Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Watch : Broken Social a Heineken billboard.

Things just keeps getting stranger and stranger for us lately.

In a weird, last-minute, WTF moment, Broken Social Scene played on a 600 foot stage with a Heineken billboard towering over them. Oh, and the billboard was...across from Wrigley Field. Unbeknownst to us, they only have an October 1st gig in the states before they play some South American shows and go on the ever dreaded "hiatus". In hindsight, that made comments by Kevin Drew, like "We're Broken Social Scene, don't forget us", and "Chicago, we love you, you know we love you" all the more potent. "Don't forget to look somebody in the eye." Despite the high stage, the show was fun. They played seven songs. Even a few off "You Forgot It In People". Thanks, Heineken! Please write us so we can give you the check address.

Enjoy :

Bitchpork 2011 #1 : FAT WORM OF ERROR.

"We'd like to thank the CHICAGO POLICE for letting us have this party..."

The first video in our 'Biiitchpork' series. Fat Worm of Error are a band from Northampton, Massachusetts. They formed in 2002. Bitchpork was a music festival held on Chicago's south side. It included over 40 touring and local bands like Warhammer 48K, Work/Death, Running, Andy Cigarettes, Lechuguillas, Radar Eyes, and ONO.

Fat Worm of Error

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Watch : WHITE MYSTERY at the 2011 Hideout Block Party!

White Mystery played the 15th annual Hideout Block Party! Shilling out loud-ass tunes from their new record, and a few old ones peppered in for good measure. The band hasn't slowed down a bit since the last time you saw them, only upping the volume on the knob, screaming and bashing away, and touring like tomorrow might not come.

White Mystery are consistently good live, and have been long-time fans of the DIY scene in Chicago. You could often catch White Francis chugging down 40's in the Mopery. In fact, that's where we met them. They have a slick new VIDEO out for the Blood and Venom track "Birthday" that just so happens to be directed by Echotone's Nathan Christ. SMASHY! Enjoy :

Monday, September 26, 2011

Watch : Paper Mice play new songs at Ball Hall...

If for some reason you live in Chicago and don't know Paper Mice, now is a good time to get acquainted. They've been tearing apart DIY spots and stages around Chicago for years. New songs like "Cannon Fodder" and the busted-out-for-the-first-time "Banking Up the Wrong Tree" made the smiles on the crowd a bit bigger than normal this night. Absolutely stellar. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review / Photos : 2011 Hideout Block Party : 15 years of being awesome!

The Hideout is a tiny little gem of Chicago, as you all know. I liken it to a small bar in upper Wisconsin. It's tucked away behind, and surrounded by, sprawling industrial buildings, and a giant parking lot. If you've never been to the Hideout or their block parties, they use that giant parking lot to throw a bash.

A few years back, it was a celebration of Touch and Go records in which Big Black, Girls Against Boys, and Scratch Acid played. After that, Bloodshot. It's always a really well planned, easy-going festival that a lot of other fests should go and take notes on. Very well-ran.

Either way, the Hideout has been at it for so long, and it shows in their musical partnerships. This year, Andrew Bird, White Mystery, Booker T. Jones, Mavis Staples, The Eternals, and more all chipped in to throw a good party.

Yes, I know, we missed a few acts. One cannot stand in one spot for 12 hours straight. Apologies if you don't find what you're looking for in this review!

Tim Tutten wasn't short on funny and inspiring words.

It started with Steve Krakow (from Plastic Crimewave, Solar Fox) holding a celestial "guitar orchestra" where anyone and everyone could get in for free if you brought a musical instrument. That's up early, get in free. It was pouring rain up until, well, the moment it was supposed to start. The clouds parted, as if a gift to the festival itself, and the sun came out.

Travis from ONO had a megaphone and barreled in a reading from a book he had, which cut in and out of the skreech-drone-blam of the some 20-30 instruments on hand. You had Muya from Humminbird, P. Michael of ONO, children and their families, and many others I didn't recognize.

White Mystery played immediately after, shilling out loud-ass tunes from their new record, and a few old ones peppered in for good measure. The band hasn't slowed down a bit since the last time you saw them, only upping the volume on the knob, screaming and bashing away with reckless abandon.

I do not know the catalog's of Mavis Staples, Booker T. Jones, Andrew Bird, or the Eternals well enough to pick apart their sets and offer you a long, drawn out opinion.

All I can say is this : It's well known that the Hideout is one of the best venues on the planet. Mavis Staples recorded a live record there. Jeff Tweedy just sang fucking Black Eyed Peas songs after Mayor Emanuel hung out. It's a Chicago staple, really. We could go on all night about the who's who that love the little shack on Wabansia, but we won't.

The Eternals played a stellar set, spitting out a few newer tracks that skittered along and got the day well on it's way.

We watched wide-eyed as Booker T. Jones played songs from his back-catalog that spanned decades, so much so that they've been covered and twisted and warped so many times over the years, we were often left laughing at the fact that he actually conceived these songs.

Mavis brought the proverbial house down. A true performer. She brought Andrew Bird on stage for a song. Inspiring. Similar to Booker T where you just hear these songs being played, but they're seasoned with the grit of, well, being sung and played by the actual person that wrote the song in the first place. An amazing set that moved me and shook me to to the core. Maybe because I was so close. Would have loved to see her at that Hideout show. She sure can pose for photos, too.

Andrew, playing a few new ones of his own, seemed to leave everyone really happy. We looked to the side of the stage, as people seemed to clamor for one last hit song after a chunk of new material. We saw the sound guy make the call to stop. People seemed a little bummed, but it certainly didn't put a damper on a rainless day that ended up being a highlight of the last few months.

Few can throw a festival and party like the Hideout. May they have continued success (and continued block parties) for years to come.

Photos :

View the whole set...
WATCH : White Mystery

Last Mopery Show documentary to screen at Backyard Film Fest! Use code 'GONZO' for discounted tickets!

On Saturday, October 1st, the Backyard Film Festival will celebrate its fourth year.

Victor Spatafora's The Last Mopery Show has been chosen to be a part of it!

Started in 2008, this small, literally backyard film festival has grown in size, taken on musical performances, and changed venues.

From the website : A number of changes were implemented this year, including the addition of a film panel. The film set, scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. at the WPAC, will feature short films from both local and international artists. Patrons will also have access to premium libations and several of Chicago’s hottest food trucks throughout the day.

The Festival will also feature the premiere of Chicago band Judson Claiborne performing original material to a 1942 silent documentary. The film features two explorers traveling from Fairbanks to Seattle by motorcycle, at a time when no roads existed in the area.

Entertainment will resume at the Viaduct Theater for a 9 pm showcase of artists, including San Francisco singer-songwriter Bhi Bhiman, New York (by way of Pittsburgh) Wise Blood, who recently declared their intentions to take over pop music, and Chicago hip-hop group BBU.

So, how much is this thing, and how do you attend? Well....good news! We've partnered with the BYFY to offer discounted tickets to the complete festival! Enter the promo code GONZO for $5 off a full ticket price! So instead of buying seperately and paying $25, you're only paying $15!

Come support your local (and international) short filmmakers. Buy tickets!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Watch : CAVE playing live....on a flatbed truck!!!

"We want to put CAVE on a flatbed truck, like the Stones, man...can you come film it?..."

Drag City is a great record label. They didn't even know if they were going to be able to do this actually happened. So, Enjoy!

Much love to Drag City.

CAVE are on a "neverendless" tour :

9/21/11 Pop Montreal - Il Motore Montreal Quebec Canada w/ Liturgy
9/22/11 Outdoor BBQ Monson ME
9/23/11 Wherehouse Boston MA
9/24/11 Monster Island Basement Brooklyn NY Live With Animals
9/25/11 Cake Shop New York NY
9/27/11 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia PA
9/28/11 Floristree Baltimore MD
9/29/11 Tea Bazaar Charlottesville VA
9/30/11 Nightlight Chapel Hill NC
10/1/11 Broadways Asheville NC
10/2/11 New Brookland Tavern Columbia SC
10/3/11 Tin Roof Charleston SC
10/4/11 Burro Bar Jacksonville FL
10/5/11 The Snooze West Palm Beach FL
10/6/11 Boca Fiesta Gainesville FL
10/7/11 Evolution Records Lakeland FL
10/8/11 New World Brewery Tampa FL
10/9/11 Farm 255 Athens GA
10/10/11 529 Atlanta GA
10/11/11 The End Nashville TN
10/12/11 Proud Larry's Oxford MS
10/13/11 Skihouse Carbondale IL
10/14/11 2720 Cherokee St. Louis MO
10/15/11 The Hideout Chicago IL w/ Chandeliers
11/6/11 Mickey's Madison WI
11/8/11 Medusa Minneapolis MN
11/9/11 The Cave (Carleton College) Northfield MN
11/11/11 Mojo's Columbia MO
11/17/11 The Comet Seattle WA
11/19/11 East End Portland OR
11/23/11 Verdi Club San Francisco CA Drag City Thanksgiving Blowup
11/28/11 Pehrspace Los Angeles CA
12/3/11 Solar Culture Tucson AZ
12/5/11 Bryan Street Tavern Dallas TX
12/8/11 Siberia New Orleans LA

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Listen : Mayor Daley + Bad Drugs full sets from Empty Bottle last night...

Last night, the wonderful Permanent Records celebrated their fifth birthday.

If you missed it, take a listen to the spectacular Mayor Daley and Bad Drugs' sets from last night.


Oh, and (Liz) <3 :

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Watch : Julian Koster play us a song in an alley (plus Olivia Tremor Control photos)

Here's a special one for you. Julian Koster and Robby Cuchiarro play "Spare the Dark Streets" in...well, a dark alleyway behind Bottom Lounge.

Last year, in October, Music Tapes did one of their "Holiday Surprise" tours, in which they stopped at people's homes for a small group of people to play holiday inspired songs. Singing saw, banjos with bows, horns, mechanized human towers, games, singing mice. The whole thing brought a smile to our face for weeks. It was one of the best shows I ever attended, both musically, and for the environment.

Well, last night, Julian Koster brought his Music Tapes fellows, along with the 7 foot metronome, to open up for Olivia Tremor Control at the Bottom Lounge.

They were great. Playing a few old songs, and a bunch of new material from a record that will be out next year.

Olivia Tremor Control seemed to have fun on stage, laughing off sound issues. It was a great set, filled with cuts from their past, with new material. There was an eleven year old boy present (who appeared to be accompanied by his father and Michael Martello from Nothingheads / Absolutely Not). He ended up giving them a tape of the songs he recorded. The band shook his hand and said they were surprised he has recorded already. OTC dedicated a song they "weren't expecting to play" to him. Cutest goddamn thing ever.

We asked Julian Koster to play us "Spare the Dark Streets" in the alley behind Bottom Lounge, so he grabbed his banjo, and Robby Cuchiarro, and they did just that. Magic.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Watch : PILE at Casa Donde last night...

...and go see them at MEMORIES tonight!

I thought you'd want to have a quick piece of this. Not too many videos of these folks.

This band is called PILE, and after combing through a Casa Donde show listing yesterday that included Mines, The Funs, and New Diet, we came across their bandcamp.

So we listened....and listened...and listened...and suddenly we had realized we went through every album fucking twice, and it was time to go to the goddamn thing. Mines are great. Bill Satek from Lechuguillas sings pop songs with Andrew from Tiger Hatchery. The Funs are a stellar as shit two-piece rock band. New Diet started things off right. Treasure Town was pumping smoke from a smoke machine in from a hole in their ceiling. You will see more video from this show.

Enjoy :

Thursday, September 1, 2011

John Bellows : Live in various locations around Chicago

John Bellows is a singer-songwriter and a performer. If you want to bust a hard cliche, we would say he's a Chicago staple. Chances are you've probably seen him playing impromptu acoustic sets around the city. He's spastic, but the thing is, his songs are really well written and can be powerful enough to convert an entire room in twenty seconds. Empty Bottle had him playing with a few other people. As you can see in this video, crowd participation varies greatly, as it switches from the last Mopery show to a dark, restaurant based DIY venue in Pilsen called Al Teatro. Whether he's performing to two people, or two hundred, you can count on it being a memorable experience. Even at our most inebriated, his sets were the ones we remembered in the morning. Enjoy :