I've got a whole city to hold down

January 07, 2005

End of the end of the year

So we said we were done posting these year-end lists ... whatever here's some more:

Mark Guarino, Daily Herald (list cached here)
1. Kanye West, "The College Dropout" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
2. Loretta Lynn, "Van Lear Rose" (Interscope)
3. Franz Ferdinand, "Franz Ferdinand" (Domino/Epic)
4. The Streets, "A Grand Don't Come For Free" (Vice)
5. Ron Sexsmith, "Retriever" (Nettwerk America)
6. Morrissey, "You are the Quarry" (Sanctuary)
7. The Magnetic Fields, "I" (Nonesuch)
8. The Arcade Fire, "Funeral" (Merge)
9. Modest Mouse, "Good News For People Who Love Bad News" (Epic)
10. Bjork, "Medulla" (Elektra)

And the Gasp Mark's A Rockist ... I mean his "Guilty Pleasure of the Year Award" goes to ...
Gwen Stefani, "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" (Interscope)

Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader (from his blog)
Kanye West: The College Dropout (Roc-a-Fella)
Joanna Newsom: The Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City)
Culture Musical Club: Waridi (Jazahi)
Bjork: Medulla (Elektra)
MIA & Diplo: Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1 (Hollertronix)
Fiery Furnaces: Blueberry Boat (Rough Trade)
Fly: Fly (Savoy Jazz)
Moacir Santos: Coisas (Universal Music Brasil)
Trapist: Ballroom (Thrill Jockey)
Youssou N'Dour: Egypt (Nonesuch)
Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (Fat Cat)
Van Hunt: s/t (Capitol)
Andy Bey: American Song (Savoy Jazz)
Don Byron: Ivey-Divey (Blue Note)
ICP Orchestra: Aan & Uit (ICP)
Radian: Juxtaposition (Thrill Jockey)
Rokia Traore: Bowmboi (Nonesuch)
Arto Lindsay: Salt (Righteous Babe)
Stina Nordenstam: The World is Saved (V2)
Allison Moorer: The Duel (Sugar Hill)
Tinariwen: Amassakoul (World Village)
Fredrik Ljungvkist: Yun Kan 12345 (Caprice)
Michel Chion, Lionel Marchetti, Jerome Noetinger: Les 120 Jours (Fringes Archive)
DNA: DNA on DNA (No More)
Caetano Veloso: A Foreign Sound (Nonesuch)
Dave Douglas: Strange Liberation (Bluebird)
Islaja: Meiritie (Fonal)
Willie Hightower: s/t (Honest Jon's)
Michiel Braam: Michiel vs. Braam (Bik Bent Braam)
Steve Coleman & the Five Elements: Lucidarium (Label Bleu)
Atomic/School Days: Nuclear Assembly Hall (Okka Disk)
The Ex: Turn (Touch and Go)
V/A: Lif Up Yuh Leg an Trample (Honest Jon's)
Mission of Burma: OnoffOn (Matador)
Matthew Shipp: Harmony and Abyss (Thirsty Ear)
Dave Burrell: Expansion (High Two)
Califone: Heron King Blues (Thrill Jockey)
Steven Bernstein: Diaspora Hollywood (Tzadik)
Electrelane: The Power Out (Too Pure)
Dungen: Ta Det Lungt (Subliminal Sounds)

January 06, 2005

Tihista on tap

Last week the Reader's Bob Mehr named as his local album of the year Wake Up Captain, the largely overlooked latest release from Kevin Tihista's Red Terror. (Tihista "shines up the well-worn cliches of singer-songwriterdom and renders them as new," Mehr writes, namechecking Harry Nilsson and Ken Stringfellow.)

Now comes word that Urbana-based Parasol Records will drop Home Demons Vol. 1, a disc of Tihista demos, on March 8, while this month alone, Chicago audiences will have no fewer than four chances to peep the man in action. Tihista's playing a Monday residency at Schubas that starts next week; dates, for the calendar-phobic, are Jan. 10, 17, 24 and 31.

Update: Everything's coming up Kevin - Tihista, that is. See Mark Guarino in the Daily Herald, Bob Mehr in the Reader, Michael C. Harris at Metromix and Andy Argyrakis in the Trib.

January 05, 2005

How sweet it is

Yes, we did.

January 04, 2005

Easy come, easy go?

Less than a month ago, MP Shows principal Brian Peterson discussed his plans for Logan Square Auditorium at length on Chicagomuzik. But it seems there is no joy in Mudville; the following cryptic announcement is now posted to the MP Shows site:

"All shows have been cancelled, MP productions have taken a leave of absence while the venue properly re-structures things to accommodate the patrons and bands that MP Productions works with on a daily basis."

We'll follow the story and post further info here as it's available.

Update: "There is not much to say," Peterson says in an e-mail to Chicagomuzik. "The owner decided that he wanted to conduct business in a way that does not make sense for myself or my biz and certainly would not work for agents/bands. So, to protect myself and the people I work with (MP staff, bands, agents, patrons) it made sense to walk away from it."

Update II: "There were many issues, money being the least of them," Peterson elaborates. "The Urge [Overkill] show [on New Year's Eve] did well enough to break even.

"I am not sure what the future holds [for] the room and myself. [We] parted on relatively good terms."

Update III: "For interested in 'Empty Bottle presents' events at the LSA," the Bottle's Pete Toalson writes, "we'll of course be going forward with business as usual."

Hideout benefit for tsunami relief

Freakwater will headline a Monday, 1/10 concert and auction event at the Hideout, with all proceeds dedicated to tsunami relief. The show will start at 7:00 pm; in addition to Mizzes Irwin and Bean, entertainment will be provided by the Redmoon Theatre band Mocca Pazza and "special guests." Attendees are advised to bring their piggy banks for the silent auction of items donated by the likes of Thrill Jockey and Bloodshot Records, Wilco, Kelly Hogan, Steve Walters, Jay Ryan, Matt Daly, Tony Fitzpatrick, Marty Perez and others. Beneficiaries include Unicef, Americares and Mercy Corps.

Update: View selected auction items here.

The first Wilco post of 2005

Jim DeRogatis of the Sun-Times made the pilgrimage to Madison Square Garden, where Wilco, the Flaming Lips and Sleater-Kinney jammed on New Year's Eve.

A night earlier, Wilco was the "surprise musical guest" at the annual "Tinkle" comedy show.

"Shake it like a Polaroid picture..."

Following stand-up from David Cross, Todd Barry, Fred Armisen and others, Jeff and the Tweedynaires played the Captain and Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together," Randy Newman's "Political Science," and Charles Wright's "Comment (If All Men Are Truly Brothers)."

Musical guests at previous Tinkle gigs have included Yo La Tengo, Ted Leo and the Aislers Set.

Lots more gossip here.

Overexposure, please lay lower

"A major key to the site's endurance and enduring independence, they concur, is its Midwest location ('far-flung' according to a November article in the New York Observer). In Chicago, they're removed from coastal glitz and political red tape, and more connected to the music itself. Which is to say, no scenester posing, no star-struck fawning (not that they would if they could), no pressure from overbearing PR types eager to secure bons mots and prime real estate in exchange for access.

"Best of all, no meddling from the Man. Because there is no Man. Just men -- three of them, young and hungry and practically idealistic."

And where, you may ask, is this fair Eden?

Why, in the "burgeoning cyber empire" of Pitchfork Media, aka the "genial, pensive" Ryan Schreiber's "cramped, bare-bones, CD-stacked basement in Wicker Park"!

Those with strong stomachs can read the rest of the Sun-Times profile, headlined "Perfect pitch," here.

Meanwhile the P-Fork lads are on extended hiatus - til Monday 1/10 - as they ready what Schreiber's note to readers flogs as the site's "most ambitious relaunch ever."

Hope they remember to password-protect their network this time.

Update: The Jan. 11 issue of New City Chicago has yet another Pitchfork profile. Let's see, it's been like two years since the Trib did it and a week after the Sun-Times. What exactly is "alternative" about this alternative paper again? That it's late?

January 03, 2005

Chicagomuzik, reporting for duty

Hey, so we're back from a Christmas/New Year layoff. We'll start by wrapping up the '04 year-end lists and get back to all new content later today or first thing tomorrow.

What follows are the notable Best of 2004 lists released during the blog's hiatus; you can link to those posted earlier like so.

Jim DeRogatis' Top 10 Pop Albums of 2004:
Steve Earle, "The Revolution Starts Now" (Artemis)
Franz Ferdinand, "Franz Ferdinand" (Domino/Epic
Green Day, "American Idiot" (Warner Music Group)
Mark Lanegan Band, "Bubblegum" (Beggars Banquet)
The Polyphonic Spree, "Together We're Heavy" (Hollywood)
The Roots, "The Tipping Point" (Geffen)
Jill Scott, "Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds, Vol. 2" (Hidden Beach)
The Secret Machines, "Now Here Is Nowhere" (Reprise)
Kayne West, "College Dropout" (Roc-A-Fella)
Wilco, "A Ghost Is Born" (Nonesuch)

And DeRo's favorite concerts of the year:
Kanye West, Feb. 11, House of Blues
Wilco, June 12, Vic Theatre
Prince, June 25, Allstate Arena
Annie Lennox, July 18, Tweeter Center
The Hives, July 26, Metro
Hilary Duff, July 30, Allstate Arena
Ozzfest, Aug. 21, Tweeter Center
Jill Scott, Sept. 24, Congress Theatre
Steve Earle, Oct. 16, Vic Theatre
The Musical Box, Oct. 22, Vic Theatre

Also see Sun-Times Latin music writer Laura Emerick's top albums and concerts; blues writer Jeff Johnson's album list; Dave Hoekstra's mostly aged, folky faves; and country critic Bobby Reed's top 10 (with props for Gretchen Wilson and Nora O'Connor). (We can't find a rap list from David Jakubiak - if one was published and anyone has it, please send along.)

Bob Mehr's Best Local Releases of 2004:
1. Kevin Tihista's Red Terror | Wake Up Captain | Parasol
2. Ponys | Laced With Romance | In the Red
3. M's | The M's | Brilliante
4. Sally Timms | In the World of Him | Touch and Go
5. Qualo | Believe | The Movement
6. Califone | Heron King Blues | Thrill Jockey
7. Scotland Yard Gospel Choir | I Bet You Say That to All the Boys | Fashion Brigade
8. Thaione Davis | Situation Renaissance: 1917 Edition | Birthwrite
9. Eternals | Rawar Style | Aesthetics
10. Josephine Foster and the Supposed | All the Leaves Are Gone | Locust
Honorable mention: Azita, Life on the Fly (Drag City); Capital D, Insomnia (All Natural Inc.); Chin Up Chin Up, We Should Never Have Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers (Flameshovel); Greg Davis, Curling Pond Woods (Carpark); Dag Juhlin, Into the Woods (11:14); The New Black, The New Black (Thick); 90 Day Men, Panda Park (Southern); The Race, If You Can (Flameshovel); Robust, Potholes in Our Molecules (Galapagos4); Thig & DJ Chuck Sunshine, Martin Luther King Jr. Whopper With Cheese (self-released).

Robert Loerzel of the suburban Pioneer Press papers writes in with his lists:
Overall best
1. The Arcade Fire, "Funeral" (Merge)
2. Wilco, "A Ghost Is Born" (Nonesuch)
3. Antibalas, "Who Is This America?" (Ropeadope)
4. P.J. Harvey, "Uh Huh Her" (Island)
5. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus" (Anti)
6. The Drive-By Truckers, "The Dirty South" (New West)
7. Neko Case, "The Tigers Have Spoken" (Anti)
8. Oneida, "Secret Wars" (Jagjaguwar)
9. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, "Funeral for a Friend" (Ropeadope)
10. Sam Phillips, "A Boot and a Shoe" (Nonesuch)

Best local CDs
1. The Ike Reilly Assassination, "Sparkle in the Finish" (Sixthman)
2. The Ponys, "Laced With Romance" (In the Red)
3. The Fiery Furnaces, "Blueberry Boat" (Rough Trade)
4. Jesse Dixon, Geraldine Gay & Nash Shaffer Jr., "In the Right Hands: Chicago Gospel Keyboard Pioneers" (The Sirens)
5. Slicker, "We All Have a Plan" (Hefty)
6. Jay Bennett, "The Beloved Enemy" (Undertow)
7. Eighth Blackbird, "Beginnings" (Cedille)
8. Various artists (produced by Robbie Fulks), "Touch My Heart: A Tribute to Johnny Paycheck" (Sugarhill)
9. The Race, "If You Can" (Flameshovel)
10. The Safes, "Boogie Woogie Rumble" (Pro-Vel)

Loerzel advises that readers can view these lists and comments online, as well as an accompanying column and more lists contributed by sundry local music figures.

Pioneer Press music columnist Allison Augustyn's "highlights in no particular order":
Tom Waits, "Real Gone" (Anti)
Brian Wilson, "Smile" (Nonesuch)
Loretta Lynn, "Van Lear Rose" (Interscope)
Thievery Corporation, "Outernational Sound" (Esl Music)
Steve Turner, "And His Bad Ideas" (Roslyn)
Modest Mouse, "Good News for People Who Love Bad News" (Epic)
Scissor Sisters, "Scissor Sisters" (Universal)

Update: And Augustyn's worst of 2004:
Wilco, "A Ghost Is Born" (Nonesuch)
Interpol, "Antics" (Matador)
Björk, "Medúlla" (Elektra)
Green Day, "American Idiot" (Reprise)
Morrissey, "You Are the Quarry" (Attack)