Also check out this cool remix of the single from the album, Illusions.
Kurt Vile is that rare artist who is so confident and focused that he consistently puts out great albums by simply sticking to his knitting. His voice and guitar are unmistakably identifiable yet each new album sounds unique and fresh. His latest album, Walkin on a Pretty Daze, is no exception.
Kurt and his band, the Violators, play a sold out show at Lincoln Hall Tuesday night. Steve Gunn opens.
Also, check out this fan video pairing Gangs in the Garden with Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon.
Bill Callahan hasn’t yet followed up his great piece of work, Apocalypse, from 2011, but there was a tour documentary released last year. Callahan is on the road for several tour dates this month, including one in Chicago at the Garfield Park Conservatory Monday (May 6). Doors open 6:30 and the show is 7 with Flat Foot opening. Garfield Park Conservatory is at 300 N. Central Park Ave. in Chicago.
Advance tickets appear to be gone. The show is being put on by Land and Sea Dept.
UPDATE: Bad news for you Bill Callahan fans who didn’t buy a ticket in advance: The show tonight (Monday) is sold out.
A cool, fun band at the Bottle for free? Seems like a no brainer.
Phosphorescent is Alabama native Matthew Houck, a singer-songwriter who draws comparisons as varied as Bonnie “Prince” Billy to Fleet Foxes. Houck, who now resides in Brooklyn, just made a fascinating album, Muchacho. The release is getting a lot of well-deserved buzz, which explains why he sold out a Saturday night show at Lincoln Hall.
If you snagged a ticket, consider yourself lucky to be able to see a rising artist. Strand of Oaks opens.
Also check out the band’s excellent new album, You’re Nothing.
The Lollapalooza lineup was officially announced Monday and, yes, Mumford & Sons is a headliner. Granted, the big fest hasn’t been cutting edge for years but can we agree that Saturday’s headliner, Mumford & Sons, is a new low? The other top acts are Friday’s headliner the Killers and Sunday’s top act, the Cure. I’m sorry. I just nodded off thinking about it.
Nine Inch Nails, the Postal Service and Phoenix are also listed near the top of the bill. No doubt at least two of the days will feature competing headline acts. Others with prime slots include New Order, Queens of the Stone Age, the National, the Lumineers and Vampire Weekend. I’m happy for the National, which appear to have a late show for Saturday night.
With an event as big as Lolla, there are certainly some shows to get excited about. New Order could be a highlight. Grizzly Bear probably will play a number of songs from its excellent 2012 album Shields. Hot Chip was a blast at Pitchfork last year. I’m sure it will be just as fun this year at Lolla. I’m curious how Father John Misty comes off live. I’d love to see soul man Charles Bradley. There are several early day acts worth catching, including Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Tickets are reportedly selling fast and all three-day passes are gone. Single-day passes go on sale Wednesday, April 3. See the lineup for the August 2-4 fest here.
The National is a bright spot among an otherwise disappointing list of acts at this year’s Lolla.
Though his roots are in lo-fi, Nathan Williams’ latest album as Wavves, Afraid of Heights, is a well-polished, slickly produced offering. Stylistically, it doesn’t stray that far from 2010′s King of the Beach, though it is a step forward. I’m blown away by the first two songs on the album, Sail to the Sun and Demon to Lean On. If only Williams would have kept that momentum through the rest of the album, Afraid of Heights would be a contender for one of the best releases of the year. There are plenty of other fine moments on Afraid and overall it’s good.
Wavves plays a sold-out show at Subterranean Monday night. Fidlar opens.
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.
There are a number of things that make a Yo La Tengo live show great. First, the band has an incredible catalog dating back to the ’80s. You’re likely to hear extended versions of some classic songs and these guys always throw in some unexpected covers, ranging from Johnny Cash to the Rolling Stones to Devo. Yo La Tengo plays the Vic tonight. The band will be playing some songs off its very good new release, Fade. See the video below for (most of) a recent set played in Seattle. The show kicked off with a smoking Stones cover.
Inevitably, I always find an album or two sometime after the new year that I wish I had discovered before my year-end best list. Father John Misty falls in that camp for me this year. The only explanation I have for ignoring a fairly well-known artist last year is guilt by association. Father John Misty is Joshua Tillman, the former drummer for Fleet Foxes. Because I’m not a big Fleet Foxes fan, I assumed I wouldn’t like Tillman’s own band. I was definitely wrong.
Father John Misty is dark, intense, gripping music. It’s a bit anachronistic — a throwback to early ’70s and late ’60s. But this is good stuff – not the sweet harmonizing of Fleet Foxes. I can recommend last year’s Fear Fun without reservation. If you were lucky enough to snag a ticket to Friday’s sold-out Vic show headlined by the Walkmen, definitely show up early enough for Father John Misty.
Nada Surf made one of the best and most memorable pop albums of 2012, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy. You can catch the band at Metro Saturday night with opener Eternal Summers (which also made a fine album this year, Correct Behavior).
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.
Australia’s Tame Impala is playing a sold-out show Tuesday night at Metro. My guess is these guys will be playing a much larger venue when they return to Chicago for another gig. Check out the band’s website and you’ll see a number of sold-out shows. Tame Impala’s latest album, Lonerism, was just released last month.
Here’s a just-released video of Feels Like We Only Go Backwards from the album.
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.
Here’s a good bet for a Thursday night show. Garage rocker King Tuff plays the Subterranean. King Tuff, aka Kyle Thomas, released a very cool self-titled album earlier this year. Last month, he released the infectious pop single Screaming Skull.