Sunday, August 31, 2008

California Man Still Interested in Guns N' Roses, Guns N' Roses Are Furious

Although probably not news to many, the FBI recently arrested a man by the name of Kevin Cogill for leaking and posting nine tracks from the still unreleased Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy. Pitchfork reported last Friday that Cogill is facing up to three years in prison and fines of $250,000. He has been charged under an anti-piracy law that makes it a felony to leak copyrighted material before its official release. Apparently when reached for comment by the LA Times, guitarist Slash disgustingly said, “I hope he rots in jail. It’s going to affect the sales of the record and it’s not fair.” Oh, brother.

Please remember, this quote comes from a member of a band that has been notoriously horrible to their fans for years. I’m sure any Guns N' Roses fan from St. Louis or Montreal could tell you all about it. And now they're outraged that someone has leaked their “new” album. An album that has only taken them 14 years to write and record. They should be grateful someone is still paying attention. Oh, and as above, the band still hasn't figured out a release date. We’re all on the edge of our seats, guys.

As for Cogill, even if found guilty, no sane judge would sentence him to three years in prison or of such lofty fines. I would be surprised if he received prison time at all. That notwithstanding, I’m guessing he would prefer to go through life without “convicted felon” attached to his name. If anyone has set up a fund to aid this guy’s legal defense, I’ll gladly throw my two mites into the mix.

Lastly, I didn’t even realize Slash had much to do with Chinese Democracy. Does he even play on the album? I don’t know. I guess to know would be to care.

(For those that do care, you can download Chinese Democracy here.)


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

September Shows in Chicago

Wed 9/03
Xiu Xiu, Prurient, Common Eider, King Eider @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Headlights @ Schubas 9:30pm

Reggie & The Full Effect @ House of Blues 5:30pm

Ellen Allien, Modeselektor @ Sonotheque 9pm

Thurs 9/04
Alla, The Demilos, Bicycle Tricycle @ darkroom 8pm

Lacona, Ruth Buzzy, Juffage @ Hideout 9pm

Fri 9/05
Shudder To Think @ Park West 6:30pm

Mittens on Strings, Bellafea, Hotel Brotherhood @ Hideout 10pm

The Juan Maclean, Beau Wanzer, Woodhands @ Empty Bottle 10pm

Bible of the Devil @ Cobra Lounge 9pm

Sat 9/06
Tom Schraeder & His Ego, Danny Malone @ Hideout 9pm

Sons and Daughters @ Double Door 8pm

The Wombats, Telenovela, Kid, You'll Move Mountains @ Empty Bottle 10pm

Black September, Protestant, (Lone) Wolf and Cub @ People Projects 7pm

Maps and Atlases, Nurses @ Schubas 7pm & 10:30pm

Sun 9/07
GZA (performing Liquid Swords) @ House of Blues 7:30pm

Intronaut (members of Jesu), Behold... the Arctopus, Mouth of the Architect @ Reggie's Rock Club 7pm

Benevento Russo Duo @ Martyr's 8pm

Indian Jewelry, Night Gallery @ Hideout 9pm

Mon 9/08
Spiritualized @ Metro 8pm

Grampall Jookabox, Pwrfl Power @ Hideout 9pm

Tim Kinsella @ Sonotheque 9pm

The Mirror Stage @ Reggie's Rock Club 8pm

Tues 9/09
Lymbyc System, This Will Destroy You @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Wed 9/10
Does It Offend You, Yeah? @ Subterranean 7pm

James Jackson Toth, The Dutchess & The Duke, Odawas @ Schubas 9pm

The Fratellis, The Airborne Toxic Event, Electric Touch @ House of Blues 6pm

The Shondes, Cobalt and The Hired Guns, Bird Talk @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Keiji Haino, Tussle, These Are Powers, Paul Metzger @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Thurs 9/11
Ra Ra Riot @ Subterranean 9:30pm

Danger, Spitzer @ Abbey Pub 9pm

Lowry, Where Astronauts Go To Hide, The Young Sea, Sleeper Car @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Black Moth Super Rainbow, Evangelista, Colourmusic, Agathe Max @ Empty Bottle 9pm

JT & The Clouds @ Hideout 9pm

Fri 9/12
The Walkmen, Golem, Ezra Furman & The Harpoons @ Metro 8pm

Dianogah, Pinebender, Builder/Destroyer @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Busdriver, Henry Flynt, Ecstatic Sunshine, Musket @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Bound Stems, Maritime @ Hideout 10pm

Matt Pryor (of The Get Up Kids), Kevin Devine @ Schubas 7pm

Joan As Police Woman @ Schubas 10:30pm

Holy Fuck, Poison Arrows, Post Honeymoon @ Subterranean 10pm

The Dandy Warhols, Darker My Love, The Upsidedown @ Vic Theater 8pm

Sat 9/13
InnerPartySystem, The Urgency, The Lavellas @ Bottom Lounge 6pm

Flying Lotus, Shugo Tokumaru, Blues Control, Lau Nau @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Stereophonics @ Metro 6:30pm

Terrible Twos @ Schubas 3pm

Matt Pryor (of The Get Up Kids), Kevin Devine @ Schubas 10pm

Sam Sparro @ Subterranean 9pm

Sun 9/14
Spindrift, Velcro Lewis & His 100 Proof Band @ Beat Kitchen 8pm

Icy Demons, Daedelus, Arnold Dreyblatt Ensemble, Dead Machines @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Mon 9/15
Wye Oak, Netherfriends, The Lonelyhearts @ Empty Bottle 9:30pm

Balkan Beat Box @ Logan Square Auditorium 9pm

Tues 9/16
The Donkeys, Magical, Beautiful @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Joy Wants Eternity, Panda Riot, Ten-Speed, J. Rutherford @ Ronny's 8pm

Wed 9/17
Cut Copy, The Presets, Kordan @ Metro 8pm

Oxford Collapse, Love as Laughter, Vacations @ Schubas 9pm

Low @ Epiphany 8pm

Thurs 9/18
Bird Names, Adventure, Future Islands, Stars Like Fleas @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Feadz, The Hood Internet @ Sonotheque 9pm

Mock Orange, Euphone, Miniature Tigers, Manna and Quail @ Subterranean 8pm

Fri 9/19
French Kicks, The M's, The Pomegranates @ Double Door 8pm

Jenny Lewis, Whispertown 2000, Jonathan Wilson @ Epiphany 8pm

Dillinger Four, Scared of Chaka @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

The Assembly, The Museum Of The Sea, Appomattox @ darkroom 9pm

Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Marissa Nadler, oRSo @ Empty Bottle 10pm

Raise High The Roof Beam, Atlatl @ Ronny's 9pm

Sat 9/20
Neko Case, Vieux Farka Toure, Black Mountain, Monotonix, Plastic People of the Universe, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Little Cow, KatJonBand, Wee Hairy Beasties, Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra @ Hideout Block Party 1pm

The Felice Brothers, AA Bondy @ Abbey Pub 9pm

Evangelicals, The Syllable Section, Elsinore @ Beat Kitchen 9pm

Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Cordero @ Empty Bottle 10pm

Lagwagon, MXPX, Only Crime, Tat @ Metro 5:30pm

Murry Hammond (of The Old 97s) @ Schubas 7:30pm

We Are Wolves, He Say She Say @ Subterranean 9pm

Dan Craig @ Uncommon Ground 8pm

Sun 9/21
Hercules and Love Affair (DJ Set), Ratatat, The New Pornographers, Rhymefest, Robbie Fulks, Dark Meat, Mucca Pazza, Tim Fite, The Uglysuit, Honey Boy Edwards, Jon Rauhouse @ Hideout Block Party 9pm

A Place to Bury Strangers, Sian Alice Group, Disappears @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Yea Big, Kid Static, Gentleman Auction House @ Abbey Pub 10pm

Mon 9/22
Dressy Bessy, Le Concorde, The Coast, Tiny Speakers @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Tues 9/23
Say Hi (aka Say Hi To Your Mom), Jukebox The Ghost @ Beat Kitchen 8pm

High Places @ Av-aerie 8pm

Deathships, CAW! CAW!, Sam Knutson, Shame Train, Sugarfoot @ Abbey Pub 7pm

Wed 9/24
Sigur Ros @ Chicago Theatre 8pm

Miss Kittin, The Hacker, Brilliant Pebbles, Jasper James, Gatekeeper @ Abbey Pub 8pm

Bang!Bang! @ Double Door 7:30pm

The Interiors, Sam Champion, Cries Tiger @ Empty Bottle @ 9:30pm

Stars, Bell X1 @ Vic Theater 6:30pm

Thurs 9/25
Damien Jurado, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson @ Schubas 9pm

Camera, The Purrs, Aloud, Genius School @ Abbey Pub 8pm

The Winter Sounds, Love In October @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Bang Camaro, Leslie @ Double Door 8pm

The Dead Science, Loto Ball Show @ Empty Bottle 9:30pm

Roommate @ Hideout 9pm

Extra Life (ex-members of ZS and Dirty Projectors) @ Ronny's 9pm

Fri 9/26
Mogwai, Fuck Buttons @ Congress Theatre 7pm

Los Straitjackets, El Guapo, Confusion @ Abbey Pub 8pm

Why?, Tobacco @ Bottom Lounge 9pm

Noah And The Whale @ Empty Bottle 10pm

The Coctails, Antietam, KatJonBand, Bitter Tears @ Hideout 9pm

Hayden @ Schubas 10pm

World/Inferno Friendship Society, Sheriff Scabs @ Subterranean 7:30pm

Sat 9/27
My Bloody Valentine @ Aragon Ballroom 6:30pm

Handsome Family, Megan Reilly, Speck Mountain, Lys Guillorn @ Hideout 9pm

Sun 9/28
Hot Chip, Growing @ Metro 6pm

Awesome Color, Mass Shivers @ Beat Kitchen 8pm

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ Riviera Theatre 8pm

Mon 9/29
Hot Chip, Growing @ Metro 6pm

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ Riviera Theatre 8pm

Tues 9/30
Born Ruffians, The Coast, Percolator @ Schubas 9pm


Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Walkmen
You & Me
Rating: I had the damndest time writing about this record

I'm an editor by profession, so I appreciate simplicity and elegance, and I understand that one shouldn't allow one's personal preferences to overrule authorial voice. The same notions can (and should) be applied in a recording studio. I don't want to listen to the Flaming Lips and think "Dave Fridmann," or Beck and think "Nigel Godrich." When I listen to You & Me, I only think "The Walkmen." The documentary treatment of their honest, confessional fifth album lends the band a vulnerability, almost daring criticism to gnash its teeth.

And although "The Rat" and "Little House of Savages" (themselves honest and confessional) are held up as The Walkmen's canonical songs, they're really anomalies: Mood and atmosphere, rather than muscle and aggression, have always been the band's ply and trade, and they've never been as moody or as atmospheric as they are on You & Me. The doleful horns of "Red Moon", for instance, cast a dusky, romantic pallor over the song rather than brighten it, while the lyric "you shine like the steel on my knife" turns the romance a little sinister.

There is tiredness and confusion behind Hamilton Leithauser's words as well. His family asks him, "How long will you ramble?" He promises that he's "almost home" even though he knows "home" is a suitcase. He wants to find peace, but somehow he can't (or won't), pulled as he is around the world toward some ineluctable yet elusive destiny. The waltz-like "Seven Years of Holidays (for Stretch)", then, can be viewed as a summation of what it must be like to be in a touring rock band: the struggle between wanderlust and staying put, between killing and bombing, between bars at night and cafes in the morning, and the knowledge that doing what you love keeps you away from who you love. Sometimes "the whole world around us is too small."

Yet these hyper-direct lyrics wouldn't hit as hard without the expressive music behind them. The descending chorus of "Long Time Ahead of Us"--a song so dripping wet that it's necessary to towel off when it's over--cribs from Canon in D and lilts like a lullaby. "Good luck around every turn," Leithauser sings, satisfied, "now that I've got you." "Four Provinces", through all its clatter (courtesy of crack drummer Matt Barrick), reminds us why we like this band in the first place: "It's always a good time."

The Walkmen have always been familiar and poignant, boozy and bleary-eyed, worn but not worn-out. From the misty first salvos of "They're Winning" to the gravity of "Bows and Arrows" to the rollicking, tom-heavy "Brandy Alexander", their songs feel human and real, almost communal--as appropriate around a campfire as they are in a sweaty club. Here's to seven more years of holidays.

--Brian Herrmann

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Hold Steady--9:30 Club, Washington, DC

There was a time when the bleachers at Wrigley Field were the best place in the world to watch a baseball game. Tickets were less than $10 and were issued on a first-come-first-serve-basis. You’d show up with friends, watch some baseball, take in a few beers and some sun, and be surrounded by scores of baseball fans doing the same. Not anymore, though. It’s over. It’s been over for a long time. Go sit in the bleachers today and you’ll pay more than $40. Baseball fans? Nah. They’ve been replaced with drunks, idiots, assholes, bachelorette parties, fratheads, meatheads, redheads, investment bankers, Nazis, strippers, derelicts, and these guys. And they all show up with same intentions: get as drunk as possible, be as obnoxious as possible, get in a fight, try and ruin everyone else’s time, and maybe, just maybe, if there’s time, watch some of that mysterious game that the ticket stub says is called baseball. Simply put, the Wrigley Field bleachers have become a caricature of what they once were.

I only bring this up because there was a (very small) segment of fans at the Hold Steady show this past Thursday at the 9:30 Club that reminded me of the bleacher evolution. They were in the very front and center and they were horrible. I’m not sure if they were there to listen to music, or if they were just there to party and throw their weight around. They know who they are, but I’m thinking mostly of the moron in the green Celtics hat, the imbecile in the Pittsburgh Pirates hat and his numbskull friend, and last, and certainly least, the walking poster child for Roe v. Wade that jumped on the stage (twice) during “Stuck Between Stations.” The first time he did it, he got a bit of a grin out of Tad Kubler after he jumped back into the crowd. The second time, not so much. He ran onstage, tried to hug Craig Finn, was brushed off, tried to grab the mic, and then jumped back into his cesspool of friends. Craig flipped him off. I don’t know Craig Finn, but he seems like the type of guy that would have to be really pissed to flip a guy off in the middle of a song. And where the hell were you, 9:30 Club security? You are the same guys that stare at my ID for 15 minutes while I’m trying to get in the door, but yet will let a bunch of hooligans run amok on stage? You serious?

My point is this...when you go to a baseball game, have fun, cheer, heckle but never once think you’re part of the action. No one paid to see you. Same goes for a rock show. I’ve always had the best times at Hold Steady shows, and the crowd is always great. But I don’t want to see the party atmosphere morph into something undesirable and inauthentic, and that’s what I felt like was happening. Having a ticket doesn’t gives you permission to break down that fourth wall between you and band, outside of maybe participating in a sing-along; a concept the Hold Steady have always been more than gracious to embrace. But other than that, when at a Hold Steady show, only two things are required of you: stay positive, and stay the fuck off the stage.

That’s all I am going to say about that. I might be overreacting; it really was just a tiny segment of the crowd, but someone needed to say something. The rest of the night was just like you would envision of any Hold Steady show: fun, loud, and memorable. Opening was punk band the Loved Ones from Philadelphia. Other than name recognition, I didn’t know anything about them, but damn, they’re good. They have this style (especially frontman Dave Hause) that reminded me of NOFX. So it came as little surprise when I came home and learned they were signed to Fat Mike’s record label. This was the last show of the Stay Positive tour, and to celebrate Kubler and Franz Nicolay came out on stage and participated on Loved Ones’ last song “Louisiana.” Check out the Loved Ones when you get the chance, you’ll have to trust me on this one. I’m happy for Philly. Their sports teams suck, but at least they have a good band they can hang their hat on.

(Between bands, Brian texted me from Denver with the following message: “When in Denver, have a slice at Pizzareia [sic] Mundo on 17th. Fresh mozz, homemade sauce. Delish.” Thing is, Brian is a vegetarian so I take this recommendation with a little suspicion. I know this website is widely read in Denver, can anyone out there vouch for this place?)

What makes the Hold Steady such a great band is how well they bring people together. The atmosphere at their shows has always been very communal. Just as they did four weeks ago, they opened things up with “Constructive Summer”, the hard rockin’ and hard drinkin’ first track from Stay Postive. The tone was pretty much set for the evening.

This probably wasn’t the best sounding Hold Steady show I have seen. The band didn’t seem all that together on “Massive Nights” and Craig was periodically having feedback problems with his mic throughout the show. Nonetheless, that’s when the band's strengths are most obvious. A few minor glitches here and there won’t prevent them from connecting with 99% of the crowd. It’s rather amazing how repetitious their (especially Craig’s) antics are from show to show, yet they still have this way of making everyone feel like they’re seeing something special for the first time. The thing is, there probably was a decent contingency of people that were experiencing this for the first time. They weren’t let down. And that’s important. You can say a lot of things about the Hold Steady in concert, but I don’t think you’ll ever be able to say they’re mailing it in. Here's a pretty good collection of pictures from the show.

I’ve written about this band’s live shows quite a few times so I don’t feel the need to delve into too many specifics. As far as a setlist is concerned, they played everything I wanted to hear off the new album, most notably “Sequestered in Memphis” and “Lord, I’m Discouraged.” The first time I heard “Sequestered in Memphis” I was slightly underwhelmed. But that song just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? It’s not going away anytime soon. Hause from the Loved Ones returned the favor from earlier and sang along with the band on “Stay Positive.”

The most raucous part of the evening was when they played “Your Little Hoodrat Friend.” For a second I thought the roof was going to blow off the 9:30 Club. People were jumping and dancing and singing and shouting. It was glorious.

Once nice surprise was seeing the band play some of their rarities along with the expected hits. This included “You Gotta Dance (with Who You Came to the Dance With)”, “Ask Her for Adderall”, “Girls Like Status” and one song I had never even heard before. I believe Craig remarked it was only the second time they had played it, and the first time they had ever played it correctly.

During the encore, after “Southtown Girls”, Craig did his usual spiel about how much joy they have being in a band and they laid into “Killer Parties. When I left and saw a quiet 9th Street laid out before me, I realized how loud the show had been. I didn’t wear earplugs (which was completely asinine), and my ears were ringing harder than perhaps ever before. If you go to a lot of shows, you should wear earplugs. End of discussion. I have a great-aunt who has nearly lost all of her hearing and I have it on pretty high authority that she hasn’t frequented that many rock clubs. I sometimes grimace wondering what’s going to happen to our generation. Although, perhaps next time I’m sitting in the Wrigley Field bleachers and there’s a bridal party above me discussing whatever it is that they discuss, and there’s an idiot on my right telling his buddy as soon as he finishes his beer he’s going to go beat up the nine year old in the Cardinals hat, I won’t be able to hear any of it. And I don’t think that’s trivial.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Lollapalooza--Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

I suspect coming down the birth canal had to be easier and less time consuming than trying to squeeze through the crowds to get to the entrance gate at this year's Lollapalooza at Grant Park. Well, I knew that wasn’t true, but it did feel like it, nonetheless. There was one, piddly entrance for this sold out affair, which amassed 75,000 people per day. I missed Rogue Wave waiting an hour to get into the park. Sober and with sweat trickling uncomfortably down my back I strained my ears to hear “Publish My Love” from the line. I almost imploded from being so close and yet still so far. Coming out of the gates I sprinted onto the dusty park grounds at top speed ready to get this party started. Lolla-land. Lolladay. Pitchforkpalooza. So many irritating plays on the name smattered all over the media. Let’s just call it what it really was, Hotstickyoverpricedmusicloversbinge…palooza and here’s my personal take on it.

Line from Hell

(To try and make this efficient, I’m going to sum up the bands I saw with a few words followed by a short description)

FRIDAY – Just Getting My Feet Wet.

Go! Team – Not OK Go.
I mistakenly thought this was OK Go and was expecting treadmills and choreographed dancing. Throw in some rap, some garage-band, and some go-go dancing and you get the Go! Team. Lead singer Ninja (yes, that’s what it says on their site)was a ball of energy, dressed in rainbow knee high socks and teased hair. She bopped around, performing flying leaps across the stage. What a fun way to start the day. It’s officially on.

Lollapalooza Crowd

Mates of State
– Sunny and Share.
This cute mommy-daddy team from Lawrence, Kansas exchanged flirtatious glances during their peppy set. Their harmonizing lyrics drenched in organs and piano are so unabashedly optimistic. My friend and I staked out a spot in the front. I’m glad we did because this was my favorite set of the day and the feel-good act of the weekend.

Mates of State

The Raconteurs – Rock the Sunblock.
I hope Jack White lathered on some high-powered Banana Boat so that we have many years down the road to enjoy his talents. He’s just so pastey and so frickin’ amazing. I enjoyed this one from afar not wishing to rub up against sweaty appendages and I still managed to have a great time.

Radiohead – Teenage Stargazing.
Again, I enjoyed this from the back. But the sound carried well from the AT&T Stage. The day’s hot, unremitting sun turned us into little beer-soaked raisins. We were exhausted so we parked ourselves on the grass and breathed in Radiohead while staring at the night sky. I'd tell you they were amazing but you already know that.
Dude taking in Radiohead

Mates of State/MGMT – Aftershow at the Double Door.
It was midnight by the time we rolled up to the Double Door but I was ready to rally. In an effort to keep the morale high, my friend force-fed me a vodka and Red Bull. Well, it was not necessary because music is all I need. We managed to get in the front and could not help but scream along to the songs. We really couldn’t help it. The speakers were so loud everything shook, vocal chords included. Mates almost duplicated their Lolla set with a few extra goodies. MGMT played most of their debut album, Oracular Spectacular, culminating in a rousing rendition of my personal favorite, “Kids.”
MGMT, aftershow at Double Door

SATURDAY – A Musical Arms Race. One act toppling over the next…

Festivals always provide good people watching. This year’s look featured braided headbands across the forehead, Risky Business sunglasses and flowing, billowing, waistless sundresses. (These sundresses unfortunately revealed to me that underwear was apparently optional at the festival). Hippies meet the eighties. Eighties meet the hippies. I loved the “old” basketball jerseys- Shawn Kemp, Reggie Miller and my personal favorite, the Dan Majerle team USA jersey! I suddenly flashed back to my awkward teen years spent on my couch watching Majerle’s brazen body raining down threes. (And somewhere in the background “Age of Aquarius” was playing). Music festivals seem to have become the perfect place to resurrect these goodies. Obama paraphernalia also seeped into the festival wear, further launching him into celebrity and pop culture status.

Dr Dog – Too early to be clever.
A nice Saturday afternoon pleasantry before the whirlwind of sets to come.

The Foals – Still too early.
This is a completely new band to me. I liked them and I will check them out. That’s all I’m going to say.

MGMT – Peter Bjorn and John.
Not because they sound like them, but...are they this year’s hot summer band possibly destined to be merely a flash in the pan? If so, who cares. I don’t. They are one trippy, mind-expanding act. They were too big for the MySpace stage, and crowd-surfing was well underway.

Okkervil River

Okkervil River – Kill Me Will.
But not until after Wilco. They got to play from the only real outdoor music venue, the Petrillo Music Shell, and so they sounded great. Lead singer Will Sheff opened with an extended version of “The President’s Dead.” The wild-eyed Travis Nelsen segued “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe” into “For Real” with a wicked drum solo. My friend who is not a big fan declared that this set was the highlight of the day. A convert, perhaps? I saw them for the first time in April and thought their live show was mediocre at best. They nailed it this time.

Audrey hugging Will Sheff. Will marking Audrey's arm.

Broken Social Scene – Mickey Mouse Club.
Are there really nineteen members? This cute little Canadian army is a breeding ground for successful individual acts. I’ll spare any attempt to make Britney analogous to Feist. I especially enjoyed hits from You Forgot It In People which for me is still their best album.
Wilco (so Audrey claims; we'll have to take her word for it.)

Wilco – No Sombrero.
Or they might have been crucified for being culturally offensive. Wilco traded their usual nondescript look for tailored, glittering, colored Nudie-suits and were a wide-brimmed hat shy of becoming a mariachi band. They opened with Back in the old neighborhood…Cigarettes tastes so good from “Misunderstood”. This invoked shrieks of delight from me, um, er, I mean the audience. The well-versed Chicago crowd turned this performance into one enormous sing-along of hits from all their albums. They have always sounded great to me whether outdoors, indoors, big places or small. It was no different this time. Rumors abuzzed that Obama would make an appearance. He did not, but I’m not sure even he could upstage Wilco in their festive get-up.

Octopus Project/Okkervil River – Aftershow at Schubas
As he was setting up the drum kit, Travis Nelsen mouthed under his breath “God, I love this stage” and just before bringing in opening song “The War Criminal Rises and Speaks” whispered “I love Chicago.” Will said they were tired after their Lolla set, but as soon as they walked onto the Schubas' stage he knew this was the “real show” of the day. Oh my, lucky me. It was a crisp performance. They took the liberty to embellish songs with what seemed like improvised lyrics and ridiculous drum solos by Nelsen. The band treated fans to “the Okkervil River Song”, “Lost Coastlines” from their upcoming release, the Stand-Ins, and an extended encore. Tired but loving it they dug deep and gave it their all to honor a loyal Chicago fan base in a classic Chicago venue. I enjoyed this show immensely.

Okkervil River, aftershow at Schubas

SUNDAY – On Auxillary Power. Looking for alternative sources of fuel. Three days of $5 Bud Lights were draining my wallet and I’m just plain knackered.

Tally Hall – Blah Blah Blah.
That literally was the chorus to one of their songs, or maybe it was “Bob Loblaw” and I missed out on something really clever. I didn’t look into the story behind it. Deciding what music is good can be a fickle business especially for the casual fan. I gave them about three minutes and decided to move on. I stayed two minutes longer than I should have only because I wanted to sit in the shade.

Brazilian Girls – Pooh Richardson.
This was a quartet led by a foxy stick-like lady who pranced about in a white pillowy dress. Their electronica and world music sound is apparently taking over the club scene these days.

Miriam & Amadou – Almost Sick of Music By This Point.
A married couple from Mali, both of whom are blind. They spoke a completely incomprehensible version of English, but it didn’t matter because the crowd loved them. Their afro-world beat started up a congo line and many little impromptu dance circles.

Girl Talk – 100% Pure Magic .
Best act of the day, hands down. There was so much energy on stage and it extended across the whole crowd that spilled as far south as the MySpace stage and as far west as Columbus Avenue. This is the second time I’ve seen festival organizers underestimate Girl Talk’s popularity. Last year at Pitchfork, Girl Talk played on the Balance stage and nearly caused a melee. His mixes on Sunday were infectious. Everyone strolling by started suddenly started dancing and singing along with devilish grins - their behavior altered as if thrust into some electromagnetic field. In his usual fashion, Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis) invited audience members to dance on stage and he passed around fun props including enormous see-thru blow up anchors, oversized Hamburger Helper gloves, a contraption that launched toilet paper into the air, and confetti.

The National – Wrapping Things Up.
I was fading big time and the National’s minimalist drone did not help. So I did the lame mature thing and ducked out early to beat the crowd. I'm not a big enough Kanye or NIN fan to stick around, anyway. So my apologies to all you Nine Inch Nailers and Kanye fans.

Lollapalooza 2008

Thinking back to Friday’s lineup now seems ages ago. This was a music lover’s delight, with a spin towards indie music (whatever that means these days) for sure, but Perry Farrell continues to find a way to appeal to everyone, so much so that people felt it was worthwhile to spend anywhere up to $200 for this event. Even acts that I thought might not get much attention seemed packed and energetic, which speaks to the great variety and selection of bands. Also, I have no voice, I’m molting, and I’ve had enough beer to supply even the world’s worst alcoholic’s eye opener. I haven’t partied this hard in years.

--Audrey Wen

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lollapalooza is Over, Shows Continue

Due to ill-timed vacations and weddings, you may have noticed our Lollapalooza write-up is taking longer than normal to post. Just know that it is on its way. And I wasn't there, but it looks like the question as to whether one should check out Wilco or Rage Against the Machine was answered rather harshly and abruptly. In the meantime, here are some upcoming August shows in Chicago to keep you busy.

Tues 8/05
She and Him @ Park West 6:30pm

Wed 8/06
Tilly & The Wall, The Ruby Suns, Bart Davenport @ Abbey Pub 8pm

Telepathique, Dri @ Double Door 8pm

Frustrations, Plastic Crimewave Sound @ Empty Bottle 9pm

The Dollyrots, Four Star Alarm @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

King Crimson @ Park West 7:30pm

Thurs 8/07
Bodies of Water, Port O'Brien, Audrye Sessions @ Schubas 9pm

King Crimson @ Park West 7:30pm

Rx Bandits, Portugal the Man, Maps and Atlases @ Metro 6:30pm

Cheeseburger, Team Band, Strange Young Lovers @ Hideout 9pm

High Strung, Beaujolais, The Fake Fictions @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Arctic Sleep, Teith, Beak @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Fri 8/08
We Are Scientists, Oxford Collapse @ Abbey Pub 8pm

Juliette & The Licks, The Donnas @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

STNNNG, Miracle Condition, Gay Baby @ Empty Bottle 8pm

Shellshag, The Arrivals, The Chinese Telephones, Screaming Females, Black Rainbow, Bad Blood @ Beat Kitchen 8pm

The Ladies and Gentlemen, Farewell Captain, The Safes @ Hideout 10pm

Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls), Vermillion Lies, Anna Vogelzang, Emilyn Brodsky @ Lakeshore Theater 10pm

King Crimson @ Park West 7:30pm

Rue Royale @ Schubas 10pm

Miss Alex White & The Red Orchestra, Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, The Smith Westerns @ Subterranean 9pm

Sat 8/09
Steed Lord, Million Dollar Mano, Hey Champ (DJ Set) @ Abbey Pub 8pm

Trouble, Slough Feg, Bible of the Devil, Pharoah, Icarus Witch @ Double Door 10pm

Thao With The Get Down Stay Down, David Shultz & The Skyline, Pepi Ginsberg @ Empty Bottle 10pm

Vivian Girls, Vena Cava, Canadian Rifle @ People Projects 2pm

Dan Friel, Busmaster, Wet Hair, Windbreaker @ People Projects 8pm

This Bike Is A Pipebomb, The Future Virgins, Party Garbage, Dead Dog, Stupid Party, Sass Dragons, Beach Patrol @ Subterranean 9pm

Sun 8/10
Wye Oak, Brighton, MA @ Hideout 9pm

Das Kapital, The Brokedowns, Sex Advice, Conniption Fitts @ Ronny's 2pm

This Is My Fist, Hidden Spots, Ringers, ADD/C, Tenement, Closet Fairies @ Subterranean 8pm

Wed 8/13
Oh No! Oh My!, The Royal Bangs, Antenna Shoes @ Abbey Pub 8pm

Mostly Bears, Hollows @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Bark Bark Bark, Yea Big/Kid Static, Big Splashes @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Thurs 8/14
The Duke Spirit, Pale Gallery @ Empty Bottle 9pm

These United States, The Lonliest Monk, Raise High The Roof Beam @ Hideout 9pm

James Murphy (DJ set), Pat Mahoney (DJ set) @ Metro (Smart Bar) 9pm

Jukebox The Ghost, The Sunday Runners, Butterfly Assassins @ Schubas 9pm

Fri 8/15
Racebannon, Quatre Tete, Nonagon @ Beat Kitchen 10pm

Pistols at Dawn, Haywood Yards, Teletextiles @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Matthew Dear, Daniel Mnookin, Brian Ffar @ Metro (Smart Bar) 10pm

Teeth Mountain @ People Projects 7pm

Faun Fables, Maurice, The Singleman Affair @ Schubas 10pm

Sat 8/16
Oneida, Dirty Faces, Arriver, Jah Division @ Empty Bottle 10pm

Ida, Track A Tiger @ Schubas 10:30pm

Sun 8/17
Pterodactyl, Parsley Flakes, Ad Astra Per Aspera @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Handsome Furs, D*R*I @ Empty Bottle 10pm

The Ex, Getatchew Mekurya @ Logan Square Auditorium 8pm

Secondhand Serenade, My American Heart, PlayRadioPlay!, The Graduate, Rookie of the Year @ Metro 5:30pm

Elizabeth Mitchell (of Ida) @ Schubas 3pm

Mon 8/18
White / Light, Disappears, Festival, Sharon Van Etten @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Tues 8/19
(Lone) Wolf and Cub, Empires, Lungs @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Wed 8/20
Ghosty, Nouns, Civil Servant @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Flobots @ House of Blues 5:30pm

Thurs 8/21
Eddie Vedder @ Auditorium Theatre 6:30pm

Lucinda Black Bear, Kaiser Cartel @ Schubas 9pm

Fri 8/22
Eddie Vedder @ Auditorium Theatre 6:30pm

Chandeliers, Lazer Crystal @ Hideout 10pm

Ben Weasel, Jetty Boys, The Chinese Telephones, The Repellents @ Reggie's Rock Club 6:30pm

Great Lake Swimmers, Laura Gibson @ Schubas 10pm

The Faint @ Vic Theater 6:30pm

Sat 8/23
Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, Yak Ballz, Lucky I AM @ Abbey Pub 8pm

Gregory & The Hawk, Meander @ AV-aerie 7pm

Empires, Paper Rival @ Beat Kitchen 6pm

Koufax, Camera, Wallydogger @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Bang!Bang! @ Empty Bottle 10pm

Ben Weasel, Jetty Boys, The Chinese Telephones, The Repellents @ Reggie's Rock Club 5pm

Boat, Creeping Weeds, Take the Panda @ Schubas 10pm

A-Trak @ Subterranean 10pm

Sun 8/24
Tara Jane O'Neil, Zelienople, Relaxation Record @ Schubas 9pm

Tues 8/26
Beaten By Them @ Empty Bottle 9pm

Wed 8/27
Jana Hunter, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, Judson Claiborn (of Low Skies) @ Schubas 9pm

Thurs 8/28
Nico Muhly, Doveman, Sam Amidon @ Lakeshore Theater 9pm

Fri 8/29
Bird Names, Warhammer 48k, The Conformists, Beard @ Bottom Lounge 8pm

Sat 8/30
Sweet Cobra, Auxes, Head of Skulls, Bloodiest @ Beat Kitchen 6pm

Semi Precious Weapons, The Last Vegas, Black Actress @ Cobra Lounge 10pm

A/V Murder, Headache City @ Hideout 9pm

Hawnay Troof, Parsley Flakes @ People Projects 7pm

Death Vessel, Micah Blue Smaldone @ Schubas 10pm

Don Caballero, Ponytail @ Subterranean 9:30pm

Sun 8/31
Roky Erickson and The Explosives @ Double Door 8pm

Delta Spirit @ Schubas 9pm

eXTReMe Tracker