This week, I've got to give Terry even more mad props for her "hip-hop week" feature on Fresh Air. Every day this week she is playing back interviews she's had over the years with some of the top names in biz, with a seeming emphasis on the genre's founders and innovators. So far, she's featured such icons as Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Russell Simons, Chuck D, Ice-T and Ice Cube. Not surprisingly, there are a few unintentionally humourous moments as an older white woman from public radio talks scholarly about hip-hop with the likes of a Kool Herc, but overall Gross holds her own and the interviews are quite interesting. Above all, you've got to applaud her for interviewing such a wide range of artists over the years and for taking an entire week to highlight the important artistic contributions that hip-hop has made to our culture. Perhaps most importantly, Gross has brought some much needed flava to the stuffy NPR line-up.
Fresh Air is heard locally on WBEZ-FM 91.5 every weekday at 11am
By all accounts, "sophomore slump" doesn't appear to be in West's vocabulary (9.5 in the 'Fork...oh, snap!) and this album looks to only catapult his career even further...hopefully bringing even more attention to the oft-neglected Chicago hip-hop scene.
OK Go - Oh No (Capitol)
Chicago is representin' the major labels today! This is another sophomore release and is the follow-up to the local quartet's self-titled debut that spawned the hit, "Get Over It." Expect even more power-pop crunch this time around thanks to Swedish-bred production from Tore Johansson, who has worked with Franz Ferdinand and The Cardigans.
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans (Atlantic)
Veteran indie-popsters have...(gasp!) signed to a major label! I'm guessing they'll be shunned by a few of their hardcore fans who've followed them from their humble Barsuk beginnings, but this shouldn't affect their new core audience of O.C. fans. More importantly, now that they're labelmates with Led Zeppelin, can we now officially stop referring to Death Cab as "indie-rock??" Call them "pop" or "emo" or perhaps something new like "(i)Pod-rock" or "O.C. rock," but please, let's drop the indie.
Various Artists - Austin City Limits Festival 2004 (Rhino)
16 track live collection from last year's festival...includes The Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, Calexico, My Morning Jacket, Broken Social Scene, Shelby Lynne and the Blind Boys of Alabama.
The live broadcast starts at 9:30pm, admission is $5, must be 21+. The HotHouse is located in the South Loop at 31 East Balbo. News From the Service Entrance is normally heard every Thursday afternoon on the South Side from 2:30 to 4pm on WHPK-FM 88.5.
The Onion and Tonic Room present: WEEN - Shinola Vol. 1 Listening Party
Date: Tuesday, August 30 Time: 8:00 PM
Where: Tonic Room (2447 N Halsted) Chicago, IL
If you're not versed in all things Boognish, Shinola Vol. 1 is a new collection of previously unreleased rarities from deep in the vaults of Dean and Gene Ween. No previous b-sides or random soundtrack cuts here, just 12 different tracks being released for the first time anywhere. Besides checking out this latest Ween release, you can also sign up to win an autographed copy of Shinola Vol. 1 and (here's the best part), immeditately following the listening party there will be a performance by The Pod, a Ween tribute band. Not sure if they take requests, but if so, I'm totally asking them to play "Where'd the Cheese Go?"
The release party starts at 8pm, Quimby's is located at 1854 W. North Avenue.
Speaking of the 'D,' also on the bill is SV4 vs. Todd Osbourne, a tag-team performance from two artists on Ann Arbor's Ghostly International label. In fact, not only is SV4 (aka Sam Valenti) a member of the Ghostly roster, he is actually the founder and leader of the indie-electronic stalwart.
Party starts at 9pm with members of the Meiotic crew opening the night on the decks. Cover is $15 at the door, though they "highly recommend" securing tickets ahead of time. Not only will you save yourself some hastle at the door, (Sound-Bar is notorious for its long lines to get in) you'll also save yourself a few bucks in the process. However, even if there is a bit of a wait, you will get your money's worth once inside...as the party lasts to 4a.
Sound-Bar is located downtown at 226 W. Ontario, as you may have guessed, this is a 21+ show
The VOID viewing party starts at 7pm...Delilah's is located at 2771 N. Lincoln (just below Diversey). The Onion says that an RSVP is recommended, but I'm sure the bar staff will still let you in the door if you show up thirsty for some whiskey and American brand beer in a can.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl (Warner Bros.) You may have already heard that they decided to go acoustic for this record, but this is anything but just an unplugged rehash of their last two records. This is a really diverse album that spans genres from psychedelic folk to blues to gospel spirituals. I've been a fan of the band for a while, but even I'm a bit surprised at how well they pulled this off. One of the best overall records I've heard this year, probably second only to the latest Gorillaz record. With this release, I think BRMC should finally be able to shed their nickname, Black Rebel Mary Chain. Check out the video to the lead single "Ain't No Easy Way Out" here.
T. Raumschmiere - Blitzkrieg Pop (Mute)
Latest full-length from hard-driving German techno mastermind and Shitkatapult co-founder Marco Haas. Don't miss his upcoming performance at the Empty Bottle on Sept. 26.
Bjork - Drawing Restraint 9 (One Little Indian)
Broken Spindles - Inside/Absent (Saddle Creek)
Noam Chomsky - Imperial Presidency (G-7)
Orenda Fink - Invisible Ones (Saddle Creek)
Gabin - Mr. Freedom (Astralwerks)
I Am Kloot - Gods and Monsters (Echo)
Portastatic - Bright Ideas (Merge)
Rogue Wave - 10:1[ep] (Sub Pop)
John Vanderslice - Pixel Revolt (Barsuk)
Laura Veirs - Year of Meteors (Nonesuch)
The Warlocks - Surgery (Mute)
Various Artists - Burn to Shine 2: Chicago 9.13.04 (Trixie)
The Flaming Lips - VOID [music video collection] (Warner Bros.)
Various Artists - Spend an Evening with Saddle Creek (Saddle Creek)
The party starts at 10pm with "correctly tuned drinks for you to listen to the record with." However, you won't want to blow all your wad on beer and shots, as the fine folks at Reckless will have specially priced copies of Twin Cinema available for your purchasing pleasure starting at midnight. Don't wait until Tuesday, be the envy of your neighborhood by being the first on your block to have this new release.
This weekend, I inadvertently found this advert for September's Biz 3 party at Sonotheque. On one hand, Steven from The Flaming Lips is an amazing choice. While lead singer Wayne Coyne (a genius in his own right), gets most of the attention and accolades, Drozd is the real musical genius behind The Lips. Should be real interesting to see what jams he pulls out of his DJ bag. (although The Flaming Lips' recent contribution to the Late Night Tales series probably provides a few clues). Whatever he decides to spin, Drozd is a great unexpected twist to celebrate the one year anniversary of these great DJ parties at Sonotheque.
On the other hand...who the hell is Fred Armisen?? Should I know who this guy is???
On Sunday, RFC Chief Image Coordinator Nicole recommends checking out the rockumentary, Burn to Shine 2, at the Music Box. Playing as a part of the Chicago Underground Film Fest, this is the second installment of a series where local bands are filmed playing live in an empty house that is about to be demolished. After completing the first Burn to Shine in D.C., the filmakers (led by Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty) decided to head to Chicago next, gathering an all-star cast of locals including Wilco, Tortoise, the Ponys, Pit er Pat, Shellac and the Lonesome Organist. The screening is at 10pm Sunday night at the Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport Ave. If you don't feel like going out late on a Sunday, Burn to Shine 2 also hits store shelves next Tuesday (8/23) on DVD.
The FREE show starts at 8p, Mistakes and Teratoma open. The Pontiac is located at 1531 N. Damen...must be 21+
Punk Planet is available locally at Quimby's, Reckless and most other independent book and record stores throughout the city. You can also check out an excerpt of one the features, an interview with the founders of the "other NPR," via their website here.