Drag City and the Empty Bottle want to promote stand-up to the stand-and-nod crowd.
Friday 18 DETHOLZ! Notwithstanding their weakness for cheese-pop covers (“Sussudio,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It”), these locals’ nerdy, fidgety, aggressively busy new-wave rock is full of original ideas, and I doubt they’ll run out of new ones anytime soon. It’s tempting to chalk up their weirdness to their Bible-school roots, but as far […]
JAY BENNETT The Magnificent Defeat | Rykodisc The belated final installment in a trilogy of solo discs by the former Wilco lieutenant follows a rough patch for Bennett, which has included a split with his longtime label and management. He’s been obsessively cobbling together the songs on The Magnificent Defeat for years–pity poor mixer Jonathan […]
Local DJ John Ciba introduces the world to Neal Hemphill, an Alabama recording hobbyist who gave a host of southern R & B musicians their first chance.
Carl Barat doesn’t have a prayer of getting more press than his old Libertines bandmate Pete Doherty, which makes it easy to overlook his new combo, the Dirty Pretty Things. The group includes two other ex-Libertines, drummer Gary Powell and guitarist Anthony Rossomando, so maybe it’s no surprise that its debut, Waterloo to Anywhere (Interscope), […]
friday11 WAYNE “THE TRAIN” HANCOCK On his forthcoming album, Tulsa (Bloodshot), Austin’s Wayne Hancock lays out the blueprint for his music: “Well, Lefty and Hank Williams / Lord, they sure could sing / And I wore the needle off my phonograph / Well, I went looking for them.” Though he occasionally tosses some hillbilly boogie […]
HotHouse head Marguerite Horberg thought it’d be great if the board hired a business director–but now that they’re trying, it’s touched off a feud that could leave her out of a job.
Friday 4 MATES OF STATE It’s almost magical what Mates of State can do with just a small trap kit, an ancient Yamaha Electone organ (think of a Farfisa on meth), and two pairs of lungs. The same synergy that gives the Mates’ simple music its surprising punch also seems to carry over to the […]
An exuberant guitar player and nephew of Chicago slide master J.B. Hutto, Lil’ Ed Williams has churned out a host of party-blues discs for Alligator Records since the mid-80s. Rattleshake, the sixth and latest album he’s recorded with his Blues Imperials, isn’t as uniformly excellent as their best album, 1999’s Get Wild!, but it gets […]
While James Van Osdol fills Mancow’s slot at Q101, he’s finishing an oral history of the local rock scene at the end of the last century.
This summer’s festival schedule started with the frisson of a behind-the-scenes flap: Most of the credit for the success of last year’s inaugural Intonation Music Festival went to its curators at Pitchfork Media, not to organizer Mike Reed and the events-planning and publicity company Skyline Chicago, who got the whole thing off the ground. So […]
On their first two EPs, 2003’s Orange and 2004’s All Songs Written By, HUMAN TELEVISION displayed enough frenetic, trip-and-be-trampled pop-hook zeal to run neck and neck with the Wedding Present circa George Best. Now the Philly-by-way-of-Florida quartet has rolled out their first full-length, Look at Who You’re Talking To (Gigantic Music), and while the songs […]
The Assassins, signed to Arista after their seventh show, spent more than a year trying to get free of their deal.
Friday 21 ANGRY ANGLES My friends and I used to throw these garage-rock dance parties on weekends after the bars let out. Someone would play records while the rest of us were in another room, dancing and passing around bottles of Jim Beam with the lights out. One of us would have a flashlight, and […]
There are plenty of reasons not to expect much from Jolie Holland. She’s a refugee from a vastly overrated twang-folk outfit (the Be Good Tanyas), lacks the standout pipes and come-hither charm of fellow roots-pop sirens Jenny Lewis and Neko Case, and her stage presence can best be summed up as aloof. Yet the three […]