Lolla Predictions… already?!

February 13, 2009

Chicagoist has thrown the gauntlet down in predicting who might make it to this year’s Lollapalooza… in a “purely speculative” way.

It seems that Lolla guessing has gone the way of political campaigning, in that the speculation begins as soon as the last year’s event has ended.  So, despite it being 6 months away, I can’t help but continue the rumor mill… heavily abbreviated via c’ist:

we are almost positive Jane’s Addiction will headline with their original line-up. They’ve already played a few small shows in L.A. … We also wouldn’t be surprised if The Smashing Pumpkins headlined a night …

And there’s one band we’re really hoping plays this year, and that’s Blur with Graham Coxon in the line-up .. And how could we forget Pavement?

Okay.  Pavement, granted.  Yes, there’s been plenty of rumor talk about that, and I would be thrilled to see them play.  Watching Stephen Malkmus do Pavement covers alone at Pitchfork was sort of satisfying but made me yearn for the whole she-bang… you know… it’s like picking the salt off a pretzel and eating it. (ed. note: work simile ever)

As far as Jane’s Addiction, that would be interesting.  But leave it to Perry Ferrel to book his own band as “the big surprise. ” Ferrel’s current project, Satellite Party, is completely mediocre but P.F. keeps on putting them pretty high-up on the Lolla band list despite the crowd’s collective indifference.  At least Jane’s Addiction reforming would be worth touting.

Blur would be great. Fingers crossed on that one.

I HIGHLY doubt Smashing Pumpkins would do Lolla, considering how few times they even play in the greater Chicago area (or its outlying casinos) not to mention Billy Corigan’s penchant for tantrums and cancellations.  Quite frankly, based on the reviews the last tour received, I don’t know if I’d even WANT to see them play.  Without D’Arcy or James Iha, it’s really not the Pumpkins anyway and I’ll rot in hell before they get Iha to sign on (or find which corner of the world D’Arcy ran off to).

So, if we’re being purely speculative, not based on any actual information, here’s my Lolla wishlist:

  • The Beatles
  • The Velvet Undergrond (special appearences by Nico and Warhol)
  • Leonard Skynard (original line-up)
  • Nick Drake (special appearance by Zach Braff)
  • Dogstar

Update: The Smiths!

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Valentines Day, out. Fun Day, in.

February 11, 2009

I, personally, am a big fan of slamming V-Day.  But for once, I will not waste valuable blog space complaining about couples.  I will simply point out that, if you’re a dude, 2/14 is pretty sweet this year.  If you’re a taken dude, you will be so sad you’re committedand will not be able to partake in Saturday’s events.  (Though, you could probably convince your gal pal to go with you if you can somehow convince her that it was her idea…

February 14th, 2009:

12am to 11:30am

Sleep.  Then maybe some Madden ’09.

12:15pm

Handmade Market at The Empty Bottle for FREE!  In which they “…strive to create a  market, with affordable handmade, mostly local items. There are a ton of crafters in the city, and we try to make this accessible to up and coming designers, jewelry makers, and others. Come out and help support your monthly crafter’s market”

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3pm

The Chicago Auto Show!  Yes!  If you believe what you hear on the news, I think no one in the United States has bought a single car since the Spring of 2008.  Now’s the time!  And, since American automobile companies are so ahead of the game, I’m sure all that well-invested electric car research has already produced a car that runs on a hybrid of electricity and energy expelled by resorting your coworkers recycling after they’ve left for the day.

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7pm

Impress everyone around you by informing them what The Minutemen was referencing when they named their stellar double-album “Double Nickels on The Dime”.  Everyone at Quimby’s bookstore will be impressed.  Accept, of course,  Michael T. Fournier… the writer/critic/historian who will be in attendence, speaking about his most recent entry into the 33 1/3  lit canon.

8pm

No one’s cared about the NBA All-Star game since Magic Johnson came back to chuck up 3-pointers over Isaiah Thomas for the feel-good story of, well, the last time anyone cared about professional basketball.  But what’s this, The Skillz Challenge?  Eff yeah, I’ll check it out.   Especially since my boy Derrick Rose is playing against Devin Harris, Jameer Nelson and Tony “Shit Tattoo”Parker.  The challenge is legit too, as the past winners are sweet (and much more impressive than the dunk/3-point champs… hi Craig Hodges!) — Steve Nash ’05, Dwayne Wade ’06-’07, Deron Williams ’08.

10pm

Your choice of awesome concerts:
Flosstradamus and  Gatekeeper at The Abbey Pub;  The Chamber Strings, Kevin Tihista, and Lonesome Cougar at Cobra Lounge; Fucked Up, A/V Murder, and Boystown at The Empty Bottle, or drop a hundo wit your shorty to see Jeff Tweedy @ the Vic.  If you can’t afford a hundo, just make a video and you won’t have to worry about spending money on a g/f:


BPRB Updates – Turn Back the Clock this Spring?

February 6, 2009

New stuff added to the “Bored People Are Boring” things to-do list

Very suprised to see what bands will be making the rounds in the Spring.  Namely industiral music originators Throbbing Gristle will do two back-to-back shows at Epiphany (yes, that church place)… after playing NY and Cochella shows.

  • Throbbing Gristle, “What a Day” MP3 (c/o blog Farced)

 

Next on the suprise turn-back-the-clock list is Chicago’s own Red Red Meat.  The band’s roster is a who’s-who of Chicago indie rock icons, including Tim Rutili, Ben Massarella and Tim Hurley (of Califone), plus beloved producer Brian Deck (Liz Phair [when she was cool], Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Modest Mouse).

 

 

Lastly in the old-news-made-new-news list this week, Bob Nanna (Braid, Hey Mercedes, City on Film) has a new full-band type project with ‘Mercedes bandmate Damon Atkinson called Certain People I Know and he’s twittering his little heart out about it.  As of right now, CPIK ranks as my third-favorite Smith-referencing bandname… right behind The Boy Least Likely To and Pretty Girls Make Graves.  Fittingly, the pride of the Illini are playing their first show in Urbana on March 13th at Courtyard Cafe and then make they’re way up to Chicago to play at The Beat Kitchen on the 19th.

  

*NOT The Cardigans.

Also of note is a band I randomly came across on The Next Big Sound site, Raise High the Roof Beam.  They’re doing not one, but TWO shows in the upcoming months.  The production value on these songs are iffy at best, but I do enjoy the sound.  It has the strum-and-pluck of solid indie pop (as the Salinger reference would infer) but I also hear a little bit of playful Johnathan Richman, and I can almost gurantee they’re fans of Wes Anderson.  Just a hunch.

 

All dates added on 2/6:

February:
Raise High The Roof Beam
GP Dreams
The Sundresses

March:
Certain People I Know
Women
Volcano!
Red Red Meat

April:
Lily Allen
Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
Mason Proper
Raise High The Roof Beam
Throbbing Gristle
Flight of the Conchords


“Bored People are Boring”

January 9, 2009

If you’ll note, I recently started listing Events that I am interested in attending in the greater Chicago area entitled Bored People are Boring.  Because, yeah, there’s a ton of stuff to do in this area and what I post is a small, small fraction of possible events to check out. 

Most of these will be music shows, but I’ll also put up drink deals, art exhibits and other stuff if it piques my interest. I’ll update it at least once a week (changes will be in orange), and I’ll try to stay at least 4 weeks ahead to give y’all some fair warning.

Check out January and February which are up right now.


Atomic: Blow’d Up

December 10, 2008

 

I just learned from Milwaukee Music Blog Fan-Belt that the beloved Atomic Records store is closing in February.  This is tragic.  It’s a local music icon that I’ve spent WAY too much money at.

Rick the (owner) writes on the Atomic Records homepage:

The reasons for shutting down are many — and I’d hate to bore you with wonkish details of shifting demographics, downward market trends, changing consumer habits, etc. — but the decade-long (and running) decline of the music industry combined with the recent economic downturn have made it impossible to continue doing what we love to do … First off, THANK YOU! It has truly been a pleasure serving the music lovers of Milwaukee for the past 24 years. Much gratitude goes out to our customers. The recent words of encouragement — the likes of “hang in there,” “please don’t go out of business,” “what would I do without you?” — mean more than you can imagine. I only wish we had the wherewithal to continue on.

Terribly, part of me is excited though, now that my “Fueled By Atomic Records” bumper sticker and Atomic Records T-Shirt will now be that much awesomer.


Well Why Don’t You Just TELL Me the Best Album of 2008?

December 4, 2008
She & Him

In trying to think of my favorite albums of the year, I was looking around on other sites to see what albums actually came out this year (why this tag info doesn’t come up in iTunes baffles me).  I’m trying to listen to as MUCH 2008 music as possible in the next few days in order to make some decisions, but so far my opinions were more like Steve from Coupling’s thoughts on Fabric.

So, because I like Excel documents, I grabbed a few of the top 50-or-so lists (Paste, Mojo, Uncut) which, btw, is NOT a good sample of publications…  so I grabbed MetaCritic’s “Top 30 Best Reviewed Albums” and added it to the list too.  With a straight average (regardless of how many times they were referenced), here is the top 10 w/ their average ranking:

  1. She & Him – “Volume One” 1
  2. The Last Shadow Puppets – “The Age Of The Understatement” 2
  3. Plush – “Fed” 3
  4. Vampire Weekend – “Vampire Weekend” 4
  5. Fleet Foxes – “Fleet Foxes” 4.25
  6. Bon Iver  – “For Emma, Forever Ago” 4.75
  7. Neil Young  – “Sugar Mountain: Live At Canterbury House 1968” 5 (tie)
  8. Okkervil River – “The Stand Ins” 5 (tie)
  9. The Bug – “London Zoo” 5.5
  10. Shugo Tokumaru – “Exit” 6

After seeing this very odd top 10, I have to mention that 6 of the Top 10 didn’t make the top 50 of any other list.  How can this be?  How can the best album of the year (according to Paste) be completely disregarded by all other mags?  What does this say about the world of criticism?  Well, in my humble opinion, every magazine, despite all being able to listen to the same LP’s in 2008, need to have their own little “things”.  They all feel the need to champion records to exalt their superior tastes — whether this means gushing over a record no one went super-crazy for, or one no one else has even heard of.

The Bug

I cannot claim to be completely informed about new music, but it does annoy me that 3 of the top 10 artists:  The Last Shadow Puppets, Plush, and Shugo Tokumaru; I haven’t heard peep about until now.  You can chalk that up to me living under a rock, or, as I’d rather; chalk it up to critics keeping their favorite records a secret and then sticking an obscure album way high in their Best-Of List, thereby solidifying their status as super cool, music insider/outsiders.

So, to get rid of the Let’s-Mention-an-Album-No-One-Else-Will epidemic, I will eliminate all albums mentioned only once in all four Year-End lists.  THEN, our top 10 looks like this:

  1. Vampire Weekend – “Vampire Weekend” 4
  2. Fleet Foxes – “Fleet Foxes” 4.25
  3. Bon Iver  – “For Emma, Forever Ago” 4.75
  4. Neil Young  – “Sugar Mountain: Live At Canterbury House 1968” 5 (tie)
  5. Okkervil River – “The Stand Ins” 5 (tie)
  6. The Bug – “London Zoo” 5.5
  7. Shugo Tokumaru – “Exit” 6
  8. Paul Weller – “22 Dreams” 6.5
  9. Girl Talk – “Feed the Animals” 7
  10. Sun Kil Moon – “April” 8

This works more like DEMOCRACY!  Or, more like parliamentary procedure, like, you know, when one guys like “I move to nominate Girl Talk”, and then some other dude in a headband and American Apparel short-shorts is like “I second that!”…  The Girl Talk motion passes!

  

Now, we’ll cut the fat again, here is a list of albums that made three of the four 2008 Best-Of Lists (in an act divine intelligence, there are exactly 10 albums that did this):

  1. *Fleet Foxes – “Fleet Foxes” 4.25
  2. *Bon Iver  – “For Emma, Forever Ago” 4.75
  3. *Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!”  9.25
  4. Portishead – “Third” 10
  5. *The Hold Steady – “Stay Positive” 12
  6. Drive-By Truckers – “Brighter Than Creation’s Dark” 17.33 (tie)
  7. Randy Newman – “Harps And Angels” 17.33 (tie)
  8. Sigur Rós– “Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust” 17.33 (tie)
  9. *TV On The Radio – “Dear Science” 19.25
  10. MGMT – “Oracular Spectacular”  30.33

*Appeared in all four Year-End lists

You can of course argue that reducing editorial content and criticism to averages strips the rating of any validity… I would probably agree with you. 

But here’s what the list above does:

  • It devalues the one-offs that a critic just had to put in the list for rep’s sake. 
  • The obligatory high ranking for the band that posed for your cover is marginalized. 
  • What emerges are albums that were universally liked — albums that you “buried” deep in your top 50 because they were too obvious, too mainstream, or were afraid to rank too highly.

What we have with this bottom list is 2008 albums that found favor with a diverse amount of critical publications — two iffy “rock” mags, a singer/songwriter obsessed one, and a computer aggregate site.  The result is LPs that span an array of tastes despite the gerrymandering that may effect one individual publication.

I’ll put my personal faves up later this month, and follow-up with a revised page when Stereogum, Pitchfork, and Tiny Mix Tapes, Coke Machine Glow, PopMatters, etc start to mention their favorites.


End of List Year List Best-Of List List

December 1, 2008

NOT YET!!!!  There’s like, 30 days left in the year — who’s to say the blogovironment won’t blow their (impotent?) loads over something else within the next few days.  Here’s to speculating!

So, that’s coming, and I’d have to reccomend that you go here and share your ever-so-valid yet undoubtedly populist opinion:

(and while at it, maybe vote for me maybe?)