Entries tagged with: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

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by Evan Lee


Last night (9/4), How to Dress Well (aka Tom Krell) brought his current tour through Chicago for a sold-out, hometown performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art. HTDW, which now tours as a four piece, were joined by Seattle singer-songwriter Julie Byrne, who kicked off the night with her warm, intricately finger-picked tunes.

How to Dress Well's headlining set consisted largely of songs from album of the year contender "What Is This Heart?". Krell delivered his songs confidently and enthusiastically, with his live band proving a dynamic counterpart to his decidedly powerful voice. While a venue more conducive to audience movement than the fully seated MCA might have better suited upbeat songs like the '90s R'n'B-worshipping "Very Best Friend," the room's fantastic acoustics more than compensated for that when they made pitch-perfect performances of slower songs like "Suicide Dream 1" and "2 Years On" all the more haunting.

Intimacy was the word of the night-- the entire performance felt refreshingly casual and never seemed overly-rehearsed. Krell joked with his band and the audience in-between his heart-wrenching songs. At the end of set highlight "Set It Right," Krell brilliantly interpolated Young Thug's hook from Rich Gang's track "Lifestyle." While I wasn't sure how Krell could successfully follow such an entrancing set, he found a way when he returned to the stage to offer a seemingly off-the-cuff, a cappella rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Look to You." Krell stumbled and forgot some of the lyrics, but his imperfect performance perfectly encapsulated the intimate and friendly mood that How To Dress Well curated the entire night.

Check out some video footage of "Cold Nites" from the MCA after the jump...

Continue reading "How to Dress Well + Julie Byrne played the MCA (review, video)"


Tickets to see Swans' second show at Lincoln Hall go on sale TODAY (5/23) at noon CST.

Tickets to see Plaid at Lincoln Hall go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to see The Tontons at Schubas go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for all Taste of Chicago shows at the Petrillo Music Shell are on sale now.

Tickets to see OOIOO at Lincoln Hall go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to see Pink Mountaintops at the Empty Bottle are on sale now.

Tickets to see How to Dress Well at the Museum of Contemporary Art go on sale today at 10AM.

Tickets to see Owen Pallett at Metro go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to see Joyce Manor at the Bottom Lounge go on sale today at 10AM.

Tickets to see FaltyDL at Metro go on sale today at 10AM.

Tickets to see Com Truise at Lincoln Hall go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to see Mike Watt's Il Sogno del Marinaio at Schubas go on sale today at noon.

How to Dress Well @ Lincoln Hall in March (more by Brigid Gallagher)

How to Dress Well just recently polished off a spring tour in support of his forthcoming LP, "What Is This Heart?" (out 6/24 via Weird World). He's now announced another 2014 North American run, which is slated to begin in late-August, and includes a performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art on September 4. Tickets for the Chicago show go on sale this Friday (5/23) at 10AM CST.

All dates and a stream of "Words I Don't Remember" from the new LP lie after the jump...

Continue reading "How to Dress Well playing the MCA on 2014 tour (dates)"

Body/Head @ Brooklyn's Saint Vitus in June (more by Fred Pessaro)

Body/Head (aka Kim Gordon's duo with Bill Nace) just recently announced that they'll welcome their debut LP, Coming Apart, on September 10 via Matador Records. Gordon and Nace haven't shared any album tracks yet, but you can check out some video footage from their show at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus in June at the bottom of this post.

Body/Head will be embarking on a fall U.S. tour in support of Coming Apart. That tour includes a performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art on September 24. Ticketing information for the Chicago show is forthcoming, but check the MCA's concert calendar for updates.

All Body/Head dates and some video footage from their recent Brooklyn show are below...

Continue reading "Kim Gordon's Body/Head playing the MCA on fall tour"

Kim Gordon @ NYC's T5 earlier this month w/ Dino. Jr. (more by Gretchen Robinette)

The Museum of Contemporary Art have detailed the remainder of their ongoing, free music series Face the Strange. The series, which is programmed in collaboration with Matthew Hale Clark and Jeremy Lemos of White/Light, will finish off on March 26 with a performance by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon. She'll actually be joined by White/Light for that performance, and admission is free (for the whole series). For Gordon's show, you'll need to pick up a free ticket at the MCA box office. You can do that starting at 5PM on the night of the show.

Tortoise member, solo musician, and Chicago mainstay Jeff Parker plays a Face the Strange show on January 22, and experimental duo Lucky Dragons play the MCA on February 26.

A few videos are below...

Continue reading "Kim Gordon closing out 'Face the Strange' at the MCA; Jeff Parker and Lucky Dragons play this winter"


today in Chicago
* Bullet Hell, Vertonen, James Connolly @ The Burlington
* Chapter 24, Blind Shake, The Larroquettes @ Empty Bottle
* Chicago Sounds in the '80s @ Museum of Contemporary Art
* Korallreven, Young Magic, How To Dress Well (DJ set) @ Schubas
* St. Bagu, Old Black and Blue Eyes, Samantha, Arbogast, Blast Off @ Double Door
* Mountains for Clouds, I Know Everything, Artificial Heroes, It's Just Vanity @ Township

Korallreven (members of The Radio Dept.) make their Chicago debut tonight at Schubas, with support from Young Magic and How To Dress Well (DJ set).

Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis speak with Frankie Knuckles, Chris Connelly, and Santiago Durango at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Disappears have a new video for "Replicate." Check it out below.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Tuesday?"


Sound Opinions co-hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot will pick apart some of Chicago's most influential musical movements of the 80s, when they sit down with three very special guests at the Museum of Contemporary Art on March 6th for a round-table discussion.

"Chicago Sounds in the 80s: Underground Incubator" will feature Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry), 'Godfather of House' DJ Frankie Knuckles, and Santiago Durango (Naked Raygun, Big Black) in a conversation about the music and politics of the decade.

The MCA are presenting the discussion in conjunction with their "This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s" exhibition, which you can receive a complimentary tour of after the event.

In related news, Chris Connelly will be opening for Zola Jesus and Talk Normal on February 21st at Lincoln Hall. Tickets are still available.

George Clinton @ Beekman Beer Garden in July (NYC) (more by Chris La Putt)

The Museum of Contemporary Art will get a little funky on February 4th with a performance by the legendary George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic.

The concert is part of the MCA's artEdge 2012 benefit event.
Concert-only tickets which include an open bar and dessert are available for $150 each. Or you can opt for the $1,000 package which includes a cocktail reception in a large tent that will be transformed into a planet of plastic and a performance by artist Nick Cave and his Soundsuits. That's followed by a seated dinner courtesy of renowned chef Wolfgang Puck, who will also make an appearance.

Attire is listed as fashionably funky, but what else would you expect? [NBC Chicago]

Note: Nick Cave (that is at this event) is not to be confused with the other Nick Cave. So who's going for the $1000 package?


Spectralina is the audio-visual collaboration of Selina Trepp and Dan Bitney (of Tortoise). Trepp is an award-winning multimedia artist, whose exhibits mainly consist of live video and sound performances. With Bitney handling percussion duties, the duo create trance-y electronic jams that are largely improv-based. Spectralina will be performing at the Museum of Contemporary Art on February 28th, as part of their Face the Strange series. Check out a short clip of one of their performances from 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, below.

As mentioned, Tortoise will play a hometown gig at the Empty Bottle on January 24th. Tickets are still available.

All 2012 Tortoise dates, and the Spectralina clip, below..

Continue reading "Spectralina are playing the MCA; tix still available for Tortoise @ the Empty Bottle"

Night 1 photos by Joshua Mellin, Night 2 photos by Matt Ziegler

Andrew Bird @ MCA on 12/22/2011
Andrew Bird

On both Wednesday (12/21) and Thursday night (12/22), Andrew Bird played two sold out shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of his Sonic Arboretum installation with Ian Schneller. Like he did at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, in 2010, Bird used Schneller's handmade speakers to help amplify his instruments and voice.

The Sonic Arboretum exhibit is open for the remainder of the year.

Some pictures from both nights (including ones of his setlists), below..

Continue reading "Andrew Bird played 2 nights @ MCA (Night 1 & 2 pics, setlists)"

J.R. Robinson

J.R. Robinson is a Chicago-based sound artist who works under the name Wrekmeister Harmonies. He has exhibited his ambient tonefields in numerous international institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the J.Paul Getty Museum, the Guggenheim, and the Centre Pompidou. For the MCA's Face the Strange series, Robinson screens and conducts a live score to his video You've Always Meant So Much To Me. Inspired by minimalist and structuralist filmmakers, Robinson's video is a highly meditative and starkly beautiful work that juxtaposes various locations in Tasmania, Detroit, Joshua Tree and Brooklyn. Sonically, this version of Wrekmeister Harmonies explores the darkest corners of ambient black metal. The renowned artists joining Robinson for this performance include Jef Whitehead (Leviathan), Jaime Fennelly (Mind Over Mirrors), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Sanford Parker (Minsk), Stavros Giannopolous (The Atlas Moth) and Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit) as well as a string section and harpist. [MCA]
Wrekmeister Harmonies' one-hour set will begin at 6PM CST. Check out a clip of what you can expect tonight, below..

Continue reading "Wrekmeister Harmonies to play the MCA tonight"

Andrew Bird @ Tarrytown Music Hall (NY) in October (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)

Andrew Bird has just announced the release of his new album Break It Yourself, out March 6th in the US (5th internationally) via Mom + Pop Records. Produced and recorded entirely by Bird himself at his Western Illinois barn-turned-home-studio, the LP will serve as the highly anticipated follow up to 2009's Noble Beast.

Shortly after its release, he'll embark on a 3-month North American tour, which comes to a close at our own Auditorium Theatre on May 12th. Tickets go on sale this Saturday (12/10), at 10AM CST. Stay tuned for pre-sale information. If you're a member of Andrew's fan club, you can purchase tickets now.

All tickets (both pre-sale and general sale) come with a digital copy of Break It Yourself (link active at midnight on March 6th), a five-song live EP dubbed Fake Conversations from his October 2011 tour (inboxed to you within a few days), and the promise of a forthcoming live EP from this tour (delivered in the spring on 2012). Not a bad deal, huh?

Eugene Mirman, Laura Marling, Patrick Watson, Tift Merritt, and Mucca Pazza (who play the Chicago show) will serve as 2012 support.

Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller's Sonic Arboretum opens today at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Head below for all upcoming tour dates, and a Break It Yourself teaser video..

Continue reading "Andrew Bird to release 'Break It Yourself,' finishing a 2012 tour @ the Auditorium Theatre (dates)"

"Here's a sneak peek of Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller's "Sonic Arboretum."" - MCA Chi.

Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller's Sonic Arboretum installation opens tomorrow, at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.

A collection of horned speakers, made from compressed recycled newsprint and dryer lint, created by sculptor and instrument-maker Ian Schneller and composer/violinist Andrew Bird, are installed in the MCA's atrium to create a unique sound garden. Bird records the initial compositions on-site at the MCA and sends musical information to different groups of horns via multiple loops. He layers and changes the compositions throughout the remainder of the installation off-site via computer technology.
Towards the end of the month (on December 21st & 22nd), Bird will perform with the horned speakers, just as he did at NYC's Guggenheim Museum two summers ago. Both nights are sold out.


The MCA is open from 10AM - 8PM on Tuesdays, and 10AM - 5PM Wednesday - Sunday. Visit the exhibit at anytime during those hours, for no extra charge.

Check out a short clip of Schneller talking about the project, below..

Continue reading "Andrew Bird & Ian Schneller's Sonic Arboretum opens tomorrow"

Ken Camden

Chicago-based guitarist Ken Camden released his debut solo LP Lethargy and Repercussion in 2010 via Kranky Records. He's also a member of the band Implodes, which released their debut LP Black Earth this past spring via Kranky as well.

Camden will play the Museum of Contemporary Art tomorrow night (11/22), at 6PM, as part of their Face the Strange series.

As a solo artist Camden combines elements of modern composition, kosmische musik, eastern modal themes, and academic electronic work to explore what can be done by a single person playing live solo guitar. For his Face the Strange performance, Camden presents new solo material along with accompanying video projections.
Admission is 100% FREE.

Check out a sample video of what you'll see tomorrow night, below..

Continue reading "Ken Camden to play the MCA tomorrow night"


As we unfortunately shared about a month ago, WHY? had to cancel much of their 2011 US tour due to health reasons. The only US shows that made the cut, will happen tonight (10/15) at the Museum of Contemporary Art! They'll play twice (7:30 & 10PM) with label mates Serengeti. Both performances have been sold out for months, so congrats to those who got tickets.

Head below to view all 2011 tour dates, and an apology video from the band...

Continue reading "WHY? play two shows at the MCA tonight (their only US dates)"


Wisconsin-based duo Peaking Lights just released a remix they did for the Smith Westerns' track "End of the Night." The now thick and psych-tinged number can be downloaded for free via a widget below (in exchange for your email address).

Peaking Lights will be opening up for Oval at the Museum of Contemporary Art next Friday (9/30), as part of Empty Bottle/The Wire's Adventures in Modern Music. Tickets are still available.

Grab the "End of the Night" remix by Peaking Lights below..

Continue reading "Peaking Lights remixed Smith Westerns, playing MCA next week as part of Adventures in Modern Music"


This message appeared on the band's Facebook earlier today:

Dear fans, due to an unfortunate injury, we are going to have to cancel the rest of our North American tour with a possible exception for Chicago. As of now, the European & UK tour are still going forward as planned. We will keep you updated as things progress.

Hopefully, their October 15th performance at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art will still happen. Stay tuned for more details.

A list of updated tour dates are below..

Continue reading "WHY? cancel all US dates except MCA in Chicago"


"Olivia Clemens, Mark Twain's wife, once tried to shock her husband out of his habit of profane tirades by repeating one to him verbatim. Bemused, he replied that he hoped he didn't sound like that because, "You got the words right, Livy, but you don't know the tune."

In his Twitter novella, "The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel," Dan Sinker has both the words and the tune down. But Sinker's song is much more than an "1812 Overture" of F-bomb-launching cannons. Sinker's work is a knowing, cynical, sentimental and hilarious love song to Chicago, its history, its politics, its artists and its people." [Chicago Tribune]

Dan Sinker, the creator of the @MayerEmanuel twitter and author of The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel, will read from his book, answer questions and sign autographs at the Museum of Contemporary Art this Tuesday (9/13), at 6PM. This event is FREE to the public.

His last book reading was at Hideout on Tuesday (9/6). There's where Wilco's Jeff Tweedy surprised the crowd and played a few Black Eyed Peas songs.