who your alderman is): http://www.ci.chi.il.us/CityCouncil/index.html
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Where the bands at?
Anybody notice that the line-ups at Chicago's small venues this week are a bit thin? Sure, we've got the likes of Morrissey, KRS-One and Afrikaa Bambaataa in town this weekend, but this is 2004, not 1984...so why the lack of new buzz bands in town this week during the usually action-packed fall concert season? Three letters: C-M-J Yes, this week in New York, no less than 900 bands will be flocking to the Big Apple for the annual CMJ Fest...er, sorry...make that the CMJ 2004 Music Marathon. Much like Austin's annual SXSW Festival, anyone who's anyone (and anyone who's trying to be someone) will be performing at the festival in order to catch the eye of sleazy music industry execs and radio programmers from across country. However, fans also reap the benefit of the festival by being able to see pretty much every great underground act (signed or unsigned) of the moment all in one city and all in a week's time (schedule conflicts notwithstanding, of course). Chances are if you're reading this, you're not currently in New York and won't be attending this year's festival...so here's a couple of viable alternatives this week if you're going to be in Chi-town. 1.Check out coverage of the CMJ fest on KEXP.org. Leave it to KEXP, one of the best non-comm music stations in the country, to provide the best coverage of this event to a nationwide audience. Even though the station is based in Seattle, the KEXP crew is making the trek across the continent and featuring a slew of live peformances from CMJ participants throughout the week. Here's the list of acts scheduled to perform live this week on KEXP: Tuesday October 12 7:00am: Magnet (Live in NYC) 8:30am: Sons and Daughters (Live in NYC) 1:00pm: Radio Nationals (Live in NYC) 2:00pm: Fiery Furnaces Wednesday October 13 7:00am: Sea Ray (Live in NYC) 8:00am: Ted Leo (Live in NYC) 9:00am: Sufjan Stevens (Live in NYC) 10:00am: The Decemberists (Live in NYC) 11:30am: Richard Buckner (Live in NYC) 1:00pm: Joseph Arthur (Live in NYC) Thursday October 14 2:00pm: Bobby Bare Jr. (Live in NYC) 3:30pm: Adem (Live in NYC) 5:00pm: Arcade Fire (Live in NYC) Friday October 15 1:00pm: Nicolai Dunger (Live in NYC) 2:30pm: The Concretes (Live in NYC) 6:30pm: Sondre Lerche (Live in NYC) 2. Check out Chicago's Select Media Festival 3 While hardly a music fest, the Select Media Festival is a great event that showcases how art, technology and social activism intersect. While the fest has a decidedly political slant, there are also some musical highlights during the festival as well. Here's a couple you might want to check out. Sunday, October 17 5:15pm Select Media Fest presents a screening of Warp Vision at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Warp Vision is the new DVD retrospective of music videos from England's fabled electronic record label, Warp. The anthology is described as "an alternate look at 15 years of incredible, radical electronic pop music in the form of 32 equally radical, eye-popping videos created by some of the world’s finest film-making talent." Friday, October 22 9:00pm LAPTRONICA 5 CAVE MATCH! at buddY gallery. The 2004 world championship battle for Laptronica will take place in the Terry Plumbing inflatable cave installed at buddY. 6-8 teams will have to face off in the most terrifying and entertaining battle system ever devised for the laptronica circuit. Featuring live music, Djs and complementary beverages. (This will be the closing event for SMF3) Of course, there is a great deal more to the Select Media Festival than just the above listings, so go to their website at www.lumpen.com/events/smf3/for a complete schedule and description of events. The event kicks off tonight (10/14) with an opening night party at Rodan (1530 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The event will "feature cocktails, sweet music and the unveiling of Meta CC, an installation by Alex Killough, Tyler Nordgren and Chuck Clark."
Monday, October 11, 2004
New Releases Tuesday (10/12)
Local Label Releases: Pinback - Summer in Abaddon (Touch & Go) TV on the Radio - New Health Rock (7") (Touch & Go) Calexico - Word Drifts In (DVD) (Touch & Go) Other Essentials: American Music Club - Love Songs for Patriots (Merge) Frank Black Francis - s/t (SpinArt) Mos Def - New Danger (Geffen) Gold Chains - When the World Was Our Friend (Kill Rock Stars) Various Artists - Matador at Fifteen (Matador)
Friday, October 08, 2004
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Prefuse 73 w/Aesop Rock@Sonotheque this Friday (10/8)
Could someone please add me to the Sonotheque mailing list? I picked up the Reader today and read that both Prefuse 73 and Aesop Rock will be spinning Friday night at Sonotheque. The listing for the show says 9pm, and I assume the cover is the usual $10. Def Jux recording artist Aesop Rock is best known for his work as an MC, so it should be interesting to hear how he sounds behind the decks. Scott Herron is the main behind the Prefuse 73 moniker and I don't have any doubt that his peformance will be anything less than stellar. I've seen him play live a couple of times here in town, and his sets are always amazing. That being said, he usually has a full set-up of drum machines, synths and other electronic gadgets at his disposal when he plays, so it should be amusing to see (and hear) what he can do with just two turntables. The Reader is also listing that Herron's Warp label mate Beans (ex-Anti-Pop Consortium) will be appearing at Sonotheque on Oct. 26. Then, on Saturday (10/9), Sonotheque presents two more big names from the electronic music realm, LTJ Bukem and MC Conrad. LTJ Bukem was a pioneer in Britain's jungle/drum n' bass scene and as a duo, Bukem and MC Conrad have kept the jungle sound alive well past its trendy heyday in the late 90s.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
The Future of Radio...Free Radio SAIC
Chances are you know that Northwestern owns and operates WNUR, WLUW is affiliated with Loyola University and WHPK is based out of the University of Chicago. But did you know that Chicago's School of the Art Institute has a radio station? While you can't pick it up on your FM dial, you can hear some of Chicago's finest art students on the air live on your PC. Continuing with our "Future of Radio" series on internet radio, RFC takes a look today at Free Radio SAIC. Billed as "experimental radio from The School of the Art Institute Chicago," Radio Free SAIC strives to be a forum for free expression bringing diverse ideas, unique opinions, and creative concepts to a listening audience. Many students have tried throughout the years to start a radio station at the school, but the crowded nature of Chicago's airwaves have always made this task virtually impossible. However, thanks to the popularity of the Internet and the increasing availability of broadband technology, students at the Art Institute were finally able to get a station of their own. The idea of Free Radio SAIC was initialized during the spring 1999 semester by a group of Chicago Building residents who initiated the task of registering Free Radio SAIC as an official student group. The organization soon came together and by the end of 1999, Free Radio SAIC was conducting pilot broadcasts through the school's closed-circuit TV system. The station continued to broadcast via closed-circuit TV sporadically throughout the next year, but organizers still sought to reach a broader audience via a "real" broadcast available to those outside of the school. In the summer of 2000, time was spent researching the possibilities of obtaining a Low Power FM license, a new classification recently introduced by the FCC, or streaming audio over the internet. Even with the FCC's new low power licenses available, Free Radio SAIC organizers found out what many student radio proprietors had learned in the past...broadcasting via FM in a city as congested as Chicago is a dead-end. So, with FM broadcasting firmly out of question, the organization concentrated its efforts toward the Internet, and by the fall 2000 semester, Free Radio SAIC began broadcasting to the world via streaming audio. Since that time, the station has continued its Internet broadcasts, and today the station boasts a line-up of 24 live DJs broadcasting 36 hours of original programming per week. In addition to its streaming audio broadcasts, the Free Radio SAIC homepage also features music reviews, links to other college radio webstreams, and updated station news in Blog form. Like many other student-run stations, Free Radio SAIC does not broadcast live 24/7 and is off the air during the summer and other semester breaks. However, you can always check out your favorite DJs or programs on their web site anytime via their archived audio streams. Check out the site for yourself at http://www.artic.edu/webspaces/freeradio/. Aesthically, it's probably the best non-commercial radio web site in the city and overall the station provides yet another great way to hear and discover new sounds in Chicago.
Monday, October 04, 2004
New Releases Tuesday (10/4)
The first Tuesday of "Rocktober" kicks off the month with a bang...a couple of great releases from Chicago's Kranky, and long-awaited new albums from some old school favorites... Local Label Releases: The Dead Texan - s/t (Kranky) Keith Fullerton Whitman - Schöner Flußengel (Kranky) Other Essentials: Tom Waits - Real Gone (Anti) R.E.M. - Around the Sun (Warner Bros.) Robyn Hitchcock - Spooked (Yep Roc)
Friday, October 01, 2004
Concert Review: Ghost w/Xiu Xiu@Empty Bottle 9/26
The Wire’s Adventures in Modern Music 2004 ended last Sunday with Ghost, Xiu Xiu, Noxagt, and Double Leopards. The festival took place at the Empty Bottle for 5 nights and covered every type of ‘adventurous’ music imaginable. The festival also held film screenings at the Gene Siskel Film Theatre, which included a documentary about noisy drum-and-bass duo, Lightning Bolt. Defying expectations seemed to be the goal of the event, since the music of each band wasn’t really continuous with the other bands. The rough transitions pointed to some subtle similarities though; and the festival proved that connections can be made between the suicidal dance-and-folk of Xiu Xiu with the psychedelic swagger of Ghost, as well as the viola-fronted noise metal of Noxagt with the unconscious drone of Double Leopards. It all made sense...actually it didn’t make sense nor was it supposed to--but I accepted it and kissed it like family, a very strange incestuous family. I walked into the Empty Bottle past all the product-pushing--merchandise on the pool table?--and was drawn to the loud dissonant drone of Double Leopards. I couldn’t see much until they were done a minute later, when four people stood up from the stage, with all their electronic and acoustic noisemakers at their feet. It was a quick introduction to the night. Next was Noxagt, a trio from Norway made up of bass, viola, and drums. They played a very tight instrumental metal/rock sound that was heavy on rhythm. Heads consistently banged and bounced as violist, drummer, and bassist removed their shirts in that order. (even a fight broke out of a moshpit and someone was kicked out!...at the oh-so-sophisticated Empty Bottle) All in all,they were a visceral, wordless power that brought to mind the Chicago rock sound of Shellac, albeit with some tasteful distorted viola. If Noxagt made me feel destructive, Xiu Xiu spat out the reasons why to feel that way. San Francisco’s Xiu Xiu are a very interesting band, and their music of extreme despair seems to provoke a very bipolar reaction in the audience every time I’ve seen them. They played as a duo this time with a setup to keep them both busy at all times: a couple synths, harmoneum, guitars, and the jarring percussion of a triangle, bells, and gongs. They also relied on a drum machine and sampler for their more abrasive songs, and it worked due to their energy and other layers that they added. Their quieter songs were barely audible though: I was nearly in the front row, and I still couldn’t discern notes out of the clamor coming from the back room. Such is the nature of Xiu Xiu though. Their confrontational dynamics are led by Jamie Stewart’s quivering voice, and whether it’s extremely loud or extremely quiet, Xiu Xiu’s musical melodrama always make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. So what’s next after doom and gloom? Japanese psychedelic rock and roll? Ghost tore it up most unexpectedly. I was excited to see them, but hadn't actually heard that much of their music. They seemed to channel the 1960’s/70’s experimental-tinged rock sound that spawned Can, Pink Floyd and later Pere Ubu. Their songwriting was tight, full of electric piano ballads, colorful guitar solos, and reverberated vocals. For good psychedelic measure, they also included somebody on sax, bassoon, and flute in order to add some space to their several freak-outs. It was a more classic style of psychedelic rock, but it was also played with the more modern noise-elements. As last year when I came to the festival, I couldn’t pick a favorite act. Every band was so different, yet they all seemed equal. The Empty Bottle gave me some very diverse music in three hours, got me drunk on a Sunday night, and kicked me on the street as soon as the honest bartender stated: “Leave so I can get drunk.” -Mike G "Mike G" is the latest addition to the RFC staff. A devout music fan who frequents many local venues, Mike will be now be sharing his many live show experiences here on RFC.