Friday, August 28, 2015

The goat, he digs the art!

This is going on in my neighborhood this weekend, and while the increased foot traffic is annoying I like the fact that it is a chance for artists to move their wares. But the reason I'm posting this is purely related to the fact that I find this poster really playful and inventive. I love it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Dude, you’ve tortured us for years by not releasing it. It’s time that changed. I’ve been really patient, so c’mon, pretty please?

I mean, until then I’ll just have to make do with the recently expanded version of the soundtrack streaming below, but I’d like one that’s on my phone that I can listen to hundreds of feet underground. You know, in case I get trapped in a cave in, or down a well, or something like that.

Would you really want to deprive me of these sweets sounds in that situation, Mr. Wedren?

Do the right thing, Craig, RELEASE THE SOUNDTRACK!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I've been staring at this blank screen.

Sitting on the couch, listening to podcasts and trying to find inspiration to write something, anything, and realizing there's too much swirl and twirl right now for me to grasp any words being tossed all about my head. So instead I'll just write this. This anything. Because it's something.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tenement joins the punk opera movement. Kinda. At least their ambition mirrors it.

Photo via Tenement's Facebook page
I heard about Tenement on the New York Times Popcast a few months ago and it took me a while to actually get off my ass and track down the double album they released in July, Predatory Headlights. There seems to be a new onrush of punk rock double albums lately, which means the genre has moved onward to its prog-rock phase, finally! I kid, I kid. Part of punk rock is all about eschewing boundaries, and while Tenement's sound is far closer to early '90s indie, in my mind that makes them more punk rock than 98% of the Warped Tour bill. This trio does things their way and are SO underground that they live just a few hundred miles north of me yet I'd never heard of them. Then again, my house party days are mostly behind me so I guess that's not that unexpected.

Forgive my prattling on.

Anyway, I admire the band's striving to record something so sprawling, and it mostly works. The problem with a double album is that unless you have a really great concept paired with an incredible collection of songs, the thing in its entirety can occasionally be a wearying affair. And some of the experimentalism on Predatory Highlights trends toward the solipsistic. But there's enough killer to offset the filler,* and the track below is one of the best on the LP. (UPDATE: Since this was first written now the whole album was up, so pick and choose what you like!). Give it a spin and if it tickles your fancy plunk down a few bucks for the whole thing.

*I'm totally using this phrase again when I write a review for something else. It's too good to only use once.**

**It's been used a thousand times already, hasn't it? And I'm just foolish enough to think my own brain was special enough to spawn it, right?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Looking forward to seeing friends.

It's been a rough couple of weeks on a number of levels, but this weekend offers the promise of seeing many old friends on Saturday we haven't hung out with since our wedding party, as well as the chance at a quiet Sunday either brunching or just being mellow. The next two weekends are jam-packed with BIG MUSIC SHOWS and stuff like that so I'm looking forward to a weekend of reconnecting and relative normalcy. My batteries need it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Too hot to consider different perspective on 2 hot topics?

One-sided outrage needs counterpoints so let's not call these hot takes, let's call them controversy deflators, or at least brief attempts to show how perspectives change as you view situations from slightly different angles than the current outrage-o-meter seems capable of doing.

*Live article is here, but I linked to that PDF because there's been some editing to soften it since it was originally published.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Have you heard ... The Struts?

The Struts
The Struts are straight out of Derby in the U.K., and they traffic in a classic rock, rowdy, glam animal sound that is more than a little reminiscent of Slade. They look kind of obnoxious, like the sorts of dudes who actually wear multiple scarves and floppy hats as a regular outfit—stagewear as street wear, per se—but I don't really care. I'm willing to overlook these things as long as the band keeps churning out their party anthems.

The lead off single off their latest release,  Have You Heard, is below. If you like it, snag the EP and immediately fire up track four, "Where Did She Go," and envision it's inevitable rise as a stadium sing-along.

The Struts play Schubas on September 15 and I predict it will be a wild fucking show. I'm not missing it, that's for sure.

UPDATE: The show moved to Lincoln Hall over two nights now, with the first night sold out, so get tickets to night number 2 now!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Non-stop development.

I've been struggling with all th new construction in our Bucktown neighborhood. I mean, Wicker Park and Bucktown jumped the shark over a decade plus ago, but there seems to be a new movement ripping up all the remaining property in favor of eyesore after eyesore. And it reached critical mass a few weeks ago when I noticed a building that was already modern was being demolished to make room for another building that looked almost exactly like it, only with one additional floor.

Look, progress is one thing, but this is ridiculous. But hey, what can you do? In reality, unless you're made of money and can afford to buy up all this stuff yourself? Nothing. Oh well.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Two stoners on a stage.

Photo by pooneh ghana
JEFF The Brotherhood's Wasted On The Dream is another LP I just didn't get around to writing about more fully. But, I mean, what is there to say? They're write stoner metal pop. And they do it well. O.K., this time around they bring in a few compatriots to flesh out the two man band set up, including  The Raconteurs Jack Lawrence on bass the whole way through with guest appearances from Beth from Best Coast and a few of the Diarrhea Planet dudes, and it sounds all the more swell for it.

The song that I keep returning to is the one that sounds least like them though. The whole record is solid but there's something genuinely yearning at the heart of "Coat Check Girl" that makes the song feel like its the first time Jake's looking everyone in the eye while delivering the lyrics.

Tell me if you can see what I mean.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pop pick-me-up.

Fort Lean has a bit of a Brit-pop sound mixed with NYC downtown fashion rock. Does that make sense? A bit of a Killers delivery too. Their debut, Quiet Day, came across my desk in April and I'd been sort of sitting on it, not really sure if there was anything I could say about it that would feel fresh and new. And now that months have passed I realize that, aside from the opening sentences, I don't, really.

But while I have nothing really novel to drop about the band, they're definitely worth your attention. And if you haven't enough time to listen to the whole LP, then the two tracks below are certainly the most essential. But I suspect that once you listen to them, you'll find time for the other ten when the album comes out in October.

*Yeah, I got it in April because it was originally going to be released in June ... so I have no idea what happened there. Just stop reading this footnote and listen to the music already!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I need a pick me up. Thanks Radkey.

Photo by Vinny Dingo
I'm not super familiar with Radkey, but folks seem to like them. Their new album—out in two weeks—is O.K. and sounds like what I imagine Glen Danzig would sound like if a) his voice was still in good shape and b) if he could write hooks. The tune below if the best song on the album, and just the kind of thing I need to get me through the end of today.

They're on a loooooong tour right now, so look for them coming through your town. If you're in Chicago they play Township on October 10.

tour dates

Monday, August 10, 2015

The sun is so bright I can't open my eyes.

Can one suffer from seasonal depression in the middle of the summer? Asking for a friend.

I mean, despite a pretty great weekend, that was literally chock filled with fun activities and out of neighborhood adventure, I can NOT shake a serious case of the Mondays. Blerg.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Melting cathode ray tubes in your teevee.

I listened to this week's Sound Opinions at lunchtime and since the episode centered on music in both television commercials and TV shows, Greg Kot's Desert Island disc pick was television themed as well. He picked the moment Neil Young refound his fire and fury and became relvant again. Watch below and witness one of the most raw, best live music performances in Staurday Night Live history.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

PT: round two.

Hey, remember my screwed up arm and back? Well, I'm back at it for another round of physical therapy in the hopes of fixing this years long issue. This time instead of a bunch of exercises once or twice a day, it's a single exercise every two hours. It's like I'm trying to reprogram portions of my back in order to take care of an issue that extends all the way down my arm. Here's hoping it works!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Can you believe I'm almost happy to be back in the midst of a normal work week?

I really do like going to Lollapalooza, but it wears on you. You're writing and running the whole time, sweating to get stuff up quickly that still feels cohesive, and on little to no sleep. So now that I'm back firmly in the saddle of the 9-to-5, this almost feels like a vacation!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Three days of music = complete exhaustion!

Another Lollapalooza is in the books! And we survived! I've been going since it began as Jane's Addiction's farewell tour, and while it's certainly now a completely different beast, I'm still happy it's now based in Chicago. And I'm even happier with the coverage we did this year, with help from Mich, Casey and Annie. Read al about it!

And now, zzzzZZZZZZZZ...