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February 25, 2015

photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack

Swans at Thalia Hall on 02.21.2015

This past weekend, Swans brought their current North American tour through Chicago for a sold-out show at Pilsen's Thalia Hall.

Dirty Three percussionist Jim White kicked off the night with a set from his latest project Xylouris White, a duo that also includes Cretan lutist Giorgos Xylouris. The pair delivered tunes from their genre-defying 2014 debut Goats. White and Xylouris' atypical approaches to the drums and lute respectively yielded a gripping opening set.

After a quick changeover, the mighty and resilient Swans took to the stage. They've retained the same six-piece lineup since reforming in 2010, and that crew is now more united than ever. They offered up gnarled versions of To Be Kind cuts "A Little God in My Hands," "Just a Little Boy (for Chester Burnett)," and "Bring the Sun," The Seer's "Mother of the World," and a few newer ones including "Frankie M" and and "Black Hole Man. One of the newer ones earlier on was a 10-minute pulsating dirge, and "Black Hole Man" was the night's closing number that they segued into by first playing "Bring the Sun." That segment alone was a thirty to forty-minute ordeal, with "Black Hole Man" peaking with a cacophonous stop-and-go section.

More pictures from the show below...

Continue reading "Swans & Xylouris White played Thalia Hall (pics)"

February 18, 2015

photos by James Richards IV


Tucker's voice leaped to the top of its range, as if she were being shoved off a cliff every time she started a verse. Brownstein sometimes sang alongside but more often in opposition. Her guitar provided a running commentary of its own, seldom settling for stock chords or harmonious counterpoint, but always in the mood for an argument. Weiss did not sit meekly and watch her two bandmates joust. She jostled and prodded, and yet for all the thunder in her rolls and fills, there was also swing and subtlety. She colored the songs instead of merely steam-rolling them. Her taut responses suggested another voice in "Light Rail Coyote," brought shades of cool to "Get Up" and patiently stacked kindling on "Good Things" until it caught fire. [Greg Kot for Chicago Tribune]
Sleater-Kinney are fully back in action with an excellent new album making their current tour much more than just nostalgia. The tour began in their home state earlier this month, and hit Chicago for a show at Riviera Theatre last night (2/17). The review quoted above is from that show. Did you go? How was it?

More pictures (including opener Lizzo) and the setlist below...

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney played The Riv w/ Lizzo (pics & setlist)"

King Gordon

Kim Gordon's much anticipated Girl in A Band: A Memoir is set for release Feb 24. In promotion of the book's release, Gordon will be stopping by the Music Box Theatre on Thursday Feb 26 for a conversation with former WBEZ 9.5 host Alison Cuddy, as well as a book signing. The event is part of the 25th Chicago Humanities Festival. Tickets for the event (price includes a copy of the book) are on sale now.

Unabridged Books is currently taking preorders. A full list of book tour dates are over at BrooklynVegan.

February 17, 2015

METZ @ DbA 11/21/2014 (photo by @jon_yi and @qbertplaya)

METZ and FIDLAR announced a tour today, and though they won't be playing Chicago together, they will be both be here separately.

FIDLAR play Double Door on May 4. Tickets go on sale Friday (2/20) at 10 AM. Meanwhile, METZ play May 20 at Lincoln Hall. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday at noon. No openers announced for either one yet.

Full tour schedule at BrooklynVegan. Stream the single from METZ's upcoming album, below...

Continue reading "METZ & FIDLAR touring together, playing Chicago separately"

February 13, 2015

Pitchfork Fest
photo: Pitchfork Fest 2014 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)

The lineup is announced! Tickets are still on sale. Check out who is playing, below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 lineup (Wilco, Run the Jewels, Sleater Kinney, Ariel Pink, Panda Bear & more)"

February 11, 2015


Vetern hard rock act AC/DC have announced a tour that will hit Chicago on September 15 at Wrigley Field. Tickets for that show go on sale Monday (2/16) at 10AM.

Full schedule and more at BrooklynVegan. Listen to a song from their new album and watch a classic video below...

Continue reading "AC/DC to play Wrigley Field on 2015 tour"

February 10, 2015

photos by James Richards IV


Taking the stage amidst rolling clouds of fog, Manson and his band of cohorts - including the renowned film composer, Tyler Bates, Manson veteran Twiggy Ramirez, and former Dillinger Escape Plan/current Stolen Babies drummer Gil Sharone - ripped right into The Pale Emperor's lead single, "Deep Six." The show would chug along at full steam from this point on, unleashing a relentless torrent of Manson classics including "Rock Is Dead," "Disposable Teens," and his legendary cover of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This." Fans were just as excited, though, to hear new fan favorites from The Pale Emperor like the shitkicking stomp of "Killing Strangers" and the funked out blues dirge, "Third Day of a Seven Day Binge" - but he saved the best for last with the death knell of Pale Emperor material, "Mephistopheles of Los Angeles." [UR Chicago]
Marilyn Manson released a comeback (?) album earlier last month. His subsequent tour with Hide had him stop by the Riv on Thursday. Pictures and the setlist from that show are here. More below..

Continue reading "Marilyn Manson & Hide played the Riv (pics, setlist)"

February 9, 2015

photos by James Richards IV

Billy Idol
Billy Idol

Billy Idol's ongoing tour hit Chicago over the weekend for a show at The Riv on Saturday (2/7). We recently caught the tour in NYC, where Billy and his ace band loaded the set with classics like "Cradle of Love", "Dancing With Myself", "Flesh for Fantasy", "Eyes Without a Face", "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding," all of which we got here in Chicago too. Opening was newer band Broncho, who owe a bit to the power pop of the same late '70s/early '80s era that Billy Idol was in his prime. Pictures of both artists are in this post and continue, with Billy's setlist, below...

Continue reading "Billy Idol & Broncho played the Riv (pics, setlist)"

photo: The Replacements in NYC in 2014 (more by PSquared)

The Replacements are playing two Chicago shows on their 2015 tour, April 29 & 30 at Riviera Theatre. Tickets go on sale at 10 AM on February 20. All dates HERE.

photo: Protomartyr at TNK Fest 2015 (more by James Richards IV)

The Empty Bottle's free winter block party, Music Frozen Dancing, returns for a 2015 edition on February 28, this time with Perfect Pussy, Protomartyr, and Chicago staples Oozing Wound and NE-HI. Like last year, the event is 100% free, all ages, and outdoors. Goose Island will be serving up beer, alongside caffeinated offerings from Dark Matter Coffee. Gates open at 1PM.