Thursday, July 29, 2010
On this date in 1990, Sir Elton John himself checked into a local Chicago treatment facility to overcome bulimia and an unspecified addiction problem.
In 2006, Pamela Anderson marries Kid Rock. The marriage would last a whopping four months.
Geddy Lee, Rush (born 1953)
Patti Scialfa, wife of Bruce Springsteen and current member of E Street Band (also born 1953)
As most anyone knows, when a space or three becomes available at Superior St., you better jump on it because, if you don't, someone else will.
Of course, we wanted to tell you first since we go way back and all, Plus, there was that time when you held our hair back when we puked and we still kinda owe you for that one.
So, now we're even, right?
If interested in one of the spaces that are available, call us at 773-227-5550.
Chicago punk legends Alkaline Trio released their most recent studio album, This Addiction, earlier this year, but Matt Skiba is already chomping at the bit to issue his first solo material since the split EP he did with Kevin Seconds in 2003. Of course, that album included the crowd favorite "Good Fucking Bye" so if Skiba can come up with anything half as great as that track, this album will be well worth the price of admission.
The album is called, quite simply, Demos, and contains a baker's dozen tunes Skiba recorded on his laptop in L.A. and Chicago during the year that was 2009. Word has it that a new Heavens disc is currently in the works.
Click HERE to pre-order Matt Skiba's Demos! Also, you can preview one of the tracks, a little ditty called "S.O.S.", at the Asian Man Records MySpace page.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
September 5, House Of Blues - BUY TICKETS!
In a perfect world, you wouldn't need to hear about the new Crowded House CD, Intriguer, from us. You'd be hearing tunes from the album all over the radio and TV and having us tell you about it would be like hearing about this cool new thing called Facebook from your grandmother.
Buuuuuuuuut, things being the way they are in the music world today, and our belief that CH front man Neil Finn is a GREAT AMERICAN TREASURE, even if he is from New Zealand, we feel compelled to pass on this recent CNN feature on the band.
Man, just when we thought there couldn't be anything cooler than a post-show thong autographed by Carrot Top, along comes something even AWESOMER! Seems "Chicago's very own" Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz swung by the offices of Billboard magazine for a video chat (which you can see HERE) and took time out to sign two copies of Billboard for some lucky fans who can register HERE to win a copy of the magazine.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
August 2 - Hungry Brain (2319 W Belmont Ave) 9PM
August 14 - Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont Ave.) second of three bands
It's confession time. Okay, I'll go first. I've always had a weakness for ethereal, female-fronted bands like Cocteau Twins, the Sundays, My Bloody Valentine and so on. Call me crazy, but the sound of breathy, femme vox juxtaposed against a wall of shimmering, distorted guitars is absolute musical heaven. Sadly, it seems as if such bands disappeared off the face of the radio dial the minute the 80's drew to a close, never to return.
Sure, there were occasional glimmers of hope in the 90's with the occasional gem from Belly, Juliana Hatfield, or the Breeders, but never enough to fully rekindle the flame.
Chicago's Panda Riot seem to have read my mind and, in doing so, have created a spectacular EP called Far And Near that blows the dust off of a genre I feared long-dead. This isn’t merely some band being revivalist for the sake of being revivalist, though. In Panda Riot’s hands, “shoegaze” has never sounded so good.
Opener "Julie In Time" is an elegiac anthem that is equal parts Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, with a hint of Throwing Muses added for good measure.
"Motown Glass" answers the question of what Swing Out Sister might have sounded like if they'd had a decent guitarist and a few more Pink Floyd records in their collection.
"Streetlights And You And Me" recalls Papas Fritas and the Primitives, creating an irresistibly playful cacophony of jangly guitars and head-swimming vocal harmonies. Check the calendar...is it 1989? No? Are you sure?
"When You Said, When I Said" begins with a steady, heady foundation of swirling guitars and keys atop which the rapid-fire chorus refrain glides weightlessly, creating a buoyant yet blissfully dark and spacey neo-psychedelic haze.
The one complaint we have is that Panda Riot chose only to release an EP. Count us among the growing number of Panda Riot fans anxiously awaiting a new full-length. Until then, those of us who are just discovering this great Chicago band can check out their 2007 full-length She Dares All Things.
MP3 - Panda Riot - Julie In Time
NEW INFO: Brian from Panda Riot emailed to let you guys know that the band has a NEW tune called "Northern Automatic Music" on the Crash Avenue compilation Guerilla Vs. Bear. You can download the entire compilation for FREE by clicking riiiiiiiiight HERE.
As I was cruising the bins at the local record store, I happened upon this gem from Eric Carmen. The cover seems to depict Mr. Carmen in the act of sodomizing, or, at the very least, dry humping what appears to be a Macy's department store mannequin. Who does he think he is, Andrew McCarthy?
When I showed it to my buddy, Ted, he said, "No, man, she's probably just drunk, puking her guts out, and he's just helping her out."
Uh, if that were the case, he'd be holding her hair back. That's what guys do when their lady has too many appletinis at Studio 54. Nah, he's pumping he from behind. Just look at the expression on his face. That's not a face you make when you're helping someone keep from puking in their own hair. If it is, Eric Carmen is the coolest, most bad-ass dude on the face of the earth, but I highly doubt it.
Additionally, that red sticker isn't helping Eric's cause any First, you've got a shot of Eric Carmen trying to nonchalantly slide his sausage into Slot A, then you've got a sticker that says, in big letters, "It Hurts Too Much".
I know it was "the 80's" and that a lot of guys better known in the 60's were trying to make names for themselves by trying to appear to be as "new wave as the next guy", but this particular attempt is just ridiculous.
I can't help wonder about the creative process that led to this album cover being created.
Did Eric Carmen wake up one night in a cold, cold sweat, a vision having come to him almost fully formed? Did he then stumble to the nearest desk in hopes of writing it down before it vanished completely before falling back into bed? And did he then wake up the next morning, take a look at the hastily scribbled note on his night stand that read "me sodomizing Jerry Hall" and go "That's it! That's the album cover!"?
Did he then call up the art department at Arista Records and describe this idea to the art guys? Did they not hang up on him, thinking that it was either a crank call, or that this is always what happens when they answer the boss's phone when he's at lunch?
Nope, it appears that someone in the art department said, "Hey, yeah, that's an awesome idea. Let's get right on it." Next thing you know, there's Eric Carmen staring back at kids from the bins of every Musicland record store in every mall in America, essentially saying, "Yeah, this is how I do it, bitches."
To this day, if you ask Eric about this album, I bet the first words out of his mouth are, "Man, I can't believe this record didn't go platinum." Yeah, wow, what a shock.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Billy Corgan, whose recently-remodeled Smashing Pumpkins begin an intimate club tour that brings them to the Metro on July 27th (click HERE for tickets) for a benefit show (with proceeds going to the Matthew Leone Sweet Relief Fund) recently had this to say about the concept of the traditional ten-song album:
Q: So you think the 10-song album format is not relevant anymore?
I think it's been destroyed. I understand why people are still doing it because they don't know what else to do. But it's destroyed. I don't see how that means anything anymore. And I realize if you print that, some guy's going to go, "Well, I love Johnny and the Toads' "Forest" album.' No, I'm not trying to throw a blanket over everything. I'm just saying, generally, people are not that interested. Why we keep insisting collectively as the music world, keep shoving something down people's throats that they obviously don't want, I don't get that. We're not talking about like it's been a couple bad years. We're talking where it's been over 10 years now.
If you were talking about sandwiches or cookies, do you think they would last that long in that kind of thinking? It's a preciousness that isn't needed. Just figure out how to get people what they want when they want it. Maybe it's about putting out 40 songs a year, maybe it's not about producing everything perfectly. Maybe you produce the best song you can produce perfectly and the other five songs you just run in the studio and cut in a couple days. Maybe it is the DIY model at the end of the day. For the Christina Aguileras of the world who, it's about being perfect, well then, that's fine. But for the rest of us, I don't see how that works anymore.
Read the entire POST-GAZETTE interview.
In other Corgan-related news:
In addition to the bald one recently finding God, there is a rumor that he and Courtney Love not only patched things up after a rather heated Twitter spat last spring, but are now living together, reportedly sharing separate wings of a McMansion in Schaumburg. Okay, we're just guessing it's Schaumburg.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
As someone who has lived off-and-on in Chicago since the mid-80's, I can tell you that corruption is such a part of daily life in The Windy City that you almost begin to take it for granted. Hell, sometimes, you are almost taken aback when it isn't there, which is why we were soooo relieved to discover that corruption, along with its greedy little brother nepotism, had not overlooked the most eagerly anticipated musical event of the summer, Lollapalooza, which will take over Chicago's Grant Park from August 4-8.
Former Chicago Sun-Times rock critic Jim Derogatis broke the story in late June that the organizers of Lollapalooza, Austin, TX-based C3 Presents, had instigated an outrageous radius clause on ALL acts (from major headliners to baby bands at the bottom of the bill) that prevented them from appearing within 300 miles of Chicago for six months prior to and three months following the event.
As you can imagine, such a clause is incredibly restrictive for bands when you consider how many cities and venues fall within that range. The effect doubles when you consider the state of the current economy and its impact upon the concert industry. If you're a band trying to eek out a living on the road, good luck doing so when you can't play anywhere in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Champaign-Urbana, Madison, Milwaukee, Davenport for a period of nine months. NINE MONTHS.
What's even more appalling is that C3 Presents also organizes the popular Austin City Limits Music Festival, which takes place in Austin, TX in October. It should come as little surprise that several bands are appearing at both festivals and that a similar radius clause prevents them from appearing within 300 miles of Austin for a similar period of time. Can you imagine the logistical night mare of booking a decent tour schedule when you can't play the midwest all summer or the southwest for the duration of the fall?
Needless to say, a lot of bands are pissed, but, being that Lollapalooza is quite a feather in one's cap, not so pissed as to tell C3 Presents to get bent. Still, the clause has caught the attention of Derogatis, who has never been one to miss an opportunity to fan the flames of controversy, as well as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
While Madigan's office has not yet confirmed that an investigation into C3's restrictive practices has been launches, Derogatis has been in contact with a number of agents connected with the music festival and many - such as former Artist Direct honcho Marc Geiger - confirm that they have been subpoenaed.
Geiger, of course, helped launch the festival with Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell in the early 90's. He is now VP at Williama Morris, which just happens to be run these days by Ari Emanuel, brother of President Obama's chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel.
No less than two weeks after he broke the initial story, Derogatis discovered a highly coincidental connection between festival organizers and Mark Vanecko, a nephew of Chicago's esteemed mayor, Richard M. Daley. In a July 7 article, Derogatis revealed that Vanecko had been instrumental in brokering the deal between the City of Chicago and Lollapalooza that ensures the festival will stay in Chicago through the year 2018.
He also saw to it that liquor sales for the festival were awarded to Lollapalooza Festival Services, a company co-owned by his friend, Kevin Killerman (awesome last name, by the way), who was charged with 45 counts of serving alcohol to minors in 1992, not to mention over 20 charges in the past three years (for which he has plead guilty). That shouldn't get in the way of the man being awarded such a lucrative alcohol contract by longtime buddy, and Mayoral nephew, Vanecko, though, should it?
Did we mention that, while he had no official involvement with the festival during its first two years in Chicago, Vanecko is now the official registered agent for C3 Presents AND, as an attorney, lists Kevin Killerman as a client.
Why any of this matters to anyone is best summed up by Derogatis:
C3 has secured an exclusive, long-term contract for the city’s largest and most prestigious public park to hold a lucrative and expensive private concert complete with corporate underwriting under the aegis of a non-profit city group and in partnership with the city itself. All of this was done without competitive bidding and with no hint of the sometimes insurmountable hurdles placed in the way of other concert promoters, or of harsh anti-music initiatives such as the rave ordinance, the promoters ordinance, and the overly zealous post-E2 wave of code enforcement raids that have hassled smaller music venues in recent years.
Ah, "Sweet Home Chicago"...indeed.
Friday, July 9, 2010
If you've never experienced this cool festival, which takes place in the West Loop (area of 650 W. Madison, 60661), you need to drop whatever plans you have and check it out. The Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party is a great place to chill out, people watch, and check out a number of cool local and national bands. This year's list of bands includes Barenaked Ladies (Friday night) and Spoon (Saturday night).
5:30 p.m.: Jeffrey David
6:30 p.m.: Angel Taylor
7:40 p.m.: Kris Allen
8:50 p.m.: Barenaked Ladies
5:30 p.m.: Out for Hours
7:20 p.m.: Spazmatics
5:30 p.m.: Adam Fitz
6:20 p.m.: Chris Mills
7:30 p.m.: White Rabbits
9 p.m.: Spoon
5:30 p.m.: InRoads
7:20 p.m. Live Band Karaoke
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Unless you've been living under a rock, you're no doubt aware that this weekend will see Taste Of Chicago swing into full motion. The legendary festival got underway last week, but this weekend promises a wide array of live music on three different stages. The festival will, of course, culminate with an orchestral fireworks display on July 4th that you don't want to miss.
Here is this weekend's Taste Of Chicago live music schedule:
Petrillo Music Shell
Friday, July 2
5:30 p.m.: Rob Thomas
Saturday, July 3
3 p.m.: Steve Miller Band
Sunday, July 4
Robert Randolph and The Family Band
12 p.m.: Carney
Friday, July 2
11 a.m.: Women's Acoustic Ensemble
12 p.m.: Soul Ensemble
1:20 p.m.: 70's Ensemble
2:40 p.m.: Tribute to Old Crow Medicine Show, Jonas Friddle
4 p.m.: Tribute to Dylan Ensemble, Jimmy Tomasello
5:20 p.m.: Women's Rock Ensemble
6:40 p.m.: Tribute to The Beatles Ensemble, Steve Leavitt
Saturday, July 3
12 p.m.: JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound
4 p.m.: The Heavy
Sunday, July 4
12 p.m.: Brian Lavender and Whiskey Bent
1:20 p.m.: Ragtop Rodeo
2:40 p.m.: Katie Quick
4 p.m.: Jason and The Haymakers
Best Buy Stage
Friday, July 2
11 a.m.: Model Stranger
12:30 p.m.: Thomas Nicholas Band
2 p.m.: Steez
3:30 p.m.: Carlos Ramos Band
5 p.m.: Noah Wotherspoon
Saturday, July 3
11 a.m.: Amina Bennett
12:30 p.m.: Madman Band
2 p.m.: Jeannie Tanner Quartet
5 p.m.: Low Of The Low
Sunday, July 4
11 a.m.: Dawn O'Keefe Williams
12:30 p.m.: 1969
3:30 p.m.: Shelley Miller
5 p.m.: Brinn Black
Anyone who thinks being in a band is all glamor and glitz has never actually been in a band. The truth of the matter is that the life of a musician is actually kinda stressful at times. Chicago being what it is, most of us have heard of at least one instance of a musician being mugged at gunpoint, or having their gear stolen, or discovering that their car has been broken into or vandalized because they just happened to rehearse...at night...in one of Chicago's less desirable neighborhoods.
Since we have opened our doors at Knox Avenue, we have seen a great number of bands literally flee their present rehearsal space for the much safer, and friendlier confines of Knox Avenue. Located on the Northwest side, we must admit that a few current clients expressed some initial concern, but they soon found that the area surrounding Knox is actually a neighborhood on-the-rise. First impressions of the area will reveal a plethora of ma-and-pa storefronts, low-key bars and restaurants, and a tiny sliver of industrial property (where Knox Avenue is located, as a matter of fact) sandwiched between upscale North West side neighborhoods full of trendy condos and larger estates.
In other words, rehearsing at Knox Avenue will mean no longer having to trudge into the ghetto just to rock out with your cock out (of course, what you do on your own time is your business).
As if that weren't enough, did I mention that Knox Avenue has a plentiful supply of that rare commodity we Chicagoans call "A/C". Other rehearsal facilities say they have it, but a $10 box fan with a decade's worth of grungy black dust stuck to it is NOT actually air-conditioning.
If they DO actually have air-conditioning, many times, they refuse to run it, or it is in such a state of disrepair that when it is on, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
Our A/C system, like the entire facility itself is BRAND-NEW as of this spring. That's right. If Knox Avenue were a car, it would still have that spiffy "new car smell" to it as opposed to the "the stench of a thousand sweaty jam bands" smell that most other facilities have.
As if that weren't enough, both Knox Avenue and Superior St. are going green this summer. with recycling areas located conveniently throughout both facilities. We are also installing some nifty hand sanitizers in the bathrooms for your convenience.
While we at Knox Avenue strive to do the big things right, we also recognize that it's the little things that count just as much sometimes. With that in mind, we are constantly working to make your experience at Knox Avenue (and Superior St.) the best that it can possibly be.