Also joining Plush on the bill is Alasdair Roberts, who is in town from Scotland finishing his Will Oldham-produced new record that should be out early next year. This will be one of only two US appearances this year for Roberts. Guitarist Matt Clark will open up the night with his latest project called From Lightning to the Womb. In between performances, interstitial music will be provided by Drag City DJ's.
The Open End Gallery is located at 2000 West Fulton. Show starts at 10pm. Admission is $12 at the door.
With the slogan “Internet Radio You Control,” AccuRadio.com is a Chicago-based Internet radio portal featuring a wide range of specialty music channels. The brainchild of local media consultant Kurt Hanson, AccuRadio not only provides a variety of genres to choose from, it also lets listeners custom tune their favorite channels by allowing them to deselect artists that you don’t want to hear. For example, if you love 80’s music but hate the band Culture Club, all you have to do is click on the Culture Club tab once and you’ll never hear them again. (man, if WXRT had this feature, it would actually become listenable!)
Unfortunately with this freedom, you sacrifice a bit of creativity. Like its counterparts on AOL and Yahoo!, AccuRadio isn’t really a radio station…at least in the traditional sense. There are no live DJs and all selections are played randomly from pre-programmed playlists. The term “radio” is used rather loosely, “on-line jukebox” is probably a more accurate term for these kinds of stations. Basically, AccuRadio is like having access to numerous iPods programmed by fellow music geeks.
Speaking of which, this is where AccuRadio really has an edge over its corporate competitors. The individual stations on AccuRadio are created and programmed by people who genuinely love the music and specialty formats they are programming. For example, AccuRadio vice president Paul Maloney was a commercial radio program director during the alt-rock heyday of the early 90s. So, Paul created the “Modern Rock Classics” channel featuring classic alt-rock tunes from the 80’s through the mid-90s. Similarly, as a fan of avant garde music, AccuRadio tech guru Ralph Sledge created his own specialty channel in the classic format featuring some of his favorites from the scene like Steve Reich, John Cage, John Zorn, Philip Glass, etc.
Take a glance at all of the formats offered and all of the niche channels located under each genre heading. Chances are you’ll probably find a particular music style or niche that you are directly interested in.
While I’m still very partial to stations with live DJs, Internet radio stations like AccuRadio are a great alternative when you just want to sit back and listen to music without the chatter. Plus, even if you have an iPod and 50mb of MP3s, it would be still be very difficult to amass the amount of variety and depth in each particular format that AccuRadio offers.
Besides, you’ve got to love a radio station that lets you delete Dave Matthews from their playlist.
(Full disclosure: I actually used to intern for AccuRadio a couple of years ago. During my tenure, I created a channel consisting of one my obsessions, British Music. Check out the “Brit Rock” channel here)
Luna - Rendezvous (Jet Set)
Leonard Cohen - Dear Heather (Sony)
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (reissue) (Matador)
Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm a Machine (Vice)
Actually, they didn't start out as rivals...
Seven years ago, both were up and coming independent bands that were on the cusp of stardom. Recording, partying and playing shows together, the Dandys and the Massacre were creating all sorts of buzz in the industry and both were pegged to become "the next big thing."
Unfortunately, things didn't exactly work out that way. While one band finally did breakthrough and achieve rock stardom, the other faced nothing but constant turmoil and commercial failures. Then, to add to the drama, one band member invents a bizarre and disturbing rivalry (ala Blur vs. Oasis) that the other band does not want to particpate in. By the end of the film, neither band is on speaking terms with each other.
Even if you're familiar with the bands and you know how the story ends, you don't want to miss this film. Shot over seven years and culled from over 1500 hours of footage, Dig! brilliantly captures the triumphs and tragedies of two underground bands seeking artistic and commercial success. The main focus and real star of the movie is Massacre front man Anton Newcombe. A troubled genius in every sense, the documentary is a fascinating look at a brilliant yet seriously dysfunctional individual who truly believes that he can start a musical (and perhaps social) revolution that will change the world. Watching Newcombe in action is inspiring, frustrating and sometimes downright sad all at the same time. Director/Producer/Editor Ondi Timoner does a magnificent job of capturing what makes Newcombe such an attractive artist from a far but such an uncompromising asshole to those close to him.
I was actually lucky enough to receive my very own VHS promo copy of Dig! and I must admit, I’ve become mildly obsessed with movie. At first, I was excited to see it because I’ve been a fan of the Dandy Warhols for years. However, for some reason, I had never heard much about the Massacre. (The name sounded familiar but I had never listened to any of their records…and I didn’t remember ever hearing their songs on college radio or MTV’s “120 Minutes.”) Now, after watching the film, I’ve become a fan of the Massacre and am really excited to see them play live this weekend.
My advice would be to see Dig! first … (try to catch a Friday of early Saturday screening) and then go see Newcombe and Co. later at the Bottom Lounge. You’ll appreciate the Massacre a great deal more if know the back-story first. Plus, it will be a great exercise in cinema verite…the show will serve as a sort of live epilogue to the film!
Dig! debuts Friday at the Landmark Centure Theatres, 2828 N. Clark
The Brian Jonestown Massacre play Saturday night at the Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton
Sometimes you go see a band play live because you love that one song by theirs that's played on the radio. Or...sometimes you go see a band play live because you've collected their last 5 records and they're finally coming town. Either way, there's nothing worse than wasting an entire evening and shelling out $20 to see a band that doesn't live up to their recordings.
We've all been to these shows... Sometimes the band is a one-trick pony and all their songs sound exactly like their big hit (or vice versa, the one song that you like sounds nothing like the rest of their catalog) Sometimes the singer sounds like shit outside of the comforts of a pro-tools equipped studio...or maybe the band's sound overall sounds thin outside of the studio. Or perhaps the band has absolutely no energy or charisma on stage and their set lulls you to sleep. (my experiences seeing Black Rebel Motorcycle Club come to mind) Whatever the case, it all adds up to disappointment.
On the other hand, every once in a while you get lucky and you see a band that totally blows you away live. This probably happens most often with a band you don't know real well. Maybe you've heard your friend play a song or two in the car or listened to a couple of tracks at the record store. You like what you hear, but it doesn't exactly blow you away. Then, you see the band live and it's a revelation! Suddenly you understand the hype and why your buddy cranks up the band's CD in the car all of the time.
A more rare occurrence, but one that's even more gratifying, is experiencing exhilaration when seeing a band that you think you know well. It's very easy to get a bad or lukewarm impression of a band by just hearing a song or two on the radio...or in the case of a veteran band, by just hearing an album or two. Even completely irrelevant and superficial things can impede your impression of band...maybe your ex- always listened to the band... or that dork from work or class that everyone hates always wore their t-shirt...or maybe you just don't like the lead singer's hair.
However, all of that BS is erased when you see a band live and they completely rawk. This was certainly my experience (and probably the same for quite a few others) when I first saw The Flaming Lips. Sure, I had heard about them for years, but in the end I always just thought of them as the "Don't Use Jelly" one-hit wonders. Then, I saw them live and BAM!! They're now one of my favorite bands. Another similar experience that comes to mind was seeing the Eels live during the Souljacker tour. Even though the show wasn't nearly as much of an epiphany as seeing the Flaming Lips for the first time, I left the venue with significantly more respect and admiration for the band than I when I walked in. The songs that I did know sounded amazing live and the ones that I didn't know didn't send me racing for the bar. Then, out of the blue, they cranked out a seriously killer version of Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On." Yes, Eels covered Missy Elliot...and yes, it fucking rawked!! Much like the Flaming Lips, I realized that the Eels (particularly band-leader "E") are actually great artists, not just washed-up former MTV buzz-bin hacks.
Unfortunately this was the experience I had watching Interpol this past Sunday. While I wouldn't call myself "fanatical" about this band, I liked their first album (2002's Turn on the Bright Lights) and am currently really digging the lead single from their latest album, Antics.
However, hearing them in concert didn't really do that much for me. I can't say that I had a bad time or that Interpol was merely "walking through their set." It was just a very average performance that didn't seem to build upon their recorded work. The songs that I recognized sounded good, but I didn't get anything new from hearing them played live. Furthermore, I don't remember hearing anything that I didn't know that caught my attention.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting a 20-minute guitar solo ala Phish during their hit "PDA," but when I see a band live I want to hear at least some variation in the live performance. You know, something like a slightly different tempo...or a bit more energy...maybe a guitar part I never noticed before...or even an extended break in the middle. But Interpol did none of these...the performance was almost textbook-like. (actually, I did notice one variation...They extended the dramatic pause during "PDA." However, it didn't really work...it just sounded forced and overly dramatic)
Then again, I think some people like it when a band doesn't vary at all from the record when playing live. Fans at this sold out show certainly weren't complaining. Everyone was singing and dancing along for most of the show with many constantly professing their love for the band...particularly uber-trendy fan favorite, Carlos D on bass. There also was an extremely annoying rash of PDA (public displays of affection) throughout the show. I don't know if this is has anything to do with the fact that Interpol's most popular song is called "PDA," or if it was just some sort of strange irony, but it was annoying nonetheless.
As I said before, I didn't exactly dislike the show nor did I develop a seriously bad impression of the band. I just won't be running out to see them play live anytime soon. From now on I'll stick to listening to their records at home where I won't be subjected to watching greasy fans making out for 60 minutes straight.
Elliot Smith - A Basement on the Hill (Anti)
El-P - Collecting the Kid (Def Jux)
Beans - Shock City Maverick (Warp)
Le Tigre - This Island (Strummer)
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Shake the Sheets (Lookout)
Africa Hi-Fi is a monthly event at Sonotheque that is a musical tribute of respect to Africa and all that it has touched and influenced in World music and culture. The brainchild of Sonia Hassan and World Renown DJ/Producer/Remixer Ron Trent, the event will fuse music and social consciousness with art and dance every 3rd Friday of the month at Sonotheque.
For more information about this and other events at Sonotheque, visit their website at www.sonotheque.net
For more information about Fela Kuti, visit www.felaproject.net
Taping starts Saturday at 3pm at the CAN TV studios. (322 S. Green St...just off Van Buren, 1 block west of Halsted) As always, costumes are encouraged...but Ratso will also be providing some extra costumes for anyone who doesn't have one. Adults and kids of all ages are welcome, but Ratso says be prepared for "lots of treats and a few tricks!" Speaking of Ratso, also be prepared to laugh your ass off when you hear his famous knock-knock jokes in person.
For more information on the Chic-A-Go-Go Halloween Spectacular, visit www.roctober.com/chicagogo/index.html.
Also...a quick follow-up to a story previously reported here on RFC. The ordinance proposed at City Hall to provide funding for CAN TV passed! Here's what Ratso had to say about it in his last email post:
As some of you may recall CAN-TV, the home of Chic-A-Go-Go, faced an uncertain future, and we asked for your help to write the Mayor and your alderman to support cable access and create a new funding structure. IT WORKED! The mayor and Alderman Stone worked something out and it passed on September 29th! Thank you so much for your help, and if you want to be classy, why not write thank you letters to the Mayor, Alderman Stone, and maybe your alderman.
Email: Alderman Bernard Stone - firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail your alderman - you can find out your alderman's e-mail here (and who your alderman is): http://www.ci.chi.il.us/CityCouncil/index.html
Three letters: C-M-J
Yes, this week in New York, no less than 900 bands will be flocking to the Big Apple for the annual CMJ Fest...er, sorry...make that the CMJ 2004 Music Marathon. Much like Austin's annual SXSW Festival, anyone who's anyone (and anyone who's trying to be someone) will be performing at the festival in order to catch the eye of sleazy music industry execs and radio programmers from across country. However, fans also reap the benefit of the festival by being able to see pretty much every great underground act (signed or unsigned) of the moment all in one city and all in a week's time (schedule conflicts notwithstanding, of course).
Chances are if you're reading this, you're not currently in New York and won't be attending this year's festival...so here's a couple of viable alternatives this week if you're going to be in Chi-town.
1.Check out coverage of the CMJ fest on KEXP.org.
Leave it to KEXP, one of the best non-comm music stations in the country, to provide the best coverage of this event to a nationwide audience. Even though the station is based in Seattle, the KEXP crew is making the trek across the continent and featuring a slew of live peformances from CMJ participants throughout the week. Here's the list of acts scheduled to perform live this week on KEXP:
Tuesday October 12
7:00am: Magnet (Live in NYC)
8:30am: Sons and Daughters (Live in NYC)
1:00pm: Radio Nationals (Live in NYC)
2:00pm: Fiery Furnaces
Wednesday October 13
7:00am: Sea Ray (Live in NYC)
8:00am: Ted Leo (Live in NYC)
9:00am: Sufjan Stevens (Live in NYC)
10:00am: The Decemberists (Live in NYC)
11:30am: Richard Buckner (Live in NYC)
1:00pm: Joseph Arthur (Live in NYC)
Thursday October 14
2:00pm: Bobby Bare Jr. (Live in NYC)
3:30pm: Adem (Live in NYC)
5:00pm: Arcade Fire (Live in NYC)
Friday October 15
1:00pm: Nicolai Dunger (Live in NYC)
2:30pm: The Concretes (Live in NYC)
6:30pm: Sondre Lerche (Live in NYC)
2. Check out Chicago's Select Media Festival 3
While hardly a music fest, the Select Media Festival is a great event that showcases how art, technology and social activism intersect. While the fest has a decidedly political slant, there are also some musical highlights during the festival as well. Here's a couple you might want to check out.
Sunday, October 17 5:15pm
Select Media Fest presents a screening of Warp Vision at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Warp Vision is the new DVD retrospective of music videos from England's fabled electronic record label, Warp. The anthology is described as "an alternate look at 15 years of incredible, radical electronic pop music in the form of 32 equally radical, eye-popping videos created by some of the world’s finest film-making talent."
Friday, October 22 9:00pm
LAPTRONICA 5 CAVE MATCH! at buddY gallery. The 2004 world championship battle for Laptronica will take place in the Terry Plumbing inflatable cave installed at buddY. 6-8 teams will have to face off in the most terrifying and entertaining battle system ever devised for the laptronica circuit. Featuring live music, Djs and complementary beverages. (This will be the closing event for SMF3)
Of course, there is a great deal more to the Select Media Festival than just the above listings, so go to their website at www.lumpen.com/events/smf3/for a complete schedule and description of events. The event kicks off tonight (10/14) with an opening night party at Rodan (1530 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The event will "feature cocktails, sweet music and the unveiling of Meta CC, an installation by Alex Killough, Tyler Nordgren and Chuck Clark."