Buke and Gase makes music with reconstucted instruments, Frankenstein instruments, as described to Wired. The two-person band, which just released the four-song Function Falls, plays two shows opening for Deerhoof at Schubas Saturday night.
The Dive, a single from the latest Fool’s Gold album Leave No Trace, is better than anything Vampire Weekend has recorded. Like Vampire Weekend, Fool’s Gold draws heavily from African pop. Check out the band at Schubas tonight (Monday).
Montreal’s Plants and Animals, supporting the catchy new album The End of That, plays Schubas tonight (Friday). Plants and Animals probably appeals to fans of White Rabbits, Here We Go Magic and maybe even fellow Montreal popsters Islands.
If you hate synthesizers, you probably should stop reading. If you like synthesizers — a lot of synthesizers — the new Bear in Heaven album may be for you. Idle Heart — the first song on I Love You, It’s Cool — sounds like it is straight off a 1990s Pet Shop Boys album. The rest of the album is ’80s and ’90s synth love. I hear a lot of New Order and even the Smiths — Sinful Nature reminds me so much of How Soon Is Now?
Does this eventually wear thin? Maybe. But I’d say I Love You, It’s Cool is very enjoyable, and the album is much more than a nostalgia act. It’s original.
Bear in Heaven is in Chicago two nights, Wednesday and Thursday, playing Schubas.
Think of White Stripes or Black Keys at their most raucous points. Like Death from Above 1979 or Japandroids, Bass Drum of Death shows how much sound one guy on guitar and another on drums can make.
The band opens for Japandroids tonight at Schubas. That’s an awesome doubleheader.
San Diego’s The Donkeys hit Schubas Wednesday night. Check out the band’s video for Don’t Know Who We Are off the new album, Born With Stripes. And download the Byrds-meets-Pavement-inspired I Like the Way You Walk.
I almost overlooked the Lou Barlow show at Schubas tonight. Earlier this year, Lou released Sentridoh III backed by a band he borrowed from Mike Watt (the Missingmen). These guys add a big, full sound on the new release (which is recommended). They’ll be backing him tonight, too.
There’s an interesting pairing at Schubas Wednesday night. Electro-pop Norwegians Casiokids headline a show opened by Chicago’s Light Pollution, which is more of an atmospheric psych band that sometimes sounds like Grizzly Bear.
Screaming Females started out playing basements around New Brunswick, New Jersey, several years ago, but toured like crazy to get wider recognition. It’s good stuff. Check the band out at an all-ages show at Schubas Saturday night.
The video below is a fan job made with public domain footage.
I love the early ’80 guitar on songs like We Still Got the Taste Dancing On Our Tongues.
Update: Wild Beasts also play Friday at Schubas.
Living in Chicago, the choices for live shows in January can be pretty bleak. Which is why it’s exciting that Schubas and its new sibling Lincoln Hall are staging a five-day fest, Tomorrow Never Knows, starting Wednesday.
Among the headliners: Surfer Blood, Neon Indian, Atlas Sound, Voxtrot, Bowerbirds and Clues. There are strong supporting acts, too, including Bear in Heaven (opening for Surfer Blood at Schubas Thursday) and the Dead Trees (opening for the Cribs Wednesday at Lincoln Hall).
At least a couple of the shows are sold out. Look here for the full schedule.
Ted Leo says on his Web site he began mixing songs for his new album last month. He also put out a demo, “Last Days,” which sounds pretty good. Now on Matador Records, he plans a spring release of the full album.
There’s really interesting music coming out of Portland. Two of the bands responsible — Hockey and Portugal. The Man — are playing a pair of shows at Schubas this weekend. Portugal. The Man has a throwback sound that reminds me of the ’70s. Its single, “People Say,” is one of my favorite songs this year.
Hockey has a fun, pop sound and may be destined for (gasp) commercial radio play. Amid an onslaught of new releases this past week, Hockey put out its debut album “Mind Chaos” on a major label.
Speaking of new releases, a couple of artists with new ones featured in a post earlier this week are playing over the next few days.
Chicago’s very own Califone just put out “All My Friends Are Funeral Singers.” The band plays two nights at the Museum of Contemporary Art. And Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile, who released “Childish Prodigy” last week, plays Empty Bottle Tuesday.
There aren’t a ton of great albums that really rock this year. One exception is Japandroids’ debut “Post-Nothing.” By now, you may have heard the spiel about two guys trying to sound like five guys but it’s true. They have a big sound.
“It’s a lot of fun to have the freedom to really go off without having to sync up with a bass line or get in the way of two guitar melodies or whatever,” drummer-vocalist David Prowse tells the Sun-Times.
The band plays Schubas tonight and does an all-ages gig tomorrow afternoon.