I've got a whole city to hold down

March 05, 2004

Chitown sticking together?

Hiphopsite says Kanye West has launched a new label, Very Good Music, and his first two signings are Common and Pharoahe Monch (scroll all the way down).

(Seems like forever ago when we were all Kanye all the time. Ah for the good old days.)


New at Schubas: Elf Power (April 16), Sufjan Stevens, Rosie Thomas and Denison Witmer (April 23), Josh Rouse (April 26-27).

Also the Schubas SXSW party lineup is out: Jason Collett, Earlimart, the M's, the National, On The Speakers, Preston School Of Industry, the Redwalls, the Sleepy Jackson, and the Unicorns, plus Danny Black and the Hackensaw Boys.

So. Who's going to Austin?

Jonboy bulletin

Jon Langford, via e-mail, sez: "On March 26th I have an art show opening (5 pm) at the Cultural Center on Randolph St (& Michigan) in Chicago - It's called THE RISE & FALL OF THE NATIONAL BARN DANCE & it's a collaboration between myself and sculptor ROB LENTZ.

"I also play a solo show in the Cultural Center at lunchtime on April 2nd and The Pine Valley Cosmonauts (featuring Johnny Frigo) launch their new CD PVC Barn Dance Faves at 7.30 on April 19th - again at the Cultural Center."

Wilco got a brand new bag

The Big Windy's pre-eminent dad-rockers Wilco report that New York multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone and L.A. guit-oddball Nels Cline have joined the band's touring lineup.

For Sansone, one assumes, the gig is thanks for caddying for John Stirratt in the Autumn Defense. And Cline? Well, let's just say the Wilco-Sonic Youth ties are growing ever tighter.

Wilco's upcoming disc, A Ghost Is Born, is due June 8 from Nonesuch Records.

Update: We nuked the previous comments on this post because they were bugging us. Cool?

Weekend roundupalooza...

... in which we wade through everything so you don't have to.

Kendrick likes locals 40 Piece Choir, backhands the Get Up Kids, and calls the Hold Steady “King Missile with chest hair.” But jeez. 11 critics' picks?

Solid piece from Whitehead on local jazz staple Ted Sirota and his Rebel Souls. Jakubiak tabs Rusty Chains (tonight at Northwestern U). But wherefore art thou, Jim DeRo?

New City
Chamberlain tips Thicksters the New Black (Saturday, Fireside) and the hooligans of British Sea Power (tonight, Bottle), while Barnes reviews the latest from local dance mavens Ralphi Rosario and Abel Aguilera.

Kot chats with the very entertaining Holmes Brothers (Friday, Legends), who provide a new word for our vocabulary: "Bulljive." Regers tips Pelican, Dylan and others in Concertline. And on Metromix, Shouse talks to British Sea Power.

Daily Herald
Guarino visits at great length with (uh) Bob Seger and offers a white-bread set of concert picks with album reviews to match. Let's say it's not Mark's best week.

March 04, 2004

Doomage all up in your grill

That elusive MF Doom date has been confirmed: Empty Bottle, May 21.

Ay, que fascinante

Bob Mehr's Meter column this week discusses the "See A Show, Buy A Show" program at Schubas, Metro and the Double Door. He talks to several of the principals, including artists who have as yet proven extremely hesitant to participate.

Big ups for the best new piece yet from the new kid in the neighborhood. Just one question. Apparently the company recording these shows (eMusic Live) and the venues have established an exclusive relationship with local stores to sell whatever surplus discs aren't purchased by the crowd at any given show. In Schubas' case, the discs will go to Reckless. In Metro's case, the discs will go to Hi-Fi. Now, granted, it's a small amount of product, and they're going to local indie stores. But doesn't the exclusive nature of the deal squeeze out the likes of Hardboiled, the Record Emporium, Laurie's, Dr. Wax or (your favorite hole in the wall here)? And isn't that just the WXRT-Best Buy bedfellowship that everyone was bitching about, all over again?

Dinosaur roams the earth

In today's Trib, Greg Kot talks to Neil Young. Shakey's ongoing Greendale tour stops tonight and tomorrow at the Rosemont Theatre, and the flick opens in town March 12.

Update: Kevin McKeough blasts the show as "self-indulgent and silly in so many ways that it's difficult to pick one."

Update II: Mark Guarino begs to differ, dubbing it "the finest synergy of rock music and theater in recent memory." (Although we're not sure what other "synergies of rock and theater" have lately been proffered.)

Chill the chardonnay, dahling

Ravinia's centennial summer schedule is out. Peep the classical, jazz, pop and dusty listings via the Sun-Times. (Nod to the under-40 set: Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds on the calendar.)

March 03, 2004

It's getting hot in herre...

Fire tore through the building next to the Bloodshot Records offices on Irving Park Road last weekend, doing "a good bit of damage to that structure but (thankfully) not any humans," label publicist Lee Gutowski said in an e-mail yesterday. "Our building did get doused by the powerful hoses of the Chicago Fire Dept., and subsequently we may have to replace (again) the roof ... but I must reiterate, it could have all been MUCH worse."

March 02, 2004


Newly announced by Metro: The Twilight Singers (April 7), the Fall (April 24) and My Morning Jacket (May 21), among others.

Update: Among the latest additions to Jam's schedule are DJ Shadow with Blackalicious and Lyrics Born (April 10, Park West), the Rapture with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (April 10, Vic), recent Bloodshot signee Graham Parker (April 30, Martyrs), and "Music from O Brother and Cold Mountain" featuring Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley and many more (May 8, Civic Opera House).

Update II: Also note Mason Jennings (April 16, Abbey), an International Pop Overthrow bill with Dolly Varden and others (April 30, Abbey Pub), the Aluminum Group (May 8, Old Town School), RJD2 (May 19, Abbey), the Handsome Family (June 11, Old Town School), and the Shins (June 18, House of Blues).

Rock Talk Alert

Tonight on Sound Opinions, Kot and DeRogatis discuss "some of the artists who have debuted with killer albums ... then taken disappointing nose-dives. Whose careers showed the most promise early on, only to let us down hard?"

On the local tip, we'd be tempted to call this show the Liz Phair Special. Who are your picks for Chicago bands/artists that never equaled their initial offerings? Conversely, how about local bands that far exceeded their modest beginnings?

Loose ends

Links to a couple bits of rockwrite we missed recently:

The Daily Herald's Mark Guarino yaks it up with Ludacris (who calls Bill O'Reilly a racist).

And for something completely different, Bob Gendron reviews Sting in the Trib.

March 01, 2004

Your turn

See any shows over the weekend? Chime in here.

Agreement on Erykah

The Trib and Sun-Times concur on Miz Badu's Saturday show at the Auditorium Theatre. Greg Kot and Anders Smith Lindall say it had its moments - but there were way too many of them.

Rap crit revisited

Trib hip-hop freelancer Matthew Lurie's review of the Galapagos4 showcase got the fur flying last week. Now he's back with his take on Ludacris and Chingy at the Congress, and we've got two things to say.

One. Why is this guy so hung up with the age/race/gender/class makeup of crowds? It's noted in EVERY review he writes.

And two. How did we not know David Banner was on this bill?

Kweli coming soon

Talib Kweli will appear April 23 at the Harold Washington Cultural Center as part of something called The House Where Hip-Hop Lives. We can't find any more info on this, either on the promoter's website or Kweli's (so if you know what's up, fill us in). For now, here's a link to an update on Kweli's forthcoming disc.

Update: Still no details on what this appearance entails, but this website says it will have tickets available online on March 22.