It’s been a busy year for Grizzly Bear.
The band has been touring non-stop in support of the excellent album, “Veckatimest,” stopping just long enough to record a song with Michael Freakin’ McDonald!
The throaty Doobie Brother provided the lead vocal on “While You Wait for the Others,” a gimmick that was hailed as ironically cool or just sad. Either way, it got a ton of attention in the blogosphere.
No word on whether the white-haired crooner will make a guest appearance at Grizzly Bear’s Metro shows Sunday or Monday. The Sunday show is sold out.
Miike Snow has been remixed so many times, it’s easy to forget how solid these Swedes’ songs sound in their original versions.
They play two shows at the Empty Bottle Friday night.
The French pop stars have made the rounds of TV appearances, they’re on a car commercial and getting remixed. That Brat Pack mashup has been viewed almost 360,000 times on YouTube.
San Francisco’s Girls debut “Album” is out today. There’s been a fair amount of buzz about these guys. We’ll see how they hold up.
Check out the video for “Lust For Life” below. The band plays Empty Bottle in November.
No one can accuse Health of phoning it in during a show. The band brings a lot of intensity to its live performance.
Here’s a little taste in case you’re thinking about heading out to the Empty Bottle show Friday night.
Reunion shows have that dad rock rep for sure, especially when the point is to play classic albums in their entirety.
Two groundbreaking bands — Pixies and Devo — play here in November. And, yeah, it’s dad rock but in a good way. I saw two of the Pixies shows during the greatest-hits reunion in 2004 and they were great.
Devo is performing its early albums “Are We Not Men?” and “Freedom of Choice” in their entirety. The albums are being re-released in November. And the tour is a warm-up for the first new release in ages, scheduled for sometime next year.
The Feelies didn’t make a lot of albums but the ones they made were great. The band’s first two releases, “Crazy Rhythms,” and “The Good Earth” were reissued this past week.
I’m not sure these guys will ever get the recognition they deserve. They were highly influential — you know, like Big Star, New York Dolls, Television and the Modern Lovers. But that kind of influence doesn’t really translate into success. So buy the albums. Honestly, the sound (it’s a bit like the Velvet Underground) holds up well today.
These guys are flying way below the radar in terms of getting noticed but they have a good sound.
Jon Langford and the gang will be playing an all-day “beer-b-q” at the Hideout Saturday. It’s a full day of Bloodshot artists, starting at noon and celebrating the Chicago record label’s 15th anniversary. The event takes the place of the Hideout’s annual block party. Langford’s Waco Brothers headline.
If you’re looking for an eclectic show, this festival curated by the U.K.’s The Wire is a good start.
I’d be remiss if I failed to mention Israeli hard rockers Monotonix also have a new album out, “Where Were You When It Happened?”
Jim O’Rourke is still experimenting. There are so many interesting touch points to this guy’s career: a member of Gastr del Sol in the ’90s, he helped make Wilco’s two most experimental albums and became a full-time member of Sonic Youth.
He’s made solo albums, collaborated with and produced a number of other artists. His work with Jeff Tweedy didn’t end with “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” and “A Ghost Is Born.” Tweedy and O’Rourke made two albums under the name Loose Fur.
O’Rourke, who now lives in Japan, releases his solo album, “The Visitor,” on Tuesday. The album is one long song (32 minutes) that stretches across a number of musical styles, according to the New York Times, which interviewed the former Chicagoan.
Don’t look for the album on iTunes because O’Rourke won’t allow it. He thinks downloads compromise the quality of the sound.
A number of artists cite Greg Sage’s late ’70s-early ’80s band the Wipers as an influence but Vivian Girls’ sound isn’t straight punk. The ’60s girl group influence distinguishes the Vivian Girls from a lot of other bands. The Brooklyn-based group’s second album, “Everything Goes Wrong,” was released recently on iTunes. Physical copies of the album are out Tuesday.
Here’s a nice family-time video from Health to support its new album, “Get Color,” out next week.
Seriously, the new release sounds promising.
Health plays the Empty Bottle Sept. 18.