Thursday, June 30, 2005

Anniemal preview

Checking out Annie tonight at Sonotheque?? Here's what they had to say about her show in New York (with pix): Click Here (from Brooklyn Vegan)

Props to the 'Fork

I have to admit, when I saw the original line-up for Pitchfork's Intonation Festival, I wasn't real impressed. All it consisted of was indie rock, indie rock, indie rock and more indie rock. Hardly any diversity at all... However, since the original announcement was made, the line-up has been bolstered quite a bit. They've added some glitch pop courtesy of Four Tet, a little jazz influence from Tortoise, some mash-up fun with Diplo (DJ set) and underground hip-hop from El-P (DJ set). Now, most recently, they've added glitchy hip-hop savant Prefuse 73 to the live bill. OK guys, you've got me...well done on the festival. I had been holding my nose up high, wanting to snub the fest due to its lack of diversity and excessive indie-rockness, but it's actually come together quite nicely. Plus, how can you be critical of a festival of this magnitude that only charges $22 bucks for 2 full days of music?? Now, I'm not saying I'm going for sure...(I'm still a bit allergic to outdoor festivals), but I've got to applaud everyone at the 'Fork for the effort. Here's the latest schedule for the event: Saturday, July 16: 1:00 Head of Femur 1:30 Pelican 2:00 The M's 2:45 A.C. Newman 3:30 Magnolia Electric Co. 4:30 Four Tet 5:30 Broken Social Scene 6:30 The Go! Team 7:20 Prefuse 73 8:00 Death From Above 1979 9:00 Tortoise DJ Stage-presented by Biz3 3:30 Laurent from Pelican 5:30 Will Oldham/Jean Grae 7:30 Will Oldham/Jean Grae Sunday, July 17: 1:00 Thunderbirds Are Now! 1:30 Dungen 2:00 Xiu Xiu 2:45 Out Hud 3:30 The Hold Steady 4:30 Andrew Bird 5:30 Deerhoof 6:30 The Wrens 7:30 Les Savy Fav 8:30 The Decemberists DJ Stage-presented by Biz3 3:30 Reine from Dungen 5:30 El-P 7:30 Diplo Check out for more info and the latest updates

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

New Releases Tuesday (6/28)

Local and Related The Ponys - Another Wound (Sweet Nothing) Limited edition EP released to coincide with their upcoming European tour. Features a mix of rare and out-of-print singles and album tracks, including a cover of the Descendents' "Good Good Things" unavailable elsewhere. Other Notables A Band of Bees - Free the Bees (Astralwerks) Deerhoof - Green Cosmos [EP] (Kill Rock Stars) Esthero - Wiked Lil' Grrls (Reprise) The Fall - Complete John Peel Sessions (Castle) Longwave - There's a Fire (RCA) Low - Live in Europe [DVD] (Plexifilm) The Posies - Every Kind of Light (Ryko) Various - Six Feet Under Soundtrack [Vol. 2] (Astralwerks)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Live Review: Eels (with Strings)@Park West 6/22/05

Unfortunately for most people, Eels will always be just another one-hit wonder from the days when alternative rock ruled the airwaves. However, a lot like how The Flaming Lips were/are much more than their alterna-hit "She Don't Use Jelly," the history of Eels does not begin and end with "Novocaine for the Soul." Led by mad genius front man "E" (aka Mark Oliver Everett) and a rotating cast of bandmates, Eels are still producing brilliant pop gems almost 10 years after their smash debut album, Beautiful Freak. Admitingly, even though I've always liked Eels and never thought of them as a one-hit wonder band, I wasn't always convinced of their brilliance. I loved "Novocaine..." and "Your Lucky Day in Hell" from the debut, and its follow-up, Electro-Shock Blues was easily one of my favorite records in 1998. However, by the time the third record came out, Daises of the Galaxy, I had kind of lost interest in the band and probably never would even thought of making an effort to go see them live. Then in 2001, Everett dropped the Souljacker record and my love of Eels was completely restored. In fact, I would say that I went from a casual admirer of the band, to a full-fledged fan thanks to this record. Combining Everett's usual dark and cynical lyrics with the gritty guitar work of album collaborator John Parish (PJ Harvey), Souljacker just flat out rocked. And then I saw them live... Even though my faith had been restored in the band, for some reason I still wasn't expecting their live show to be that good. I couldn't have been more wrong. As much as Souljacker rocked, the Souljacker tour rocked even more. I was totally blown away and afterward I was completely convinced: Everett is truly a musical genius. Seeing Eels perform last week week at Park West, I was convinced of this fact once again. This show rocked just as much, but in a completely different way. This time around, Everett brought with him a completely different backing band, both in terms of members , musical style and approach. Actually dubbed as "Eels with Strings," the performance consisted of Everett (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, celeste, pump organ) backed up by a 4-piece string section, a bass player on an acoustic upright and a sixth member ("The Chet") who played everything from a lap steel guitar to the saw to a minimal drum kit. Everett sounded great as always, the string arrangements were achingly beautiful and the subtle augmentation of lap steel guitar and musical saw sounded absolutely amazing. The music of Eels had never sounded better and once again I was blown away by Everett and his assembled supporting cast. If you've never seen Eels live or maybe haven't even heard the name mentioned since 1996, do yourself a favor and check them out next time they are in town. I don't think Eels are a band you have to see live in order to "get it," but it certainly helps. Also, if you happen to be checking out Everett and Co. this week on the East Coast, don't leave the show when the lights come up. If you stick around, you'll be treated to one last encore performance from the band, with Everett returning to the stage in his jammies. (seriously, I'm not making this up...) Did I mention this guy is a mad genius?? Listen and watch a live performance of Eels with Strings on KCRW here Listen to E playing solo and chatting it up with former Sex Pistol Steve Jones on LA's Indie 103 here

Friday, June 24, 2005

Ladies love Cool James

Forget Oreos, Eat Cool J Cookies...

A warning to all Chicago residents going out this weekend: Be on the lookout for a tall light-skinned brother with dimples...wearing a black kangol, sweatsuit, gold chain, and sneakers. Use extreme caution, he is notorious and can crush you like a jelly bean. Yes, that's right, kicking off this year's Taste of Chicago music line-up is none other than ol' skool hip-hopper LL Cool J. Apparently taking some time off in-between roller derby and mechanical shark movies, Cool J will be gracing the Petrillo Band Shell stage tonight with opening act Faith Evans. Don't call it a comeback though, he's just filling in as a last-minute replacement for Lauryn Hill. Since this a free event, part of me wants to walk over to Grant Park after work, grab a giant turkey leg and see if Cool J busts out some old school bangers from Bigger and Deffer. Then again, trying to navigate through a concrete jungle of smoky grills, vast amounts of garbage, screaming kids and about ten thousand people filling their pie holes with the greasiest food they can find on a day that is literally 95 degrees in the shade isn't exactly my idea of good time. On second thought, I think I'll just go to Reckless instead and see if I can find some old Cool J in the dollar bin.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ch'-ching!...Queen of Grime coming to Sonotheque

Well, they've done it again... Biz 3 has sucked me in once more with yet another great DJ night at Sonotheque. This time they've snagged young UK grime sensation Lady Sovereign for an exclusive stop on her upcoming U.S. club tour on Friday, July 8. Midwest grime fans, consider yourself extremely lucky...this one of only 8 stops on her upcoming stateside tour. In fact, according to her website, she'll be coming to Sonotheque fresh from a gig at the Fabric in London on July 1 and will already be back overseas by the 15th to play the Dour Festival in Belgium. Trust me, you won't want to miss this rare opportunity to see the self-described "multi-talented munchkin" live here in the States. What?? You've never heard of Lady Sovereign?? Here's more from the Sonotheque website: Taking over the UK is 18 year old Lady Sovereign who is already bouting with the best of them. She just signed a huge world wide deal with Universal and is down musically with the likes of Basement Jaxx, Obie Trice, Dizzee Rascal, The Streets and D12. A tiny 5 foot 1, she delves out the beatdown on the alternative microphone with witty lyrics and a flirtatious cheekiness that brings to mind no other. Her music is the current sound of inner city estates in the UK, obvious influence taken from popular dance movements such as grime, garage, jungle, ragga, hip hop and r & b. America has not yet seen anyone like of Lady Sovereign. Tag:

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Summer has arrived!

With the arrival of the Summer Solstice yesterday and the start of Taste of Chicago on Friday, it's official: the summer festival season is now upon us. Still debating on whether to pick up those Lollapalooza tickets? Contemplating a trip up to Milwaukee for Summer Fest? Click here for some helpful advice from on how to get the most out of your summer music season.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

New Releases Tuesday (6/21)

Billy Corgan - TheFutureEmbrace (Warner Bros.) So the Great Pumpkin has finally dropped his first real solo album, but then today he puts a full-page ad in the Tribune announcing that he wants to get the band back together?!? Billy, you weren't in the Blues Brothers, let it go. (unless of course you need to raise a lot of money to save an orphanage) Don't taint the legacy! Siamese Dream rocked my adolescence, but I'd like to keep it there. Other Notables Laura Cantrell - Humming by the Flowered Vine (Matador) Telepopmusik - Angel Milk (Capitol) Wooden Wand & The Vanishing Voice - Xiao (Troubleman Unlimited)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Live Review: Stephen Malkmus@Metro 6/11/05

"I haven't seen an audience so miserable at the Metro since Mogwai tortured the crowd a few years back with about 30 minutes of eardrum piercing feedback to end their set." Ah, the curse of the opening band... No, this quote from a Chicago concerts message board thread wasn't in response to the performance from Malkmus himself, but from the opening band, Paik. And no, this was no exaggeration. This post summed up my experience exactly. I was absolutely miserable during their set. According to their record label's website, "PAIK are wicked conjurers of a seriously delirious thunder, unleashing a hurricane of sound that is as lilting as it is crushing." I don't know about lifting, but their music was definitely crushing, as in totally crushing the spirit of 1000+ people who were trying to enjoy their Saturday night. I'm a big fan of experimental and instrumental music, but Paik's so-called "hurricane of sound" was nothing more than a heavily distorted wank-fest. For what felt like an eternity, the band played droned-out instrumental pieces that went absolutely nowhere. They just sounded like some really stoned guys with big amps (and not much talent) jamming in a garage. Adding insult to injury, it was one of those nights where it was 80 degrees + humid outside, and like 90+ inside the crowded and smoky club. So not only was I beat down mentally from the pretentious prog-metal, but I was beat down physically from the extreme heat and lack of oxygen. In these situations you want to just find the nearest fire exit, bust it open and escape to fresh air. Of course, most clubs tend to frown on this kind of behavior, and Metro has that pesky "no re-entry" rule, so I had no choice but sweat this one out...literally. Maybe Paik has a decent following among noise rock fans, but how or why they were paired up to tour with Stephen Malkmus is beyond me. I'm just not seeing any crossover between fans here at all. Perhaps they were booked as a sort of musical palate cleanser?? I mean, just about anything with a verse or hook is going to sound amazing after hearing Paik play the same droney chords for 40+ minutes. Or perhaps this was a hazing exercise to get rid of any casual fans who show up just to scream out requests for old Pavement hits like "Stereo" or "Cut Your Hair." If this was a hazing exercise, it totally worked on me. I've always dug the occasional Pavement or Malkmus track every now and then, but I could hardly be considered a true "fan." (Hell, I don't think I've ever listened to one Pavement album in its entirety) I dig and respect Malkmus' work, but I'm not willing to endure pain and suffering to hear his slacker jams live. I stuck around for maybe 5 to 6 songs into his set, and then I just couldn't take it anymore and had to bail out. I was tired, hot and miserable. Paik and Metro's second-hand smoke sauna had beat me down and I never recovered. By most accounts, Malkmus and the Jicks did play a good show this night, however, I'm going to have to take their word for it this time. Perhaps I'll try seeing Malkmus again if he picks up a better supporting act next time. Then again, maybe I'll just wait until the inevitable Pavement reunion... Technorati: Check out Malkmus MP3's here
Check out those stylish khakis!

Friday, June 17, 2005

A Successor to the 'Bowl?

Bob Mehr from the Reader reports that a new all-ages venue called "The Studio" has opened in Rogers Park in the Heartland Theater space at 7016 N. Glenwood. The performances are being booked by Rose Red Productions, who are trying to fill the void left when the Fireside Bowl kicked out MP Shows last fall in an effort to restore the venue back into a legitimate bowling facility. Here's more from Rose Red's website:

For the next few months, Rose Red Productions will be leasing the Heartland Theatre in Rogers Park. Our main focus of this project is to bring back an all ages live music venue within the city that the Fireside Bowl once filled within the local scene. In doing so, we want to hold strongly on the D.I.Y. mentality. With your support, we want to bring parties back to shows and the kids back to shows. So let's make this happen Chicago!

(For booking inquiries e-mail

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Gorillaz tour the Midwest!

Well, sort of...

Animated supergroup Gorillaz are currently on the Midwest leg of their "Demon Detour 2005," a nationwide promo tour making stops at alternative radio stations across the country. On Friday, they'll be making a stop in the 'Nati on to visit nationwide on-line favorite and next Monday (6/2) they'll even be stopping by Chicago's very own Q-101 to chat it up with Mancow. (that should be interesting?!?) However, I wouldn't wait outside the Merchandise Mart on Monday morning, hoping to get a glimpse of Damon Albarn or Danger Mouse darting out of the Q-101 studios. It seems that as cartoons, the Gorillaz are able to make "virtual" appearances at all the stations...

Flush with the news of the highest Billboard 200 debut of its short career, animated U.K. act Gorillaz has confirmed details for an innovative virtual U.S. tour. Unique performances will be streamed via the Web sites of radio stations across the country, beginning June 6 at Seattle's KNDD. Through June 21, the Demon Detour will "visit" the sites of 39 U.S. radio stations, and two national broadcasts, one via radio host Mancow's syndicated show and the other via Sirius Satellite Radio's Alt-Nation channel.

Here's more from UK blog Indigo Flow:

The US radio tour will be the animated quartet's most extensive North American trek ever, taking Noodle, Murdoc, 2D and Russel to over 40 stations in cities across the continental US, including SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Continued Murdoc: "Hey. It's not enough that we've just recorded and released the defining album of the century, now we've gotta go tell the world about it! So, for this reason we've decided to do a tour of radio stations right round the States. We're gonna play some live songs, maybe talk a little about the album, crack some jokes. A kind of... press junket. You know, doing a tour like this is a little like running for office, campaigning for the listener's vote. Although in this case I think it's a little er... like bringing the mountain to Mohammed. I mean, we've just released a CD with 15 fucking good reasons to vote Gorillaz, so if that ain't enough you're probably not the type of fan we should be after anyway. But, y'know, if you do need to be spoon-fed any further reasons, tune your radio in and if you're lucky you might just catch a dose of Gorillaz live in the studio."

Upcoming Demon Detour Dates:



Real Video: "Feel Good Inc."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Live Review: Death From Above 1979 w/David Cross (DJ Sets)@Sonotheque 6/10/05

I've got to hand it to Biz 3 productions, they sure know how to throw a good party. Well, actually I guess they don't do much at the party, but they sure as hell know who to book for a party to make it a happening. In the past year, they've teamed up with Sonotheque to bring such amazing DJ set bills as Aesop Rock with Prefuse 73, El-P with Peanut Butter Wolf, Beans with Tunde (TV on the Radio) and A-Trak with Diplo. No self-respecting hipster can resist bills like those, and the narrow confines of Sonotheque quickly fill up, resulting in a long cue down Chicago Ave. for most of the night. Last week, Biz 3 hosted the latest installment of their DJ series at Sonotheque, this time pitting indie-rock duo Death From Above 1979 with uber-snarky, indie-rock lovin' comedian David Cross. The appearance of DFA '79 didn't excite me much, but I was really intrigued by the prospect of a David Cross DJ set at Sonotheque. While the cult popularity of "Mr. Show" still baffles me a bit, I think Cross is one of smartest and funniest comics in the biz right now. Thus, I was looking forward to a night of great music and wacky hijinks. Unfortunately, the whole thing was a bit anticlimactic. Cross did get on the mic a few times to make some sarcastic remarks, but you couldn't really hear him because they didn't turn the music down when he was talking. A couple of times it did appear that he was making fun of the Puma corporate sponsorship, holding up the shoe displays inside the DJ booth and thanking the footwear for "making this night possible." I did get a chuckle out that, but like I said, it was really hard to decipher exactly what he was saying, so I can only assume he was being sarcastic. The only sort of Cross-esque "wackiness" that ensued was the playing of a Rush song ("Tom Sawyer") and the theme to Cheers. [song rating: Two T-Shirts and a cup of jizz] Other than that, it was a fairly normal night at Sonotheque, except with more indie-rock played than usual. After getting to Sonotheque on 9 o'clock sharp to avoid the inevitable post-10pm wait outside, I threw in the towel about 12:30 and headed out. Part of me wanted to stick around for the odd chance that Cross might suddenly dive into a new stand-up routine or that Bob Odenkirk would come racing into the club at 1:50 for an impromptu Mr. Show reunion, but logic and beer fatigue prevailed and I bid adieu to Sonotheque for another night. -------- However, what seemed to have got lost in all the excitement of seeing indie-rock's favorite comedian spin records was the real reason the event was organized. The show was actually a benefit for underground hip-hop artist Dax Pierson, of the Oakland-based sextet Subtle, who suffered a serious accident while on tour this past February. I had always heard good things about Subtle and I especially took notice when their latest album was released by uber-hip Warp Records imprint, Lex. So when they were scheduled to play the Empty Bottle earlier this year along with one of my favorite Kranky recording artists, Keith Fullerton Whitman, I made a point to secure a ticket to the show. However, when I arrived at the Bottle the night of the show I was greeted with an ominous note at the door: "Show cancelled due to tour-ending accident." I was really bummed about not being able to see the show, and this was further enhanced by the seemingly serious nature for its cancelation. However, I could have never imagined the accident would have turned out to be as serious as it did. En route from Denver to Minneapolis, Subtle's tour van hit a patch of black ice on the interstate, causing it to spin out of control and crash. While the rest of the band came out relatively unscathed, Dax broke his neck in the accident and was immediately paralyzed from the waist down. Considering the seriousness of his injury, Dax is recovering relatively well, however, he more than likely will be confined to a wheel chair for the rest of his life. The chair alone that Dax now needs costs $30,000, so his friends and peers have been organzing and playing benefit shows both in the UK and the States to help raise enough money for all of his medical needs. Our goal is to raise $80,000.00 dollars, which will be just enough to get Dax properly equiped, moved into a wheel chair accessible home in California, and have a small nest egg which he may live off of. And the sooner we can secure this money the less Dax has to focus on something other than his health and a quick recovery... As usual, Friday night at Sonotheque was packed, so hopefully Biz 3, DFA '79, David Cross and company helped raise a significant amount of money for Dax since all proceeds from the night went toward his recovery fund. (This may be why Cross kept the wacky schtick somewhat on the 'DL' to not distract too much from the seriousness of the benefit.) Of course, in the end it really didn't matter whether he played Daft Punk or Dr. Demento records, you've really got to applaud Cross just for coming out to Chicago to do this unique, one-off gig (undoubtedly for little or no $$) in an effort to help out a worthy charity. Kudos to everyone involved and everyone who came out to support the cause...and of course, best wishes to Dax on a healthy and speedy recovery. For more info about the Dax Pierson Recovery Fund, vist: Technorati:
Down but not out... Dax Pierson working on music from his hospital bed

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

New Releases Tuesday (6/14)

Brian Eno - Another Day On Earth (Hannibal) New album from former Roxy Music keyboardist, solo glam/art rocker, ambient music pioneer, Talking Heads and U2 producer and all-around genius/musical mastermind Brian Eno. Here's a synopsis of the new release courtesy of John Diliberto, host of PRI's "Echoes." Another Day on Earth is an ambient song cycle that is full of yearning and a mood that Brian Eno has called "brave and resigned." Even in song, Eno is a master of ambience, creating detailed soundworlds and lyrics that don't so much make sense as create a feeling. It's taken him 15 years to create a new vocal album, and the songs span that time, with the welcome reprise of "Under," a devastatingly beautiful hymn of loss and redemption that dates back to 1991's aborted, unreleased My Squelchy Life album. It's turned up before on the Cool World soundtrack and Eno Box II: Vocals. Joining "Under" as one of Eno's most sublime songs is "And Then So Clear," a paean of wasted longing and hope with its cycling rhythm, ethereal guitars, and pitch-shifted vocal harmonies. You can hear Eno's love of gospel music on "This" and "Bottomliners," and can almost picture them in a particularly pensive Baptist church with his double-tracked vocals emulating a solemn choir. But it's not all minor-key reflection. Eno also unleashes a couple of fractured tunes, like "Bonebomb," which is from a project in which he mutated the meter of poets reciting their works. Another Day on Earth is a more personal album from the ambient avatar, a recording of rare and meticulous maturity. Other Notables Dressy Bessy - Electrified (Transdreamer) The Oranges Band - The World & Everything In It (Lookout!) The Orange Peels - Circling the Sun (Parasol) Pernice Brothers - Discover a Lovelier You (Ashmont) The Residents - Animal Lover (Mute)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Photoblog review: Caribou@the Empty Bottle, 6/7/05

I was heartbroken when I found out the Russian Futurists were stuck at the Canadian border and wouldn't be making it to the Empty Bottle last night- what had been my Lineup of the Year was now just another good electronic show. Don't get me wrong, I was excited for both Caribou and the Junior Boys, but there's just something about a killer three-band lineup that I hadn't seen since last year's Mouse on Mars/Ratatat/Junior Boys show at the Logan Square Auditorium. After waiting 45 minutes in the dank, poorly ventilated, and non-air-conditioned Bottle, the Junior Boys took the stage and played mostly from their lovely debut album, Last Exit. Jeremy Greenspan played guitar, sang in his oh-so-smooth voice, and sort of bounced around awkwardly on stage, while keyboardist/electronics guru Matt Didemus just stared up at the ceiling and smoked his cigarette disaffectedly, refusing to take off his hooded sweatshirt even though the temperature had to be 90+ degrees. The best songs were the most danceable, like "Bellona" and "Birthday," and even with the insufferable heat, I found the ability to dance just a little bit. Caribou's set made me incredibly glad I've gotten into the habit of wearing earplugs to shows (a habit that began after I started getting a weird clicking in my left ear, which has since stopped, thank God). Dan Snaith, the man behind Caribou/Manitoba, traded between acoustic guitar, keyboards, recorder, and some drums that he tore apart like a maniac. Holy crap. Every time he and 2nd drummer Peter Mitton kicked off a song together, I jumped out of my skin. Needless to say, it was a great show. I had no idea Caribou's music involved so much use of the recorder. And the encore of "Every Time She Turns Around It's Her Birthday" was exactly how I would have chosen to end the show as well. I'm glad we were on the same page here. Check out pictures of the show here: Read more at the Perfect Face for Radio.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Viva la Puerta Doble!

Double Door settlement reached!

From today's Sun-Times... Pierced and tattooed fans of the Double Door rock club cheered and applauded Thursday as owner Sean Mulroney told a packed courtroom he and the landlord reached an agreement to allow the club to stay another nine years. "I'm very happy the city is not going to become the strip mall they keep trying to turn it into," Herb Rosen, bass player and vocalist for the band Beer Nuts said in the hallway outside Judge Richard Billik's courtroom. Rosen was one of about 40 musicians and music lovers who came to show support for the club that some credit with helping drive Wicker Park's renaissance since it opened 11 years ago. "If the Double Door closed, the neighborhood would really change; of course it already has been changing," said Scott Spidale, who plays guitar for the band Premium. Judge prompts two sides to talk The Double Door became a victim of its own success at the hot intersection of Damen, North and Milwaukee, with landlords being offered rents of closer to $38 a square foot by chains like Banana Republic, compared with the $9 a foot Double Door was paying. The club has argued with landlord Brian Strauss for the last year and was set to begin trial at 2 p.m. Thursday. But Billik called both sides into his chambers and reminded them they would be happier with a compromise they reached themselves than one he imposed on them. They began two hours of negotiations while fans who did not fit the usual suit-and-tie attire of the Daley Center paced in and out of the courtroom. Did the fans' presence help the club's owners? "When they saw the support, I think it made a big difference," Mulroney said. "Who wants to be the bad guy, say, 'I closed the club?' " co-owner Joseph Shanahan said. 'This was about money' But Strauss' attorney Richard Stavins politely disagreed. "This was not about a culture war, it was about money and we resolved it." Mulroney and Shanahan heaped praise on Strauss, saying despite their occasional arguments, they like him. Shanahan even called him a "hero" for agreeing to the deal that keeps the club open. Mulroney asked the fans to applaud for Strauss as he hurried from the courtroom to pick up his sons from school. Neither side would reveal the exact dollar figure they settled on. "It's more than I wanted to pay and less than he wanted to take -- we're right smack-dab in the middle," Mulroney said. In the early 1900s, the Double Door was a speakeasy with a brothel upstairs, Mulroney said. And nothing much had changed until he and his partners came in, booking such big names as the Rolling Stones and Smashing Pumpkins, he said.

RFC Interview - Coltrane Motion

Opening for Electrelane tonight at the Empty Bottle is a new local electronic pop band who call themselves Coltrane Motion. Described as "heartbreak you can dance to" the band is led by Michael Bond who recently brought his home-brewed project to life with the help of his friends Matt Dennewitz (synths) and Pete Ziegler (beats, laptop) . Their frantic live show has been described by the press as an "exuberant seizure" and "the cool kids in programming class" performing a dance-punk intensity that far exceeds your usual laptop performance. Radio Free Chicago: So you guys are new to Chicago...what brought you here and were are you all from originally? Michael Bond: We're all Ohio expatriates from different spots over there...Matt moved here about three years ago to go to SAIC, Pete and I moved here around the same time in late 2003, after both graduating from UC/DAAP in Cincinnati. RFC: How was the band formed? MB: I've been doing home recordings since high school, and putting them out as 'Coltrane Motion' for about five years now. It's only in the last year or two that our live lineup has really come together, with me on keys, Matt on guitars, and Pete on laptop and MPC. I still write and record most of our tracks solo, but now a lot of the ideas have been bounced between us all in live shows first - a third to a fourth of our set is improvised, we have a tendency to just slap on a beat and see where it goes.. There's only so many pop songs you can play in a row. RFC: Tell us more about "Datawaslost" appears to be collective, a label and also a band? MB: It's an artist collective that acts as a label, with a lot of incestuous musical projects and a focus on DIY methods, from recording to promotion. Somewhere between Elephant 6 and Anticon, we put out a lot of noise pop, electronic, and indie folk, usually mixing up at least two of those three in some way or another. It's a close-knit group of home-recording obsessives with diverse tastes and the desire to make records for the sheer hell of it, rather than chasing some music-industry pipe dream. Obviously, we fit in just fine. RFC: I was especially intrigued by this description from the band bio..."If it (Coltrane Motion) sounds like nothing you've ever heard before, chalk it up to the group's penchant for writing their own sound software and even constructing new instruments from scratch for live usage." Without giving away any trade secrets, what kind of instruments/gadgets/software have you guys come up with so far and how did you come up with them? What inspired you to do this? MB: I'm going to toss this one off to Matt, our guitarist and resident programmer... Matt Dennewitz: As far as writing our own sound software goes, We could only get so far with software synthesizers and the sound they're geared toward.. having a simulation of a minimoog or a plug-in that sounds like an organ is great and all, but not terribly innovative, right? The logical progression from that point was to start writing some software ourselves -- that's where things got interesting. Before this point, we had toyed around with building instruments (the light-sensitive theremin that fit in my palm will always be my favorite) but it sometimes proved unstable. Using homegrown software written mostly in the car in-between shows, I came up with a live sampler and effects unit with a routable signal path. The sampler gave us an interface to our performance, to the sound we were making and allowed for real-time stretching, looping, reversal (think "Everything in its Right Place" without the expensive gear, but same interactivity), all of which could be routed through this staggering number of almost haphazardly assembled effects.. things like distortion using triangle waves or a tremolo with 2 sine wave with frequencies thousands of hertz apart, as well as the more conventional effects like delays and sound envelopes. The best thing about this software, though, is that it could be used with a hardware controller with knobs -- taking it to a tactile level really gave a lot of new options for performance, integrated with this new sound that we were really excited about.. RFC: What are your aspirations for the Coltrane Motion project? MB: Given that our particular brand of electro-dance-noise often attracts an audience that's not only lonely, attractive, but also far too drunk, we're hoping to inspire as many regrettable hook-ups among our fans as possible. We supply the kick, snare, and bass, you supply the bodies. We hope to leave a trail of awkward restroom makeout sessions across the country this summer, igniting the sexual tension that no doubt consumes the population of say, Wichita, Kansas. Other bands want to sell records? We've got a higher goal: propagation of the species. A few more generations of selective breeding, and kids will come out of the womb humming "Deceptacon", and with an asymmetrical haircut to boot. RFC: Besides the upcoming show at the Bottle and a subsequent tour, what else can we expect from Coltrane Motion in the future? MB: More touring, more bottles. Eventually, an LP grand and ass-shaking enough to inspire simultaneous weeping and grinding. I'm going to lock myself away, studying how Andre 3000 can make party-jams out of dying relationships and custody battles, then distill this power and cover it with feedback. The kids'll love it. SPEED ROUND Digital or Analog? MB: Analog Instruments, digital performances. Robots playing banjo. Favorite electronic and/or synth-pop bands: MB: Caribou, The Go! Team, Prefuse 73, Hefner.. for being an 'electronic' band, we mainly just listen to hiphop and folk. If Missy Elliot ever releases a synth-pop album, i'll be all over it. Best thing about living in Chicago so far: MB: Bike lanes & Italian beef Favorite character from the Dukes of Hazard: MB: The General. Without him, it was just a bunch of rednecks in a swamp. Once again, Coltrane Motion plays tonight (6/10) at The Empty Bottle, in support of UK popsters Electrelane. Show starts at 10pm, must be 21+ Click on the link below to check out an Mp3 sample from the band's excellent new ep, No Well OK Maybe Just A Little. "Pi is Exactly Three" (Quicktime)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Concert Preview: The Futureheads@Metro 6/10/05

This Friday, UK post-punk darlings The Futureheads will be in town to bring their angular Anglo rock to the Metro stage. Riding in on the coattails of fellow young Brit punks like Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, The Futureheads released their debut album domestically last fall and are now headlining their first North American tour. Besides comparisons to their modern peers, they've also been compared to such classic English bands as Wire, XTC and Gang of Four. The latter certainly attributable to the fact that The Futureheads were able to snag Gang of Four's Andy Gill to produce their debut full-length. If you're still on the fence about whether to check out their show on Friday or just have simply never even heard their music before, click on the links below for video clips from their recent performance at the Henry Fonda Theatre in L.A. to get a sneak preview of what they'll sound like at Metro. The all ages show starts at 7pm, High Speed Scene opens. "Le Garage" Windows Lo Windows Hi Quicktime "Hounds Of Love" Windows Lo Windows Hi Quicktime "A to B" Windows Lo Windows Hi Quicktime

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Trouble Brewing in Liquor Park (Part 2)

The next day after learning that the future of the Double Door was in jeopardy, word came in to the RFC offices that another performance venue just a few doors down the street would definitely be closing its doors. The crew at buddY gallery lost their lease, which will put an end to the exhibitions, experimental music, workshops, and late-night dance parties at 1542 N. Milwaukee. However, don't expect the space to go out quietly...a series of farewell events are already in the works. We'll keep you posted here at RFC... Speaking of which, one event as part of the "last days of buddY" has been announced. Not really a music-related event, but certainly worthy of a quick mention: 12-hour Erotic Film Fest Thursday June 9th 1pm-1am 1542 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Fl $6 donation Vintage, S&M, puppets, documentary, hardcore, art house, & more! Curated by Ayaco, Presented by Odd Obsession video Penis cakes & tea will be served ------ While the closing of buddY is a done deal, the fate of Double Door is far from sealed and the management of the venue is encouraging the public to take action to help keep the venerable rock venue alive. Friends and fans of the venue are being asked to write letters to the neighborhood's alderman, Manny Flores, and attend the court hearing on Thursday to express support for keeping Double Door alive. For more information on how you can help, go to: A reminder...if Double Door loses this case, there is a very good possibility that it could be replaced by a Banana Republic. A Banana fucking Republic! Unless you think that the availability of overpriced, mass produced khakis is more important to the neighborhood than a unique live music venue, I would strongly encourage you to voice your opinion on this matter to Mr. Flores and the rest of the parties involved.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

New Releases Tuesday (6/7)

This June 7th marks a "Super Tuesday" for the record industry as too highly anticipated albums from two mega-star bands hit store shelves. Yes, unless you've completely ignored all media sources for the past two months, you know that new Coldplay and White Stripes records are out today, which is sure to cause long lines at your nearest Sam Goody location (at least that's what the record execs are hoping). If neither of these artists are your cup of tea, here's a couple of other releases that are trying to sneak in through all the major label hype. Teenage Fanclub - Man-Made - Merge New album from veteran Scottish-popsters...recorded in Chicago and produced by Tortoise's John McEntire, it's the band's very first album to be recorded in the States and their first for legendary American indie-label, Merge. Here's more from Teenage Fanclub laid down tracks in February and July of last year at McEntire's studio. "We certainly experienced the extremes of Chicago weather-wise," Blake says. The band packed lightly, and had to call on a Windy City friend, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, for help. "Being cheap Scots, we didn't bring much equipment because we were worried about being charged excess baggage," Blake says, laughing. "Our penny-pinching almost got the best of us because we realized we had a song that needed two acoustic guitars. I got in touch with Tweedy, and he very kindly donated another one for the sessions." Turin Brakes - JackInaBox - Astralwerks "Quiet" British folk duo return to the scene after their outstanding 2003 release, Ether Song. Here's what South Wales independent record shop Diverse Vinyl has to say: After recording Ether Song in LA, the band went back to the self-produced ethos of their debut, writing and recording the entirety of JackInABox at their own studio in Brixton. Being stuck in “difficult third album” territory is never a pleasant place for a band to be, but the band are obviously very comfortable back in their own studio; the LP recalls the atmosphere of The Optimist LP, with a new-found confidence in both the songwriting and their delivery.The result is JackInABox, a sunny and direct album, full of characteristically robust pop melodies and spine-tingling harmonies. Annie - Anniemal - Big Beat Record Domestic release of the debut album from hipster-adopted Norwegian pop princess Annie. sez: Not since the days of The Tom Tom Club, Bananarama, and "Lucky Star"-era Madonna, has dance-pop been this fun, this bouncy, this unabashedly optimistic (1999 single "Greatest Hit" even samples the latter's "Everybody"). So don't say you haven't been warned: Anniemal is a pretension-free zone. With its "Oh no, oh no / You've got it all wrong / You think you're chocolate / But you're chewing gum" refrain, 2004's insanely addictive single "Chewing Gum" is the jewel in this sparkling crown. The R2D2-like bloops and bleeps and Annie's sweet "ah-ah-ahs" and "la-la-las" just make it shine all the brighter. Hippie-disco extravaganza "Come Together," which tops the seven-minute mark, is another standout, while the sentimental "My Best Friend" is, arguably, the only clunker on one of 2005's most notable releases. !!! - Take Ecstacy with Me - Touch & Go New single from the Brooklyn dance punks who were responsible for one of 2003's hottest jamz, "Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)." Check out a full stream of the new single here

Monday, June 06, 2005

Photoblog review: Architecture in Helsinki@Schubas 6/4/05

Newly updated on the RFC Live Photo Archive are pictures from Saturday night's Architecture in Helsinki show at Schubas. Here's what RFC chief image coordinator Nicole Chavas had to say about the show on her blog, The Perfect Face For Radio:

Architecture in Helsinki could rival Mates of State for Cutest Band Ever. The Australian eight-piece flooded the small Schubas stage with their myriad of instruments, including two keyboards, two trombones, a tuba, a trumpet, a flute, clarinet, recorder, and various noisemakers/shakers (including a severed hand multi-instrumentalist Gus Franklin kept waving around) in addition to the traditional drums/bass/guitar, and every member played at least three of the aforementioned instruments. Their set consisted almost entirely of songs from their new album, In Case We Die, with the exception of the single "Owls Go" from their debut album Fingers Crossed. That was fine with me, since In Case We Die is a better album overall (and "Owls Go" is the best song on Fingers Crossed).

They all danced around and acted generally oddly for their hour on stage, and it was just so adorable I thought I was going to drown in their cuteness. I mean, one of them is named Gus, for goodness sake. In between songs they told silly jokes in their Australian accents- funny how everything is funnier in an accent. Show closer "Do the Whirlwind" was the highlight, as they sort of "jammed" it out, as much as indie-pop bands can jam, that is (i.e. a four minute song instead of two minutes!).

Check out the pictures of the show here:

Friday, June 03, 2005

Trouble Brewing in Liquor Park

Once deemed as an edgy and hip artists' neighborhood, Wicker Park has been the victim of mass gentrification over the past decade. For many, the arrival of the Starbucks at the corner of North and Milwaukee was the first proverbial nail in the coffin. Since then, the neighborhood has been invaded by MTV for a session of their Real World franchise, inundated with cheesy yuppy bars, mauraded by more chain joints like Potbelly and Chipotle, and accosted by expensive new condos and skyrocketing rents. Hell, corporate interests have even taken over the graffiti art in the area recently. (see this week's "Antisocial" column in the Reader) Obnoxious as all this has been, the neighborhood still has a bit of its old charm left thanks to such venerable institutions as Myopic Books, Earwax, Reckless Records and Double Door. These gems still make a trip to "the crotch" worthwhile, even if you have to dodge a few loud drunken yuppies along the way. However, it appears that one of these staples of the old neighborhood could be in serious jeopardy, and if closed, just might lead to that final nail being put in the coffin of Wicker Park's former bohemian life. Here's the story from Metroblogging (via Chicago Monkey): On June 9, 2005 Double Door, Chicago's preeminent small music venue, will be fighting for its very existence before Cook County Chancery Judge Billik. The trial, whereby Double Door is seeking to enforce an extension to its lease, is set to begin at 2PM at the Cook County Courthouse, Room 2601 in the Daley Center. The trial hinges upon Double Door's position that it appropriately notified the owners of the building, Harry and Brian Strauss, of its intention to exercise its option in its lease. The Strauss' dispute this claim. Double Door has become a fixture in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood and an integral part of the cultural and music scene in Chicago since its opening in 1994. The club has played host to some of the biggest bands in the world including The Rolling Stones, bringing national and international exposure to Chicago. Double Door served as the site for debut material from two albums of Chicago's own Smashing Pumpkins. Artists like Kid Rock, Macy Gray, The Strokes and The Killers have all graced the Double Door stage early in their careers. The club has nurtured the careers of many of Chicago's most successful local artists including Chevelle, Local H and Liquid Soul. The Strauss family has no interest in preserving the cultural integrity of the neighborhood or the Double Door. It is their intention to force the closure of Double Door and to replace it with a national retail chain. Double Door filed its suit against the Strauss family knowing that it has met its obligations under the lease. This trial will determine whether the institution that is Double Door will remain afixture in Wicker Park and a key part of the cultural and musical scene in Chicago.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Psychedelic freakout tonight at Delilah's

Looks like Delilah's is the place to be tonight as not only are they hosting a Flaming Lips Fearless Freaks DVD release party at 7pm, but they are also hosting the Mod Chicago Kinetic Underground opening night party. Here's the official line-up: Check out the FAB sounds ofTHE CHERRY SPLITS from Atlanta, GA Mod/Soul/Psych DJ's to entertain you: DAVE MONROE (Milwaukee's Finest - Milwaukee, WI) PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE (Galactic Zoo Dossier - Chicago, IL) JENNIE WASSERMAN & JAIME KOZYRA (The Soul Sisters - NYC, NY) DELILAH'S 2771 N Lincoln Ave (773) 472-2771 9pm-2am No Cover Kinetic Underground is a 3 day festival of sights and sounds designed "to blow your mind." The event is put together by Mod Chicago, a local collective dedicated toward preserving and celebrating the culture and sounds of England's mod scene. Check out their website at for more info and a complete line-up of events for this weekend's festival. For directions to the nearest scooter dealership, click here

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Funk the Mental presents Apparat at Sonotheque

Now, I know what you're probably thinking...who the hell is Apparat?? But trust me on this one, if you really dig electronic music, you need to get to know Apparat. I saw him open up for T.Raumschmiere a while back at the Empty Bottle and I immediately went to the record store the next day to buy his album. I NEVER do this...the show was that good. Here's more from the Sonotheque website: Apparat, aka Sascha Ring, is co-owner (with t.raumschmiere) of the Shitkatapult label. Since 1999, Shitkatapult has chronicled the DIY-sound of Berlin's techno renegades and refugees. Their self-described sound: "Every release is different. Digital high-speed attacks, groovy lownoise-loops, rocking shuffle-techno, funky micro-house tunes -- Shitkatapult has everything your electronically polluted heart wants and, if we have our way, everything your electronically polluted heart needs." Apparat's partner, T.Raumschmiere, has whipped up a stateside hipster frenzy thanks to a stage show packed with punk rock antics ala destroying keyboards and stripping down to his underwear while diving head-first into the stage monitors. Apparat directs a similar intensity inward, chopping conventional techno, electro and experimental genres to bits andre-assembling them into a surprisingly warm and potent glitch-funk-headnod stew. with three LPs; multiple EPs, singles and remixes (on Shitkatapult and Ellen Allien's Berlin-based bpitchcontrol); and a prestigious BBC Peel Session to his name, it's no surprise that Apparat has been selected as a featured artist for both this year's Detroit and Mutek festivals. Apparat is well known for live shows, utilizing a custom software package (programmed by Sascha himself) to rock the laptop with a maximum amount of sound and spontaneity. Don't miss this rare performance by one Berlin's most daring impresarios. This headlining live PA performance is a part of the monthly "Funk the Mental" series at Sonotheque presented by WLUW's Abstract Science and (recently added to the series) WNUR's Clinically Inclined. Also featured on this night's "post-Detroit/pre-Mutek Shitkatapult strike!" will be a live PA from Chicago's Matt Mercer and DJ sets from M50, Dave Siska and Chris Widman. Festivities begin at 9p, must be 21+...Sonotheque is located at 1444 W. Chicago.