Recent Posts in music

April 20, 2014

by Zach Pollack

Their / They're / There || Minor Characters at Saki Records on 04.19.2014

The seventh annual worldwide Record Store Day went down this Saturday (4/19). There was quite a bit happening in Chicago to celebrate independent stores, including the BV Chicago-presented in-store marathon at Saki Records in Logan Square. After the morning rush for exclusive releases, we kicked things off with Wedding Dress at 1PM and finished the day with a packed-to-the-gills store for Their / They're / There at 6PM. Minor Characters, Landmarks, Meat Wave, and Negative Scanner all graced the stage from 2-6PM, with a rotating cast of DJs spinning between sets. Pictures from Record Store Day at Saki are in this post.

Special thanks to all who made the in-store marathon possible: everyone at Saki Records, all the bands, Aaron Dexter, Nick Rouley, Parker Langvardt, Milos Markicevic, Revolution Brewing, Gaslight Coffee Roasters, YOU, and last but certainly not least Chris Hefner for designing our awesome RSD poster -- you can now grab a Saki t-shirt featuring Chris' design.

More pictures from the RSD in-stores at Saki lie after the jump...

Continue reading "Their / They're / There, Meat Wave, Minor Characters & more played Saki on Record Store Day 2014 (pics)"

by Zach Pollack

Jenny Hval at the Empty Bottle on 04.18.2014

Norwegian art pop auteur Jenny Hval polished off her North American tour with ambient guitarist Mark McGuire with a show at the Empty Bottle on Friday night (4/18). Hval and her guitarist/bassist collaborator tore through tunes from last year's fantastic Innocence Is Kinky and also debuted some brand new material. Her sharp and commanding voice was paralyzing (in the best way possible) and she oozed confidence from the second she took the stage. Locals Wedding Dress got things started with a very solid opening set, and the show also served as a record release for their Loom 7". Pictures from the Empty Bottle are in this post.

More below...

Continue reading "Jenny Hval, Mark McGuire & Wedding Dress played the Empty Bottle (pics)"

April 18, 2014


Pure Joy -- an all-ages, nonprofit, 200-capacity performance space -- is slated to open in Chicago this fall. They've got "a very large former warehouse space" which is being fully converted to meet needs. It's also a community space, with meeting and office space for other nonprofits, community groups, and arts-based after-school programming. Pure Joy is registered as a nonprofit in Illinois, and the team behind it are waiting on their 501(c)(3) paperwork to come through. With an Indiegogo campaign, they're currently raising funds to obtain a lighting rig, PA, and materials for stage construction. Their goal is $32,000 (they have $6,492 as of this post), but should it not be reached, whatever funds are raised will still go directly towards that. If it's exceeded, those additional funds will be used for venue start-up costs, like soundproofing. The campaign perks include t-shirts and show vouchers. They've also said, "Even if you can't help financially, please share our page with your networks and get the word out! We're only as strong as our community."

Check out the Pure Joy campaign, contribute financially if you're able, and spread the word!


Phoenix folk punks Andrew Jackson Jihad are slated to release their new album, Christmas Island, on May 6 via new home SideOneDummy. The LP serves as the follow-up to 2011's Knife Man and was produced by John Congleton, who has been behind a smattering of great 2014 releases -- Cloud Nothings, Swans, St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, and more. You can take a listen to the album's lead single "Children of God" at the bottom of this post. If you're into Against Me!, The Front Bottoms, and/or Titus Andronicus, the tune will most likely sit well with you.

AJJ have announced a large summer North American tour with rotating support from Cheap Girls (who we recently caught with Against Me!), Hard Girls, and Dogbreth. That tour includes a performance at Bottom Lounge on July 16 with Hard Girls and Dogbreth. Tickets for the Chicago show go on sale TODAY (4/18) at noon CST.

All AJJ dates and that song stream lie after the jump...

Continue reading "Andrew Jackson Jihad ready new LP, playing Bottom Lounge on tour w/ Hard Girls & Dogbreth (new song stream, dates)"

The Lawrence Arms @ Riot Fest Chicago 2010 (more by Katie Hovland)

Earlier this year, The Lawrence Arms returned with their triumphant new album Metropole. They haven't played a proper hometown show since the LP hit stores, but have now announced a summer US run that finishes off with a performance at Metro on June 6. It features support from The Copyrights and Sam Russo, and tickets go on sale TODAY (4/18) at 10AM CST.

All known Lawrence Arms dates and a stream of Metropole lie after the jump...

Continue reading "The Lawrence Arms playing Metro on summer US tour (dates)"


Post-black metal heroes Agalloch announced a tour with Obsidian Tongue this week that we're excited to see brings the Portland band back to Reggie's on 6/20.Tickets are on sale. Full tour at BrooklynVegan.


Reunited '90s alt-rockers Veruca Salt are back with their first new material in many years. On Record Store Day 2014 (this Saturday, April 19), they'll welcome a 7" featuring two brand new songs -- "It's Holy," "The Museum Of Broken Relationships" -- as well as "Seether." That's its cover art above. VS will also be embarking on a summer North American tour. That tour includes a performance at Lincoln Hall on July 12. Tickets for the Chicago show go on sale TODAY (4/18) at noon CST.

All Veruca Salt dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Veruca Salt releasing new 7" on Record Store Day, playing Lincoln Hall on summer tour (dates)"

April 17, 2014


Record Store Day 2014 takes place this Saturday, April 19 and there are a ton of special events happening at independent shops throughout Chicago. Here's a guide to in-store performances, where to get certain exclusive releases, and much more throughout the city...


Permanent Records

Opens at: 7AM
In-store performances by: Mines (5PM), Unmanned Ship (6PM), and more.
Perks: FREE Dark Matter coffee, Permanent Records label exclusives


Reckless Records (Wicker Park, Lakeview, Loop)

Opens at: 10AM (all locations)
In-store performances by: Circuit Des Yeux (3PM; WP), Kim & Kelley Deal with Morgan Nagler (6:30PM; WP), Ghost B.C. "Convocation" with civilian Papa Emeritus (1PM; Lake), Lord Mantis (3PM; Lake), and more.
Perks: List of stock on-hand


The Numero Group pop-up store at the Comfort Station

Opens at: 9AM
Perks: Numero RSD releases, pop-up shop exclusive Ned Doheny 45, other Numero releases


Laurie's Planet of Sound

Opens at: 9AM
In-store performances by: Fake Limbs (12PM-ish), John Darnielle [Mountain Goats] (2PM), Silver Abuse (6PM), Mazes (7PM), and more.
Perks: FREE Laurie's totes with goodies (a few hundred of 'em), FREE lunch from Chubby Wieners (time TBA)


Saki Records

Opens at: 9AM
In-store performances by: Wedding Dress (1PM), Minor Characters (2PM), Landmarks (3PM), Meat Wave (4PM), Negative Scanner (5PM), Their / They're / There (6PM)
Perks: List of stock on-hand, FREE coffee from Gaslight Coffee Roasters for those in line in the morning, DJs from The Owl, Saki/CTD, and BV Chicago, raffles and giveaways

more below...

Continue reading "a guide to Record Store Day 2014 in Chicago"


Riot Fest Chicago is back to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, from September 12-14. They don't quite say where it'll be taking place, but we're hoping the fest will be returning to Humboldt Park; stay tuned for more information.

They're also returning to Toronto from September 6-7 and Denver from September 19-21.

April 16, 2014

photos by Jeff Ryan, words by Zach Pollack

The National at The Chicago Theatre on 04.15.2014

In hindsight, not all that many gave the then tiny New York transplants The National the time of day until a handful of years past their formation in 1999. Beginning with their 2003 breakthrough Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers and continuing through last year's wildly successful Trouble Will Find Me, The National have slowly grown into a true indie rock institution. That institution happen to be in Chicago this week for a four-night run of shows at The Chicago Theatre -- all sold-out -- as part of a spring North American tour. Last night (Tuesday, April 15) marked their first of four appearances at the famed venue.

Matt Berninger and co. quickly got situated and began their twenty-some-odd-song set with TWFM's "Don't Swallow the Cap" and "I Should Live in Salt." At that point, it was a bit hard to tell if Berninger was burdened or pleased by the fact that he was on stage, as he paced around in an angular fashion. After a couple of High Violet tunes, he appeared to have settled in, and let out some triumphant screams during "Sea of Love." He's an often unpredictable, charismatic performer, who rushed throughout the audience, broke at least one mic stand, and smashed a couple of wine bottles during last night's show. Oh, and he sings too, which is something you couldn't possibly block out. Berninger's deep baritone voice echoed throughout the theatre as he delivered lines like "'Cause I'm evil" ("Conversation 16"), "This isn't working, you, my middlebrow fuck-up" ("Squalor Victoria"), and "You turn me good and God-fearing / Well, tell me what am I supposed to do with that?" ("Abel"). About half-way through Boxer's "Ada," the band's horn section worked in a bit of pal Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago" as a crafty turnaround. The National ended their set with "Fake Empire" and returned for a four-song encore -- a great cover of Perfume Genius' "Learning," "Mr. November," "Terrible Love," and last but not least a totally acoustic rendition of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks." It should be said that instead of this four-night run, The National could have opted for a giant stadium show. They're very thankfully just not that band (and I hope never become it). Berninger and co. continue their Chicago Theatre run tonight (4/16) through Friday (4/18).

Last night's show, and much of their spring North American tour, includes great support from London trio Daughter. Namesake Elena Tonra and her band performed songs from their debut LP If You Leave and also re-imagined tunes from their early EPs.

More pictures from The National's 4/15 Chicago Theatre show and their full setlist lie after the jump...

Continue reading "The National & Daughter played The Chicago Theatre (night 1 pics, review, setlist)"