34 years ago today, REM’s Chronic Town EP was released and it simply changed the whole landscape of indie-rock, college-radio, clubs, touring, fanzines – it inspired a whole host of imitators (god help us!) but also tons of bands that sounded absolutely nothing like them (such as SST bands). During the first half of . . . → Read More: R.E.M. – Gardening at Night, by Pat Thomas
Gaylord Perry Statue
Last Sunday, I paid a visit to the new statue at AT&T Park: Gaylord Perry, who spent the first decade of his career in a San Francisco uniform alongside Juan Marichal as a mainstay of the Giants pitching staff during the 1960s. Perry’s most famous pitch was a spitball, which he . . . → Read More: Gaylord Perry Takes His Place in the AT&T Pantheon, and other Giants Notes, by Chuck Strom
On a hot August 19 night Darrel’s Tavern just north of Seattle hosted a night of Seattle hillbilly, celtic and folk punk bands.
The headliner was Wages Of Sin. This Seattle quintet combined a bit of country, a bit of folk, a bit of punk and a heavy dose of Celtic and tossed it . . . → Read More: Wages Of Sin Headline Darrel’s Tavern On A Hot August Night, by Holly Homan
Everyone’s favorite acid organ punk duo, Archie and the Bunkers, have returned from a massively successful European tour and released a new record, Mystery Lover. Below is a video they released a few months ago which will give you a feel for their electrifying retro sound.
Strangely, this version of “Joe Cool” sung by Vince Guaraldi is NOT featured on any of the countless Peanuts soundtracks issued by Fantasy Records (their albums only have an instrumental version) – I had to buy a CD called Lost Cues from his family’s estate.
– Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, . . . → Read More: Vince Guaraldi – Joe Cool, by Pat Thomas
Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009.(Photo by Pete Souza)
I twice voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States of America. Now that he has less than six months left in his job as President, and since I have been rightly critical of his predecessor (and Obama’s successor . . . → Read More: Where Obama’s Promises of Change Fell Short, by Mark Erickson
The Chicago Tribune has printed a four-part series on a subject I wrote about last year:
Here’s one Tribune article regarding pig polluters:
As I read the article that landed on my doorstep today I recall the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which exposed the production and sale of . . . → Read More: More on the Pig Manure Pollution Controversy, by Mark Erickson
“Credit must be given to the foremothers: the Shaggs. In 1969 they recorded an album that can stand, I think, easily with Beatles ’65, Life with the Lions, Blonde on Blonde, and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks as one of the landmarks of rock history. The Wiggins sisters (an anti-power trio) not only redefined . . . → Read More: Good News About the Shaggs, by Pat Thomas
This fine Carpenter’s cover was discovered by my lovely wife who tells me that when she grabs the mic to sing, her favorite karaoke jam is this song. As for this version, it’s marvelous. Ms. Ericks channels Karen Carpenter excellently. Enjoy:
Beach House: the band that rocked Pitchfork
On the eve of the Pitchfork Music Festival last month, I read the Chicago Tribune’s preview of the three day event. The article coded the entertainers by genre such as EDM, hip hop, indie, rock, etc. On day one, the first act was a rock band called . . . → Read More: Evolution of Lollapalooza: “Dad, Rock is Dead,” by Mark Erickson
The NYT posted a video today of Trump’s supporters letting it all hang out at his rallies. The footage is instructive, but not for the squeamish.
– Vino Knight-Trané
I have been on a Modest Mouse kick of late. Love the records Good News for People who Love Bad News and We Were Already Dead before the Ship Sank. I really love those records, pretty much in their entirety, but especially, “Ocean Breathes Salty.” My right now favorite lyric of all time is:
. . . → Read More: Ron Swanson’s Back to School Song List
Streetlight Manifesto in December 2011.
Last Saturday night was a long anticipated event, the return of NJ ska band Streetlight Manifesto.
SLM are a very tight band. They exude an energy on stage that is reflected in their music, but not in their physical actions. This is not a band that interacts much . . . → Read More: The Showbox Market Hosts the Return Of Ska Masters Streetlight Manifesto, by Holly Homan
I keep my grandpa’s wooden box full of foreign coins and coins I find interesting. I hadn’t looked through it for a long time. I was dusting tonight and found this CTA token. What happy memories~thought you– and all of the Chicago diaspora nation– would enjoy seeing it. I don’t know if tokens like . . . → Read More: Chicago Transit Authority Token – Jill Kuhel
I am extremely grateful that Ian Hunter is still with us. So underrated… He has a new record coming out called Cross My Fingers. Since I saw Ian and the Rant Band on their 2001 tour I honestly don’t think anyone has put out better music since. We’ve had Rant, Shrunken Heads“, Man Overboard, . . . → Read More: Ian Hunter – Dandy
A side project from her work as front woman of Philadelphia indie punk band Little Big League, Michelle Zauner released a tape in June 2013 under the solo moniker Japanese Breakfast. The tape was titled June and boasted thirty tracks written and recorded every day of the month. A stark deviation from Little . . . → Read More: Japanese Breakfast – Everybody Wants To Love You (Live Session)
In light of the recent stories about Roger Ailes and what appears to be the locker-room culture at Fox News, this would be an appropriate musical theme for their broadcasts: Fountains of Wayne’s, “Traffic and Weather”.
“We belong together, like traffic and weather . . . “
Photo by Kjerstin Johnson
I saw the Furs the first time at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on August 21, 1981, 34 years and 11 months to the day before last night’s show at the Santa Monica Pier.
That show was opened by the Chicago power pop band, The Kind, and was followed by . . . → Read More: Quick Reflection on Seeing the Psychedelic Furs Last Night, by Todd Johnson
This tune is truly special. It starts out pained, focused and inward but opens to illuminate an emotional story and sonic landscape as big as all of our sadnesses put together. The voice of Darling Cora (Darlene Cuevas) has a delicious range, vivid color and a soothing, comforting feel. She sounds like the . . . → Read More: Darling Cora – Yearn
Cheryl Strayed, Sarah Hepola and Steve Almond
Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir, Wild, became a successful movie with Reese Witherspoon, is a good storyteller whose online talks and Q&As never contain a dull moment. It was during one of my searches for her talks that I learned that she had resurrected her advice column, Dear . . . → Read More: Dear Sugar Was Here In Portland, Speaking Straight Into Our Ears, by Chuck Strom