The Pfork '09 line-up got a much need infusion of fun this morning with the announcement that The Flaming Lips will be closing out the festival on Sunday night. I was especially amused to find out that it will be a special "Write the Night" all-request performance, though upon being reminded of the intense geekery that the old school Lips albums inspire, my enthusiasm was brought back down a notch. Regardless, I'm sure the votes will even out and The Lips will deliver a fun night that pleases both the Yoshimi and Priest Driven crowds. I wonder if they'll also be taking requests for cover songs?
UPDATE: Oops, scratch that...turns out reports of the "all-request" part were false. Official press release disclaimer follows after the jump.
Grab your orange cap, camos and a can of spam-- it's Giveaway Season.
Today's offering for your consideration: Bishop Allen @ Subterranean, next Tuesday (3/31). Seriously, anyone that needs a three sentence blurb to describe how awesome Bishop Allen is needs to take better notes. The NY-based sometimes-duo sometimes-quartet is on tour to promote the release of latest album, the 12-track anthem Grrr... As always, to enter drop us a line at radiofreechicago(at)gmail.com with "Bishop Allen Tix" in the subject line. On Sunday we'll pull a winner at random and shoot them an e-mail with more details. Winner gets one pair free tickets; otherwise, tickets are $12 at the door.
Doors open at 7:00, show starts at 7:30, and kindly double check that you're 17+. Accompanying Bishop are Miniature Tigers and the Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band. In the meanwhile, here's a few mp3s so you'll know what you're hopefully not missing and I expect to catch your e-mail in the RFC inbox.
Miles Raymer has tapped Stranger Waves as "Best Rock or Pop Act" for the Reader's Best of Chicago 2009 poll. Really? The best? Or was this an obscure/controversial choice by design to grab The Reader a little attention? Then again, maybe this was a much needed attempt to save the publication a little street cred after the audience poll resulted in a winner of Poi Dog Pondering (ouch!).
Next month, John Herndon from Tortoise will be taking over the reigns at the Viaduct Theatre on Friday nights as curator of a series dubbed "Everything Forever" (full schedule follows after the jump). And, speaking of Tortoise, we just got the official release in our inbox this morning formally announcing the release of their sixth full-length album. Titled Beacons of Ancestorship, the street date is slated for June 23rd and will, of course, be released by the fine people at Thrill Jockey Records. Also be on the lookout for a special vinyl release of the album's first track to be unleashed on Record Store Day.
I previously put off French music as the equivalent of a Nouvelle Vague film; dramatic, literary, and not as exciting in comparison to Hollywood. But the soulful Charlotte Savary and DJ/producer Wax Tailor helped break that schema and, last Tuesday, the (traditional) French music concert drought broke upon seeing her new music group, Felipecha.
After a full week of boozin and schmoozin at SXSW, DeRo is back in full form today with a saucy send-up of the latest Lolla headliner speculations and the backlash from Lolla HQ and their official mascot, Perry Ferrell. If you're keeping score at home (and believe what you read on the Internets), the latest line-up reads something like this:
Kings of Leon
It hasn't been too long since Neil Halstead, previous frontman of quintessential shoegaze band Slowdive as well as indie folk band Mojave 3, visited Chicago and played Schubas. Surely, the crowd missed him even in that short distance of time. There was a sense of warmth in the air and closeness as the crowd gathered around the stage, respectfully asking for favorites to be played. Neil Halstead didn't come with a setlist written down and he was open to suggestions and this was perhaps the first time he played a Slowdive song ("Alison") for an encore.
Who wants to have a Beat Kitchen week? Better yet: who wants to have a Beat Kitchen week for free? We're giving away free tickets to three bands this week.
First up, we have Young Widows playing the 25th. They're an upstart band of the face-melting guitar, shouting-profanity-into-the-microphone variety. In short: pretty awesome. Our second offering comes in the form of the Pink Spiders (playing 3/26), a pop-rock band out of Nashville that bring to mind (among many things) the Exploding Hearts and the Boss Martians. Finally, to cap off the weekend, there's Sig Transit Gloria on the 29th. (check out some sample mp3s after the jump)
Before confusion rears its ugly head, lemme specify that each of the shows above is a separate ticket giveaway. So if you drop a line for all three shows, you may or may not win all three. Specify which band you'd like in the e-mail subject line (ex. "Young Widows Tix" or "Sig Transit Tix"), shoot the e-mail off to RadioFreeChicago(at)gmail.com, and we'll draw the winners at random.
Here's some new remixes fresh from the RFC inbox to bump as you dance in the equinox this weekend...
Pitch Pile seems weirdly attracted to our neighbors to the southeast (mostly east, sort of south... yes, I am looking at a map as I type)-- and it's no different with these week's offering, Embarrassing Fruits.
The Fruits clearly have their hands in many sinister soups of the 1990s, including (but not limited to) Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, Pavement, Yo La Tengo... The list could go on and on if I was interested in listing off legitimately awesome things to compare this band to, but I'm a little too preoccupied rocking out to their windmill riffs and infectious vocals-- vocals that drift out at you in simple snips, phrases awkward and honest, like teens fumbling nervous in the backseat of a car. In fact, there is something about the Fruits that causes sensory memories, the sort of vague nostalgic thoughts you get typically by smelling chalk or tasting dirt. It's not that they're childlike-- not at all. Clearly these guys know just what they're talking about, and their upcoming album Community/Exploitation swings like a pendulum from heartbreak to progress to screaming to coos. You get the feeling as they sing that while they're less remembering some hazy "better" time and more composing an ode to the better times they're having now, and the even better times they'll be having tomorrow.
Dear City of Chicago, leave our art alone.
Here is an in-depth story by Miles Raymer of the Reader which chronicles the troubles at AV-aerie. Apparently founder Marshall Preheim was attempting to run the place under non-profit language, making sure to explicitly state that cover charges were donations and that drink charges were as well (much in the way that art galleries get away with serving booze at openings). Apparently an anonymous neighbor and subsequently, the city, was not buying what Preheim was selling. He is now stuck with a court date and fines in the 10K range, although he's confident they won't actually be that severe. We at RFC are still mourning the loss of AV-aerie and wish Mr. Preheim a speedy recovery.