I've got a whole city to hold down

November 12, 2004

Gape this

Thanks to the most informative Gapers Block site for linking our NYE anti-guide. In return, we'll point Chicagomuzikblog readers to GB's chat with Neko Case.

Hyp to the brass

So a couple nights ago while running to catch a train downtown, your boy Jack stumbled over an eight-piece brass band kicking it on the corner. Forget dude tooting "Hit the Road Jack" or screeching "Sweet Home Chicago," this was on some next. We talked it up with the cat pimping discs for 10 bucks, we got all set to tip you to an undiscovered find - but it turns out Peter Margasak uncovered the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble more than a year ago. So we'll just second his motion: Dig Hypnotic, cold lampin near you.

Chi rockers give it up for Junior Kimbrough

In January, Fat Possum Records will release Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough, a tribute alb featuring various rock acts covering tunes by the late Mississippi hill-country blues legend and jukejoint proprietor. Alongside the likes of the Blues Explosion, Cat Power, and (most notably) two cuts from Iggy and the Stooges, Sunday Nights will feature contributions from our own Ponys and the Fiery Furnaces (30-second clip).

November 11, 2004

Ain't nothin' but a party

The third in a monthly series of dance parties tossed by the Biz 3 publicists goes down tomorrow night at Sonotheque. Last month - when we ended up stranded on the sidewalk outside - the deejays were Aesop Rock and Prefuse 73. This time out its Peanut Butter Wolf and El-P on the ones and twos. Yes, yes, y'all.

DeRo, unbowed

The mini controversy ignited by Kelefa Sanneh calling out Jim DeRogatis as a paragon of rockism seems, maybe predictably, to have only emboldened the Sun-Times scribe. You'll remember that Sanneh quoted a DeRo review of Avril Lavigne from last summer to illustrate his point about crits unfairly judging pop, rap, dance and other acts by a rigid template of rock-centric rules and values. In that light it's impossible not to see DeRo's piece today - an interview with Avril, how 'bout that timing? - as an acidic screw-you to Sanneh: "And she does her own singing, too" crows the headline. Translation: "If you didn't like it before, try this on for size!"

Update: Listen to Sanneh discuss rockism on the Brian Lehrer Show, from New York Public Radio.

November 10, 2004

Looking for something to do tonight?

How punk rock:

Fuck Schubas and the Bottle and those other mainstream establishment monuments to the Man, Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches is playing tonight at (what we suspect is the appropriately named venue) "Matt's House" - more specifically at 4815 N. Fairfield Ave., apartment 2, just west of Lincoln Square. Showtime is 8pm.

Live discs to document Pixies Aragon gigs

Whether or not you've got tix for the Pixies' unprecedented string of five consecutive Aragon concerts - four of which gigs have long since sold out, with the fifth likely soon to follow suit - those inclined can now pre-order their souvenir recordings of the shows.

Details, per the band's press hype: "As on the April dates, the Pixies' traveling caravan will include a DiscLive truck that will have the capacity to record and manufacture the CDs on the spot. Only 1,000 CDs will be made of every show. Starting immediately, 500 CDs from the remaining Leg Two concerts can be pre-ordered at the DiscLive site. If all 500 "Pixies Live" CDs from any given show are pre-sold, then only 500 will be available for purchase the night of the concert; pre-orders can be picked up at the respective concert, or mailed to the buyer."

Cost is $25, not including shipping.

Amateur night guide

Or, where not to be on New Year's Eve:

Abbey Pub - RJD2 - $30/$35
Empty Bottle - 90 Day Men w/ the Ponys - $20
House of Blues - Train et. al. - $155 (sold out)
HOB Back Porch - Cracker - $85
Martyrs - Tributosaurus is the Who - $20
Metro - Guided By Voices w/ the Go - $75 (sold out)
Riviera - Umphrey's McGee w/ Minikiss - $50

Also Magic Slim will be at Legend's, the Detroit Cobras at the Double Door, and the city has booked Big Head Todd, Michael McDermott and Robert Randolph at Navy Pier

Wake me for the Rose Bowl.

Update: Some of these are mentioned in the comments, but we thought we'd bump them here as well...

Bottom Lounge - Ike Reilly Assassination - $30/$35
Logan Square Auditorium - Urge Overkill - $40
Schubas - Bobby Bare Jr. w/ Nora O'Connor - $15/$20

Alt country survivors gig on the DL

Tonight at the Abbey Pub, Bobby Bare Jr plays a free show starting at 7:30. And Saturday at the University of Chicago's Mandel Hall, it's Ryan Adams & the Cardinals with the Walkmen, also at 7:30. Looks like this one is for students and others affiliated w/ U of C only, though, so be prepared to be sneaky if you're none of the above. (BTW who else saw Haley and Chris harmonizing on Ryan's "When the Stars Go Blue" last night? OMG it was so kewl!)

My head hurts...

...from trying to grasp the meta-meta-meta-layers of meaning behind this gig:

12/15, Metro, The Autumn Defense, Andrew Bird and Kevin O'Donnell, the Safes and the Abstract Giants play songs from Wes Anderson movie soundtracks. It's a free event sponsored by Metromix.

Let me see if I have this right: Movie director makes films. Hires out-to-pasture ex-rocker to pick hip, obscure tunage for them. Soundtrack albums sell briskly, ignite interest in heretofore forgotten hip obscurities. "Edgy" Web arm of gargantuan Republican media conglomerate hires four bands to perform said obscurities at advertising event disguised as concert.

Or maybe it's just a cool idea for a rock show. Phew.

November 09, 2004

Wherefore the party?

Her album is double-platinum and counting, sits at #21 on the Billboard chart more than six months after its release (it peaked at #2), and - oh yeah - she's from Illinois.

So why haven't you heard of Gretchen Wilson? Unless you've been tuned to mainstream country radio, that is.

Wilson's debut disc Here For the Party is probably the biggest story in Nashville country this year, but neither Chrissie Dickinson or Bobby Reed - who cover the country beat for the Trib and S-T respectively - have written about her.

In fact, both papers were supremely scooped today by none other than Kelefa Sanneh of the New York Times, whose review of Wilson's show Friday in DeKalb appears on Page One of today's NYT Living Arts section.

You can argue that Wilson isn't from Chicago - she hails from the Metro East region, which is in the St. Louis media market - but even still, the silence on her story from the Trib and S-T is odd. At least she didn't slip past the DeKalb Daily Chronicle (though they seem to think she sucks).

Update: On Nov. 9 Wilson won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award for best new artist. Dave Hoekstra gave her all of a sentence and a half in his snarky Sun-Times recap. The Trib just ran a wire story about the show - a piece that actually did quote Wilson: "I came here last year and sat way back there in the very back and dreamed of standing up here someday. I just had no idea it would happen this fast for me," she said.

Update II: An appreciation of Wilson (Gretchen) by Wilson (Carl).

Rock Talk Alert

Tonight on Sound Opinions, Greg and Jim re-evaluate the Pixies. For a preview of what they'll discuss, peep their articles on the topic; for our money, DeRo's historical overview, critical assessment and lengthy Frank Black Q&A eats Kot's more conventional lunch.

November 08, 2004

Slow news day

Not much to talk about at the moment. See any good shows this weekend? We did. And we dropped a fat chunk of cash on used music at our favorite city source for same, which is - oh but if we told you that, it probably wouldn't be so good any more.