Thursday, July 28, 2011
...with bands! ...Snacks, Lechuguillas, Piss Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan, Orbit Perturber (intro), and Ed Schrader's Music Beat. Not in this video, but equally good, were Henry and Hazel Slaughter (John Olson's solo jam), and Hatehearted. Artists included : Scott Krave, Dylan Haysworth, Katie Klein, Drew Labarre, Brenden Henning, John Yingling, and Carrie Hartmann. Cover photo by Caylee Griffis. As Falco from Mcclusky once told me, you're not a proper rock n' roll band unless you're at the point of exhaustion after each show. Thanks again to all of these great bands, Ball Hall!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
"It's good to be back at the Pritzker Pavillion", Ted Leo joked during the sold out show at the iconic Fireside Bowl. "Compared to the bathrooms of old, it really is like the Pritzker Pavillion". The Eternals warmed up the crowd, and were exceedingly better than the last time I saw them. Proggy, fuzzy, screamy, they blended a gamut of sounds that won everyone over, especially Ted Leo. He thanked them for "leaving a splinter of a stage for us to play on" (and later tweeted "EEEEEYYAAAAAAAAH I wanna move to Chicago and just be in the Eternals!! #SoGood")
Unlike the previous day's Pritzker Pavillion where they played "Tyranny of Distance" in full, the set consisted of a wide array of cuts from the bands entire history. The crowd threw jokes about his cut-off jean shorts, and Ted said his knee felt better. Even with a strained knee, he hopped around with all the normal energy. I was shockingly unfamiliar with a lot of the songs, but found myself dancing around more than most in the crowd. However, those who weren't dancing had huge smiles plastered across their face, likely happy to just witness Ted Leo in his old stomping ground. A great performance by a true front-man.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Last night, Carrie Brownstein thanked Radar Eyes and Mickey for opening their set, and said "if you're looking for the underground, it's here, on Hozac Records"
Wild Flag, an all-girl quartet consisting of Carrie Brownstein (vocals, rhythm guitar), Mary Timony (vocals, lead guitar), Rebecca Cole (keyboards, backing vocals) and Janet Weiss (drums, backing vocals). They played their first-ever Chicago show at the Subterranean.
We had only watched a handful of songs on that NPR live-stream they did a while back, but we liked what we heard. Really, we just wanted an excuse to see Carrie Brownstein scream away in such a small environment as the Subterranean. We weren't surprised to hear that these songs were really great live! Great tapping from Mary Timony, when she wasn't singing her own guitar-drenched songs. Rebecca and Janet held back-up vocals in the brief moments the guitars went silent, sometimes bringing the entire building to an uproarious scream. People LOVED this show. Lots of talk about these women being their idols. The band grinned and laughed the whole time. In a past interview Brownstein said "chemistry cannot be forced", and they really needed no forcing. It was a great set that, for being such a new band, guitar flubs aside, it all seemed effortless to them. You will be hearing about this band, hopefully for a long time.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
48 bands. 20 touring acts. Three days. Bitchpork III happened. Some insanely dedicated and talented folks made it happen, and for that I hope anyone who attended is very grateful for. We're still in a cryogenic sleep chamber trying to heal.
We decided to skip that other festival entirely, and that decision was reinforced every day with some of the best things we'll see all year. Three days of sweat-lodge, mopery-style heat, and pretty much every single imaginable music genre covered.
I still have no idea how my body even functioned on a normal level after that first full day. It just went into auto-pilot and said "well, if this is what you're fucking doing to me, I guess i'll get used to it." We filmed at least a song from all but two bands. Warhammer 48K made everyone go nuts. Ono made people cry. Bad Drugs surely gave everyone some nice bruises. Mahjonng...Running....Mayor Daley...Bobby Conn...Lechuguillas...Fat Worm of Error...Radar Eyes.....these are just a handful of the bands who turned in great performances. Really, if you didn't like something, all you had to do was wait 20 minutes and chances are an entirely new genre would be pounding away.
Some of the best performances came early in the day when just a handful of people were there. Toilet, Ami Dang. Work/Death, Andy Cigarettes, Cloud Becomes Your Hand and more had a little room to move around in each 100 degree corner. Such a huge array of amazing talent. It really gave the spectrum of how much cool shit everyone is doing these days.
There was usually very little time between sets, but unlike more poorly run or larger festivals, the environment we were in made for one of the most hauntingly beautiful, ear-splitting, well-ran three days of music one could ever hope for . Truly staggering in scope, and an absolute success with what they tried to do, which was give you a no-bullshit three part block of raw fucking tunes. The small scale gave the ability to see EVERYTHING, really, so that's just what we did. This is a festival for people who like music. Who like actually seeing it. An experience.
After countless hours of gentle to brutal sets from across the country, it ended with an alien, acid-nightmare-freak-out cluster fuck called called Turtle Powder. We're talking GIANT, awesome fucking alien heads, people. "alien karaoke" , from the future! Warped squeals of vocals, Hugely loud pounding rhythm, with hilariously twisted background video. The thing would've surely make art-school snobs and dub-step kids cry and lose all hope of doing anything remotely this cool.
View (literally) a HUNDRED more photos, and tag all of these wonderful people.
More soon. Stick around.
Our recording of Obits set at The Empty Bottle up on the FMA with five others, including that first Cake Shop show! :
WFMU : FREEDOM IS FREE FORM!
"In the aftermath of Obits' first gig (Jan 12th 2008 @ Cake Shop NYC), word spread fast about this four-piece fronted by underground rock veterans Rick Froberg (Hot Snakes, Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu) and Sohrab Habibion (Edsel).
Along with the word came the sound: the Cake Shop bootleg, attesting to the nascent band's greatness (and their full year spent gearing up for this show!) as it was passed around by fans online. it's a lo-fi document, but a cohesive Obits sound shines through: one with incredible live energy, drawing on a wide range of influences with wisdom and sparseness and a rhythm section to match. That recording soon reached the ears of the mighty Sub Pop label, for whom the Obits are currently two albums deep.
The Cake Shop recording is now one of six Obits live performances hosted here on the FMA, where the group has taken ownership over their "bootlegs" by actively adding new sets to the archive. In addition to sets curated by WFMU (Evan "Funk" Davies show in 2009, June 4th 2011 on Terre T's Cherry Blossom Clinic) and KEXP ("Put It In Writing", 5/16/2009), there are recent sets from Athens GA's Caledonia Lounge and Chicago's Empty Bottle. The latter two were recorded by local scene archivists whose websites yield many more gems: Southern Shelter (Athens GA) and Gonzo (Chicago).
For Obits on record, check out I Blame You (2009) and Moody, Standard And Poor (2011) at Sub Pop, who also co-released two 7"s ("One Cross Apiece b/w Put It In Writing " & "I Can't Lose" b/w "Military Madness") with Comedy Minus One. All of these releases are highly recommended."
Interesting article. Almost made it to NYC for that show. Did we mention how great the artwork on the newest record is? Damn. Really, though.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Before her sold out show opening for the Flaming Lips at the Aragon, Marnie Stern hosted a guitar clinic at a small Latin American restaurant named Pancho's. Marnie brought her full band with her, and they played a few songs, like "Crippled Jazzer", before demonstrating each.
She worked one on one with everyone more than once, guiding people and pointing out her form. Someone brought in some paintings he did of her. She signed people's guitars, and talked with the lucky few who attended.
The whole thing ended up lasting over 2 hours. A unique event, that judging by the shit-eating grins on the people faces below, was really fun for everyone involved.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
"R.I.P Punk Rock" Loose Dudes played their last show on June 27th. People bought beers just to throw at them. Running opened, and all was well with the world.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
We are flattered and honored to be helping director Nathan Christ fulfill his vision of a Chicago version of Echotone, a documentary mini-series.
We grabbed some of our favorite bands for a show tonight at Mortville.
The line-up is :
Piss Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan
It's a $5 donation. Come around 9, in case it actually does indeed start at 10 for once. It might.
If I could make a suggestion, it's that you come early. Outer Minds are playing second, and we think they're really great. Mannequin Men are touting them as "the best thing to come out of Chicago in a long time". We would agree, and so are Close Hits and PPPMMM.
If you don't know these bands, you should most definitely come. It'll be a night of vastly varying music and sounds. A feast for the eyes. Who knows, maybe you'll end up in this Echotone film, which juding by the amazing Austin version, is going to be really, really good.
I think this mini-series is really going to be something.
See you tonight.