Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Broken Bells Announce Tour Dates

The latest collaboration for producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse, Broken Bells will take their show on the road this spring. The James Mercer and Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) duo are coming off a top-ten debut for their self-titled first album, which has been getting rave reviews across the board. You will get your chance to catch the two on May 31st at The Vic. Be sure to get there early, since The Morning Benders are lending support for the shows.

Tue-May-18-10 San Diego - Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay
Wed-May-19-10 Los Angeles - Henry Fonda Theatre
Fri-May-21-10 San Francisco - Regency Ballroom
Mon-May-24-10 Portland - Wonder Ballroom
Tue-May-25-10 Seattle - Showbox at the Market
Wed-May-26-10 Vancouver - Commodore Ballroom
Sat-May-29-10 Denver - Gothic Theatre
Mon-May-31-10 Chicago - Vic Theater
Tue-Jun-01-10 Detroit - St. Andrews Hall
Wed-Jun-02-10 Toronto - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Fri-Jun-04-10 Boston - Royale NightClub
Sat-Jun-05-10 NY - The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
Sun-Jun-06-10 Philadelphia - Electric Factory
Mon-Jun-07-10 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
Thu-Jun-10-10 Atlanta - Center Stage
Fri-Jun-11-10 Athens - 40 Watt Club

Monday, March 29, 2010

Podcast 10 - Bless This Mess

This week, the guys gush over the recent sets from Manchester Orchestra and The Features at Metro, and give recommend a ton of upcoming shows to hit - including Passion Pit, David Bazan, Kerretta, Bad Veins, and As Tall As Lions.

Upcoming Shows - Week ending April 4th

This week, there are just two shows worth hitting. Given all we have coming up to recommend, you should appreciate the lull – but do not miss these two!

Friday, April 2nd - Congress Theater - 8pm - SOLD OUT
Headliner: Passion Pit
Openers: Mayer Hawthorne & The Country, Bear Hands

The dance-happy, exuberant sounds of indie pop darlings Passion Pit lands in Chicago this Friday. The rapid rise from having their songs making Gossip Girl episode appearances to sold out shows has been a fast one for these guys. If you do not have tickets to this weekend's sold out show, make sure to remedy that mistake quickly for their fast return to town on April 22nd – which will likely have the same 'Sold Out' tag on it shortly.

Saturday, April 3rd - House Cafe (DeKalb) - 8pm - $12
Headliner: David Bazan
Openers: Headlights

There is some irony in seeing David Bazan live the night before Easter. If the idea of listening to sharp-tongued songs about breaking up with God the night before a major Christian holiday makes you cringe, Bazan's amazing solo debut, Curse Your Branches, was probably not for you to begin with. The thoughtfully skeptical eye Bazan examines religion with is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you have an open mind about faith it is must-hear listening. Make sure not to miss Champaign's, killer poppy-folk band, Headlights as openers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Single Of The Week - Rene Lopez "Wednesday"

You can get your hands on the sunny pop treat that is Rene Lopez's People Are Just People in full on May 4th. Until then, we recommend getting an earful of the lovestruck "Wednesday" as our Single Of The Week. If you enjoyed our The Right Now recommendation (and why wouldn't you?), this is right up your alley.

You can get the song by subscribing to our feed on iTunes or by copying and pasting the feed into another podcast provider.

AM Taxi Release New Single

If you have been paying attention to the site the last few months, you already know how excited we are for the June release of AM Taxi's debut album, We Don't Stand A Chance. We used lead single, "The Mistake", as last week's single of the week, and this week we are directing you to head over to iTunes to pick up the newly released, piano-laced anthem "Fed Up".

If you're the skeptical sort, you can listen to a stream of the goodness here. You're going to feel a little dumb for not just buying it right away, though.

Them Crooked Vultures Land In Chicago May 18th

Renowned supergroup, Them Crooked Vultures announced a few additional tour dates today, with Chicago getting in on the Josh Homme/Dave Grohl/John Paul Jones action on May 18th at The Aragon Ballroom. The band will also honor Record Store Day by releasing the 10" single of "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and the previously unreleased "Hwy 1" on one side, and an interview called "Vulture Speak" on the b-side.

Tickets go on-sale April 3rd at 11am, and will go fast. As a consolation, Indianapolis is only a quick 3-hour drive, and those tickets go on sale tomorrow morning (March 26th) at 10am.

April 14 - Los Angeles CA - Club Nokia
April 16 - Indio CA - Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
April 17 - Las Vegas NV - The Joint
April 19 - Denver CO - The Fillmore
May 17 - Indianapolis IN - Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
May 18 - Chicago IL - The Aragon

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Manchester Orchestra and The Features - March 23, 2010

It takes one hell of a confident, or just brave, band to have the likes of The Features open for you. The Tennessee quartet has the kind of raucous, fiery sound that fits in perfectly with Manchester Orchestra's passionate brand of anthemic rock. The band opened the set just like their brilliant sophomore album, with the brief organ-grinder oddity "Whatever Gets You By" before erupting into the chugging, energetic riffs of "The Drawing Board". The hard-charging rocker exploded off the stage with sandpapered soulful vocals and cymbals crashing all around. The emotional, belted-out hook of "The Temporary Blues" played well against the subdued verses for the chest-pumping anthem. Party-starter, "Lions" proved the biggest shout-a-long of the set, as you could see more and more of the typically motionless Chicago crowd begin to move along to the beat.

The more defined southern feel of, new song, "Big Mamma" fit in great with the rest of the set, leaving you longing for the upcoming third album. Metro is the mid-sized venue in the city with a boatload of history behind it, but the band held their own on the stage. Their experience opening for Kings Of Leon in Europe has prepared them well for the larger stages they deserve. With hints of feel-good punk, swaggering blues, and even a bit of rockabilly, The Features all but made concert-goers forget they were really there for Manchester Orchestra. The fierce foursome were only on-stage for half-an-hour, leaving you with the thought, 'holy sh*t, when are they coming back?' Encores are a no-no for opening bands, but it would have been hard to blame The Features had they played one. They earned it.

Atlanta's Manchester Orchestra took the stage just fifteen short minutes later, quickly ratcheting up the intensity with the menacing metal-laced "Pride". It took no time for front man Andy Hull to put his searing tenor to good use firing up the crowd. The quietly shimmering backing "100 Dollars" served as a nice contrast to the gritted-teeth vocals, leading into the eruption of "In My Teeth" and frenzied, faster-paced take on "Shake It Out"; sending much of the crowd into fist-pumping delirium. The shaggy take on "Everything To Nothing" proved a nice change of pace mid-set, as the band tore into their version of a power ballad. Hull announced the impending summer release of their third album before unleashing the grubby southern stomp and wild laughing hook of "I Don't Know Anymore", said to be on the new album.

Stormy rocker "I Can Barely Breathe" showcased Hull's raw intensity, which drives the songs every bit as much as the thrusting music. Unfortunately, the haunting, extended jam take on "Where Have You Been?" marked one of only two songs played off their debut. The the early curfew shackled to Metro prevented more than an hour and fifteen minute set, though concert-goers would have gladly stayed for twice that time to hear more. It left fan-favorites like "Wolves At Night" and "The Neighborhood Is Bleeding" with no room on a setlist chock-full of heavier rockers from the latest album. With no time left for an encore, the stripped-down, pensive "I Can Feel A Hot One" served as an anti-climatic closer. Still, it is hard to argue that the sold-out crowd did not get their money's worth out of the smoldering set.

100 Dollars
In My Teeth
Shake It Out
Everything To Nothing
I Don't Know Anymore*
I Can Barely Breathe
My Friend Marcus
The River
Where Have You Been?
I've Got Friends
I Can Feel A Hot One

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Gaslight Anthem Reveal Artwork, First Single

The Gaslight Anthem have revealed the above artwork for their third album, American Slang. The new album is set to release on June 15th, on Side One Dummy Records. The album is produced by Ted Hutt, who also handled production on the band's fantastic sophomore set, The 59 Sound. The label has released the tracklist below, but those a bit too anxious to wait can get an early listen to the first single here.

1. American Slang
2. Stay Lucky
3. Bring It On
4. The Diamond Church Street Choir
5. The Queen of Lower Chelsea
6. Orphans
7. Boxer
8. Old Haunts
9. The Spirit Of Jazz
10. We Did It When We Were Young

Monday, March 22, 2010

Upcoming Shows - Week ending March 28th

This week plays out as a nicely stretched out list of awesome, beginning with a FREE show tonight at Empty Bottle with, up-and-coming indie pop stars, Pet Lions!

Monday, March 22nd – Empty Bottle – 9:30pm - FREE
Headliner: Pet Lions
Openers: This Is Versailles, Radar Eyes

Pet Lions + Empty Bottle + free show = Awesomeness! We have been harping on how great Pet Lions are for a while now. Between their recent trip to SXSW should expand and the eventual release of their debut, seeing these guys in smaller venues will be a thing of the past before you know it.

Tuesday, March 23rd – Metro – 6:30pm - $15
Headliner: Manchester Orchestra
Openers: The Features, Biffy Clyro, O'Brother

This is one of those rare shows where we would be just as happy if the main opener and headliner were reversed. Atlanta based rockers, Manchester Orchestra's sophomore album, Mean Everything To Nothing, was a definite high point in 2009 releases; more blowing the doors off their sound than just expanding it. We completely understand getting excited to hear it live (we sure are), but make sure not to miss The Features. The Tennessee band has been around for years, but last year signed to Kings Of Leon's imprint label to release their second LP, Some Kind Of Salvation. Their raw, passionate sound is definitely worth getting to the show early!

Thursday, March 25th – Schubas – 9pm - $8
Headliner: Roman Candle
Openers: Locksley, Rachele Eve

North Carolina roots-rockers, Roman Candle make a Chicago appearance at Schubas Thursday night. If the term 'alt-country' makes your ears perk up, this is the show for you this week. Skip Matheny's earnest, soulful vocals fit the story-telling songwriting wonderfully, and the band's sturdy rock backing, with a healthy dose of southern accents, sound fantastic.

Thursday, March 25th – Metro – 8pm - $22.50
Headliner: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Openers: Band Of Skulls, J Roddy Watson And The Business

If you are more in the mood for gritty blues Thursday night, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will scratch that itch with a hard-charging, bluesy sound that recalls classic rock greats like The Rolling Stones. Their latest, Beat The Devil's Tattoo, is a sweaty, distortion-tinged effort that should translate beautifully to the Metro stage.

Friday, March 26th – The Aragon – 8pm - $32.75
Headliner: Tegan And Sara
Openers: Steel Train, Holly Miranda

Though the Quin sisters have steadily changed their sound from one album to the next since they burst onto the scene with the brilliantly poppy So Jealous in 2004. Whether that candied gem, or the hauntingly itchy, Chris Walla-produced The Con, or their most recent foray into more straightforward rock Sainthood, Tegan And Sara have proved to be among the most talented, interesting artists around.

Saturday, March 27th – The Riv – 7:30 - $58.50
Headliner: Stone Temple Pilots

With a new album just announced, and a new single ("Between The Lines") hitting the web today, Stone Temple Pilots appear primed to reclaim their rightful place as one of the world's greatest rock bands. The album hits May 25th, but you can get an early listen Saturday at The Riv. They played four tracks at SXSW last week, and early buzz behind the album is strong.

Podcast 9 Up!

This week, we talk about Lilith and Lollapalooza festivals, and discuss the latest amazing show from Company Of Thieves. We also give our rundown of the next month's worth of shows to hit.

You can get to the podcast either by subscribing on iTunes or using our feed. Enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Company Of Thieves - March 18, 2010

Those long wait times between sets are always frustrating as a fan, especially when you can see the instruments all ready to go, like wrapped presents under the Christmas tree, with the band just waiting it out until the posted start time. It is refreshing to see a band so excited to jump on stage and play that they rip into the set list ten minutes early. Such was the case with Chicago's Company Of Thieves on Thursday night.

The extra time allowed them to take an extra new track or two out for a test drive. The half-a-dozen new tracks the quintet managed to squeeze in fit wonderfully within their eclectic songbook. From the energetic opener, "Pig", to the bosa nova flavored epic closer, "Like A Storm", allowing the band to show their explosive chops, it was clear the band is spreading their wings even further for the sophomore album. The smoky jazz of "Gorgeous/Grotesque" had front woman Genevieve Schatz singing through gritted teeth before the song unwrapped itself into a thick, bluesy solo for guitarist Marc Walloch and more of the belted-out vocals that makes Schatz such a force on stage. The best of the new material was easily the "Won't Go Quiet", with a breezier acoustic backing shining the spotlight directly on Schatz's amazing vocal skills. The song is good enough to serve as the lead single from the new album, which they have been hard at work writing material for over the last six months.

The band did a great job hitting as many fan favorites as possible with the rest of the setlist, though it is hard to hit everyone's favorites from an album as consistently brilliant as their debut without playing everything. An oddity on the album, the uneasy "Old Letters" is a live gem without the orchestral backing. Schatz introduced the hard-hitting "Pressure" as a song written when they were sacrificing everything for the band and playing open mic nights. It leaves you wondering what other mind-blowing talents are playing open mics. "The Fire Song" combined a thundering celebration of music with some of the most emotional vocals of the night. Set staple, "Oscar Wilde" came with a 'thank you' to XRT for their support. The band had a blast playing their biggest hit, clearly still as in love with the song's shimmering riffs and anthemic hook as fans are. At one point, the show was listed on Lincoln Hall's page as a 'special acoustic performance'. That changed weeks ago, but the sparse "Even In The Dark", with only Walloch on acoustic guitar to back the vocals, made you almost wish it had remained acoustic.

Company Of Thieves is one of those magical bands that, regardless of what time the set ends, you are left completely awake, in awe, and in need of more. The end of the regular set left fans chanting "Four more songs!", rather than the usual refrain of, "One more song!" The band tore through the bouncy pop of "Under The Umbrella" for the too-brief encore, before unleashing Walloch's guitar prowess on the fiery instrumental coda. The announcement that they will be at Lollapalooza is a bittersweet one, as you are left knowing their infectious rock will land on more ears, but also knowing the unfortunate 'no Chicago shows three months before or after' rule will keep the band out of local venues for a bit. At least that should give them time to record the much-needed follow-up to Ordinary Riches.

In Passing
Old Letters
Queen Of Hearts
The Fire Song
Nothing's In The Flowers
Oscar Wilde
Even In The Dark
Won't Go Quiet
Like A Storm

Under The Umbrella

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Single Of The Week - AM Taxi - The Mistake

This week, enjoy the debut single from AM Taxi's debut, We Don't Stand A Chance. One listen and you'll understand why we were so excited about them back when we saw them at Lincoln Hall in February. To get the song, subscribe to our podcast in iTunes, or using our podcast feed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lilith Fair Announces Chicago Line-up, Location

This summer's re-vitalization of Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair will officially hit Chicago on Saturday, July 17th, at First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre. Similar to the set-up of the original festival, each of the dates will feature eleven artists. The only holdovers from each city will be the opening set from the local Our Stage winning artist and the closing set from, festival-founder, Sarah McLachlan. A handful of the line-ups have been announced, with Chicago's listed below:

'Our Stage Winning Artist'
Kelly Clarkson
Kate Nash
Cat Power
Mary J. Blige
Meaghan Smith
La Roux
Vita Chambers
Sarah McLachlan

It is not quite our dream line-up, but Kate Nash and Cat Power are interesting picks and Heart adds a classic rock element to balance the poppy Kelly Clarkson, electro-bliss of La Roux and soulful Mary J. Blige.

For the record, the nine acts we would hand-pick from the list of those involved would be - Beth Orton, Brandi Carlile, Gossip, Metric, Tegan and Sara, Grace Potter And The Nocturnals, Kate Nash, Missy Higgins, and Sia. So, one out of nine isn't bad.... ?

St. Patrick's Day Playlist

A quick and dirty list of ten tracks from some of our favorite Irish artists to put you in the mood for green beer.

Bell X1 - How Your Heart Is Wired

Damien Rice - Woman Like A Man

Fionn Regan - Hunters Map

The Frames - Sad Songs

Glen Hansard & Marketa Iglova - Falling Slowly

La Rocca - Sketches (20 Something Life)

Lisa Hannigan - I Don't Know

Stand - Love Will Never Creep In

U2 - New Year's Day

Van Morrison - Into The Mystic

Monday, March 15, 2010

Upcoming Shows - Week ending March 21st

Our recommendations are a bit all over the map this week, but sometimes a little variety is a good thing. We promise you cannot go wrong with any of these four shows.

Monday, March 15th – Abbey Pub – 9pm - $10
Headliner: Stand

Is there a better way to kick off St. Patrick's Day week than seeing a great Irish rock band at an Irish pub? These guys have somehow slipped by us until the recent release of their latest album, 100,000 Ways To Harvest Hope. Based on the strength of songs like the jangling, heartfelt "Love Will Never Creep In", we are not sure how that happened.

Wednesday, March 17th – Metro – 8pm - $17
Headliner: The Tossers
Openers: Scott Lucas & The Married Men, The Matics, The Bottle & Stone Battalion

Southside Celtic-punk outfit, The Tossers play their annual St. Patrick's Day show at Metro. Need we say more?

Thursday, March 18th – Lincoln Hall – 9pm - $14
Headliner: Company Of Thieves
Openers: John Henry & The Engine, Hollus

We Are pretty sure we have somehow mentioned Company Of Thieves, in one way or another, on every podcast we have done. One visit to see the band we call 'Chicago's Finest' and you will know why. The glistening guitar, the vocal power of Genevieve Schatz, and the jazzy undercurrent running through their catchy, soulful brand of rock will win you over. They are your new favorite band, you just don't know it yet.

Friday, March 19th – Lincoln Hall – 9pm - $10
Headliner: The Right Now
Openers: VertiKal, Weber Band

You are not going to get too many soul or r&b recommendations on this site, but this one is an exceptional exception. This Chicago-based soul band is a throwback to classic Motown and Philly soul, serving up a full-band experience you do not get often enough out of the genre anymore. Give a listen to the horn-blaring goodness of "Ain't Going Back" and just try to resist this show. We dare you.

Podcast 8 - ShiteTown Notes

This week the guys talk about this summer’s Ravinia lineup, including Cat Empire, discuss the sudden surge in Dangerbird bands, and examine Amanda Palmer’s Evelyn Evelyn. They also review last week’s great We Were Promised Jetpacks show, with The Lonely Forest and Bear Hands.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We Were Promised Jetpacks - March 11, 2010

Shows like Thursday's We Were Promised Jetpacks appearance at Lincoln Hall are why we do what we do here, and was another in a great streak of reasons we always recommend showing up to shows early.

Brooklyn's Bear Hands opened the night with a solid set of indie rock that reminded us a bit of a psychedelic-tinged Vampire Weekend at parts. The passionate, aching vocals and heavy, distinct rhythms really made it clear why they are lined up for upcoming tours with Passion Pit and As Tall As Lions. Make sure to head to shows early where these guys are involved. Newly crowned next-big-thing, The Lonely Forest delivered the kind of performance that will only add to the swelling excitement around the summer release of their Chris Walla produced album, Arrows. Full of exceedingly catchy hooks and shaggy guitars, they are a bit like a poppier version of early Death Cab For Cutie. It is easy to hear why Walla chose this band to launch his new record label. "Is There An End" stood out in a set of gooey gems, sounding like a polished garage band taking on the brit-pop classics of John Hughes films.

Though the venue was packed from the start for the great three-band lineup, it was clear, as good as the first two bands were, the masses were there for Scotland's We Were Promised Jetpacks. The foursome took the stage to the haunting sound of the operator numbers from "A Half Built House" before fluttering through the instrumental introduction to "Keep Warm". The slow build up from atmospheric beauty to the jagged, jittery riffs of the song kicked the set off wonderfully. The tightly wound bliss of "Quiet Little Voices" came next, sounding as if it could snap and fall apart at any moment as front man Adam Thompson's stand-and-deliver method of belting out the cathartic lyrics rained over the crowd. It is a testament to the band that they have the confidence to play what could easily serve as the fist-pounding set-closer as the second track of the night; a move which could spell disaster for a lesser band.

We Were Promised Jetpacks are not exactly short on shout-a-long material. Lovestruck "Moving Clocks Run Slow" got a boost with edgier, determined vocals from Thompson to match the frantically spewing riffs. The band took the opportunity to play a couple of new tracks from their just-released The Last Place You'll Look EP. The EP itself is a more restrained take on the band's sound, but they ramped them up a bit to fit in better with the aggressive tone of the set. "A Far Cry" retained its sleepy open, but quickly gave way to rocky waves of riffs and rolling beats. The slow lead in of the operator numbers anxiously mocked the start of the topical "It's Thunder And It's Lightning"; with concert-goers braving a fierce spring storm on the way to the show. As soon as the pounding beat kicked up for the explosive song, the crowd erupted to sing-a-long.

The band wisely chose the ballsier version of "This Is My House, This Is My Home", rather than the softer take featured on the EP, before the wildly thrashing "Ships With Holes Will Sink". They are not likely to surprise you live, but when songs have as much raw emotion as "Ships", there is no need to mess with a good thing. The only small complaint of the night was the lack of an encore after the hour-long set. Thompson joked that they were 'silly', but when you earn it the way they did, there is nothing 'silly' about it. Thomspson commented at one point that they had played to about twenty fans at Empty Bottle last time through, and thanked everyone for coming back and 'bringing friends'. Based on the hard-charging set Thursday night, it is not hard to imagine the band playing to even larger, sold-out venues in the near future.

Keep Warm
Quiet Little Voices
Moving Clocks Run Slow
With The Benefit Of Hindsight
A Far Cry
It's Thunder And It's Lightning
Roll Up Your Sleeves
This Is My House, This Is My Home
Ships With Holes Will Sink
Short Bursts

Cloud Cult Ready New Album, Play A Few Shows

With a new album on the horizon, Cloud Cult is playing a few shows near their new hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. Luckily for us, that means a Chicago date at (cool-show hoggers) Lincoln Hall. Head out to the April 15th date for a chance to hear some of the new material, and possibly even win a painting at the after-show auction. The band travels with two artists, who are on-stage during the shows painting. The paintings are then auctioned off after the show

15th Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
16th Majestic Theatre Madison, WI
22nd U of M Earth Day Show Minneapolis, MN

Owl City Flies In For New Headlining Tour

For those who think MySpace is an irrelevant dinosaur at this point, we point you to the skyrocketing career of Owl City. The whirlwind jump from basement recordings to battle insomnia to Myspace fame to multi platinum recording artist has been a fast one for synthpop singer-songwriter Adam Young. The former Coca-Cola worker has gone from sleepless nights to selling out tours at large venues, largely on the strength of the dreamlike "Fireflies" and his reputation for great live shows. Sadly, the Chicago date, like most of the dates listed below, are already sold out. If you have tickets to it, or are in one of the few cities with tickets still available, consider yourself lucky.

30th Knitting Factory Boise, ID
31st Knitting Factory Spokane, WA
1st Paramount Theater Seattle, WA
3rd Roseland Theater Portland, OR
5th Fillmore San Francisco, CA
6th Fillmore San Francisco, CA
7th Fox Theater Pomona, CA
8th Soma San Diego, CA
9th Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA
10th Marquee Phoenix, AZ
12th Salt Air Salt Lake City, UT
13th Ogden Denver, CO
15th Stubbs Austin, TX
16th Verizon Wireless Theater Houston, TX
17th Nokia Theater Dallas, TX
19th War Memorial Nashville, TN
20th Tabernacle Atlanta, GA
22nd DAR Hall Washington, D.C.
23rd House of Blues Boston, MA
24th Terminal 5 New York, NY
25th Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA
28th House of Blues Cleveland, OH
29th Royal Oak Detroit, MI
30th Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL
1st State Theater Minneapolis, MN
2nd Eagle Ballroom Milwaukee, WI
4th Val Air Ballroom West Des Moines, IA

Kate Nash Announces North American Tour Dates

Poppy UK singer-songwriter, Kate Nash has released a handful of North American tour dates in support of her soon-to-be-released sophomore album, My Best Friend Is You, produced by, former Suede guitarist, Bernard Butler. You can get your hands on the album starting April 20th, then catch her live a little over a week later at Lincoln Hall on May 3rd.

April 26 - Toronto, ONT - Mod Theatre
April 28 - Boston, MA - Great Scott's
April 29 - New York, NY - The Bowery
May 1 - Williamsburg, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
May 3 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
May 5 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
May 7 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's
May 8 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
May 11 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Single Of The Week - Phantogram "When I'm Small"

If you subscribe to our podcast feed, you will get a little gift next time you open your podcast provider. This week's song is from electro-rock duo Phantogram, who we loved live a few weeks back. The track, "When I'm Small", is from their fantastic debut album, Eyelid Movies. If this grabs you, and we have a hard time imagining it won't, be sure to pick up the whole album. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Evelyn Evelyn Set To Release Debut, Tour The World

'Discovered' by Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls) and Jason Webley, Evelyn Evelyn are the world's first conjoined singer-songwriter duo. Produced, and, ok, performed, by Palmer and Webley, Evelyn Evelyn's debut album is a thing of wonder, imagination, and beauty in the vein of Tim Burton films. The album serves as a genre-jumping rock opera that you are unlikely to get out of your head for months after you hear it. Songs range from the gloriously cheesy eighties power ballad "My Space" to the ragtime piano bop of "Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?" What really makes the album tick are the amazingly detailed, heartbreaking songwriting. Rather than giving anything away about Evelyn Evelyn's upbringing and troubles, we suggest giving the album a listen from start to finish as soon as possible. The quickest way would be to pre-order the album (here), so you can receive the code to download the album before the release date.

With the debut set to release on March 30th, the duo is set to tour, with only a couple of dates so far for the states. No luck for any Chicago dates yet, but we will keep you posted. This is the kind of manic, inventive brilliance you need to see live.

April 12 - OBERON in Cambridge, Massachusetts
April 13 - OBERON in Cambridge, Massachusetts

April 17 - Oran Mor in Glasgow, Scotland
April 19 - The Academy in Dublin, Ireland
April 22 - Koko in Camden (London), UK
April 23 - Bush Hall in London, UK
April 24 - Bush Hall in London, UK
April 25 - Bush Hall in London, UK
April 27 - L'Europeen in Paris, France
April 28 - Melkweg in Amsterdam, Holland
April 29 - Kampnagel in Hamburg, Germany
May 1 - Babylon in Berlin, Germany
May 3 - Gloria in Cologne, Germany
May 4 - Arenbergschouwburg in Antwerp, Belgium

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Upcoming Shows - Week Ending March 14th

Got plans this weekend? You might want to rethink them…

Thursday, March 11th Lincoln Hall 9pm - $12

Headliner: We Were Promised Jetpacks

Openers: The Lonely Forest, Bear Hand

The latest Scotland sensation, We Were Promised Jetpacks returns to Chicago for a show at the wonderful Lincoln Hall. With a sound full of ragged, restless riffs and some amazingly gut-wrenching lyrics, they have a buzz around them for a reason. Their cathartic debut release was among the best we heard in 2009, and think you would have to have a screw loose to miss the band live. If you only see one show this week, make it this one!

Friday, March 12th Schubas – 7pm - $12

Headliner: David Ford

Openers: Brent Puls

If you manage to make out to just two shows this weekend, we highly recommend UK singer-songwriter David Ford at Schubas. Singer-songwriters may be a dime-a-dozen, but Ford's unique one-man-band show, looping all the pieces together live on stage, is truly something you need to see to believe. Add a fantastic voice and brutally honest lyrics, and you have a can't-miss show.

Friday, March 12th United Center – 7:30pm - $40 – $60

Headliner: Muse

Openers: Silversun Pickups

If you are in the market for something much, much bigger, head over to United Center for two stadium-ready bands – Muse and Silversun Pickups. We normally ignore the United Center shows here, but having witnessed first-hand the brilliance of both bands, we find this one a great exception.

Friday and Saturday, March 12th and 13th The Vic – 8pm - $50, $100, $250

Headliner: Jeff Tweedy

The Wilco front man puts on these annual benefit shows once a year, so this is your limited opportunity to catch Jeff Tweedy in a solo setting. The price may be a little higher, but it is not like you are going to be catching Wilco in this intimate a venue anytime in the near future.

Friday, March 12th Beat Kitchen – 9pm - $12

Headliner: Pelican

Openers: Piebender, Follows

This would be an easier recommendation if it were not for all else going on this night. The good news is, you can probably catch the molten instrumental metal of Pelican after heading to Metro to see Mustard Plug.

Friday, March 12th Metro – 6:30pm - $19

Headliner: Aqua Bats

Openers: Mustard Plug, Plunket

If you are in the mood for some horn-happy ska, Mustard Plug might be just the ticket on Friday night. Go skanking!

Saturday, March 13th The Bottom Lounge – 7pm - $15

Headliner: Ted Leo And The Pharmacists

Openers: Title Tracks, The Chicago Stone Lightning Band

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists head to Chicago on the heels of releasing this week's The Brutalist Bricks. We recommend heading out and finding out and hearing their energetic balance of punk and pop live.

Saturday, March 13th The Aragon6pm - SOLD OUT

Headliner: Flogging Molly

Openers: Frank Turner And The Architects

This eclectic fusion of traditional Irish music and punk rock is playing at a venue as large as The Aragon for a reason. It's not quite St. Patrick's Day, but why not get the week off to a Guinness soaked start?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Miniature Tigers Ready New Album, Tour Dates

There seems to be something in the desert air in Arizona the last several years that has led to a boatload of exciting indie rock bands, like Reuben's Accomplice, Kinch, and Dear & The Headlights. Miniature Tigers, another in the long string of great Arizona rockers, are set to release their sophomore set, Fortress, sometime this summer. In anticipation, the band is ready to jump on tour in support of The Morning Benders, whose, front man, Chris Chu co-produced the album. You can get an early listen to the new material live, when they hit Schubas April 12th.

w/The Morning Benders
Mar 10 - Philadelphia @ Johnny Brendas
Mar 11 - Washington DC @ Black Cat
Mar 12 - Chapel Hill @ Local 506
Mar 13 – Atlanta @ Drunken Unicorn
Mar 15 – Birmingham @ The Bottletree
Mar 17 - 4:00pm / Feed The Beat Dayparty @ PureVolume
Mar 18 – 1:00am / Official SXSW Showcase @ Friends’ Bar
Mar 19 – 3:15pm / Party and Session @ The Dog and Duck Pub
w/The Morning Benders
Mar 23 – Phoenix @ Rhythm Room
Mar 25 – LA @ The Troubador
Mar 26 – San Diego @ The Casbah
Mar 27 – Costa Mesa @ Detroit Bar
Mar 28 – Santa Barbara @ Muddy Waters
Mar 30 – San Francisco @ The Independent
Apr 1 – Portland @ Holocene
Apr 2 – Seattle @ Crocodile Café
Apr 5 – Provo @ Club Velour
Apr 7 – Denver @ Hi-Dive
Apr 9 – Des Moines @ The Vaudeville Mews
Apr 10 – Ames @ The Maintenance Shop
Apr 11 – Rock Island @ Huckleberry’s Pizza (Daytrotter Presents)
Apr 12 – Chicago @ Schubas
Apr 16 – Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House
Apr 17 – Boston @ TT The Bear’s
Apr 22 – NYC @ Mercury Lounge

Minus The Bear Announce Omni Release Date

Seattle indie quartet, Minus The Bear have announced a May 4th release date for their fourth album, titled Omni. It will mark the band's first on, indie darling, Dangerbird Records (Silversun Pickups, Sea Wolf). Tour dates, kicking off April 21st, are due shortly, but you can catch them all over SXSW from March 18th - 20th.
Track list

My Time
Summer Angel
Secret Country
Hold Me Down
The Thief
Into the Mirror
Animal Backwards
Dayglow Vista Rd.
Fooled by the Night

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Podcast 7 - Gone Skanking

This week the guys talk about the re-formed Sublime, discuss new albums from The Black Keys and Kate Nash, and dish out a bunch of shows worth checking out. Oh, and we go skanking...

Subscribe on iTunes, or listen to the stream below. Thanks!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sublime Reunites Under New Name, Kind Of

After a 14-year hiatus, some say break-up, which started with the overdose death of founder, lead singer and guitarist Bradley Nowell, the Long Beach ska/punk band Sublime is back, sort of.

Now dubbed Sublime with Rome, this incarnation of the trio includes founding members, drummer Bud Gaugh and bassist Eric Wilson, and its new singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez.

The 21-year-old Ramirez, who goes simply by Rome, made his unofficial debut with the band in October of 2009 at a club gig in Nevada with the official debut occurring at Cypress Hill's Smokeout Festival a few days later. Originally introduced to the band by a friend of Wilson’s, Rome sounds and plays eerily like Nowell and became the perfect person to front a re-launch of the band.

However, this new chapter of the band’s story started with some unexpected drama. Upon hearing about Wilson and Gaugh’s intentions, Nowell’s family expressed their intent to file a lawsuit against the band and stop them from performing under the moniker Sublime. After some months, an agreement was struck, and the band Sublime with Rome was born.

With all legalities settled, the new embodiment of Sublime announced a small tour, which includes a stop here in Chicago on April 28 at the Riv. Be sure to grab tickets early though. The cult following of the original Sublime will surely snap up all the tickets to the 2,300-seat venue.

Sublime with Rome Spring Tour:

April 20 in Los Angeles, CA. at The Palladium

April 21 in Los Angeles, CA. at The Palladium

April 23 in Oakland, CA. at The Fox Theatre

April 26 in Denver, Co. at The Fillmore

April 28 in Chicago, IL. at The Riviera

May 1 in New York, NY. at The Roseland Ballroom

May 5 in Philadelphia, PA. at The Electric Factory

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Black Keys Announce New Album

Gritty blues duo, The Black Keys have announced a May 18th release date for Brothers, their sixth LP. The album follows a year of side projects for the band's two members, with Dan Auerbach releasing a solo album, Keep It Hid, and Patrick Carney releasing Drummer's debut LP; a band made up entirely of drummers from other bands. The duo also collaborated with rappers like Mos Def and Q-Tip on Blakroc last year. With tour dates set for announcement shortly, stay tuned for info on when you can catch them in Chicago. In the meantime, here is the setlist for Brothers, recorded at the famous Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama (The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin) being released by Nonesuch Records.

Everlasting Light
Next Girl
Tighten Up
Howlin’ For You
She’s Long Gone
Black Mud
The Only One
Too Afraid To Love You
Ten Cent Pistol
Sinister Kid
The Go Getter
I’m Not The One
Unknown Brother
Never Gonna Give You Up
These Days

As Tall As Lions Announce New Headlining Tour Dates

New York-based indie darlings, As Tall As Lions are set to embark on their first headlining tour since releasing 2009's You Can't Take It With You. Lucky for us, the tour kicks off in Chicago, with an April 6th stop at Bottom Lounge. Tickets go on sale this Friday, March 5th, with special pre-orders available to fan club members at their site; which comes with the added bonus of reduced service fees and a special edition poster signed by the band. No word yet on opening bands, but all you really need to know is that they are a fantastic, psychedelic-tinged indie rock band definitely worth your attention live.
06-Apr Chicago, IL The Bottom Lounge
07-Apr Minneapolis, MN The Varsity Theater
09-Apr Kansas City, MO Record Bar
10-Apr Denver, CO Marquis Theatre
13-Apr Tempe, AZ Clubhouse Music Venue
14-Apr El Paso, TX Club 101
16-Apr Indio, CA COACHELLA
19-Apr San Francisco, CA Slim’s
21-Apr Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
22-Apr Seattle, WA Neumos
23-Apr Boise, ID Neuorlux
24-Apr Salt Lake City, UT Club Sound
27-Apr Dallas, TX The Cambridge Room @ HOB
30-Apr Orlando, FL The Social
01-May Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
02-May St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
03-May Atlanta, GA Vinyl
05-May Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
06-May New York, NY The Fillmore @ Irving Plaza
07-May Baltimore, MD Sonar Club Stage
09-May Cambridge, MA Middle East (Downstairs)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Kate Nash Incoming

While the likes of Duffy and, to a further extent, Amy Winehouse tried to test our patience with UK female singer-songwriters, Kate Nash's 2008 debut, Made Of Bricks, was a breath of fresh air from our friends across the pond. Fans will not have much longer to wait for her yet-untitled follow-up, since Nash has announced an April 20th US release date. No tour dates have been announced yet, but we will certainly let you know when you can catch her in Chicago when we find out. In the meantime, you can get an early listen to the first single, "Do Wah Doo", exclusively at If that doesn't hold you, might we suggest a healthy dose of "Pumpkin Soup" in the meantime.

Track list:

You’ll Never Listen
Kiss That Girl
Don’t You Want To Share The Guilt
I Just Love You More
Do Wah Doo
Higher Price
I’ve Got A Secret
Mansion Song
Oh Jay
Later On
You Were So Far Away
I Hate Seagulls

Upcoming Shows - Week ending March 7th

Another week, another batch of quality shows to check out. At least this week, there is just one night with a choice to make.
Tuesday, March 2nd – Schubas – 8pm - $10
Headliner: The new York Songwriting Circle: Chicago Showcase

The Sandhill Crane, Ty Maxon, and Ryan Suzuka might not ring a bell yet, but either did Company Of Thieves when they won this competition with "Oscar Wilde" in 2007. If you are a bit more adventurous with your concertgoing, we think you are very likely to stumble upon at least one or two of the six artists here that will make you glad you gave the showcase a shot.

Thursday, March 4th – The Vic – 7:30pm - $26.50
Headliner: Gomez
Opener: One eskimO

Britpop indie outfit, Gomez returns to the states with their multi-lead singer setup for an all-too rare stop at The Vic. Be sure to get there on time to catch up-and-coming opening act, One eskimO; whose brand of atmospheric acoustic rock is sure to win you over.

Friday, March 5th – Lincoln Hall – 10pm – SOLD OUT
Headliner: Black Joe Lewis And The Honeybears
Openers: Hacienda, DJRC

If you ever wished you were born a few decades earlier to catch the likes of James Brown live in his prime, this is your (more modern) chance. Black Joe Lewis and his band bring the funk, soul, and blues like no other; full of blaring horns, soulful backing vocals, and guttural vocals from their amazing front man.

Friday, March 5th – Empty Bottle – 10pm - $10
Headliner: Foreign Born
Openers: Free Energy, Clovers, DJ Hugsen Kissus

If you did not heed our warning and grab your tickets to Black Joe Lewis early, Free Energy's opening set at Empty Bottle on Friday night is a fine substitute. With a sound that lovingly recalls the party rock of the late seventies, Free Energy is a new band worth keeping tabs on.

Saturday, March 6th – Lincoln Hall – 10pm - $14
Headliner: Fruit Bats
Openers: Blue Giant (ex Viva Voce), The Singleman Affair

Fruit Bats are great, but the real draw here has to be Blue Giant. The husband and wife team that were the ragged rock duo Viva Voce have jumped ship to create Blue Giant, a full band. The expanded lineup expands their sound, and gives them a more southern-blues sound. Does four members equal twice the awesomeness of Viva Voce? Vanguard Records, the label that recently scooped them up, sure thinks so. Find out why on Saturday.