Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, June 24

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Hard to Say I'm Sorry

With the announcement that Chicago and Cheap Trick would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, the questions became whether Peter Cetera and Bun E. Carlos, who have been estranged from their respective bands, would perform at the induction ceremony. As of right now, Cetera says he's out; as for Carlos, he's in, but it's a little more complicated.

RIP DJ Timbuck2

WGCI DJ Timbuck2 passed away over the weekend after a battle with cancer. He was 34.

Up and Drumming

This morning through Wednesday, percussionists Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang are celebrating the solstice with early morning performances at Constellation. The Reader shares an oral history of 25 years of Winter Solstice Concerts.

What Happened to Free Beer?

The A.V. Club's annual year in band names roundup is a thing of wonder.

Labels Do You Wrong

Jeremih, whose most recent concert we just reviewed, is having some serious issues with his label.

We Want to Love Them

Cheap Trick and Chicago are among 2016's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, along with NWA, Deep Purple and Steve Miller. Chicago cofounder Lee Loughnane told Billboard, "It's very exciting. I had no idea it would be as exciting as it is."

Who Steals Art at a Rock Show?

A painting and a sculpture were stolen from the Empty Bottle during a show last weekend.

Rock & Roll Hackers?

The band Chicago won the fan vote in this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction class, but they may have benefited from the work of hackers who flooded the Hall with votes. The official inductees will be announced Thursday.


Adele announced her first US tour in five years -- and she's doing three dates in Chicago, July 10, 11 and 13. Tickets go on sale Thursday at 10am.

GB Gift Guide: CBGB B-Sides

For the punk rocker on your list, consider Ork Records: New York, New York, a catalogue reissue of the seminal New York punk label by Numero Group. The Guardian just gave it a great write-up.

Best Music Lists Begin

The A.V. Club has picked its 15 best albums of the year, as well as the year's least essential and a variety of other "best" categories. Meanwhile, Pitchfork published its guest list bests and invites you to make your own picks in the annual readers' poll.

The Stars Align Wednesday

This Wednesday, Dec. 9, Stars Align, our monthly music series in which two artists who don't normally work together perform a one-night-only collaboration, returns to The Whistler with Yoo Soo Kim of Hemmingbirds and Jesse W. Johnson.

Here's a little taste of what you'll hear: Hemmingbirds' "Mess of Things."

And here's a brand new song, "American Dumpster":

Sponsored by Begyle Brewing. RSVP on Facebook. No cover, 21+

The Rise & Fall of Beloved Venues

Danny's was in trouble but then saved, and now Double Door is facing eviction but the Hungry Brain is reopening.

The Long(er) Weekend

To commemorate their 25th anniversary, next year's Lollapalooza will add on an extra day to be a four-day affair; passes to the full event will cost $355.

The Subtle Style of Kimochi

The Reader's Leor Galil profiles Kimochi Sound, an ambient techno label that prefers to fly under the radar. Find their releases on bandcamp.

GB Gift Guide: Catch the Worm

RiotFest 2016 early bird tickets go on sale Tuesday at 11am on TicketFly. The festival will be Sept. 16-18 in Douglas Park.

GB Gift Guide: Obscure Record of the Month Club

Numero Group's Project 12 is an audiophile's dream gift: a dozen limited edition vinyl LPs, organized under three themes and released throughout the year, available for $100 per theme or $250 for the year. [via]

Fire at the Abbey

The Abbey has canceled this week's shows due to a fire

Reconsidering Kells

In an interview for his forthcoming album The Buffet, New York Mag asks the question: After his well-documented legal woes, Is it OK to Listen to R. Kelly?

GB Gift Guide: Music to Drink To

Bloodshot Records turns 21 in December, and they're celebrating with a six-pack of 7-inch singles featuring drinking songs by the label's bands. Pre-order here.

Remembering Meghan

In the Reader, Leor Galil explores the legacy of Meghan Galbraith and her band, 8 Inch Betsy. The Mean Days, the band's final album, comes out on Friday.

"We Gotta Do Better"

Spike Lee released the first single, "WGDB," from the Chi-Raq soundtrack. Performed by Kevon Carter, it's possibly more controversial than the trailer.

Meanwhile, TouchVision talks with Chi-Raq actor Jay Washington about the controversy surrounding the film.


William F. Ludwig III, whose family founded the Chicago-born (but no longer local) drum company, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get a full production run of WFL III Drums out the door.

Rock the Roister

The Roister, the upcoming casual restaurant from Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas and Andrew Brochu, is putting together its music playlist, and they're asking for your help. If they pick your song and you were first to suggest it, you'll get a free drink. (Hopefully this is a sign it's opening soon.)

Symphonic Home Invasion

Speaking of seasonal traditions, the CSO will perform live accompaniment three screenings of Home Alone in December. The film is 25 years old this year (and may actually be a slasher film in disguise). Tickets are going fast.

Crank it Up

Music legend Steve Albini talked with Marc Maron about his introduction to the punk scene, his arrival in Chicago and his philosophy on recording bands on the latest episode of Maron's podcast, WTF.

"The Cubs is Dead"

Add to the pantheon of Cubs-inspired poetry and music one more song, by the eccentric, banjo-picking lawyer Natty Bumppo.

No Requests

Dunno much about it yet, but DJs Are Not Jukeboxes is a fun new project from the Groundlift Media crew. The mixes are groovy so far.

"I'm picking up good vibration."

The AV Club always looks forward to GWAR showing up to do one of its "Undercover" sessions, and this year they didn't disappoint with their rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop."

Angels All Around Me

Chance the Rapper was on "Late Night" last night, where he debuted a new song and revealed that he and Stephen Colbert are working on some sort of collaboration. You can download the song, "Angels (feat. Saba)," for free on iTunes.

WGCI and Power 92 have to be happy with those shout-outs.

Union-busting at the Riv

According to former employees, Jam Productions owner Jerry Mickelson fired all the stagehands at the Riviera Theater for trying to unionize. The Theatrical Stage Employees Union Local No. 2 has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.

Learn Music by Video

SoundSlice just launched SoundSlice Lessons, a platform for musicians to offer courses in the instrument, musical genre or songbook of their choice.

Turn it Up

Your Friday afternoon now has a soundtrack: The Hood Internet's latest mixtape is now available for free download and streaming.

Pitchfork Sold Out

Chicago-based music site and festival organizer Pitchfork has been bought by Condé Nast.

The Road to Cleveland

Cheap Trick, Chicago and Chaka Khan are on the short list of nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Billboard talked with Cheap Trick and Chicago about the nod.

Stay Right Here

Jessica Hopper talks with the Longform podcast about her new book, her career and why she's stayed in Chicago all this time. [via]

Classical Latin

The Chicago Arts Orchestra performs "¡Musica Viva! A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage" this Friday at 8pm at the Athenaeum Theatre, with a pre-concert talk at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $25, and you can use the code CAOTWOFER to get two-for-one tickets.

"Don't care. Enjoy yourself."

Steve Albini isn't a fan of EDM. But he is a fan of music, so he crankily gave EDM artist Powell permission to use a sample of him in a forthcoming track -- and Powell in turn put the email on a billboard.

Rockin' to the Oldies

Channel 11 is launching Cornerstones of Rock, a series of live concerts featuring local musicians from past eras. The first episode will focus on garage rock, with the Buckinghams, Cryan Shames, New Colony Six and more; tickets for the Oct. 16 taping are sold out. [via]

RIP Checkerboard Lounge

The legendary Checkerboard Lounge has closed permanently after the death of its owner, LC Thurman, in July. The blues club had struggled in recent years after a move due to U of C expansion and declining audiences.

Preserving the Stacks

The Stony Island Arts Bank, a new exhibition and archive space developed by Theaster Gates' Rebuild Foundation, will house the record collection of the late Frankie Knuckles.

Warm Feelings Return

After a year off, Andrew Bird is bringing his Gezelligheid concerts back to the Fourth Presbyterian Church Dec. 7-10. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

Punk Rock Mentality

Psychology Today looks at how Steve Albini built a thriving music career while staying true to his punk rock principles.

Back to that Same Old Place

It looks like the interactive Chicago Blues Experience museum will be built on Navy Pier, scheduled to open in 2017.

Rock Shots

Revisit the '80's glory days of the iconic music venue Tuts with a photo exhibition featuring shots of everyone from Buddy Guy to Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones.

Another Fest Fracas Resolved

St. Anthony Hospital agreed to drop its last-minute challenge of Riot Fest after the festival said it would add protections for patients and emergency vehicles near Douglas Park.

House History

Take a trip back to 1986, when ABC7 first covered house music's emergence from "South Side dance clubs and North Side juice bars" to international renown.

Out on the Dance Floor

Chances Dances is celebrating a decade of creating LGBTQ-friendly, inclusive spaces on the dance floor and beyond.

All That Jazz

The Chicago Jazz Festival brings some of the genre's biggest names to Millennium Park through this weekend. The Reader previews every act at the fest.

Taking AAHH! Break

AAHH! Fest won't be held this year because the youth-centered festival couldn't line up big enough acts, according to local rapper Common, who backs the event.

Last year's AAHH! fest featured appearances from Dave Chappelle, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Jennifer Hudson.

Women With Attitude

Rap supergroup W.W.A. features some of Chicago's top female emcees, including Sasha Go Hard, Chella H, Lucci Vee, and Katie Got Bandz.

Lasers for Haters

Lupe Fiasco wants to use a giant laser to destroy copies of his album LASERS sent back by people who didn't like it.

My 3rd musically related thing I want to accomplish this year is not to make another album but to do something waaaay...

Posted by Lupe Fiasco on Monday, August 31, 2015

New North Coast

The North Coast Music Festival is branching out from its EDM roots as the tastes of its audience and the team behind it evolve over the years.

Now Trending

Fake Shore Drive took a look at the popularity of Chicago emcees by analyzing fans' searches on Google.

Among their findings: Lil Durk fans are hungry for pictures of his personal life.

Spin the Tarts

It was a supergroup we never got to hear: The Tarts brought together members of Naked Raygun, Mister Furley, Muchacha, Dummy and My Big Beautiful to wow crowds in the late '90s, and recorded an album in 2000 that never came out. Chicagoist's music editor, Tankboy, convinced them to release their lost album today, 15 years later.

Uptown Girls

New BFFs Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer made a surprise appearance during Billy Joel's show at Wrigley Field.

The Odyssey of Chief Keef

While Chief Keef's feud with the City of Chicago is ongoing, the rapper gave naming rights of his son to his record label, which later retracted the rights from Sno Filmon Dot Com Cozart's mother due to questions about the baby's paternity.

The Final Countdown

Pitchfork staffers have compiled a list of the 200 best songs of the 1980s. Plenty of fuel for arguing around the water cooler.

Peak Festival

Chicago hosts so many music and street festivals that new events are forced to branch out into the suburbs.


The small presence of EDM at Lollapalooza is the latest evidence of its declining pop relevance, writes Britt Julious.

Acid & Based God Raps

Chance the Rapper and Lil B put together a new mixtape made up completely of freestyle raps.

Blues of the Blues

Buddy Guy is worried the blues will fade away as younger generations rarely hear it on the radio or anywhere else.

Footwork Has Legs

Chicago-born footwork music continues to evolve as it spreads around the world.

Storming the Stage

Police arrested rapper Travis Scott after he encouraged a mad rush over the barricades at Lollapalooza by telling the crowd to join him on stage.

Goodbye Again, Frankie

A popular mural honoring Frankie Knuckles in Logan Square is disappearing, done in by necessary repairs to the building. Street artists are raising funds to recreate the mural.

Drunken Green Thumbs

Is it just a myth, or are fest attendees really "liquor gardening," and burying bottles of booze in parks ahead of time and digging them up once the music starts?

Hometown Tour

Netherfriends hopes to bridge Chicago's hyper-segregated neighborhoods by performing in every one of them.

In four more years?

The Daily Beast explores the beef between current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and rapper/political hopeful Chief Keef, who tweeted his intent on Monday.


As Lollapalooza erects increasingly intimidating fences to keep gate crashers out, they come up with more complicated ways to break in, from scaling fences to posing as workers.

Re: Tweedy

Jeff Tweedy reflects on Wilco's 20 years as a band, from their formation in Chicago's 90's rock scene to their abruptly-released latest album Star Wars.

Keef 2019?

Chief Keef tweeted he's running for mayor as his beef with Mayor Emanuel continues.

Keef's recent performance via hologram at Crave Fest in Hammond was billed as an anti-violence effort but was still shut down by police. And it's not the first time local politicians tried to censor speech, writes Neil Steinberg, adding that doing so also elevates Keef to folk hero status.

Force Quit

Chief Keef appeared via hologram at Craze Fest in Hammond Saturday night, but his performance was shut down by police after the first song.

See keef was on a positive vibe....#chiefkeefhologram #crazefest tag every blog so they can see his positivity so they won't spin it

A video posted by Hustle Simmons (@hustlesimmons) on

Chicago-Born Blues

Blues masters moving to Chicago from the Mississippi Delta in the 1950s and 1960s attracted young musicians who later became household names. The documentary Born in Chicago and its soundtrack capture this evolution and its continuing impact on music today.

Secret Holograms

After being "banned" by Mayor Emanuel, Chief Keef's hologram benefit show will be held at an undisclosed location in Chicago this Saturday and streamed live.

Oh yeah it's hannenin.... Powered by @alkidavid @hologramusa @filmontvnetworks

A video posted by Chief Keef (@chieffkeeffsossa) on

Microphone Marathon

Dynasty Podcasts will celebrate ten years of covering the music scene in Chicago and across the country with a 10-hour live marathon of performances and interviews.

Riot Fest Deal

Groupon is offering an "exclusive" deal on Riot Fest tickets. The daily lineup was released today.

Just One Chance

Chance the Rapper embodies the Chicago of today more than any other artist, writes Britt Julious in her review of his headlining performance at Pitchfork.

Streaming the City

Chicagoans stream local rap more than any other music on Spotify, according to data released by the company, with artists like King Louie, Spenzo, and Lil Durk topping the charts.

Ten Years Later

On the tenth anniversary of his senseless death from a devastating car crash (also killed were Returnables guitarist John Glick and Exo/The Dials' Douglas Meis), a former colleague penned a remembrance for Silkworm drummer Michael Dahlquist today. (A memorial show for the three will be held Aug. 8 at the Hideout.)

Hologram Benefit

Chief Keef will perform via hologram at a benefit show for the family of a toddler killed by a driver fleeing the scene of his friend's murder. Keef isn't returning to Chicago because of outstanding warrants.

Speaking to Grace

On the latest episode of the podcast WTF, Marc Maron talks with Against Me! singer and recent Chicago transplant Laura Jane Grace about her life, her experiences with transgender dysphoria and her music.

End of a Long, Strange Trip

The Grateful Dead set attendance records all three nights of their farewell shows at Soldier Field.

From Few to Many

The Reader traces the Chosen Few Picnic's growth from a family July 4th barbecue to the 'Woodstock of house music.'

Truckin' Into Town for the Dead?

The internet abounds with lists of what to do when you go to the Grateful Dead shows (or listening parties) this weekend (including what you can't bring into Soldier Field) and things to do during all the inbetween time. (Bravo, DNAinfo on the Steal Your Face map icon).

Still Moving

Chicago's juke scene is continuing to break new ground and spread around the world in the era after DJ Rashad.


Chance the Rapper brought out Kendrick Lamar for a surprise performance during the free Teens in the Park Festival.

Vinyl Goes Vertical

Gramovox's Floating Record player spins records vertically, putting them on display while they play.

Riot Fest Fracas Continues

Riot Fest's relocation to Douglas Park is meeting some resistance from residents.

Behind the Music

Jim DeRogatis shares the history of the "world's only rock-and-roll talk show" as Sound Opinions celebrates its 500th episode on WBEZ.

Always Been Punk

Although women, trans people, and minorities are in and out of punk's spotlight, they never went anywhere, writes Jes Skolnik.

Before the Storm

Homeless people were forced to relocate from the Uptown viaducts by City agencies ahead of the Mumford & Sons concert at Montrose Beach. UPDATE: And now, because of this morning's rain, tonight's concert has been postponed to Friday.

RIP Big Time Sarah

"Big Time" Sarah Streeter, one of the city's most beloved blues singers, passed away Saturday. She was 62.

Hi Hats Off to Him

A drum kit stolen from the Old Town School of Folk Music was returned by a man who bought it on Craigslist after he saw media reports about its theft.

For the Kids

Chance the Rapper will curate acts for the first annual Teens in the Park music festival, which will be free for kids ages 13-24.

Jukebox Heroes

While favorite jukebox songs vary between neighborhoods, "Soy de Rancho" by El Komandera topped the charts in the most neighborhoods, reports DNAinfo.

Chart Buster

The free release of The Social Experiment's Surf reached over 10 million single downloads on iTunes.

Step in the Name of Rug

One man is trying to raise funds to keep a polar bear skin rug used on tour by R. Kelly from fading into obscurity.

Surprise Summer Jams

Ready for the weekend? Go ahead and stream the debut LP from Chance the Rapper's group The Social Experiment; the album co-produced by Donnie Trumpet and the group is full of cameos by artists like Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu.

New Spot, Still a Riot

Riot Fest's Chicago lineup is topped by No Doubt, Iggy Pop, Faith No More, and Snoop Dogg, and includes other greatness and weirdness like a performance by the animatronic Rock-A-Fire Explosion.

Royal Ravers

The King and Queen of the Netherlands will be among the EDM enthusiasts at a lecture and dance party hosted by The School of House at Pritzker Pavilion.

House's Broken Home

Boiler Room's Gabriel Szatan traversed Chicago to examine why house music is flourishing globally but struggling locally.

Riot Fest Makes Its Move

Riot Fest is moving to Douglas Park after its return to Humboldt Park faced resistance from Ald. Roberto Maldonado and a group of residents.

Signs of the End Times

Two of the weirdest and biggest artists of the '90s -- The Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan and Marilyn Manson -- came together for a joint interview with the AV Club ahead of their "End Times" tour.

Soul of Summer

We're grooving to a playlist of Chicago soul from the '60s and '70s by Spotify user Jazzwhat Ever. What will be your soundtrack for the Summer? [via]


Sadly, the owners of The Hideout have announced they won't host their annual Hideout Block Party this year, as they rest and prepare for the venue's 20th Anniversary next year.

The Thrill is Gone: RIP B.B. King

B.B. King, one of the greats of Delta Blues, has passed away. He was 89. King recorded his classics Live in Cook County Jail and Live at the Regal in Chicago.

Take a Day Trip

The new Daytrip Music Festival promises EDM-fueled insanity -- including a paint party, foam party, ball pit and more -- spread over four weekends.

Get Your Groove on at Lunch

Starting today from noon-1pm, enjoy free house music from the Chosen Few DJs under the Picasso in Daley Plaza downtown. The "Hot Mix Lunch" will take place once a month this summer by the same awesome collective who bring you The Chosen Few Picnic on July 4 in Jackson Park.

Pork and Beans and Music

Weezer, Erykah Badu and Spoon are among the headliners of this year's Taste of Chicago.

Open Mic All-Stars

Kanye West and Vic Mensa surprised high schoolers with a performance during an open mic poetry event sponsored by Chance the Rapper.

Popularity Contest

USA Today readers selected Riot Fest as the best music festival in the country, even as neighborhood groups ramp up their opposition to the festival.

Dr. West

Kanye West is receiving an honorary doctoral degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago today.

Riot Fest Fracas Continues

The Puerto Rican Fest Committee ousted its president after he expressed support for Riot Fest taking place in Humboldt Park; the group is now planning a protest against the music festival.

A Real Superfan

Leor Galil commemorates the life of underground music fan Ray Ellingsen, who will be honored by some of the bands he loved at a tribute show at the Empty Bottle.

No Dancing Shoes Required

New music festival Mamby on the Beach will bring a dance party to Oakwood Beach in July, with Empire of the Sun and Passion Pit headlining the two-day event. (via)

Get with the Seeding, Already

Alderman Maldonado, whose ward includes Humboldt Park, isn't too keen on Riot Fest's park cleanup from last year's expanded festival. He's being pretty vocal that the organizers need to fix some sub-par grass seeding before it gets too late in the spring.

North Coast Lineup Announced

The Chemical Brothers and D'Angelo will headline this year's North Coast Music Festival.

Don't Drink, Kids

A report from the Lurie Children's Hospital found that underage drinking at Lollapalooza is a major problem.

Our Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle

Steve Albini spoke at a music conference in Melbourne last year about the state of the music industry in 2015.

Schubas and Lincoln Hall: Sold

Brothers Chris and Mike Schuba have sold their eponymous music club (and Lincoln Hall) to Audioleaf (a combo of local music company Audiotree and Michigan's Greenleaf Companies). They hope to keep things "business as usual" — as do fans of the venues' shows and staff (which includes many here at GB).

Find Your Church

TouchVision profiles rapper Kia Kahlo and her emergence from a "sheltered" religious upbringing.

Groovy Tunes on the Big Screen

White Mystery's film That Was Awesome is premiering at CIMMfest, and the Grateful Dead's farewell shows at Soldier Field will be shown live at movie theaters across the country.

Brokedown Movie Palace

Good news for Deadheads who didn't manage to get tickets to the Grateful Dead's final concerts in July: the concerts will be screened live in movie theaters in Chicagoland and beyond. Tickets go on sale May 4

The Stars Align Tonight

Join us tonight at 7:30pm for Stars Align at GMan Tavern. Our monthly music series sponsored by Begyle Brewing features a one-time-only collaboration between Cameron McGill and Angela Mullenhour. Best of all, it's free!

Glass Stage Ceilings

The lineups of this summer's music festivals are dominated by all-male acts, reports Pixable, showing Pitchfork leads the pack with 30% of acts including women, ahead of Lollapalooza (28%) and Riot Fest (13%).

A Much-Needed Ego Boost

Kanye West was selected as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People.

Drumming Up Business

Sometimes all you need to make a living is a bucket and some drumsticks.

Girl in a Book Club

You still have time to read Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon's memoir, before the Empty Bottle Book Club meets April 18 to discuss it.

Two of a Kind

Camille and Kennerly Kitt, aka "the Harp Twins," are Chicago-based harpists and actors. They just released a videos for their covers of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," and Metallica's "Unforgiven." Pick up their album here.

Every Election Day I'm Shuffling

Al Scorch breaks out the air sax to remind Chicagoans to vote in "City Hall Shuffle."

Wilco WILL Go

Wilco reinstated their show in Indiana after the state clarified its religious freedom law to say it doesn't permit discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Rocking the Silver Screen

White Mystery produced their own feature-length film, That Was Awesome, which will premiere at the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival.

No Wilco for Hoosiers

Wilco canceled an upcoming show in Indianapolis in response to the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, calling it "thinly disguised legal discrimination."

Start Me Up

The founders behind Fort Knox Studios, which provides space for bands and music industry professionals, are starting a business incubator serving music-focused and creative startups.

Underground from Chicago to China

Documentarian John Yingling went from chronicling Chicago's underground music scene to exploring punk rock's popularity in China.

Start Your Browsers

Lollapalooza 3-day passes are now sold out, although single day tickets are still available.

Competitive Karaoke

The Second City Karaoke league gives sing-along enthusiasts a chance to compete.

"My name is not Billy."

Billy Corgan's first name is William, he reminded fans at a concert in Lima, Peru. We'll see if he starts making everybody call him that now, 24 years after Gish came out. [via]

Chance the Actor

Chance the Rapper stars in a short film called Mr. Happy, as a man who decides to commit suicide, in a sense, by hiring a hitman to kill him.

It goes without saying, but there're some graphic scenes in this one.

Strumming Down Lake Shore Drive

Luthier Dan Koentopp created a custom acoustic guitar with the Chicago skyline inlayed in the neck. [via]

Chancing Some New Rhymes

Chance the Rapper will be part of the lineup at the Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry festival team finals on March 28.

Marty & the Dead?

Contrary to the Daily Beast's report, Martin Scorcese is not filming a documentary of the Grateful Dead's final show at Soldier Field this summer.

A Battery Powered Party

Remember the West Loop startup that's relaunching Aiwa? Its first product, the Aiwa Exos-9, is available for pre-order now.

Save the Music

Andy Cohen, owner of Andy's Music, plans to close the shop in August to focus on building a recording studio. The store's manager is attempting to buy it; kick in on the GoFundMe page.

Get Fat Again

New Belgium's delightfully weird Tour de Fat is coming back to Chicago July 11.

Ravinia Festival Lineup is Out

This year's Ravinia Festival includes a wide range of classical and jazz offerings, as well as headliners like Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, and Tony Bennett performing with Lady Gaga.

Lots of Green for Dead Heads

Three-day tickets to the Grateful Dead's reunion concerts at Soldier Field are reselling for as much as $15,000.


You're probably not as excited about brunch as comedian John Eisenrich. [via]

In Praise of Pairs

This Saturday, in the unlikely venue of Chi-Town Futbol, the second annual Two-Piece Fest Midwest will showcase 22 bands made up of just two people each.

Hot Suit, Cool Sound

To celebrate his Grammy nomination for writing the liner notes to the incredible compilation Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound, Numero Group's Jon Kirby commissioned a stunning purple suit from Prince's former clothing designer.

You Only Get One Shot

Hundreds of young rappers hoping to get a big break lined up for a chance to audition for the hip hop reality show "One Shot."

Pitchfork Lineup is Out

Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and Chance the Rapper will headline this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, and tickets are available now.

For You? Half Off Everything

Enjoy a weekend of bargains at beloved record/book/everything store Shake, Rattle & Read in Uptown. In honor of their 49th anniversary, the whole store is 50% off Friday-Monday.

Chance the Bandmate

The Fader profiles Chance the Rapper in his new role as part of the band Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment.

No Home for the Blues

While the roots of the blues run deep in Chicago, enthusiasts and icons like Buddy Guy have been struggling for decades to build a museum to preserve its history.

Selling the Stacks

JBTV's Jerry Bryant is selling the show's archive of 30,000+ music videos from the 1980s-2000s.

RIP Andrew Patner

Writer and WFMT radio host Andrew Patner passed away suddenly on Tuesday. He was 55. Neil Steinberg wrote a lovely obituary about the quietly influential critic.

Kick Up Your Boots

Now that we've got more than one country radio station, Chicago is getting a country music festival, courtesy of LiveNation. Windy City LakeShake will run June 19-21 on Northerly Island and feature headliners Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line and Brad Paisley.

Track New Tracks

Debut brings song premiers from all over the Internet into one place.

Get Your Pitchfork Tickets

Early bird Pitchfork Music Festival tickets are on sale now, and three-day passes come with a free subscription to the Pitchfork Review.

Beal, Streets & Memphis

Chicago-born musician Willis Earl Beal presents the premiere of Memphis, a film he wrote, directed and stars in, on Sunday, Jan. 25 at the Portage Theater. He'll do a Q&A and perform music from the film after the screening. Tickets are $7.

Can't Hear This

While labels like MAEK are giving their music away online for free, two new labels are going to opposite route.

End of a Long Strange Trip

The four surviving members of the original Grateful Dead will reunite for the band's last performances ever at Soldier Field this summer. Details in Transmission.

Tune in to Pitchfork

Pitchfork is launching an online radio station featuring news updates and music curated by the site's staff.

Remember Frankie

Derrick Carter hosts a memorial dance party for Frankie Knuckles Sunday night at Smartbar, with a great-looking lineup.

"I sort of saw it as just another bump in the road."

The Daily Beast profiles violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who survived being dragged by a Metra train in 1995 after her instrument case was trapped inside the doors.

Getting Inside Music's Head

Tonight at 9pm WDCB starts a three-part series called "MusicHeads," featuring Patricia Barber exploring the music creation process. If you can't get 90.9FM to tune in clearly, try their online stream.

Punk is Not Dead

Mike Petruccelli provides an introduction to some of the punk bands playing at an underground venue near you.

Lupe the Industry Sacrifice

In advance of the Jan. 20 release of Tetsuo and Youth, his fifth album, Black Millennials looks at what happened to Lupe Fiasco.


As Bloodshot Records continues its 20th anniversary celebrations with a concert at Metro this Saturday, the Reader's Pete Margasak talks with cofounders Nan Warshaw and Rob Miller about where the label is headed in its next 20.

Footwork Renaissance

Photographer Wills Glasspiegel documented the growth of Chicago footwork from a local scene to a global phenomenon.

LiveNationPalooza is Official

LiveNation now owns a controlling 51 percent share of C3 Presents, which organizes Lollapalooza. (Previously.) Jim DeRogatis notes, among other concerns, that it means Mayor Emanuel's brother Ari now has an even bigger stake in the festival.

All Die Young

Smith Westerns have broken up -- but you'll be able to see them perform one last time this Tuesday at Lincoln Hall.

GB Gift Guide: Wear the Metro

Love hearing shows at the Metro? Grab some posters, tees, or even a tote to proclaim your love or commemorate a favorite show from the last year. The store is open for browsing in-person or online, all at reasonable prices.

GB Gift Guide: The Gift of Good Hearing

WHAT? WHAT? Before you blow out your ears at another show, get yourself some protection! Local purveyors of ear health, Etymotic have a range of earplugs that do a great job of filtering out the harsh and letting in the music. Take it from me, they work! For around $10, your future self will thank you for not needing a hearing aide in your 30s. You can pick them up online from the source, or from the Metro, Lincoln Hall, or Schubas.

World Tour Diary

Spencer Tweedy shares his thoughts and photos from his first world tour with his dad.

GB Gift Guide: Two Clubs for the Price of One

That music lover on your list can be picky. Why not get them access to two great local venues, for the price of one? Lincoln Hall and Schubas offer great gift cards that you can use for tickets, merch or even food at either locations' restaurants. Just get a card, slap a bow on it, and BOOM: you got yourself a date night for 2015. (And for the traditionalist, there are also tote bags, posters, and other cool stuff, available for shipping or local pickup.)

Following Footwork

Meet the people and beats behind Chicago's footwork scene in a documentary shot on the South and West sides by Don't Watch That TV in 2012.

GB Gift Guide: Get Bloodshot

Celebrate Bloodshot Records' 20th Anniversary with some commemorative swag, a record, or CD and get a bonus of free stuff when you spend $20. Check out their special holiday sale for discounts on albums and CDs, their online store for coozies and tees, and their gift idea guide for even the trickiest name on your shopping list, from kiddos to gramps.

Bop Towards the Weekend

If you're still not familiar with Chicago's unique bop music scene, Fake Shore Drive put together a playlist of the best bop tracks of 2014.

Banjo Missionaries

The bluegrass band Henhouse Prowlers travels around the world to teach kids about the American roots music.

Going for Gold

Common, BJ The Chicago Kid, and Da Internz are among the Chicagoans nominated for Grammy Awards this year.

Maek it Yourself

The "visual album" Maek Pandamonium brought together 15 producers, 70 filmmakers and 10 editors for the first-ever visual album released by an indie label. Read our profile of the label in Transmission.

RIP Brother Mike

Poet, educator, and activist "Brother" Mike Hawkins mentored many media-makers and up-and-coming rappers in Chicago. He passed away from undisclosed causes.

Yo-Yo Ma for the Holidays

Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform two "pop-up" shows this Sunday -- one at Shops at Northbridge and the other at Christkindel Market.

That's So Billy

In an interview with The Independent, Billy Corgan said he and Kurt Cobain were "the top two scribes, and everybody else was a distant third." He goes on to obliviously accuse Eddie Vedder of making everything about him. [via]

No More Shows at Township

Township has parted ways with MP Shows in what sounds like fairly acrimonious fashion. Upcoming concerts have either been canceled or moved to Reggies and Livewire Lounge.

Do Good, Rock Out

Riot Fest is promising to give some three-day passes to anyone who volunteers for at least 25 hours at a nonprofit. Holiday pre-sale tickets go on sale Tuesday at 10am.

20 Years of Bloodshot

Chicagoist offers an oral history of Bloodshot Records, still rocking after 20 years. There's a great new compilation album out, too.

Humboldt Restored

The cleaning of Humboldt Park is now complete after Riot Fest turned a large part of it into a mud pit; the festival also announced plans to do charitable work in the neighborhood year-round.

Chicago Kids' Choice

Chance The Rapper was chosen by Chicago teens to receive the Outstanding Youth of the Year Award.

Very Cool Music

The weather is cooperating for Chillfest in Wicker Park and Bucktown this Saturday.

Get Ready for Full Contact Karaoke

Think you can sing? How about while dodging marshmallows? With Full Contact Karaoke you'll face that and more, in the name of fundraising for the Windy City Rollers, at Schubas Dec. 2.

State of the House

Britt Julious takes a look at what house music is like these days in the birthplace of the genre.

Behind the Bop

A documentary by Fader shares the party roots and moves of Chicago's growing Bop movement of hip hop. [via]

Keef Cut Loose

Chief Keef has reportedly been dropped from his label, Interscope Records.

Foo Fighters' Next Show is Inside Wrigley

A week after playing the Cubby Bear to celebrate the launch of their HBO documentary series, the Foo Fighters announced they're playing Wrigley Field next summer. Get your tickets Oct. 27.

Malört for Your Ears

Chicago's favorite bitter spirit now has its own theme song, "A Waltz for Old Jeppson," by local band Archie Powell & the Exports.

New Old Music

The "new music" scene is bringing casual performances of classical music to bars around the city.

Darkness Falls Across the Land

Dancing zombies will invade the rooftop of the Godfrey Hotel for what organizers hope will be Chicago's largest Thriller Flash Mob.

Wilco Moves In

Wilco will play songs highlighting different eras of their two decades as a band during a six night residency at the Riviera Theatre.

Coming Foo Circle

Dave Grohl's first concert experience was at the Cubby Bear, and the Foo Fighters will play the venue to celebrate the premiere of their HBO series, Sonic Highways.

Rush to the Opera

Lyric Opera of Chicago is now offering 50% off same-day tickets for certain shows. [via]

Help Mucca Pazza Go-Go

Fans of this epic punk/spectacle marching band have just 16 hours left to support Mucca Pazza's latest album release on Indie Go-Go. Get yourself some music, a hoodie, a fanny pack, or your own set of sheet music to play along with the band at home.

High & Low Notes

David Safran writes advertising jingles and kind of hates it. He explains how he got there.


LiveNation is trying to buy a majority stake in C3 Presents, the company behind Lollapalooza and Do312. Incidentally, Ari Emanuel is on LiveNation's board. Oh, and there was that Daley deal...

Tour Blues

B.B. King fell ill during a performance at the House of Blues and was forced to cancel the eight remaining stops of his tour.

Starting at the Bottom

After years of rapping about his plight at the Jackson Red Line stop, a video of homeless performer Joseph Lane went viral, catching the attention of a local independent label; the song is now available on iTunes.

Composed Discussions

Secret Weapon is a new blog interviewing Chicago-based composers. The latest is Seth Boustead.

$182,000 to Fix Humboldt Park

The Park District estimates that Riot Fest will have to pay $182,000 to repair Humboldt Park, after rains the first night of the festival left the fields a muddy mess. Repairs will begin this week and are expected to take about a month.

Mass Extinction

Leor Galil memorializes the DIY concert venue Animal Kingdom, and writes about the struggles facing any DIY space.

LollapaDaley Doozey

Former Mayor Daley cut a sweetheart deal with Lollapalooza's organizers, and it's still paying off: Daley's TUR Partners is helping C3 Presents create a redevelopment plan for a downtown Austin park.

Join the Pity Party

Puddles, "the Sad Clown with the Golden Voice" who beautifully covered Lorde's "Royals," is coming to the Mayne Stage for two shows Oct. 15.

The Common Man

Chicago Magazine profiles Common and his efforts to give back to his community by highlighting up-and-coming artists and providing jobs for young people.

Pick Up a Flyer

Eric May reflects on his days as a raver kid in the '90s, and shares a bunch of vintage flyers. [via]

Overnight in the Cultural Center

The World Music Festival begins Friday, and it's starting off with a 24-hour open house at the Cultural Center.

New Chappelle Show

Comedian Dave Chappelle is set to host Common's inaugural Aahh! Festival, joining a pretty impressive lineup including Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul, and MC Lyte.

Ain't Nothing but a Wedding Thing

Snoop Dogg crashed a Hindu wedding while he was in town to perform at North Coast Music Festival.

Remembering Chris Saathoff

It's been 10 years since Chris Saathoff, bassist for Chicago band Chin Up Chin Up, was killed by a hit-and-run driver outside the Empty Bottle. Tonight the Bottle hosts a benefit concert for the Chris Saathoff Foundation.

Yankee Old Town Foxtrot

Wilco's drummer, Glen Kotche, is doing a four-day residency at Old Town School in November, including three classes and a performance Nov. 7.

No EDM at the Congress

No EDM concerts are allowed at the Congress now or ever again, according to a new agreement between the City and current owners whose language seems to define any music made with a DJ as EDM.

Your Weekend Soundtrack

If it's not already, it ought to be The Hood Internet's Mixtape Vol. Eight, which came out this week.

More Droning Than Pitchfork

No, it wasn't a UFO hovering over Lollapalooza, but rather a drone capturing an aerial view of the festival.

A Music Festival Bubble?

With nearly 850 music festivals in the US alone -- and what, a dozen big ones in Chicagoland, not including neighborhood fests -- the festival industry may be on the cusp of a contraction.

MSM Who Bites

In one of the weirder altercations at Lollapalooza this past weekend, Ben Lenet was minding his own when he was attacked and bitten by a stranger. Police suspect the biter might have been high on PCP or bath salts. Lenet posted photos on Reddit in hopes that the man who bit him comes forward. So far, Lenet says, he hasn't developed any taste for brains.


Thanks to the rain Sunday, Grant Park is in worse shape after this year's Lollapalooza than in 2011.

Kilroy was Recorded Here

The Maywood studio where Styx recorded "Mr. Roboto" and other hits is up for sale on Craigslist.

House Comes Home

While house music has been popular in Europe for years, it's just starting to break through where it all started: right here in Chicago.

What the Folk

Folk That poses a musical challenge: Every couple months they pick a song and invite submissions of folk versions of that song. The most popular submission wins a prize.

Shouldn't be Printed on Crackers

Dozens of people around the country bought fake Lollapalooza tickets online from a scam artist named "Donald Odell."

Rock Around the Clock

Jack White performed an epic three-hour-long set last night, his longest ever.

On the Road Again

A Facebook group is helping touring and local musicians find their gear after it's stolen in Chicago.

Jack White and the Chicago Cubs Experience

Someone looking very much like Jack White looked pretty miserable at the Cubs game Tuesday night.

Beats Blend Together

Common's new album "Nobody's Smiling" features rappers and styles of the North, West, and South Sides, and even features artists besides Common on the cover.

Hot Singles

Chicago Singles Club isn't a dating site -- it's a label that puts out a 45 and a video interview with a local artist once a month.

Rocking the Charts

NewCity's annual Music 45 list of the most important Chicago musicians is out.

Sweet Release

A press release promoting an accessory to help women pee while standing up is Jim DeRogatis' new favorite piece of Lollapalooza-targeted marketing.

Subcultural Black America

For Vice, Britt Julious discusses GHE20 GOTHIK, hood futurism and the state of African-American subcultures.

Music & Money

Alex White of White Mystery talked with Marketplace about how rock stars manage their money.

Wear Your Money

Wristbands giving concertgoers access to Lollapalooza will also be linked to their credit cards so they can be scanned to pay for concessions at the festival.

Spin City

Chicago is one of the top markets for vinyl record sales in the U.S.

Get Your Lollas

If you missed out on Lollapalooza tickets, several sites and companies are willing to give you a second chance through contests, including Crain's; Front Gate Tickets; Nylon; Bacardi; Blood, Sweat & Cheers; the Verge; Dobel Tequila; and RedBull Sound Select. (Thanks, Frank!)

The Edge of Glory

Lady Gaga prevailed in the plagiarism case brought against her by local musician Rebecca Francescatti last year.

Not Playing Around

As covered extensively by Jim DeRogatis over the years, Lollapalooza's proximity clause can keep artists from playing in Chicago -- and as far away as Detroit and St. Louis -- for up to nine months surrounding the festival.

I Think I Understand You

I don't care if they live in LA now, OK Go is still a Chicago band. And their new video for "The Writing's On the Wall" is amazing.

Beach Bummer

Wavefront Music Festival is officially canceled for this summer.

Keef's Bad Week

After being evicted from his apartment for failing to pay rent, Chief Keef's concert in Cicero was cancelled because officials feared his appearance would cause chaos and violence.

Another Go Around

Spin Nightclub may be gone, but two new businesses--one an old-school saloon, the other a gay nightclub--are set to open in its place.

Fried Hard

Fake Shore Drive provides a guide to Harold's Chicken in hip hop.

Opening Night Notes

The 2014 season of the Grant Park Music Festival kicks off Wednesday, June 11, with a Tchaikovsky Extravaganza.

Rock the Chive On

It's easy to forget that bro-blog The Chive was founded in Chicago (and that it started off as an Onion imitator). The site has a rabid following, and it's hosting a touring music festival that's coming to Soldier Field June 28.

Venerable Venues

Jim DeRogatis looks at the uncertain future of historic theaters serving as concert venues, including the Congress, the Uptown, and the Portage.

A New Fest Payment Plan

While three-day passes to Riot Fest cost $180, the festival is now offering to put tickets on layaway so concert-goers can pay in installments.

Watch the Mayor's Chair

One Chicagoan is on a mission to convince Kanye West to run for mayor in 2015.

Top Local Tunes

TimeOut put together its list of the 41 best Chicago albums of all time. Anything missing?

Blasphemy vs. Anti-Authoritarianism

Sun-Times political reporter Dan Mihalopoulos wrote about a column about how Pussy Riot members' upcoming performance at RiotFest is an affront to Chicago's Orthodox Christians. Whet Moser argues that he might be missing the point behind the band's actions. (In Russia, reaction to their guerrilla performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral was mixed.)

Van Watch

Brooklyn hardcore band Go Deep's van, and all the equipment in it, was stolen while it was parked in the Wicker Park area Wednesday afternoon.

Tunes Returning to Pilsen

The reopened Thalia Hall hosts its first concert tonight, a sold-out performance by Panda Bear.

The Portage Returns

The Portage Theater is reopening in June after being closed for a year.

Opening Up the Local Scene

Many Chicago rappers now receiving national attention worked with Closed Sessions early in their career, and RedEye's Ernest Wilkins says the local label plays a vital role in connecting local talent to tastemakers around the country.

Spin these Singles

Music blog Chicago Singles Club profiles one artist a month and produces a two-track single from each. This month it's Moritat.

Rock Down Memory Lane

Ten Riot Fest headliners including Weezer, Slayer, and Jane's Addiction will be playing their "Essential Albums" in their entirety.

Never Too Old to Rock

Students at Marquette University created a short documentary about Tribune rock critic (and Marquette alumnus) Greg Kot. [via]

It Takes Money to Make Money

Whether it's working as a server, fixing computers, or audio engineering, the side hustles of Chicago rappers help them raise money for music videos and studio time.

The Motley Pumpkins

Tommy Lee is behind the drum kit on the Smashing Pumpkins' upcoming album. [via]

Crowdfund Pure Joy

Pure Joy is trying to create an all-ages, accessible performance space in Chicago. They're raising startup funds via IndieGoGo.

When Michael Jackson Went to Chicago...

A Timbaland-produced track called "Chicago" is on the new album of Michael Jackson rarities and unreleased material, Xcape, out next Tuesday.

Caught in the Mouse Trap

Brooklyn-based poet Shane Romero produced Mouse Trap, a short film addressed to Li'l Mouse, a 14-year-old rapper from the South Side. Romero spoke with the Chicago Bureau about the film and its inspiration. [via]

Save Muddy's House

A year later, there is yet another effort under way to save the historic home of Muddy Waters. This time, Muddy's son, Mud Morganfield, is leading the charge.

Rock This Vote

RedEye wants you to weigh in on which of 10 local bands should get a spot in their Rock 'n' Vote show at Lincoln Hall and compete for a slot at the Taste of Chicago.

The Mutiny Needs a Bounty

The owner of The Mutiny is retiring, and the club and building are up for sale.

RIP DJ Rashad

Rashad Harden, aka DJ Rashad, was found dead Saturday, possibly due to an overdose. DJ Rashad was a house DJ and rapper who helped popularize Chicago's footwork scene.

Who's Saint Millie?

Ernest Wilkins and RedEye are producing a documentary series on Saint Millie, a rapper from the West Side trying to break through. The first five episodes are online.

Make You Sweat

This year's Green Music Fest in Wicker Park will include a bicycle-powered music stage.

Get to Work

Dancers King Charles and Pause Eddie show how to do some pretty impressive Chicago Footwork moves, from the Erk and Jerk to the Two-Step. [via]

So Much Noise

The circus-punk marching band Mucca Pazza will perform with the 3,500 members of the Chicago Children's Choir at the choir's "Paint the Town Red" event this spring.

A Musical Buffet

Janelle Monáe, Jeff Tweedy, and Aloe Blacc are among the headliners performing at this year's Taste of Chicago.

Documenting the Dream

RedEye follows West Side rap artist Saint Millie as he strives to break out from Chicago's rap scene and into mainstream stardom in the upcoming documentary "Road to Glory."

Parking Included

LiveNation includes a parking fee for all tickets at the Charter One Pavilion, whether you drive or take the bus. A class action lawsuit over the fee was just dismissed on the grounds that neither the show nor the venue have a monopoly on the entertainment market.

Only Costs a Comment

Pitchfork's three-day passes may be sold out, but you can win one by sharing your festival memories and dreams with us.

Digging for Gold

Newcity's Kenneth Preski profiles five Chicagoans dedicated to scouring the crates of vinyl at record stores, yard sales, and thrift shops to amass some pretty impressive record collections.

That's The Ticket

Thalia Hall, a landmark building turned public hall in Pilsen, is officially open for business, and so is their box office.

Schubas Turns 25

The little Lakeview bar and concert hall owned by Mike and Chris Schuba is 25 years old. Consequence of Sound has an an appreciation.

In Frankie Knuckles' House

Media Burn just posted some great archival video by Phil Ranstrom from the opening of Frankie Knuckles' club, the Power House. Jump to 2:55 to hear the first of Frankie Knuckles' interview segments, and then to 6:38 to see a pretty amazing performance by J.M. Silk.

Blogging Classically

The CSO has launched Sounds & Stories, an online magazine about classical music.

Frankie Knuckles RIP

The "Godfather of House Music" died Monday evening from diabetes-related complications. He was 59 years old. More »

Drilling Down

On the heels of yesterday's shooting at the suburban home of the manager of rapper Chief Keef, Gawker takes a look at drill music and its effect on the city's music, politics and culture.

The Home of House

Chicago house DJ/producer Lil' Louis interviewed over 180 different artists for a feature-length documentary about the history of house music, "The House That Chicago Built," due out later this year.

Iron Women

DNAInfo's Howard Ludwig profiles radio DJ Kelly Leahy, whose show Hello Metal brings Hello Kitty and heavy metal together.

Smashing Expectations

Billy Corgan announced that two new Smashing Pumpkins albums will come out this year. Hopefully they're better than the eight-hour unlistenable live set he did last month. [via]

Get Well Soon, Joe!

Metro owner, Joe Shanahan, was recently diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer. Joe says his treatment won't affect upcoming shows, thanks to his spectacular team, but we're still hoping for his full and speedy recovery!

Their Big Break

Eminem, Skrillex, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys are among the headliners for this year's Lollapalooza, according to the Tribune.

Play it Again, Mac

Soundslice, Adrian Holovaty and PJ Macklin's app for learning tabs, now includes a sheet music player that syncs notation with real audio recordings. Way cool.

On Each Other's Team

Lorde, who's in town for a show at the Aragon tonight, live-tweeted the Bulls game last night ...sort of.

Killer Queen Kickoff

The surviving members of Queen, with Adam Lambert as their frontman, will start their first tour in years with a performance at the United Center.

United States of X: Music Edition

The "signature artist" for Illinois is Sufjan Stevens, according to a developer for music intelligence company EchoNest. (Though weirdly, the results change depending on how deep you go.)

Pitchfork Prospects

Artists headlining this year's Pitchfork Music Festival will include Kendrick Lamar, Beck, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Digitial Old School

Vice's Thump blog interviews Diode Milliampere, a Chicago-based sound engineer who makes his own music in MS-DOS.

Bringing Down the House

Part of the roof collapsed during a performance by DJ Datsik at Concord music hall, possibly shaken loose by booming bass.

The Chi at South By

Chance the Rapper will headline the first-ever Chicago Made music showcase at SXSW sponsored by the City; The Autumn Defense, The Hood Internet, and Archie Powell & the Exports will also perform, among others.

L'Avant Garde Renouvelé

Archival label Superior Viaduct has reissued Comme À La Radio, Brigitte Fontaine's 1969 album with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. [via]

More Muti

Maestro Riccardo Muti signed a new five-year deal with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, keeping the conductor here until August of 2020.

Good Folks

Readers of The Deli voted folk singer Pat McKillen as the top Emerging Artist of 2013.

Chiraq Meets NYC

Vice's Noisey continues their look at the intersection of hip hop and violence in Chicago, following Chief Keef as he visits New York and delving deeper into the challenges facing Chicago communities with members of local rap collectives and the CPD.

Dungeons and Dragons and Music

Numero Group has created a board game called Cities of Darkscortch to accompany their upcoming release of Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles, a compilation of D&D-inspired '70s rock.

Get Yer Pitchfork Tix

Tickets for the Pitchfork Music Festival are on sale now, with three-day passes early-bird discounted to $110. The festival will be July 18-20 this year.

Starting the Drill

Vice's Noisey began an eight-part documentary on "Chiraq" this week, visiting Englewood to learn more about Chief Keef, the rise of drill music, and its connection with gangs.

Get to Know Matthew Churney

You might have seen him at a concert or music festival, dancing up a storm in knee pads and a shredded t-shirt. Vice finds out who that guy is. [via]

More Stories of Chiraq

Vice's Noisey takes the latest look at the crossroads between gang violence and hip hop in Chicago through their multi-part documentary, "Welcome to Chiraq."

A Shuffle for this Generation

The "Super Bowl Shuffle" has been remade by a motley crew of comedians (among them Chicagoan Kyle Kinane) and other entertaining folk in the name of charity.

Double-X Rock

Music blog Boxx Magazine is raising money to help it continue to cover music from a female perspective.

Congress Out of Carranza's Hands Soon

The Congress Theater may soon be sold to the developer behind the Cadillac Palace downtown, Jim DeRogatis reports.

Alive Again

Local classic rock acts Chicago and REO Speedwagon are touring together this summer -- but so far they're not playing in Chicago.

Reports from The Field

A new documentary produced by WorldStarHipHop looks at the influence of Chicago's violence on the city's biggest hip hop stars, including interviews with artists like Lil Reese, KatieGotBandz, Rhymefest & more.

Why Did That Happen?

On Wednesday night, Kanye West sang a song apparently titled "We should've never ever let Michael Jordan play for the Wizards." Bret Wallin transcribed it for you.

Key Change for CSO

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is launching its own online magazine with recordings of performances, profiles, and other updates from the orchestra. [via]

Rock Around the Clock- on TV

JBTV's Don't Drink or Text and Drive Live Music Marathon is returning for its 26th year, bringing performances from over 100 local and national acts to cable TV and JBTV's website.

Yeezus of Chicago

The RedEye's Ernest Wilkins dares ask, is Kanye West still a Chicagoan?

DeRo on R.Kelly the Monster

Jessica Hopper talks with Jim DeRogatis about his coverage of R.Kelly's rape lawsuits and why they haven't been reported on more.

Tales from the Bottle

Got a story to tell about the Empty Bottle? Curbside Splendor wants to hear it for a new book. [via]

The Hills Are Alive

Music is popping up in unexpected places around the city, from a "magical" piano in Union Station, to a surprise performance by Yo-Yo Ma at a downtown shopping center.


Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is taking the top job at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She doesn't leave till Sept. 1 of next year, leaving the CSO plenty of time to find a replacement.

RIP Lorna Donley

After what has been described as a brief and unexpected illness, Lorna Donley, the vocalist and bassist of the Chicago punk/post-punk band DA! passed away on Sunday. Arrangements are forthcoming, and will likely be posted on the DA! Facebok page.

2nd Chance

Chicagoan Chance the Rapper's "Acid Rap" is #2 on SPIN Magazine's ranking of the 50 best albums of 2013.

A Very Meta Christmas

A Christmas-themed musical written by Dee Snider, frontman of 1980s heavy metal band Twisted Sister, tells the story of a metal band whose members sell their souls to gain popularity. "Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale" debuts in Chicago next year.

Riot Festmas

Riot Fest is selling a limited amount of three-day passes to the music festival starting at noon on Wednesday.


Pitchfork is adding a magazine to its stable. The Pitchfork Review will be a quarterly, and a subscription ironically comes with access to "exclusive digital content."

Break Out the Boom Box

The Reader's Leor Galil surfaced an online collection of rare and classic Chicago rap tracks from the late 80's and 90's.

Getting Into the House

Chicago: The Holy Land of House is a short documentary about the early days of house music. It's part of a longer project about the genre and its impact on music and culture. [via]

'10s Revisited

From Kanye to Chance, Fake Shore Drive profiles the decade so far in Chicago hip hop.

Another Reason to Dance

Lakeview's Berlin Nightclub is celebrating 30 years as an LGBT-friendly "neighborhood dance bar of the future."

Ladies Who Rock

These women help run the music scene.

No Yeezy for Sheezy

Kanye West's two shows at the United Center later this week have been postponed due to set equipment that was damaged in a truck accident last week.

Bleed Bluer than Ivy

Local emcee Vic Mensa delivered an unbelievable freestyle rap on 106 & Park's The Backroom. [via]

Yo Dawg, I Heard You Like Mashups

Mashup kings The Hood Internet have put their album FEAT up on MashupDJ for you to remix. [via]

Karaoke Court

The frontman of local band MINES made his national TV debut on "Judge Mathis" this week when Brian Sulpizio, the engineer who recorded the band's first album (and musician in Health and Beauty), sued them for not paying for the full cost of making it.

The Rocking Confines

Wrigley Field is the second best stadium for live music in America, according to Rolling Stone. [via]

Andrew Bird Adds a 4th at 4th Pres

If you missed out on tickets to Andrew Bird's Gezelligheid concerts at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, you have one more chance. A fourth show has been added for Dec. 12, and tickets go on sale at 10am Friday.

Inside the Bottle

Consequence of Sound gets the story behind the music at the Empty Bottle in Ukranian Village.

Music Training

Pullman Rail Journeys, which runs vintage Pullman railcars on Amtrak's City of New Orleans line, will have musicians from the Old Town School of Folk Music performing on some trips.

The Home of House

Here & Now revisits house music's emergence in Chicago after the death disco at the end of the '70s.

A Record Breaking Quarter Century

Record Breakers, the formerly suburban record store attached to its music venue sibling Reggies, celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend with in-store performances by such bands as Magicks, White Mystery and Canasta, plus deep discounts on records and CDs.

Everybody's Bopping Now

The latest dance style on the South and West sides is bopping, popularized by Lil Kemo and others in hip hop videos.

"I would like to be paid like a plumber."

Read Steve Albini's letter to Nirvana ahead of recording In Utero, which turned 20 years old this week. (It's apparently included in the super-deluxe edition of the re-release.)

Volcano Girls Return

The frontwomen of Chicago grunge-era band Veruca Salt apparently settled their differences and will be heading back into the studio.

Meager Gathering of the Juggalos

This year's Gathering of the Juggalos (previously) wasn't a money-maker for Insane Clown Posse, and they're having trouble paying their vendors.

A Peek into the Pit

Speaking of the mosh pits at Riot Fest, Hoy sent a photographer into the fracas to capture what exactly goes on in them- and get tips from some well-seasoned pit pros.

Moshing's Pitfalls

At least six Riot Fest attendees went to the hospital over the weekend with mosh pit-related injuries. Read our Riot Fest coverage in Transmission.

Get Low, Help Kids

At the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer, Low beautifully covered Rihanna's song "Stay." Now you can buy that track on iTunes, and the proceeds go to Chicago music education nonprofit, Rock for Kids.

Make Yourself Feel Old

20 Years Ago Today explores music that was new in the '90s.

Albini State of Mind

Chicagoist talks with Steve Albini about the forthcoming Shellac album, remastering Nirvana's In Utero and more.

Copyrights Were Meant to Fight

Chicago musician Clive Tanaka is suing Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement for allegedly lifting portions of his 2010 song "Neu Chicago" for her hit "Starships."

Listen to a side-by-side comparison created by Tanaka:

Get on the Music Train

The Station to Station tour stops at Union Station tonight -- featuring Mavis Staples, Theaster Gates' Black Monks of Mississippi, Thurston Moore, White Mystery and more. Get tickets now.

Music is the World

The World Music Festival is back this week; the Reader has a preview.

Bridging the Subcutures

Resident Advisor takes a look back at what made Medusa's so culturally important. If you enjoyed that, you may also want to read Sheila Burt's oral history of the club from our archives.

Pop it in the Tape Deck

This Saturday is Cassette Store Day, and two local shops are participating: Bric-A-Brack Records in Logan Square and The Old School Records out in Forest Park -- plus, The Owl will host a launch party for its new Parliament Tapes cassette tape vending machine Saturday night.

This Machine Makes Music

Music Hack Day is an international day of banging technology together to make music. Chicago's effort is Sept. 21-22 (overnight) at Blue 1647; register now.

Miley Cyrus and the Politics of Twerking

Miley Cyrus's notorious performance at last night's Video Music Awards has been the talk of the internet. If you missed it to watch "Breaking Bad", or if you caught it but are still trying to sort it out, reading this essay by Nico Lang and this piece from Britt Julious might help.

Chief Keef: the New Marilyn Manson

An Oklahoma teenager accused of shooting a man at random because he was "bored" apparently is a fan of Chief Keef -- so of course that's being trotted out as the latest example of music fostering violent behavior in youth.

The Latest Congress Problem

The Congress Theater is still closed after losing its liquor license and other battles with the City, and in the latest twist, there's a new lawsuit over a right-of-first-refusal deal owner Eddie Carranza made with Jam Productions.

TNK 5 Days Available Now

Zip on over to Lincoln Hall's site, and you may just grab an (very limited time) early-bird discount on TNK 2014 5-day passes (that's the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival, for the uninitiated). It's never too early to plan for winter's best music festival.

Chicago is Back

Not the city -- it never went away. No, the band.

This is Only a Tribute

Britt Julious digs into why Chicago is such a great city for musical tribute nights.


Call 773-295-2135, and Willis Earl Beal might sing a song for you.

Jamming Live Straight from the Boards

Umphrey's McGee is on the forefront of concert experience innovation with its Headphones & Snowcones headphone rental (named for a song; no frozen treats are involved.)

Drilling Down on Violence

Another angle on the connection between drill music and violence, this time a conversation with King L and Katie Got Bandz on

Bootlegged to Billboard

Chance the Rapper hit the Billboard charts last week thanks to an unauthorized bootleg CD. The Reader's Leor Galil tracked down the bootleggers.

Subculture Clash

The deadheads who show up every Wednesday at Abbey Pub to see Terrapin Flyer were shocked to find a Juggalo act playing instead this week.

Around the World

Marbles the Brain Store put out a music video for "Tour the World," a track on its new kids album Brain Beats 2, featuring a hand drawn globe and illustrations by designer and ex-GB staffer Craighton Berman.

This Charming Gig

A Tumblr blog that expertly pairs "Peanuts" cartoons with lyrics of songs by The Smiths is based on an advertisement for the band's last-ever performance in Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom, which took place August 15, 1986 (27 years ago today!).

Drillin' in Chiraq

Edward McClelland writes about the drill music scene and its interconnection with gang violence

Bowie's Golden Years

David Bowie Is, a retrospective exhibition about the Thin White Duke, will make its only US appearance at the MCA next fall.

Everybody, Go Home

The Backstreet Boys concert at Northerly Island on Friday was cut short while the group was in the middle of a song, after a late start caused the show to pass an 11 p.m. curfew.

The Flying Tomato Saves the Day

Snowboarder Shaun White's band Bad Things stepped in as a last-minute replacement after rap/noise outfit Death Grips refused to appear at a Lollapalooza after-show at Bottom Lounge on Friday night, and the band's onstage gear was reportedly destroyed by angry fans.

You Would Probably Watch on a Screen at Lolla, Anyways

Lollapalooza kicks off today, and even if you're not planning on braving the crowds (or possible rain), you can catch some of the tunes streamed live on their YouTube channel. [via]

Horns on Sale

Still not cheap, but Specimen has some of its smaller "hornlet" and "hornling" speakers on sale, for those who want to listen to Andrew Bird's music in its natural environment.

Helping Kids Write Their Next Verse

Kanye West and Rhymefest are launching a music writing program for at-risk youth on the South Side. The "Got Bars?" program will be run as a collaboration between West's Donda's House and the ARK of St. Sabina. [via]

Reaching a New Concord

The new Concord Music Hall, which took over the former Viaduct Theater space on Western Avenue, released its debut schedule today. Adam Ant is playing next Thursday, with Gogol Bordello headlining the official launch show Aug. 17. EDIT: Sorry, Constellation replaced the Viaduct. Concord is in the former V-Live space on Milwaukee.

Where Did All the Bitchporks Go?

Pitchfork Music Festival usually arrives with an evil twin -- Bitchpork. But this year the underground festival didn't happen. Music blog Pigeons and Planes tells the story of Bitchpork and why it's no more.

Squeeze This into Your Summer Mix

The Hood Internet has mashed up Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" with the theme from "Growing Pains," starring his dad, Alan.

There's a Band in Town!

Steve Delahoyde found a flyer for the Lemonade Band, "a group of four girls who wanted to entertain you while selling lemonade and other yummy treats." The band vanished as fast as it formed, but Steve decided to make a music video for them anyway.

Chi-Town's Next 10

Vibe talks with 10 of Chicago's up-and-coming hip hop artists, including Chance the Rapper, Sasha Go Hard and a few you might not have heard of if you don't read Fake Shore Drive.

#P4K Cheat Sheet

If you're headed to Pitchfork this weekend, PitchforkPal is a handy mobile-optimized schedule.

Musical Big Hits

NewCity's annual Music 45 list of musical heavy hitters is out.

An Open Letter to Phish Fans

In advance of this weekend's three days of performances by Phish at the new Northerly Island amphitheater, the folks at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion and Live Nation posted a long note on Facebook to try and alleviate their concerns about the lawn seats after a muddy time was had by Parrotheads in June. (Can't make the Chicago shows in person? Order up the live webcast.)

South Shore Jazz Fest Canceled

The South Shore Jazz Festival has been canceled this year due to debt and time constraints.

Juggalo Breaking News

Speaking of underground festivals, the trailer for Insane Clown Posse's annual Gathering of the Juggalos downstate in Cave-In-Rock is up.

The Un-Pitchfork Music Festival

In past years, Bitchpork was the anti-Pitchfork music festival, lining up truly underground bands for crazy shows. Bitchpork's no more, but the tradition lives on with Rotted Tooth Fest, running July 19-20 at an undisclosed location.

Underground Nightlife

At WBEZ, Britt Julious profiles up-and-coming music and event promoter 1833 Presents.

The R.Kelly Question(s)

Jim DeRogatis has chronicled R.Kelly's career and brushes with the law. He leads a WBEZ investigation of various aspects of the musician's role in pop culture, and whether he should be headlining Pitchfork.

Didn't They Check Bieb's ID?

Justin Bieber apparently had a drink or two at Bodi while he was in town this week, and the club has been fined for serving a minor. The 19-year-old pop star was also shirtless in the bar despite the clearly posted sign...

Help a Squeezebox Store Out of a Squeeze

Alywind is the city's only accordion store. Owner Bea Polverini needs to raise $2,000 by Friday to keep the store open -- give her a hand?

Being the Better Man

Pearl Jam is donating a portion of ticket sales from its July 19 show at Wrigley Field to the South Chicago Art Center and Marwen. The Cubs and Theo Epstein's A Foundation To Be Named Later are pitching in to double the donation.

Hey Champ, Drink Up

Double Door's new subterranean "speakeasy" bar, Door No. 3, opens tonight with Hey Champ performing live, along with DJ sets by Gemini Club, pOCEANs and Greg Corner. It's free, but you have to RSVP on Do312.

Justin Meets Stanley

Justin Bieber hung out with the Stanley Cup before his show at the United Center Tuesday, and hung his sweater in Toews' locker. Fans were not pleased.

Andrew Mason is Working Hard

Ex-Groupon CEO Andrew Mason released an album of business motivational songs last night; I've posted my first impressions in Transmission, and the lyrics are already being pored over on rapgenius. Meanwhile, Sam Zelitch released his own version of the album last week: Andrew Mason's Hardly Working.

Feels So Right, Finally

Doug Shorts has been trying to make it as an R&B singer for more than 50 years. Now, with the help of a local label and producer, he might finally make it.

Satchmo at Ravinia

Two high school reporters share their experience of interviewing Louis Armstrong at Ravinia in 1964 at Blank on Blank.

Secretly Chicagoan

Local record label Numero Group has become part of the newly formed Secretly Label Group (which also owns the Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar and Dead Ocean labels) but will retain all of its employees and operation.

A Return to Guyville

Jessica Hopper compiles an oral history of the making of Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville album (which was released 20 years ago this month).

Hey Der, Milwaukee

If you're old enough, you might remember former Loop DJ Jonathon Brandmeier performing jokey songs with his band, the Leisure Suits, back in the '80s and '90s. With Milwaukee's Summerfest starting this weekend, it seemed like a good time to share his song "Hey Der Milwaukee Polka," a true love letter to our neighbors to the north.

Wicker Park's Original Soundtrack

Feel old, maybe: Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville is 20; so are Urge Overkill's Saturation and Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream. SPIN has an oral history of the making of the album.

A Blackhawks Symphony

Still wired after that OT win the Blackhawks offered last night? Soothe yourself with a rendition of "Chelsea Dagger" played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (Nice shirt, Muti!)

Blackhawks Swag

Young Regime, Windy City Beast and Tiggy-G have released a Blackhawks anthem worthy of the team: "Stanley Cup Swagger."

Make Music Chicago this Friday

One day, 40 sites, 13 hours of nonstop music, 1,000 musicians — all free. Make Music Chicago returns for a third year of music from Hyde Park to Evanston with plenty of sites in between: Lincoln Park Zoo, River North cathedrals, and Loop office lobbies. Friday, June 21, 9am–midnight.

If you're a musician, play along in the Rise and Shine Orchestra, Broadway and Opera Sing-along, or Sousapalooza. Head to St. James Cathedral for the spectacular Grand Finale and a Harmonica Blowout with Joe Filisko. Read more, in Transmission.

Within Your Reach, Again

This is better than Game 1 of the Stanley Cup: legendary rock band The Replacements, who broke up in 1991 after an appearance at the Taste of Chicago, will be headlining September's Riot Fest in Humboldt Park.

Free Tix for Lonely Island This Friday

The Lonely Island, a comedy/musical troupe, will be at Metro at 5pm Friday for a special event. They'll preview their new record, The Wack Album, do a Q&A, and sign copies of the new record. We have two pair of free tickets for Gapers Block readers.

To win them, send an email to by 10am Friday. Put "Lonely Island" in the subject line and be sure to include your name and mobile number. Who's the Lonely Island? It's a "star-studded comedy trio" says Metro, including SNL alumnus Andy Samberg and writers Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. UPDATE: We have a winner! Congrats to Kacey!

Steve Dahl, Rock'n'Roll Star

Steve Dahl is infamous for his radio antics, Disco Demolition Night and more, and now has a successful podcast network. But did you know he was also a Billboard-charting recording artist?

In 1979, Dahl recorded "Do You Think I'm Disco?," a parody of Rod' Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," that peaked at 58 on the Billboard 100 charts in 1979. He went on to record several other songs with his band, Teenage Radiation. Here's a sampling:

"Do You Think I'm Disco?" - 1979

"Ayatollah" - 1979

"Skylab" - 1979

"Crew Cut Hero" - 1981

"Another Kid in the Crawl" -1981

"Falklands" - 1982

Dahl also recorded two albums of original, non-parody songs in the '90s as Steve Dahl & the Dahlfins.

"Awesome Truth and Awesomeness"

Kanye West talks to the NYTimes about his new album, Yeezus, and a whole lot more.

Music Taste: Neko's Newest

Formerly Chicago-based artist Neko Case has a new album coming out, and just released a teaser video by Chicago-based filmmaker Xan Aranda

RIP Piano C. Red

Bluesman Piano C. Red, who played with BB King, Muddy Waters and others, passed away at 79. He drove a cab by day before being paralyzed in a robbery attempt in 2006.

Ravinia's Lawncierge™ Service

Ravinia will offer a new, $185-per-person "upscale lawn experience" -- dubbed Lawncierge -- that includes special wristbands, a private lawn seating and all you can eat food, for certain shows this season.

Hideout Block Party Lineup Announced

The lineup for this year's A.V. Fest Hideout Block Party has been announced, with Neko Case, Mavis Staples, The Hold Steady, The Walkmen and more. Two-day passes are $60 and on sale now.

Bringing Back the House

Dance Mania Records, which helped bring Chicago House music to prominence, is once again pressing vinyl.

Great Venues in Trouble

The Aragon and Riviera theaters join the Congress (previously) on the City inspectors' shit list, each with several major building code violations.

RIP Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek, Chicago-born keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away Monday after a battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74.

Lincoln Park GoogaMooga?

Looks like Brooklyn's Great GoogaMooga food and music festival is coming to Chicago in August; permits have been applied for.

Through the Wire, Off the Wall

Kanye West debuted his new song "New Slaves" through a simultaneous series of projections on building walls throughout the world, including seven locations in Chicago.

Millennium Park:

Chicago History Museum:

Wicker Park:

Resurrecting the Hot House

Portoluz announced plans to relaunch the storied, late lamented Hothouse as a music and cultural venue. A relaunch party is planned for June 22.

Lolla's Schedule is Out

Lollapalooza released the schedule for this year's festival today. Stephanie Griffin has been highlighting some of the acts performing this year in Transmission: Father John Misty, Guards, Icona Pop, Jessie Ware and Wavves.

Brand New Strings, Etc.

New Chicago Music is pretty clear about its goal: to introduce you to new contemporary classical music around the city. Check out the calendar to get started.

A River of Song

The CSO is celebrating the Chicago River (and others) with music festival. Saturday is also Chicago River Day -- volunteer to help clean up the waterway.

Wedding for the Record Stacks

DJs Dani Deahl and Fei Tang got married in Gramaphone Records last weekend.

Playing the Big Room

Rolling Stone continues its cataloging of the nation's greatest rock venues with a look at "Big Rooms." Metro and House of Blues make the cut. (Previously.)

Music Institute to Open Downtown

The Music Institute of Chicago is opening a new campus at the Fourth Presbyterian Church's Gratz Center this fall, and will move its north suburban school from Highland Park to Lake Forest.

National Rock Cred

Rolling Stone's panel of experts picked Lincoln Hall, Empty Bottle and Schubas among the Best Clubs in America.

"Shoot first, think last"

Wyclef Jean's latest single, "Bang Bang Bang," is about Chicago's murder rate and culture of violence. In the first verse, he name-drops Sosa, which Vibe mistakes as a reference to Sammy instead of Chief Keef.

RIP Jimmy Damon

Jimmy Damon, the famed Chicago saloon singer who inspired Bill Murray's lounge singer character on "Saturday Night Live," passed away Saturday on his 75th birthday.

Record of the Month Club

Once a month, Vinyl Me, Please sends you an LP plus other goodies, as well as a digital playlist put together by your own personal "music stylist."

Media Burn Video Feature: Blind Arvella Gray

Today marks the first of a series of featured videos from the Media Burn Independent Video Archive. This clip is a 1978 performance by Blind Arvella Gray at the Maxwell Street Market, originally from A Tribute to Chicago Blues. Watch more from the feature on Media Burn.

Can You Take Them Higher?

Wanted: musicians for a Creed cover band.

Altered Music

The Reader's Ben Sachs talks with composer John Corigliano about his concert tomorrow night at the Harris Theater and composing the soundtrack to cult classic Altered States.

"Don't Mess this Up!"

Record Store Day is this Saturday, and we've got a guide to who's participating. Meanwhile, Kelly Hogan wants to make sure you know how lucky you are there are still cool record stores.

Hot and Fresh from Le Kitchen

R. Kelly teamed up with Phoenix at this weekend's Coachella fest for a mashup of their hit "1901" with Kells' "I'm a Flirt" and the infamous "Ignition (Remix)", which was briefly proposed to be the next national anthem.

RIP Jimmy Dawkins

Blues guitarist Jimmy "Fast Fingers" Dawkins has passed away. He was 76.

Chicago Introduces the Beatles

Did you know that former Chicago label Vee-Jay Records released the first U.S. Beatles record?

Out of a Taxi, Into All Media

Dmitry Samarov has hung up his hack's license and is putting the finishing touches on his second book -- and just released some original music. Time Out finds out what else he's been up to.

Henhouse Prowlers Get Burgled

Local bluegrass band The Henhouse Prowlers (formerly also known as Sexfist) were out west on tour when their equipment was tragically stolen in Oakland, CA. They've posted a long list of the stolen instruments on their Facebook page, which includes some pretty rare items, and are hoping to recover what they can. The band is currently continuing their tour nearby with loaned instruments, and plan to start a Kickstarter next week to raise money to replace what the police can't find.

Local H Singer Robbed of Wallet, Phone & Voice

Local H had to cancel the first three dates of its current tour after singer Scott Lucas was mugged in Russia after a show. The mugger put him in a choke hold that damaged his vocal cords. Three doctors later and Lucas was cleared to sing, though, so Saturday's show in Rosemont has been saved.

It's Music Festival News Day

Both the Pitchfork Music Festival and Spring Awakening Festival announced their lineups today. Not to be left out of the news, Lollapalooza announced that three-day passes had sold out; single-day tickets will go on sale April 9, when the full lineup is announced.

WVON Hits Gold

WVON turns 50 this year, and it's celebrating at the Chicago Theatre on April 6 with a concert by Toni Braxton. Tickets are $100 to $500 [PDF].

Drone + Kim

Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon performs with Chicago duo White/Light at the MCA Tuesday night at 6pm. The concert is free, and tickets are only available at the box office beginning at 5pm. In other words, get there way early if you want to get in.

003 White/Light from Kyle Obriot on Vimeo.

This Will Survive...

For a limited time, you can listen to Jason Molina's discography for free on his former website. Perhaps post a remembrance, while you're at it.

Maybe Performance Art?

Chicago artist Derek Erdman moved to Seattle and got a job doing customer service at Sub Pop. Things went downhill from there.

Shocked Show Canceled After Anti-Gay Rant

SPACE in Evanston announced on Facebook that it has canceled a May 6 concert by Michelle Shocked after the musician made anti-gay comments at a show in San Francisco.

Adding Green to Northerly Island

On Thursday, the Chicago Park District plans to propose to add 20,000 new lawn-style seats to the Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island, as early as this summer. The resulting reconfiguration of the venue would also add trees, about 600 additional fixed seats, and an estimated doubling of the venue's annual ticket sale revenue.

Put a Record On

The Reader has created an online jukebox to go along with its bar issue. If you've got a Spotify account, you can make a request.

RIP, Jason Molina

Jason Molina of Songs:Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company, died this weekend -- "died from a body that had been drowned in alcohol for years on end." Molina lived in Chicago for a number of years and collaborated with many local artists.

Jonylah Forever

Lupe Fiasco penned and posted a new song imagining what could have been the life of murdered infant Jonylah Watkins.

Ravinia Schedule Announced

Tickets are not on sale until April 25th, but Ravinia released their summer schedule today. You may think it has heart, but I really felt the sting when I saw the lineup during my journey to work today at Jewel. I saw what I did there, too.

Punk Pilsen

Los Crudos singer Martin Sorrondegoy talks about punk, Pilsen and more with WBEZ. For more about Sorrondeguy, check out his new photography book, Get Shot!

Save the Date: The Chicago Music Summit

Coming in September, a new music-oriented team with the City is planning the first-ever Chicago Music Summit to promote local music.

Long Way to the 1920s

The Congress Theater's renovation may not be going all that smoothly.

RIP Cleotha Staples

Cleotha Staples, founding member of the Staples Singers and oldest sister of Mavis, passed away Feb. 21 after a 12 year battle with Alzheimer's.

RIP Magic Slim

Chicago blues great Magic Slim passed away Feb. 21 at age 75. He released his last album, Bad Boy, last August.

Hip-Hop on the Down Low

"There's more than one way to be a black gay man," and hip-hop artist Tim'm West is exhibit A, says David Zarley in this week's Reader.

Hungry for Beats

This Here's Overrated, but I Love Your City Baby is a collection of Chicago's finest rap videos that are fully or partially filmed in or near restaurants.

Signs of Spring: a Lolla Leak

Like the first buds on the trees, spring must be on the way if we're getting the first little Lollapalooza lineup leaks. @TheLollaLeaker is doling stuff out slowly, while @AgentOfLolla is playing the spoiler.

This is Family Business

Read a deep dive into the history of hip hop in Chicago in, of all places, Crain's Chicago Business.

Go Elephant Hunting

Elephant Mixtapes is a new project in which mixtapes have been hidden all over the city, and it's your job to find them.

Capturing the Sound

Sound City, Dave Grohl's new documentary about the legendary LA recording studio by the same name, screens at the Patio Theater this weekend, Feb. 8-10. Tickets are available here.

Recording Hip-Hop History

Chicago is a city marked by the spirit of entrepreneurship and independent vision. Here, dedicated, innovative thinkers reinvent the collaborative processes that elevate ideas from daydreams to reality. So close, yet so far from the shiny Magnificent Mile, artists like Alexander Fruchter, owner and operator of local hip hop record label Closed Sessions, challenge traditional practices to make way for more exciting forms of magnificent creative expression.

Closed Sessions creates not only music but short documentary films, shown on their website, that give insider peeks into the stories behind these local artists. Fruchter says they are "genuine about wanting to capture the story in this historic period." They just signed their first flagship artist, Alex Wiley, who will perform Feb. 9 at 4pm at Reggie's Rock Club for just a dollar.

Pitchfork Headliners Announced

R. Kelly, Bjork and Belle and Sebastian are headlining the next Pitchfork Music Festival, which will be held July 19-21 in Union Park. Tickets are on sale now. More details in Transmission.

We Are the Bears Shufflin' Crew

Jake Austen put together a fantastic oral history of "The Super Bowl Shuffle" for Grantland.

Your Afternoon Soundtrack

RedEye's Ernest Wilkins picks the 25 best Chicago rap videos.

Record of a Phantom

The Reader put together an oral history of Humboldt Park recording studio Phantom Manor, which closed recently.

Ten in the House of 10

Pearl Jam will play a concert at Wrigley Field on July 19, with tickets going on-sale Feb. 9. The Cubs and Eddie Vedder had been teasing the show on Twitter all week.

Chief Keef is a Dad

The rapper reportedly became a father in 2011 and owes unpaid child support, according to a lawsuit filed today by the child's mother, who is underage (though not in middle school as TMZ reported).

Bear Beats

Vice profiles Big Dipper, a queer rapper from Andersonville.

Jazz Fest Crosses Monroe

This year's Chicago Jazz Festival will take place in Millennium Park instead of Grant Park, with shows staged in the Pritzker Pavilion and on the Chase Promenade and Harris Theater rooftop.

Bad Little Monsters

Some Lady Gaga fans have been threatening Rebecca Francescatti, the musician who accused the pop star of ripping off her song. Francescatti recorded a song addressing the bullying.

Must See: All-Girls Beastie Boy Tribute Band

She's Crafty, Chicago's all female Beastie Boy Tribute Band, is starring in their very first solo concert at Underground Lounge on Friday, Jan. 18. Come check out the band one person once said, "She's Crafty, not a novelty act."

Nerd Punk Riot!

Mucca Pazza commanded the front page of the NYTimes' Arts section and landed a rave review.

Chief Keef Back in Jail

The Pitchfork video interview in which Chief Keef went to a gun range finally came back around to haunt him, as a judge decided it violated the terms of his probation for aiming a gun at police. Keith Cozart will be sentenced back to prison on Thursday.

Aloha, Lanialoha

NewCity profiles Lanialoha Lee, the beloved 'ukulele teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Happy Birthday, Vic!

The Vic Theatre turns 100 this year.

One highlight from The Vic's storied past: comedian Bill Hicks recorded his HBO special "One Night Stand" there in 1991.

Chief Keef Moves to the Suburbs

Chief Keef apparently moved to Northbrook recently, but forgot to tell his parole officer, putting his probation on gun charges at jeopardy.

Fighting with Brass

This weekend's Battle of the Saxes at the Green Mill will be a tribute to Von Freeman, the legendary jazz saxophonist who co-founded the annual battle. Freeman passed away earlier this year. Catch the show tonight, Saturday and New Year's Eve.


Local punk-rock band The Peekaboos just released a new single off their upcoming LP Stay Positive, and it's available online for hungry ears everywhere.

Last Call at Cal's

After months of uncertainty, Cal's Bar, the South Loop dive that's been a favorite of bike messengers and punk bands, will be closing at the end of the month. The bar's last day is New Year's Eve; a free concert is scheduled.

Picking Up on the Classics

Want to learn 100 riffs in about 12 and a half minutes? Soundslice plus Alex Chadwick from Chicago Music Exchange show you how.

Sound Opinions Christmas Mix

The annual Christmas music mixtape from Sound Opinions is now available. Make sure you download it soon, because it'll only be up through the end of December.

The Double Standard on Fliers

Police plan to ticket whoever is promoting Chief Keef's debut album by taping posters to streetposts in Englewood -- just like they do with all the concert posters plastered around Wicker Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Lakeview...

Pick Up Chicago's Style

Thursday night, Young Chicago Authors presents the Chicago Annual of Style, a fundraiser featuring music, spoken word, art made while you wait and more, at the Metro.

Tegan & Sara & Cubby Bear

Tegan & Sara perform a free Q87.7 "No Dough Show" with Blondfire at the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville Dec. 19.

Put on Another 45

NPR profiles Numero Group, the "saviors of local soul."

Smart Bar Gets a Little Smarter

Smart Bar, dubbed by many as Chicago's best night club, recently announced its resident DJs for 2013, all of whom will perform at the venue frequently throughout the coming year. The roster includes Frankie Knuckles, Derrick Carter, Orchard Lounge, Justin Long, Kate Simko, Michael Serafini, Nate Manic, John Simmons, The Black Madonna and Sassmouth.

A Little Winter Music

If LiteFM's carols aren't your speed, maybe The Hudson Branch's free/pay-what-you-like albums of "winter music" could be your soundtrack to the season.

Get Your Riot On

RiotFest is doing an early bird presale of 2013 three-day passes -- get'em now, while they last!

Holovaty Launches Soundslice

Adrian Holovaty just launched his new venture since leaving EveryBlock, the company he founded: SoundSlice, which syncs guitar tabs up with video to help guitarists learn new songs more effectively.

Easy (Online) Listening

Today, Rick O'Dell, former smooth jazz guru of 87.7 and 95.5, is launching, a free 24/7 streaming digital station dedicated to the genre.

Morrissey Reschedules Chicago Date

Last month, Morrissey postponed a handful of dates for his current North American tour, including a stop at the Chicago Theatre on Oct. 27. That show has officially been rescheduled for Jan. 26 at the same place.

Trapped in the Music Box

R.Kelly fans, take note: The Music Box is hosting a midnight sing-a-long Trapped in the Closet on Nov. 16 and 17. Get your tickets ASAP.

Trapped in the Cage

It doesn't come as much of a shock that R.Kelly put on a bizarre performance at the Arie Crown Theater last night, but it seems he may have gotten a little too comfortable with the crowd.

Lil Reese Investigated for Beating

Lil Reese is being investigated by police again (previously), after a video of him beating a woman went viral (watch it on WorldStarHipHop if you must.) The rapper, whose real name is Tavares Taylor, owned up to the video on Twitter. UPDATE: Lil Reese has apologized for the assault.

Introducing the Top Note Sessions

Next Friday, Consequence of Sound launches a new performance and interview series in the Top Note space on the top floor of the Metro. The first guest is The Hood Internet.

Quick Contest: See Black Prairie Tonight!

WBEZ and 312 Presents host a private concert with Black Prairie tonight for High Fidelity members -- and we've got two tickets to give away.

Email with your name, phone number and "Black Prairie" in the subject line by 4pm; we'll choose an entry at random. The station's doors open at 6pm on Navy Pier; see the map here. Show starts at 7pm. UPDATE: Congratulations to our winner, Darlene L.!

Ode the the Chief

Young Chicago Authors' Kevin Coval is releasing a book of poetry about Chief Keef. There's a release party for More Shit that Chief Keef Don't Like tonight.

Chief Keef Back to Juvie?

That video Chief Keef made with Pitchfork where he went to a gun range? It violated the terms of his probation, prosecutors say.

Black Magic on Devil's Night

Tuesday, Oct. 30 is the night that Anthony Moser and the Fat Tones Blues Band performs at Buddy Guy's Legends. Come in for a spell at 9:30pm for the show -- and as the "witching hour" approaches, get ready for Black Magic beginning at 11:30pm.

1,000 Hurts No More

A Georgia woman who received a vintage belt exercise machine from the band Shellac as part of a promotion for their 1994 album Shellac at Action Park is selling the item on Ebay after 17 years of good use.

Perfect Imperfections

GLI.TC/H , the festival of glitch art, music and technology, will be back in Chicago for a third round Dec. 6-9. Here's a review of the 2010 edition.

GLI.T/CH 2112 BUMPER from Kevin Carey on Vimeo.

Lupe Lets it Out

Lupe Fiasco talks with the Sun-Times about his latest album, Chicago's violence and his issues with the record industry.

Led Zeppelin 2 - The Lawsuit Experience

Christopher Klein, one of the founding members of the popular cover band Led Zeppelin 2 - The Live Experience, is suing his former bandmates, accusing them of misappropriating funds and other misdeeds.

Wayward Sons, Indeed

The Onion's A.V. Club wrapped up its cover series in their little round room with their most bizarre performance to date: GWAR covering Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son."

My Mellow, My Mellow

Chicagoist describes Kids These Days' new song "Don't Harsh My Mellow" as having a "Smells Like Teen Spirit"-as-set-in-a-CPS-school vibe. Apt comparison, complete with quiet-loud structure.

Cookie Issues

New "SNL" castmember Aidy Bryant stars in "Doctor Opera," a teaser video for the Lyric Opera's upcoming production of Hansel & Gretel. (Thanks, James!)

You can get 50 percent off tickets to the show with the code "DrOpera."

Contest: See Avett Brothers Friday

The Avett Brothers play Charter One Pavilion on Friday, and we have three pairs of tickets to give away!

Enter by emailing with your name and phone number and the subject line "Avett Bros" by 3pm today. We'll pick three winners at random. Good luck! UPDATE: We have our winners! Congrats to James V., Claire S. and Ray P.!

Music Institute Gets a Blue Woman

Jazz vocalist Tammy McCann has been named the artist in residence at the Music Institute of Chicago. She will make her debut at the Billy Strayhorn Festival Oct. 26-28.

Resolution Allegro for CSO

A tentative agreement was reached last night in the brief CSO musicians strike. Both sides must still ratify it, but barring any last minute objections, Wednesday's performance is back on.

CSO on Strike

Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians went on strike Saturday after contract negotiations broke down over pay increases.

Drama in the Theaters

The Chicagoist recaps the Congress Theater/Portage Theater fiasco, and it's gotten a little ugly.

Holiday Spree

The Polyphonic Spree have announced a handful of dates for their Christmas Extravaganza 2012 tour, with Chicago making the short list. They'll be at the Logan Square Auditorium on Dec 11. Tickets went on sale this morning.

Listen to the Marathon

Composer Mark Mallman is in the midst of a 150-hour-long song, "Marathon 4," broadcast live from the back of a van traveling from New York to LA. He'll be out front of Graham Elliot Bistro tonight at 6pm.

Backlash to the Backlash Against Amanda Palmer

Steve Albini got himself in a minor amount of hot water for calling Amanda Palmer an idiot for requesting unpaid musicians to perform on her current tour, after garnering $1.2 million on Kickstarter to record an album. Albini explains himself on The Stool Pigeon.

Contest: Cloud Nothings at WBEZ

Cloud Nothings are playing an exclusive show for WBEZ High Fidelity members on Monday, Sept. 17. RSVPs filled up in 2.5 minutes this morning, but we've got a pair of passes to give away.

Email by noon Saturday with your name, phone number and the subject line "Cloud Nothings" to enter; we'll choose one winner at random for the two tickets.

Fuel For Your Soul

In Transmission, we take a deeper look at Chicago's thriving soul music DJ scene with a night spent with the Windy City Soul Club DJs, and the fans who love to dance.

But Does he Like Creed?

In the most important press clarification of the year, Mayor Emanuel's Press Secretary Tarrah Cooper proclaimed that the mayor does not like Nickelback. Sorry, guys. (No word yet on Creed.)

The Congress Buys the Portage

Eddie Carranza, owner of the Congress Theater, has purchased the Portage Theater. I a message posted on Everyblock, Carranza said there are no immediate plans to bring concerts to the Portage, but might actually bring film programming to the Congress. Stay tuned for new developments.

Vinyl on the Sidewalk

Dusty Groove is holding a sidewalk sale this Saturday to help make space in its overcrowded basement. Stop by on your way to Renegade and pick up LPs for 50 cents and 7-inches for a quarter.

Gang Beef in a Rap Setting

Further thoughts Whet Moser and Miles Raymer on Chief Keef, Lil JoJo and the bleakness of Chicago's teen rap scene.

Pitchfork Retracts Chief Keef Video

After the controversy surrounding Chief Keef and the murder of Lil JoJo, Pitchfork announced today that it is retracting its video interview with the 16-year-old rapper, which was conducted at a New York gun range. Meanwhile, Lupe Fiasco is apparently mulling retiring from music.

Chief Keef Laughs at Rival's Death

Chief Keef is under fire after tweets apparently mocking the shooting death of rival rapper Lil JoJo Tuesday night.

Lil JoJo had posted a video on YouTube earlier on Tuesday in which he appeared to drive past Chief Keef associate Lil Reese and shout obscenities at him. "Ima kill you" can be heard in the video. The police are allegedly investigating the tweets and video in relation to the murder.

Jazzing it Up This Weekend

Headed to Jazz Fest after work? Give the Reader's guide to the festival a quick look for tips on who to see.

Nothing Compares 2 Him

Prince announced "Welcome 2 Chicago a "residency" of unspecified length at the United Center starting Sept. 24. The concerts will benefit economic justice charity Rebuild the Dream. Tickets go on sale on the 6th.

Lupe Fiasco: Chief Keef Scares Me

Lupe Fiasco recently gave an opinion on the "Trap Rap" phenomenon. Fiasco also discusses the influence local rapper Chief Keef has on the Chicago hip hop scene.

Stadium Rock

Time Out notes that with his concerts at Wrigley Sept. 7 and 8, Bruce Springsteen will be the first musician to perform at all four major league stadiums in Chicago.

His Airness, Nordic Thunder

Justin "Nordic Thunder" Howard won the Air Guitar World Championship this weekend in Oulu, Finland. We interviewed him in 2011 after he won the US Air Guitar championships right here in Chicago. He became a two-time champ in Denver earlier this month.

The White Albums

Pitchfork has released the results of The People's List, a poll of the 200 best albums released in the past 15 years, to commemorate the site's 15th birthday. Not a lot of surprises in the findings (few albums by women or minorities, and a lot of Radiohead at the top), but worth a glance.

The Grid: LAMPO

The newest installment of our documentary series The Grid explores the experimental music and intermedia events of LAMPO.

Chicago, Tom Schraeder Loves You

Singer-songwriter Tom Schraeder is organizing Chicago, I Love You, a 30-day arts and music festival at Lilly's in Lincoln Park. He spoke with Chicagoist's Jon Graef about why he put the festival together.

Connecting at the Concert

Showfile is a social network built around music festivals and concerts: explore your friends' taste in music and keep track of which shows you've gone to see.

A Tree Grows in Canaryville

Also in the Reader, Leor Galil introduces you to MC Tree G, a different model of up-and-coming Chicago hip hop.

Rock'n'Roll Garage Sale

The Empty Bottle is holding a garage sale this Sunday; if you've got some stuff to throw in there, get in touch.

RIP, Von Freeman

Legendary tenor saxophonist Von Freeman passed away over the weekend at 88. The Tribune's Howard Reich offers an appreciation.

UPDATE: Astrophysicist Sean Carroll also eulogizes Freeman. (Thanks, Mitchell!)

Un-Happy People

R. Kelly has cancelled his scheduled concerts for the much-hyped Love Letter Cruise after claiming that organizers were unable to pay him. The whole cruise has been nixed, too; passengers will receive refunds.

Lunch Listen: 312 to 213

Kid Koala's latest track, "8 Bit Blues," takes you from Chicago to LA to New York.

Bid on 8x10s on 8/10

Starting today, local music education nonprofit Rock for Kids is launching an eBay auction of autographed 8x10 photos from 150 bands, including The Temptations, Pat Benatar, The Village People, Nickel Creek, Naughty By Nature, Ben Folds and more. Bid early and often to win your favorites. Bidding starts at $8.10 and proceeds benefit the charity that brings music education to at-risk youth in Chicago.

Red Hot Chicago Peppers

If you dug the Chili Peppers' set at Lollapalooza, you can download the show for $9.95 from their official bootleg site.

Spike Spike Baby

Vanilla Ice will perform at the Big Dig beach party at North Avenue Beach this Sunday.

Put a Bird on It

Andrew Bird is looking for a poster designer for his fall tour; could it be you?

Day to Night

Want to see a time-lapse video of the storm that temporarily shuttered Lollapalooza on Saturday?

Lollapalooza Storm Timelapse (Aug. 4, 2012) from Angus Finlay on Vimeo.

The Lollapalooza of Sales

Now that the show is over, the contents of the Lollapalooza VIP Lounge at the Thompson Hotel (332 S Michigan) will be dismantled and sold tomorrow morning. If you want your place to look like Keith Richards' 1960s coke den, this is the sale for you.

The Really Cheap Seats

YouTube is live-streaming Lollapalooza.

Rockers vs. Jocks

Former Bull Paul Shirley and Sheepdogs frontman Ewan Currie talk sports and music in ChicagoSide's version of Lollapalooza coverage.

The Hot Mix

WBMX-FM 102.7 was instrumental in the creation of Chicago house music. DJ Derrick Carter just released a new mix in homage to the station's noontime Hot Lunch Mix. [via]

Flosstradamus Flaunt the Fuzz

Flosstradamus' set at West Fest was cut short by the police due to noise restriction violations, which led to a chant of "f*ck the police" that allegedly got them banned from outdoor performances for the rest of the summer. Undeterred, they've just released a new mix called B⚠NNED.

How to Lolla

If you're going to Lollapalooza, the Transmission staff can help you choose between competing stages Friday, Saturday and Sunday with our annual "Stage Clash" feature. And even if you're not going, you might want to check out our list of unofficial parties and shows around town, some of which are tonight.

Bloodshot's Barely Legal

Bloodshot Records turns 18 this year, and the label has just announced how it will celebrate: with a big concert at Mayne Stage Sept. 22.

Motion Picture Soundtrack

The second annual Music Film Festival kicks off tonight at the Music Box.

Ghosts of Lupe's Hood

Lupe Fiasco broke down on MTV's "RapFix Live" last night while watching a tour of his neighborhood he did for the network in 2006. "The dudes in that video are in prison, a couple of fed cases, and then there's ghosts," he said. "You see people that, that ain't there."

"Singing From Beyond the Grave"

Delfino Mora, who died after being attacked in an alley by teens playing a vicious game (previously), was the lead singer of one of Mexico's most popular bands in the 1970s.

Let's Plan a Music Festival!

With so many of them these days, a programmer from the Old Town School of Folk Music explains how it's done.

Bringing the Fresh Beats

Two new local labels: Closed Sessions from Soundscape Studios and Epitonic from, well, Epitonic.

The Fever Breaks

You have one last chance to see Fever Year, the film by Xan Aranda about Andrew Bird. It's screening Aug. 1 at the Music Box as part of the Summer Music Film Festival.

The Block 37 Blues?

A couple entrepreneurs want to build a blues museum and venue in Block 37, but as Crain's reports, the question is whether such a thing would be a big enough draw.

Previewing the Hell out of Pitchfork

If our own Pitchfork preview isn't enough for you, here are a few more: Loud Loop Press, Reader, Time Out, Tribune -- and Pitchfork's founder and president share their favorite new acts at the festival with WBEZ. Time Out also plans to post live reviews of every act. If you're going, you might want to download the schedule app.

Down & Dirty Music

The Bitchpork, the underground, truly indie alternative to the Pitchfork Music Festival, is back again starting tonight.

Our Pitchfork Top Picks

Going to the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend? We've got a preview for you in Tranmission.

30 Years of Rock at the Metro

The Metro celebrates 30 years as one of Chicago's best rock clubs with a retrospective exhibition of photography and memorabilia at the Inland Steel Building downtown at 77 S. Dearborn. It opens with a reception tonight from 5pm to 8pm, featuring DJ sets by Mister Wolf, Mother Hubbard, Greg Corner and Zebo.

Pop-Tarts on the Charts

If you're willing to give Kellogg's your contact info, you can get two free tickets to see Carly Rae Jepsen, along with Boys Like Girls and Austin Mahone, at Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island July 19.

Pitchforkless Party

Even if you don't have tickets to the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend, you can attend the free pre-party at Threadless HQ on Friday and feel like you do.

Everyone's in the Cheap Seats

Tickets for Taste of Chicago concerts aren't selling, Greg Kot reports. No surprise there, since they were previously entirely free shows, and it's still free to sit outside the Pritzker Pavilion.

Ukulele Players, Get Festive!

Tomorrow's the date for the third annual Great Midwest Ukefest, put on by the same people who bring you Chicago Ukulele Cabaret. The festival is a full day of performances, along with an introductory strumming workshop for players of all levels, and it's happening at Chief O'Neill's starting at 11am. Full details in Slowdown, or see the event page on Facebook.

House DJ, Esq.

Attorney Alan King is also a DJ, part of the Chosen Few Chicago house crew.

Deep Dive into the WGN Stacks

WGN has sold tens of thousands of records from its archives to Wicker Park record store Dusty Groove. (Thanks, Ron!)


Tonight is a good night to get bent.

Chief Keef: The Voice of Chicago's Murder Spike?

SPIN's David Drake explains how the same social factors fueling the rise of much buzzed about local rap star (and recent Interscope signee) Chief Keef have also fueled the city's 38% spike in homicides this year. Previous GB coverage of Chief Keef and Chicago hip-hop here and here.

Free Sound Opinions

Attend a free live taping of Sound Opinions at Lincoln Hall if you're lucky enough to RSVP in time. Enjoy, not only the witty banter of Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, but also live performances from Japandroids and Ty Seagall on July 12. Update: That was fast! The event is now sold out!

Making Music All Day Long

The Make Music Festival started today before you probably did -- the first of more than 700 concerts was at 6am.

Body of Work

Pitchfork critic and UofC research writer Rob Mitchum just launched the Chronologies project, in which he'll listen to an artist's entire oevre in chronological order -- starting with Neil Young. [via]

Spoon Steps Down

In this week's Reader, Jake Austen profiles Fletcher Weatherspoon, a fixture on Chicago's African-American social club scene for more than 60 years.

Jay, Bey & Ye

Latest tumblr to follow: Jay-Z and Beyonce Worry About Kanye West.

Lurrie Bell's Blues

AB Brasho saw Lurrie Bell at Blues Fest last week, and shared some thoughts on Bell and the power of music and mental illness.

Instructor Particularly Good at Protest Songs

Learn the how and why of songwriting from Billy Bragg.

An Alternative to the Traffic Jam

Starting tonight, summer Tuesdays mean a return of the free Rush Hour Concert series at St. James Cathedral. Instead of the crush of traffic, enjoy 30 minutes of soothing sounds from fine classical musicians before you head off for the night. Details, and more classical concert info. in Transmission.

Curtis Mayfield Kept on Pushing

Chicagoist takes a look at the musical evolution of Curtis Mayfield on what would have been his 70th birthday. (In a similar vein: Sam Cooke and the Civil Rights Movement.)

Aragon Lineups, '68-'98

If you've ever been curious about every show at the Aragon Ballroom from the '60s thru the '90s, boy are you going to be glad you're reading this! And even if you haven't been, it's a fun list to browse.

Put a Bird on It

Andrew Bird has launched an Etsy shop -- and, strangely, premiered a new video there, too.

The Vedder Chelios Wood Band

Eddie Vedder and Chris Chelios performed "The Weight" with Live Band Karaoke at Stanley's Kitchen on Sunday, while Kerry Wood watched. According to Live Band Karaoke's Facebook page, Vedder also sang some Who songs.

RIP Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr.

Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr., founder of the Versatones and one of the country's foremost polka players, has passed away at the age of 70.

Here's a tribute to Blazonczyk, Sr. at Pulaski Polka Days last year.

And here's a polka version of "Bear Down, Chicago Bears" performed by the Versatones in 1986.

James E. Sierzega, the Versatones' trumpet player, died in February

Less Musical than We Thought

Winnetka of all places is the Chicagoland town with the most musicians per thousand residents -- Chicago included. The big city comes in at just 79th.

Aloha, Chicago

One week from today The Old Town School of Folk Music hosts the first Festival of Aloha, a four-day event bringing together Pacific Island dance instructors and musicians. Attendees will have their pick of workshops during the day, and be able to attend evening concerts featuring Grammy-winning artist Daniel Ho, award-winning vocalist Darlene Ahuna and many more. If you can't make the festival, you're still invited to take part in an attempt for the Guinness record for the world's largest ukulele lesson! Full details at the festival's website.

Listen to Those Voices

Voices in Your Head, UofC's a capella choral group, placed fourth in the Varsity Vocals national finals with an impressive medley of "We Found Love," "Titanium" and "Little Lion Man."

Put That on My Mama

Chance the Rapper released "Hey Ma," a tribute to his mother, just in time for Mother's Day. What'd you do for your mom?

You can download his latest album, #10 Day, for free.

Ask Albini Anything

Steve Albini went onto Reddit last night for an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A. If you don't want to wade through all the comments, check out this convenient table.

Lip Syncin' for the Kids

Keenan Cahill's latest video is an original track recorded to help raise funds for the new Lurie Children's Hospital, which opens next month. You can donate on the Race for the Kids 5k website.

"Rappin' 'bout my own life"

RedEye profiles Chief Keef, a 16-year-old rapper whose song "I Don't Like" was remixed by Kanye West (download it from Fake Shore Drive).

Matthew Leone's Alleged Attacker Found Not Guilty

Justin Pivec was found not guilty on Friday of beating Matthew Leone, bassist for Madina Lake, in 2010. Multiple benefits were held to help Leone pay for his medical bills.

That South Side Jazz

Explore the history of Chicago's South Side jazz clubs.

Happy B-Day, Pete Seeger

Chicago Guy describes the ultimate Chicago sleepover -- Studs Terkel hosting Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.

Cosign from Kanye

Local rapper Chief Keef is now sharing headline and blurb space with a hometown hero and one of the world's biggest stars, as his track "I Don't Like" has been remixed by Kanye West.

Hip Hop Healing

Adam Levin and Troy Brundidge created Organic Beat Market to help troubled Oak Park teens work out their issues through hip hop.

Playing the Sacred Harp

New City delves into shape note singing.

Kickstart the Band

In Transmission, a look at some local bands' ingenuity when it comes to crowd-funding their albums, among other projects. What works? Take a look.

"See You in Chicago"

Choose Chicago teamed up Umphrey's McGee, Buddy Guy and Chicago (the band) to produce a new anthem for the city. The resulting track, "Chicago," is decidedly less than the sum of its parts.

In Transmission, GB staffers shared five songs Choose Chicago should use instead of the new anthem, and one to avoid.

Celestial Sounds

Tomorrow night at 6:30pm at the MCA, Steve Krakow will conduct the Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra, in which as many guitarists (and players of other amped stringed instruments) will play a drone in the key of E. All you have to do to participate is bring your own gear.

Facebook Didn't Remind You?

Today is the 10-year anniversary of the official release of Wilco's album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I feel old.

It's a Free Concert from Now On!

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs announced its free summer concert lineup for the Pritzker Pavilion within Millennium Park. We have the complete listing in Transmission.

Get Your Records

Record Store Day is this Saturday, and we've got your guide to participating Chicagoland stores and labels in Transmission.

"Contact me if you want to be part of your child's life."

If you got busy in an Aragon bathroom during the Megadeth/Motörhead show in February, you've got a kid on the way. [via]

Lolla's Lineup is Out

In case you weren't up at midnight for the big announcement, the official Lollapalooza lineup was released last night, and it's identical to the one leaked on Monday.

Give it the Old Jazz

Did you know the term "jazz" originated in baseball? The word migrated from sports to music in Chicago with Bert Kelly.

A Ballad for Bartman

Rapper Serengeti (of "Dennehy" fame) is back with a new song, just in time for the Cubs' opening day on Thursday: "Don't Blame Steve."

(Thanks, Patrick!)

I Got Clips I Do Adore

Kanye West is being sued over a sample on his 2006 mixtape Freshman Adjustment.

Get the Lolla List First

Seeing as how the cheap tickets sold out in seconds, you might want to see who's actually playing Lollapalooza this year before shelling out $230 for your three-day passes. If you sign up on Do312, you'll receive an email at midnight April 11 with the full lineup.

Streaming the Blues

Among the thousands of recordings by Alan Lomax recently made available for streaming online are several by/of Chicago bluesmen, including music by Big Bill Broonzy and Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson and Memphis Slim talking about racism, moving here from the South, double-jointedness and all sorts of other stuff.

Kickstart the Jam(boree)

Q101 is off the air but it's not dead -- it lives on as an internet radio station. And now it's trying to keep the Q101 Jamboree alive with a Kickstarter campaign. $99 gets you a two-day pass to the festival, which is tentatively planned for Sept. 1-2 on a farm somewhere near the city.

Check out other Kickstarter campaigns on Gapers Block's curated page.

Congress Owner Responds to Complaints

Jim DeRogatis spoke with Congress Theater owner Erineo "Eddie" Carranza and his attorney about the Deleterious Impact/Public Nuisance hearing (previously) it's facing. They maintain the venue is no worse than others in the city.

Congress Theater in Hot Water

The Congress Theater is facing a Deleterious Impact/Public Nuisance Hearing after too many complaints about its poor condition.

I Believe I Can Leave this Closet

R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet will be making a return on IFC. No date has been announced, but a teaser trailer was supplied.

Do the Bells Toll for You?

The University of Chicago is looking for a new carillon player for the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon. Job requirements include being able to play the carillon for 30 minutes straight and "ability to climb 235 winding stairs to reach the playing cabin without medical risk required." Pay? $50 per performance. [via]

The listing, for posterity (click to enlarge):


And a sample of what you'd be getting into:

"Never Talking to You Again"

Greg Norton, bassist for Hüsker Dü, sat in with local cover act Hüsker Düdes this week and dished about Bob Mould's book about the seminal punk band.

United States of X: Music Edition

Whet Moser finds Illinois right where it ought to be on the Geography of Music Preferences: in the middle.


City government got a nice boost today when the Park District announced that Lollapalooza will begin paying city and county amusement taxes and state liquor taxes for its annual weekend-long event. The downside? They'll likely pass the cost down to concertgoers through higher ticket prices.

Muti Weighs in on Symphony Fistfight

Riccardo Muti, the CSO's music director was astounded by two patrons fighting at a performance: "Never could I imagine the concert hall would become a (wrestling) ring." No word about the subsequent fistfight in the parking lot.

Beatdown at the Downbeat

Thursday night's performance of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra had an unusual accompaniment: two concertgoers in a fistfight.

Shining a Light on Chicago Hip Hop

InTransmission, read about (and listen to) up-and-coming hip hop artists that are defining a new Chicago music scene.

Drinking Here Today

To get you in the mood for the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday, local band Slattery's Drunk Again recorded "The South Side Irish." (NSFW)

Pitchfork Tickets On Sale

A quick reminder that Pitchfork Music Festival tickets go on sale today at noon. Head to Transmission to check out this year's initial lineup. Single-day tickets are $45 and three-day passes are $110. You might want to get a move on. Last year three-day passes sold out in less than 24 hours.

Vacation at Ravinia this Summer

Ravinia has announced its summer season, and I'm pretty stoked by their offerings [PDF]: Duran Duran (Aug 29), Natalie Merchant (July 10), Glen Campbell (Jun 28), Seal (July 22), the elements known as Earth, Wind and Fire (June 9), Iron and Wine (June 10), and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (June 24) are among the acts.

Chicago's Music Underground

Tonight at the MCA, Greg Kot and Jim DiRogatis discuss Chicago's role as an "incubator" for underground music in the 1980s with Chris Connelly and Frankie Knuckles.

Pulaski Day Throwdown

This video totally was not filmed on Pulaski Day, but Kidd Russell pays homage to the city and its quirky holiday; even if the music is cheesy, the sentiment is not.

All's Not Well on the Blogosphere Front

The Reader reports some drama in the realms of the hip-hop web culture involving Fake Shore Drive and a keyboard crusader tweeting and blogging under the name Real Shore Drive.

A World of Classical Music in March

In our monthly classical music column, Pulling Strings, you can check out upcoming affordable concerts from composers around the world, performed around Chicago from grand concert halls to the Adler Planetarium. Read about it all in Transmission.

New Opera from Chicago

The Lyric Opera announced it will host the world premiere of "Bel Catno," as part of its Renée Fleming Initiative. It will be the seventh premiere the Lyric has commissioned since 1961.

Wake Up To The Chirping Of Andrew Birds New Album

Our local baroque troubadour, Andrew Bird's upcoming album Break It Yourself is streaming on NPR's website.

Earlier on Gapers we covered Andrew's free EP of Break It Yourself b-sides.

10 Rappers on the Rise

Complex magazine has compiled a list of ten rappers to look for in 2012.

Trade a Mic for an Amp

Are you a musician in need of new gear? The Empty Bottle is hosting a free gear swap on Sunday at noon.

"You done started something, you gotta keep it up now."

Buddy Guy got President Obama to sing a verse of "Sweet Home Chicago" with B.B. King during Blues night at the White House last night. The full concert, which also featured Mick Jagger, Trombone Shorty, Shemekia Copeland and Jeff Beck, will be broadcast on WTTW Monday, Feb. 27 at 9pm as part of the station's Black History Month programming.

President Obama sang a bit of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" on Jan. 19 at a fundraiser for the Apollo Theater.

No Other Scene Can Quite Convey

"You Haven't Seen the USA Until You've Seen Chicago," a groovy ditty written by Dick Marx (Richard's dad), courtesy of the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry.

Who's Going to SXSW Music?

We've got all the local acts doing official showcases at the 2012 SXSW Music Festival -- and some of the unofficial ones, too -- in Transmission.

After E2

Time Out Chicago delved into the aftermath of the E2 tragedy, nine years later, to find out how things have changed and whether nightclubs are any safer.

Rock'n'Roll Heaven

The Sun-Times wants to know who you would pick to be part of Chicago's all-star band.

I'll Be Missing You, v2.0

Local rapper Twista has posted a track memorializing Whitney Houston, with 16 bars of instrumental at the end for others to contribute their own words about the recently departed superstar.

Woodwinds in Demand on Black Market?

Someone stole a violin and two guitars from Scotland Yard Gospel Choir last month. Meanwhile, someone stole a $20,000 cello from Concordia University.

Somehow We Missed that Wrigley Field has Gone Country

Did you know that Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert are gracing Wrigley Field this summer? Do you even care? And am I the only one who doesn't get music concerts at Wrigley?

Briar Rabbit's Great Routine

Briar Rabbit is releasing a four-song concept album in honor of Black History Month. One track will debut each Thursday through February; check out the first one, called "Coon," and download it over on Bandcamp.

Unrequired Listening

Spencer Tweedy (previously) just started a music blog with his friend Joey Pfeifer. Guess which album's on his top 10 of 2011.

On Lizzy Grant

Jessica Hopper explains just what the heck's going on with this Lana Del Rey business, with a little extra on her blog.

We're Just Talking Red, Yellow & Blue

OK Go teamed up with "Sesame Street" to sing about the primary colors. They're also featured in an online color-mixing game.

Newt's No Survivor

Newt Gingrich may want to be seen as rising up the the challenge of his rival, but he didn't check on whether Survivor was OK with him using "Eye of the Tiger" at campaign rallies, and now he's got a legal challenge on his hands.

If you liked my play on the lyrics up there, you'll love Samantha Abernathy's post on Chicagoist.

Organic Beats in Oak Park

Chicago hip hop artists Sev Seveer and Defcee launched Organic Beat Market, a youth-mentorship organization set on "breaking down stigmas around the culture by working with parents and teens directly." Two of the program's participants just released the organization's pilot project, The Promse EP.

Spinach Eaters & Aquarium Drinkers

Wilco was in this past weekend's Popeye comic strip. And now you know that Popeye still has a comic strip.

Future Sound of Somewhere

Forget dubstep. Introducing seapunk.

Kanye Back in the Day

Fake Shore Drive dug up a video of Kanye West performing with Phenom in 1996, long before he was a college dropout. [via]

Tumble and Tweet for TNK

Get set times and last-minute updates for this weekend's Tomorrow Never Knows Festival (which really starts tonight). See details across all venues at Schubas and Lincoln Hall's Tumblr and @tnk_2012. They've got the set breakdowns for shows tonight, including the comedy sets at Hideout. Check out our Transmission section for previews of shows we're keen on, and keep an eye out for show reviews all weekend long.

Old Town School, New Building

The Old Town School of Folk Music officially opens its new building at 4545 N. Lincoln Ave. this morning at 10:30am. The brand new facility features dance studios, classrooms, a new performance space, and artwork in the lobby courtesy of R. Crumb. If you can't make the opening ceremony, you'll have plenty of chances to check the new space out, as the school's got a big list of performances, classes, workshops and guided tours happening there.

"Wide Eyed & Dizzy, Walkin'"

Nico Segal and Vic Mensa of Kids These Days take a slow tour around town in their video for "Clear Eyes," shot earlier this year. Nice use of tilt-shift and faux stop-animation.

Chief Techno Officer

The City's chief technology officer, John Tolva, joins DJ C and Jesse Kriss in launching Beat Research Chicago, a new evening of "experimental party music" at Villain's this Wednesday.

I Hope This Closet Has a Bathroom

R. Kelly has written 32 more chapters of his (already unbearable at 22 chapters) opus Trapped in the Closet, but is still trying to raise the money to shoot it. Fingers crossed.

Mix Up Your Holiday Gathering

Office party or living room bash — you still need some good tunes. Refinery 29 blogs that DJ Matt Roan has your Christmas hip shakers all in one mix you can stream or download.

Pitchfork Packs Its Bags

Not really coming as too much of a shock, given that their founder already set off east some time ago, Pitchfork will move its editorial offices to NYC in the near future. Sadly, that means Chicago will also lose singer/songwriter Elia Einhorn, of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir fame. (More.)

Be Gone 500 Miles

MetaFilter explores the train The City of New Orleans and the song it inspired.

Annoying Audio Incentive

Student's at Evanston Township High School raised funds for local cafe by blasting Justin Bieber's repetitive tune, Baby, between class periods, forcing classmates to fork over the dough to get it off the intercom.

Bands You'll Remember

A couple Chicago acts show up in A.V. Club's Year in Band Names, including The Tragic Loss of Veronica Lake and dot dot dot.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 21

Give the gift of live music this year (maybe even to yourself) with the first ever FOB (Friends of the Bottle) year-long passes to the Empty Bottle. For $150 you can get into most shows (any under $10) for all of 2012 with a FOB Pass. Upgrade to the FOB GOLD Pass for $500, and get into each and every show. Buyers also get special perks including no line waiting, a t-shirt, discounts on food and drink, and more.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 20

If you have a chunk of change to spend, on yourself, or someone on your "Nice" list, why not get them everything local label Numero Group has to offer. For a rare treat, Numero's entire catalog (on either vinyl or CD) can be yours if you have the shelf space, and the cabbage with just one click of the mouse. A sample of what you'll receive includes Light On the South Side, the Syl Johnson Complete Mythology, and The Boddie Recording Company box sets but it really doesn't stop there. [Also, watch the label's website (and Facebook) for more deals as Christmas approaches.]

The AV Club Sings Popular Hits

Inspired by the huge popularity of the cover of "Tubthumping" recorded by They Might Be Giants at their office space, The AV Club joined the band at the Vic in September to perform a couple numbers live: "A Horse With No Name" (with many AV Clubbers on acoustic guitar) and a reprise of "Tubthumping."

Have a Rockin' New Year's Eve

If you're at a loss for plans for New Year's, now's a great time to make up your mind. In Transmission, we break down over 30 notable music venues and other spots with live music (and often a free champagne toast at midnight). You even still have time to brush up on your own singing skills.

Von Chicago, Von Chicago

A song by Clueso called "Chicago," "where nobody knows your name." [via]

Bring A Can

A few music events are doubling as holiday canned food drives this year. If you're heading to the Metro any time this month, bring some canned goods to the Metro Store to help out the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Alternately, if you go to the Bloodshot Records Holiday Whiskey Extravaganza on 12/17 at the Cobra Lounge, bring food to aid the Casa Catalina Basic Human Needs Center.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository doesn't want your old ramen noodles. Items most needed include: peanut butter, beans, canned fruit, canned vegetables, cereal, chili, tuna and pasta.

The Gift That Keeps On Annoying

Do you like bad music? Sure, who doesn't? GB's own James Allenspach is posting 25 Days of Bad Music on his blog. He started Dec. 1, so you've already got five albums waiting for you.

From Kanye West to Matthew West

Chicago musicians are well represented in this year's Grammy nominations.

Return of the Velvet Lounge?

Owners of a pizzeria plan to reopen the Velvet Lounge, which closed in 2010 after the death of longtime owner Fred Anderson. A website for the club says it will reopen in January.

Dusting Off the Dusties DJ

WBEZ takes the release of Numero Group's Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels as an opportunity to examine the legacy of radio DJ Richard Pegue.

Classical Hits Without A Hint of Nutcracker

If the flip of the calendar to December has you dreaming anything but toy dolls that come to life and fight rats (seriously), there are plenty of other classical concerts around Chicago to check out. We break down a few notable performances worth catching in our monthly "Pulling Strings" column in Transmission.

Have Yourself a Bieber Little Christmas

Looking for Christmas music? The Sun-Times' Thomas Conner picks some favorites from this year's crop.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 4

Smithsonian Folkways Records has several albums of historic music recorded in Chicago, including Blues and Roots in the '30s, Dixieland in the '40s and several albums recorded by Studs Terkel.

The Playlist of a Liberal

Sound Opinions does another "Rock Doctors" special this week, and Jim DeRogatis & Greg Kot have a very special patient: NY Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman. The show has been posted at the Sound Opinions Website.


Should you find yourself digging the tunes playing in O'Hare or Midway while you wait in the security line later this week, you can use the airports' music tracker to find out what it is. [via]

Old Town, New School

The Old Town School of Folk Music's new building is nearly done, and Center Square Journal has a preview. You can tour it yourself on Dec. 7, ahead of the grand opening planned for Jan. 9.

Hip Hop Diplomacy Hits a Snag

Members of the Chicago hip hop crew FEW Collective were briefly detained in Pakistan, where they're on a two-week cultural mission, after one of the members took photos of a military installation.

Turn Your Day Up To 11

Today's confluence of elevens (11/11/11) has inspired some Spinal Tap fans to declare it "Nigel Tufnel Day" (get it?). Celebrations around the country include a few in the Chicago area. Events at Neo, Reggies, and in Joliet are the few on the books currently. Know of another? Email me at transmission(at) and I'll add it in this post. More, including a sweet video, after the jump.

Chicagoland Nigel Tufnel Day events:

- Neo spins rock, punk, and industrial tonight with DJ Eleven from 10pm-4am.

- Reggie's Rock Club hosts a special "Live Band Burlesque Tribute to Spinal Tap" tonight from 7-9pm.

- Enjoy a Nigel Tufnel Day Sale at West Side Music Center, 1009 W. Jefferson St., Joliet, IL.

Cheap Trick's Gonna Raise Hell on Motor Row

Cheap Trick plans to open a new space on Motor Row with a restaurant, radio station, performance space and a museum.

Hot & Fresh from the OR, Kells Has a New Mission

At 5am the pied piper of R&B, R. Kelly posted his first post-throat surgery song on twitter and confirmed his memoir Soulacoaster for a spring 2012 release.

For those wishing to send positive healing rays of energy towards R. Kelly to assist in the hardest comeback of his career there are appropriate prayer candles by Chicago artist Megan Garvey to focus your mental energy on.

Rave On

Two ex-ravers in Bridgeport created, a repository of rave mixtapes from around the world. [via]

State of the Art

The Reader's big feature this week is about The Arts of Life Band, a rock group made up of developmentally disabled people. Watch the band play and enjoy some tasty chili at the Half Acre Charitable Chili Cookoff this Saturday.

Percussion Explosion!

Drummers from bands as huge as Smashing Pumpkins, King Crimson and Styx performed at the grand opening Vic's Drum Shop on Saturday.

Your November Classical Fix

Want to catch some live music from afar? Read our column "Pulling Strings" for the low down on this month's notable classical music offerings in Chicago.

Let's Hear It For the Store

Matador Records has a keen blog piece gushing about the emergence of awesome indie record stores while others are sadly closing. They give some love to Chicago-area stores Saki (Chicago-Logan Square), Cyklopx (Forest Park), and to Permanent Records' expansion out west from Chicago.

Not Just About Worshiping Satan

The Onion's AV Club celebrates Halloween with the first installment of a four-part oral history of Chicago's metal scene.

Open Up and Say "Lawsuit"?

Members of a 1980s Chicago rock band named Kid Rocker are suing Poison, claiming that guitarist C.C. DeVille stole their songs more than twenty years ago.

Putting the "Thugs" in Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

A Chicago man is suing a lot of people after a member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony allegedly attacked him on the group's tour bus.

A Fistful of Wilco Shows

Seems that Wilco just can't help themselves. They've just announced a fifth Chicago show in December, this time at Lincoln Hall on 12/18. Tickets will go on sale this weekend at $100 each and will benefit Inspiration Corporation. (More info on this winter's Chicago Wilco performances at multiple venues around town.)

They Got the Rhythm

Four years ago, a group of students at Lane Tech High School started a drumline. They're awesome! They recently showed up at the home of WGN's morning show's biggest fan and played in her hallway. And now you can vote for them as part of Glee's Give a Note contest.

The Third Tine in the Pitchfork

Pitchfork's inaugural music festival in Paris hasn't even happened yet, but the music site has already announced plans for a new festival in New York next year.

Wilco (x4)

Chicago's own Indie darlings Wilco have added yet another December show in their hometown, and it really is beginning to look like they're set to play nearly every large venue in town in just one week. The latest addition will be a 12/16 show at The Metro. Tickets go on sale 10/15 at 10am and will cost $44 (+ fees) at The band will also play (now sold-out) December shows at the Civic Opera House, The Riviera, and The Vic.

Get Your Cello On

We launched a new monthly column in Transmission today: Pulling Strings. In it, our resident classical music expert, Elliot Mandel, gives a rundown of classical shows you can catch in the coming weeks.

Making Music by Machine

Mark Greenberg (previously; more recently) just shared a new animated commercial for his Mayfair Workshop music composing company.

Ex-Weezer Bassist Predicted His Own Death

Mikey Welsh, the former bassist for Weezer, passed away last week in a hotel room here in Chicago. Eerily, he predicted his own death in a dream two weeks ago. [via]

Digital Battle of the Bands

New local startup lets musicians upload snippets of songs for listeners to vote on either organically or through song-to-song battle.

Free Show Tonight: Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene will play a free show in the parking lot below the Heineken billboard at 1015 W. Addison, across from Wrigley Field, tonight at 8pm. [via]

Brews and Bitches Brew

Dig Miles Davis? Head to Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar in Bridgeport Tuesday through Thursday this week for a celebration of the jazz master and a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of his death. Each night a different guest DJ will be exploring a different era of Davis' sound.

The Wilco Love

Wilco played an hour-long set on "The Late Show with David Letterman" last week, and it's now online. Meanwhile, Pitchfork gave The Whole Love a 6.9.

Back to the Future of Hip Hop

Watch pre-fame Kanye West perform a spoken-word version of "All Falls Down" at a poetry slam.

Own a Pee-ce of History

The Empty Bottle finally redid its bathroom and floors recently, but it couldn't bear to consign those many years of graffiti, scuffs and stickers to the dump. So instead they've turned them into coasters and are auctioning them off in sets of four to benefit the American Liver Foundation. The online auction opens tonight and runs through Oct. 22; head to the Bottle tonight for a kickoff party from 6:30 to 8:30pm. [via]

WHY? Say Goodbye

Chicago fans of WHY? may have dodged a bullet. The band has announced that it's cancelling the rest of its American dates due to an injury -- and their show at the MCA may still be in question.

The Video Love

Wilco is about to go on tour, and it's asking fans in each tour stop to supply film of their town to project behind the band during the concert. (They're playing here at the Civic Opera House Dec. 12, in case you're wondering how long you have.)

Old Alligator Boots

Che "Rhymefest" Smith, Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel developed a raunchy puppet-filled variety show for Comedy Central a couple years ago, but it wasn't picked up. Some behind-the-scenes footage finally leaked today.

Let Me Hear You Say "Anh!"

Kanye West grunts a lot on Watch the Throne. Here's a supercut of all of them. [via]

Some Celebrity Validation for a Rainy Morning

Apparently, Miley Cyrus loves Chicago, so she totally wants to hang out.

Tonight's Gonna be a Good Night

Last night's @MayorEmanuel book release party featured a surprise guest: Jeff Tweedy, covering Black Eyed Peas songs. Time Out was among the several who caught it on video. Our own Jasmine Davila has more video.

Jeff Tweedy recites "My Humps" from Jasmine D on Vimeo.

Phyllis' Musical Inn After-Openings Art Dance Party

Looking for the cool after party this Friday night? Weary art-goers will find refuge from the drudgery of making the citywide gallery circuit at the Fourth Annual After-Openings Dance Party at Phyllis' Musical Inn. Hosted by artists and local art world mainstays John Phillips and Nevin Tomlinson, the action starts at 9:30pm and rolls on until 2am.

North Coast Best Bets

Headed to the North Coast Music Festival this weekend? We've got recommendations for you in Transmission.

Backing Beal

If you were intrigued by the Reader's feature on outsider artist-musician William Earl Beal (previously), you'll want to read about Urban Eyez's efforts to put together a band for Beal -- and attend the concert Sept. 15 at Town Hall Pub.

Superstars Require Super Accommodation

Lupe Fiasco's tour rider is like a seventh grader's culinary fantasy: PB&Js, chicken tenders, candy, soda, hamburgers with Sara Lee buns (way to keep it local!), Frosted Flakes, and several items of the "crème" persuasion (i.e. ice, whip and Krispy).

RIP Honeyboy Edwards

The last of the Delta bluesmen, Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards, passed away early Monday morning at the age of 96. Howard Reich and Dave Hoekstra have remembrances.

A Sample Isn't Just a Sample

Local label Numero Group is blogging about their renewed troubles with a dark and twisted business deal with Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch The Throne album.

Getting on the List

On the List Chicago hooks you up with concert ticket giveaways. Or will, once it's built up critical mass; join to help make that happen sooner.

The Ravinia Festival of Design

Imprint digs through 30 years of Ravinia program covers. (Thanks, Dee!)

OK Puppet

OK GO's remake of the Muppet Show Theme Song has hit the internerds, complete with (what else?) a wacky video.

Stage Collapse @ Pukkelpop Festival

A new tragedy: a stage at Belgium's Pukkelpop Festival collapsed earlier today, with fatalities and injuries reported. Onstage at the time was Chicago band Smith Westerns; they're safe.

Find Sounds

Found Sound: Chicago puts music and audio art performances in unexpected places around West Town/Ukrainian Village this Saturday.

Sky Blue Bike

Wilcoworld interviews Todd Simeone of Tenspeed Hero, who designed a Wilco-themed bike for the band to raffle on its preorder page for The Whole Love. [via]

Odd Future Gets Shellacked

Steve Albini and Odd Future shared an airport shuttle in Barcelona. It did not go well. Chicagoist's Jon Graef puts it in perspective. UPDATE: Odd Future responds.

Cleaning Up After the Circus Leaves Town

Thanks in part to the rain, Lollapalooza left Grant Park a wreck. The cost of last year's cleanup topped $200,000, and this year is expected to cost even more.

Gatecrashing the Party

Everyone wanted to go to Lollapalooza this weekend -- including more than a few who didn't have tickets.

Ripped Off This Way

Chicago Musician Rebecca Francescatti is suing Lady Gaga for copyright infringement, claiming the song "Judas" Gaga's latest album is based on her song "Juda." Play them side by side on

Fuzzed Out Guitars

If you don't mind awful feedback, you can watch Santah perform live at Threadless HQ right now (noon to 1ish) on UStream. UPDATE: Already off the air.

Picture The Hideout

Chicago music venue The Hideout wants your pictures of late nights and lazy afternoons spent at the venue to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Not only do these not have to be of the professional, band-on-stage type (they're eager for casual snapshots), they're also planning on putting the photos up for sale, and you get the bulk of the sale price!

Picking Sides in the Lolla Stage Clash

Lollapalooza's scheduling always makes for some tough choices; fortunately the Transmission staff is here to help you make up your mind. We're posting our annual "Stage Clash" previews one day at a time: here's Friday and Saturday, stay tuned for Sunday's rundown tomorrow. And whether you're going to Lolla or not, you might find our party guide useful.

Lunchtime Rock Block

ChicagoVerse United has a bunch of videos of Company of Thieves performing live around town.

Obstructed View Tickets are Free

Just how loud was the Paul McCartney show at Wrigley last night? GB reader Peter Groves shot this video from his office a couple blocks away. Sir Paul plays again tonight; hang out outside if you don't have a ticket.

Lolla's Tax Deal

Lollapalooza doesn't pay amusement taxes for its big show on public property, and for once it's not just Jim DeRogatis talking about it. UPDATE: Mayor Emanuel says the City will review Lolla's tax exemption deal.

Celebrating a Living Legend

Chicago jazz legend Von Freeman will be awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Award this winter, but he'll be celebrated here this Thursday with a tribute concert at the Pritzker Pavilion.

The Air of Champions

Chicago retained the US Air Guitar championship belt Saturday, as Nordic Thunder won the finals Saturday at the Metro. Read all about it in Transmission, and catch him on "Lopez Tonight" Tuesday.

Urbs in Musicae

Here's a reason to be thankful for peer pressure, the A.V. Club is putting together a music festival this summer simply because everyone else is. The few confirmed bands, including The Archers of Loaf, make for a promising start.

Empounded Blues

Bluesman Larry Hill Taylor's van is stuck in the city pound, leaving him unable to tour. A benefit concert is happening tonight at 6pm at the Favia Cafe, 1701 S. Hale Ave.

Battling for Air Supremecy

This Saturday the US Air Guitar Championship finals invade the Metro to rock your face off. We've got a preview and tickets to give away in Transmission.

In Front of the Music

Epitonic has teamed up with Logan Square's Saki for an online interview and performance series. The first episode films tomorrow.

Draining in the Name of Love

R. Kelly underwent emergency surgery to remove an abscess on one of his tonsils yesterday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Diffusing an Odd Future

Rolling Stone follows the punches that took the planned protests against Odd Future at Pitchfork from potent to paper fans.

Three Days of Pitchfork

Even if you didn't make it to Pitchfork this weekend, you might want to check out our coverage in Transmission -- we'll have reviews, interviews and photos posting all week.

Pitchfork Players Club

If you've got a Pitchfork wristband, a lot of doors (and discounts) open up to you.

Turning Over Pitchfork's Haystack

While everyone else focuses on this weekend's festival, NewCity opted to focus its attention on Pitchfork itself, peering into the site's inner workings and wondering whether it's killing rock criticism.

We Remember

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the tragic deaths of Silkworm drummer Michael Dahlquist, Dials and Exo drummer Douglas Meis, and guitarist John Glick of The Returnables.

Play Pitchfork Picks

As Pitchfork fever heats up, everyone's getting in on the act. EMusic shares a whole lot of Chicagoans' favorite picks -- and is offering a free sampler of P4K artists.

Three Days of Sun, Sounds, and Hula Hoops

The Transmission staff writes about each of the acts playing the Pitchfork Music Festival which starts Friday afternoon. Read up and decide who will win your undivided attention this weekend at Union Park. Keep an eye on Transmission for reviews and interviews as the fest unfolds.

I Used to Work in Chicago

...In a department store.

Lakeside's History & Future

While covering the DMB Caravan, Jim Reedy had issues with the US Steel South Works as a concert venue. Our managing editor, David Schalliol, has done a good amount of research on the site in his day job, and shares some background on how it came to host a music festival and where it's heading from here.

The DMB Caravan, Day by Day

Jim Reedy and Stephanie Griffin spent the weekend at the Dave Matthews Band Caravan so you didn't have to. Read it all in Transmission.

Crazy Roommates = Pitchfork Tickets

Need tickets for Pitchfork this weekend? Apartment site domu is giving a pair away to the person with the best story about crazy roommates. (See our own bunch of stories in Fuel.)

It's the Champagne Taste

"I was drinking Champagne on Lake Shore Drive. Eighty-nine miles per hour. Is poor road, wearing a tuxedo, very sharp." An odd collaboration between Univore and Marco Casale.

Rock & Roll Ain't Noise Pollution -- Especially in Chicago

After the sale of radio stations The Loop and Q101, many insiders are saying at least one of the two will be converted to an all-talk format. This could mean substantially less rock on the airwaves in Chicago, since only four stations -- including The Loop and Q101 -- are currently classified as "rock stations."

How Do You Say "Hipster" in French?

Very soon, Chicago will have to share the Pitchfork Music Festival with another city, and another country. The venerable music fest just announced the launch of a 2-day Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris this October. Is this just the year for crossing the pond with awesome Chicago-born events? The Renegade Craft Fair has just opened up applications to a first ever London version of their massive craft show, also in October.

Next up: Edward V.

Murphy's Bleachers' Open Mic Night attendees got quite the surprise when Eddie Vedder decided to hang out after the Cubs game and perform a few songs last night.

Handle Your Music

Artist Floyd A. Davis III repurposes vintage suitcases into the Gentleman's Boombox.

"Another Chance" for Chet?

The video we've all been waiting for has finally dropped. [via]

The R Now Stands for "Renting"

R. Kelly posted a message on his Facebook wall in search of recommendations for a one-bedroom place in the Capitol Hill area of D.C. What, no interest in the closet size? Proximity to local high schools?


"Nice Indian Kid from Chicago" Sings Jazz

Earlier this week, Chicago jazz vocalist Sachal Vasandani was interviewed on "All Things Considered" about his latest album, Hi-Fly, which came out Tuesday.

Soundtrack Advice

Startup MyZeus promises to give movie recommendations based on your music preferences, and let you share recommendations with friends.

Watch a Little Dennehy

It's a nice afternoon -- get outside! Or if you're still stuck at your desk for awhile, plug in your headphones for Serengeti's classic "Dennehy."

Numero Group is No Match for iTunes

Numero Group opted out of iTunes Match this week; Chris Foresman has more at Ars Technica. [via]

Street Change is Gonna Come

Honorary Sam Cooke Way will be unveiled in Bronzeville this weekend. Read our feature on Cooke's Chicago legacy. [via]

Get Marshmallow

This weekend experimental music fans in Chicago have a reason to get a little giddy. The Neon Marshmallow Festival will bring more than 20 musicians to the Hideout (oops) Empty Bottle for three days of mind-stimulating sonic waves. Not sure what to check out? Read our full preview in Transmission.

Chicago Live Music

The Live Music Archive is a treasure trove of recorded concerts. In Transmission, we've sorted through and listed all the Chicago venues and festivals in the archive for your downloading convenience.

Intergalactic Miracles

It's that time again: time for the Gathering of the Juggalos infomercial. Tickets for the Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, er, event August 11-14 are on sale now.

Keeping Soul Local

The Chicago music community has been wondering what label nouveau soul group JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound would sign to. The big reveal today was that the gang decided to go with local label Bloodshot Records with a debut album due out this fall. Congrats all around!

Give Chet Haze Another Chance

He has a new track out. [via]

Another Chance by ChetHaze

Karaoke Superstar

Right up front, ABC's new series Karaoke Battle USA asks "Are you an American Idol wannabe?" If you are, hurry and sign up for tomorrow's competition at the House of Blues and you might get your chance. (If you just want to watch, get your free tickets here.)

Take Me Out to the Concert

America's favorite pastime gets the rock'n'roll treatment with The Baseball Project, a supergroup that includes REM's Peter Buck. They're playing at the Cubby Bear on Monday, paying homage in song to the sport's greatest heroes -- and the Cubs' 100+ years without a World Series win.

You Could Be In Pictures

Always entertaining punk rock marching band Mucca Pazza is calling on fans to be in its upcoming short film "Marching Banned" (previously). Get in on the fun this Sunday from 4-8pm downtown. RSVP info. on Facebook.

Women with Guitars

That's what Guitareste covers. It's currently featuring an interview with Kristin Hersh.

Rock Around The Park

Not rain, not wind, not even a drummer's broken ankle will keep the show from going on tonight as everyone's invited to the launch of the always free Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays series. Music kicks off at 6:30pm with Eleventh Dream Day, followed by Bonnie "Prince" Billy featuring The Cairo Gang. More information on the whole series in Transmission.

"Aces High"

Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson will soon be piloting flights from Chicago to Reykjavik.

Gapers Block in the Flesh

If you've ever wanted to meet GB staffers in person, this Thursday offers two opportunities. Transmission Editor Anne Holub is part of a panel discussion of music journalism at DePaul -- while other GB writers and readers are heading at the Art Institute's Modern Wing for our monthly Get-Together. Hope to see you there!

Ask a Guitarist

Chicago-based online guitar shop Fret12 lets you ask a wide range of guitarists questions, which they respond to by video.

Austen City Limits

Check out this Reglar Wiglar interview with local music/television/zine impresario Jake Austen about Chic-a-Go-Go, the Goblins, and Roctober--which is approaching its 20th anniversary. Okay, now I feel old.

Muzik In Yr Computerz

Lunchtime just got a lot more rocking since White Mystery is going to play live at the Threadless HQ today. Lucky for you, you can catch the whole thing from your cube on Ustream starting at noon.

Lolla's 20th MP3versary

Lollapalooza is giving away a free 20-song sampler via iTunes as part of its continuing 20th anniversary celebration.

Reviewed So You Don't Have To

Did you miss a show this weekend? We've got reviews of Of Montreal, Yelle and the Felice Brothers in Transmission.

Clicking for Tickets

After their wildly successful Groupons for North Coast Music Festival passes (last summer as well as this past April), it was just a matter of time until the community-sourced deals site broke even more new ground with live show ticketing. To be launched in time for users to snag tickets for summer music festivals, GrouponLive will be a new live event collaboration between Groupon and Live Nation.

Hack Lolla

Lollapalooza has opened its API to anyone interested in creating cool apps -- and you can win VIP tickets to the festival or a vacation for two if yours is judged the coolest. Looks like it's time to dust off

Connecting the Scene

If you're part of the hip hop community and need something for your next project, Chicago Hip Hop Connects has your hookup.

Hey Mister (or Miss) DJ

Want a last-minute DJ gig? Lincoln Hall is looking for a DJ to play for 90 minutes before this Saturday's sold-out Battles show. If you have the chops, email them a sample of your DJ stylings at

Where Music Narrates Life

Tonight's the opening night for the much-anticipated production of Passing Strange by Bailiwick Chicago. Read our preview of this unique musical, featuring JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound in Transmission.

Trivial Lineup

Lollapalooza is playing games with this year's lineup. Or rather, they want you to. [via]

All-Day Succor

If you get tired of the Record Store Day music tomorrow and want something in a more folky vein, stop by the 909 W. Armitage location of The Old Town School of Folk Music tomorrow; they'll be having an all-day benefit for Japan earthquake and tsunami relief featuring a marathon concert running from the afternoon till about midnight. Full details on Slowdown, or see the Old Town School's Website.

Hit the Record Store

This Saturday is Record Store Day; we've got a run-down of what's happening at local stores, plus a timely profile of Logan Square's Bucket O' Blood.

Get This Band Going

The Arts of Life Band is an inspired musical outlet for Chicago adults with developmental disabilities and they don't scrimp on the boogie or rock n' roll enthusiasm. Read all about this awesome program in Transmission.

Invisible Triumph

Chicago will host the 2011 US Air Guitar Championships this July -- details in Transmission.

What Do We Want? To Write Protest Songs!

When do we want'em? This Sunday! Jon Langford wants to show you how to write a protest song and chant; he's teaching a workshop at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum April 10. It's free (naturally), but you have to reserve your space.

One Hoodoo Voodoo With Bacon

About a week ago, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy finally wandered into a sandwich shop in Toronto that was oddly familiar, or at least the menu was. It definitely left an impression.

Where Rock Once Lived

The host of Chicago Rock Tours gave A.V. Club Chicago a mini-tour of "hidden" former hotspots for Chicago's music scene on the North and West sides.

"Wow! That's Somethin' Else!" -- Eddie Cochran

IU Northwest professor and Chicagoan Jennifer Greenburg is a long-time collector of vintage '50s items, and has recently released the coffee-table book The Rockabillies, a pretty slick collection of her photos of modern rockabilly aficionados.

Friday is Annoying on a Monday

The Trib talks to Jim Nayder of "The Annoying Music Show" about Rebecca Black's "Friday" and its place in the pantheon of annoying music.

Striking a Pose

Related to our feature on Chicago's underground ball scene, here's a video from 1990 of the House of Avant-Garde performing to Madonna's "Vogue."

The video was a submission to an MTV contest to promote Madonna's tour, and was one of 10 winning finalists shown on the music television station. [via]

Laptop Recovery in Austin

Shawn of Netherfriends was writing a SXSW tour diary for us in Transmission when he sort of disappeared. Turns out his laptop was stolen -- but he got it back thanks to some cool free software.

I Wanna Rock & Roll All Nite/And Part of Every Day

Cool! KISS played a 1975 concert at Fremd High School in Palatine, with Rush opening -- and here's the proof.

Chicago Rocks Austin

Have you been following our coverage of the SXSW Music Festival in Transmission? It's all collected here -- stay tuned as Lisa White wraps up the last couple days of the fest.

"I Love Tiny Tim. He's My Favorite Singer."

Probably the cutest thing you'll see all day. The late Tiny Tim's latest album, as reviewed by Clara Ware and illustrated by her and her dad Chris for Roctober.

Muti Recovers, Stumps for the Arts from the Italian Stage

Riccardo Muti, the CSO's music director, is now well enough that he was able to take the stage in Italy and argue for the arts. Given his recovery, it looks like this April is finally on track.

The Grid: Congress Conducts El at Cal's

Today we release the second feature in GB's short film series The Grid. "Congress Conducts El at Cal's" explores the construction congestion at Congress Parkway through the music and activity at Cal's, a nearby hangout and liquor store.

Recognize These Thieves?

On Saturday at Lincoln Hall, a couple of no-goodniks walked off with some laptops that were definitely not theirs. After a few days of asking the guys to come forward, pictures have now been posted of the theft in action. If you know them, let Lincoln Hall know. There's a reward in it for you. (At least one coat, with iPod and phone, was stolen too.)

Chicago at SXSW

Even if you're not going, you'll still want to peruse our massive list of the 90+ local acts and dozens more from nearby who are performing at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin next week.

"Some of the most honest music I ever heard in my life"

The Guardian takes the release of a bunch of Chicago house records as a cue to review Chicago's influence on house music in the Midwest and in the UK.

Get Kind of Blue

There's a Miles Davis Festival on right now.

Obit: Diane Izzo

Greg Kot's column on Chicago singer-songwriter Diane Izzo, who died on Friday at the age of 43. (Edit: Jim DeRogatis' tribute to Izzo was also published today.)

Snap This Up

Alligator Records turns 40 this year, and to celebrate their 40th Anniversary Collection is just $5.99 on Amazon today.

Help Out a Furry Pal

Love animals AND alcohol? Head to Proof tonight for their Mutts and Martinis event at 7pm, which benefits the Friends of Animal Care and Control. And if you want to continue your charitable bender, Gold Star will be hosting Sexy Black, a benefit for Virtually Home Chicago, on Saturday night.

One Day Only, Pressed at Boddie

Early Warning: Numero Group, Chicago's resident back catalog hounds, will be opening a pop-up store for Record Store Day April 16, and is producing a limited edition album on wax, CD and cassette. Keep your ear open for the location.

Empires Could Have It Covered

Local band Empires are competing in a contest to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Help them out by voting for them here. [via]

Know, or Else!

Chicago comedy troupe Funemployed has created a special PSA video for all those who don't know who (Grammy award winning band) Arcade Fire is. (h/t Sandor)

Some Jazz Records

Today's auction of legendary DJ Dick Buckley's record collection caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal; peruse the catalog online.

Local Grammy Winners

Last night at the Grammys, Mavis Staples won Best Americana Album for You Are Not Alone, while the CSO took home two trophies and several other local blues and jazz performers won as well.

Stood Up Again

Unfortunately, UK Swedish singer Robyn has canceled her Chicago performance tonight at the Riv due to illness. Jam Productions has brief details, and recommends holding on to your ticket for a future make-up performance. Tonight's cancellation comes after a week of axed Midwest concert dates by the singer.

Lolla Leaks

Greg Kot has some gossip on who's going to headline this year's Lollapalooza music festival (August 5-7, 2011), and it's all bros. Word is that Eminem, Muse and Foo Fighters will likely be top on the bill.

More Health Troubles for Muti

The CSO's Riccardo Muti fainted at yesterday's rehearsal and was taken to the hospital. Last night's performance was held without him, and tonight's will be led by Mitsuko Uchida and Leonard Slatkin.

Oldham on Kelly

Bonnie Prince Billy interviews who some call the King of R&B.

A Blizzard of Talent

In addition to 18 inches of snow, Mother Nature is about to deal us an even tougher blow: Chet Haze's mixtape is "officially done."

Decibels + Beats per Minute

Wilco has left Nonesuch and started its own label, dBpm Records, with the help of ANTI-.

The New Boss

Baby Teeth just released Boss, a five-song tribute to Mayor Daley. [via]

Throat Singing

The A.V. Club's Marah Eakin talks with beatboxer Freddie Feldman about his Thumper TH100 throat microphone, which he's raising money to put into production.

Probably Not Part of His Fantasy

Kanye West's music career may be doing well, but he's had to close one of his Fatburger franchises.

2120 S. Michigan Ave.

In 1964, the Rolling Stones recorded a blues album for Chess Records. It never saw the light of day... until now. [via]

Happy Birthday, CHIRP!

CHIRP, the Chicago Independent Radio Project, went live on the Internet a year ago today. They're celebrating at The Whistler tonight at 9:30pm, among other festivities.

Saying "Goodbye" to Dickie

Brian Dickie, Chicago Opera Theater's longstanding general director, will step down from the position he's held since 1999. A search is underway for a replacement in 2012.

Auctioning Off Happiness

The formidable record collection of jazz DJ Dick Buckley will be auctioned off by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on Feb. 17. [via]

Three Kisses from Kid Sister

Cheer up your commute with a new free mixtape download from Kid Sister, Kiss Kiss Kiss.

Watch for Watch the Throne

Kanye West has announced that his album collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, will be out "in the next week." Meanwhile, Josh Groban covered Kanye's best tweets on Jimmy Kimmel last night.

Stump Speaks

Chicagoist has a two-part interview with Patrick Stump, former frontman of Fall Out Boy, about life after the band, what he's up to now and his deep connection to Chicago.

High Holy Days and Heavy Metal

David Draiman, frontman of Disturbed, talks with the Jerusalem Post about growing up Jewish in Chicago, among other things. [via]

Pitchfork as a Bar Chart

Year in Review plots Pitchfork's 2010 reviews along the x axis.

Johnny Be Ill?

Chuck Berry, 84, collapsed over his keyboards at the Congress Theater last night. After EMTs showed up he said he was feeling fine, but didn't complete his set. No word yet on his current condition.

A Free Music Resource

The Free Music Archive has plenty of stuff for you to download, including some from Bloodshot Records and the Third Coast International Audio Festival

Today's Shows

Some anonymous, dedicated soul updates Chicago Music List every day, seemingly by hand, to give you a simple overview of your live music options for the day.

A Great Sounding New Year's Eve

If you're still on the fence for how to spend your evening this coming Friday, consult our NYE show round-up in Transmission for some great concerts. Yes, a lot of the big venues are sold out, but plenty of shows around town still have tickets available.

Ring in a Reasonable New Year

Want to do something more special than TV and beer, but can't afford New Year's Eve specials hovering around three digits? Metromix and the Reader have some ideas to get you started.

"Neu Chicago"

I'm not sure what this video has to do with Chicago, but it's kind of fun.

Behold: The First Clip of the First Jackson Five Recording

Oh, and an article about it too.

Rodney the Singing Mailman

The A.V. Club's mailman, Rodney Johnson, has become a minor celebrity thanks to his singing voice, which is on display in his "Silent Night" duet with Andrew W.K.

Kanye Hear What I Hear

Kanye West released a cover of "Christmas in Harlem" today. [via]

100 Good Songs

You may have a few of Pitchfork's top 100 tracks of 2010 on your playlist already.

Letters to Santa

Second City's star-studded Letters to Santa 24-hour music and comedy marathon starts at 8pm and runs through 8pm tomorrow. Tickets are just $15, and since they're only available at the door starting at 6:30, you better go get in line! (Can't make it? They'll be streaming it live online.)

A Soprano on the CTA

Opera megastar Renée Fleming was just named Creative Consultant for the Lyric Opera.

Punching Up the Banjo

Native Chicagoan and professional banjo player Noam Pikelny talks in Transmission about his upcoming Lincoln Hall shows with the Punch Brothers, two Grammy noms, and receiving a unique award from Steve Martin.

If You Like it Then You Shoulda...

Proving that the kids are all right, Jeff Tweedy's son Spencer gets geeky with the maths and makes some of us wish we were kids again.

Vocal Baseball

R. Kelly hit a home run last night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Always Lo-Fi. Always.

A track from Jim O'Rourke's 1999 album Eureka can now be heard in a Wal-Mart commercial for cell phone plans.

Blue Christmas

NIU professor Bill Studwell, whose 25-year-long "Carol of the Year" project covered the histories of individual Christmas songs, passed away last August, a few months shy of completing the project. The Trib provides an interesting and touching retrospective on the man and his work.

Might as Well be Priceless

At Bein & Fushi on Michigan Avenue, there is a rare violin made by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù in 1742. It's for sale at the record price of $18 million.

Chicago Rap City

Speaking of Fake Shore Drive, you might be interested in the list of the 50 greatest Chicago rap songs they compiled with

Kiss Kiss Hustlaz

Fake Shore Drive has new tracks from Kid Sister and Twista.

Studio Time on the Cheap

Stray Dog Recording Company is an L3C nonprofit dedicated to providing affordable studio time to the city's music community. Right now, that means $20 per hour for your first session.

On the Street Where Oprah Lives

The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, which has played the afterparty for the Kennedy Center Honors for the past 22 years, was treated to a special guest vocalist at this past weekend's ceremony -- "Glee's" Matthew Morrison. Among this year's honorees was an obscure local talk show host.

Gifts that Sound Great

The Transmission staff has compiled their picks for the best holiday gifts for that discerning Chicago music lover. Whether you want to spend $5 or $300, we've got you covered.

Hidden Soul

Have you met Syl Johnson?

Turkeys and Cheap Vinyl

In Transmission, we have your best bets for a thoroughly musical Thanksgiving week. Hit up sales in local record stores, venues, and labels, or take (or leave) your extended family to a slew of great shows.

R.I.P., Little Smokey

Chicago blues guitarist and singer Albert "Little Smokey" Smothers has passed away. Mr. Smothers played with blues luminaries like Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf, and was a mentor to Elvin Bishop and Paul Butterfield.

Lupe Fiasco on Vocalo

Lupe Fiasco will be a guest on MusicVox on Vocalo at 3pm today. Tune to 89.5 or stream it online. [via]

Matt Lauer Covered in Balls

OK Go teamed up with the Today show for a new, dog-less version of "White Knuckles."

City Festivals Up for Sale

Jim DeRogatis reports on the City's plans to privatize its music and cultural festivals.

His Beautiful Dark Twisted 10.0

Kanye West's new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, got a perfect 10.0 from Pitchfork, the first new album to reach such heights since Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. A little hometown advantage, maybe?

Rock You All Night Long

Transmission staff are culling together your best New Year's Eve concert options while tickets are still (mostly) available.

Is It Because Because They're Numerogroup?

Douglas Wolk and Pitchfork gave the new Syl Johnson box set from Numerogroup a limp review and 6.8 rating. As a result, some of the Twitterers are restless. Others point out that this is hardly unexpected.

Tales of the Tape

Speaking of A.V. Club, Leor Galil, who profiled Ice Age Records for us in Transmission, started a survey of the city's cassette-centric record labels this week.

When Wicker Park Rocked

The A.V. Club is running a feature series looking back at the rise and fall of alternative music in the mainstream, and today's story is about Chicago's contributions: Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair and Urge Overkill.

Drop the Beat

On an imaginary interview show, one fictional Chicago alderman challenges a potential Chicago alderman to a rap joke. [Caution: Some uncensored F-bombs.] (Thanks, Sandy!)

Put 50 Cents Down

Chicago suburban YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill had an unexpected guest star for his latest lip-sync video.

35th Anniversary of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

On Nov. 10, 1975, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a gale on Lake Superior while on its way to a steel mill in Gary.

Savage Party

If you missed out on tickets to Dan and Bill Savage's talk for the Chicago Humanities Festival, join them for the after party at Berlin. Details in Slowdown.

Consider Ronny's

A.V. Club Chicago takes a look at Ronny's, the polarizing Logan Square bar and once-and-possibly future rock club.

Disturbing Campaign Ad

Members of the band Disturbed found themselves, along with Avenge Sevenfold and Stone Sour, pictured as criminals on a Kentucky campaign flyer. They've sent the politician a cease-and-desist letter.

Soundtrack to a Novel

Largeheartedboy finds out what Kevin Guilfoile thinks you should listen to while reading his latest book, The Thousand. [via]

The Musical Ice Age

"The music industry is dying, and Ice Age Records founder Kris Di Benedetto couldn't care less." Learn why in Transmission.

Jonesing for the Green Mill

Mike Jones, Penn & Teller's house pianist, just released a new album that was recorded at the Green Mill. And it's currently available for free download on his site.

Rhymefest to Make City Council Meetings Awesome

According to the Onion, Che "Rhymefest" Smith will be announcing his candidacy for alderman of the 20th Ward this Thursday.

This is Art

The (NSFW) cover art for Kanye West's forthcoming album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has been banned in the US, according to a tweet from Mister Personality himself. UPDATE: As the LA Times notes, "perhaps banned isn't the right word."

Once More With Feeling

The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus' contribution to Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project. [via]

Champaign to Chicago

"Up north in Chicago, where the Blues makes no one blush, memory comes back to you in a double-bourbon rush." — Old '97s, "Champaign, Illinois," off their new album, Grand Theatre.

The Beatles or the Stones?

Chicagoans weigh in.

Shellac the Fashion Mag

Steve Albini talks to GQ.

Capturing the Sound

Contraphonic, our own Ben Schulman's record label, is raising money on Kickstarter to expand its much-praised Contraphonic Chicago Sound Series to other cities.

The Best Time To Riot Is Now

In Transmission, we preview next week's always fun Riot Fest, bringing amazing punk music to a venue near you. Keep an eye out for our coverage of the fest all next week.

Pay the Electrical (Studios) Bill

Fans of Electrical Audio, Steve Albini's influential recording studio, have launched a campaign on The Point (remember that? Progenitor of Groupon?) to pay off the studio's mortgage.

Drinking Up Chicago's Epitonic

In Transmission, we sit down and chat with Justin Sinkovich, original co-founder and current ressurector of (completely legal) mp3 share site Epitonic.

Get Down with the (sic)nesses

Wait, wrong band. Nevertheless, fans of Slipknot will want to be at 1901 Gallery, 1901 W. Belmont, tonight at 9pm for a free screening of the director's cut of (sic)nesses, a directory about the band.

Championship Vinyl

Dusty Groove, Laurie's Planet of Sound and Dave's Records all made's list of the country's 25 best spots for unique record shopping. As Chicagoist points out, there are many more local shops worthy of the list.

Festa Muti!

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and plenty of music lovers are treating Riccardo Muti as a rockstar during the monthlong "Festa Muti," which kicks off his new role at the CSO.

Styx and Journey

Boy meets girl. Boy has to put on awesome rock concert to save the day. But wait, it's also a musical! Rock of Ages, a Broadway hit and amazing combination of genres, comes to Chicago next week.

Red + White + You

Chicago pop punk rockstars White Mystery want to get all you awesome natural redheads in their next video! Just wear white and show up at the Empty Bottle on Saturday, 9/18, at 1pm.

Is Writing Music for Architecture Like Dancing About Journalism?

This Saturday several musical works will be performed in or near the buildings that inspired them. Buildings include the Monadnock, the Aqua Tower, and others.

Swiftly Kanye

Kanye West behaved himself last night.

Umphuck You

Umphrey's McGee covered Cee Lo's "Fuck You" at the North Coast Music Festival this week. You can buy it right here, along with the rest of their set.

Chi Don't Dance No More

XLR8R surveys Chicago's thriving juke and footwork scene, giving me another opportunity to link to BBU's awesome song.

North Coasted

If you missed last weekend's inaugural North Coast Music Festival (or just can't remember), relive the magic from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday's sets over in Transmission.

Honoring Oprah

The 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors have been announced, and the incomparable Oprah Winfrey is to be lauded in December with a lively celebration in Washington. Also on the list for the night are some other people named Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Bill T. Jones, and Jerry Herman. You know, if time permits.

Dreamed of Covering You Again Last Night

Via Wisconsin comes Wisco, a tribute to Wilco's classic Summerteeth album comprised entirely of bands from beyond the cheddar curtain. Listen to or download it in its entirety on Muzzle of Bees.

Violins and Hornlets

Andrew Bird and acoustic engineer Ian Schneller created beautiful music together at the Guggenheim last month, in a piece titled "Sonic Arboretum." (Thanks, George!)

Have You Never Been Mellotron?

Mark Greenberg of the Coctails is selling his Mellotron. I'm not in the market for one, but I'm intrigued by Mark's mentioning that it "almost killed someone when bringing it up a flight of stairs." If you win the auction then, take care not to be mellotroned.

The Music Between Beats

In Transmission, our feature this week focuses on Michael Zerang, a Chicago musician whose rhythmic experimentation focuses on not only the sound of drums, but a lifetime of performance energy and experiences. Catch him today at two different performances.

How to Jazz It Up

The Reader has your guide to the Chicago Jazz Festival, which gets underway tonight.

A Little Less Noisier

Glorious Noise co-founder Jake Brown is moving from Chicago to Ann Arbor, Michigan with his family, and he left us a goodbye note.

Start Labor Day Weekend Right

Join Gapers Block and CHIRP for a show at the Metro this Friday, Sept. 3, featuring The Hudson Branch, Camera, Reds and Blue and My My My. The show is free before 9pm and just $6 after if you bring along this flyer [PDF] -- and still just $9 without. RSVP on Facebook!

Music Education for Free

Registration opens at noon Saturday for the fall schedule at the People's Music School in Uptown.

Remembering the Marshmallow

If you missed out on the Neon Marshmallow festival this past weekend, Transmission writer Chris Sienko has wrapped up each of the four days of noise, destruction, and amazing sounds from the dark confines of the Viaduct Theatre.

The Sounds Your City Makes

Local music label, Contraphonic, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their nationwide aural mapping project as a part of their already successful Sound Series. Chip in a few clams and help to preserve the best sounds of Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and other locales.

Music Videos Don't Get More Chicago Than This

Rapper Serengeti just released his new video for "Perculators." Not since the 2006 video for "Dennehy" has Chicagoland been so prominently featured in hip hop. The slow-mo sample of Cajmere's classic "Coffee Pot" mixed with tai chi is mind-blowing.

For Those About to Rock, Free mp3s

Epitonic, one of the first streaming mp3 sites, is planning a comeback, with local musician Justin Sinkovich back at the helm. The relaunch is being funded through Kickstarter.

Mammoth vs. Bird: Who Would Win?

Andrew Bird composed music for the Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age exhibit at the Field Museum. Hear a bit of Mr. Bird's dainty dreamy instrumental noodlings here.

Neon Marshmallows For Your Ears

Fans of experimental music unite this weekend at the inaugural Neon Marshmallow festival at The Viaduct Theatre with nearly 100 sets of music over four days. Details and an extensive preview in Transmission.

Your Band in the Best Light

In A/C, concert photographer Kirstie Shanley shares thoughts on why bands shouldn't play in the dark.

Ever Wondered What a Beatles Convention is Like?

Wonder no more.

Transmission's Lolla Recaps

If you didn't make it to Lollapalooza this year, our recaps of Friday, Saturday and Sunday's shows will help you pretend you did. And if you did go, let us know what we got wrong -- or right.

Nobody Calls it LSD

As noted by the Chicago Lampoon, the song "Lake Shore Drive" by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah was recorded 40 years ago this weekend. It was released in 1971 and became a regional hit.

There Will Be Modernism

Chicago's modernist architecture stars in the video for Efdemin's song "There Will Be Singing (Chicago)."

Our Lolla Insights

Read and scroll through our Lollapalooza Stage Clash picks this year, so you won't end up on one end of Grant Park when a great band you're missing is on the other. Conveniently culled together from our week of previews in Transmission. (And keep an eye there for daily recaps!)

Guess that Headliner

The Puzzler takes Lollapalooza pregame fun to a whole new level today.


As with Pitchfork, everyone and their mother has a guide to Lollapalooza for you this week. If our own previews aren't enough, you can turn to the Reader, Time Out, A.V. Club, Loud Loop Press, the Trib's Greg Kot, Sun-Times' Thomas Conner, Metromix, Venus Zine and Rolling Stone. Jim DeRogatis has some ways to avoid it altogether.

Tradition. Honor. Mollusks.

Local postermaker Phineas X. Jones (also a FoGB) was the artist who wrought this fine piece of work for Lollapalooza this year. It'll be for sale this weekend at the festival, and on his site in small numbers later on.

They Call Me Mr. Glass

It was inevitable: Adam War Rock and Ruckus Robiticus have laid down some fresh beats and rhymes about Ira Glass and This American Life.

Hardy Rocks the House

Let's get the day started with some vintage Chicago House mixes by DJ Ron Hardy. And Everyone You Know

If you're headed to the vast empire of Lollapalooza, stay up to date with your friends' schedules and where to find them in the throngs of thousands with a new free app for smart phones called Details in Transmission.

Hitting the Pavement at Pitchfork

The Reader's Pavement Tour Diary blog by sound guy Jeremy Lemos finally makes sense as the band plays Pitchfork.

Calling All Punks

The documentary You Weren't There: A History of Chicago Punk, 1977-1984 is streaming all week at Pitchfork TV.

Tales from the Fireside

The Chicago News Cooperative profiles the glory days and the rebirth of Logan Square's Fireside Bowl in this video, featuring images from throughout the venue's history. Pops is "an international gathering of noise & new media practitioners, and it's coming to Chicago Sept. 29 through Oct. 3.

Indie Rock to Lit Doc

Hadji Bakara, the former keyboardist for Wolf Parade, is now a PhD student in U of C's Department of English Language and Literature.

Toast of the Coast

North Coast Music Festival organizers are giving local bands and DJs the opportunity to earn a spot on their inaugural lineup. The winner in each category will play a 45-minute set to thousands of new fans in Union Park this Labor Day weekend. If you're more comfortable listening to beautiful music than making it, tickets to the fest are also today's Groupon.


RIP Dick Buckley. The golden-voiced announcer and jazz archivist has passed away at the age of 85. WBEZ is collecting memories of their dearly departed colleague.

Pitchfork in Pictures

Our intrepid photographer George Aye took some amazing shots over the weekend at Pitchfork, and we've put together his spectacular artist mosaics in an online gallery. If you haven't already listened to our artist interviews, or read our fest recap, what are you waiting for?

New Digs for Old Town

The Old Town School of Folk Music has already sprawled into several other spaces in Lincoln Square and elsewhere in the city. Now it's preparing to build a whole new building across the street from its Lincoln Avenue HQ.

Feeling the Music

How do the deaf experience live music? In Transmission we explore just how Chicago's deaf community, and their advocates, work to translate more than just good vibrations.

The Pitchfork That Was

The Transmission team spent the weekend at Pitchfork Music Festival to bring you some amazing coverage, including interviews with artists, photos and reviews. And we're not done yet; keep an eye out for even more coverage over the next day or two.

If the Heat/Money is Keeping You from Pitchfork...

You can watch many of today's acts streaming online live for free.

Hey, What's that Song?

WBEZ is now going to publish monthly features about the music they play in between programs and other moments in their broadcasts.

All About Pitchfork

If our own Pitchfork Music Festival guide isn't enough for you, there's also previews from Chicagoist, the Reader, Time Out, NewCity and The Trib.

Pitchfork Previewed

In Transmission, we give our $.02 on every act you can catch this weekend in Union Park at the Pitchfork Music Festival.

More Pitchfork Tickets

Didn't get your ticket to the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend? More will be released tomorrow starting at 11am at the box office in Union Park. Keep your eye out for our festival preview in Transmission, and say hi to us at our booth in the CHIRP Record Fair tent at the festival.

Music Wants to be Free

CLLCT is a community site built around sharing music. Naturally, there's a lot of Chicago-related stuff.

U2 Redo

U2 has released its rescheduled North American tour dates after canceling them earlier this year when Bono had emergency back surgery. They'll return to Soldier Field on July 5, 2011 and if you have tickets, they will be honored.

Metro Releases a Bootleg

The Metro is releasing its first-ever album of live recordings as a benefit for Rock For Kids. Metro: The Official Bootleg Series, Volume 1 will be released July 22.

Everyone's a Critic

Inspired by MIA's "I'm a Singer (Haters)," A.V. Club collected some anti-music journalist songs.

Rhymfest's Dubious Debut

Chicago's Rhymefest tells the A.V. Club about his first time on stage, a talent show at the Regal Theater, and why your grandma might not the best coach for a budding rap star.

DMB @ Wrigley

The Dave Matthews Band will be playing two shows at Wrigley Field Sept. 17 and 18. Tickets go on sale to the public July 17.

Looking at Lady Gaga

Chicago Art Magazine studies the pop star from a visual arts perspective.

Madina Lake Bassist Hospitalized

Madina Lake's bassist Matthew Leone is hospitalized in serious condition after intervening in a domestic dispute near his apartment and being severely beaten.

Dance and Chow for Gulf Relief Tonight

If you're tired of looking at this and want to help out the Gulf area, head to tonight's Junk Shot Benefit at West Loop Studios.

Analyzing the Lollapalooza Investigation

Jim DeRogatis has written one heck of a post analyzing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's investigation of Lollapalooza's "radius clauses."

Do You Like Colombian Music?

The first-ever Colombian Music Festival kicks off Thursday and runs the whole month of July.

Remembering Fred Anderson

We've got details in Transmission about the public wake for saxophonist and Velvet Lounge founder Fred Anderson, as well as a round-up of remembrances.

R.I.P., Fred Anderson

Jazz saxophonist Fred Anderson, owner of the Velvet Lounge and mentor to numerous jazz musicians, has passed away.

That Darn Clause

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office is looking into the "radius clauses" imposed by Lollapalooza upon its performers. These clauses prohibit bands from playing in Chicago for months before and after the musical festival takes place in August 2010.

Music After Work

You could do a lot worse on a Wednesday evening than stop by Millennium Park after work for Pink Martini at the Pritzker Pavilion. UPDATE: Most people probably did do a lot worse, what with the crazy storm and all.

Jody Watley Comes Home

Singer Jody Watley talks in Transmission about her experiences growing up in Chicago, her upcoming album and her show at the Harold Washington Cultural Center this Friday.

Do Not Mess with Neko Case

"I will seriously pummel your f*cking face."

Fewer Low Notes in Chicago

Lynn Becker and the Trib's William Lee eulogize Aaron Dodd, who most knew best as the Michigan Avenue tuba player.

The Bluegrass Connection

Chicago's a city built on the blues, for sure, but what do you know of our thriving bluegrass scene? Educate yourself in Transmission.

Bluesy State of Mind

In Transmission, we take a little time to consider the state of blues in Chicago. (Don't forget, the free Chicago Blues Festival starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday.)

Good Grades Get Good Music

Kanye West, Common and Lupe Fiasco performed last night for students at three Chicago Public Schools that improved their grades, behavior and attendance this year.

"Take Me to the Next Phase"

Marvin Isley, bassist of The Isley Brothers, died Sunday in a hospice near his Chicago home.

Vinyl Lives On

Logan Square got two new record stores this week: Saki, run by Carrot Top Records, and Bucket o' Blood, a "science fiction, fantasy, horror bookstore and vinyl store."

Has Anybody Seen 20 Drums Laying Around?

The Jesse White Tumbling Team showed up to their storage facility before an event to find their equipment missing.

Poster Artists Speak Type Their Minds

If you've ever wanted to know more about your favorite show posters, tune in Wednesday at 1pm at the Rock for Kids' website to pose questions to some awesome rock poster artists. The nonprofit's new online interview series launches this week with Jay Ryan of the Bird Machine and continues Friday and next week. More in Slowdown.

Trying to Break Your Heart

If you missed our 7th Anniversary Party at the Metro last Friday, Time Out Chicago has a nice photo gallery of what you missed. (As do we.)

Strange Intruments

Speaking of Scalewell, its first beneficiary, Unatronics, has released the product it used its grant to develop: Seeq-it.

How the Lyric Stays Afloat

With a 7 percent decline in ticket sales, the Lyric Opera had to use $2.7 million in reserve funds to meet last year's financial obligations -- but its endowment grew by 30 percent.

Party Tonight!

Oh, and in case you're reading GB in RSS and missed all the other reminders we've been dropping, tonight's our 7th Anniversary Party! Join us at the Metro for JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Blah Blah Blah, Hollows and Lasers+Fast+Shit! Doors open at 8pm!

The Mountain Goats vs. Cubs "Fans"


I Gaze, Nugaze

In Transmission this week, we explore the burgeoning Chicago nugaze music scene.


Feel like torturing your tongue? Scroll down and give the WFMT announcer audition script a whirl.

Get in a Kid Sister Video

Fools Gold Records is looking for extras for Kid Sister's latest video, which is shooting tomorrow, May 19. Email for more details.

Torche Got Torched

The stoner rock band Torche had a good chunk of their gear stolen after their Congress Theater show with Coheed and Cambria. Their label is helping them out with donations, but they've still had to cancel quite a few upcoming shows.

Dio in Chicago

Beachwood Reporter collects clips of the dearly departed metal god's local performances.

Recorded Live, Wherever

Time Out Chicago now hosts some great videos of local bands recorded in their practice spaces and elsewhere by Giant System.

Not as Much Lollapalooza?

Festival promoters are now saying that the Sun-Times got it wrong in their estimations of 60K more fans in Grant Park this summer for Lollapalooza. But they're still making me do a lot more math in my head and not giving straight numbers on new attendance estimates.

By my count, "10-15% more" = 7,500-11,250 additional ticketholders per day at the festival which could mean attendance rises from 75,000 to 86,250 (rather than the previously reported increase up to 95,000). That's a max total of 33,750 more ticket holders for the festival (about half what the Sun-Times estimated yesterday).

Daytrotter Days

In Transmission this week we take a daytrip out to Daytrotter studios in Rock Island, IL and explore this mecca of indie rock live sessions in words, pictures, and music.


You won't be alone this August at Lollapalooza, that's for sure. Promoters have said they're adding 60,000 tickets to this year's festival (for a total of 95,000), and expanding the stages over Columbus Drive.

Ratcheting Up

Chicago's young jazz community explores new venues and new sounds with the Ratchet series.

Holy Cow, We're 7!

Gapers Block just celebrated its seventh anniversary (see April 2003) and we're celebrating with a party at the Metro! Join us May 21 for JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Blah Blah Blah, Hollows and Lasers + Fast + Shit. Tickets are two-for-one for $7 in advance! More details in Transmission!

Thinking 'Bout Getting the Band Back Together

Hanson (yes, them) pay homage to The Blues Brothers in their latest video.


In Transmission this week we interview The Blind Staggers — hard at work at bringing "outlaw country music" to the beer halls and barrooms of Chicago.

DeRogatis Leaves the Sun-Times

Jim DeRogatis is quitting the Sun-Times to blog on and join the faculty at Columbia College.

Eyjafjallajokull Attacks Music!

The Icelandic volcano has forced a variety of acts to cancel their appearances at Coachella, including Chicago's very own Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, who was touring in Europe.


Are your fingers dusty from crate diving on Saturday? Ours are! Read about our Transmission staff's celebration of Record Store Day 2010.

Love Blooms at Lincoln Hall

Last night, Scott popped a very big question at the Cloud Cult show.

Record Store Day Approacheth

This Saturday, you might see a horde of bleary-eyed, band t-shirt wearing, anxious-looking folks hovering outside your neighborhood record shop. Don't worry, they just want to get their hands on awesome releases and special deals for Record Store Day.

Taste the Music

The musical lineup for Taste of Chicago has been announced. Highlights include Rob Thomas and Salt-n-Pepa.

Country Man in the Mirror

Robbie Fulks' long-awaited Michael Jackson tribute album is in the wild (and your favorite mp3 superstore). It's called Happy; it'll make you happy. Hear it on Lala.

On his site, Robbie notes that CDs of Happy should arrive soon, and give the artist about $5 more per copy. While you're in the Robbie-Fulks-insurgent-country-spirit, stop by The Hideout on Mondays for Robbie's yearlong residency.

Write It on a Postcard

Sound engineer Jeremy Lemos is on tour with Pavement, and is blogging about it for the Reader.

The Lonely Spotlight

In Transmission we explore Chicago's open mic scene and our writer puts himself in the hot seat.

Styx to Koko Taylor to Screaching Weasel

Chicago magazine's Jeff Ruby has opinions about the 40 best albums by Chicago artists. Correct him if where he's wrong.

Lakeshore Theater Closing

Not an April Fool's joke, sadly: The AV Club reports that the Lakeshore Theater will be closing its doors for good after the Jim Jeffries shows on April 9 and 10.

Learning the Biz

In Transmission we explore Columbia College Chicago's Arts, Entertainment, & Media Management Program or AEMMP and the students' own label.

I'd Like to Buy a Vowel

The day after more tickets went on sale, Lollapalooza has started filling in its lineup -- starting with the letter O.

On Your Mark, Get Set...

Advance tickets and VIP passes for Lollapalooza 2010 go on sale this morning at 10am. The AV Club has a list of rumored headliners, in case you need further info before shelling out your money.


In case you missed it, check out Alison Cuddy's expose on Radio M last Friday about local artists who are also musicians. Or is it musicians who are also artists? It's all art anyway, isn't it?

Blah Blah Blah Live

Tune in to today at 4pm to hear Chicago-based experimental Brit-pop-like band Blah Blah Blah perform and give an interview live in Vocalo's performance studio.

Week of White Mystery

This is a big week for White Mystery. They're playing multiple shows in Austin at SXSW (and blogging it for us in Transmission) then flying back for their debut record release on Saturday.

SXSW Sounds Like Chicago

If you don't know already, we're following the Austin adventures of White Mystery and The Hood Internet as they rock SXSW this week. Over in Transmission, the first updates from Alex White have just rolled in.

Go Behind the Scenes at the Lyric

The Lyric Opera only offers backstage tours a handful of times a year, and the last one until 2011 is happening Sunday. If you aren't able to make it, you can at least check out a few highlights on a WGN blog.

Detroit DJ City

Why should we in Chicago care what Detroit DJs are doing? Because they're a little bit awesome, and they're coming to our town, that's why. The full story in Transmission.

Music in the Streets

If you enjoyed our Transmission feature about musicians in the CTA tunnels, you should check out, a site celebrating buskers citywide.

Some Links Sound Good

Need something to stretch out the afternoon? Stop staring into the middle distance! Click on over to Transmission and check out our Friday Quick Links post — chock full of distractions.


The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival kicks off today. You can get a sonic taste from Eight Forty-Eight's preview of the event and the A.V. Club has a run down of the locally connected films.

Helping Bands Help Themselves

In Transmission, we explore how the Chicago Music Commission — an entity you may not have even known existed — is advising bands on how to spread their music, book better shows, and make it the music business.

Two Must-see Videos

1. Roger Ebert's new voice. (More.)
2. OK Go's incredible machine.

Musical Waveforms

Beep-it is an optical theramin built by hand by Michael Una, recipient of Scalewell's first $1,000 grant.

Calling all Gleeks

The cast from Fox's hit "Glee" is coming to Chicago to perform the television show's biggest hits.

March Means More Music

Rock for Kids sure it when March rolls around — it's Music in Our Schools Month and they're working hard to spread the love of music to underserved kids around Chicago.

Will-Call Only for Thom Yorke

Radiohead's Thom Yorke will play two solo concerts in Chicago in April, and his ticketing policy aims to thwart the scalpers who usually descend on such hot shows.

Straight Outta tha Desert

In Transmission, we profile Tinariwen, a fantastic group from West Africa specializing in "desert guitar" mixed with '60s psychedelia playing at the Old Town School this weekend.


It may still be winter, but BBQ is always a good idea. Get your grub on and help raise funds to aid the return of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir to the stage at Darkroom tomorrow night. Food by Man-B-Que. Live music and DJs galore. Details in Transmission.

Like Dating a Cartoon

Billy Corgan dishes to the Trib about rumors he's dating Jessica Simpson, pro wrestling and the in-progress Smashing Pumpkins album.

Chicago at SXSW 2010

If you're planning to attend SXSW in Austin next month, we've got you covered with this exhaustive list of Chicagoland acts playing the sprawling music festival.

Prove It Wasn't Doom

Following up: The promoters for the Mos Def / MF Doom show last weekend are basically saying prove it wasn't Doom and we'll refund your money.

Doom, Doom-Doom Doom...

The mystery: Did rapper MF Doom send an impostor to perform with Mos Def at the Congress Saturday night? Fake Shore Drive thinks so, and provides video so you can decide for yourself. [via]

Feel Free to Disagree...

Chicago music critic and "Sound Opinions" host Jim DeRogatis explains his picks for the worst rock movies. I stand by Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

The Legacy of Sam Cooke

In Transmission, we take a look back on the brief life of Sam Cooke and his contributions to not only Chicago's musical history, but that of the Civil Rights Movement as well.

Blue-capped Ants Marching

Dave Matthews Band conspicuously omitted Chicago from this year's tour plans -- but only because they were holding out to announce they plan to perform at Wrigley this summer.

Metal Haven Will Soon Spend its Seasons in the Abyss

Alas, the one and only Metal Haven will soon close its doors. The Reader promises more details on Tuesday.

Boom Boom Lawsuit

Chicago's Phoenix Phenom and her producer are suing the Black Eyed Peas, accusing them of lifting their song "Boom Dynamite" for their massive hit "Boom Boom Pow." Compare the songs in Transmission.

Avoiding LiveTicketMasterNation

Time Out Chicago has a list of concert venues using alternatives to TicketMaster and LiveNation, so you can avoid paying out the nose post-merger. Most venues also sell direct through their walk-up box offices. Meanwhile, Jam Productions fears for its survival up against the new behemoth company.

Chicago's Musical History in MP3

WFMU's Beware of the Blog shares a massive MP3 of music recorded in Chicago between 1908 and 1980, which was presented in Millennium Park last summer by historian Tim Samuelson and The Numero Group.

A Different Kind of Mashup

Greg Kot sat down with Jam Productions cofounder Jerry Mickelson to discuss the recent decision that allows the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Just One or Two Reasons?

Despite some rumblings to the contrary, I think we all know why the Dave Matthews Band hasn't scheduled a Chicago tour date.

The Return of Cap'n Jazz

Cap'n Jazz, a seminal Chicagoland punk/emo band from the early '90s, reunited Friday night at the Joan of Arc show. Here's a bootleg of the four-song set.

The Sounds from Underground

Everyone has a story. In Transmission this week, we offer a multimedia profile of three musicians you might have encountered while waiting for your train.

This Too Shall Pass

Chicago ex-pat OK Go's Damian explains why the band's awesome videos on YouTube can't be embedded. (Short answer: it's the label's fault.) On the other hand, there's always Vimeo.

Going Gaga

GB flickr pool contributor only-connect took some pretty excellent photographs of Lady Gaga during her recent sold out show at the Rosemont.

808s and Hot Chicken

Thanks to Malik Yusef, a South Side Harold's Chicken Shack location now contains an official platinum record.

He Was the Nazz

Nikola Tesla was a brilliant Serbo-American scientist and inventor whose alternating current equipment powered the electric lights of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. According to the thumbnail portrait in the Wall Street Journal, he also recorded the seminal albums The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Lodger.

Rock Out with Us at Metro 1/22

Gapers Block is hosting another show at the Metro next Friday, Jan. 22! We welcome Pet Lions, Post Honeymoon, White Mystery and Dirty Diamonds -- and it's free before 9pm, $6 after with our flier. More details in Transmission!

Tomorrow Never Knows

In Transmission, we previewed the upcoming slice of sunshine that is Schubas' annual winter jam: the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival. It gets started this coming Wednesday at both Schubas and Lincoln Hall.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Today is/would be Elvis' 75th birthday, and Chicagoist has a nice look back as well as video from his 1972 concert at Chicago Stadium. You might also be interested in this feature from the GB archives profiling Mark Hussman, one of the city's top Elvis impersonators.

Critical Classical

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's principle flute, Mathieu Dufour, has raised some eyebrows with his critique of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Sun-Times.

Another Stab at the Songs of the Decade

You can listen to streaming mix tapes of Jim DeRogatis's and Greg Kot's songs of the oughts on the Sound Opinion's website.

Warblings and CHIRPs

Want to beta test the new station coming from the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP)?

Send Our Hood Internet Home!

According to their latest Twitter posts, The Hood Internet (or possibly just DJ STV SLV) are caught up in a security lockdown at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Update: They're out!

Make Your Pitch

Pitchfork Media is looking for undergraduate editorial interns here in Chicago. Hopefully, this will involve more than just getting coffee. Music nuts have until this Friday to apply.

And the Award Goes To...

We gave out superlatives to our favorite Chicago music moments over in Transmission.

The Year in Pop

PopMatters shares its best-of lists for 2009.

Show Us Your Schubies!

Be a part of the First Annual Schubie Awards by casting a vote for your favorites in music, food and web content.

A Sharp Look at the Lounge Ax

In Transmission, we take another turn down memory lane to explore a venerable Chicago music venue of days gone by. This time, it's the Lounge Ax in Lincoln Park.

"Hello, CSO," Says Yo Yo

Yo Yo Ma has accepted a creative consultant post with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Bowing for Buddha

The Dalai Lama's favorite musician is cellist and Northwestern grad Michael Fitzgerald. Esther Cepeda interviews him about opening for His Holiness.

A Truly All-Ages Show

Chicago's own Justin Roberts leads kids with the ease of the Pied Piper, without the rage-inducing personality of Raffi. We sit and chat with him over in Transmission.

Life in the Closet?

R.Kelly is working on a memoir. It's as yet untitled, leaving satirists with a golden opportunity to shower him with suggestions.

Wesley Willis Rocks On

Wesley Willis's Joy Rides, a documentary about Chicago folk artist and rock star Wesley Willis, is now out on DVD -- and is streaming on Pitchfork.TV all this week.

Help Yourself to Sad Brad Smith

When you see Up in the Air (and you should), keep your ears open during the wedding scene for a song by Lincoln Square's Sad Brad Smith.

I Believe I Can Whip It?

Unfortunately they're sold out, but what's the story with these Hot Chip t-shirts featuring R.Kelly in a DEVO hat? [via]

Homolatte Showcases LGBTI Talent

This week's Transmission feature is served up a bit early, to give you a chance to see tonight's Homolatte performance at Big Chicks in Uptown.

Get to Know Joe

That's good advice for any aspiring band -- the Joe in question being Joe Shanahan, owner of the Metro and "father of alternative rock in Chicago."

Want to be the DJ at O'Hare?

As we posted in Transmission last week, the Chicago Music Commission is asking for new local music to play at O'Hare and Midway. What's more, you can browse O'Hare's entire track list by terminal, time and date on their website. For example, here's what was playing in Terminal 1 on April 29, 2009.

Internship Aftermath

In Transmission, we have Part II of our Chicago Music Interns feature where we follow up with some former interns to see where they landed after fetching coffee for summers on end. If you're stuck at an empty office today, this might bring you some solace.

Logan Square Gets a Record Store

Logan Square denizens may be excited to know that they have a new neighborhood record store as of today. It's run by the folks behind Chicago Independent Distribution.

"Rigoletto" on the Red Line?

If you're standing there waiting for a subway train and someone busts out with "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca, this might be what's going on.

There's Just so Many Buttons... So... So Many Buttons!

"Bunky's Pickle" has a nifty photo of three Chicago recording studios from a 1976 issue of the Billboard Recording Guide, all staffed, unsurprisingly, by total dudes.

Mo Money

In Transmission, we profile Chicago rock cellist Helen Money and her latest album In Tune.

Sonotheque Sold

If you were wondering why Chicago's Sonotheque club has no show dates after 11/15, well here's your answer -- the venue's been sold, according to Time Out. Will it become another of the new owner's Beauty Bar outposts? Only time will tell.

Save Chicago's Free Concerts

With the City slashing programming in an effort to balance the budget, Pitchfork has preemptively created a petition to save our free music festivals from the chopping block. Add your name here

The Glue (Guns) of the Music Industry

In Transmission, we have a chat with a few local music industry interns who give us the low down (and sometimes dirty) truth about their jobs with some of our favorite Chicago labels.

Last Stop, Illinois

Sufjan Stevens' Illinois may have reached the top spot on Paste Magazine's list of the decade's best albums, but it also marked the end of his planned 50-state project, which he now says he may have taken "too seriously." Incidentally, Chicago's own Wilco snagged second place on the official list and #1 among readers with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Wilco's Loft Space

Ever wonder what Wilco's practice loft looks like? LoftLife Magazine gives you a peek. [via]

"You Will Like Des Plaines"

Revitalize Des Plaines! will be of great assistance if you're interested in our northwestern neighbor's politics, history and, in one case, amazing sheet music.

Billy Corgan's Gothageddon

If you haven't seen it yet, you should really check out Billy Corgan's latest project: Gothageddon, a puppet show.

Rock Proper

In Transmission, we profile Chicago netlabel Rock Proper, and how they're working hard to bring you great artists -- via download only.

Lounge Ax Mementos Wanted

The Chicago History Museum wants your souvenirs and memories of the late lamented Lounge Ax. Interesting timing, with Lincoln Hall officially opening its doors this week just down the street.

An Interview with Cheer-Accident

This week's Transmission feature is an interview with Alex Perkolup, bassist in the critically acclaimed progressive rock band Cheer-Accident. The band performs at Reggie's Friday night.

Auctioning a Part of Elvis

If you'd rather rock'n'roll than swing, why not wear a clump of Elvis's hair while you're at it?

Where to Swing

Looking for some swing music? WindyHop is your resource for classes and concerts, while This Week in Chicago gives you the latest on swing nights around town. (Thanks, Dubi!)

The Smartest Kid on Earth Meets Fall-Out Boy

Chris Ware and Pete Wentz wander about an industrial area and sit on a pipe, chatting about their work. Boy, the director sure likes cross-cuts.

And Daniel Burnham Looked Upon the Ruins and Said, "Let's Rock!"

It's the 138th anniversary of the Chicago Fire, and MTV pays sentimental tribute with... Dragonforce? Indeed, the city did arise from the ashes like a huge, shredding, windmill-headbanging phoenix.

Light and Blues

The New York Times ran a piece about photographer Michael Abramson's photos of South Side blues clubs and their patrons back in the 70s. The photos will appear in a book/LP set, titled Light: On the South Side, published by the inestimable Numero Group label.

Ready to Riot

Riot Fest hits Chicago for the fifth year next week. We've got a preview for you in Transmission.

Sound Off Yourself

Voting is now open on the Chicago Public Library's "People's Choice Award" in its Sound Off Chicago music contest. See videos for all the entries here -- you have until midnight Saturday to choose your favorite.

Scotland Yard Gospel Choir Accident

The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir's van blew a tire and rolled several times in Indiana yesterday as the band was on its way to Cincinnati for a show. Details in Transmission, including a way to help the band recover.

Remembering Medusa's

Another in our series of remembrances of past Chicago music venues, we take a look at former Lakeview club Medusa's over in Transmission.

Five Faves from Famous Folk

Five Tunes is a local blog that asks musicians to share five songs they're currently digging.

This is Taqwacore

The Sun-Times profiles the local Muslim punk scene.

A Little SPACE in Evanston

In Transmission we profile a music venue just over the city line: SPACE.

Kanye's Rant at VMAs a Stunt?

In case Twitter didn't tell you already, hometown boy Kanye West made headlines again at the VMAs last night -- this time for stealing the limelight from Taylor Swift as she accepted the "Best Female Video" award. Of course, conspiracy theories abound in the harsh light of day and apologies from the West camp came and went.

A Drifter in Your Town

There's a certain poetic irony to the thought of multiple bands called the Drifters performing all over the country, questionable strangers blowing through town for a gig and then disappearing into the night.

Bloodshot's Birthday

We give you the lowdown on every band playing Bloodshot Records' 15th Anniversary Beer-B-Q Saturday at the Hideout over in Transmission. Plus, a sweet Imeem music player featuring all the bands!

Michael Jackson, the Earliest Years

Jake Austen details the discovery of the earliest known recording of Michael Jackson and his brothers in today's Reader.

Be There at 8, Don't Be Late

Just a note: the doors open at 8pm for the Gapers Block Party at the Metro tonight -- which means you have an hour and a half to get in for free! But don't wait till the last minute to get in gratis, or you'll miss Panda Riot, who go on at 9pm.

Sweet Home Chicago

Chicago Public Library's "Sound Off" contest taps local musicians to express how their city inspires them. Details in Transmission.

Jazzing It Up

Ready for the Jazz Festival this weekend? The Reader has your guide to the fest.

Bwowwwww! Bwowwwwwwwww!

The Chicago Tribune, that great purveyor of folk wisdom, shows you how to build an electric guitar just like Jack White (in a dandy little hat) does in It Might Get Loud. Properly, you'll be building an electric diddley bow, which is much more fun to say. (via)

R.I.P. Philip Blum

Philip Blum, a cellist and, after 54 years, the longest-serving member of the CSO, passed away yesterday at the age of 77.

Jazz Lives!

Speaking of Jazz, Howard Reich spent some time discussing why the National Endowment for the Arts' Arts Participation 2008 [pdf] survey document doesn't reflect the Chicago experience.

Now Is the Time

...To prepare for Jazz Fest next week. And the Now Is concert calendar is your best resource for all the unofficial shows happening around the festival.

That's Like 100 in Club Years

Venerable new wave/goth night club Neo turns 30 next week.

Serenade Your City

The Chicago Public Library is hosting the ChiPubLib Sound Off Music Contest, where the city's musicians are challenged to compose an original, Chi-town-inspired song and upload video of their performance of it to the Not What You Think Vimeo group. A celebration of the winning songs will be held at Pritzker Park in October.

Chicago Rocks

The Society of American Travel Writers has named Chicago #5 on their list of "Top 10 Cities for Live Music." The voting writers noted that Chicago kills for live blues, and that music is "all here, all the time." Nicely put.

A Decade that Rocked

In Transmission, we have a guest feature from Chicago writer and radio personality James VanOsdol on his project to put pen to paper on the city's music scene in the 1990s.

Party with Gapers Block!

We've been teasing it on Twitter for a couple weeks, and we've finally announced it: the 6th annual Gapers Block Party! Next Friday, Sept. 4, we'll be at the Metro with Nikki Lynette, The Hood Internet, Blane Fonda and Panda Riot -- plus other fun stuff! Free before 9:30pm, $6 after -- kick off your Labor Day Weekend right!

Obit: Radley (1990-2009)

Radley, the resident cat at the Empty Bottle, passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 19. Donations can be made in Radley's name to the American Liver Foundation.

Rob Ryan Adams

We were remiss in not pointing out Conor McCarthy's chuckle-worthy "Seven Crimes to Consider Before Music Piracy" in Mechanics on Monday.

Best Dancer Ever

WGN-TV Feature Reporter Marcus Leshock caught this guy getting really into a DJ set at Lollapalooza last weekend. (Thanks, Brett!)

Shopping, Classes Weekend at OTS

This weekend is the annual store sale at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Two days of sales on everything in their extensive music store! Details in Slowdown. Also, the next session at the school starts up August 31. If you sign up for a class at the school before Monday, you'll save $15 on tuition! So you can buy an instrument this weekend, and then sign up for a class to learn how to play it.

Rock On, Chicago!

Are you fascinated by the music scene in Chicago during the 90's? Would you like to read a book written by James VanOsdol, former host of Q101's The Local Music Showcase? Well, thanks to you can make that book a reality by pledging money to fund this DIY venture. He's $12,000 from his goal so help him write on, Chicago!

Show Photos

If you're headed to Lollapalooza (or any other Chicago music event), don't forget you can submit photos to our Transmission Flickr Pool. We might use them on the site!

The Final Preview

In Transmission, we round out our pre-festival thoughts on what's the best way to spend your three days at Lollapalooza this year.

More to (Lolla) Love

In case you hadn't noticed, our Slowdown section is bursting at the seams with music-related events this weekend. That's because of all the Lolla-sanctioned after-parties starring artists who'll be double dipping in Chicago. If you're not headed to Grant Park, you can hit a venue near home.

Still Clashin'

We're going full steam ahead with our Lollapalooza previews in Transmission — hitting you with picks for Sunday afternoon stage clash winners.

A New Song for Lincoln Park

The Schuba brothers are nearly ready to open a new mid-sized music venue named Lincoln Hall near the old Biograph Theater.

No No Sleep Till Brooklyn

We continue on in Transmission with our previews of the best sets at Lollapalooza with a look at Saturday night's performances (i.e. the night that was supposed to end with three MCs and one DJ).

Albini, Natarus, Bon Iver, Oh My

We're not the only ones trying to help you determine who to see at Lollapalooza: WBEZ has your back, too, with advice from an unexpected crew.

More Stage Clashin'

In Transmission we continue on today with our previews of sets to hit and sets to miss at this weekend's Lollapalooza festival in Grant Park.

Stage Clash!

In Transmission, we're bringing you a week of previews on the best of what to expect at Lollapalooza this weekend, so keep an eagle eye on the page this week as we bring a new round of band vs. band set battles to you daily. You can check out Round 1 now.

Pining for the Fireside Bowl

Hey, Chicago music/bowling fans! Just a few hours left to order a special shirt titled "Bring Back the Fireside" at RIPT Apparel. [via]

Rock Out

Windy City Rock points us to a nifty deal at where 1,000 songs are now available for free download, including tunes from several Chicago bands.

A. Bird Tix

If you missed out on the lightning-fast sale of tickets to Andrew Bird's benefit show at Schubas in August, no fear -- you can bid on tickets (also benefiting Rock for Kids) on eBay right now (till Friday).

Lolla by Touch

Headed to Lollapalooza? There's an iPhone app for that.

This is My Party Shirt

Local label Grape Juice Records needs your help in selecting the perfect shirt for a special occasion. The winning design will make its debut at Grape Juice's 5th Anniversary celebration in September, so get voting! [via]

White's Weather System

In Transmission, we profile Jack White's new project The Dead Weather in preparation for the band's Chicago debut next week at the Vic.

Still at Pitchfork in Our Minds

It may seem slow here on GB today, but there's an ongoing storm of posts in Transmission, wrapping up coverage of this weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival -- as well as elsewhere on the site. Click around and just try to keep up!

RIP Thax, Alive and Well

Thax Douglas, Chicago poet and indie music icon, has died, according to his Facebook page. Correction Thax just posted this morning that's he's not, in fact, dead. More in Transmsision.

Weekend Forecast: Pitchfork

In Transmission, we let you know which sets not to be caught standing in line for the Porta-Johns during this weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival. And, hey, if you're out at the fest, make sure to come by the Gapers Block table in the CHIRP Record Fair tent and say Howdy.

The One that Talks Like Doolittle

The Pixies will be touring through Chicago this autumn playing Doolittle in its entirety, plus some B-sides, in honor of the classic album's 20th anniversary. [via]

Rock the Written Word

Face it, there's only so much time you should spend this summer watching roadies switch out cables. Next time you're heading out to a show, take along one of these fine books about music recommended by Transmission staff.

Old Time in the Hot Town Tonight

Old Time Chicago is a new site hoping to become a valuable resource for fans of old time music in the Chicago area. Site owner Paul Lucas has put out the call for submissions: events, music reviews, links, musician contact info, whatever. More info at the Old Town School's Website.


Speaking of destroying music, the Trib gives the Chicago backstory to the concert yell.

Wilco (The Media Coverage)

Wilco gets a write-up and Jeff Tweedy answers the tough questions in today's NYT.

Croon "Heavy Metal Drummer"

Live out your Jeff Tweedy fantasies at the Hideout tonight, where the Wilco album release party will feature live-band Wilco karaoke. (Sorry, not with the band themselves -- it'll be folks from the Old Town School.) For a more direct Tweedy fix, you have another option.

33 and a Third Bad

Our own Jim Allenspach created a series of fake covers for the popular 33 1/3 book series, exploring some of the worst possible album/author combinations. His set hass started making the rounds on blogs and spawned at least one imitator -- and now has inspired the publisher to run a contest for humorous covers.

Favorite Actor: Dennehy, Favorite Drink: O'Doul's

Local hip hop crew Serengeti put out this video for their song "Dennehy" a couple years ago, but it's definitely worth revisiting on a hot day like this.

Ice on Ice

This Thursday, the Neo-Futurists are doing a dramatic reading of Cool as Ice this weekend as part of their annual Film Fest series -- and it just so happens that Vanilla Ice is headlining Cans Outdoor Music Fest this weekend -- so Decider got Vanilla and Neo-Futurist Dina Connolly together for an interview.

Listen All Y'all

The Beastie Boys are playing a not-so-secret show at the Congress Theater on Aug. 6, ahead of their Lolla appearance -- and tickets are on sale now!

Next Stop: Lollapalooza

FoGB, designer, (and frequent festival photographer) George Aye snapped a pic of his special Lollapalooza edition CTA transit cards which are showing up in station vending machines now. He snagged his at Logan Square.

The Chicago Music Scene: 1990-1999

Chicago Rocked! 1990-1999 is the working title of an - as yet unpublished - book by former Q101 radio show host, James VanOsdol. The book chronicles the Chicago music scene in the 90's, as experienced by those who were at the core of it; and VanOsdol himself. He plans to independently publish the book and is currently seeking donations.

Reflections of a Pop DJ Duo

In Transmission, we feature an interview with the local DJ team that are TTTTotally Dudes as they mull over how a quarter-life crisis can fuel a great set of tunes.

Cool or Creepy?

Wondering what Twitter says about your personality? TweetPsych is here to tell you, and can give you a laugh when you put in various Chicago personalities. Oh, and in case you're wondering: @gapersblock is evidently obsessed with upward movement.

Visualizing Illinoise

Graphic designer Jax de Leon created a graphic representation of Come on, Feel the Illinoise! by Sufjan Stevens as her final student project. Some really cool stuff in there. [via]

Aural Assault (of the good variety)

This week in Transmission we give a listen to Chicago-founded group ICE (the International Contemporary Ensemble) and their gift of beautiful and complex music to the ears of the Windy City.

Tune Up Your Non-Axe

Saturday night the Metro will be filled with the sounds of squealing guitars -- but none will be present. That's right, it's time for the US Air Guitar Championships. The Sun-Times interviewed last year's Chicago champ, Nordic Thunder, who's judging this year instead of competing due to an air guitar-related back injury.

Rock Me Like a Metronome

Over in Transmission this week, we preview this weekend's Metronome Celebration in Logan Square — a brand-new music festival that's also going green.

The Hidden Glory of the 'Burbs

If you were an aging rocker, where would you retire? The Chicago suburbs, of course. With Richard Marx, members of Styx, Survivor and other bands, perhaps a 1980s super group is possible.

One Last Spin: Off the Alley

The first in an occasional series revisiting Chicago music clubs of yore, over in Transmission, we talk to those who made the south suburban Homewood venue Off the Alley a second home.

Jay Bennett Dead

In Transmission, we're reporting on a developing story that former Wilco band member Jay Bennett is dead at age 45.

A Magic (Gallery of) Carpet Ride

In Transmission, we chat with Brian Zieske about Gallery of Carpet, the Chicago recording studio that lays down the tracks for up-and-coming artists like The Acadamy Is... and Snowsera.

Run for the Buck

If you're into philanthropy, running, and winning Lollapalooza tickets I've got just the activity for you. On May 30, participate in the Buckingham Foundation 5K Fun Run and help raise money to restore Buckingham Fountain. All racers have a chance to win two 3-day passes to Lollapalooza.

The Power of Low Power

In Transmission this week we talk with Jennifer Lizak of CHIRP about the Chicago Independent Radio Project's recent trip to D.C. to lobby for low power FM stations.

Wilco (The Leak)

Wilco's upcoming new album (to be known as "Wilco (The Album)" when it's officially released June 30) leaked yesterday. Shouldn't be too hard to find if you know where to look. UPDATE: Wilco has responded to the leak by streaming the album on their website. [via]

Multiple Transmissions

Busy day already over in Transmission, our music section: a review of Biggest Mouth: Campus Clash (a college music competition, if you missed it earlier), Rhymefest's new video for "Chicago" and a chance to win tickets to DJ C and Mashit's "Bouncement" show this Friday!

So Cheap They're Free

Over in Transmission, we're still giving away tickets to Wednesday night's show at the Double Door: Dex Romweber, The Detroit Cobras, and Blackbelts. Poof! And now they're gone.

I Am Trying to Sue Your Ass

Former Wilco bandmember Jay Bennett is suing frontman Jeff Tweedy for upwards of $50k in unpaid royalties and other proceeds earned during his seven years with Wilco. The lawsuit may be due to some pressing financial needs on Bennett's part, as he needs a hip replacement.

Laughing it up with Ha Ha Tonka

We sit down and chat with Ha Ha Tonka about the band and their debut album from Bloodshot Records in Transmission.

The Next Great Cover Choir

Yesterday singer-songwriter Ben Folds released an album called "Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella," which might be exactly what you think it is: a cappella versions of his songs performed by various university a cappella groups from around the country. University of Chicago's own Voices in Your Head got one of the tracks; they cover "Magic."

"You Gotta Add the D"

Local comedian Joe Hanson produces a weekly rap under his alter ego "Bino White" -- this week's is about the CTA.

The Latest Version

Version, a festival of arts, music and education, kicks off tonight and runs through May 2. This year's theme is "Immodest Proposals."

Population Counts

In Transmission this week we interviewed Damon Locks about his new music and arts site: The Population.

That's a Lot of Vinyl

Check out what our Transmission staff found at Chicago's record stores in celebration of Record Store Day 2009.

Add Some Local Culture to Your Outdoor Time

It's a beautiful weekend, Chicago. Based on the smiles I've seen on people's faces so far, there is a lot to fall in love with in the city. Including the CHIRP Record Fair which is happening at Plumber's Hall on Saturday and Sunday. (Gapers Block will be there on Sunday so come say howdy.) And if you're more likely to be entertained by antiques, artifacts, and cool designer crafts, then the Spring Show at Architectural Artifacts is where you'll want to be. Speaking of crafts, Chicago's premier of Handmade Nation is taking place tonight at Columbia College.

Record Store Day Approaches

In Transmission, we preview some of the cool things you're likely to find at your neighborhood brick-and-mortar record store this Saturday for the Second Annual Record Store Day.

Broken Bird?

Hearty whistler Andrew Bird accidentally broke his violin in two last night at his first of two performances at the Civic Opera House. Here's hoping he's got a spare at home!

Transmission Contest-a-rino

What are you doing Saturday night? We've got a groovy ticket contest going on in Transmission right now! Update: We have our winners!

An April Residency

In Transmission, we have an interview with singer/songwriter Ann Scott who brings a taste of Dublin's indie rock scene to Chicago just in time for springtime.

Cornell West Interviews Lupe Fiasco

Professor Cornell West interviewed rapper Lupe Fiasco at Calvin College April 3, and a Lupe fanblog posted it online. [via]

Grey Days Mended by Rainbow Body Records

In Transmission this week, we sit down with Chris Sloan who heads local label Rainbow Records and talk rock, pop, and the subtle rewards of a labor of love.

Early Bird Gets the Pass

Don't forget, three-day "Early Bird" passes for Lollapalooza go on sale today at 10 AM. Keep an eye on for details.

Flaming Lip Service?

He calls himself a "veteran Flaming Lips fan", but Sun-Times rock critic Jim DeRogatis says the band is just going through the motions when it comes to their recent output and their decision to forgo the fans-choice aspect of their upcoming show at the Pitchfork Festival.

Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins are down to just Billy Corgan and a bunch of hired hands after the departure of Jimmy Chamberlin Friday. [via]

Bloodshot's 15th

WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight program featured Bloodshot Records owners Nan and Rob this morning as they prepare to celebrate the label's quinceanera in Austin at SXSW.

A Lost Weekend With The Hood Internet

We'll be live blogging, er, tweeting in Transmission with The Hood Internet starting tonight and throughout the weekend while they perform all around SXSW.

A Four Pack from Thrill Jockey

In Transmission this week we take a long listen to four upcoming new releases from the venerable Chicago label Thrill Jockey. Read what we think about the latest from Lithops, Mountains, Extra Golden and Arbouretum.

In the Name of Record Sales

U2 in Chicago: they weren't there to rock, but to talk. Kot and DeRo weren't impressed.

U2's Day in Chicago

U2 will be all over the city tomorrow -- particularly on WXRT, who will feature a day of U2 programming leading up to members of the band guest DJing the station from 8 to 9pm from an "undisclosed location."

Big Day for Music Fans

In addition to the Pitchfork and Lollapalooza news, U2 has announced that they will be kicking off their North American tour at Soldier Field in September.

Pitchfork Bands Announced

The Pitchfork Music Festival announced the first batch of confirmed acts performing July 17-19 in Union Park; check out the list in Transmission. Tickets go on sale next Friday.

Plus Tapes

Over in Transmission this week, we take a peek at underground label Plus Tapes and all the excitement over that great tape hiss sound we've been missing for too long.

AV-aerie Closed

Time Out Chicago is reporting that AV-aerie, the performance space used for music events and the occasional crafting event (like DEPART-ment), was closed following a visit by city officials. If you were planning to attend a show at the space, it's been moved elsewhere, so you might want to check on that.

A Beethoven World Premier?

Yep, right here in Chicago Sunday night.

Music and Film Geeks Unite!

This week in Transmission, we give you the low down on an upcoming festival that's been missing from Chicago calendars all this time. It's the inaugural Chicago International Music and Film Festival which comes to town March 4-9.

Shoveling Product

WBEZ web producer Andrew Gill interviews Flameshovel Records' James Kenler about life for an indie label after the end of Touch & Go's distribution arm.

Boogie Down with The Uptown Sound

This week in Transmission, we have a little chat with JC Brooks, Kevin Marks and Ben Taylor of JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound about their upcoming album release, soul and how their music is a cross between Otis Redding and Fugazi.

Touch and Go Succumbs to Economy's Squeeze

In Transmission, we have the latest on the announcement by long-standing Chicago label Touch and Go that the company will be scaling back operations.

Still Listening to Chris Brown?

The Trib's Mark Caro raises questions for Chicago radio stations, particularly Clear Channel's KISS FM, regarding whether or not they should play Chris Brown songs following the singer's domestic violence arrest.

Shot Through the Heart with The Godfathers

Our Transmission feature this week is a trans-Atlantic interview with Peter Coyne, lead singer of The Godfathers. They'll be making a rare appearance at the Metro this weekend to celebrate everyone's favorite gangster-laden holiday.

Back On Track

The Chicago Defender reports on one of Chicago's original dance shows, Soul Train, getting a long-overdue salute from one of the city's newest dance shows, Chic-A-Go-Go.

Hips And Salsa

With the weather expected to take a dip this weekend, what better way to heat up than with salsa. No, not this kind, this kind. The International Salsa Congress is expected to draw the top dancers in the city and beyond. And they'll have lessons as well, so it might be a useful Valentine's Day destination.

Ramirez to Joel to John

Elton John and Billy Joel will be playing Wrigley Field this summer, with ticket prices ranging from $55 to $175. Maybe they'll make a stop at Piano Man, too.

Maroon Four

University of Chicago ensemble-in-residence Pacifica Quartet picked up the Grammy for "Best Chamber Performance of 2008." They are the second U of C group to win this award, the first being last year's winners, eighth blackbird.

Industrial Music is Coming

The Reader's music blog informs us that tickets for the Chicago stop on Throbbing Gristle's US tour are now on sale through Ticketweb. Interested fans should obviously buy tickets now, because tickets to see the long-running industrial band will definitely go fast.

Musician John Glick and Friends Remembered

In 2005, a suicidal driver smashed her Mustang into an idling car full of three Chicago indie rock musicians -- killing them all. In memory of those musicians (John Glick, Doug Meis and Michael Dahlquist), several Chicago bands are performing at this year's John Glick Benefit Show to raise money for independent art and music in the city.

Talkin' to Tito

Tito Jackson will be in the Vocalo studios at noon tomorrow (Friday) -- talking about the Jackson Five and answering listener questions. Call 888-635-1112 or hit the website with questions.

Patti Smith Hearts Chicago

Patti Smith shares some memories of her childhood in Logan Square and Humbolt Park.


Jake Austen, local author and zinester (of Roctober fame), is contributing to the fantastic Dinosaur Gardens group blog. He's just posted MP3s of a promo cassette that was given away with the latest issue of Roctober; download 'em from the site and start truckin'!

Kings of Good Deeds

In Transmission, we talk about the benefit show Kings of Leon is putting on tonight Saturday night at the House of Blues, and also interview their opening band The Jakes.

Tune in for Big Shoulders

Starting around 6pm, over in Transmission, we'll have live updates from the Hideout's Big Shoulders Ball in D.C.'s Black Cat club tonight. Check back with us after the sun goes down and bask in the glow of some of Chicago's favorite musical talent.

OFFICE Controversy

Over in Transmission, we got some time to interview Scott Masson of OFFICE and talked with him about the recent free release of their latest album, Mecca, and whether or not this is the end of the once skyrocketing Chicago band.

Your Hair's a Jello Mold

"Blagojevich," a rap by the Chi-Town Kids. [via]

Naked New Year

Over in Transmission, we get personal with Naked Raygun as they gear up for a couple of shows at the House of Blues this weekend.

Chicago Public School's Greatest Hits has put together an iTunes playlist of songs by artists who attended Chicago Public Schools, from Benny Goodman and Nat "King" Cole to Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco.

Transmission Takes a Look Back

We peer back over our shoulders at 2008's best music over in Transmission. Take a look and let us know what you loved best about the year in Chicago music (and beyond).

So This is Christmas

Sound Opinions has a holiday mixtape for you from "DJ lofi" Andy Cirzan. Tune in Friday night to hear them discuss it.

NYE for Free

Not sure what you're doing New Year's Eve? We've got a contest in Transmission that might make up your mind: the Dandy Warhols at Metro!

Delmark's Half Century (+ 5)

We take a minute to review recent releases from Chicago's Delmark Records over in Transmission. What better way to celebrate 55 years of blues and jazz recordings than with a couple of sweet CD/DVD combos!

In The Key of R

R. Kelly's new Obama-inspired track, "I Believe", is available as a free download from iTunes today. Says the Pied Piper of Love: "Hopefully it touches anyone trying to accomplish something special in their life. Anything is possible if you believe." [via]

End of Year Rocking

Thinking about what to do for New Year's Eve? We've hand picked a few standout concerts in Transmission.

Showcasing CPS' Musical Progeny

CPS alum Brad Harbaugh has assembled a list of 52 songs performed by the district's former students.

The Future Sound of...

What is the future of the music? Record stores and labels are folding, bands are connecting directly with fans... what will the industry look like in the coming years? Join Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, music critics and hosts of "Sound Opinions," tonight at Columbia College's Conaway Center for a discussion of that topic and more, from 6pm to 7:30pm. It's free, but space is limited so get there early.

Dive on In

We've got a roundup of our favorite rock dive bars over in Transmission as a part of our latest set of Chicago venue reviews.

Image Is Everthing

Image Chicago magazine, a "lifestyle" publication with a heavy emphasis on clubbing and fashion, celebrates its third anniversary. You can flip through the latest issue, a dual "hers and his" type of thing, here.

Better Than Your High School's Battle of the Bands

Chicago based "Rock Thrash Garage Glam" band The Last Vegas won the Make Rock History prize and will open for Mötley Crüe during their next tour, among other goodies.

And You Thought CBGB was a New York Thing

In Transmission, we're previewing the inaugural CBGB (Chicago Blue(G)rass and Blues) Festival, happening this coming Saturday at the Congress Theater. We're also giving away tickets. Happy Monday!

"Messiah" Tickets Available Monday

7,000 tickets for the Bank of America "Do-It-Yourself Messiah" will be available this Monday, November 17. Pick them up at the Civic Opera House box office, call Ticketmaster, or order them online. They are free, but they're just about as tough to get as those Inauguration tickets.

Chicago Rapper Arrested for Bank Robbery

Bump J was arrested downstate on an outstanding warrant when stopped for a traffic violation. Here's a song of his that was produced by Kanye; you may recognize it from a McDonald's commercial. Oops.

Staples Sings, We Listen

Over in Transmission, we check out the latest from legendary recording artist Mavis Staples, recorded right here in her hometown, at the Hideout.

Strike Up The Band

Tribune critics list the Chicago-connected bands/performers they'd like to see at the Barack Obama inauguration balls, ranging from the Staple Singers to Obama favorite, Wilco.

Lollapalooza is Here to Stay

Organizers of the Lollapalooza music festival have signed on with the city to keep the event in Grant Park through 2018, with exceptions in case the city hosts the 2016 Olympics.

Tickets, We've Got Tickets!

Want to see a concert tonight? How about a movie on the 19th? Learn how to get free tickets to either one after the jump.

Arte y Vida has teamed up with us to offer 20 free tickets to see Marcin Wasilewski Trio at The Morse Theatre tonight at 6pm. RSVP to

HollywoodChicago has 80 passes for a Nov. 19 screening of Four Christmases, starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon.

Hanson: Why So Serious?

Today in Transmission, we check in with pop rockers Hanson as they swung through Chicago's House of Blues earlier this week. Turns out they're not just about "MMMBop" anymore, but are as philanthropic as the next celebrity family.

Gaming Live

On Nov. 15, the Chicago Theater will host Video Games Live, multimedia concert featuring music from popular videogames -- and they've offered Gapers Block readers a discount on tickets! Just use the code CTVGL7 for 20 percent off when you place your order.

Transmission Freebie

We've got free stuff in Transmission, if you're fast enough.

On the Road (Again)

Transmission takes a minute out of the busy schedule of man of many talents, Ian Anderson. The PR guy, indie label owner, Minneapolis rock blogger and band member brings his group One for the Team to Chicago this weekend.

(S)Mashed with The Hood Internet

First, check out our interview with Chicago's favorite music mashup duo, The Hood Internet over in Transmission, download their latest mixtape for free, then head out to their show "Bootie Chicago" at Sonotheque tonight.

Colorful Music

Flash artist and past GB staffer Felix Jung has created Colourful Echo, which creates a color-paletted visualizer for songs you upload. Here's an example.

Underground Delight

The Sugarhill Gang will be performing "Rapper's Delight" and presumably other songs at The Underground tonight; email to get on the VIP list before 11:30pm.

Jocko Obamo

Grab your energy domes, spuds! DEVO is rocking out for Obama and the Summit County Democratic Party! Check out that awesome logo. DUTY NOW FOR THE FUTURE!

May a Lightning Bolt Caress You

In Transmission, we talk with Aleksandra Tomaszewska of Aleks and the Drummer about the duo's new EP and giving new life to Polish electronica.

Round Robin

Today in Transmission we give you the low down on Dan Deacon's latest project: The Round Robin Tour which pulls its veggie bus into Chicago Friday night.

Fossett's Plane, Belogings Found

After a hiker discovered money and identification of missing Chicago-based adventurer Steve Fossett while hiking in the mountains of eastern California this week, the wreckage of his plane has been found as well.

Sooouulll Traiiinn!

Roctober's Jake Austen tells the story of "Soul Train" and its roots in Chicago in this week's Reader.

Chicago's Top 50 Chart

Time Out Chicago compiles the top 50 albums in Chicago's history. And yes, Chicago (the band) is represented.

Interview with Calexico

Over in Transmission we sit down with Calexico's Joey Burns and talk about world music, and the band's free concert tonight at Millennium Park.

A 'Smashing' Idea

The Tribune's Greg Kot reports that the Smashing Pumpkins will perform their first concert in the city proper since 2000 with a four-night series of shows at the Chicago Theater and the Auditorium Theater.

Hideout Roundup

Missed out on the Hideout Block Party over the weekend? No worries! Get the scoop on what happened here...and here...and see some gore-iffic zombie pics here.

Don't Stop Believin'

Eddie Vedder, lifelong Cubs fan, sings "Someday We'll Go All the Way." Download it here. (Thanks, Chris!)

Hideout Block Party Rundown

Planning on hitting up the 12th Annual Hideout Block Party this weekend? Still on the fence? Over in Transmission, we've got our picks for a good time this weekend as you rock out and send off summer with a bang.

R. Kelly Has a Few Teenaged Friends

...but none of them are "illegal." (Whew.)

R. Kelly Speaks

BET airs "R. Kelly Speaks," his first televised interview since the ending of his trial for, well, you know. Tuesday, September 16 at 10pm ET/9pm CT. [via]

Learn More about Jazz at the Institute

If you want to learn a bit more about jazz before the festival this weekend, you could check out the Jazz Institute of Chicago website. In addition to a fairly awesome list of links about jazz, they also have podcasts so you can go at your own pace.

When You Get to the Bottom...

The Bottom Lounge is back, and the subject of a feature review in Transmission.

I Believe I Can Fly... Away with Your Money

R. Kelly may have beaten child pornography charges earlier this year, but new legal trouble have surfaced for the "Pied Piper of R&B." South African authorities wants to question him in connection to a concert ticket scam. "Mr. Kelly has no knowledge of this woman, has never received any money from her, and has not been contacted by any law enforcement authorities regarding the matter. He will, of course, cooperate fully with any legitimate investigation of this matter, since he has nothing to hide."

This Will Go Down On Your...

In Transmission, learn about Ukrainian Park's Permanent Records.

Any Major Dude Will Tell You to Have Common Sense

We've all thought about sliding down a stair railing, but haven't actually done it because it's dangerous and foolish. Some guy at the Steely Dan show at the Chicago Theater last night thought otherwise.

An Ex-cellent Collaboration

This week's Transmission feature is an interview with Andy Moor, guitarist for The Ex, on the Dutch punk band's collaboration with a legendary Ethiopian saxophonist. The Ex are in town for shows on Sunday and Monday; bone up on the new stuff.

Bad or Good Timing?

Chicago rapper Yung Berg was arrested on Sunday in New York. His debut record is to be released today. I bet he's hoping the publicity will carry him.

Lollapalooza Here To Stay?

Now that the Lollapalooza hangover is subsiding, The Business Sheet says the reason the music fest remains in Chicago (as opposed to becoming a traveling rock circus again) boils down to money, despite what Perry Ferrell says.

Wet Turtle

Grab a plastic tarp and head to the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for lunch today, and you'll be treated to a free concert by Tortoise. Details in Slowdown.

Chewing Up the Charts

Singer Chris Brown's hit single "Forever" is also a paid ad placement for Wrigley's Doublemint gum; Wrigley has two more song-commercials in the works.

Lollapa...You Know

You may have noticed that we didn't put Lollapalooza on the calendar. That's because we figured you heard.

Transmission Feature: Lollapalooza Throwdown

Tired of fighting over overlapping sets at the 3-day Grant Park music extravaganza known as Lollapalooza? Well, over in Transmission, we're taking on the fight for you.

Wonder What the Wall Street Journal Thought of Pitchfork?

Wonder no more.


Jazz scholar and disk jockey Dick Buckley will broadcast his last show on Sunday, July 27. Thanks for all those years of great jazz, Mr. Buckley.

Transmission Feature: Atavistic 6-Pack

Take a moment over in Transmission to learn a little somfin' somfin' about six new releases from Chicago "out-there" label Atavistic Records. You just might expand your musical horizons, and that ain't a bad thing.

Free Chicagoland Music

Kick-ass free-form radio station WFMU is working on the Free Music Archive, a collection of royalty-free legal music downloads for podcasters and fans alike. The site is still in beta mode, but WFMU has helpfully provided a big collection of Chicago-area artists that are already available for download.

Shirt Wars

Not everybody likes the new "New Chicago" t-shirt at Fake Shore Drive (121 comments so far). Today, Naledge speaks up on the whole "fiasco."

Transmission Feature: Previewing Pitchfork

Know what you're in for this weekend before you head down to Union Park and the Pitchfork Music Festival by reading about our favorites over in Transmission.

Transmission Contest: Pitchfork Tickets!

We're running a contest for a pair of three-day passes to the Pitchfork Music Festival in Transmission -- get over there and enter to win!

Lolla & FroYo

Need tickets to Lollapalooza? Head to Starfruit (warning: noisy flash site) on Division and get yourself a $30 gift card. You'll be entered to win two free passes to the show.

Transmission Feature: Bands You Missed

We trip down memory lane this week in Transmission, reminiscing about three Chicago bands that have up and faded away, despite their greatness. Click over and read all about First Coat, Breaking Circus and Tom Spacey.

Blues Clues?

As noted, the Canadian Press seems to think that the blues are dying in Chicago, save for a few tourist traps. But a Tribune article refutes that with a peek at the vibrant South Side scene.

The Sky is Crying

Ouch -- hard to see in print, but it's true: the Blues is fading, even here in Chicago.

Pumpkins Skip Chicago (For Now)

Chicago fans of the Smashing Pumpkins will have to truck out to a casino in Hammond if they want to see the current incarnation of the band performing live.

Beatle Cupcakes

Yesterday some guy named Ringo Starr spent his birthday handing out cupcakes at the Hard Rock Hotel to spread "peace and love."

M.O.P. @ the Metro

Loud. Angry. M.O.P. comes to Chicago as part of the Live @ the Metro series. RSVP here. Ante up.

Transmission Feature: Shape Shoppe

Working hard to produce exciting new music on the near-south side, Chicago's Shape Shoppe has become the favorite label of local bands as well as national ones. Read about their latest releases and their work to create a new performance venue in Transmission.

Remember that One Punk Band...?

There's a good chance you'll find them in the Chicago Punk Database -- and if not, you should add'em.

Does Your Dog Have Fleas?

Calling all 'ukulele players! The 'Ukulele Club of Oak Park is planning to get together a record-breaking number of 'uke players onstage at the next Festival for Beatles Fans, and they're holding some practice sessions to get everyone up to speed on a few Beatles tunes. The first practice session is this Thursday in Oak Park; details in Slowdown.

Better than Bubba Sparxxx

There's more than one Chicago act on this list of the 25 worst rapper names from

Transmission Feature: What's a Walter Meego?

Short answer: Two guys from the suburbs making great dance music, to much critical acclaim. Long answer: You'll have to read about them over in Transmission (and keep an eye out for some free goods).

Exile in Lizville

Winnetka's Favorite Daughter Liz Phair returned to the Vic last night to play her 1993 album Exile in Guyville in its the labored sigh of local critics.

Flash Interview

Whether you're headed to the show tonight or not, tune into at noon today to catch a live interview with hip hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash.

Punishing Fanatics

R. Kelly may be free, but a fans and other hangers on have gotten into some legal trouble.

Figaro Fries

Because one fat lady is never enough, the Lyric Opera has announced plans to open a restaurant and bar.

25 or 6 to Forgotten

A "lost" album by hometown heroes Chicago is finally released this week. The album reportedly goes back to the sound they had in their early days with hits like "25 or 6 to 4" or "Beginnings" and not the elevator music-era of "If You Leave Me Now."

R.Kelly Cleared

R.Kelly was acquitted on all counts. Your thoughts?

Transmission Feature: Air Guitar Champs

The Chicago regional tournament portion of the 2008 Cuervo Air Guitar Championships gets down tonight at the Metro. Over in Transmission, we take a minute to give you the skinny on why so many consider air guitar a true competitive sport.

Memories on a Memorex

Casette from my Ex is a site that collects stories related to mix tapes from old relationships -- and also the option of listening to said tapes. Chicagoans Damon Locks, Jamie Hayes and Julie Shapiro have contributed so far.

Transmission Feature: The Collective Family

Faced with single voices shouting into the wind, young Chicago musicians are turning to a group approach to getting their music heard in the vast indie market. Read over in Transmission about burgeoning musicians' cooperative, The Collective Family.

Four Strings, No Waiting

Any 'ukulele players out there? Sure there are! You'll be pleased to know that the Windy City Uke Fest, a three-day festival devoted to the classic Hawaiian instrument, is happening this August. Among the many activities planned: workshops, vendor booths, daytime performances and evening concerts on all nights. Details in Slowdown.

Rockin' at Reggie's

If you're looking for something to do tonight (other than come to our anniversary party), you could do a lot worse than heading to Reggies Rock Club for Mudhoney, one of the founding members of the grunge movement. Chicago Journal profiles Reggies owner Robby Glick.

A Man Walks Into A Comedy Club ...

... and they've been coming in ever since, as Zanies celebrates its 30th anniversary of supplying Chicago's standup comedy needs. You can get in free for one of two birthday celebration shows tonight -- which show depends on your age.

In Your 'Hood

The Hood Internet loves Chicago -- so much so that they've just released an entire album of mashup remixes featuring local artists. Download it for free.

Clear Your Samples!

Late jazzman Joe Farrell's daughter is suing Universal Music for the use of her dad's music without attribution on a number of hip-hop cuts, including Kanye's "Gone" and Common's "Chi City." We know you own Late Registration and Be: go listen for yourselves. She is seeking no more performances or copies of said albums sold with the offending sample be released.

This is Planet Earth

If you were a fan of the Planet Earth New Wave dance parties at Neo, then you'll definitely want to attend tomorrow night's kickoff party at its new location, Subterranean in Wicker Park. Full details on Planet Earth in Slowdown.

Video Game Inclusion = Bank

Chicago band Greenskeepers is royally reaping the benefits of inclusion in GTA IV and its advertisements.

Return to Guyville

Idolator reports that Liz Phair will be performing her 1993 album Exile in Guyville at a yet-to-be-announced Chicago location. The album itself will be reissued next month in a special 15th anniversary CD/DVD package which will include video of Liz Phair interviewing a bunch of guys, from Ira Glass to John Cusack.

Rapping at Warp Speed

Chicago can once again lay claim to being the hometown of the fastest rapper in the world, as confirmed by the Guiness Book of World Records. The title was previously held by Twista.

Transmission Feature: Bin Diving so You Don't Have To

South-Side label Numero Group has been unearthing half a dozen albums per year that you weren't even aware were lost. Over in Transmission, we sit down with the founders and find out the ins and outs of the quest for long-lost music.

Folk & Roots Schedule Posted

The Old Town School of Folk Music has posted the schedule for their 11th annual Folk & Roots Festival on a new Flash-based site. Notable performers on the main stage this year include Jon Langford with the Burlington Welsh Male Chorus, and the French band Les Primitifs du Futur (a band co-founded by one Robert Crumb).

Promoters' License Pulled, But Not Dead

As previously noted, presumably in response to overwhelming criticism of the proposed promoters' license ordinance, City Council will not hold a vote on it today. Of course that means there's more time to influence the process.

Event Promoter Ordinance Set Aside, For Now

Breaking news from the Chicago Music Commission: "Chairman Schulter (47th Ward) has decided not to report the event promoter ordinance out his City Council Licensing and Consumer Protection Committee. In other words, it will not be on the City Council agenda tomorrow and there will not be a vote on the bill as previously scheduled." Further thoughts on the proposal (and why it's been tabled) on Time Out's blog.

Dance, Summer, Dance

Summerdance, one of the most fun, free aspects of any Chicago summer, released its schedule this week. From June 12 to August 24, you and yours can hit up these free dance lessons and community dance party in Grant Park. This year, you can shake it to the sounds of 43 bands playing everything from swing, salsa and soukous to cajun, balkan and klezmer, all on one huge, recycled plastic dance floor.

Fight the "Event Promoter" Ordinance

Get activated at (Previously.)

DJ Throwdown Tonight

Looking for some action tonight? Head to the Burlington where our very own DJ Lapple Pietunes (aka Lauri Apple) goes head to head with Chicagoist's Tankboy in a DJ battle. Free stuff from both Chicagoist and Gapers Block. The fun starts at 9pm and goes late into the night, with giveaways and more.

Don't Stop the Music

Speaking of legislation, City Council is once again trying to push through a "promoters' ordinance" that could severely limit live music in Chicago. Contact your alderman and get this stopped! UPDATE: The ordinance has made it out of committee, and is now headed to the full Council for a vote next week. Which means it's even more important that you voice your concern to your alderman. Jim DeRogatis has the full text of the proposed ordinance up on his blog, along with a statement from the Chicago Music Commission.

Chicago Music's Starting Line-up

New City names the 45 Chicago performers who are keeping the city on the front burner of the national music scene.

Transmission Feature: Looptopia's Return

It's all about second chances for Chicago's free all-night party, Looptopia, which returns to downtown Chicago Friday night. Can the Loop-illuminating festival charm the city with its musical lineup? Over in Transmission, we take a look at the slate.

Red Bull or Just Bull?

The makers of Red Bull have won a six-figure settlement in a lawsuit against the local nightclub Wet for passing off a generic energy drink as their more famous product in their cocktails. The nightclub's website is strangely unavailable.

Our Kind of Guy

Chicago blues icon Buddy Guy gets the tribute treatment when he's honored during the Great Performers of Illinois Festival July 20 at Millennium Park. Grammy winner Jimmie Vaughn will headline the free (yes, FREE) concert as part of the three-day music festival.

Pitchfork on the Prowl

The final version of the Pitchfork Festival's lineup was released to the unwashed masses yesterday; the July 18-20 event will feature Spoon, Spiritualized, Dinosaur Jr, Public Enemy (playing It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in its entirety), and Hold Steady. In related news, Business Week estimated that the Pitchfork site annually yields an estimated $5 million in ad revenue. Good year for the roses!

Transmission Feature: Fake Fictions

That noise you just heard didn't come from the other side of the world — it's the buzz pop musings of the Chicago band Fake Fictions, and their new album Krakatoa featured this week in Transmission.

Help Wanted

Do you like to rock? We're looking to add to our ranks in Transmission.

Re: Your Brains

Get on the phone, code monkeys: Jonathan Coulton is coming to the Lakeshore Theater May 3! Tickets are $20; call 773-472-3492 or hit the online box office.

Transmission Feature: Head of Femur

Chicago's Head of Femur has been on a roller coaster of a career ride. They've been praised by critics, asked to tour with superstars, and then had their label fold, leaving them in the dust. But now they've got a brand-new album, and they're once again garnering loads of lauds. Read the whole story in Transmission.

His View from There

WFMT critic and interviewer Andrew Patner has a blog covering the arts, classical music, and occasional forays into local politics--all in his inimitable Patnervian style.

Flight of the Conchords Coming to Chicago

New Zealand's former fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo Flight of the Conchords is coming to the Chicago Theater on Wednesday, May 14; tickets go on sale this Friday.

Take That, MTV

Pitchfork.TV is up and running, currently featuring a live recording of "Bangers and Mash" by Radiohead. Check it now, before the music videos are replaced by crappy reality programming.

Oldies But Goodies

The Lollapalooza 2008 lineup will be released this Monday, but the leaked list has been on Jim DeRogatis' blog for a few days (which has apparently brought Perry Farrell much irritation). While the offerings are varied, it's familiar territory: the festival seems to have culled its lineup from past Lollas and past Pitchfork/Intonation Festivals. Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Wilco, Rage Against the Machine, and Kanye West are among the headliners, with Girl Talk, Go! Team, Cat Power, Gnarls Barkley, and Broken Social Scene bringing up the rear. Tickets are on sale now.

Your Weekend Just Got Cooler, Less Expensive

The Chicago Cultural Center will be showing the premiere of Movin' On Up, a documentary about Chicago native and music icon Curtis Mayfield Friday and Saturday night at 7pm. Never before seen footage, past performances are featured in the film and on Friday, a post-movie Q&A with director David Peck and surviving Impressions members Fred Cash and Sam Gooden follows the screening. The event is free.

Transmission Feature: Get Me Scotland Yard

If you've ever seen flyers promoting a show by the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, your first thoughts were probably way off base. The band is neither related to the famous British investigative unit, nor are they a robe-wearing religious singing troupe. What they are, in fact, are rising stars in the Chicago indie music scene, and they're about to make Schubas their home for the month of April.

Late Registration, Graduation ...Vacation?

Kanye Travel Ventures. No, really.

Classic(al) Confrontation

Osvaldo Golijov, composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, brushes off the controversy about his unconventional works. "I love it when music brings people to fistfights," he tells The Guardian.

Heavy Metal Parking Lot Coffee Table Book

Throw out the horns for Crystal Lake's Stephen D. Jensen for his limited edition book of rock photography, Music Photography--Volume One. If it contained nothing more than his portrait of GWAR's Beefcake the Mighty, it would still be totally awesome.

Zooey Gets Even More Famous

Zooey Deschanel graced Northwestern with her presence for a few years, then moved on to bigger and better things, like Almost Famous and Elf. Now, she's got a record.

More Pitchfork Additions

Dinosaur Jr, Mission of Burma, Jarvis Cocker (of Pulp) and Ghostface and Raekwon (from Wu-Tang Clan) have joined the lineup of the July 18-20 Pitchfork Music Festival.

Bird Songs in the NYT

The New York Times has launched a new blog, Measure for Measure, featuring Darrell Brown, Rosanne Cash, Suzanne Vega and our own Andrew Bird, who gets pride of first post. (Thanks, Sarah!)

BUSTing Out

BUST Magazine, that 15 year old feminist glossy, has just featured The Cool Kids in their "Men We Love" issue. Hi, BUST? We're Chicago. We already know.

Hothouse in the Viaduct

The Hothouse announced today that all of its April shows will be performed at the Viaduct Theater, after being evicted from its space on Balbo last year. It's yet another odd chapter in the historically volatile music venue. Read the press release on A/C.

Record Chirp

The WLUW Record Fair is now the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP) Record Fair, and it's just a couple weeks away. Get your turntables ready.

"Sort of Like the City's CBGB"

The Sun-Times takes notice of Cal's.

Ravinia Lineup Announced

Check out the Ravinia Festival website for the 2008 season lineup. Scheduled acts include Feist and...The Backstreet Boys? Yep. Tickets go on sale April 17.

I Am Hip Hop

There's an indie documentary being made about Chicago's hip hop scene, and a whole bunch of raw footage can be seen on YouTube.

Giving Kanye a Hand

A digital tribute to Kanye West and Daft Punk's "Stronger."

The Kids Are Alright

The Sun-Times' Jim DeRogatis profiles the city's newest upstart rock clubs, Reggie's and the (soon-to-reopen) Bottom Lounge, whom he says are giving the local music scene a much-needed kick in the pants.

Upside-Down 'Cake'

Local jazz-infuenced art rockers The Sea and Cake discuss their upcoming inaugural series of concerts in the Land Down Under (um, Australia).

If You're Feeling Sinister

Local ragtime/blues/country musical outfit the Northside Southpaws bill themselves as the only all-left-handed, all-resophonic mandolin/guitar duo in the world. Actually, isn't there a group of lefty banjoists in... Well, how about... Nah, I got nothing.

Industrial-Strength Anthem for Hawks

Who knew? Industrial music godfather Al Jourgensen (Ministry) is a big Blackhawks fan. So big that he has written a new anthem for the team, "Keys To The City", that will debut on March 5. Jourgensen said he hopes the song "inspires some awesome fights on the ice."

Saying "Rawr" One More Time

A documentary on the inimitable Chicago-based artist and rocker Wesley Wills debuts tomorrow (Friday) at the Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco. The late Willis was known for his headbutts and requests for fans to "say rawr."

The Adornments, Airiel, Kid Sister...

Jim DeRogatis has a list of Chicago's next big musical acts -- start brushing up so you can pan them when they "sell out."

Chicago Boys

Jersey Boys has now officially taken up residence in our fair city.

Wilco & Andrew Bird

If you missed Andrew Bird performing with Wilco at the Riv on the 20th, you can find a quality recording here, and gape at the crowd here.

Hot Dog Musical

Found on Songza: The Theme from Hot Doug's by bee.

Chicago Mag Gets Cool

The Cool Kids get some love from Chicago magazine, comparing them to the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J.

Really? Another R. Kelly Sex Scandal?

More allegations of inappropriate behavior are surfacing about R. Kelly. This time it's with a woman he'd known since she was "a little girl."

All This Classical Stuff

If you're looking for a consolidated classical music calendar, check out the resources at Chicago Classical Music. In addition to an easy-to-use calendar for events, they have a blog and a decent blogroll of many art organizations around Chicago. (Aside: Make time to see any pieces performed by Osvaldo Golijov; the performance of his piece Ainadamar tonight was fantastic.)

Common Joins JLA

Chicago's own Common has been chosen to play Green Lantern in the coming Justice League of America film.

Goin' Down to Austin

Over in Transmission, we've listed all the Chicago bands performing at SXSW in March, along with all the ones within reasonable driving distance. Plus a couple unofficial shows and persistent rumors. Get on it.

Cleaning Up Congress

As Logan Square gentrifies, the owners of the Congress Theater hope to renovate it to match the neighborhood -- but keep it available and affordable to local organizations.

Tonight: The Third Coast

In '06 and early '07, we featured excerpts from The Third Coast, a book about life by the Great Lakes by Ted McClelland. It's finally published, and we're celebrating tonight at the Hideout from 6 to 8:30pm. Ted will read excerpts from the book, and Marquette, MI, musician Sycamore Smith (featured in the book and in Detour) will perform. It's free!

Transmission Feature: Jazz by the Numbers

This week in Transmission, we take a look at three stellar releases from Chicago jazz label, Delmark. We've got small ensembles with big performances, big ensembles with even bigger performances, and sweet licks burned onto CD and DVD. So hot it'll melt your snowpants!

Chicago Faces The Music

So why isn't Chicago as big a draw for the world's music fans as Austin or Nashville? An article in the Reader offers some explanations. But the city is making one attempt at promoting homegrown talent: it's going to feature Chicago-only music on the loudspeakers at O'Hare and Midway. No Smashing Pumpkins or Fall Out Boy, though. They suspect that loud rock will rattle the nerves of already-frazzled passengers.

DeRo on Zulkey

Claire Zulkey (who got the profile treatment in Time Out this week) interviews Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis about "Sound Opinions," music crit and the Chicago hip hop scene, among other things.

Kid Sister on Car Share

Chicago rapper Kid Sister tips her hat to I-Go on the Canadian MuchMusic blog. [via]

Best Lunchbreak Ever

Rob Bochnik, guitarist and vocalist of Irish band The Frames will be performing songs from his first solo record Blowing Out the Cobwebs from 12:15-1pm today at the Goodman as part of their Playtime series. Leave your lunch in the breakroom fridge: mini corned beef sandwiches and bangers will be provided by Emerald Loop Bar and Grill for the event. If you loved last year's great movie Once, which starred Bochnik's bandmate Glen Hansard, this is an event to see. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online or at the Goodman.

Busking Underground

The Chi-Town Daily News looks into the lives of musicians in the CTA subway.

Further Changes for the Sun-Times

Following recent job cuts, the Sun-Times moved to a slightly smaller format yesterday.

Ivy League Meets MTV

Local hip-hop artists The Ivy League will be rockin' your television during a commercial break on MTV's new year's extravaganza ... if you have Comcast. Check out other NYE music news in Transmission.

OFFICE Everywhere

Chicago Public Radio recently announced it will host OFFICE in January at The Biograph. Also: MTV tells us why the band received a package from a porn star.

Dr. Atomic

Tonight at 7:30PM, the much-anticipated opera Dr. Atomic opens at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Earlier this week at a panel discussion, Nobelist Norman Ramsey, who worked at Los Alamos on the first A-Bomb, told us that we should be more worried than ever (about the bomb, not the opera).

Classical Comps

Chicago Classical Music recently revamped their site and is promoting it with a contest for free tickets and other swag. Log in as a registered user before the 19th to be eligible to win.

Chicago and the Bomb

Speaking of doomsday scenarios, the Lyric Opera's upcoming run of Doctor Atomic gave the Tribune reason to explore the opera, its Chicago connections and the life of Robert Oppenheimer.

Do Not Look Mr. Cox in the Eye

John C. Reilly will take the stage at the Cubby Bear tonight - in character as Dewey Cox - to promote his upcoming film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Fingers crossed that Chris Gaines joins him for a number or two. [via]

Chi Classical Site Relaunched, a blog and calendar produced by a consortium of regional classical organizations, relaunched this week and is offering free stuff.

Transmission Feature: Record Store Love

Today Transmission brings you volume seven of our ongoing series on local record stores in Chicago. Click on over and read about a North Side and a South Side shop you've just got to check out.

Drambui Rock

MyOpenBar is hosting a Drambui party at the Hideout tonight from 7 to 10pm. Andrew Andrew, the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players and Gabriel Kahane play, all for free. RSVP here.

Quiet in the OFFICE

OFFICE will be doing a special acoustic set tonight at Schubas: most of it will be frontman Scott Masson playing stripped-down versions of new material. The full band will be on for a few songs, too, as well as some special guests. Show starts at 9:30pm; $5 gets you in.

Old Town School's Old-Timey Songs

Now on sale: Volume 4 of the Old Town School of Folk Music's songbook series CDs, on which they have the school's instructors recording classic folk songs with some musician friends (including on this volume Andrew Bird, Tom Paxton, John Prine, and the Sons of the Never Wrong). CD available at the school's music store or online at iTunes with bonus tracks.

Kind of Free Music!

Wilco, those ramblin' Chicago sweethearts, have released a European tour edition of "Sky Blue Sky". The new album features a bonus disc of three new tracks and two live recordings. The songs are FREE!...provided you already own "Sky Blue Sky". Album owners can download the bonus tracks here. Non-owners will just have to suck it up. Or buy a copy. Whichever.

Rock the Survey

The Metro is doing a survey right now; fill it out and you have a chance at two free tickets a month for all of 2008!

Know Thy Blues Town

The city's Office of Tourism has produced a virtual tour detailing the history of Chicago Blues. The tour is narrated by that consummate blues man Buddy Guy and available at

For the Love of Money

She's recorded with Bob Mould, cites Jimi Hendrix as an influence and kicks out the jams on a cello. Helen Money (aka Alison Chesley) brings her classical/rock mash-up to The Old Town School of Folk Music this Friday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. when she opens for Tuvan throat singers Huun Huur Tu, in one of the most eclectic double bills of the year.

Kanye West's Mother Dies

Donda West, mother of musician Kanye West and former chair of the Chicago State University English Department, died Saturday night in Los Angeles at the age of 58. The cause of death is unknown at this time, and her death was apparently sudden.


The Magnetic Fields are playing six shows at the Old Town School of Folk Music in March, and tickets are on sale now -- buy them at the school, by calling 773-728-6000 or online at

Meet Emmanuelle Haïm

Emmanuelle Haïm, the Lyric Opera's first female conductor, will conduct Julius Caesar [pdf] starting on November 2. Listen to a podcast interview with her [mp3] for additional information.

Get Ahead of Femur

Head of Femur celebrates the release of its new EP, Leader and the Falcon, at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, tonight at 10pm. Here's a little taste (mp3). You could maybe head there after a drink with us.

Kickin' It Old School

Fans of Chicago House music should be excited to see this trove of mix sets from WBMX in the '80s.

Videogame Music Goes Big-Time

Videogame music has come a long way since Super Mario Brothers. Next March, the US debut of Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy will be at the Allstate Arena, performed by the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra. Tickets will range from $35 to $150!

Listen Closely

This week's Transmission feature covers some local music blogs you may not have heard of.

Undead Undead Undead

Post-Rock Orlok: As part of Macy's Day of Music, Tortoise will provide the score to F. W. Murnau's classic silent horror film Nosferatu, Saturday night at Symphony Center. You can see the entire film, with a more traditional soundtrack, here.


Want tickets to tonight's Patrick Wolf show? Slip over to Transmission for a quick contest. [Update: We have a winner!]

Leaving the City

Over in Transmission, Craig talks with Rachel Ries about her new album and the possibility of leaving the city she loves.

The Fat Lady Sang

The '07-'08 season at the Lyric Opera will be conductor and artistic director Bruno Bartoletti's last, after 51 years with the company. Despite this and other distractions, the Lyric's La Traviata opened last weekend to very good reviews.

Transmission Feature: Rococo Records

Today in Transmission we take a nice, long look at Chicago's independent Rococo Records. They've brought you a rainbow of colors in vinyl from the likes of Les Savy Fav, Velcro Lewis and His 100-Proof Band and KK Rampage. They've also got a thing for penguins, but we won't judge.

Complain in Song

The Complaints Choir of Chicago is getting ready to rehearse for their performance this fall, and they need your help: "Detractors, muckrakers, grouches and all citizens of Chicago: this is your chance to unite and voice your concerns and complaints in a hilarious choir conducted by Jeremy Jacobsen." Send your complaint and contact info to:

Backstage at the Opera

The Lyric Opera has launched "Backstage at Lyric," a podcast that "features in-depth interviews with the singers, conductors, and creative minds behind the productions of the 2007/08 season."

Time for Me to Float

Champaign's own REO Speedwagon plans to play while sailing down the mighty Chicago River on the Star of Chicago. Ride the storm out, guys!

World Music Fest: Sept 14 - 20

Chicago's Festival Season isn't Over Yet! World Music Fest runs from Sept 14th - 20th and features an eclectic and diverse cast of artists performing around the city. Keep an eye on Slowdown for some recommendations.

50 Years of Music, 1 Night Only

Greg Kot tips us off to a major folk music event happening at the end of the year: The Old Town School of Folk Music is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a huge concert featuring Jeff Tweedy, Bela Fleck, Roger McGuinn, Jon Langford, Sally Timms, and a whole bunch of other artists that are connected somehow to the school. Tickets will be on sale on Saturday the 15th (or Monday the 10th, if you're an Old Town School member). For full details see the Old Town School Website.

Who's Reppin' Us?

Jim DeRogatis asks, who speaks for the local music scene? The answer, in part, is the Chicago Music Commission, which just released an economic impact survey of the city's music industry.

Jazzing in Up

We probably don't have to tell you that the Chicago Jazz Festival is under way; here's a schedule and guide if you need one.

Jazz Showcase Returns

Jazz Showcase, the late lamented venue, will rise again at Dearborn Station this winter. (Meanwhile, the old Jazz Showcase space on Grand is La Madia, an upscale pizza and wine place.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, a band named Fugazi regularly toured the country, providing great joy to children everywhere. Yet it has been five years since That Wonderful Band toured, and many of those children have grown up. Those Children of Yesterday may now buy a new pressing of Fugazi shows, such as that from Peoria in 1995.

Word Jazz Online

Movie trailer watchers and late night WBEZ listeners familiar with Ken Nordine may want to check out his website Word Jazz, which includes a blog with unusual poems starting with "Maybe the moment" and a podcast of his late night stylings.

Will Curtis Make Graduation?

Both 50 Cent and Chicago's Kanye West have new albums that are scheduled to be released on the same day. In a recent interview, 50 Cent is quoted as saying "If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11... I won't put out anymore solo albums." //Edit: Hm. Guess not.


Spanning four venues and over 100 artists and musicians, A/V XPLO is a four day event running this Wednesday and through Saturday. Offering up a mixture of music, art, film and photography, there's a lot to keep the senses occupied. More info on the bands and artists in Slowdown, and at

Lollapalooza Shenanigans

Apparently everything was going swimmingly for Pearl Jam at an AT&T site that carried their Lollapalooza set until Vedder sang "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush, find yourself another home." AT&T swears it's a mistake, but Pearl Jam's now asking for other examples of artist political censorship from the company.

Wang Dang Sweet Ma Nuge

Noted drug-free, bowhunting, conservative minstrel Ted "The Nuge" Nugent recently dedicated a memorial to his mom, Marion Nugent, in front of Palatine's Durty Nellie's. The slightly grey-haired among us might remember when Ms. Nugent wrote the Ma Nugent's Mail column for IE.

Home-Cooked Jazz and Evening Star Gazing Kick Off

The Jazz Institute of Chicago has put together a half-dozen free jazz concerts, beginning tonight at 6:30 PM in Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, and closing on 27 August with a performance by the acclaimed Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. You can't go wrong with any of these concerts, which--aside from featuring local jazz greats like Dee Alexander and Von Freeman--also open with performances by Chicago's NEXT jazz generation: the likes of the South Shore Youth Jazz Ensemble, Gallery 37 After School Matters Jazz Band, and the Jazz Links Ensemble. Individual concerts are listed in Slowdown; click here for a complete schedule. AND THERE'S MORE: If you mosey over toward the BP Bridge starting around 7:30, volunteers from Adler Planetarium will share their telescopes so you can get a good look at the moon and nearby planets.

God Speaks

Eric Clapton spoke with Greg Kot about his lifetime fascination with South Side blues and meeting and playing with the greats back in his Yardbird days. Muddy Waters was cool. Sonny Boy Williamson II, eh, a trifle mean.

A-One and A-Two

The Old Town School of Folk Music wants to set the Guinness World Record for largest music lesson as part of its 50th anniversary. All they need is you and your guitar. And by "you" I mean everyone. Register online or by phone at 773-728-6000, then show up with your ax at the Welles Park Gazebo on Tuesday, August 7, around 6-ish to get all tuned up. The lesson starts at 7:30, and it's totally free.

Wilco to Play Millennium Park

You've seen this in Transmission already, but in case you missed it, Wilco will be playing Millennium Park on September 12th. It'll cost you $45 to get a seat and $10 to get on the lawn. More details in Slowdown.

Ask a Music Scene Micro Celebrity

It's getting a little crazy, but Chicago music legend Steve Albini is answering a wide variety of questions in the Two Plus Two forums.

Printers' Ball: More than Books

Not that we need more than books, but literary and non-literary types will get into The Printers' Ball tonight. In addition to an assortment of print materials and people, some swell performers and other activities will be going down. Personally, I'm hoping for a performance of "Waiting Room" (mp3). Details in Slowdown.

Hey Ladies!

With the thousands of rock kids jammed into every nook of Millennium Park for the Decemberists/GPO show last night I thought for sure following Shylo's lead would park me in craigslist missed connections heaven. Actually it's pretty sparse, but this guy totally stole my idea and cast a wide net.

Jeff Tweedy <3 Chicago

Wilco's frontman tells American Airlines' magazine all about his city crush.

Pitchfork Ticket Contest!

We've got three pairs of three-day passes to the Pitchfork Music Festival July 13-15, courtesy of Boost Mobile and Schubas, and we're giving them all away! To be entered in the drawing, send an email including your name, address and phone number to by July 9! Good luck!

Apparently People Don't Like the Police

Seems like it's a buyer's market for tickets to see the Police perform at Wrigley Field next week.

Phone Reader

The Reader now offers its restaurant, film, music and event listings in a mobile version for your phone. Could come in handy the next time you're planning with friends who "dunno, whadda you wanna do?"

Save this Venue!

The Trib reports that HotHouse, the South Loop venue for innovative jazz and world music, is due out of its Balbo St. digs by the end of July because of funding shortfalls, management disputes, etc. You can donate to HotHouse here, or volunteer here.

Striking in the Conference Room

Jack Flash, singer-guitarist for the local band Bang! Bang!, has been wearing thrift-store ties cut into lightning bolts for some time -- and now you can too. Bang Bang Ties are professionally tailored (not by Flash) and are available online and at Strange Cargo. [via]

Ze Frank Replacement

People who miss The Show with Ze Frank should check out the Wheezy Waiter, a video blog by Craig, the lead singer of Driftless Pony Club. It's not exactly the same, but hopefully it'll help with your jones. [via]

Punk Planet Closing Up

Punk Planet is ceasing publication. The 13-year-old independent magazine has fallen victim to the same distributor bankruptcy issues (though a different distributor) as McSweeney's, and find themselves with no option but to close down. and the book publishing unit will continue on, but PP #80 will be the last.

Cutting Out the Middle Man

Jim DeRogatis examines the stranglehold TicketMaster maintains over tickets for concerts, theater, sports and other events, and points out that LiveNation, TM's biggest customer, recently began selling tickets for all local venues (all the way out to Alpine Valley) at the House of Blues box office, without a service fee. The Metro and Schubas have long offered the same option. (DeRo runs down the fees, and also reminds us that the war on TicketMaster started here in '94.)

Air Guitar is Real

If you're still on the fence about going to tonight's Chicago Regional of the U.S. Air Guitar Championships, perhaps this preview from the Tribune will sway you. Details in Slowdown.

Hideout Block Party: -Metro, +Bird

The Hideout Block Party is no longer being curated by the Metro; they've moved their big 25th anniversary shindig to an as-of-yet unnamed elsewhere. (No hard feelings between the venues, apparently, just a change of plans.) But the show will go on; so far Andrew Bird is the only confirmed performer. (Speaking of Mr. Bird, he'll be on Conan O'Brien tonight.)

Whitey Strikes Back

On Wednesday, Q101 became the first radio station to play the new White Stripes album. Two hours later, a very displeased Jack White called the station.

Wow. Seriously? Wow.

R. Kelly crazy. Here's why! In the spring/summer issue of Hip-Hop Soul magazine, he says: "I'm the Ali of today. I'm the Marvin Gaye of today. I'm the Bob Marley of today. I'm the Martin Luther King." Where's Dave Chappelle when you need biting, R. Kelly-based mockery?

Everyday is Like Sunday

If you're interested in every last detail of Tuesday's Morrissey concert, check out the Morrissey Solo message board. Documented are the set list, crowd reactions, number of times people rushed the stage, merchandise quality, and, well, every last detail.

30 Seconds of New Smashing Pumpkins

Here's a clip of "Tarantula"-- new song by Smashing Pumpkins, as recorded off of Q101.

Feeling the Blues

Carey Bell, harp player with Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, has passed away at age 70. Bell learned from the likes of Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Big Walter Horton, and played on the Delmark and Alligator record labels. Play on, Mr. Bell.

This Week In Nerdery

The Sun-Times TechVenue column reminds you that even if the world's Web 2.0, there's plenty of pure nerdery still to be had. To whit: This week's AIIT (?) meeting "The Face-Off Between The MFP's and the Scanners" is as exciting as a monster truck competition for... scanners. Scenic Itasca is hosting the 2007 Digital Signage Summit where the "who's who of digital media" meets to learn how to "align various pieces of digital signage solutions". (Some of us haven't even gotten over the blast that was the 2006 Summit. Itasca rocks!) And then there's these technology guys who meet and dress in chipmunk outfits...

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

What happens when a group of bushy-haired rockin' dudes from Nottingham, England watch too many gangster flicks and decide to write a song about Al Capone? You get Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died," a geographically and historically confused account of gangland Chicago performed by guys who never set foot in the city. When the real Mayor Daley received a copy of the song from the group, he declared the band "Nuts." Yes, indeed!

Petrillo Music Madness

The lineup for the Taste of Chicago musical performances has been announced. We'll all see each other at the Kenny Rogers show, I'm sure.

Mmmm, Free PB&J

...and we're not talking Skippy. It seems like everyone's suddenly into the IKEA-tastic pop trio Peter Bjorn and John (and I'm no exception; the whistling bit from "Young Folks" is totally my current ringtone). If you don't have tickets to one of their two sold-out shows at the Empty Bottle May 8, or to Lollapalooza, where they'll be on the bill as well, the Apple Store on Michigan Ave. has announced a free in-store by the soft-rock Swedesters that afternoon.

Decemberists for Free

Attention, chimbley sweeps and barrow boys: The Decemberists are giving a free concert in Grant Park on July July July-y-y-y 18. Hear their wistful tales of woe and revenge backed up by the Grant Park Orchestra as part of the Metro's 25th Anniversary happenings.

Lollapalooza Lineup Confirmed!

The Lollapalooza lineup as reported by the Onion A/V Club earlier today is confirmed in print in an inside-back-cover ad in "tomorrow's" issue of Time Out Chicago. If you didn't buy your advance tickets, now is the time.

Beyond the Concert Hall

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is taking great strides to expand its audience and influence, notably including a retooled nationally syndicated radio program and a performance and educational video series.

Chicago History Roundup

From the establishment of the Hull House Theater to the World's Columbian Exposition, the Sun Times lists their take on "The 50 Greatest Chicago Moments."


The WLUW Record Fair & Other Delights is next weekend, and there are still a couple booths available should you want to unload some of your music -- or posters, crafts, clothes, whatever. Get on it now!

Really Old School Beats

It's not every day that we get to report on a concert consisting of the oldest song in recorded history (Tribune link, includes video of the performance).

Il Ritorno d'Uliss in Patria

The final installment of the Chicago Opera Theater's Claudio Monteverdi series, The Return of Ulysses, is earning strong reviews, including accolades for Rafael Viñoly's minimal set design. There are three performances remaining, so get hoppin'.

Yacht Rock 2.0

Some dude at The New York Sun just said that the Chicago music scene is the "capital of the budding New Mellow." Whatever that means.

That's Mest Up

Anthony Lovato, former lead singer of the suburban punk ensemble Mest, is being held in an LA jail on $1 million bond for allegedly stabbing a guy to death in a parking garage.

DeRo and Kot at SXSW

If you're looking for more SXSW news (besides what you're finding on Transmission here), "Sound Opinions" aired its SXSW wrap-up show this weekend. Check out the episode, which features some Chicago bands and a drunk-ish sounding Greg Kot waxing super-poetic about music.

Blue Bag Blues

The kind folks at the Wicker Park Food Co-Op have penned a tune that fairly sums up just about everyone's frustrations with the city's recycling program: The Blue Bag Blues. (Warning: it's an mp3 download.)

Moz Mopes in Midwest

Put in your order for gladiola now. Morrissey's playing a slew of dates across the Midwest this May, mostly in smaller theatres. This extended tour augments his November appearance at the Aragon -- which was totally amazing.

Sweet Sour Home Chicago

Over at the Beachwood Reporter, Don Jacobson has been collecting and evaluating songs that namedrop the city that works. Unsurprisingly, few of the tunes are happy-go-lucky toe-tappers. Subjects include blood, drugs, ghettos, guns, and elevator repair.

A Noteworthy Community

The Chicago Classical Music community covers multitudinous classical music happenings, musicians, composers, and directors in Chicago and elsewhere. No one can accuse them of having too many notes.

But Will They Play "Roxanne"?

The Police will not be here to create disorder, the Police will be here to preserve disorder. Better start looking for a parking space now.

Attack of the Red Eyed Monsters

If you're planning on attending concerts at the Ravinia Festival this summer, you may want to check the schedule [pdf] extra early this year. Why, you ask? Cicadas.

Metro Celebrates 25 Years at the Hideout

Regard this as your early invite: The Metro has announced it will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the annual Hideout Block Party, September 7-9. Bring your dancing shoes, and check the venues' websites for more information.

Serial Fingerpicker

John Hasbrouck is a local guitarist who just can't stop joining bands. There's his "jugless" jug band Hardscrabble, local band Cracklin Moth, his mandolin accompaniment to songwriter James Curley, the countrified stylings of the Lawrence Peters Outfit, and others. Hurry up and see the fleet-fingered Hasbrouck before he drops dead of exhaustion.

The P is for Pearl Jam

Lollapearljamalooza?! It sounds as if Chicago's own Lollapaooza will feature Pearl Jam (fronted by Evanstonian Eddie Vedder) as the headliner. If you'd been reading Transmission, you'd already know this.

Leroy Jenkins, R.I.P.

Innovative, Chicago-born free jazz violinist Leroy Jenkins has just passed away. Mr. Jenkins is not to be confused with bizarre Internet meme figure/WoW figure of scorn Leeeeeeroy Jenkins (explanatory video here).

Oscars with Musical Accompaniment

Speaking of the Oscars, here's one of the more novel tie-ins I've heard of: The Delafields will be playing at Simon's Tavern, 5210 N. Clark st. -- but only during the commercials and "boring parts," allowing you to catch the awards and a concert.They'll also have an Oscar pool, with prizes like a massage and tax consultation -- from members of the band! How's that for service?

Swap Music With Rockstars

Got a kick-ass Stephin Merritt CD mix that you're dying to share with the Chicago music community? Head on over to Radio Free Chicago's latest Bandwidth concert Thursday night at Subterranean, and participate in a CD mix swap with some of the bands from previous Bandwidth shows, as well as RFC staffers. Details on Bandwidth at Slowdown.

Sports Bar, Gay Bar

Crew, "Chicago's premier gay sports bar + grill" has been voted the city's best sports bar, flat-out, by readers of AOL City Guide.

Experience Everything But Taste

As if you need another reason to head into the tropical climes of the Lincoln Park Conservatory, you have until the end of the month to check out Shawn Decker's "Chorus," playing in the oh-so-warm Fern Room.

Oh, Crap: No Dave Matthews Concert at Wrigley

GB reported in December that the Dave Matthews Band was slated for a pair of concerts at Wrigley Field on the Fourth of July weekend. Well, today the Sun-Times reports that Matthews will not be at the concerts, since his wife is due to have a baby in early July. Even though there's no act scheduled, Alderman Tom Tunney is still planning to authorize the concerts, so don't worry: there WILL be music at Wrigley Field this Fourth of July.

Local Band in NYT

The New York Times writes about Chicago musician Ted Atkatz, who left a tenured post at the CSO to devote his time to local rock band NYCO.

Rocky Horror CSO Show

The Chicago Symphony Orcehstra (CSO) has been working hard to bring a more diverse audience to its performances and the results are showing. This Friday brings "Friday Night at the Movies", when the orchestra will play well-known classics featured in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rocky Horror Picture Show. I doubt the CSO has sweet transvestites (midi) however, so if want the real show head up to the Music Box and see the real Rocky Horror Picture Show at their midnight showing.

Windy City Rockers

If you missed Deerhoof at the Metro Saturday you can watch a video of them performing "The Perfect Me" on pitchfork's YouTube page; not a bad spot to watch in general for clips of bands performing in Chicago.

Folk Festival Needs Your Help

The 47th Annual U of C Folk Festival is coming up. And if funds are tight and you want to see some of the performers (including "one of Missouri's foremost fiddlers"), then volunteer. For every two hours volunteered, you get a free ticket. More info at the Festival's volunteer page.

Tense Forms Winter Showcase

Tense Forms, the collaborative multi-disciplinary, project-based workgroup, is holding their 2nd annual Winter Showcase at Subterranean on February the 2nd at 8pm onwards. The showcase features an insane amount of buttons (1000+), a wall of televisions screening all kinds of visual art as well as live music.

Ride That Tin Horse

Lowen & Navarro are playing tomorrow night at the Park West, and friends of GB Tin Horse are opening for them. The show is nearly sold out, but Tin Horse has your hook-up: enter their raffle by 3pm today and you could win a pair.

Months of Great [Insert Cultural Activity Here]

The Tribune offers a fine selection of art exhibits worth checking out in the coming months, including some out-of-the-way gems. Other informative prospective pieces include features about architecture, dance, and jazz, to name a few.

One a Day, Again

Speaking of song a day projects, the local band Beatnik Turtle just launched, which, true to name, delivers a new off-beat song daily. (Thanks, Greg!)

SketchFest Starts Today!

If you need a laugh to get you through to the ides of January, Chicago's sixth annual Sketch Comedy Festival starts today at the Theatre Building on Belmont.

One a Day

Eight Forty-Eight interviewed musician and teacher Michael Droste this morning about his just-completed One Song Every Day project , which began as a New Year's resolution in 2006. Listen to the interview here (mp3).

Rock On, Chicago

After the death of rock'n'roller/chronic schizophrenic Wesley Willis, his friends started a campaign to raise money for a tombstone for his remains. The Chicago Journal has an update on the plan, which involves burying his ashes in Rosehill Cemetery under a tombstone with the image of a train.

Jazz Showcase closes doors

Another Chicago landmark will be closing its doors this weekend: the Jazz Showcase, an important jazz club that's been running for 59 years. Although its Website says that it's relocating, the latest news is that they still don't have a new location to re-open in. There will be some fundraising in the new year, so keep your eyes out for news on the return of the Showcase.

Dave Matthews Band could be Number Two

The Cubs are trying to set up a new pair of live concerts at Wrigley Field. These concerts, the second in two years, would be on Fourth of July weekend of next year, and would feature the Dave Matthews Band. Insert your own joke about 800 pounds of human waste here.

The hot 100

Pitchfork's top 100 tracks of 2006 list is up.

Deck the halls with DJ Lo-Fi

The most recent episode of Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions featured their annual visit from DJ Lo-Fi, aka Andy Cirzan, who played the most amazing Christmas mix of obscure songs from his record collection. His 2006 holiday mix is now available for downloading at the Chicago Public Radio Website for you to use at your Christmas party. And for some more great Christmas songs, don't forget to check out this week's Out of 5.

CSO Returns to the Airwaves

Gramophone reports that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is recording albums again -- under its own label, CSO Resound. January's release of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and mezzo Michelle DeYoung will be the first since 2001, and will be available on iTunes. The CSO also announced a return to radio broadcast in '07 with the debut of the BP Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series on WFMT. Read the official press release here.

Sing, Sing a Song

You've been hearing about live band karaoke for years, but you've never tried it. Well, now that the holidays are here, there's no excuse: get up there and belt out "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" or "Jingle Bell Rock" to break the ice. You can blame it on the egg nog if you bomb.

"What's Your Fantasy?" Obama 2008!

As fellow Illinois senator Dick Durbin drummed up support for Barack Obama's possible presidential bid, Obama met with Ludacris earlier today. "We talked about empowering the youth," the rapper said. No word on whether Pepsi was served.

Lupe Breaks Out

Lupe Fiasco's star just keeps rising: GQ named him the Breakout Man of the Year, and he'll be on "the Late Show with David Letterman" tonight. Check Transmission to find out how to see him free at the Park West Friday night.

Catch a Chick Flick Tonight

Tonight's your first chance to catch the new improved Thax Douglas, Rock Star™. His band, Chicken and the Chick Flicks, performs at the Beat Kitchen tonight at 5:30pm (ahead of Pat McCurdy's regular Monday night gig.)

Blink and You'll Miss Him

Jay-Z will be swinging through Chicago for half an hour on Saturday as part of a seven-airport tour of the country in support of his new album, Kingdom Come. Anybody know exactly where he'll perform? Or even which airport he'll be at? Email us at inbox[at]

Pitchfork on Ritscher

Pitchfork has a long, thoughtful obit for Malachi Ritscher. Worth reading. (Thanks, Jen.)


Set your alarm clock: tomorrow morning at 8:00, complimentary tickets will be available for the annual LaSalle Bank Do-It-Yourself Messiah. This is the 31st year for the event, which allows an audience of amateur singers to perform the chorus parts of Handel's Messiah at the Civic Opera House. Check the LaSalle Bank Website for details on the event, tips on preparing for the performance, and times and dates for the event.

Goodbye Gunther's

The Bastion comedy blog reports that Gunther Murphy's has been sold and will be closing December 1 for remodeling. That means Tuesday night's Chicago Underground Comedy showcase will be finding a new home. No word on what the news means for live music at Gunther's, but considering that ChUC cast member Mike Bridenstine says the bar's being turned into a "Lincoln Park-style Trixie bar", it doesn't look good.

The New Suburban Venue

Now that the Sears Centre is officially open, the Daily Herald offers a review of its first night in action, and the Sun Times and the Trib provide some background.

Lollapalooza stays in Chicago

It's official: a 5-year deal with Lollpalooza has been approved by the Chicago Park District board.

Meter Switches Off

As Anne pointed out last week, Bob Mehr is leaving the Reader. The final installment of his column "The Meter" bids farewell on a note of musical diversity: police officer "Skipper" Keyes's quest to resuscitate the soul music of local legends and Alex White's plan to form a redhead-only rock 'n' roll band.

Supermodel (You Better Drink Red Bull)

The fabulous RuPaul will be performing at Circuit, 3641 N. Halsted, tonight. The doors open at 10pm, but the diva won't hit the stage until 1am and finishes up at 5am -- better hit those energy drinks! Tickets are $20.

Yankee Hotel Snotbox

Best headline about Jeff Tweedy punching out a fan who ran onstage comes from this blog posting on Billboard: I Am Trying To Break Your Nose.

Lounges axed

Inspired by the closing of CBGB's in New York, The Beachwood Reporter remembers a similar event in Chicago's music scene: the closing of Lounge Ax.

Alright, Son?

Regardless of whether your reaction to Lily Allen's show last night was hurrah or ho-hum, chances are good you had a better time than Tyler Too Much Awesome, who passed out, and not thanks to over-imbibing. Not only was he mortified by causing a commotion, his mother didn't offer much comfort after the fact. Quoth Mrs. Much Awesome, "Well, it was your fault so it's understandable why you feel embarrassed." Gee, thanks, mom.

The Metro Fights Poverty

Not doing anything Monday? The Metro, 3730 N. Clark, plays host to "Stand Up Against Poverty," a benefit for the international nonprofit Concern Worldwide's 2006 campaign to end world hunger. It'll be a night of great Irish music, with the legendary Scott Cleland (founder of the Drovers), Celtic band Baal Tinne and singer/songwriter Nancy Stone performing. Tickets are $10 in advance at the Metro box office or $20 at the door.

MTV on Chicago's Block

MTV's "My Block," a show that takes viewers through the neighborhoods where artists came from, not just their nouveau-riche cribs, takes a tour through Chicago today. Here's a video preview of the episode.

Jam on it

The Vic and the Riviera each debuted newly Jammed-out websites this week, matching the (rather clunky) design of their corporate sib Park West. Seriously, frames? Active Server Pages? No page titles? I guess Jam is partying like it's 1999.

Dirty Thing

One week before their site re-launch party, the guys at Radio Free Chicago heard that their headlining band, The Dirty Things, broke up and won't be playing the gig. RFC is now scrambling to find a replacement band for the upcoming show. Update: according to a comment on the RFC site, All City Affairs will be filling in for the missing band.

Cell Phone Symphony

Last night, as we mentioned they would, the Chicago Sinfonietta asked audience members to skip vibrate mode and let their ringtones, well, ring. Morning Edition offers a snippet and a reminder: the group (and its patrons) will be performing again tonight. ETA: The uniqueness of the concert attracted the attention of the Times, which describes the sound as "like an aviary gone mad."

Girls with Guitars, Turntables and What-have-you

Estrojam, the festival that mixes women's art and activism, starts this evening with a film showcase, but it kicks into rock gear tomorrow, as queercore legends Team Dresch headline a night of music at the Abbey Pub. Events continue throughout the weekend and include a b-girl battle, a zine-writing workshop and concerts featuring Lesbians on Ecstasy. Sound fun and/or empowering? Check the schedule for the full scoop.

A Short Tour for Short Films

The Chicago Short Film Brigade rises from the ashes of the late lamented Prime Shorts Film Festival to "present a wide variety of local and international short films to the public in non-academic, non-festival environments." Screenings start in January and will be quarterly (they're looking for submissions, btw). Andrew Bird is on the Brigade's board, and he's doing a quartet of shows to benefit it. Unfortunately, those shows will be in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Minneapolis and Madison -- but what a great excuse for a road trip!

Free Jet Show for MySpacers

Good news if you've got a MySpace account: This Sunday, Jet will be playing a free show at Schubas -- you can get in (if there's space) only ifyou bring a printout of your profile with "MySpace Secret Shows" among your top eight friends. (Thanks, Mike!)

Music Most Modern

The Chicago Sinfonietta will soon kick off its 20th season, and it's doing so in rather unusual fashion: asking audience members to turn on their mobile devices. As part of a concert set to feature more traditional fare like Liszt, the group will give the world premiere of David Baker's sonic metaphor for order and chaos, "Concertino for Cell Phones and Orchestra."

World (Music) Crisis in Chicago

World music fans have a problem tonight. Check out the US premiere (in Millennium Park) of "Nu Art Claiming Earth," an amalgam of Basque, West-Indian, and African influences, performed by an orchestra supplemented by 10 Bordeaux musicians, 20 Chicago jazz artists, and 20 Chicago students? Or dive into the Cultural Center's one-night showcase?

GLONO turns 5, celebrates in style

Glorious Noise unveiled a new redesign this week, and also posted details on their 5th anniversary celebration next month, which will feature plenty of live music (Riviera, Quasar Wut-Wut, and Healthy White Baby) and many more surprises.

6 Degrees of Bob Dylan

How well do you know your Dylan trivia? Well enough to connect, say, Sid Vicious to Robert Zimmerman in six steps or less? Find out with Coudal Partners' latest diversion and you could win some cool stuff.

World Music Fans, Take a Deep Breath...

The 8th annual Chicago World Music Festival begins tomorrow and will stage dozens of concerts around the city, by artists from a gazillion countries. We've highlighted many of them in Slowdown (mostly the free ones), but you can find a complete schedule here.

Ruckus over Reggae

Tonight, if there's commotion outside the House of Blues, it's because Buju Banton is in, well, the house. The Gay Liberation Network will be protesting the dancehall artist in response to lyrics that graphically portray and advocate the killing of gay men (there are, for instance, Uzis involved). The controversy's no surprise: over the years, a number of Banton's concerts, especially those scheduled in the UK, have been either cancelled or banned due to concerns over hate speech and incitement to violence. [via]

Block Party Pix

Photos are still getting posted to flickr from three long days of rocking West Wabansia this weekend. Check the tags HideoutBlockParty, TouchAndGo and Hideout, for starters.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Spotted in Austin, a bathroom wall tribute to Andrew Bird. Chicago, it seems, "hearts" him. And, speaking of Mr. Bird, is it too soon to start making plans to escape your family and spend some of Thanksgiving weekend with him at Logan Square Auditorium? Of course not! Tickets are available through the Empty Bottle.

Block Party Full; No Tickets Left

If you've not bought tickets to the Touch & Go Festival yet, don't bother heading to the Hideout this weekend: there's no more room at the inn. Don't fret, though -- Slowdown has some good alternatives.

Girl Talks some more

Want some more Girl Talk? Today's interviewee at Transmission was also interviewed yesterday at Pitchfork's Website.

Hideout Block Party schedule announced

Yesterday the official line-up of The Hideout's 10th annual block party was announced. The event, which will also commemorate the 25th anniversary of Touch and Go Records, will feature over 30 bands performing over a long weekend in September. Among the bands: Quasi (featuring ex-Sleater-Kinney member Janet Weiss on drums); local favorites the Didjits in their original lineup; and as reported previously a reunited Big Black, who will be playing only "a couple of songs." The full line-up is at Transmission.

Panic! at the Darkroom

Who's in the mood for a little brit pop? Then put on your moddest dancing shoes and head to Darkroom at 2210 W. Chicago for Panic! Fom 9pm to 2am, you can sway to the best of the brits and maybe win tix to the upcoming Pet Shop Boys show at the Chicago Theatre. Send your song requests to panic [ at ] gmail-dot-com.

A Newer, Larger Punk Planet

Taking another step away from scissors, glue, and late night photocopying sessions, our city's very own Punk Planet has redesigned and expanded its website. Of particular note is the addition of user blogs.

Queen of Disco Performs in Chicago

Gloria Gaynor performs in Chicago on Thursday as part of KC's Boogie Blast, a tribute to the 70's tour led by KC and the Sunshine Band, along with Tavares and Sister Sledge. Gaynor's smash hit song, "I Will Survive" (1979) continues to be embraced as an anthem of emancipation, especially in Europe, where the singer enjoys a revived career. Still an icon to women and the gay community around the world, Gaynor holds rank as the undisputed queen of disco.

KTB To Change Line-Up

In a very heartfelt letter to fans, locals The Katie Todd Band announced that their guitarist is moving to Portland. This means you have now until the rest of the summer to catch them in their current line-up, including a gig Wednesday at The Double Door with Hoosier rockers Margot and The Nuclear So-Sos. After that, Katie's going to hole up in her apartment and write new music, so we'll see what the spring will bring for KTB.

South by Midwest

What does it take to revive the '60s soul music of The Birmingham Sound? A concert at the Hideout a few weeks back. Birmingham Weekly reports on how Ralph "Soul" Jackson, Roscoe Robinson and other Magic City musicians got their groove back.

Chicago Samba @ The Hot House

Enjoy a steamy Brazilian night tonight at the Hothouse (31 E. Balbo) with a performance led by the 7-piece band, Chicago Samba, which blends up a cocktail of samba, bossa nova, batucada and other spirited dance rhythms. Seasoned Brazilian dance professional Edilson Lima provides samba lessons during intermission. Tickets are $10 -- both in advance and at the door. The show starts at 10pm.

From Snakes to Snap

Tomorrow night, you can hit the first in a series of fundraisers for the independent feature film, Snap, at the Double Door. The headlining band, Baldwin Brothers, is featured on the upcoming Samuel L. Jackson movie soundtrack for Snakes on a Plane (um, you might have heard something about it), for which they produced a remix of the All American Rejects song "Can't Take It." For more details, check Transmission.

The Adventures Continue

Now that Lollapalooza, Pitchfork and Intonation have come and gone, what's the adventurous concert-goer making plans for next? Probably next month's annual Adventures in Modern Music festival (September 20-24), sponsored by the Empty Bottle and the UK music mag The Wire. Two acts not to miss at this year's festival: the highly enigmatic Jandek (who was supposed to show up for last year's festival but had to cancel due to hurricane evacuation); and influential hiphop remixer Steinski. Tickets are already on sale at Ticketweb, so you'd better hop to it!

OK Go Shoot Your Own Video

By now you've probably seen the new super-choreographed video for OK Go's "Here It Goes Again." But what you may not have known about is the dance contest they're running: contestants replicate the moves from OK Go's previous viral video, "A Million Ways," post it on YouTube, and the band judges. The winners will dance with the band on stage at an upcoming concert. You've got until August 30 to enter.

It's First Friday, With Even Less Clothing

Put away those stiletto boots and that too-hot-for-August ultrasuede miniskirt: the MCA presents a water-themed First Friday. Featuring a bathing suit fashion show and "skinny dip" martinis, the event was inspired by WaterShed, an interactive sculpture designed by students at the Art Institute that flashes and emits ambient sounds when you ask it for some agua. See Slowdown for details.

Rock 'n' Roll Deathmatch

So many bands, so little time. As you know, this weekend sees the last of this summer's major multi-day rock festivals as Lollapalooza sprouts up all over Grant Park. Today, GB's Transmission runs down the scheduled match-ups to help steer you from stage to stage. For those not attending, AT&T is webcasting the event, promising to bring you "live performances as they happen." And, if you're like Andrew and torn between Wilco & QOTSA, never fear: the site will also feature archived footage post-show, so, almost like TiVo for real life, you may be able to timeshift the sets. God bless the internet, eh?

More Midwestern Pride

Meet another website devoted to the wonders of the Midwest: Midwestern Goodness. While they have content from around the region, they recently filmed a short video tour in Chicago. More Chicago content is in the works.

Show WLUW some LUV

Remember when you donated items to independent community radio station WLUW in June? Well, those items are now for sale to raise money for the station. Some particularly interesting finds are an autographed Mekons guitar, a drawing by Archer Prewitt, and a Fugazi/Shellac/The Ex ticket printing plate.

No One's In the House

What if they threw a music festival and nobody came? It happened last weekend to the Move! 2006, the Chicago International House Music Festival. Only about 2,000 fans showed up, far short of the 8,000+ expected. (We didn't hear about it till today, so maybe they just didn't get the word out well enough.)

On the March

Mucca Pazza got quite a write-up in the Sun-Times yesterday. They'll be playing at the Hideout this Thursday, July 27 -- the perfect time to catch what's possibly the world's only circus punk marching band.

Win the Rock

In the next couple of weeks, Pitchfork and Lollapalooza will host their music extravaganzas. Multi-day passes are either gone or hecka expensive. But going for free sure would be nice, wouldn't it? Here are two ways to try your luck at winning admission.

Grant Park in Your Living Room

The Grant Park Orchestra recently released two new albums. So enjoy the GPO on the lawn or in your easy chair!

Pitchfork: 2-Day Passes Gone

Two-day passes to the Pitchfork Music Festival have sold out, and the site says there's a small number of one-day tickets left. The festival has announced its set time schedule (you can plan your visits to the food and arts & crafts tents), and it has expanded beyond just July 29th and 30th in Union Park, with downtown concerts and a film festival planned for the week leading up to the main event: so many details.

Still No Justice for Dead Musicians

A year ago tomorrow, three local musicans were killed in a car accident by a woman who was allegedly attempting suicide. She survived, and there still hasn't been a trial. A member of the Electrical Audio discussion board has been attending hearings and providing updates (three most recent) on the proceedings; the latest is that trial is pending a psychiatric evaluation of the defendant. Next court date is July 21. (Thanks, Ron.)

Classical Music Online

If you're a big classical music fan--or a not-so-big one, who just likes to know what's going on--check out Chicago Classical Music. The site offers a consolidated concert schedule; a blog written by staff from Ravinia, Chicago Sinfonietta, and other classical music organizations; and an assortment of user forums. There's even a Classified section, to pick up tickets someone else can't use.

Not to be Confused with a Hipster Convention

The House won't be the only local organization to be graced with Ira Glass's benefit-hosting skillz. Pitchfork reports that Glass will be on-hand next month as 826CHI presents Death Cab's Ben Gibbard, John Roderick of the Long Winters, novelist ZZ Packer and a guy called Dave Eggers (maybe you've heard of him). The gig's August 24th at Park West.

Watch For Falling Rock

We warned you it was coming, and now it's out: Sufjan Stevens' album Avalanche, full of 75 more minutes of songs about Illinois (or Illinoise, if you prefer). And if you want it live, tickets for Sufjan's September 26th show at the Riv go on sale Saturday.

Songs: Illinois

songs:illinois is an excellent little mp3 blog run by Craig Bonell in Oak Park. There's definitely a folk/ acoustic/ singer-songwriter focus but what excites me personally is that I've only heard of maybe one artist on the homepage. A nice deviation from Pitchfork and the like, dig in and discover some new tunes.

Just Don't Stick 'Em in Your Bike Spokes

For all of you folk fanatics and alt country fans, new at Quimby's this week is Pioneers of Country Music, a set of 40 trading cards illustrated by R. Crumb. Brief bios on the back of each card give the histories of Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers, Uncle Dan Macon and His Fruit-Jar Drinkers, Al Hopkins and his Buckle Busters and other whimsically named bands. Two earlier series, Early Jazz Greats and Heroes of the Blues, also feature art by R. Crumb.

Bands Will Soon Go On 20 Seconds Earlier

Perhaps under the assumption that there will be no flash photography at rock shows, Thax Douglas is making plans to leave Chicago for New York this fall. Chicagoist has details on his "farewell" tour.

Representin' CHI

Did you know that July is Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Month? Lots to do.

Waits Waits, don't tell me

The only music news that you need to know for the summer: Tom Waits will be playing Chicago next month. Good luck trying to get tickets...

Post a Video Response

June 30: Pitchfork Media posts a negative review of the album Movie Monster by Sound Team. July 3: Sound Team posts a response to the review on YouTube. July 5: Pitchfork gives the video response a better review than their album. (tip from Ghost Media)

A Night of Metal on Us!

Another quick contest! If you're ready to blast away the hangover of a long holiday weekend with some heavy metal tomorrow night at the Double Door, then be the first one to email us at with the subject "Metal!". You and a guest will get in to see local band Bible of the Devil along with Priestess (listen). Plus, the winner gets a signed Priestess CD and a really cool free t-shirt from Tank Theory. {Update: Congrats to Mark, who likes to Rawk!}

Never miss another show

Tourfilter comes to Chicago. A Website started by Boston concertgoers who were tired of missing shows by their favorite artists, Tourfilter is very simple: type in your favorite bands, and the site will send you an email when the band schedules a Chicago performance. I've already found one upcoming show using the site: punk-folk-acoustic singer-songwriter Stuart Davis performing Friday night at Schubas. (link found at Metafilter)

Songs about reuniting

Okay, so the next-to-last ever Sleater-Kinney show isn't getting you excited? (They've since added a show at home a week later.) How about a Big Black reunion? Touch and Go Records will be celebrating their 25th anniversary at the Hideout Block Party September 8-10, and they officially announced this week what had been rumored about days before: the influential 1980s noise rock band started by one Mr. Steve Albini will be reuniting to play "a couple songs" at the party. And according to the Touch & Go site, there's more surprises in store for the party. Tickets for the Hideout Block Party are available for purchase online.

Not what you want

Just in case you were trying to decide whether or not to go to Lollapalooza this year, here's an incentive to attend: Sleater-Kinney is breaking up, and their scheduled performance at the festival in Grant Park will be their last.

"People Have Gotten up to a Lot of Nonsense in Chicago"

The hottest brother-sister pair in indie rock, the Fiery Furnaces, hail from Oak Park, and their last album was about their grandmother's experience growing up in the area. Earlier this week, Eight Forty-Eight aired an interview with the songwriting half of the duo, Matthew Friedberger, about that record and his connection to the city; listen to it here [mp3]. The band will perform at the Metro tomorrow night.

Intonation On Us

Hey, quick contest! First person to email with the names of three bands they want to see at Intonation Music Festival this weekend gets a two-day VIP pass! UPDATE: Holy crap, that was fast: Dave Reidy is our winner!

Plan Your Lolla Weekend

We're not even through this weekend's Intonation Music Festival, which will mark the start of Chicago's three big alterna-music fests this year, but you can already plan out how you're going to spend every half hour of the first weekend in August. Lollapalooza promoters have released the schedule of performances and you can even customize your own and share it with friends. Even with three days to play with, there are going to be some hard choices to make: Queens of the Stone Age or Wilco? Kanye or Manu Chao? Calexico or Lyrics Born? Ah, decisions, decisions.

If Only It Had Happened in the Park...

Chances are good you didn't get tickets for Radiohead this week, but never mind. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can pretend you were there and see a clip of a new track, "All I Need." [via]

Bye-bye, Barenboim, Pt. 2

It's not just the Times that marked Barenboim's departure, but London's Telegraph, as well. Both reviews remark on the balancing of the brass with the sound of rest of the orchestra -- in other words, a departure from the sounds of Solti -- but only one notes the maestro's other reason to celebrate the weekend: Argentina's routing of Serbia-Montenegro in the World Cup. He may have spent 15 years in Chicago, but "'when it comes to football, there are no divided loyalties.'" What's next for the CSO remains unclear. As the Post puts it, the orchestra faces an "interregnum." Which only serves to underscore Barenboim's tenure as that of something like a king.

MOBFest 2006

While it's not SXSW, since 1997 Chicago MOBFest has been trying to get the music industry to sit up and take notice of the bands that our humble midwestern city has to offer (along with some underserved national acts). They'll be bringing a slew of panelists from major labels to teach those who want to know how to break into the music biz. For $90, your laminated pass will get you into a ton of music showcases, panel discussions and seminars (as well as a free compilation CD) this weekend. If you're not into the panels, the shows are open to the public, and we have a few suggestions from the huge offering here, here, here and here.

Playing at Potbellys

If you like music with your sandwiches or wish to play MTV's crappiest hits for those indulging in their lunchtime subs, you might be surprised to hear (or play) a tune or two the next time you're at a Potbellys. The Beachwood Reporter has a piece about the local Potbellys and how they stack up musically. And on a side note: local musician Jef Sarver will attempt to break the world record for the longest guitar marathon ever at a Potbellys on June 21-23.

Bottom of the Ninth

Conductor Daniel Barenboim said goodbye to the CSO and Chicago this weekend, and he did it in characteristically over-the-top fashion, according to the New York Times.

Free Jens & Ham (And Then Some)

Don't say Pitchfork never gave you anything: at emusic, download a free sampler of bands who'll appear next month at the site's Union Park festival.

Tinhorse at Joe's Bar This Thursday

Feel like rockin' out to some country? Friends of GB Kevin and Joe are both members of Tinhorse, and are gigging this Thursday at Joe's Bar on Weed St. (And if you want to listen before you decide to head down there, you can download some of their tunes from their website.) Yee-hah!

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Madonna?

It's later this week that Madonna and her mirrored disco-cross will touch down at the United Center. Jim DeRogatis provides a rather skeptical preview of the production -- surely the only word for it -- in today's Sun-Times. The bottom line: it's not a show for rockists. Then again, who that's going to see Ms. Ciccone is expecting otherwise?

To listen to on your next coffee break

Local indie-pop outfit Office, last month's Practice Space residents at Schubas, have this week's free single on iTunes with "Wound Up". They play the Bottle next Friday; see Slowdown.

Call the Jazz Police

Sometimes when you're on your honeymoon vacation, you find out something about your own town that is worth sharing. Like how there's a very bare-bones (but cool) site that lists the specifics about jazz events in a few cities (New Orleans, Chicago, Bay Area, New York, LA, Twin Cities, and more.) And the best part? They're the Jazz Police you cool cat, you! Rat-a-tat-tat-cha!

Thax v. Photobloggers (Cont'd.)

Last month, we noted Thax Douglas's opposition to flash photography at shows. His campaign continues.

Summer of Music Lovers

We've finally reached the summer festival season, which means everybody's got a preview. In lieu of one of our own, we'll just point you to the others: Greg Kot's guide to this summer's concerts, The Reader's "These Parts" guide to festivals in the five-state region, New City's Summer Guide, and Centerstage's "Guerilla Guide to Festivals" in and around the city.


Tom Breihan of Status Ain't Hood has declared Chicago to be the future of hip-hop (again), this time manifested in the imposing form of Rhymefest. Take this praise with a grain of salt: in the same breath, he's dismissing Common as "an insufferable granola-munching pseudo-boho."

Book Your Own Indie Life

Local bar band Beatnick Turtle is in the news for something other than their music: they've written an e-book, "The Indie Rock Survival Guide, intended to help bands who're just starting out on the scene. Mighty helpful of them; even got them namechecked by Lawrence Lessig. Download the PDF here.

Arrivederci, Chicago; Ciao, Italia

Milan's La Scala announced yesterday that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's soon-to-be-erstwhile music director Daniel Barenboim will become its principal guest conductor beginning next season. Later this month, the last operatic performances of Barenboim's tenure will feature Wagner and Boulez. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye...

Rate This Poster

Sound Opinions wants your help with a little project: email them the location of a record release poster or upcoming concert, and give'em a review -- along with a buy it, burn it or trash it rating -- and they'll slap a sticker on the poster and post your review on their site. Power to the people!

A Sudsy Cause We All Can Support

The future of communities of Chicago is a topic that's on my mind lately, and one place that certainly creates community is a pub, a local tap, or any source of draught beer. Fortunately for us, many community organizers have banded together to create Bring Back the Draught, a loosely-affiliated bunch of groups focused on consuming and preserving draught beer in Chicago's neighborhoods. They have a new website -- join a group, or start a new one in your neighborhood.

Your Live Music Fix

Feelin' the need for live music but can't make it to the club? Here are some mp3s of Feist at the Park West, and Neko Case on NPR a month ago, in three parts: I, II, III.

Camera Police, Arrest This Man

Thax Douglas may be taking a break from his poetic stylings, but he's not going gently into that good night; rather, it seems, he's raging at the flashing of the light.

Parsing Pitchfork

Cleveland blog goodhodges runs a statistical analysis of Pitchfork reviews and finds that, big surprise, they tend to review albums they like. The follow-up breakdown of scores is interesting, too. [via] This all brings to mind Pitchformula, a UofC student's thesis analyzing reviews and writing songs that would garner the highest ratings, which we told you about awhile back.

Freshen Your Tracks is a local music sales site that features a more indie selection than iTunes, and for your $5-8 a month you can do just about anything you want with your downloads. A nice profile of the service in the Trib today.

Everything in Its Right Venue

Radiohead loves Chicago, so despite being snubbed by Millennium Park, the band has scheduled two dates at the Auditorium Theatre instead. Tickets for the June 19 and 20 shows go on sale this Saturday at 10am.

Rappers' DIY

After Kanye, Common and Twista have blown up, Illinois Entertainer asks what of Chicago's indie hip-hop labels?

CSO Names New Dirigent

So, the CSO has finally found a new conductor. Dutch-born Bernard Haitink will take up the baton, sharing the duties with Pierre Boulez, who has had a long-standing relationship with the orchestra. While not quite the superstar like Solti or Barenboim, hopefully Mr. Haitink will come to like the city and musicians a bit more than Mr. Barenboim did. And will he meet the CSO's previous requirement of "[increasing] the blend of socializing and community outreach that the CSO will expect of its new music director."

Act now to save 7.14% on Lollapalooza

Red Eye is reporting that Lollapalooza passes will be increasing from $130 to $140 (plus surcharges) on Thursday, when Perry Farrell will hold a press conference to announce even more performers. So if you want to save that $10, buy today.

Bridge Out

It's not a NASCAR crash or a shattered backboard, but if you're Joshua Bell of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a collapsed bridge on your 1713 Stradivarius is pretty darn dramatic.

Smashing Pumpkins... actually reuniting.

Many moons after Billy Corgan's infamous full-page Tribune ad, Pitchfork is reporting they're back together (well, according to their website). No word yet on which (if any) summer festival they'll grace with their presence.

Leaky Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco is set to become The Next Big Chicago Rap Thing. Or, if he's to be believed, was. His record Food & Liquor leaked over the weekend, and he's awfully upset over it. Upset to the point of saying that, although he reportedly spent five years working on the album, it may now never see official release. Status Ain't Hood ain't buying that and says, get over it, Lupe, 'cause the thing is "just about perfect."

The Festival Buzz Gets Louder

Jim DeRogatis on the latest booking developments at this summer's music festivals. First, there was Os Mutantes at Pitchfork; now, Roky Erickson at Intonation. 

Symphonic Pilsen

The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training body for the well-known CSO, is holding a community concert in Pilsen next week. Like all of the Civic concerts, it's free and has some tasty tidbits--Bolero among them. And the Grant Park Music Festival has announced their summer program as well, and it's truly exciting--Tibetan singers for Mozart, Carmina Burana.

Buy a Piece of the Velvet

To help raise the funds to reopen the legendary Velvet Lounge at its planned new location, 36 E. Cermak, there's going to be an "artifact sale" at the old location, 2128.5 S. Indiana, this Sunday, April 23 at 3pm. Just about everything you can imagine will be available for purchase — cash only! — including the historic bar top for $1,000 or best offer. You might even get a bit of wallpaper. (Thanks, Sharon!)

A revolution in Brazilian culture... comes to Union Park

The lineup for the Pitchfork Music Festival has just gone from really strong to spectacular: Tropicalia innovators Os Mutantes, who recently announced they'd be performing for the first time in over thirty years, will be headlining the concluding day of the festival.

If you don't know who they are (and missed the Tropicalia exhibition at the MCA earlier this year), David Byrne's Luaka Bop released a decent retrospective a few years back, and they're proiminently featured on a recent Tropicalia compilation. Get listening!

Filtered Music, Fake Babies

Next Tuesday, April 18 at 8pm, Filter Magazine is hosting a "Music Appreciation Night" at Landmark Art Gallery, 841 W. Randolph, featuring The Redwalls and Assassins. It's free, but you've got to RSVP. [via] And speaking of Filter, they've got an interesting story about Sufjan Stevens taking Pitchfork to task via email for posting a story about Sufjan's lovechild with singer Rosie Thomas, which turned out to be a hoax.

Sia on CD

Today, Chicagoist runs a positive "Re-View" of singer Sia's performance at Martyr's. Tomorrow, while it'll be more than a little different from a live show, you can celebrate the release of her CD, Colour the Small One, at Berlin. There'll be giveaways and dancing and stuff.

Your Early Easter Present

Not doing anything on Easter? We'll give you two passes to see Editors at the Metro Sunday night, along with a copy of their new album, Back Roomif you're the first to email! Stuck at your parents' that day? You can catch them playing a short set at Tower Records, 2301 N. Clark., between 5 and 6pm Monday the 17th. UPDATE: Ed is our winner!

11 Bloodshot Years, 35 Alligators

Bloodshot Records, Chicago's "insurgent country" label, turned 11 this year, and it's celebrating with a two-CD set of all-new songs by a laundry list of bands. Not to be outdone, blues label Alligator Records is commemorating its 35th year with a compilation of its own, 35x35, featuring such greats as Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Son Seals and Albert Collins. WBEZ's 848 interviewed the owners of both labels recently; here are mp3s of Alligator's Bruce Iglauer and Bloodshot's Nan Warshaw and Rob Miller.

Ringleader of the Impersonators

Know a Morrissey look-alike? Does he want to make a cameo in a music video? It's modern-day Mozzers that are encouraged to apply, but Smiths-era throwbacks may be considered. [via]

Tastes Like Some Great Concerts To Me

Even though the official Taste of Chicago website isn't saying anything official yet, the Trib has an early announcement of music booked for the festival this summer. Former Kinks frontman (and recent Chicago visitor) Ray Davies (pronounced like "Daviz") will headline on July 4 along with (get this) My Morning Jacket and former Soul Coughing lead singer (and recent Chicago visitor) Mike Doughty. The rest of the fest lineup includes Chaka Khan on June 30, Glen Campbell and Jo Dee Messina, July 1 and 2 (see more here), India.Arie on July 5, Macy Gray and (local act) Liquid Soul on July 7, and former Styx vocalist and Chicago son Dennis DeYoung and Kenny Wayne Shepherd on July 9. Best part is it's all free. (More to come about July 6 and 8.)

Like a Rhinestone Cowboy

The lineup for one of the City of Chicago sponsored music festivals is posted, and it's boot tappin' good. The Chicago Country Music Festival, held July 1 and 2, will feature none other than music legend Glen Campbell (representing old school country) and Jo Dee Messina (on behalf of modern country). Also performing are bluegrass group the Yonder Mountain String Band and pop/country artists SHeDaisy among others. The festival operates alongside the Taste of Chicago, which has also kind of announced some of its lineup already.

"Drove to Chicago" ...Again

You thought we'd never mention Sufjan Stevens's Illinois again, didn't you? (Check the archive if you somehow missed 2005.) Well, you thought wrong: this summer, the Prairie State epic will be followed up by the sessions' outtakes, 21 songs described as counterparts to the original album's tracks. Details about The Avalanche, as the collection will be called, are at the Asthmatic Kitty website, but know that there will be not one, not two, but three more versions of "Chicago" to get stuck in your head. Look for the requisite acoustic jam, as well as "adult contemporary easy listening" and "multiple personality disorder" renditions.

Touch & Go at 25

Mark your calendars: Touch and Go Records turns 25 this year, and they're celebrating with a big concert at the Hideout September 8-10. Twenty-five T&G bands past and present will perform, including Black Heart Procession, Calexico, CocoRosie, Enon, Pinback, Shellac, Ted Leo/Pharmacists and the original line-ups of the Didjits and Scratch Acid. We'll have more details for you as they become available.

Two More For the PMF

Spoon and the Silver Jews have been added to the lineup at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, which surprises exactly no one. In other Pitchfork news, they're looking for a local music reporter, and has anyone else noticed that the top Google hit for "Pitchfork Music Festival" is the rival Intonation Music Festival?

AfriCaribe at the Naperville Public Library

Members of the Chicago-based non-profit AfriCaribe will be performing at the Naperville Public Library on Wednesday, April 5, at 7pm. Founded in 2000, AfriCaribe is dedicated to celebrating Puerto Rican and Caribbean cultures through dance, music, theatre and other arts. Tickets for teh event are available at all Naperville Public Library branches. The performance takes place at the 95th Street Library meeting room. Call 630-961-4100 ext. 4941 for more information.

The Modern Sounds Of Today!

Woo hoo! RibFest is coming and boy, are we pumped or what? They just announced the music lineup and I can hardly contain myself. First off, you got R.E.O. Speedwagon (of "Keep On Lovin' You" fame). Secondly, There's Three Dog Night which by now is down to a single dog if I'm getting my math right. So bring your bib, your wetnaps and those ears of yours to the RibFest!

Celebrating the Alternative

Radio Free Chicago offers the details on two entertainment options for fans of old-school alternative tonight: a Morrissey listening party at Delilah's and the cinema debut of Beastie Boys concert doc Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That! (Or, ya know, come see us.)

Volunteer, See Coldplay for Free is a great site for information about free-trade issues in Chicago and worldwide. And if you follow this link, you can find out if you volunteer with OxFam at the Coldplay concert you can get in for free.

Jamming Before G-d

He may be more up your kid brother's alley than yours, but if you couldn't find a ticket to last week's sold-out Matisyahu show, Q101 is all about helping you out by streaming the concert in its entirety. If, however, it's the real deal you want, just wait a few months: the newly ubiquitous Hasidic reggae artist was one of the acts announced this morning for Lollapalooza.

Lolla Lineup Loves Chicago

Hey, the Lollapalooza lineup is up, and it includes some fine local acts like Manishevitz as well as some killers from back in the day. Big names include Red Hot Chili Peppers and (also local boys) Wilco, Kanye West and Common (no word from Smashing Pumpkins...yet). Tickets are on sale, and the current price for a 3-day pass is $130 (it will go up, so buy now). That's a buck a band, when all's said and done.

XXX, but SFW

Surely there are some Chicago fans out there? (Chicago the band, I mean.) The long-lived band releases its 30th album (cleverly titled XXX) in one week, but you can hear it right now, thanks to those right neighborly folks at Clear Channel. Will the liner notes include an In Memoriam notice for Demon Dogs? Find out next Tuesday....

Set your alarms

Keeping up with the city's major summer music festivals is becoming a full-time job—not that we're complaining. No, we're here to help, so if you missed out on yet another presale yesterday (those $25 Intonation passes are gone, baby), let us remind you to cancel all your appointments for Thursday. That's when the Lollapalooza lineup will be announced (130 bands!) and regular tickets go on sale.

We've Got Tickets for You

Hey, how'd you like to see the Guillemots at Schubas this Sunday for free, courtesy of Vice Records? We've got a pair of guest list spots reserved for the first person to email telling us what a guillemot is and a link to a photo of one. UPDATE: It pays to get up early sometimes. Reader Serandip wins!

Yet Another Ticket Race

Intonation Music Festival tickets go on sale at noon today, and the two-day pass will be available for just $25 (as opposed to $35). How long do you think it'll take for those to sell out?

Hanalei All The Way

This week's featured Transmission artist, Hanalei, will be releasing their latest CD Parts and Accessories (of which two tracks are available for download) on March 14th. To commemorate the release, they'll be having a CD release party on Saturday, March 11th at the Beat Kitchen. Support local music and make a point of attending if you can.

Yet Another Festival

They said it couldn't be done without the 'Fork, but it seems the Intonation Music Festival will go on, after all. Set to take place in Union Park the last weekend in June, the Streets and Bloc Party have been announced as headliners. They're keeping the "curated by" terminology; this time it's Vice Records, partnered up with KEXP. Advance two-day passes go on sale Monday at noon for $25. This may be the summer the indie rockers get a tan.

Pitchfork Tickets: Get'em While They're Hot

One- and two-day passes for the Pitchfork Music Festival are on sale now.

Representing the Third Coast

Sure, we've got Pitchfork and Lollapalooza to look forward to later this year, but if you're heading to Austin for South by Southwest, be sure to check in on the numerous Chicago-based acts. (Even if you won't be in Texas, the site has loads of MP3s and streams to prep you for the bands' gigs once they come home.)

Condos Move In, Jazz Moves On

The Velvet Lounge will meet a wrecking ball shortly, as the club is paved in preparation for new housing developments. Friends of the lounge have raised enough funds to move the historic site one quarter of a mile away to 67 E Cermak Road.

Tickets? I love tickets!

So you've been saving up money to pay for all of those music festivals this summer, right? Well, if you weren't one of the lucky 3000 to get cheap Lollapalooza tickets yesterday, perhaps you can get some still-cheaper Pitchfork music tickets on Monday. They've announced 6 of the 36 bands, and it's looking like a strong lineup so far.

Lolla for Less Dollahs

Just announced: Cheap Lollapalooza 3-day pass tickets are available online for $45 (plus $8 in fees). This is a bit of a blind commitment, because the lineup isn't going to be officially announced until March 16. But, if you're willing to make a bet, it's a cheap one. They're going to go fast, and there's only 3,000 available, so hop to it. Update: Sold out in 34 minutes!

Bop-a-lu Pre-bop

Podbop: it's like Upcoming, only with a soundtrack.

Keepin' It Steady on Southport

On the subject of Jason Molina (of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. fame) and his Monday night gigs at Schubas throughout February, Pitchfork says "the month-long residency format is perfect for an artist like Molina." Which suggests to me that maybe you don't want to miss the residency's last installment next week. Heck, it's only six bucks and the only tickets left for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs gig would involve crossing your fingers and queuing up with 14-year-olds. In other words, what's to lose?

Feist-y Opinions

If you hadn't heard "Mushaboom" before, now that the Postal Service remix has shown up among's links, it'll likely be unavoidable on the interweb for the next few days. Hear more as Feist appears on Sound Opinions this weekend (7pm, Saturday, on Chicago Public Radio).

Chris Saathof Benefit tonight

The 2nd anniversary of Chris Saathof's passing was this past Tuesday. A benefit will be held tonight at The Beat Kitchen (10PM, $10, 18+), featuring The Hot Machines whose member Miss Alex White was Saathof's old musical partner. [Thanks Jennifer!]

The Raptor of Live Music

The League of Chicago Music Venues is throwing a music festival this weekend, and you're invited. This Friday through Sunday, The Hawk Winter Music Festival will feature acts of all sorts, from blues to indie to children's, at the group's 11 member clubs. And on Sunday, a $20 wristband gets you into as many shows as you can stand. Worth checking out.

Pontiac says OK GO

Just in case you were considering playing hooky this Friday to go see the Chicago Auto Show, here's an incentive. OK GO is playing a free concert at the Pontiac Garage sponsored by Pontiac and Q101, who happen to be giving away free tickets. Flash animation warning.

AsianMack free mixes

While the mix mp3 project Out of 5 might return in the near future, Jamie and the folks at AsianMack are releasing completely free mp3 mixes each month that come with printable AsianMack cover artwork. Look to the northeast.

More Lolla to Love

The details are slowly oozing out about the return of Lollapalooza to Chicago this summer. Latest in the pipeline is that the festival will be more than twice as big with a jump from 60 to 130 acts, will feature not 4 but 8 stages, and will stretch from Hutchinson Field to the Petrillo Music Shell over the now 3-days of music, August 4-6. Will any of the lineup be recycled from the other summer music fests in the works? Are any of those acts Smashing Pumpkins? We're still waiting to hear.

MDRN Transmission Pt. 2

If you missed this week's Transmission act, the Modern Temper, at their Hideout gig on Wednesday because of the GRAMMYs, the snow or Project Runway, they've been added to tonight's Beat Kitchen bill. Doors are at 7; admission is $8.

Don't Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

Former WLUW DJ Mike (sans partner Lyssa) interviews Ed Menacho, founder of local label Brilliante Records on his podcast 15 Minutes (the step-child of their longer show 75 Minutes, a GB fav). Hear about how the label got started, and the changing indie record scene, as well as music by local Brilliante artist The M's.

Closing the Book of Daniel

Wynne Delacoma of the Sun-Times outlines the CSO's post-Barenboim strategy, which we can summarize for you: guest conductors, guest conductors and more guest conductors. What might come after the 2006/07 season, no one's saying, but it seems likely that one of those guests may eventually settle in for good.

Perhaps it is the Cat Scratch Fever?

Citing "health reasons" Matador records has announced that the delightfully unpredictable Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) has cancelled most of her U.S. tour, including her stop in Chicago originally planned for The Vic later this month. If you're desperate for some Cat Power, she's still planning to play Bonnaroo and Coachella Music Festivals...for now. Check the Matador site for updates on refunds.

Nothing To Get Angry About

This week's Transmission artist, The Modern Temper, will blow their stack this Wednesday, February 8th at The Hideout (w/Devin Davis). Get over the "Hump Day" blues and head over to one of the hottest venues in Chicago. Show some love for a local up-and-coming band.

XXX-Rated Chicago

Demon Dogs maybe be gone, but Chicago (the band) is back. The band's 30th album, imaginitively titled Chicago XXX, comes out next Tuesday, and they'll be touring this summer with none other than Huey Lewis & The News.

Summer of Music

Now that it's semi-official that Lollapalooza is returing to Grant Park August 4-6, music fans are looking at a very busy summer. Intonation is scheduled for June 24-25 and the new Pitchfork Music Festival is July 29-30 (both at Union Park) — throw in the city-sponsored Gospel, Blues, Country and Jazz Festivals (not to mention neighborhood fests) and there's a major music fest pretty much every other weekend from June till September.

Last Gasp For The Cotton Club

The Cotton Club will be closing its doors Monday evening after 20 years in business. Surely the place will be packed this evening, but if you're so inclined, drop by and take part in its send-off.

"We Hate When Our Friends Become Successful"

Is Chicago ready for not one, but two Pitchfork-inspired festivals? Inspired by their success last year, various parties who once teamed up are trying to go their separate ways and stage separate events. Which, frankly, sounds like a Very Bad Idea.

The Return of Intonation

Well, you won't hear it (yet) from Pitchfork or the fest's website, but the hit Intonation Music Festival is slated to return to Chicago this summer, July 29-30. While we're eagerly waiting for a line-up announcement (and a weather forecast), let's hope the city gets a call from that other big music festival and doesn't schedule it for the same weekend. We've already been disappointed with scheduling conflicts once this year.

Some Local Music Love

As posted earlier this week, Flameshovel Records is considered one of the Top 10 indie labels in Chicago. Appropriately, we are featuring one of their bands, The Bound Stems, in our Transmission section this week. They are considered by many to be a band on the rise but don't take our word for it - give them a listen and see them live at the Empty Bottle this Friday.

It Feels So Good

The Smoking Popes reunion continues apace... After getting back together in November for the Flower Fifteen gigs, the band is heading out on a tour that's set to culminate March 11th and 12th at the Metro, which, according to its website, is now smoke-free. Tickets go on sale Saturday. (Get a taste of what's to come with recordings of the set that started this whole reunion business: out next month on Victory.)

Chicago Indie Labels

Did you catch the Trib's round-up of the "10 Indie Labels That Matter" here in Chicago? No? Well, here. Go read about Bloodshot, Thrill Jockey, Flameshovel and more.

Even in Europe

This week's Onion alerts us to the fact that Even in Blackouts, the band featuring Screeching Weasel guitarist John Pierson, will be playing Friday night at Beat Kitchen as a warm-up gig for their upcoming European tour. Fans of Pierson's work in the new band, the old band, or even in the Neo-Futurist theater group will definitely want to turn up for this gig. See Slowdown for details.

The Bean by Moonlight

Still pissed at the Park District for denying Radiohead the Millennium Park bandshell this summer? Show up at the Bean Friday night at 6:30pm for a group mooning in protest, organized by Q101's Fook. You'll be among friends... and probably a few dozen policemen. (Thanks, Anthony.)

Jumpsuit Down To The Empty Bottle

This week's latest Transmission artist, Jumpsuit, will be appearing tonight at The Empty Bottle. This is part of the usual Flabby Hoffman extravaganza of which I've taken part in a few times. Should be a great time on hump night.

Fork it

Readers not so enamored with local music reviewers Pitchfork Media can tune in to Tuning Fork, a blog that reviews Pitchfork reviews. (See also David Cross' reviews of music for Pitchfork reviews, or something like that.) Link via Tuning, who offer sound advice for Pitchfork haters: "ignore them completely."

Playing Millennium Park Isn't Easy

Because the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra has a rehearsal scheduled on June 20, you won't be seeing Radiohead play Millennium Park this summer. (The upshot is they're scheduled to play somewhere in town that week, so save those dates!)

Chicago Musicians Show Their Love

Pitchfork brings news of a round of benefit concerts to pay medical bills for Gary Schepers, who's done sound for a number of local venues and artists. Among those scheduled to perform at shows later this month are Edith Frost, Califone, Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy and the Blisters (whom you may already know).

A Fine Specimen

Specimen Products is a custom guitar and amp maker on the West Side. In addition to some incredible gear, they run The Chicago School of Guitar Making which offers classes in guitar set-up and maintenance for budding roadies and a fretting workshop for the serious guitar tech.

Last Nite (Four Years Ago)

The Strokes are not dead. In fact, they're going on a mini-tour next week to support their latest, with a touch down planned for Chicago on Tuesday. Q101 will announce all the details tomorrow afternoon, but they're doing a presale in the a.m for subscribers to their email list.

An Obscure Christmas

Would you like to download some of the strangest, most obscure Christmas music available? Thanks to Andy Cirzan; aka DJ LoFi, and Sound Opinions, you can. You can download the full albums along with cover art but you gotta act quickly. It will only be available until midnight, December 26th.

New Year's with Neko

If you're gonna spend the $60 it costs to see the New Pornographers at the Metro on New Year's Eve, you probably want to know whom of the revolving cast you'll see. Or, more to the point, will Neko Case take the stage? From what we hear, yes, she will, along with Carl Newman (of course), Kurt Dahl, Blaine Thurier, John Collins, Todd Fancy and Kathryn Calder. In other words, you're paying less than 10 bucks a band member.

All Things Go for Stevens and West

The Prairie State lands a 1-2 punch on Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2005 chart, with Illinois by Sufjan Stevens leading the pack and Kanye West's Late Registration digging for silver. Several locally based musicians were among those who submitted personal favorites; last week in Fuel, our readers posted theirs.

Top Music Listmania!

Sound Opinions co-host and Trib music critic Greg Kot has revealed his list of top ten albums released this year by local indie bands, which includes local buzz-makers New Black and Pelican. The list also helpfully includes upcoming showdates for the acts that made the cut. Kot's Top Twenty overall for 2005 can be found here, and Jim DeRogatis' Top Thirty are here.

Plastic Coctails

Tonight at 7pm, the Coctails are playing a free set at Rotofugi, 1953 W. Chicago Ave., to celebrate the release of a new line of Coctails action figures by band member and artist Archer Prewitt. Not able to make it? You could go to their annual reunion show at the Abbey Pub on Sunday (see Slowdown). You might also check out this week's Detour, in which Dave Elfving talks with Coctail Mark Greenberg in his home studio.

Getting ASCAP'ed

When I first read some of the posts on Craigslist about ASCAP muscling nightclubs for licensing fees from the performance of cover songs, I shrugged them off. It seems I shrugged too early. New City reports that Chicago area musicians who like to hit the open mics and jam sessions have had to do so incognito or under a cloak of secrecy due to ASCAP's crackdown. Back in July ASCAP filed 30 separate copyright infringement actions against a number of nightclubs. So far, no Chicago clubs on the list.

The Sound of Opinion (2005 Edition)

Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis of Chicago Public Radio's latest programming acquisition, Sound Opinions, ran their "Best Of" show this weekend. Check out their favorites, and then post your own in Fuel.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Here's a New Years Eve bash that'll insure you have a great time for a good cause. The show will be at the Blue Bayou in Wrigleyville and costs $125 (for which you get an open bar, food all night, a champagne toast and music from Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers). Most importantly, $50 from each ticket goes to Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation's Katrina Relief Fund.

Rock for the Kids

Tonight (Friday) at the Park West, Rock for Kids is holding its annual Rock'n'Roll Auction. Bid on all sorts of autographed stuff, from a Green Day poster to a Phil Collins self-portrait to, uh, an Alec Guinness headshot (how's he rock'n'roll?). Tickets are $20 at the door.

Out of the House, Into the Clubs

Besides the electronic stuff Jes mentioned, there is all manner of music to keep you occupied this weekend, either with or without the relatives. Illinois Entertainer has a run-down.

It's not Thanksgiving without a hangover

Thanksgiving to me means old friends back in town, and everyone wants to party because they have Thursday off work. Fortunately, there are at least three events tonight where you can go dancing and ensure a proper hangover for tomorrow's dinner. First, the annual Superjane Night Before Thanksgiving Soiree at Smartbar, with DJ Heather, Colette, Lady D, and Dayhota. Or, if you want your house music more classic, Derrick Carter is spinning at Zentra. Finally, for something a little bit ravier (and if you're under 21), there's a huge lineup at the Logan Square Auditorium featuring DJ Funk, Paul Johnson, Danny the Wildchild, Delta 9, and more. Full details in Slowdown.

Who's Your New Egg Producer?

Man, I wish I was in town this weekend. Andrew Bird and Sam Prekop are playing an early show on Saturday before Bird's sold-out gig with Head of Femur later in the evening. The show starts at 6:30pm at the Logan Square Auditorium. Tickets are $15 in advance and are expected to sell out — get yours quick!

Score Some Dinosaur Jr Tickets

Want to see Dinosaur Jr next week at the Metro? First person to correctly answer the following question via email to wins two free tickets: Before Lollapalooza this summer, when was the last time Dinosaur Jr played in Chicago? UPDATE: We've got a winner! The correct answer was Halloween, 1997, at the Metro.

E. B. Forum

The Empty Bottle has introduced a new online message board. Not much there as yet, but they promise users "all sorts of insider information giveaways, love letters, philosophical remunerations, show announcements and the like."

It's a CD release party

Singer/songwriter/musician/blogger Edith Frost has been collecting quite a few positive reviews for her brand-new album It's A Game, released this week on Drag City. The Tribune calls it one of the year's best albums, and the Reader refers to the music as "elegantly restrained". Even Entertainment Weekly gave the album a good grade. You'll get a chance to hear Edith's new music tomorrow night at her CD release party at the HotHouse; see Slowdown for details.

Lampo and the Audible Arts

Looking to expand your musical horizons beyond mainstream song structures and into new forms of music? If so, you might be interested in Lampo, a local presenter of "experimental music and intermedia events" that brings in a global set of sound-artists for monthly performances. This weekend Berlin-based artist Stephan Mathieu will be performaing "Radioland", a suite of computer-processed live AM radio, accompanied by a fast, random video flicker of 256 colors. So if you don't mind loud sounds, not so comfy chairs, and a limited color palette, you may be interested in what Slowdown has to say.

Coctails Scoop!

You heard it here first: The Coctails are reuniting again for another show at the Abbey Pub December 18. Tickets on sale now. Even cooler, though, will be the show they play at Rotofugi on December 15 for the release of the new line of Coctails action figures by band member and artist Archer Prewitt.

Just How Many Will West Win?

You've only got until Sunday to vote for the Chicago Music Awards. Best get crackin'!

A Million Words

Music site Coolfer introduced Damian Kulash of Chicago's OK Go as a guest blogger over the weekend. Kulash will be reporting from the road as his band finishes its current tour; today, he takes on DRM. OK Go will play a local show on Friday, with a 7pm signing at the Tower Records on Clark. Fans or the merely curious can email Kulash: damian at

You + orchestra = Messiah

Handel's Messiah will be performed at the Civic Opera House on the evenings of December 20 and 21. The performance will feature a full orchestra, four soloists, and a chorus made up of the audience. The "do-it-yourself Messiah" is sponsored by LaSalle Bank, and today is the first day that you can purchase tickets for this event. See the LaSalle Bank Website for full details, ticket purchasing, and tips on preparing for the concert.

Live in Chicago, Relived at Home

No need to hold the cell phone in the air to broadcast your live music experience to friends elsewhere: today sees the release of recordings of two major rock concerts that took place in Chicago in the past year. We've mentioned the Wilco CD Kicking Television previously, but there's also U2 on DVD with their Vertigo 2005. "City of Blinding Lights," indeed. And, lest we forget, on a non-musical note, there's the Oprah 20th anniversary collection although, if you're in the market, you probably know that, don't you?

Dig the Roots

Well, ?uestlove, anyway. Radio Free Chicago has the 411 on his DJ appearance tonight at Sonotheque. The event promises "special guests" and is free, but you've got to get yer name on the list.

I Ain't Saying He's A Gold Digger

Chicago DJ Eric "E-Smoove" Miller has filed a 10.5 million dollar countersuit against Kanye West. The DJ and the rapper are battling over a ten-track album West recorded during the '90s. West's legal team contends that E-Smoove shopped the tracks with a contract featuring a fake West signature. In other Kanye news, this is the 10th straight week "Gold Digger" has topped the Billboard Hot 100.

The Mysterious Production of Lyrics

Joan Anderman of the Boston Globe interviews Andrew Bird and says he sounds "desperate for soup and a nap." For his sake, let's hope Bird gets some rest when he's back in Chicago for the Thanksgiving holiday. For our sake, too: he's set for two shows at Logan Square Auditorium that weekend. Tickets are apparently going fast; might want to order them soon.

Finding the Right Pitch

Are you a member of a band, looking to get hyped in the local media? Check out Scott Smith's helpful write-up of last night's Chicago Music Commission panel on pitching to the press.

All Ages Chicago

Finally, underage music lovers (well, the punk ones, anyway) have a venue to replace the Fireside: The Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood Ave., puts on shows Thursday through Saturday with ticket prices generally $10 or less, perfect for a high school/college budget. The venue also offers $2 off admission if you become a member -- $10 for three months.

Halloween is over, time for NYE plans.

Everyones favorite indie-snark news clearinghouse Pitchfork Media will be having a two-night 10th anniversary/New Years Eve party at the Viaduct Theater on 12/30-31. Tickets go on sale November 12th, and the NYE show, featuring Wolf Parade, is only $35, which is probably about as cheap as your New Years Eve is gonna get unless you stay home, watch New Years Rockin Eve, and drink Boones Farm.

Finally, A Podcast To Love

Finding good new music is always a challenge. After a tip from Eric, I downloaded and listened to the most recent podcast from some former WLUW DJs who staff the 75 minutes website. It's a great site with a weekly podcast filled with lots of independent music - a whole 75 minutes worth. It's like listening to delicious indie radio -- with a fast forward button if you need it.

Chi-Rock Rumble

Twista is in the news again today: This time, members of the Chi-Rock Hip Hop Nation, a South Side hip hop collective founded in 1985, accuse Twista of infringing on their name for his new label, Chi-Rock Entertainment. No litigation yet, but just you wait.

About That Wilco Live Recording

CD? Yes! DVD? Not so much. Meantime, the band are playing a sold-out benefit for Hurricane Katrina victims tonight the Auditorium tonight. As you might expect, the Craigslist action is hot and heavy.

Apparently reggae is the official music of Tuesday.

We just posted about "Chicago's Longest Running Reggae Night" at Darkroom. But if that's not enough reggae for your Tuesday, try the Super Status Crew spinning reggae plus funk and hip-hop at Betty's Blue Star Lounge. The show goes waaay into Wednesday morning, with Lord Dubious, Chuck Sunshine and The Graduate. Go to Betty's web site before 7 pm to put yourself on the VIP list. Get mad props. Pay no cover charge. Every Tuesday night. Betty's Blue Star Lounge, 1600 West Grand Avenue, 21+.

Signed, Cealed, Delivered

Heavy metal band Cealed Kasket will be playing the Cubby Bear on October 31st, which, ironically, happens to be the same day as Halloween. Lead singer, Mortal Death, "spawned from Erik and Emily Duth in the Bristol suburb Abrahmshire", will be joined by bandmates Sarcicus, Maurice, and Scott for a night of... well...something scary I would imagine.

Comin' Home Via CD

Wilco did the live recording thing at their four-night stand at the Vic earlier this year. The two-disc result will apparently bear the title Kicking Television. If you're anxious to hear yourself as a screaming crowd member, though, the online sampler'll have to do until the album drops next month. (You can, however, pre-order it now.)

Thunder Gong. That could have been trouble.

So I'm waiting on my takeout when this dude hands me a flier. Unless I'm at a concert, I've got this thing about taking paper from strangers. Too late though - already took it. Ah, just an invite from DJ Redlox himself to Thunder Gong, billed as "Chicago's longest running Reggae night." I was a little suspicious of the "longest running" claim, as I didn't think Darkroom was old enough to boast such a thing. But apparently this Reggae night migrated from Lava Lounge. Okay, I'll buy it. Anyhow, DJ Redlox and General Pacman man the turntables and apparently the video screens too. Every Tuesday at the Darkroom, 2210 West Chicago Ave. Starting at 10pm. No cover.

The Year in Rockness

The leaves are dropping, and so are the temps. Which prompts one to start looking back on the past year, remembering the good times, forgetting the bad. That's what Oh My Rockness is suggesting, at least, as they seek your submissions of the best and worst shows you've seen in 2005 (so far). (And, for thinking about these things beyond the calendar, there's Fuel.)

Ghostface Drenchah?

"Near-riot" on the Near North Side last Friday night, as Ghostface concert erupts into mayhem. Pitchfork reports.

Fired up by Chicago

Turns out Sufjan Stevens isn't the only big name indie musician turning to Chicago for inspiration on his latest album. No, the Fiery Furnaces' latest, Rehearsing My Choir, loosely recounts the experiences of the brother/sister pair's grandmother, who grew up on the South Side -- witness such tracks as "Garfield El," for example. Kelefa Sanneh checks in with the band in today's Times, and BrooklynVegan compiles a few MP3s and other links.

Flower Power (by eBay)

Hey, indie rockers! CAUSES, a local child abuse treatment center, and P.L.A.Y (Possibilities in Life: Art for Youth) have teamed up with Flower Fifteen for a charity auction of your Pitchforkmedia-lovin' dreams. Starting today and running for another 9d 20h 27m (at the time of this posting), you can bid on such items as a recording session with Ted Leo or my personal favorite, one hour of private science tutoring with Andrew Kenny of American Analog Set. I'm pretty sure that idea's enough to get some of you singing "Hot for Teacher."

Wilco will help

Wilco will be headlining a benefit concert for hurricane relief that's happening on Tuesday, November 1 at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre. Tickets will be on sale in advance through the band's Website tomorrow, and will be on sale to the general public on Saturday. See the Wilco site for the full story.

Gretchen Goes To Martyr's

Illinois native Doug Pinnick brings his criminally ignored band, King's X, to Martyr's on November 18th. King's X, for the uninitiated, are a thinking man's rock band without the prog-rock grandiosity. Oh, and VH-1 voted them one of the Top 100 Hard Rock Bands of All Time. Having been to most of their Illinois shows, rest assured, I'll be camping out to be front and center.

Handmade blues

Rhino Handmade, the net-only side project of Rhino Records, has posted its latest release for sale: a two CD set of the 1972 Atco album (plus unreleased material) recorded by two Chicago blues masters, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. You can only pick it up at the Rhino Handmade site. But you don't want to dawdle, because there are only 2,500 copies of this release available, and once it's sold out, it's gone.

QOTSA up close and personal

I was intrigued by reports that Queens of the Stone Age would be giving an in-store performance this Thursday night at the soon-to-be-demolished Belmont Army Surplus. I mean, who wouldn't be interested in an, um, intimate experience with Josh Homme? Or is that just me? So I stopped by the store this afternoon and talked to a clerk to get the details. Unlike most in-store performances, this one's not exactly free. To gain admission, you'll need a wristband available at Tower Records—with purchase of QOTSA's "new" album, Lullabies to Paralyze... which dropped in March. Huh. Mr. Homme and co. play the Allstate Arena Friday with Nine Inch Nails.

Annoy Your Friends and Family

Learn Tuvan throat singing! This crash course is by Brian Grover, one of the voice instructors at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

This Just In: Sleater-Kinney Rock

Sleater-Kinney have been scheduled to play the Metro for a few months now, and, unless you have the excuse of having just seen them at the Riviera, you should already have your ticket. After all, the critics have gushed over their latest record The Woods since its release earlier this year, and, if anyone brings the rock, it's these women. If all that weren't enough, though, now you've got another good reason to mark their October 6th show in your calendar: the band and the concert promoters have announced plans to contribute all profits to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. Local favorites The Ponys are opening. Just remember your ear plugs.

Selected Ambient Hand-Jive

Local audio artist and electronic composer, Michael Una, has spent the past few years developing the "Sound-Suit", a wearable synthesizer that is controlled with the movement of the body. His website has video of a Sound Suit performance that demonstates the intriguing and engaging soundscapes he can create by literally manipulating music with his hands. If you'd like to hear more about how he created this spatial synth or his plans for public performance, tune in to Eight Forty-Eight on WBEZ this Thursday morning in the 10am hour.

Hubble Soon Troubled No More

Troubled Hubble, who for the past six years have rocked over Chicago, are calling it quits after their show at Schubas on Thursday, citing health and personal readings. By tickets here. (via Radio Free Chicago)

No Jandek After All

We reported yesterday that the Adventures in Modern Music concert series would feature reclusive legend Jandek. Unfortunately, due to the Hurricane Rita evacuation, Jandek, who lives in Texas, is unable to make it up here. The Empty Bottle is working on a new date for his show.

Honda Wants You to Listen

The Von Bondies and Hot Hot Heat are playing a show, and you can go for free -- if you sign up for Civic Live, a marketing event. So consider any junk mail/spam the price of entry. The concert's on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Odeum Sports & Expo Center out in Villa Park. (Thanks, Judd)

Two for the Price of One (Thousand)

You know that Pearl Jam benefit that's set to cost a thousand bucks? It's now a mere $500 to see Vedder & co. Yep, if it makes you feel better, imagine the other half of the ticket as paying for Robert Plant's just announced performance. Seen that way, it's nothin' short of a bargain. (In other Rock for Katrina news, Neil Young's not happy about the way Farm Aid was portrayed by the Trib over the weekend. More at Romenesko.)

Modern music

Sure, the big music story this week is Estrojam 2005, but don't forget that other music festival starting tonight, Adventures in Modern Music, sponsored by the Empty Bottle and The Wire magazine. If names like The Red Krayola, Eats Tapes and Deerhoof get you all excited, check out the Empty Bottle's Website for the schedule and tickets for the five-day-long festival. And get your tickets quickly, because it's been announced that Jandek will be performing at the festival. This is roughly the musical equivalent of J.D. Salinger giving a reading at the Harold Washington Library. Obviously you must attend.

Brazil Saves the Day!

Because of visa issues, flamenco artists Mrtires del Comps have had to cancel their World Music Festival shows tonight and tomorrow. While unfortunate, their replacements are exciting for Brazilian music fans. Seu Jorge, best known for his Bowie covers in The Life Aquatic, is playing the Empty Bottle tonight after putting on a great show at the Logan Square Auditorium on Sunday. Tomorrows HotHouse show will feature guitarist Badi Assad. Tickets for the Empty Bottle show are available at their website or through TicketWeb at 866-438-3401; for the HotHouse show, call 312-362-9707, ext. 209.

file under: they're still around?

Early 90's grunge torch-bearers Pearl Jam will be playing a show to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims. The show will take place at House of Blues on October 5th and tickets are $1000 (that's one thousand dollars). If you have the dough and it's burning a hole in your pocket(s), this would be a good cause to pony up.

Lots of Music Goings On

It's a busy fortnight for music fans. Thursday through Saturday, the Hip Hop Journalism Summit features not just panels but also a mixtape competition and an awards ceremony -- more details here. This Friday sees the return of the Hideout Block Party. This year's program includes the reunion of the dB's after 22 years, as well as many well-loved local bands. And a week from today, Estrojam kicks off; here's a preview of the line-up from Windy City News.

Hankerin' for some Hank?

HankFest is an annual event that features Chicago's finest country artists performing the songs of Hank Williams Sr. This year's event features its usual stellar lineup and some new country bands you may not have heard of. The event kicks off Saturday, Sept. 17 at noon and goes until Sunday, Sept. 18th at 8pm in the parking lot across from the Wishbone restaurant, 1001 W. Washington Blvd. No line dancing allowed.

Band Nerds Kick Ass

While strolling through Wicker Park this weekend, I ran across a mysterious rag-tag marching band that were dancing through the streets in mismatched thrift-store uniforms and playing everything from gypsy jazz to raucous dixieland. It turns out I witnessed a live performance by Mucca Pazza, Chicago's premiere circus punk marching band. So if you happen to see a motley crew of horns, woodwinds, drums, accordians, a guitar player with a speaker on a hockey helmet, and a sousaphone player with grey porkchops (who also happens to play the melodica and lead the band), you can smile knowingly and join the parade.

Illinois remixed

Sufjan Stevens' "Illinois" album, previously mentioned on GB, has been remixed. Check out "Illin'-Noise!" by mc DJ, currently available only as a BitTorrent link. (tip from Metafilter)

Jazz Fest Benefits NOLA but Doesn't Include It

Jazz Fest gets underway tonight at 5pm in Grant Park. Last night, many of the artists gave benefit performances for New Orleans musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina, but Sun-Times columnist Debra Pickett points out that not a single New Orleans jazz act is on the schedule this year. [UPDATE] Reader Mr. says, "Debra Pinkett doesn't know what she's talking about. Donald Harrison, who is playing at Jazz Fest on Sunday night @ Petrillo as part of the Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration, is from New Orleans. He's a protege of the Marsalis gang and is well known for exploring the music of the city."

Wanna be in a porno?

Or at least have your music in one? Early 2 Bed owner Searah Deysach is filming dyke porn and needs musicians who are willing to lend her original tunes for the movie. If you're interested, drop her an email at It's supposed to release this fall, so quit typing with one hand and send her an email already!