Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hey VARSITY, just settle down!

VARSITY, photo by Aleia + Alex
I can’t remember how I got into Chicago’s VARSITY in the first place. It feels like I might have either stumbled into an opening set of the band, or maybe they were recommended to me by Keep. Or did i ever try and book them at some point? No clue.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything new from the band, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a Bandcamp email this morning alerting me that they had a new song!

Given the dire mood of the past couple days, this blast of pop hits the spot, even if its own lyrics aren’t quite as filled with sunshine as the music.



It looks like they also shot a video for the tune, if you feel more visually inclined today.

It looks they are also on tour! Happyface! Though it appears I missed their Chicago show. Sadface.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Stunning.

I've been offline most of the day, home sick with a summer cold that just won't let go, and of course as soon as I logged on this evening I was met with this news. Not that I should have been surprised. But what is it going to take for Republicans as a whole to turn on this guy and just remove him from office before he systematically dismantles and crushes an entire nation through his own willful ignorance?

Monday, August 14, 2017

I’m speechless.

Every time I think things can’t get any worse, that the U.S. must have finally hit bottom bottom, I am proven horrifically wrong.

I don’t even know what to say.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Kesha's 'Rainbow' is finally out.

You should buy it now.

I mean, I am certain I will spill a couple hundred words on it within the next few days but trust me when I say this is definitely worth your hard-earned cash. You won't regret picking it up.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Huge, fuzzy, chunky power-pop thy name is Partner.

Partner, photo by Colin Medley
Oh my god oh my god oh my god file this debut by Partner under one of those albums you happen to play as soon as you get it and it totally makes your day and possibly becomes your instantaneous favorite album of the month and you then wonder how you made it this far into the summer without this album existing because it is sunshine and it is smiley faces and it is everything upbeat and positive and almost blinding in its pinpoint pop sensibilities (with the only misstep being the dotting of there trackless with some skits but hey you can delete those after an initial listen and once you do the album that was nigh perfect is even more so) and you want everyone to hear the whole thing RIGHT THIS SECOND but OH NO IT ISN’T OUT UNTIL SEPTEMBER 8 so you resign yourself to sharing a single song and simultaneously pity both everyone around you who isn’t listening to the whole album along with you and yourself for having to enjoy this piece of wonder in solitary because something like this is meant to be listened to with all your friends past, present, and future and JESUS this is really good and thank you Josée Caron and thank you  Lucy Niles for creating this album and making this the absolute best Thursday this Thursday could be.



Oh yeah. Partner plays Township in Chicago on September 28. Oh, and in Palatine at Dirty Nellie’s (?!) with PUP (???!!!I might have to travel to the homeland???!!!) on October 3.

Here's another song on the album that's not streaming on the album but available in single form so you can at least get another taste of the delicious brew this Canadian duo has concocted.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Oh. Did I mention I saw Parry Farrell sing with Foo Fighters in one of my favorite concert venues of all time last weekend?



Oh, I didn't? Well, I did.

Also, in case you’re wondering, I shot this without being that annoying guy at the show holding his phone above his head and blocking everyone’s view. Instead I was in the back of the room, against a doorway (it was packed in there) with no one directly behind me.

The handful of times I have filmed whole songs of bands—the very last one ever performed by The Postal Service is one of the other very few (which was exactly four years to the day from the Foo Fighters' show!)—I hold my phone against my chest if I’m not against a wall.

So no, don’t worry, I’m not that guy.

Anyway, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

An unexpected media vacation courtesy Lollapalooza really hit the spot.

From Thursday through Monday most of my digital activity was in the realm of producing content via both my personal social channels and public articles on Chicagoist. One side effect of Lolla is you have almost no cell reception throughout the entire weekend, and when you do get a bar or two of signal I tend to use it to send out observations and reports and not waste it sucking down content. So that meant I read news stories in one or two windows of time a day (usually at home in the morning right after I finished writing and in the late afternoon via the wi-fi in the media area) and boy was that a nice change of pace.

I would love to say I learned something from this brief respite, like that I would continue to stagger consumption, but I know I won't.*

I'm jut going to appreciate how nice it was, even for such a brief period of time.

*Although, truly, if these keeps up, I will have to start rationing. We keep saying this can't keep up, and it does. Even with Trump ostensibly on vacation (incidentally not a move I consider it worth criticizing him for since everyone is due a vacation, even a President I don't care for, and in the President's case there is no real such thing as a vacation nyway so stop trying to use this as lame excuse to paint Trump as lacy, in this respect) the news cycle is running at a rate that would send a hamster wheel into hyperspace.

Monday, August 07, 2017

The fourth day of Lollapalooza was ... the last day.

Time to go home, until next year, *sniff, sniff*
Arcade Fire was great. Lollapalooza was great. It was my 18th Lolla, and Mich's 13th. I know, WHAT??

Check out the wrap-up of Sunday's music and mayhem on Chicagoist.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

The third day of Lollapalooza was ... just right!

I like this photo of Chance I took. Little Chance flanked by two BIG Chances!
Finally! We got awesome weather!

Oh yeah, and the music was good too. Read all about Saturday's Lolla goings on at Chicagoist.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Thursday, August 03, 2017

The calm before the storm.

For once the title is literal. Bracing for rain today. Is Lollapalooza a Lollapalooza if there isn't some sort of crazy weather warning going into it? I would like to think, one year, the answer will be yes.

But this isn't that year and I am packing a poncho!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Lollapalooza 2017 is almost here! Are you prepared?

This anxiety-inducing photo is courtesy of Soaring Badger Productions. It’s not as scary from ground level, I promise.
Four days of music, parties, afterparties, writing, more writing, more music, and trying to remind myself I need to eat some food then realizing it's 9 p.m. and I haven't had lunch, much less dinner!

Anyway, to help everyone get prepared here are some helpful posts I worked on that you should check out if you want to make the most of the coming looooong weekend.

Read:
Our Lollapalooza 2017 Survival Guide & Cheat Sheet

Read:
Lollapalooza 2017: 21 Acts We're Looking Forward To This Weekend

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

How much new music did I listen to in July 2017? Let's find out!

"Hey, what're you listening to?"
Huh, judging by the numbers, July was truly the cruelest month. I definitely found myself digging more into back catalogs of favorite artists as the more recent releases piled up scores of 2s and 3s.

Also, I bought and moved into a house, so that ate into my usual listening time. So, there's that.

Here’s hoping that after Lollapalooza I’ll be facing a new stream of more excellent releases!

In case you’re new to these monthly recaps, or need a refresher, here's a guide to making sense of my personal rating system.

Total number of new/upcoming releases listened to in June 2017: 52

Number of those releases that rated 7-10: 0

Number of those releases that rated 4-6: 35

Number of those releases that rated 1-3: 17

Highest rated album: Arcade Fire’s Everything Now. I know it’s getting slammed left and right, but I liked it. That said, it only warranted a 6 so it didn’t strike me as a grand artistic achievement, just a fun listen. As I get older I could care less whatWin Butler is saying; I’m just glad the music fund its groove again. I guess that’s why most people hate it? Not serious enough? Whatever.

New band I’d never heard of that caught me off guard: Aye Nako’s Silver Haze hits all the right button in me. It’s all '90s sloppy indie guitars and slurry vocals.Honestly, I need to give this another listen to see if I like it because it presses the right buttons or because it stands on its own. But for now, it counts as catching me off guard.

Most surprising discovery: That Lana Del Rey is capable of a few good songs. What isn’t surprising is she ruined the chance to do something great by releasing an overstuffed LP when and EP of duets would have been a better choice.