Friday, September 30, 2005

Live Pics: Beck@The Riviera 9/21/05

Updated in the RFC Photo Archive today are pictures from last week's Beck performance at The Riviera. To be honest, I'm quite surprised that anything turned out from this. I was able to secure an "official" photo pass for the show, so I took my old school 35mm SLR, naively thinking that my photo pass credentials would allow me to use a flash.(for all you youngsters out there, a flash is almost essential when using film in a low light situation like a dark concert hall) Not only was I denied the use of a flash, but all photographers were only allowed to shoot during the first three songs of the set. The photo pass did allow me to shoot from the orchestra pit, but I felt really silly frantically taking pictures with my dinky little Spotmatic while everyone else around me was shooting with their professional digital cameras with giant lenses. From now on, I think I'll stick to shooting lower profile concerts at much smaller venues...or let Nicole try to sneak a flash or two with her digital camera. Check out some genunine professionally shot pics of this show here...courtesty of Matt Schwenke, one of the aforementioned photogs with the giant cameras who I met while scrambling in the pit. Needless to say, he was a little intrigued by my choice of hardware.

The S-O-V wants you to...

Save the Hoodie!! UPDATE: Lady Sov's returning to Chicago...12/6 at The Bottle! Didn't catch her show in July at Sonotheque?? Check out the RFC review here

Thursday, September 29, 2005

RFC Interview: Theory Anesthetic

Debuting Friday night at Sylvie's, is a brand new downtempo electronic project called Theory Anesthetic. The brainchild of local artist Mandy Matz, Theory Anesthetic is a mix of dreampop, dark electronica and Eno-esque ambience. A classically trained musician, Matz first began experimenting with electronic music while living in Eau Claire, WI. One day while surfing through message boards on-line, a DJ at a local community radio station recommended she check out a couple of bands that she hadn't heard before, Massive Attack and The Chemical Brothers. Burnt out from the stale structure of her recent music theory studies at UW-Eau Claire, Matz found solace in this new musical discovery and began applying her classical piano and voice training to creating electronic music. After being stuck at a boring corporate job for a couple of years in a small town not exactly known for its bustling music scene, last year Matz abruptly decided to pack up shop and head to Chicago in an effort to further pursue her new musical endeavors. After a few months of isolating herself in her new studio apartment in Chicago, Matz eventually produced enough material for an entire album and started to post her work as "Theory Anesthetic" on MySpace. Much to her surprise, the music of Theory Anesthetic really started to take off, with her MySpace page getting numerous hits and glowing accolades from fans across the country. Matz attributes much of her on-line success due to overwhelming support from an unlikely source, legendary comic book author Warren Ellis. Best known as the creator of the "Wolverine" comic, Ellis found the Theory Anesthetic page on MySpace and soon began raving about Matz's work on his website and live journal page. In fact, Ellis even contacted Matz directly for permission to use a Theory Anesthetic track on his radio blog. Practically overnight, hits to the Theory Anesthetic page doubled thanks to the shout-outs from Ellis. It was also via Ellis that Matz discovered, an independent site where artists can post their tracks for sellable downloads. Once she posted her tracks, Ellis' again extolled the virtues of Matz's work and Theory Anesthetic MP3's shot up to the top of the Mperia charts. Despite all of the accolades and attention, Matz still wasn't expecting to do much more with Theory Anesthetic (at least not in the near future) until someone recently approached her about playing a live gig. She eventually agreed, found a guitarist to augment her live and is now scheduled to headline Friday night at Sylvie's. Talking with Matz about her music, she seems a bit sheepish about all the praise she has received for Theory Anesthetic and still insists that it's "just an experiment." However, if her live act develops into something as good as her recorded work, I think this "experiment" could last quite a few years. Friday night's Theory Anesthetic show starts at 8pm with opening bands Handmade and Let Me Introduce You to the End. Sylvie's is located at 1902 W. Irving Park. Check out for downloadable MP3's and the latest news from Theory Anesthetic.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Allien Invasion at Sound-Bar

If you're a fan of underground dance and electronic music, you do not want to miss Thursday night's show at Sound-Bar. Headling the night is sultry Berlin DJ, producer and BPitch Control labelhead Ellen Allien. Also on the bill is microhouse master Matthew Dear, (performing under his Audion alias), and local industrial duo Kill Memory Crash. Might want to think about calling off work on Friday...this is going to be a hot night and Sound-Bar is open 'til 4. Click here to RSVP for free admission before 11p. Sound-Bar is located downtown at 226 W. Ontario, must be 21+

Live Review: BRMC@Metro 9/20/05

To be honest, I have always been disappointed with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's live performances. I've been a huge fan of the band since day one, but for some reason their live shows just never seemed up to par with their recorded work. The songs essentially sounded the same live, but something was missing. Not enough energy? A lack of stage presence? Not enough fuzz on the guitars?? I could never quite put my finger on it... However, with a brand new album and a brand new sound, I was looking forward to giving BRMC another chance in winning me over with their live show. And, I'm quite happy to report, their headlining gig last week at Metro did exactly that. Not surprisingly, BRMC started their set with all new material from Howl. Guitarist Peter Hayes came out first and performed two songs solo Bob Dylan-style with guitar and harmonica. Once the rest of the band came out, (bassist Robert Turner, drummer Nick Jago and an additional touring guitarist), they plowed through at least three or four additional songs from the new album with Hayes still leading the action on guitars and vocals. Fellow vocalist Turner seemed rather quiet throughout this first part of the set and I was beginning to wonder if Hayes had taken over the reins of BRMC after all of the band's recent tribulations (botched record deal, Jago briefly left the band, etc.). While it seems that Hayes is probably responsible for the more gospel-tinged tracks from the new record, I was a bit premature in thinking that Turner had taken a step back in his role as co-leader of BRMC. As much as Hayes seemed to dominate the first half the set, the rest of the night it was the Robert Turner show, with the bassist taking the lead on classics like "Spread Your Love" and "Red Eyes and Tears" as well as the rest of the tracks from Howl. As an alumnus of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and as someone who strikes more than a passing resemblance to Syd Barrett at times, I think I've always been a bit partial to Hayes in my fandom for the BRMC. However, I'd have to say that Turner is a much stronger vocalist live and, much to my surprise, is the one that is responsible for the vocals on my favorite track from the new record, "Sympathetic Noose." I had another BRMC revelation once the band finally tore into some their older material. I thought the new songs were sounding great and overall thought the band had never sounded better. Then, "Love Burns" started and I remembered why I had been disappointed with them before. Still probably my favorite BRMC jam of all-time, it just didn't have that same exhilarating punch live (especially when the chorus kicks in) as it does when it's crankin' out of the Alpine. It was then that I had the epiphany...hello, it's the lack of overdubs!! Part of what makes BRMC great is their liberal borrowing of My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain's patented multi-layered fuzzed out guitar attack. With only one guitar and one bass on stage, the sound just isn't going to be the same. It seems like a few more fuzz pedals wired together could remedy this a bit, but they still probably need two guitarists plugged into amps that go '11' to truly recreate on stage that great sound they had on their debut record. On Howl, of course, they don't have to worry about this problem, because it's a stark record that's almost entirely acoustic. It's much easier to replicate the sounds of this record on stage, and thus, I finally enjoyed BRMC in a live setting. Maybe it was a little residual enjoyment from hearing the new material, but (with the exception of "Love Burns") I thought they sounded a lot better on their older rockers as well. Overall, they just seemed a lot more loose and energetic than I remember them before. (like they almost enjoying themselves up there!?!) Perhaps they're getting better with age? Maybe they've come to terms with being performers in addition to being musicians? Or maybe they've been refreshed by new material, a new record label and a new direction for the band?? Whatever the case, I'm thrilled and hope this is an indication of things to come from BRMC. Photo courtesy of Gabby Hon...check out more of her pics from the night (including a shot of Peter Hayes rockin' the trombone) here

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

White Stripes, M. Ward and The Shins rock NPR tonight

Whaaaa?? A White Stripes concert live on NPR? Check this out... And in other rockin' public broadcasting news, part 2 of the Martin Scorsese-directed No Direction Home: Bob Dylan airs tonight at 9pm on channel 11.

New Releases Tuesday (9/27)

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals- Jacksonville City Nights (Lost Highway) Some people accuse Adams of being huge arsehole, but no one can accuse him of being lazy. This is yet another full-length album of new material from Adams and word on the street is that it's his most straightforward country album to date. Blackalicious - The Craft (Anti-) Gift of Gab and Chief XCel are back for their 3rd LP and first for Anti-...making them label mates with Tom Waits and Nick Cave?!? Features guest appearances by George Clinton, Floetry, Lateef The Truth Speaker, and Pigeon John. Go! Team - Thunder, Lightening, Strike (Columbia) After a long delay, the Go! Team's debut album is finally available domestically. All Music Guide sez: Thunder, Lightning, Strike, is a refreshing blast of Day-Glo bubble-dance-pop that could crack a smile on even the most frozen of faces. Brad K. sez: Yeah...this is alright, but I don't get what all the hype is about??? And what's up with the poor sound quality? I've heard homemade CD-Rs that sound better than this. Also new this week... Calla - Collisions (Beggars) Detroit Cobras - Baby (Bloodshot) Ex Models - Chrome Panthers (Troubleman Unlimited) Grandaddy - Excerpts from the Diary of Todd Zilla [ep] (V2) Her Space Holiday - The Past Presents the Future (Wichita) Metric - Live It Out (Last Gang) Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures (Sub Pop) Supergrass - Road to Rouen (Capitol)

Monday, September 26, 2005

R.I.P. The Zone

Dude, where's my station?? After countless format tweaks and years of lackluster ratings, modern rocker "94.7 The Zone" was finally put out of its misery today. Much to the displeasure of numerous Camaro-drivin', pro-wrastlin' watchin, PS2-playin' dudes around the area, the sounds of Hoobastank, Mudvaynne and Godsmack have been replaced on 94.7FM with the wholesome sounds of The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers and The Dave Clark Five.

The National's Matt Berninger

Live Pics: The National w/Clap Your Hands@Schubas 9/23/05

Updated today in the RFC Live Photo Archive are pics from Schuba's sold out bill last Friday with The National and Clap Your Hands Say Overrated. RFC Chief Indie Rock Correspondent Nicole Chavas has her review of the show here. Technorati:

Troubled Hubble calls it quits...

From Final Show @ Schuba's for reasons, both physical and personal, the band has decided to make next thursday, september 29th at Schuba's the final Troubled Hubble show. it's been an amazing journey for all of us over the last six years, and we're so thankful to all of our friends and family for supporting us along the way, not to mention all the amazing friends and fans we've met all over the country. you have no idea how much we'll miss seeing you! as for the show, happily it's all ages, so anybody willing and able can attend. if you want to be sure to make the show (especially if you're traveling), we suggest you buy tickets ahead of time here. it's going to be a great show, and we're excited for the opportunity to end a career that we're so proud of on a high note. with any luck, we'll see you there This show is all ages and starts at 7pm with openers The High Strung and So Many Dynamos. Schubas is located at 3159 N. Southport, at the corner of Belmont and Southport.

Live Review: Beck@The Riviera 9/21/05

It seems like I've been to a million shows since I moved to Chicago over 5 years ago, but for some reason I had never seen Beck in concert. It's not like I was ever a member of his fan club or anything, but I've always had a steady respect for his work over the years. I mean, c''s Beck! It's hard not to be a fan of his music. Hell, at times his albums have even been significant soundtracks to distinct periods of my life. Odelay was as essential to my sophomore year in college as caffeine and ramen noodles. Crusin' around town, partying in the dorms or even working on term papers late at night, the album was perfect for just about any occasion and it practically followed me everywhere I went. A few years later, Beck rocked me in a completely different way with his Sea Change record. Nursing a broken heart and a serious case of Winter doldrums in early 2003, once again Beck provided the musical score to my life. So when the opportunity to cover Beck's Chicago performance for arose, I didn't hesitate a minute. Finally I would get to see the man who many regard to be one the best artists of our generation. Unfortunately, much like his new album Guero, I was left feeling a bit ambivalent about the whole experience. It was exciting and entertaining at first, but in the end it just didn't live up to expectations. First off, I think I'm still a bit hung up on Sea Change. While Odelay will always be an all-time favorite, it's not something that I listen too a lot these days. Not that it sounds dated or anything, but almost 10(!) years later, hearing songs like "Where It's At" just isn't as exciting as it used to be. Especially live, the older, upbeat material almost sounded cheesy and cliched. Obviously, Beck and his band are trying to have fun and put on an entertaining show, but the songs just don't have the same edge that they did back in '96. Of course, they also played a lot of tracks from the new album, but it's no secret that Guero is the not too distant cousin of for me it was just a double dose of mid-90's nostalgia that I could have done without. Second, I was really annoyed by the crowd. Being in a bit of a hipster cultural bubble, I forgot that Beck is also popular amongst the masses, including young white cap wearin' frat boys who are there just to hear "E-Pro" (aka the radio single) and older suburban lamos (aka former frat boys) who just want to drunkenly sing along to "Loser." I don't know...maybe I just didn't drink enough of the Riv's notoriously lukewarm glasses of MGD to enjoy the show. Maybe I was too distracted by the Beck's annoying sidekick/whiteboy hypeman with the cliched ironic hipster moves. Then again, maybe I'm just becoming a grizzled old man who would rather listen to Beck sing sad folk songs. At any rate, I certainly don't hold anything against the man himself for this performance. It's not like it was a bad show per se , and I still think Beck is a brilliant artist and entertainer. It's just that I think the "funk soul brotha" version of Beck is a bit played out. However, it seems like a lot of people still dig it, so you can't blame an artist too much for giving the fans what they want to hear. But, of course, this is the genius of Beck...he can play to the masses and be irreverent, yet he can also be sincere and please more critical ears with albums like Mutations and Sea Change. Since he tends to balance out his glossy party albums with stark lo-fi works afterward, perhaps the version of Beck that I want to hear will be back in 2007

Friday, September 23, 2005

John Cage’s Musicircus makes Chicago debut

This Sunday, The Chicago Composers Forum will be presenting the Chicago premiere of John Cage’s Musicircus. Musicircus--one of Cage's most emphatic statements regarding musical/artistic freedom and a milestone in his output--features simultaneous performances of music, poetry, theatre, dance and other arts in a single space. Integral to Cage's philosophy that art is life and to his desire for the creation of decentralized, non-hierarchical communities is his insistence that the performance be free to the general public and that no payment be made to the performers. First performed in 1967 in the Stock Pavilion at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, "Musicircus" has since been performed throughout the world but never before in Chicago. The Circus lasts from at 1-5pm and will take place simultaneously throughout the MCA, (in the lobbies, galleries and museum grounds) at 220 East Chicago. In all, there will be over 100 different ensembles, performance groups and individuals representing over 500 performers. The Chicago Composers Forum is inviting everyone to come and wander freely among the acts in accordance with Cage's philosophy of "art is life," to be experienced, just as life itself is, without any imposed sequence. Wikipedia: John Cage

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Nate Kinsella benefit tonight@Rodan

Tonight at Rodan, there will be a benefit for Make Believe drummer Nate Kinsella who is in serious need of cash for legal fees due to a bizarre night in June at a Christian rock club in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Long story was an oppressively hot night, the club wasn't air conditioned, the band was so miserable they had stripped to their shorts and at one point Kinsella took the extra step to briefly strip completely naked in front of the crowd. While this seems like a fairly tame case of rock show theatrics, apparently the local folks in Bartlesville don't take too kindly to this kind of behavior. As the forwarded e-mail we received from Rodan says, "the Oklahoma judicial system has some truly right-wing reactionary elements and Nate is [now] entangled in some really expensive, serious legal trouble there." Tonight's benefit starts at 10pm and will feature live DJ sets from Noah Leger, Wayne Montana, Frier Tuck and Major Taylor. There will also be raffle prizes given away all night long. Suggested donation at the door is $10 (includes raffle ticket). Rodan is located 1530 N. Milwaukee, right next to Reckless Records in Wicker Park.

Calling all DIY artists and publishers!

Join Radio Free Chicago this Friday afternoon at Ephemera, a festival celebrating Zines and D.I.Y culture. There will be tables from numerous zine writers and DIY artists, as well as workshops, presentations and readings throughout the day. Presenters include keynote speaker Tyler Kahdeman, who will be talking about the role of Zines in social justice; Xexoxial Editions, an Intermedia presentation with reading, sound, movies and animation; the Guild of Acquired Technology will be presenting a Circuit Bending Workshop; and David Powers will discuss D.I.Y. Computer Music Production. After the workshops, local independent publishers will read selections from their work. Readers include Aaron Cynic (Diatribe Media) Matt Fagan (Meniscus) Abby Glongower, Christoph Meyer (28 Pages Lovingly Bound with Twine), Kate Sandler (Brainiac) and Emerson Dameron (Wherwithall). Stop by the RFC table and we'll hook you up with some sweet music swag. (while supplies last!) The Ephemera Festival takes place this Friday, September 23, from 12pm to 9pm in the DePaul University Student Center – 2250 N. Sheffield, Room 120. Call 773-317-3733 or email: ephemera_festival(at) for more information.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Free Shows in Hyde Park!

WHPK-FM, aka "The Pride of the South Side," is presenting a FREE night of local music Thursday night at the University of Chicago. The show will take place at the Ex Libris coffeeshop (basement of Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th St.), starting at 10:30pm. WHPK's J. Niimi has the scorecard for this event: Miss Alex White and the Red Orchestra Garage rock with neo-Patti Smith vocals. The group headlined the popular Wicker Park Festival this summer. Miss Alex White became well known with her earlier band, the Hot Machines, and has just released her first solo album on In The Red Records. M.O.T.O. Long-running Chicago pop/punk band with excellent songwriting and great lyrics. M.O.T.O. comes to Ex Libris fresh off their West Coast tour, following a recent release on Criminal IQ. Find out more at Twin Wrecks the Memory South Side natives making stoner rock on speed; think Sonic Youth in Beverly instead of Greenwich Village. The band self-released their record Royal Drug Lodge. Check out Visit WHPK's website for more info: or call: 773-702-8289 UPDATE: WHPK was also going to present Japanese psychedelic experimentalists Acid Mother's Temple for free tonight in Hutch Courtyard but the band has run into some visa issues and has had to cancel some North American dates, including their performance Thursday at The Empty Bottle as a part of The Wire's Adventures in Modern Music Fest. Taking their place on the bill at The Bottle on Thursday will be Jandek.

Live Pics: Röyksopp w/Annie@Metro 9/19/05

New in the RFC Live Photo Archive today are pics from Monday night's Röyksopp/Annie show at Metro. I haven't had time to write up a proper review yet, but RFC Chief Image Coordinator Nicole has a quick blurb about the show on her Blog. In a nutshell, Röyksopp rocked as expected and (also not surprisingly) live Annie didn't quite live up to the hype of recorded Annie. I also completely agree with Nicole about Röyksopp's touring vocalist...I couldn't decide if her cheesy, over-emoting fit the euro-pop style of the music or was just annoying. I'm bordering on the side of annoying. Like I said, I hope to have a full review of the show soon, however it's a really busy week at RFC central. BRMC last night, hopefully Beck tonight, Rock For Kids benefit Thursday and Ephemera (more on this later) on Friday. Stay tuned... Technorati:

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

New Releases Tuesday (9/20)

Lichens - The Psychic Nature of Being (Kranky) First solo release from 90 Day Men bassist and TV on the Radio collaborator Robert Lowe. According to the bio from Kranky, The Psychic Nature of Being was recorded as a one-time improvisation without overdubbing, and the three tracks on the release "reveal and extend mesmeric Lichens live performances." Mr. Kranky also gushes, "Lowe mutates and extends his singing as he adds acoustic and electric guitars and percussion in layers that accent the vocal drones." You can check out Lowe at the opening night festivities of The Wire's Adventures in Modern Music this Wednesday at The Bottle. He'll be performing as part of a newly formed experimental trio with Hisham Bharoocha of Black Dice and Tyondai Braxton of Battles. Also out today... American Analog Set - Set Free (Arts & Crafts) Boduf Songs - s/t (Kranky) Broadcast - Tender Buttons (Warp) Echo & The Bunnymen - Siberia [new material, not a reissue!] (Cooking Vinyl) Le Tigre - This Island Remixes (Chicks on Speed) Mr. Oizo - Mustache(Half a Scissor) (Mute) Nada Surf - The Weight is a Gift (Barsuk)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Rock for Kids Mixtape Auction

Mark your calendars for this Thursday, Sept. 22...Rock For Kids is hosting their 3rd annual Music Mixer, a fundraising auction where you can bid on mixtapes donated by local musicians, venue owners, disc jockeys, concert promoters, music journalists and record label owners. In addition to an exclusive 3-CD set donated by Radio Free Chicago, you can also bid on mixes from Thax Douglas, Bruce Finkelman (Empty Bottle), Greg Kot (Trib), Bob Mehr (Reader), Sean McDonough (Metro), Joe Shanahan (Metro), Miss Mia (Chic-A-Go-Go), Cynthia Plaster Caster and many, many, many more. (there's even a mix from Death Cab's Ben Gibbard!??!) All proceeds will benefit Youth Jam, Rock For Kids' music education program. The auction takes place from 6-10pm at SmartBar, 3730 N. Clark. $5 suggested donation at the door. Click HERE for the complete info and list of participants

Did I mention that Radio Free Chicago submitted a 3-CD mixtape set??? (1 mix made by Nicole, 2 by yours truly) We'd love to see everyone out and have lots of people bid on our set so that it raises some serious dough for the cause....(or at the very least more than 5 bucks!!)

Sufjan live pics

Pictures of Sufjan Stevens' Friday night (9/16) performance at Metro are available for your viewing pleasure in the RFC Live Photo Archive. Check out Nicole's review of the show here. Editor's note: I was at Saturday's show and thought the entire presentation was genius. Stevens performed his songs with his signature understated, yet sincere delivery while his backing band of "Illinoisemakers" kept things loose and energetic. Many of Stevens' songs are rather quiet and slow (some people might even call them "depressing") but he did a great job of pacing the show to keep the audience engaged. An extended set of solo Sufjan slow jams could lull even the most enthusiastic crowd to sleep, but the balance of the morose with the upbeat was executed perfectly on the setlist and the hilarious mock cheers in-between songs kept the energy level up all night long. Kudos to Sufjan for striving to make his live act a truly memorable experience, rather than just another shoe-gazing indie rock show. Technorati:

Friday, September 16, 2005

"Pass the aquavit!" Röyksopp's Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge

Scandinavian Invasion This Weekend

Of course, this weekend marks the start of both the World Music Festival and the Celtic Music Fest, but there also seems to be a bit of an unintentional Scandinavian music fest this weekend. As profiled in the Reader a while back, this Saturday is the Empty Bottle's foreign exchange night with their adopted sister club, Blå, from Oslo, Norway. In addition to curating music for the night, (Norway's JR Ewing and jazz duo Håkon Kornstad/Håvard Wiik), the staff of Blå will actually be taking over operations at the club for the night, working the door and serving up the drinks. In addition to Bottle staples like Old Style and PBR, the Blå staff will also be serving up some specialties from their homeland, including Scandinavian hard liquor favorite aquavit (mmm...booze made from potatoes!). Not only is the Bottle giving you a genuine Oslo experience without the expensive airfare, they're not even charging admission for this event! A free show on a Saturday?? I'll toast a glass of aquavit to that... As if that wasn't enough Scandinavian culture for one weekend, the next night The Empty Bottle is featuring a night of abstract Finnish folk and psychedelic music. Headlining the night will be Lau Nau, "a side project of sorts" from vocalist Laura Naukkarinen (of the band Kiila) whose recent debut solo album is being distributed domestically by the local label, Locust Music. Finally, rounding out the Viking music raid on Chicago is Röyksopp with Annie at Metro on Monday night. Originally from Bergin, Norway, Röyksopp are bonfide superstars in Europe, thanks largely to their 2001 global smash hit, "Poor Leno." Their recently released sophomore effort, The Understanding, has been slammed a bit by critics, but once you get past the fact that it's not Melody A.M., v2.0, it's actually a decent Euro-dance/electronic record. (I'm not sure why everyone's complaining about this one, it wasn't like Meoldy A.M. was completely immune to cheesy Euro-dance moments) Despite being Euro-superstars who've sold millions of records worldwide, it seems that Röyksopp are being overshadowed on this tour by their opening act, hipster-adopted pop princess (and fellow Norse) Annie. With all the press seemingly focused on her appearance, you'd swear she was the headliner. Of course, Röyksopp paved the way musically and helped produce most of her record, but she's cute and her record's hot (thanks almost entirely, I swear, to Pitchfork), so naturally she gets all the attention. However, if their last show at Metro was any indication, you'll definitely want to stick around for the entire show to see Röyksopp. Amazingly, I almost thought they sounded better live than on record last time, which is not something I've experienced a lot at electronic shows.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Capitol Records night at AliveOne

Tonight at AliveOne, Capitol Records and The Onion are joining forces to present The Fall Music Preview 101, a listening party to hear the best new releases coming out of the round offices at Hollywood and Vine. The latest albums from The Dandy Warhols, Idlewild, Supergrass and the Magic Numbers will be previewed along with a screening of the now legendary Dandy Warhols/Brian Jonestown rockumentary Dig! following at the end of the night. But wait...there's more! There will be plenty of giveaways as well, including tickets to see Idlewild at Metro on September 22, tickets to see Doves at the Riviera on September 27, a copy of Dig! on DVD, and assorted swag from The Dandy Warhols and The Onion. Plus, as an added bonus, AliveOne will be dipping into their prize closet to give away tickets to next Wednesday's Beck show at The Riv. Sure, this kind of spoils the all-Capitol artists symmetry, but hey, no complaints...this show's been sold out for a while. Party starts at 9pm, AliveOne is located at 2683 N. Halsted.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

CMJ 25 Coverage

The 25th annual CMJ Music Marathon kicks off in New York today, and as usual, Seattle's KEXP and L.A.'s KCRW are providing the best coverage. Nic Harcourt will be bringing his Morning Becomes Eclectic program to NYC for KCRW's 8th annual appearance at the festival. Harcourt will host a live interview and performance with young Brit newcomer Tom Vek on Thursday and Pitchfork buzz band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on Friday. KEXP hosts John Richards and Cheryl Waters have actually been in New York since Monday and will continue their CMJ coverage through the end of the week. Upcoming guests include Blackalicious on Thursday and DeVotchKa and Rogue Wave on Friday. In addition to KEXP's high quality live MP3 streams, you can also check out complete broadcasts from the week via their audio archive or individual band performances via their live performance Podcasts. Technorati: ALSO... will be joining in the CMJ festivities with a "Late Night Last Night Hangover Breakfast" live broadcast Saturday night from midnight-3a.

Kanye/Dubya Remix

I generally don't use Wonkette as a source to find hot new Mp3's, but yesterday on the site I found this genius Kanye West "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" remix by The Legendary K.O. Check out the timely soundsystem banger set to Kanye's "Gold Digger" single here. You can also pick up a matching ironic faux-vintage t-shirt with the "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" slogan here. Hey, who said politics wasn't any fun??

Yo, FEMA raps!

Of course, we here at RFC strive to be fair and balanced in our reporting, so we'd be remised not to present this hot rap joint from the Fed's point of view. Click here to bump the "FEMA for Kidz Rap" as featured on the website. In case you don't have any speakers close, here's a sampling of some of the rhymes that FEMA MC Scott J. Wolfson is spittin': People helping people is what we do And FEMA is there to help see you through When disaster strikes, we are at our best But we're ready all the time, 'cause disasters don't rest. Word.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Releases Tuesday

Stellastarr* - Harmonies for the Haunted (RCA) Currently on tour to support this sophomore release, these Brooklyn rockers with the curious asterisk at the end of their name are playing Metro tonight with openers Magneta Lane and The Changes. Jay Belin from writes, "Expect the same, layered vocal harmonies and grandiose punch of the dueling guitars from the first record, but with a more cohesive pensive nature that takes listeners on an emotional rollercoaster. Get there early for hometown (and Loose!) favorites - The Changes. " Bloc Party - Silent Alarm Remixed (Vice) A track-by-track remix of the original album featuring re-workings by Four Tet, Ladytron, Mogwai, M83 and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Dandy Warhols - Odditorium or Warlords of Mars (Capitol) After dabbling in synth-pop and enlisting Nick Rhodes as producer for their last effort, the Dandy's return to their usual blend of rootsy stoner rock. John Parish - Once Upon a Little Time (Thrill Jockey) Best known for his work with PJ Harvey, Parish returns with his third solo release. Features contributions by members of Portishead and (Nick Cave's) The Bad Seeds. Sam Champion - Slow Rewind (Razor & Tie) Named after a veteran weatherman in New York, these roots rockers are another Jay "LooseRecord" Belin recommendation. The good people at really dig these guys as well. Sigur Ros - Takk (Geffen) No longer singing in "Hopelandic," Sigur Ros are back to singing in a real language, their native Icelandic. Great packaging for this release, though I'd have to say for most casual listeners; if you've heard one Sigur Ros album, you've heard them all. lots more goodies released this week... Apollo Sunshine - S/T (SpinArt) Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow (XL) Brakes - Give Blood (Rough Trade) The Ex - Singles.Period (Touch & Go) Freakwater - Thinking of You (Thrill Jockey) Iron and Wine/Calexico - In the Reins [ep] (Touch & Go) Nada Surf - The Weight is a Gift (Barsuk) The Rosebuds - Birds Make Good Neighbors (Merge) Sonic Youth - Goo [Deluxe reissue] (Geffen) Super Furry Animals - Love Kraft (XL) plus on DVD... Director Label Series - Mark Romanek, Jonathan Glazer, Anton Corbijn and Stéphane Sednaoui (Universal) The second set in this great series that compiles the work of the best music video directors in the industry. Available individually by director or as a complete boxed-set. Da Ali G Show - The Complete Second Season (HBO) Straight out the Staines ghetto, legendary MC Ali G is back with another season of wacky hijinks for all you geezas.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Modfather on MBE

Paul Weller, the legendary leader of The Jam and The Style Council will be performing a live session today on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Weller will be promoting his latest album, As Is Now (in stores 10/11), and his upcoming brief North American tour which brings him to the Vic next Tuesday (9/20). Amazingly, over 25 years after The Jam first hit the scene, Weller is still a viable artist and an outstanding live act. His last show at the Vic a couple of years ago absolutely blew me away. I think Jim DeRogatis of the Sun-Times even listed it as his top live show of the year at the time. If you've been debating about whether to get tickets to see Weller, trust me, go get them won't be disappointed. And if you still need convincing, be sure to check out his set today on KCRW. Paul Weller's MBE performance will be streamed live via video here on KCRW's website starting at 1:20p Chicago time. Don't worry if you miss the set, KCRW archives both audio and video streams of all of its live performances. Speaking of which, you can also check previews of many other upcoming Chicago shows in KCRW's archives, including Sufjan Stevens, New Pornographers, VHS or Beta and Michael Penn.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Concert Preview: Xiu Xiu tonight@Bottom Lounge

Quirky indie rockers Xiu Xiu take the stage at Bottom Lounge tonight with the equally eccentric Frog Eyes opening. RFC Chief Indie Rock Correspondent (and TMT contributor herself) Nicole Chavas recommends checking out Tiny Mix Tapes' recent "interesting and somewhat awkward" interview with Xiu Xiu frontman Jamie Stewart. As Nicole notes, "Apparently he used to be a preschool teacher. I'm going to guess he kept the semen and penis references out of the classroom back then." Doors open tonight at 7pm for this all ages show. Admission is $12. The Bottom Lounge is located at 3206 N. Wilton, just around the corner from the Belmont red line stop.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Adventures in Modern Music...and Film

While the main attraction of The Wire's annual Adventures in Modern Music festival is undoubtedly the 5-day stretch of great underground music at The Empty Bottle, the event also boasts some amazing film screenings at the Siskel Film Center throughout the entire month of September. The film series began Sunday night with the Chicago premiere of Kill Your Idols, with a repeat screening tonight at 8:15pm. New York’s art-punk and No Wave scene was explosive and short-lived. Imagine a musical movement reacting against the “conservatism” of The Ramones, The Heartbreakers, Patti Smith, and Television. “We weren’t trying to make music, we were trying to be monsters,” remarks Teenage Jesus and The Jerks’ bassist Jim Sclavunos. Made for under $300 in the spirit of the music it illuminates, this ultra low budget film takes us from the early days of Lydia Lunch, Suicide, Glenn Branca, and DNA to a newer generation owing a debt to that raucous musical moment: Sonic Youth, the Liars, Black Dice, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and A.R.E. Weapons. For the complete schedule of screenings, go the Empty Bottle's Web site or click on the "music movies" tab on the Siskel Film Center site. The live music adventures start at The Bottle on Wednesday, the 21st.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hurricane Benefit Thursday night at Sonotheque

Sonotheque owner Joe Bryl will be leading musical festivities Thursday night for a special event to raise money for those devastated by Hurricane Katrina. We are paying respect to those who have passed and to our Planet Earth. This tragedy is another reminder that we must all unite together to make a substantial and powerful difference in each others lives. To be generous in our efforts and thankful for what we do have. Sonia H will be the host for the night, doors open at 9. Cover at the door is $10, with all proceeds going to Direct Relief. Sonotheque is located at 1444 W. Chicago. ALSO... Don't forget, Friday is the 1-year anniversary party of the Biz 3 DJ nights at Sonotheque, featuring Steven from the Flaming Lips and Fred Armisen of SNL.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New Releases Tuesday (9/6)

Richard Hawley - Coles Corner (Mute) Pulp touring guitarist, veteran session man and former Longpigs member releases his fourth solo disc. The London Telegraph sez: This is classic-sounding stuff. "Darlin' Wait For Me" is a delicate, wee hours lament that explains why Hawley has been compared to Roy Orbison many a time. He stands shoulder to shoulder, and soul to tortured soul, with Scott Walker on The Ocean...Named after a long-demolished meeting place for generations of Sheffield courting couples, Cole's Corner is an album full of romance, poetry, heartache and memory. A wonderful, beautiful achievement.

Black Dice - Broken Ear Record (DFA/Astralwerks) Third full-length and major label debut for Brooklyn noisy experimentalists Black Dice. They'll be returning to Chicago to blow your mind with their sonic soundscapes on September 23 at Abbey Pub.

Kanye does Chicago proud once more

If you missed it this weekend, Crooks and Liars has the video clip of Kanye West's teleprompter-defying speech at the live Concert for Hurricane relief. "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family it says they are looting if you see a white family it says they are looking for food...George Bush doesn't care about black people." Apparently, NBC wasn't too pleased with Kanye's improv, Crooks and Liars reports that his remarks were edited out of the West Coast feed of the broadcast. Technorati:

Friday, September 02, 2005

Weekend Music Outlook

I don't know about you, but I can't stop watching the Hurricane Katrina coverage on TV and the Internet. The destruction of an entire city is mind-blowing, but the continued chaos and seemingly nonchalant response from our so-called leaders is just dumbfounding. However, at some point you've just got to turn off the TV, go out and enjoy the fact that we live in a city that is almost 600 feet above sea level and well-removed from any sort of insane tropical weather phenomenons. With that in mind, here's some recommendations on where to go out this extended weekend...the live rock scene is naturally a bit slower due to the holiday, but for some reason, there are a lot of great events for those who like electronic music and/or like to dance. Here's a quick run-down: Tonight (9/2) WLUW and WNUR electronic gurus Chris Widman and Dave Siska join forces again at Sonotheque...this time presenting Berlin-based electronic producer Monolake along with Chicago's very own Kate Simko. Show starts at 9pm, cover is the usual $10. Saturday (9/3) Saturday night at SmartBar, Meiotic Promotions presents French electronica artist The Hacker, best known for his work with electro diva Miss Kittin. The Meiotic Soundsystem DJs open, show starts at 10p, admission is $10...and, of course, SmartBar is always open 'til 5a on Saturdays. Sunday (9/4) You won't find a better dance party than at a taping of the legendary cable access music show Chic-A-Go-Go, and this weekend they'll be taping their annual Halloween episode. If you've ever wanted to come down and shake your ass with Ratso and Miss Mia, this is the weekend to do it...the Halloween episode is a fan favorite (who doesn't love doing the 'L' train to the theme from Ghostbusters???) and the crew always pulls out all the stops. Plus, this year they've managed to snag local indie-rock phenoms The Ponys as the headlining musical act. Trust me, you don't want to miss this one... The festivities begin at noon at the CAN-TV studios, 322 S. Green St. Go to for directions and more info on how to participate. As always, this is a free all-ages event. Monday (9/5) If you're not wore out from the long weekend, there's still more great DJs and dancing to be had on Monday night! John Herndon, of Tortoise fame, will be spinning at Danny's (1951 W. Dickens Ave) and over at the revamped Lava Lounge (859 N. Damen), they're featuring a full night of DJs spinning music from the UK's grime scene. (And of course, RFC will keep you posted on any upcoming Hurricane Relief shows organized charities helping the cause can be found here.)

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Brooklyn Vegan has great coverage of the recent struggle to save New York's landmark rock venue CBGB, including some nice pics of Blondie and Public Enemy at yesterday's "CBGB Forever" rally. Today, the Vegan reports that even though their lease officially expired last night at midnight and their landlord has asked them to "vacate the premises both voluntarily and expeditiously,'' the crew at CBGB's have no plans to start packing today. As the Vegan also points out, the potential loss of one live music venue now seems rather inconsequential after seeing Hurricane Katrina render the entire city of New Orleans completely inhospitable...but the loss of CBGB would still be tragic in its own right within the realms of modern music history. On a lighter note...where was Mayor Daley back in 2000 when Lounge Ax was losing its lease??? Would've been nice to see Da Mare sportin' a "Save Lounge Ax" shirt around town.