Friday, February 26, 2010

Canasta Announces Album Release Shows At Schubas

Yet another reason it is a great time to be an indie music fan living in Chicago, Canasta is just about ready to release their sophomore album, The Fakeout, The Tease And The Breather. To celebrate, the band has announced a pair of shows on Saturday, May 8th at Schubas. The first is an 18+ affair at 7pm, with Fat Cat Records' Gregory And The Hawk lending support. The second is a 21+ show starting at 10:30pm, with Brighton, MA serving as the appetizer. For the meager $14 ticket price, you will also get a free copy of the new album.

Those too impatient to wait for the May shows can head over to Canasta's site to hear "Becoming You" from the album right now. The band plans to release one new track a week, every Friday, until the May release date. In the unlikely event that you tire of the new tracks, the band's music player will also stream their fantastic debut, if you are one of the unlucky few who do not already own it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thom Yorke Names Latest Band, Tour Dates

In anticipation of the band's Coachella appearance, Thom Yorke's latest project announced a handful of April dates leading to the festival. Luckily, we get two chances to check out the band at Aragon Ballroom on April 10th and 11th. Previously billed as ????, Yorke announced the band as Atoms For Peace. The new side-project for Yorke will also feature Flea, Mauro Refosco, Joey Waronker, and, longtime Radiohead producer, Nigel Godrich.

April 5 & 6 New York Roseland Ballroom
April 8 Boston Citi Wang Theatre
April 10 & 11 Chicago Aragon Ballroom
April 14 & 15 Oakland Fox Theatre
April 17 Santa Barbara Bowl
April 18 Coachella

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers Announce Album, Tour

Setting aside the obvious puns, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers have announced announced a new album in Spring, Mojo, and a tour to support it this Summer. No release date has yet been announced for the band's first album in eight years, but fans can get an early listen to "Good Enough" at his newly revamped site. The tour will feature a revolving door of impressive opening acts, like My Morning Jacket and Drive-By Truckers; who we get for the Chicago date on July 17th.
Tickets go on sale March 8th, and will include a downloable mp3 version of the new album. As a special bonus, at the end of the tour, concertgoers will get an email with a link to a special download of select live tracks recorded on the tour.

May 06 Raleigh Time Warner Cable Pavilion at Walnut Creek (w/Joe Cocker)
May 07 Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (w/Joe Cocker)
May 09 Tampa St. Pete Times Forum (w/Joe Cocker)
May 15 Dallas Center (w/Joe Cocker)
May 16 Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (w/Joe Cocker)
May 18 Phoenix US Airways Arena (w/Joe Cocker)
May 22 Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 02 San Diego Cricket Wireless Pavilion (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 03 Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 05 Oakland Oracle Pavilion (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 08 Vancouver GM Place (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 11 Seattle The Gorge (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 12 Seattle The Gorge (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 15 Calgary Pengrowth Saddledome (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 16 Edmonton Rexall Place (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 19 Winnipeg MTS Centre (w/Joe Cocker)
Jun 22 St Paul Xcel Energy Center (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jun 23 Omaha Qwest Center (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jun 25 Milwaukee Summerfest (w/ZZ Top)****
Jul 10 Indianapolis Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jul 13 Kansas City Sprint Center (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jul 15 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jul 17 Chicago United Center (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jul 20 Cleveland Blossom Music Center (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jul 22 Detroit Palace of Auburn Hills (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jul 24 Pittsburgh First Niagra Pavilion (w/Drive-By Truckers)
Jul 28 New York Madison Square Garden (w/TBD)
Jul 31 Philadelphia Wachovia Center (w/TBD)
Aug 11 Atlanta Philips Arena (w/Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Aug 12 Nashville Sommet Center (w/Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Aug 14 Darien Lake, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center (w/Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Aug 15 Bristow Jiffy Lube Live (w/Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Aug 17 Hartford Comcast Theater (w/Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Aug 19 Boston Comcast Center (w/My Morning Jacket)
Aug 21 Boston Comcast Center (w/My Morning Jacket)
Aug 24 East Rutherford IZOD Center (w/My Morning Jacket)
Aug 25 Toronto Air Canada Center (w/Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Aug 27 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center (w/Crosby, Stills and Nash)

***Summerfest show in Milwaukee, WI onsale March 6

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Upcoming Shows - Week ending February 28th

Talk about a busy weekend! You would almost have to try to have a bad time this over this coming weekend. When it rains, it pours – and from Friday through Sunday, it is a torrential storm of rock in Chicago!

Friday, February 26th - Lincoln Hall - 10pm – SOLD OUT
Headliner: Portugal. The Man
Openers: Port O'Brien, The Dig

If you have been listening to the podcast, you know how excited we have been for this show. Portugal. The Man is a mind-blowing live band that deserves your immediate attention. This genre-blending rock band out of Alaska are playing larger venues every time through with good reason. If you got your tickets before this one sold out, make sure to get there early to catch Port O'Brien. The bay area folk-rockers are a heck of a lot of fun live, and should put you in great spirits for the main act. We will be shocked if you don't walk out of the show with a copy of Threadbare in your hand.

Friday, February 26th - Cubby Bear – 9pm - $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Headliner: Story Of The Year
Opener: Saosin, AM Taxi

We would not normally recommend hitting a show to see an opening band, let alone one where the band in question is the first opener, but there are a few things that make this one an exception. First, the band is AM Taxi, who we firmly believe are set to blow up big. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, this is Q101's 'No Brainer' concert to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association. Great cause and a great band? Winner, winner - especially for those who missed out on the sold-out Portgual. The Man show.

Friday, February 26th – Schubas – 10pm – SOLD OUT
Headliner: Rocky Votolato
Opener: Josh Caterer

Well done, Chicago! It seems you really want to rock on Friday night, with two quality sold out shows on Friday night. Thankfully, Schubas advises that Rocky Votolato will be back supporting his fantastic new album, True Devotion, on April 16th at Lincoln Hall. Count us in, and we recommend you do the same! If not for the face-melting Portugal. The Man show, we would be here… or at the AM Taxi show. How did we go the last week with nothing to do, and have three land on the same night?
Saturday, February 27th – The Hideout – 9pm - $8
Headliner: Pet Lions
Opener: Resident DJs, Bald E and Mother Hubbard

Described on The Hideout's site as a 'dance party and social', we are not quite sure what to expect here; other than some outstanding danceable indie pop courtesy of Chicago's Pet Lions. Regardless of what happens before and after, Pet Lions are worth heading out for.

Saturday, February 27th – Schubas – 10pm - $14
Headliner: Laura Veirs & The Hall Of Flames
Opener: Old Believers, Cataldo

If not for the mysterious fun of the show listed above, it would be an easy decision to check out the folksy acoustic goodness of Laura Veirs. Her latest effort, July Flame, is a gorgeous listen that we can only imagine is even more wonderful live. If we could be at two places at once, we would be here… and would make our clone go to our day jobs.

Saturday and Sunday, February 27th and 28th – Metro – 9pm, 6pm – SOLD OUT
Headliner: Alkaline Trio
Opener: Cursive, The Dear & Departed

Alkaline Trio doesn't need a lineup like this to sell out Chicago. Even though you are probably there to check out the new disc, This Addiction, live, make sure to get there early to catch both of the opening bands; who are worth your time in their own right. At least you have two other great options for live music on Saturday if you are without tickets.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Phantogram - February 17th, 2010

As evidenced by the night's opening act, Junk Culture, electronic music can be a serious bore in a live setting. While it is easy to see how Junk Culture ended up on the same bill as Phantogram, the two acts showed the two extremes of the genre Wednesday night. To be fair, Junk Culture was without a drummer, who recently got married, that may have flushed out the songs a bit. As delivered, it was a dj only set played in front of a projector screen showing off artfully looped images from the fifties and sixties; some of which worked better than others. Though there was clearly something there in the songs to enjoy, the excessively repetitious songs and general malaise involved with watching a dj at a rock bar were a bit much to take.

In setup, Phantogram's set was not much different. Sarah Barthel worked the dj gear and Josh Carter played guitar as a slick city night traffic scene played out on the projector screen for "As Far As I Can See". The blend of glossy horns, Barthel's soul-tinged vocals, and flickering guitar made fit wonderfully with the visuals. The two charmed the crowd, continuing the chilled start with Barthel gently cooing "Let Me Go", as the dynamic of dj and guitarist on stage really came together well. She proved to be a solid singer on "Mouthful Of Diamonds", where the guitar came alive a bit more, leaving you wishing it was a bit more noticeable on album.

Carter took over vocals for a bit, beginning with "Running From The Cops"; fuelled by a grubby bass line. The strangely compelling harmonies of the gently swaying "You Are The Ocean" and jittery, looping "Turn It Off" worked extremely well live. The set ended with the chilling vocals of Barthel on sexed-up "When I'm Small", with a heavy bass thump and clanging guitar flickering in the distance. The planned two-song encore, the only negative with the video production being a lack of spontaneity, concluded the hour-long set with atmospheric ballad "All Dried Up" and the sparse, guitar-led "Voices".

We have been warning you for weeks not to miss the show, and their vibrant live set and energetic stage presence proved us right. The nearly-packed venue all but ensures they will not be confined to the city's smaller stages for long. Phantogram would, and should, destroy a side stage at Lollapalooza this summer. The duo is a shining example of electronic rock done right.

As Far As I Can See
Let Me Go
Mouthful Of Diamonds
Running From The Cops
You Are The Ocean
This Is The Future*
Turn It Off
When I'm Small

All Dried Up

AM Taxi Announce Spring Tour Plans

In preparation of their stint on on this summer's Warped Tour, AM Taxi will be hitting the road for a string of dates in support of Spill Canvas. The May 22nd date at Metro makes us happy to be wrong about the band possibly not being through till Warped Tour, after next Friday's show at Cubby Bear.

Our non-Chicago readers would be wise to jump immediately on the dates with Company Of Thieves; where you will get two amazing bands, and a chance to hear the duet between Genevieve and Adam, "Maydays And Rosaries". The dates run up to the June 8th release date for their Virgin Records debut, We Don't Stand A Chance.

Supporting Company Of Thieves
March 8 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
March 13 - Headliners Music Hall - Louisville, KY
March 16 - Cicero's - St. Louis, MO

March 17 - The Warehouse - La Crosse, WI
March 18 - The Annex - Madison, WI

March 19 - ES Jungle - Indianapolis, IN (supporting Company Of Thieves)

Supporting Spill Canvas
April 21 - The Hub Cedar - Falls, IA
April 23 - Bluebird Theater - Denver, CO
April 24 - Murray Theater - Salt Lake City, UT
April 25 - The Venue - Boise, ID
April 26 - El Corazon - Seattle, WA
April 27 - Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR
April 29 - Slim’s - San Francisco, CA
April 30 - The Roxy Theatre - West Hollywood, CA
May 1 - The Boardwalk - Orangevale, CA
May 3 - The Rock - Tucson, AZ
May 5 - The Loft - Dallas, TX
May 6 - Meridian - Houston, TX
May 7 - The White Rabbit - San Antonio, TX
May 8 - Emo’s - Austin, TX
May 10 - The State Theatre - St. Petersburg, FL
May 11 - The Social - Orlando, FL
May 12 - Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
May 14 - The Recher Theatre - Towson, MD
May 15 - Stone Pony - Asbury, NJ
May 17 - First Unitarian Church - Philadelphia, PA
May 18 - The Middle East- Downstairs - Cambridge, MA
May 20 - The Basement - Columbus, OH
May 21 - St. Andrews Hall - Detroit, MI
May 22 - Metro - Chicago, IL
May 23 - Triple Rock - Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Single Of The Week 1

As we mentioned at the end of this week's podcast, we're going to start offering a free single in the same RSS feed as the podcast - so if you're subscribing (and we hope you are), your podcast feed should get it to you the next time you open it. If not, you can get it here.

The song this week is an early listen to Rogue Wave's new Permalight album, not out until March 2nd. We're giving you a sneak peek to it with "Good Morning". Enjoy!

Sasquatch! Music Festival 2010 Lineup

The 2010 version of Sasquatch! Music Festival has announced most of the lineup for the Memorial Day weekend outing. The festival takes place May 29th - 31st at The Gorge in Quincy, Washington. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, February 20th, for the price of $70 per day, or a discount three-day pass price of $170.
There is not much here in the way of Chicago news, but it is worth watching the other festival lineups for hints of who may appear at Lollapalooza this year. We are crossing our fingers for My Morning Jacket, MGMT, Tegan And Sara, Broken Social Scene, Passion Pit, She & Him, The Hold Steady, The Long Winters, and Portugal. The Man to show up here in August. We are not in the business of reporting rumors here, but as for the internet buzz that Lady GaGa may headline one of the Lollapalooza nights, as long as they sign The Arcade Fire to headline one of them, Ms. Pokerface and Brittany Spears can headline the other two for all we care.

My Morning Jacket
Massive Attack
Vampire Weekend
Band of Horses
The National
LCD Soundsystem
Tegan & Sara
Broken Social Scene
Passion Pit
She & Him
Public Enemy
Nada Surf
The New Pornographers
The Hold Steady
The xx
Dirty Projectors
Drive By Truckers
Kid Cudi
The Long Winters
Minus the Bear
The Mountain Goats
Camera Obscura
Fruit Bats
Brother Ali
Dr. Dog
Simian Mobile Disco
City & Colour
No Age
The Temper Trap
Miike Snow
Portugal. The Man
Mayer Hawthorne
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Lonely Forest
Boys Noize
Freelance Whales
Laura Marling
Patrick Watson
Past Lives
Cymbals Eat Guitars
The Low Anthem
The Very Best
Neon Indian
The Tallest Man on Earth
Fresh Espresso
Mumford & Sons
Jets Overhead
Shabazz Palaces
Fool’s Gold
Morning Teleportation
Hudson Mohawke
The Middle East
Local Natives
Avi Buffalo
Booka Shade
Yes Giantess
Craig Robinson
Rob Riggle
Garfunkel & Oates
Luke Burbank
…and more to come!

Sevendust Announce New Album, Tour Dates - But No Chicago

Sevendust have announced a release date of April 20th for their eighth studio album, Cold Day Memory. The album finds the band reformed with its original lineup, after a three album absence for original guitarist Clint Lowery. The band also announced a string of tour dates with Drowning Pool, starting tomorrow night in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We will list them out below, but you will notice the lack of a Chicago date.

The band is not quite in our wheelhouse here, but we are posting the story as evidence of the poor reputation Chicago has as a live music destination. We are the third largest market in the country, but the stain of sold-out cover band shows at House Of Blues and half-empty venues for original bands leaves too many bands wondering whether a trip through Chicago is worth it. Consider this a warning - start supporting the live music scene, or risk your favorite band skipping Chicago on their tour.

Cold Day Memory track listing:
1. Splinter
2. Forever
3. Unraveling
4. Last Breath
5. Karma
6. Ride Insane
7. Confessions
8. Nowhere
9. Here and Now
10. The End Is Coming
11. Better Place
12. Strong Arm Broken

Upcoming Headlining Tour Dates:
w/Drowning Pool

2/18/10 Baton Rouge LA Varisty Theatre
2/19/10 Mobile AL Soul Kitchen
2/20/10 New Orleans LA House of Blues
2/21/10 Little Rock AK The Village
2/23/10 Maplewood MN The Rock
2/24/10 Indianapolis IN 8 Seconds Saloon
2/26/10 Kansas City MO Midland Theatre
2/27/10 Wichita KS Cotillion
2/28/10 Englewood CO Gothic Theatre
3/2/10 Reno NV Knitting Factory
3/3/10 Boise ID Knitting Factory
3/4/10 Missoula MT Wilma Theater
3/6/10 Spokane WA Knitting Factory
3/7/10 Seattle WA Showbox at the Market
3/9/10 San Francisco CA Regency Center
3/10/10 W. Hollywood CA House of Blues
3/12/10 Las Vegas NV House of Blues
3/13/10 Anaheim CA House of Blues
3/14/10 Tempe AZ Marquee Theatre
3/16/10 Albuquerque NM Sunshine Theatre
3/17/10 Colorado Springs CO The Black Sheep
3/19/10 San Antonio TX Scout Bar
3/20/10 Houston TX Scout Bar
3/21/10 Corpus Christi TX The Pavilion @ Concrete St.
3/22/10 Mission TX Las Palmas Race Track
3/24/10 Lubbock TX The Pavillion
3/26/10 Dallas TX Trees
3/27/10 Odessa TX Dos Amigos
3/30/10 Panama City FL Club LaVela
WXTB 98 Rockfest
4/24/10 Tampa FL St. Pete Times Forum

Say Anything Announce Tour Dates With Angels & Airwaves

Los Angeles quartet, Say Anything will lend support for, Blink 182 offshoot, Angels & Airwaves recently announced US tour this spring, after hitting two west-coast festivals. The tour comes on the heels of last November's self-titled album from the band. The bands will roar through Chicago on April 24th at Aragon.

3/26 Anaheim, CA Hoodwink Festival
3/27 Anaheim, CA Bamboozle Festival

4/5 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theater
4/7 Seattle, WA The Showbox SODO
4/8 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
4/9 Vancouver, BC Vogue Theater
4/11 Edmonton, AB Edmonton Event Center
4/12 Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall Ballroom
4/14 Fargo, ND The Venue
4/15 Des Moines, IA Val Air Ballroom
4/16 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater
4/17 Milwaukee, WI The Eagles Club
4/18 Minneapolis, MN Epic NIghtclub
4/19 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
4/22 Columbus, OH PromoWest Pavillion
4/23 Cleveland, OH Time Warner Cable Amphitheater
4/24 Chicago, IL Aragon Theater
4/25 Cincinnati, OH Bogart’s
4/27 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit
4/28 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
4/29 Rochester, NY Main Street Armory
4/30 East Rutherford, NJ Hoodwink Festival
5/1 Potsdam, NY SUNY Potsdam
5/2 East Rutherford, NJ The Bamboozle Festival
5/3 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
5/4 Boston, MA House of Blues
5/6 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
5/7 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
5/8 Wallingford, CT The Dome
5/10 Norfolk, VA The NorVa
5/11 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte
5/13 Tampa, FL The Ritz
5/14 Pompano Beach, FL Pompano Beach Amphitheater
5/15 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
5/16 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle
5/18 Houston, TX House of Blues
5/19 San Antonio, TX Sunset Station
5/20 Dallas, TX The Palladium Ballroom
5/22 Denver, CO Fillmore Auditorium
5/24 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
5/25 Tempe, AZ The Marquee
5/27 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium
5/28 Las Vegas, NV The Joint/Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Editors - February 15th, 2010

When you hear a drunken fan obnoxiously shout out for their favorite song, you have to wonder whether they realize that there is typically a preplanned set list duct-taped at each band members' feet. A well thought-out set list can propel a make a decent live band sound even better, and a poorly constructed one can derail an otherwise fantastic band. Sadly, the latter was the case for UK's Editors on Monday night at The Vic.

Three albums in, Editors have amassed an amazing collection of songs to pull from. To their credit, they did a great job of delivering most of the fan favorites (except the noticeably absent "All Sparks") and pulling the best off their killer new album. The issue stemmed from the band's struggle with balancing the older guitar-driven sound of their first two albums against the icy synth-fuelled vibe of their latest. They kicked off the set in a ballsy manner, with the chilling, atmospheric ballad "In This Light And On This Evening"; with, front man, Tom Smith's commanding vocals reverberating around the venue. Smith got up from his seat at the piano to strap on a guitar for the song's explosive, grumpy-guitared closure. So far, so good.

The band then went backwards through their catalog for two favorites, with the bass cranked up for a thundering backbone to "Lights". Energetic and powerful, the band tore through "An End Has A Start"; showing off the band's second album as a great bridge between the angular guitar of their debut and the new wave vibe of the latest. Still, the thumping beat and cold synth of "You Don't Know Love" felt like a letdown in the wake of the invigorating riffs of the two that it followed. It felt like the energy they had just built up evaporated quickly with the more hollow sound. Editors may have been better served to lead off with three or four new cuts all in a string, before jumping back to the guitar-led sound of earlier songs. Make no mistake, the band delivered great versions of the new tracks, but the sonic space between the new and old material was a bit too jarring the way the set list played out.

A handful of the new tracks really shined, including the wonderful ballad "The Boxer"; where the fluttering guitar and deep bass groove were more noticeable than on album, and Smith's bellowing baritone delivered chills. The odd creaking beat of "Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool" and Smith's eerie delivery made it a standout. The soaring "Escape The Nest" showed off the band's tight sound on-stage, and some of the evening's best guitar work. The night's best moment came in the encore, with the stomping insanity of "Papillon", with Smith's powerhouse vocals delivering the goods while the band feverishly nailed the poppy goodness. Unfortunately, the low point also came on a new track, "Bricks And Mortar". A standout on album, the song sounded empty and muddled live; and the strangely screeching sample used to give it a 'remix' sound was horribly out of place.

In the end, it felt a bit strange that the material off their best album sounded so out of place at times in the hour and a half set. Editors are a fantastic live band that seems to be struggling with how to mesh the distinctly different sound of In This Light And On This Evening. Hopefully they can shake the uneven vibe the setlist gives off, because when they are on they are among the most enthralling live experiences you will have.
Set List
In This Light And On This Evening
An End Has A Start
You Don't Know Love
The Boxer
The Big Exit
Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool
The Racing Rats
Escape The Nest
Like Treasure
Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
Bricks And Mortar

Walk The Fleet Road
Fingers In The Factories

Monday, February 15, 2010

Upcoming Shows - Week Ending February 21st

We've got a few shows to recommend this week, with a decision to make on Friday.

Wednesday February 17th - Schubas - Headliner: Phantogram - Opener: Junk Culture - 9pm - $8 in advance, $10 at the door

We have been loving Phantogram since we first heard their fantastic EP, and the debut LP, Eyelid Movies, only added to how great we think this NY electro-pop duo is. Trust us, they will not be playing venues as small as Schubas much longer, if at all. Just wait till they are all over trendy shows like Gossip Girl. Shows like this are what inspired what we do here.

Friday, February 19th - Ballydoyle Pub - Headliner: Red Wanting Blue - 9pm - $?

Nate was all about this Ohio roots rock band on Podcast 3 and now is your chance to catch them at a new suburban venue in Bloomingdale. We can't quite find a ticket or cover price, but we can't imagine it not being worth the price of admission - whatever that may be.

Friday, February 19th - Subterranean - Headliner: Lucky Boys Confusion - Opener: The Action Blast - 9pm - $15

With all the excitement over AM Taxi lately, it is easy for us to all but forget how good Lucky Boys Confusion is. Do not make that mistake. If AM Taxi takes off like we expect them to, shows like this will only become rarer. If you are in the city this Friday, the decision between LBC and RWB is an easy one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Podcast 5 Up!

This week, the guys talk new albums from Josh Ritter and Portugal. The Man, and get ready for a busy string of shows in the next month - including John Butler Trio, Editors, Phantogram, Port OBrien, Pet Lions, and many more!

We've 'upgraded' to an mp3 file, to make it a bit easier for everyone to listen.

Look for the new Song Of The Week 'podcast' later this week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Motion City Soundtrack Announce Spring Headlining Tour

On the heels of their major label debut, My Dinosaur Life, debuting at #15 on the Billboard album charts, Motion City Soundtrack have released a new string of headlining tour dates for this Spring. They are just about finished with their current run of west-coast dates, and will leave shortly for tours of Japan, Australia, and the UK before returning stateside for the string of dates below. They hit Chicago early in the run, with an April 7th show at House Of Blues; a great venue that has been a little too busy booking lame U2 and Dave Matthews cover bands as of late.

6 Grandma’s Sports Garden Duluth, MN
7 House of Blues Chicago, IL
9 The Rave Milwaukee, WI
12 Rocketown Nashville, TN
13 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
15 Blue Moose Tap House Iowa City, IA
17 Winona State Univ./McCown Fieldhouse Winona, MN
19 Orange Peel Asheville, NC
20 40 Watt Club (18+/except w/guardian) Athens, GA
21 The Venue (18+/except w/guardian) Gainesville, FL
24 State Theatre St. Petersburg, FL
25 House of Blues Orlando, FL
27 Lincoln Theatre (16+)* (No Fun.) Raleigh, NC
28 9:30 Club* (No Fun.) Washington, DC

2 Bamboozle Festival E. Rutherford, NJ

Josh Ritter Announces New Album, Tour Dates

Incredibly gifted singer-songwriter, Josh Ritter might just be the best Idaho export since the potato. He is finally ready to unveil his sixth studio album, So Runs The World Away, in the states on May 4th; a week after it lands in Ireland, where he is as popular as he should be here. You can grab yourself an mp3 of "Change Of Time" at his site, to tie you over until the album releases, but we are more excited that the string of full-band tour dates announced so far includes Chicago. We also recommend checking out his clever video to "Lillian, Egypt" while you are at his site. Make sure to grab your tickets early to the May 15th show at The Vic, because it is only a matter of time before he gets the attention he deserves here.

May 7 Philadelphia, PA Theater of Living Arts
May 8 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
May 10 Baltimore, MD Ram’s Head Live
May 11 Durham, NC Carolina Theater
May 15 Chicago, IL Vic Theatre
May 19 & 20 New York, NY Town Hall

Additional dates to be announced.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Upcoming Shows - Week Ending February 14th

We're going to cheat a little this week - since there's just one show that we recommend through this Sunday, with two next Monday that you need to catch.

Sunday, February 14th - Metro - Rock N' Raise Benefit for Darfur - 4pm - $10

In the charity's own words: "We are students
who envision peace. We are activists, musicians, artists. We are global-
minded, locally active. We want a peaceful and prosperous Darfur. We are young people coming
together to raise $50,000 to give Darfuri children the education they deserve."
For your $10 contribution, you get a great night of rock - with Madina Lake, The Blisters, Big Science, DePaul Prelude Choir, and Brendan Kelly of Lawrence Arms. Not a bad deal at all, and the early start should leave you with plenty of quality time Valentine's Day night. Whatever you do, make sure you are there in time to see Big Science. As we mentioned on this week's podcast, they are a good bet for next great Chicago band. We should note, that if you and a few friends are feeling a little extra charitable, they do offer VIP tables, with four tickets, for $100. At $25 a pop, it still comes out a steal, and you're helping a worthy cause.

Monday, February 15th - Lincoln Hall - Headliner: John Butler Trio Opening Act: Tim Brantley 8pm - SOLD OUT

Australian singer-songwriter sensation, John Butler is bringing the latest version of his three-piece band back to Chicago for a 'sold out' show at, one of our new favorite venues, Lincoln Hall. If you were lucky enough to grab tickets, you probably know what you are in for. If not, we kind of don't even want to harp on what you're missing anymore than we already have on our podcast the last several weeks. Let's just say, one of us is willing to trade a kidney for a ticket to this showcase of folk-blues poppy rock goodness.

Monday, February 15th - The Vic - Headliner: Editors Opening Acts: The Antlers, The Dig - 7:30pm - $22.50

Editor's latest album, In This Light And On This Evening is a remarkable leap forward for the band; who already had a fantastic sound. The lack of angular, guitar-driven brooding rock on it might take you a few listens to get used to, but the soaring synth that replaces the riffs compliments Tom Smith's deep, commanding vocals even better. We cannot wait to hear how the old material plays with the new, and will definitely be reporting back on the show. This is a more than suitable replacement for anyone not crazy enough to trade a body organ for a John Butler Trio ticket.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Podcast 4 Up!

This week, we talk Pitchfork 2010, get excited over the upcoming Frightened Rabbit album and tour dates, and gush over AM Taxi at Lincoln Hall - where we also discover, rising stars, Big Science. We also run down our upcoming concert recommendations, including this weekend’s Rock N’ Raise show at Metro, John Butler Trio at Lincoln Hall, Editors at The Vic, and Phantogram at Schubas.

If you like what you hear, please review the podcast on iTunes!

AM Taxi - February 6, 2010

We may not set out to focus on Chicago bands, but cannot help but do so when two of the three bands on a killer lineup happen to be local rising stars. Saturday night at Lincoln Hall confirmed the flourishing music scene in Chicago is not about to fade again when acts like AM Taxi and Company Of Thieves eventually set out for their well deserved headlining tours spanning the globe.

Saturday night was to be another step along the way to greatness for AM Taxi, and it certainly was, but was also prime example of why we always recommend showing up early to concerts. Chicago quartet, Big Science has a sound that is pure post-punk one moment and soaring new wave the next. Their explosive, bass-heavy grooves were the kind you would imagine The Police would have produced if they had started recording in the mid-eighties; having grown up on a steady diet of early Talking Heads. Their jittery rock reminded us of a harder-edged Dogs Die In Hot Cars. Not having heard a single riff going in, the tight half-hour set was the kind that makes you leaving in search of all the music you can find from the band. The songs, like the eerie jangle of “My Career As A Ghost”, are probably a little better than their stage presence at this point, but they are definitely a band worth keeping an eye on as they get more comfortable in the spotlight sure to follow them.

The lone Chicago outsiders on the bill were Nashville’s Royal Bangs. The first song of the set was a new one, which held tight to their ability to fuse art rock with poppy soul. The two-drummer setup of the band worked well to create a powerful thrust for the jangly guitars and flickering synth to ride. At times the angst-ridden, itchy sound felt like TV On The Radio’s take on the soundtrack-happy, mid-eighties Kenny Loggins, but as on album, the band can be a bit hit or miss live. Still, even in the moments where it felt they went a bit too askew with the smashed synth-provided beats and cluttered webs of sound, you could not help but feel there is a great band that has not yet found their footing. The notable lack of Let It Beep’s poppiest offerings, “War Bells” and “Waking Up Weird”, was disappointing, but the empowering “Poison Control” did well enough in their stead.

Started as the side project of Lucky Boys Confusion members Adam Krier and Jason Schultejann, AM Taxi comes with a built-in audience thanks to their other band’s stretch of success in the city. Thankfully, they did not rest on their laurels, building a tight songbook full of anthem-ready rockers that make the band a strong bet to become the new-and-improved version of Fall Out Boy for anyone looking for a new pop-punk obsession. Opening with a bang, "Maps And Medicine" proved that the band is already armed with sing-a-longs aplenty. The dub-kissed guitars of "Charissa" and "Shake, Rattle And Stall", the latter with a little "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" thrown in for good measure, showed that the band retains some of the reggae influences of LBC, without drowning the songs in it. Their tight sound and danceable brand of rock on tracks like "Fed Up" proves their worthiness of their recent addition to Warped Tour, and all but ensures they will come back from the touring festival with loads of new devotees who will soon know the words as well as the feverish crowd Saturday night.

The band took time to acknowledge the blossoming local music scene, with a great performance with singer-songwriter Kevin Andrew Prchal on "Reason To Believe", with just Prchal, Krier, a pair of guitars, and a harmonica. They brought out, Company Of Thieves front woman, Genevieve Schatz for a fantastic duet called "Maydays and Rosaries"; recorded for the album when the two bands happened to cross paths in Texas. The excellent pairing only fuelled desire for the band's debut. The main set closed with, the first single from the June debut, "The Mistake". The night proved that as good as the song is, it is far from the best AM Taxi has to offer. The band returned to the stage for an encore, at the request of Lincoln Hall management, and made the best of the opportunity with a blistering, fresh retelling of Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black". It takes a special band to take such a frequently covered classic and do something unique and worthwhile with it, and AM Taxi nailed it with guitars ablaze.

Krier said the band was excited to finally play the newly opened Lincoln Hall, but if the crowded Saturday night show was any indication, the mid-sized venue will not be able to hold their fan base much longer. Get in while the getting's good.

Edit: Thanks to AM Taxi for clearing up the confusion on the song title of duet with Genevieve!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Free Energy Announce Tour Dates, Album Release Date

You don't know them yet, but consider this your warning to get familiar with Philly-based Free Energy. The quartet is set to release their debut LP, Stuck On Nothing, on March 9th digitally and May 4th in retail, for those who need the feel of plastic in their hand. It takes a special band to pull of a song with the same name as their band without sounding like a douche. It took Wilco seven albums to have the balls to pull off, but Free Energy kick their debut with cowbell-infused classic rocker "Free Energy". If you have ever come close to picking up the phone and ordering one of those 'Party Rock' sets from a commercial, Free Energy is your new favorite band. We feel compelled to kick off Spring with their March 5th appearance at Empty Bottle, and suggest you do the same.

02/22: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
02/23: Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
02/24: San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Shop *
02/25: San Francisco, CA @ Popscene
02/26: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios *
02/28: Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey *
03/03: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
03/04: Madison, WI @ The Frequency *
03/05: Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
03/06: Bloomington, IN @ Video Saloon *
03/08: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern *
03/09: Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo *
03/10: Buffalo, NY @ Big Orbit’s Soundlab *
03/11: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge *
03/12: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory *
03/13: Philadelphia, PA @ Marathon Lounge *
03/14: Washington, DC @ DC9 *

*With Foriegn Born

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Frightened Rabbit Announce New Album, Tour Dates

Our favorite Scottish import, Frightened Rabbit have announced a March 9th release date for their third LP, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks. Their sophomore effort, The Midnight Organ Fight, was an instant classic, full of songs of the 'holy f*cking wow' variety, and deserves your attention immediately; if it does not already reside in its proper place on your iPod. They thankfully also announced new tour dates in support of the new album. Last time we saw the band, we were completely blown away at Empty Bottle. Thanks to their explosive live show (we seriously think they might keep the drummer in a cage between shows), their fanbase has expanded to the point they need to play Metro this time. Catch them now, because something tells us they will be playing much larger venues as time goes on. You can get an earful of a couple of new tracks, "Nothing Like You" and "Learned Your Name", at the band's MySpace site.

March 17 - Austin, Texas @ SXSW
March 18 - Austin, Texas @ SXSW
March 19 - Austin, Texas @ SXSW
March 20 - Austin, Texas @ SXSW
April 17 - Indio, Calif. @ Coachella
April 19 - Tempe, Ariz. @ The Clubhouse
April 21 - Houston, Texas @ Walters
April 22 - Dallas, Texas @ Loft / Palladium Ballroom
April 23 - Little Rock, Ark. @ Revolution
April 24 - Atlanta, Ga. @ The Masquerade
April 25 - Carrboro, N.C. @ Cat's Cradle
April 27 - Washington, D.C. @ Black Cat
April 28 - New York, N.Y. @ Webster Hall
April 29 - Boston, Mass. @ Paradise
April 30 - Philadelphia, Pa. @ First Unitarian Church
May 3 - Montreal, QC @ Petit Campus
May 4 - Toronto, ONT @ Opera House
May 6 - Newport, Ky. @ Southgate House
May 7 - St. Louis, Mo. @ The Old Rock House
May 8 - Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
May 9 - Milwaukee, Wisc. @ Pabst Theatre
May 10 - Minneapolis, Minn. @ Varsity Theater
May 12 - Denver, Colo. @ Bluebird Theatre
May 13 - Salt Lake City, Utah @ Urban Lounge
May 15 - Vancouver, B.C. @ Biltimore Cabaret
May 16 - Seattle, Wash. @ Neumo's Crystal Ball Reading Room
May 17 - Portland, Ore. @ Berbati's Pan
May 19 - San Francisco, Calif. @ The Fillmore
May 22 - San Diego, Calif. @ Casbah

Pitchfork Music Festival Tickets On Sale Tomorrow

Tickets for the 2010 iteration of Pitchfork Music Festival go on sale tomorrow at noon. The fifth year of the annual event will take place at Chicago's Union Park, July 16th - 18th. Tickets will run you $40 for a single-day pass, but smart concertgoers will splurge on the $90 three-day version. You may want to grab your tickets early, since the festival has sold out every year.

You will not be going in totally blind, since the site will name the first round of bands for the festival tomorrow. The indie-heavy line-up had a bunch of goodies last year, including Yo La Tengo, Tortise, The Black Lips, Grizzly Bear, The Thermals, The Very Best, The Flaming Lips, and, one of our favorites, Frightened Rabbit. Though no announcements have been made, rumors are circulating of a reunited Pavement and St. Vincent appearing this year.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Upcoming Shows - Week ending February 7th

Thursday, February 4th - The Bog (at Illinois Institute Of Technology) - Headliner: Canasta Openers: Matt Kerstein (of Brighton, MA), Ian Wilson - 10pm - FREE

Catch Chicago-based Canasta's brand of orchestral pop at a free show to support Habitat For Humanity. Having just finished mastering their latest album, the night should include a fair amount of new material for long-time fans and the treat of finding a great new band for those that have not yet had the pleasure of hearing "The Microphone Song". Trust us, they are worth venturing out to a slightly unconventional venue!

Saturday, February 6th - Lincoln Hall - Headliner: AM Taxi Openers: Royal Bangs, Big Science - 7pm - $10 advance, $12 at the door

This is your chance to catch an up-and-coming local band at a great new venue before they head out to storm the nation as part of Vans Warped Tour this summer. Head over to their site and grab a copy of "The Mistake" to see what you'd be missing if you were crazy enough to skip this one. As an added bonus, indie pop weirdos Royal Bangs unleash their brilliance in support, so get there early.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Podcast 3 - 1/31

This week, we talk about the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger, get excited for Company Of Thieves return, and recommend a boatload of other shows in the next month. Also, Nate heads out to see Red Wanting Blue, and Chad cages the wrong animal.