Thursday, April 30, 2015


Green Day's Dookie is one of those albums that hasn't aged, not one whit. It gets in and gets out in a flash leaving nothing but smoking rubber on the asphalt in its wake. Just thought I'd share that with you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Not going to pretend I'm too cool to not get giddy over this.

My first time having a table reserved for me since I started going to Metro back in the '80s! I'm sure I looked like a total nerd when I took this photo too but I don't care.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The nü-ly smooth sound of ye Yukon Blonde?

Yukon Blonde's got a new album coming out in June! You're probably not familiar with them, which is a shame both because I've already written about how great they are and jeebis how does everyone not already know how great they are! The new album, On Blonde, is supposed to be a more sophisticated take on their winning power pop, and based on this first video that seems to mean smooth as hell synths. I like 'em when they're more raw, but we'll see how the rest of the album sounds before I make any snap judgements.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Keep bought me a t-shirt and I thought it was bread (at first)!
Two great shows bookended a weekend that also included my bachelor party. When I came into work today the ACD I work with most often told me she had been joking with folks just before our 9 a.m. meeting that I was probably still home sleeping. BUT I  AM A TROOPER!

Thank you to every single person I saw this weekend because each of you made all the events of the past few days just feel better and better.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The genesis of the downfall of the music industry

Posited: major label consolidation led to the rise of piracy and the death of the music industry as we knew it. And to build on that so it's not all just capitalism's fault, testosterone had a lot to do with it too. But maybe that's the same thing.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mac sans 'Chunk is still rad.

Photo of Mac McCaughan by Lissa Gotwals
Mac McCaughan's solo debut is out in a few weeks and I'm digging it. There's a definite '80s vibe going on there with synths and midtempo tunes and such (as well as a few rockers so don't worry) but if you want a taste of the edge of the sound to get a gauge on what to expect, you can do no wrong with "Box Batteries."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The new Blur album doesn't disappoint ...YAAAAAAAAY!

Blur © Linda Brownlee, courtesy the band
My most anticipated release of 2015 was finally sent out to the media last night and it does not disappoint. Obviously I'll have a full review at Chicagoist, but upon the first few listens, Blur's The Magic Whip is really, really good. In the progression of Blur albums, it sounds like what might have come after their self-titled 1997 LP had they not taken a hard left into the much more experimental (and well loved by me) terrain of 13.

And yes, I'm totally using that in my review.

UPDATE: You can now stream the whole thing too!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Last night was a grand ol' good time.

The Local H and Fig Dish show was great. And it proved that maybe I am starting to get old because I was home by 11-ish, remember the whole evening, and got into no arguments with anyone. Maturity, ahoy!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Holy Hasselhoff!

Really is there a better way to see out a Friday?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Springtime for your ears.

This is the time of year most of the hotly anticipated tune-age finds it's way into the wild. If the first months of the year are for sleeper hits, this is the season for blockbusters. And two of my favorite bands are releasing their first albums, one in over a decade* and the other after an almost two decade wait.** And neither one is Guns N' Roses!

And so far everything I've heard from both those bands and a slew of others has me thinking this is going to be a very, very good season.

*Blur. Duh
**Faith No More. DOuble duh.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jools Holland's people need to get with the program!

O.K., it's probably not Jools Holland himself I should blame for the Blur performance on his show being scrubbed from the internets. It's the stick in the mud BBC. But, c'mon, really?! I would totally watch the program's official stream—and even happily sit through ad preroll—but as you can see from the image above, that is not possible.

In other news I AM DYING to hear the new Blur album. My hopes are up. Advance watermarks may even go out this week, I am told. I can't wait for one to hit my inbox.


(Also, I am apparently some music crazy teenager in this post.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday night report card.

Last night's show, how was it you ask?
  • A+   Sam Vicari, who gave it his all and wasn't afraid to do so onstage
  • C   Second band, who probably should have opened and it would have raised their weighted score
  • B+   Colleen Green, who was solid but the air of "too cool for school" was a tad distracting
  • A   Upset, who did their best to bring it all back up and keep the energy going on a Monday night
  • A+   Mich, for going out on a Monday night and having a good tme

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rocking out on Mondays and Sundays.

Seeing these guys Sunday, photo of Local H by Katie Hovland
I am no real fan of going to see a show on either a Sunday or a Monday, yet this week I kick things off with a show at Beat Kitchen tonight, and end the week with a show at Metro on Sunday.

But they'll both be totally worth it.

Friday, April 10, 2015

176 albums so far.

I've listened to 176 new albums released (or soon to be released) in 2015. You certainly can't accuse me of not doing my due diligence before writing up bands!

That said, that volume of music does have the curious effect of being simultaneously exhausting and illuminating. With that much sound running through my ears when something stands out that's usually a good sign that it is really good.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Party planner.

You know for a guy that used to put on multiple events a week you'd think I wouldn't be so paralyzed at the thought of nailing down my own bachelor party! Isn't that ironic?

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Tarts! Soon!

New project in the works! Ever since I realized the one and only "official" Ultra Sonic Edukators album was available and posted it up, I've been wanting to highlight a few other "hidden gems" of the scene. There were a LOT of bands that were great in Chicago in the late '90s and early to mid aughts that never benefited from the wider acclaim they probably would have received in a more "connected" time (like now).

Anyway, one of the bands I've been pursuing off and on over the years—The Tarts—finally gave me not only their blessing but all their recordings. So I'm in the process of making them all nice and lining up all the appropriate credits and such, but soon they'll be available for the world to hear! And I think that's really exciting. When you hear the recording I think you'll be excited too.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Update on my deteriorating body OR man am I old or what?

Saw the orthopedic specialist as a follow up about my aching body and found out there's nothing he can do for me. Physical therapy did nothing for me. So now it's on to another specialist. Which is super frustrating since I just want this pain gone already. The only good news was that since my MRIs look jim-dandy there's probably no threat of me  needing surgery.

So there's that.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Big weekend!

Knocked yet another big item off a looming checklist and I couldn't be happier with the result! Cryptic? Yes!

However Chase Bank did their best to make the experience miserable, but in the end I persevered and previaled!

Friday, April 03, 2015

Going to see these guys tonight.

Tonight is one of those nights there are a million shows in Chicago, but we picked OK Go to see over everyone else.

Hehe, I said "a million" above without even thinking about the connection of the video I was about to post. Anyway, here's OK Go when they were just a bunch of wee tykes still living in Chicago!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Now THIS sounds like classic Blur!

I stumbled across a stream of the new Blur album a few days ago and grew despondent as I listened to it ... until I realized it was actually just a collection of b-sides someone had packaged up and labeled as their new LP.  Their new video has allayed many of my fears the new album would be dominated by mopey Albarn ballads (not that I mind those) but instead sound like an actual collaborative effort. Yes!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


There's nothing more terrifying than a blank page. That's a belief Mich shared with me a few days ago when we were talking about the creative process in general. Me? The blank page only scares me if it stays that way.