I've got a whole city to hold down

May 13, 2005

Three yards and a cloud of dust

We just keep running up the gut with this Intonation festival lineup thing (uh Pitchfork where you at??) and we just keep inching forward.

The latest: According to the Biz 3 site, that Will Oldham DJ set will include NY MC Jean Grae. (Um, Will? The Sage Francis collabo, this, what's next?)

Tangentially, tonight's Biz 3 throwdown at Sonotheque stars Stones Throw kingpin Peanut Butter Wolf (no, you're not losing it, 'cause yes, he's done this gig before) and local boy Dante Carfagna. (June party info here.)

May 11, 2005

Mas de Intonation

Fleshing out-slash-amending yesterday's scoop on the Pitchfork-curated Intonation festival:

July 16 and 17 at Union Park (not Pulaski) is iron-clad.

A reliable source now claims that, contrary to Pollstar and the Billions site, Prefuse 73 is not on the bill.

The same source says Les Savy Fav is on the bill - though the band's site, label's site and booking agent's site have no mention.

That source also confirms rumors we've heard concerning two Chicago acts: Head of Femur and Diverse are said to be in. No independent confirmation yet available.

Regarding other locals, you can forget Califone. Contrary to a posting on Andrew Bird's site, they are not on the bill.

Finally there is one major cancellation and addition that's soon to be announced. We've heard buzz but aren't ready to go out on any limbs yet.

For those keeping score at home, the list - to the best of our current knowledge - is: Broken Social Scene, the Decemberists, Fiery Furnaces, Four Tet, the Go! Team, the M's, Magnolia Electric Co., AC Newman, the Wrens, Will Oldham (DJ set), Death From Above 1979, Out Hud, Xiu Xiu, Andrew Bird, Beans, Hold Steady, Diverse, Head of Femur.

That adds up to 18 of the supposed 24 acts. It looks like Prefuse 73 is out and Deerhoof may be in, which would bring us to 19. Then there's the one of these 19 who will cancel and be replaced.

You know, it would be easier if they would just announce the lineup already.

Easier, but not as much fun.

Update: Bank on it, Prefuse 73 is out and Deerhoof is in. Regarding the forthcoming cancellation, we're hearing strong rumors that it's the Fiery Furnaces.

May 10, 2005

Intonation scoop

Back in the wintry months, we were first to report word of Pitchfork's Intonation Festival.

Following the story we've collected a list of confirmed acts more complete than even the official festival page. (Fourteen of the supposed 24 names have been announced, in one way or another, to date: Broken Social Scene, the Decemberists, Fiery Furnaces, Four Tet, the Go! Team, the M's, Magnolia Electric Co., AC Newman, the Wrens, Will Oldham (Dj set), Death From Above 1979, Out Hud, Xiu Xiu and Andrew Bird.)

Recently however there's been some whispering about the fate of the festival itself. A recent post to the message board for the rock-radio gabfest Sound Opinions questioned whether the festival had been cancelled or relocated - to which Pitchfork staffer Scott Plagenhoef, who frequents that board, replied "it is being moved to a larger spot, more info later."

Now, thanks to some perusing of various other web locales, we can report: The new locale is Union Park on Chicago's West Side. (That's corroborated by the Magnolia Electric Co. and Death From Above 1979 sites.)

According to those band sites and Plagenhoef on the Sound Opinions board, the dates, Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17, will be the same. (Oh and the Chicago Park District site says Union Park, at 13 acres, is in fact more than three times larger than Pulaski Park at 3.8 acres.)

We can also reveal three new confirmations that Pitchfork and Intonation have yet to report. According to Pollstar and the Billions booking agency, Prefuse 73 and Beans are on the festival. Per the French Kiss Records page, the Hold Steady will play as well.

Those who click to the Sound Opinions board post will notice some coded speculation about two additional bands: Les Savy Fav and Deerhoof. Plagenhoef's posts confirm that both bands were "approached" but he doesn't say whether they're playing - and we can't find any word, one way or another, elsewhere on the web.

May 09, 2005

Weekend in reviews

U2 at the United Center (Saturday)
"It appears U2 is falling into the same trap as the Rolling Stones: Charging big money for a stadium show obligates the band to turn into a hits jukebox. ... Now the band sounds like it believes less in its ability to surprise and dazzle with its new music, and more in the necessity to recycle its past." Greg Kot

"As a fan who's seen the group a dozen times and who ranks 1992's Zoo TV tour on the short list of the best concerts I've ever experienced, U2 has never seemed as pointlessly pretentious and preachy." Jim DeRogatis

"They remain a global band shouldering great weight in every move. But nesting on the inside track, they feel compromised, tired and confused." Mark Guarino

Coldplay at Metro (Friday)
"What a band." Greg Kot

"It is easy to see what Gwyneth and so many others love." Jim DeRogatis

"Martin often made a point of singing his most romantic lyrics directly up to Paltrow. ... the chance to be the couple’s voyeur for a night was a rare treat." Mark Guarino

(Yeah, the lads really brought out the best in our scribes.)

Nine Inch Nails at the Congress (Friday)
"[T]he venue's sound system failed, reducing the band to an awkward pantomime and leaving all but those closest to the stage monitors scratching their heads, confused. Reznor expressed his dissatisfaction with a string of expletives before he and the band stomped off.

"The set resumed after a 20-minute delay, and the imposingly buff Reznor — rarely in the best of moods when stalking the stage — was seriously annoyed. Rather than start where they left off, the group plowed into 'Wish' and 'March of the Pigs,' two of the angriest songs in Nine Inch Nails' vast catalog of angry songs, while Reznor, white shirt stained with what looked like blood, took his aggression out on various roadies, instruments and himself." Josh Klein

"Though major technical difficulties ensued after only one song, Trent Reznor's 2005 version of Nine Inch Nails persevered" Dave Hofer

AACM turns 40; Velvet on the move?

The past weekend was full of festivities marking the 40th anniversary of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), including several concerts. Check out John Litweiler's Sun-Times overview of these giants of jazz and their group's anniversary, or see the AACM's page for general info.

In related news, the Velvet Lounge (the near-south side club owned and operated by AACM stalwart and tenor sax master Fred Anderson) is soon to close at its current location. Anderson has identified nearby space to relocate, but estimates he needs $100,000 to make the move and reopen. A pair of benefit shows (scheduled for the old club on May 22 and 27) are the first, modest efforts to begin to gather those funds. See the club's site for info on the fundraisers or to make a donation via PayPal.

(Note to local jazz writers, arts grantsmakers, city brass and wealthy philanthropists: This community institution needs your attention.)

Update: The Trib's Howard Reich on the AACM's Great Black Music Ensemble's Sunday night performance: "If there's a band that can match the sonic brilliance, tonal splendor and creative inspiration ... it has yet to be heard." Full mega-rave here.