I've got a whole city to hold down

June 18, 2004

Music In The Streets

Posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld

It's the first good weekend of street festivals. My picks-to-click are both on Saturday-

Taste of Randolph (Randolph & Racine) : Changes (1:30pm), The M's (3pm), Brendan Benson (4:30pm), Ted Leo/Pharmacists (6pm), Fountains of Wayne (8pm)

Lincoln Park Festival (Clark & Armitage): Waco Brothers (4:15pm), Calexico (6pm)

The slightly better lineup and much better grub (Red Light, Marche, Le Peep, Wishbone) means ToR gets my attendance tomorrow.

June 17, 2004

"Por Vida" tracklist announced

Chicagoans Jon Langford, Sally Timms and Nicholas Tremulis will contribute tracks to Por Vida, a double-disc tribute album benefitting Bloodshot's Alejandro Escovedo. The disc is due July 27 on the Or Music label. Tracks:

Disc One: 1. Lucinda Williams "Pyramid of Tears" 2. Lenny Kaye "Sacramento & Polk" 3.Steve Earle "Paradise" 4. Jon Langford and Sally Timms "Broken Bottle" 5. Calexico "Wave" 6. Jennifer Warnes "Pissed Off 2AM" 7. John Cale "She Doesn't Live Here Anymore" 8. Los Lonely Boys "Castanets" 9. Cowboy Junkies "Don't Need You" 10. Charlie Sexton "Dear Head On the Wall" 11. Jon Dee Graham "Helpless" 12. Howe Gelb "She Towers Above" 13. Ian McLagan and the Bump Band "Wedding Day" 14. Tres Chicas "Rhapsody" 15. Peter Case "The End" 16. Bob Neuwirth "Rosalie" 17. Section String Quartet "Crooked Frame"

Disc Two: 1. Ian Hunter "One More Time" 2. Jayhawks "Last to Know" 3. Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra "Velvet Guitar" 4. Sheila E. and Pete Escovedo "The Ballad of the Sun and Moon" 5. Chris Stamey "One True Love" 6. Son Volt "Sometimes" 7. Rosie Flores "Inside This Dance" 8. Charlie Musselwhite and Charlie Sexton "Everybody Loves Me" 9. M. Ward with Vic Chesnutt & Howe Gelb "Way It Goes" 10. Javier Escovedo "The Rain Won't Help" 11. Caitlin Cary "By Eleven" 12. Minus 5 "I Was Drunk" 13. The Dragons "Gravity"14. Ruben Ramos "Thirteen Years" 15. Alejandro Escovedo "Break This Time"


New from Jam: Bebel Gilberto (8/23, Park West), Face to Face w/ My Chemical Romance (8/26, Metro), Lila Downs (10/7, Park West). Also, the 6/25 Jonathan Richman show at the Double Door (and, as previously mentioned, the 7/7 Courtney Love show at the Vic) have been postponed. No makeup dates have been announced.

New from the Empty Bottle: !!! dance party (at Sonotheque, after LSA show, 6/29), Jolie Holland (at Open End, 7/31), Mt. Eerie/Microphones (at Open End, 8/25), HiM (8/26), RJD2 (at LSA, 9/24), the Wrens (at LSA, 10/1), Explosions in the Sky (at LSA, 10/15), Do Make Say Think (10/20).

Sound files

After being unavailable for some time, the online audio archives of Sound Opinions are once again accessible. So far, though, only the 6/15 ("Buried Treasures") and 6/8 (MC5) shows are up.

June 16, 2004

Here comes the new boss

Local airwaves have a new contender in "Nine FM." The venture, helmed in part by WLUP oldtimer Sky Daniels, debuted yesterday under the slogan "We play anything." Sun-Times media radio/TV crit Robert Feder sez the station will buck industry norms with a relatively freeform playlist and far fewer commercials than the average - but some local radio geeks transcribed two hours of yesterday's playlist, and we've had enough already. Mellencamp into Cypress Hill. Indigo Girls into Stone Temple Pilots. "Nine FM - previously unimagined combinations of crap!"

Pony up

We remarked last week on the cavalcade of love for Laced with Romance, the debut from local garage comers the Ponys. Now the Village Voice is on the bandwagon, with Voice music ed Chuck Eddy checking Romance in the inaugural edition of his new "honor roll" of albums "which might otherwise fall through the cracks."

Killah please!

In the Trib, it's Matthew Lurie on Ghostface at HOB: "Ghostface is deeply emotional and, in his way, just as affecting as the best R&B casanovas..."

But enough of that. Who else sniffed out the troubling subtext of Lurie's comments on Ghostface's on-stage wear? Really, can't this guy get through a review without talking about whiteness? It's only a t-shirt!

(Relax, we're just keeding.)


New from Metro: Braid (7/31).

New from Double Door: Papa Roach (7/7), Buckethead (7/16).

June 15, 2004

Rock Talk Alert

It's "Buried Treasure" night on Sound Opinions, as DeRogatis and Kot play "some of the best new music you haven't heard but need to discover." Just before the year's midpoint, what are your newfound hidden gems?

What goes on

Though the local webzine No-Nothing Rock hasn't been updated for close to 18 months, there are signs of life in its Noise:Chicago database and mailing list of upcoming Chicago shows. The weekly e-mail, which reappeared last week after a long silence, is highly readable, but it's the searchable online database that sets Noise:Chicago apart from other, strictly listserv-oriented local gig lists.

June 14, 2004


According to Jam, Courtney Love's July 7 show at the Vic has been postponed. No reason was given and no makeup date was announced. Gee, think it has anything to do with this?

When it rains

The well of concert reviews has run bone-dry in recent weeks. Today, though, the drought is over.

Franz Ferdinand
Mark Guarino in the Daily Herald: "Ferdinand's hour-long, 14-song set began at top intensity and never waned."

Anders Smith Lindall in the Sun-Times: "A foursome of Glasgow chums who seem to write nothing but spiky, concise and irresistibly danceable rock nuggets, their journey to the cusp of fame looks as easy as the three-step swagger singer Alex Kapranos employs between the drum riser and the microphone."

Greg Kot in the Tribune: "With a precision that matched the creases in their slacks and arrangements as tight as their form-fitting shirts, the foursome put the locomotion in their vaguely sadomasochistic love songs."

The MC5
Jim DeRogatis in the Sun-Times: "Kramer's Stratocaster effectively summoned the roar of one of Detroit's biggest V8 engines. Thompson and Davis were still a massively hard-hitting but very swinging rhythm section. Power-pop legend Marshall Crenshaw did an admirable job of stepping into Smith's shoes. And Mudhoney vocalist Mark Arm ... reminded the packed crowd that after Kurt Cobain, he was the strongest and most distinctive singer to emerge from the Seattle grunge scene of the early '90s. The problem was that the vocal chores were divided with erstwhile Lemonheads leader and alt-rock lightweight Evan Dando."

Greg Kot in the Tribune: "Blending free-jazz explorations with rock 'n' roll raunch, the founding members were in terrific form. ... That wasn't the case with [Evan] Dando, however."

Jim DeRogatis in the Sun-Times: "Tweedy and Wilco are alive and well. In fact, the 37-year-old singer and his band never sounded better. The 17 songs in the sextet's main set concentrated almost exclusively on the arty, fractured songs from its last album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the tunes from A Ghost Is Born. On the recording, many of the new songs have a subdued, almost somnambulant vibe. But in concert, they took on a fiery energy and a celebratory spirit."

Brett McNeill in the Tribune: "Always a compelling and heartfelt singer, Tweedy on Saturday also stepped into the spotlight as a guitar player. Starting the show on acoustic, he finally switched to a red Gibson SG for the show's sixth song, 'At Least That's What You Said,' and uncorked a dominating rawness that was both classic and new, insistent and melancholy."

Andy Argyrakis in the Daily Herald: "The sextet offered masterful acoustic layering on "Wishful Thinking," applied lush orchestration to "Company In My Back" and triple-stacked its electric guitar onslaught for "Spiders (Kidsmoke)." Tweedy was especially fluid as he searched for identity throughout the gruff and scuff of "Handshake Drugs," the falsetto-laced "Hummingbird" and the paranoia-drenched "Hell Is Chrome.'"

Chicago Blues Festival
Jeff Johnson in the Sun-Times: Reviews of Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Kevin McKeough in the Tribune: Reviews of Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Update: Jeff Johnson's I-camped-out-at-Blues-Fest-and-here's-my-obsessively-detailed-report-about-it Sun-Times series wraps with a review of Sunday's proceedings.