I've got a whole city to hold down

June 04, 2004

Triple Crown Winners

Posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld

So while the city's eye was turned towards the M's & Redwalls in looking for the potential breakout of '04, it seems to be the Ponys who have gathered the most momentum at mid-year.

Following up favorable reviews in Rolling Stone, Spin & Mojo, today finds them the beneficiary of Pitchfork's blessing.

While it's probably a little late to catch a plane to see them rocking the Netherlands tonight, don't fret. They're opening for Fiery Furnaces on the 17th at Metro. And there is still time to decide on a road trip to the Siren Music Festival which is free and takes place 7/17 on Coney Island (and also features, among others, Mission of Burma, Death Cab For Cutie, The Thermals, TV On The Radio, The Constantines and Har Mar Superstar).

The mouse that roa--oh forget it

It's Danger Mouse with Jemini tonight at LSA, and to nobody's surprise, the local pages are chockablock with love for the man known to his mother as Brian Burton.

We've got just two nits to pick.

One, to Mr. Margasak and Mr. Chamberlain, the opener is this guy, not that guy.

Two, to the headline writers of the world, can we please try to be a little more original than topping Danger Mouse articles with the slug "The Mouse That Roared"? The Trib did it with Kot's print piece and Matt McGuire's Metromix interview - and so did everyone from Spin to the Miami Herald, the Oregonian to something called Tech Live, and about 15 dozen others.

Gone soft?

Last week Jim DeRo waxed rhapsodic over the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir. This week it's a loving interview with Colin Meloy of the Decemberists (who play tonight, 6/4, at Metro with the Long Winters, the Places, and Head of Femur). Not that there's anything wrong with that, but - since when did the Jimmer get so cozy with the wimp-rock?

June 03, 2004

We're movin' on up

Many thanks to Trib columnist Eric Zorn, author of the entertaining and very frequently useful Zornlog, for including us on his blogroll.

Rags to scrap

The long-rumored entrance of the Time Out franchise into the Chicago market finally has some meat to it, as yesterday the company named a publisher (one Steve Timble, formerly of Raygun's now-defunct electronic-music mag Sweater) and an editor (ex-Metromix staffer Chad Schlegel). The Sun-Times reports that the pair will oversee the hiring of a staff of 75, a third of them on the editorial side.

Time Out Chicago is expected to debut in early 2005. Although Reader honchos shrugged off the notion of competition between the two in a New York Times piece last December, don't kid yourself. This is a direct threat to the Reader. Once a big fish in an empty pond, the weekly is now thrashing about with New City, Metromix, RedEye, RedStreak - and soon Time Out. None of those publications comes close to matching the Reader's intellectual heft, but they all take a slice - if not a chunk - of its reading eyes and ad-buying suits.

All of this comes amid further shakeups at the Reader. Chicagomuzikblog regulars know the music section has been in a massive state of flux, with the top Section Three column bouncing from Peter Margasak to Bob Mehr and the editor's pen being passed like the proverbial hot potato from Kiki Yablon to Keith Harris to Jim Shapiro and now Philip Montoro (whew). The winds of change have blown atop the masthead, too, as Michael Crystal replaced longtime publisher Jane Levine in April.

Look for Crystal, who comes to the Reader from the Seattle Weekly, to institute major cosmetic changes. A recent Crain's article drops broad hints that those changes may include a switch to color graphics and an unfolded tabloid format. Doesn't sound like a publication that's feeling too safe and comfy with the status quo, does it?

June 02, 2004

Summer season starts with a thud

The summer concert season of vapid shed shows, street-fair meat markets and heatstroke-inducing club gigs traditionally stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But this year hardly opened with a bang. Sure it's early, but so far local stages and pages are remarkably bare.

All of which is one way of saying we're hard up for subjects today. So, dear readers, we're turning it over to you. Any new discs grabbing you? Underrepped acts rocking you? Undeserved hypes irking you? Good books absorbing you? Upcoming shows obsessing you? Have at it in the comments.

June 01, 2004


New at Schubas: Bill Mallonee (7/4), Angel Dean & Sue Garner (7/10-early), Album Leaf (7/10-late), and the John Wesley Harding All-Male Threesome (feat. JWH, Dag Juhlin and Scott McCaughey--of Young Fresh Fellows and Minus Five and R.E.M. and Down With Wilco fame) has added a second show (7/18).

Metro: The Mooney Suzuki (7/7), Saves the Day (7/14).

Update: New from Jam: Courtney Love (7/7, Vic), Kansas (7/22, Navy Pier), Finn Brothers (7/22-23, Vic), Harry Connick Jr. (8/5, Rosemont), Umphrey's McGee (8/6-7, Navy Pier).

We are not making this up

A new, pop-oriented public radio program. Bumping everything from Beyonce to Weezer. The brainchild of Garrison Keillor.


Check Pop Vultures. Thirteen hourlong pilots are available online.