A cool, fun band at the Bottle for free? Seems like a no brainer.
Also check out the band’s excellent new album, You’re Nothing.
Garage rocker Ty Segall treated his fans to three albums last year. Last month, two early Segall albums were reissued, including the self-titled release from his surf-punk band Traditional Fools. The second reissue, Reverse Shark Attack, is Segall’s release with longtime bandmate Mikal Cronin. Segall has come a long way as an artist since those earlier recordings but I still enjoy listening to these raw tracks. If you’re a Segall completist, you’ll want to pick up the reissues.
I Wear Black is the first song on Reverse Shark Attack. The video above was shot at Permanent Records in Chicago.
“Where we surf, there’s always waves.” This Traditional Fools video gives you a good idea what the band sounded like. The song, Street Surfin’, is not on the recently reissued album.
Looking for a good psychedelic jam Saturday night? You can’t beat Six Organs of Admittance at Empty Bottle. Six Organs is Ben Chasny, who is touring his most recent album, Ascent. The album is a diversion from last year’s mostly acoustic release, Asleep on the Floodplain. For Ascent, Chasny brought in his former band mates from Comets on Fire to make a much more rocking offering.
Just when I think the indie girl group genre has run its course, a group like Grass Widow proves me wrong. It’s not an entirely new formula but it’s done well. Check out the band’s album Internal Logic, released earlier this year. Grass Widow plays Empty Bottle Thursday.
Check out this video for Drift Away from Philadelphia’s Bleeding Rainbow. The former duo once known as Reading Rainbow is now a four-piece band and plans to release a new album, Yeah Right, in January. The band is also opening for A Place to Bury Strangers at Empty Bottle next month.
Here’s a good way to beat a case of the Mondays. Head to Empty Bottle for the experimental sounds of Blues Control, which opens for Ponytail’s guitarist Dustin Wong Monday night. Wong is promoting his second solo album, Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads. Blues Control recently released Valley Tangents.
And it’s free!
There’s been a lot of buzz in the U.K. about Alt-J, an indie band that mixes rock, R&B, dubstep, folk and (you name it) other genres on its intriguing debut An Awesome Wave. That chatter around Alt-J has increased since late May when the band’s album was released in Europe. And I suspect there will be quite a bit of talk in the U.S. about these guys once An Awesome Wave is released here September 18. The album is really fresh and original. The buzz is well deserved.
If you act fast, you may be able to snag a ticket for the band’s Empty Bottle performance Sunday (a small number were just released to the sold-out show). The gig is actually Chairlift’s Lollapalooza after-show. Alt-J opens.
By the way, the name refers to the triangle created on a Mac when you press the alt and J keys.
Check out more Alt-J videos after the jump.
What a great show featuring two of Chicago’s best: Radar Eyes opens for Disappears at the Empty Bottle Friday. Both bands made very cool, highly recommended albums this year. Disappears will be playing after it headlines at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival at 9 p.m.
It’s not like Ty Segall has been recording yacht rock for the past few years but, man, does he bring it on his latest album, Slaughterhouse. The songs are harder, faster and all-around more intense. Officially, it’s a release by the Ty Segall Band (he recorded it with the guys he takes on tour). I’ve lost track of how many records he’s made, but the prolific one just announced another solo album, Twins, to be released in October. That would be the third album by Segall this year. He also released Hair, a (recommended) collaboration with White Fence.
If you like Segall’s manic garage rock, Chicago is the place to be over the next few days. He and Japandroids will be at Lincoln Hall for the WBEZ show Sound Opinions on Thursday. Segall headlines a sold-out show at Empty Bottle Saturday night and he plays Pitchfork Music Festival Sunday afternoon. If you’re going to Pitchfork Sunday, don’t miss this one. Segall is unbelievable live.
From last year’s Goodbye Bread:
Also see New music: Ty Segall and White Fence
West Fest is one of a handful of Chicago neighborhood festivals that books very good bands. The main stage, curated by Empty Bottle, features Saturday headliner Black Lips and opener Man or Astro-Man. Mates of State headline Sunday with Crooked Fingers opening. Click here for the full lineup.
You can catch three of the bands at Empty Bottle this weekend: Black Lips play Friday, Man or Astro-Man plays Saturday and Mates of State headlines a late show Sunday. Mates of State is promoting its album Mountaintops, released last fall. Crooked Fingers released Breaks in the Armor last year, while Black Lips put out Arabia Mountain. Man or Astro-Man is in the midst of a two-year reunion tour.
With Empty Bottle and Subterranean curating the stages, Do Division is one of the better neighborhood festivals in Chicago for live music. This weekend’s lineup is pretty good.
Black Belles headlines one stage, while JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound gets top billing on the other tonight (Friday). Saturday is packed with ATYP-approved bands, including Craig Finn, Besnard Lakes and Mannequin Men. Le Butcherettes headline. Antlers are one of two headliners Sunday. See the full schedule here.
The HoZac Blackout Fest is getting started at 5 p.m. today (Friday) at the Empty Bottle. Headlining tonight is the way cool Davila 666 but warmup band Spider Fever is worth checking out as well. Spider Fever is fronted by punk-garage vet Mario Rubalcaba (Off!, Hot Snakes, Rocket from the Crypt). In all, there are seven bands playing Friday.
Candy Salad, the new album by Suckers, takes so many twists and turns it’s hard to really define the totality of the record. Candy Salad starts off strong with the big song, Nowhere, followed by the ultra-poppy Figure it Out, the synth-heavy Bricks to the Bones, and the intriguing, folky Chinese Braille. About midway through the album I get a little bored. But it’s a catchy, cool record that deserves multiple listens.
Suckers are a quirky and original band, and, on their second full-length release, they’re a little more polished, which I don’t think takes anything away from their likability. You can catch them at Empty Bottle on Saturday.
The Chicagoans are still promoting their excellent 2011 release Neverendless, and they play a show at Empty Bottle Saturday night. The show is free if you RSVP before midnight tonight. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s another Chicago festival to get excited about. HoZac Records will throw Chicago Blackout Festival at the Empty Bottle May 18-20. The fest features a lot of HoZac bands and three really great headliners, the garage rockers Davila 666, the legendary Red Kross and the even more legendary Roky Erickson. Check out HoZac’s site for a full lineup.
Blackout Festival was an annual event from 2001 to 2006 and was staged to highlight the yearly release of punk and sex zine Horizontal Action, which eventually folded. HoZac Records is the spawn of Horizontal Action and restarted the fest last year.
It’s been a pretty straightforward approach for A Place to Bury Strangers: Launch a guitar assault fierce enough to rip a person’s scalp off. Then repeat.
A Place to Bury Strangers hasn’t dramatically changed its style since its self-titled debut album in 2007. The newly released EP Onwards to the Wall has some comparatively slow numbers but the style and energy largely remains the same. Good.
The band plays Empty Bottle Wednesday. If you like loud, face-melting rock ‘n’ roll, you don’t want to miss this one.
Here’s a song from the new EP:
This recently released Wild Flag album was actually much better than I expected. Be dubious of “super groups.” This one is made up of two former Sleater-Kinney members — Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss — Mary Timony of Helium, and Rebecca Cole of the Portland band the Minders. It’s a strong lineup — Timony has made some solid solo albums and Sleater-Kinney had moments of greatness. What impresses me is how good the album is from start to finish.
Unfortuntately, the band’s two-night stand at the Empty Bottle is sold out. Look for Wild Flag to come back to a larger venue in the near future. If you get offered a ticket this weekend, take it.
Like his buddy Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin plays ’60s style garage rock. The two made an album, Reverse Shark Attack, in late 2009, a release that was eclipsed by Segall’s excellent Melted in 2010.
Last month, Cronin released his solo debut, a self-titled album that is extremely catchy. The album is recommended if you like Segall, Thee Oh Sees and similar bands.
The Obits is the latest band featuring Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Pitchfork). It’s nothing fancy: Stripped-down, uptempo garage rock. But it’s good and nasty. If you like that kind of thing, the band’s second album, Moody, Standard and Poor, definitely gets the job done. It will be released March 29.
Download Shift Operator from Obit’s upcoming album.
Here’s a video from a 2008 gig: