This Week In Chicago (11/30-12/6)

Another good, but not great, week of music in Chicago. I’m looking forward to The Swell Season primarily because I’ve heard they play several Frames songs each night. I’m also pretty psyched for the return of Small Brown Bike, and my first ever chance to see Oh My God.

As always, my picks are in bold. You’ll see that I’ve added links to some videos and MP3s for some of the more interesting shows (in my opinion, at least). If I’ve left off any shows that you think should be included, leave it as a comment.


Monday, Nov. 30
Abbey Pub: A Night In The Box, We All Have Hooks For Hands, Target Market Tarlton
Beat Kitchen: Pat McCurdy
Bottom Lounge: Melt Banana, Triclops, 97-Shiki, Jewsus
Empty Bottle: Helen Money, Anatomy of Habit, Fielded
Martyr’s: Booty Movement Coalition
Schubas: Emblems, Young Jesus, The Outbreaks


Tuesday, Dec. 1
Aragon Ballroom: Weezer
Bottom Lounge: Friendly Fires, The xx
Darkroom: Go Long Mule, Mar Caribe
Empty Bottle: Winter Gloves, Conductive Alliance, All The Creatures Of The Sea
Hideout: Sanctified Grumblers
Martyr’s: Pecha Kucha
Reggie’s Rock Club: Big D and the Kids Table, Sonic Boom Six, The Takeouts
Schubas: New York Songwriters Circle Chicago Showcase

Weezer: “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” (video)


Wednesday, Dec. 2
Darkroom: Venus in Fur, Richard Edwards (f/ Margot and Nuclear So & Sos), KaiserCartel, Julie Meckler
Empty Bottle: Pool Holograph
Hideout: Immediate Sound Series ft. Jason Stein, Locksmith Isidore
Logan Square Auditorium: The King Kahn & BBQ Show, Those Darlins
Martyr’s (7pm): Tributosaurus becomes… The Beatles [sold out]
Martyr’s (10pm): Tributosaurus becomes… The Beatles
Park West: Bebel Gilberto
Reggie’s Rock Club: Tomorrow Kings, BBU, Black Orchard, Aja-Monet
Ronny’s: Bat Masterson, The Tender, Futuresaurus
Schubas: An Evening With John Wesley Harding
Subterranean: Municipal Waste, Off With Their Heads, Phobia, Cauldron

King Kahn & BBQ Show: “Waddlin’ Around” (video)
Those Darlins: “Funstix Party” (video/live in Little Rock)


Thursday, Dec. 3
Abbey Pub: Mushroomhead, Ventana, The Flood, Waste, DJ Yendor
Auditorium Theatre: The Swell Season, Rachael Yamagata
Beat Kitchen: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Cains and Abels, Machineshop
Bottom Lounge: Aaron Fox & The Reliables, Armor Class, A Light Sleeper
Darkroom: All Things Lucid, Son of the Sun, Brian Miller Band
Double Door: It Is What It Is, 28 Mansions
Empty Bottle: Hidden Cameras, Gentleman Reg
Hideout: Pieta Brown, Ami Saraiya
Lincoln Hall: Marie Digby, Alpha Rev
Martyr’s: Big C Jamboree ft. Nick Willette
Park West: Linda Eder
Reggie’s Rock Club: Themselves, Eyedea & Abilities, Violetness
Ronny’s: T’Bone, Jabberjosh, All Real Numbers, Brain Idea
Schubas: Chuck Prophet, Musikanto
Subterranean: Louis & The Hunt, Panda Riot, Black Nag

The Swell Season: “The Way It Would Be” (video/Austin City Limits)


Friday, Dec. 4
Beat Kitchen (6pm): Small Brown Bike, Bridge & Tunnel, The Amoebas
Beat Kitchen (10:30pm: Small Brown Bike, Noise By Numbers, Cheap Girls

Darkroom: The Rynassonze, Big Mel, Treologic, Wattson & Visto
Double Door: Fasion Bomb, Edith Blade, Lockjaw, Habit of Force
Empty Bottle (5:30pm): The Hoyle Brothers
Empty Bottle (10pm): Windy City Soul Club One Year Anniversary Party
Hideout: Oh My God, The Kickback, 52 Teeth
House of Blues: Coldwater Mystic, The Bag You Live In, District 97, 30 Second Theatre
Lincoln Hall: Matthew Santos, Daphne Willis & Co., Rachele Eve
Martyr’s: Dirty Rooks, Kevin Flynn & the Avondale Ramblers, Blue Moon Revue
Metro: Zero 7, Body Language
Park West: Rock For Kids
Reggie’s Rock Club: Bruiser, Counterpunch, Seven Day Sonnet, Starter Kit, more
Ronny’s: Seedy Sea Controversy, The Coyotes, People Sometimes
Schubas: Do Make Say Think, The Happiness Project, Years
Subterranean: Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs, Siderunners, Maximum Wage

Oh My God, “My Own Adventure”
Small Brown Bike: “Safe In Sound” (video)


Saturday, Dec. 5
Abbey Pub: Santa Cause
Beat Kitchen: Field Music (canceled due to illness), Sleep Out, Canasta
Darkroom: Tidal Wave, DJ Slacky J, special guests
Double Door: Lez Zeppelin, Hollus
Empty Bottle: The Dutchess & The Duke, Greg Ashley, Love of Everything
Hideout: Detholz!, Volcano!, A Tundra
House of Blues: History of House Music 3
Lincoln Hall: Do May Say Think, The Happiness Project, Years
Martyr’s: Dive Bar, Penthouse Sweets, Twilight Revival, more
Park West: Brendan Bayliss & Jake Cinnenger (of Umphrey’s McGee)
Reggie’s Rock Club (1pm): School of Rock
Reggie’s Rock Club (5pm): Norma Jean, Horse the Band, The Chariot, Arsonists Get All The Girls
Ronny’s: Team Band, Direct Hit, The Cathy Santonies
Schubas (7pm): Grant Lee Phillips, Nellie McKay
Schubas (10pm): Absentstar
Subterranean: Cunninlynguists, Grieves With Budo, Looptroop Rockers, Tunji

Field Music: “In Context” (video)


Sunday, Dec. 6
Abbey Pub: Dave Rawlings Machine, Gillian Welch, Redgrave
Beat Kitchen (12pm): The Swing Sets
Beat Kitchen (8:30pm): Furious Frank, The Hot Seats, Starina
Darkroom: Jauqo III-X, Doug Johns, Vuyani
Empty Bottle (9pm): Magical Beautiful, Above/Below Sea Level, Implodes
Empty Bottle (11pm): Death Musick Ritual
House of Blues: Sean Paul, London
Metro: Underoath, August Burns Red, Emery
Riviera Theate: Arctic Monkeys, Screaming Females
Reggie’s Rock Club (1pm): School of Rock
Reggie’s Rock Club (3:30pm): Supernova, Acidic Assault, Act of Destruction, more
Ronny’s: Mad Minute, Wrath of the Girth, Birds and Wires
Schubas: Grant Lee Phillips, Nellie McKay
Subterranean: Glasko, Split, I Am The Lorax, Sara Masterson
Vic Theatre: Dan Auerbach and the Fast Five [CANCELLED]

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings: “The Way It Would Be” (video/Austin City Limits)

Posted under Babystew Home,This Week In Chicago by Steve on Monday 30 November 2009 at 11:00 am

The Sadies + Chris Mills @ Hideout [11/28/09]

Just a few pics from last night’s fantastic show at The Hideout.

If you want some discussion of the show, head over to the Underground Bee blog for that and some excellent photos as well.

The Sadies




Chris Mills

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Sunday 29 November 2009 at 4:18 pm

forgetters (ft. Blake from Jawbreaker) Are Touring!

If you haven’t heard yet, Blake Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil fame is back with a brand new band called forgetters. The band also features Kevin Mahon (formerly of Against Me!) and Caroline Paquita (formerly of Bitchin’).

The band has played only a handful of dates so far (see some vids at the bottom of this post), including a post-festival set during Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin a few weeks back (which I, sadly, missed). However, they’ve just announced a short, primarily East Coast tour for next month, including dates in Brooklyn, DC, Atlanta and more (see below).

Sadly, there’s no Chicago date listed, so it’s still gonna be a while before I finally see them. Crap.

forgetters Tour Dates
Friday, December 11: Brooklyn, NY (Market Hotel)
Saturday, December 12: Washington, DC. (St. Steven’s Church, Columbia Heights)
Sunday, December 13: Richmond, Va. (Gallery5) Matinee!
Monday, December 14: Charlotte, NC. (Milestone)
Tuesday, December 15: Atlanta, Ga. (Drunken Unicorn)
Wednesday, December 16: UNKNOWN!
Thursday, December 17: Gainesville, Fla. (1982)
Friday, December 18: Pensacola, Fla. (Sluggo’s)
Saturday, December 19: New Orleans, La. (Nowe Miasto) Early show.
Sunday, December 20: Memphis, TN. (Hi Tone Café)
Monday, December 21: Chattanooga, TN. (Sluggo’s North)

forgetters Live at Generation Records in NYC

forgetters Live at Red 7 in Austin

Posted under Babystew Home,Videos by Steve on Saturday 28 November 2009 at 11:30 am

Happy Spanksgiving, Everybody

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 26 November 2009 at 9:00 am

MP3: Fucked Up, “Neat Parts”

Fucked Up, “Neat Parts”

From the band’s new singles collection, Couple Tracks: Singles 2002-2009, due out on January 26th via Matador Records.

Go to the Matador site to learn how to get 15% off the album.

Posted under Babystew Home,MP3s by Steve on Wednesday 25 November 2009 at 11:51 pm

My Favorite Albums of the Decade (##21-30)

So here’s part two of my “Favorite Albums of the Decade” list. Part one resides here.

I think the plan is to take a break on lists after today for the holiday (I’m driving to Cleveland tomorrow… fun), and then pick up again next week. I may actually switch for a day or two to my “Best of 2009” lists, and then pick back up with the end of my decade list at the end of the week. Or not. I really haven’t decided yet. So we’ll have to wait and see.

Until then, enjoy ##21-30… (oh, and yeah, the rest of the lists will go in descending order… not sure why I did this one this way.)

#21: Bright Eyes, Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002)
This was the album that raised Conor Oberst from "emo kid" to "next Dylan" status, and rightfully so. Although I had been a fan of Fever and Mirrors, it wasn’t an album that you wanted to listen to all that often, lest your wrist accidentally fall into a serrated knife while listening. Lifted, on the other hand, while not the cheeriest album in the world, showed an ambition and growing range in Oberst’s music that hadn’t been evident before, including a hint ("Make War", "Laura Laurent") at the alt-country/Americana leanings that would start to dominate his music over the coming years.
#22: Blueline Medic, The Apology Wars (2001)
As discussed below (see #30), 2001 was pretty much the end of my 7-year love affair with all things emo/post-punk (which had begun with my purchase of Diary in December 1994). But what better way to go out than with The Apology Wars, an album that picked up where Jawbreaker’s Dear You had left off five years earlier — loud guitars, singalong anthemic choruses, a singer who sounded like the brother of Blake Schwarzenbach… what is there not to like? Oh, and they were Australian, which explains why you’ve never heard of them.
#23: The Dears, Gang of Losers (2006)
This album deserves to be on this list on the strength of its first single ("Ticket to Immortality") alone, which I can’t hear without thinking of the final days of WOXY.com Mark 2, when this song was getting a ton of play. But, amazingly, the rest of the album is just (or nearly) as good, finding Murray and the rest of the band (most of whom are now gone) paring back the arty ambitions of their earlier work and creating a beautiful, powerful rock album with nods to Blur, The Smiths and more.
#24: Glen Hansard/Marketa Irglova, The Swell Season (2006)
More than any other album on this list, this pick conflicts me. When I first picked up the album – essentially marketed as a Glen Hansard solo album on its initial release in 2006 – I fell in love with it. While not boasting the big, anthemic sound of Glen’s work in The Frames, it was possibly the most powerful, honest and heartwrenching music of his career. And then came the (very good) movie, and with it the hordes of NPR listeners more interested in lifestyle music and gossip over the relationship between Glen and Marketa. As a result, until the other day, I hadn’t listened to it since 2007. But on listening again, it was clear that, despite everything, it’s still a fantastic album. And that’s why it’s on this list.
#25: Alkaline Trio, From Here to Infirmary (2001)
Along with The Apology Wars (#22), the Alkaline Trio’s From Here to Infirmary was one of the last emo/post-punk albums that made up my "emo phase". There’s nothing fancy about the album, nothing that separates it sonically from a lot of other post-punk bands of the era – yet it manages to be one of the catchiest albums of the decade. And, more importantly, it’s catchy without being sugary. Just the opposite, the album is punishing, barely letting up on the throttle, and addresses topics of death, depression and loss. Pretty much everything that 25/26 year old EmoStew was looking for in a rock band.
#26: Wussy, Funeral Dress (2005)
I use the term "underappreciated" several times throughout the course of this "Best Of" list, but I’m not sure it applies to any band or album as well as Cincinnati’s Wussy. The band has released three exceptional albums filled with catchy, fuzzy, brutally-honest post-Americana, yet is barely known outside of their hometown of Cincinnati. If you haven’t already, you need to listen to this band now, and you need to start with this, their first album. It’s incredible.
#27: Lucero, That Much Further West (2003)
When I discovered this album in 2005 (after hearing the band’s followup, 2005’s excellent Nobody’s Darlings), I remember describing it to people I knew as a companion piece to Whiskeytown’s Stranger’s Almanac. Listening to it again, it’s almost uncanny – it’s almost as if Lucero took the Whiskeytown album, rearranged it, and added Ben Nichol’s much gruffer vocals to the mix. And, honestly, I’m ok with that. Unique or not, it’s a beautiful, powerful album, and one that I still listen to regularly.
#28: Bloc Party, Silent Alarm (2005)
There was a time that I absolutely adored this album, and this band. And then they put out their second album. And then their third. And it became very easy to forget just how good Silent Alarm had been. It’s moody, it’s tense, it’s even dancey. And, when it wants to, it absolutely kicks your ass. Such a shame that they haven’t been able to recapture the magic of this first album since.
#29: Guns n’ Roses, Chinese Democracy (2008)
You knew this was coming. And you know both that (a) I’m serious, and (b) I’m right. Set aside the album’s back-story, set aside the jokes about Axl’s hair plugs and personal gurus, set aside the dude with a bucket of fried chicken on his head. The simple reality is that this album fucking rocks. And if Slash had been on this album – with no other changes to the album whatsoever – the rest of the world would agree.
#30: Nothington, All In (2007)
Although I was at one time a huge fan of late-90’s era guitar-driven emo/post-punk, by 2001 or so the genre had kinda run its course – every band sounded like a carbon copy of the last, or chose to go the "pop punk" path of Blink 182 (ick). So I was pretty surprised when, six years later, I heard All In, an album that reminded me of everything that I’d loved about late-90’s emo, and felt as vital as anything the genre had produced a decade earlier. It’s loud, it’s anthemic, it’s powerful… everything a great rock and roll album ought to be.
Posted under Babystew Home,Best Of Lists by Steve on Tuesday 24 November 2009 at 12:58 pm

VIDEO: Polvo, “Right the Relation”

From the band’s 2009 release, In Prism [BUY].

Posted under Babystew Home,Videos by Steve on Tuesday 24 November 2009 at 11:30 am

VIDEO: Office of Future Plans, “Harden Your Heart”

Check out this video from Office of Future Plans’ Halloween show at Rock and Roll Hotel in DC last month. I need to see this band… NOW.

Oh, and if you don’t know who they are, I got two words for ya – J Robbins. And a few more – Darren Zentek, Gordon Withers and Brooks Harlan.

Posted under Babystew Home,Videos by Steve on Monday 23 November 2009 at 5:22 pm

My Favorite Albums of the Decade (##31-50)

You know, I kinda hate putting together “Top __” lists, and especially when it comes to music. I find it unbelievably difficult to compare one album to another, and to try to decide whether I like an album from 8 years ago more than one from 2 years ago. And, to be honest, my decision often changes from day to day (or even minute to minute).

As a result, much of what you’re about to see – i.e., my “Favorite Albums of the Decade” list – is pretty fluid, and subject to change depending on exactly when you ask me.

That said, there are only a few albums that I think might move completely out of the list if I were to sit down and go through this process again in a month (god forbid). What would be pretty likely to change, however, is the exact order and placement of the albums on the list. (The only exception being my 1-10 list, which I feel pretty good about.)

So, to give myself a little bit of wiggle room, I’m only going to be giving actual rankings to my top 20 albums of the decade. The rest of the list – 21-30 and 31-50 – are just going to be set forth in alphabetical order. That way I won’t be second-guessing myself nearly as much.

Anyway, without any further ado, here are albums 31 through 50 on my “Favorite Albums of the Decade” list.

##31-50 (alphabetical order only)

Bad Religion, The Empire Strikes First (2004)
Long-running punk band’s best album of the decade – an angry, energetic anti-Bush diatribe that made me remember why I fell in love with the band 15 years earlier. Too bad the dude got re-elected right after it came out.
Chris Mills, Living in the Aftermath (2008)
One of the best pure, unadulterated power pop records of a decade that had little use for power pop. Deserves so much more attention than it got.
Cotton Mather, Kontiki (2002)
Robert Harrison’s masterpiece… until his even better masterpiece a few years later (see higher in list). Absolutely perfect Lennon-esque pop songs.
Crooked Fingers, Dignity and Shame (2005)
I had a hard time choosing among Eric Bachmann’s six releases this decade, but settled on Dignity and Shame if for no other reason than it included the sublime “Sleep All Summer”. I listened to this album a ton while I lived in Tokyo in 2005.
Damien Rice, O (2002)
There was a period in late ’02/early ’03 (I got the Irish import) where this was pretty much the only album that mattered to me. Then, like many albums, I overplayed it; then it got huge; and then I completely lost interest. And then his followup was pretty bad. This is still a great disc, though.
The Decemberists, Her Majesty (2003)
Another band that I lost interest in as the decade wore on, as a result of diminishing returns and increasing pretentiousness and preciousness (and decreasing emotion) of each subsequent release. But the first couple of albums and EP were fantastic, and this album represents the band’s peak for me.
The Delays, Faded Seaside Glamour (2004)
Talk about underappreciated. The Delays released three excellent pop albums this decade, but got almost no attention whatsoever on this side of the Atlantic, with the exception of some airplay on WOXY for this, their first (and best) album.
Devin Davis, Lonely People of the World, Unite! (2004)
Another WOXY discovery, and another lost power-pop classic akin to Chris Mills’ Living in the Aftermath. He’s been working on a followup for the past few years, but as of now there’s still no release date or other info. I’ll keep waiting.
The Exploding Hearts, Guitar Romantic (2002)
One of the truly tragic stories of the decade. Young punk band in many ways the second coming of 70’s-style power pop/punk (a la The Undertones). Put out this incredible album and, while touring, flipped their van, killing three of the band’s four members and the band’s manager. They are missed.
Frightened Rabbit, The Midnight Organ Fight (2008)
The second album from young Scottish band (led by two brothers) in less than a year was a huge step forward, marrying the grandiosity of modern Scottish rock with a folkier, generally cheerier disposition. Their live act is even better than their albums.
Jay Bennett and Edward Burch, The Palace at 4am (Part 1) (2002)
This was the album that first proved to me how much of a pivotal role Jay Bennett had in making Wilco my favorite band in the world in the late 90’s and early 00’s. All of Wilco’s subsequent albums have continued to prove that point, in increasingly pointed fashion. You are missed, Jay.
The Jet Age, What Did You Do During The War, Daddy? (2008)
Quite possibly the most underappreciated true “rock and roll” album of the decade. This album – a concept “rock opera” about political disillusionment and homegrown terrorism – showcased both a musicianship and songwriting skill surpassing the vast majority of the bands on this list (or any list). If this album had come out in 1994, it would have been huge.
The Long Winters, When I Pretend to Fall (2003)
I honestly don’t know how John Roderick isn’t a rockstar. He writes absolutely amazing, intelligent, catchy pop songs, and more importantly he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever seen on a stage. And his dispatches from Bonnarroo a couple of years ago were utterly hilarious. Maybe the next album will finally be his breakthrough? One can hope.
Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos, The Dust of Retreat (2006)
Sometimes you just need to hear some really pretty, sad music. And this album is about as pretty, and sad, as any album as I heard this decade. If I were doing a “Favorite Songs of the Decade” list – and I don’t think I am – “Skeleton Key” would be very near the top.
The New Pornographers, Mass Romantic (2000)
This is still pretty much the only New Pornographers album that I listen to. The band’s subsequent albums have been good (though Challengers didn’t do much for me), but none has felt as fun or loose as their debut. And it’s the only one where I’ve found Dan Bejar’s songs to be endurable. (Sue me – I don’t like the guy.)
Okkervil River, Down the River of Golden Dreams (2003)
I assume that most people would pick Black Sheep Boy or The Stage Names – both excellent albums – as their favorite Okkervil River albums ahead of this one. But I find this album the most consistent, and the most emotionally honest, of the band’s discography. And Will’s plaintive delivery of “It Ends With A Fall” – where it almost sounds like he’s on the verge of breaking down mid-song – is absolutely stunning.
Pela, Anytown Graffiti (2007)
While I liked this album the first time I heard it, it’s one of those few albums that I’ve come to like more and more with each listen, and with each year. In fact, if I’d made this list last year, Anytown Graffiti probably wouldn’t have been on it. Along with Ted Leo’s Tyranny of Distance and an album that features in my Top 10, this album makes me feel like I’m back living in New York. I’m still pissed they broke up.
Rocket From the Crypt, Group Sounds (2001)
I, for one, loved 1998’s RFTC, but by 2001, there were a number of Rocket From the Crypt fans wondering whether the band would ever return to the tightly-wound, angry (yet ready to party) form of its earlier albums. The fact that the band had signed to pop-punk/emo label Vagrant Records only raised further questions. Thankfully, though,Group Sounds found the band in a fierce, fighting mood. Possibly my second favorite album from the band after Scream, Dracula Scream!
Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker (2000)
Ryan’s first solo album, and possibly the pinnacle of his musical output in my opinion (though Stranger’s Almanac is close). Everything after this album – both the good and bad – seemed too self-conscious and too weighed down by Ryan’s eccentricities and ego. This album, though, was simply the sound of an amazingly talented musician whose heart had been utterly shattered honestly laying everything out on disc, more concerned with his art (and heart) than his press.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Tyranny of Distance (2001)
I had a hard time deciding between this and 2003’s Hearts of Oak. While the latter was the album that got me into Ted’s music, this was the first album of his that I truly fell in love with. I can’t hear this album without thinking of walking around the Lower East Side, or without wanting to move back to New York as soon as humanly possible.
Posted under Babystew Home,Best Of Lists by Steve on Monday 23 November 2009 at 3:43 pm

This Week In Chicago (11/23-11/29)

Decent week of music in Chicago given the fact that it’s a holiday. Having already seen The Jesus Lizard twice this year, the show of the week for me – by far – is The Sadies and Chris Mills at the Hideout on Saturday. I also strongly recommend my former DC-compatriots Vandaveer at Schuba’s on Monday.

As always, my picks are in bold. You’ll see that I’ve added links to some videos and MP3s for some of the more interesting shows (in my opinion, at least). If I’ve left off any shows that you think should be included, leave it as a comment.

Oh, and please note that clicking on videos below will not navigate you to a different page — all videos now simply open up in a box on this blog. Fun, eh?


Monday, November 23
Beat Kitchen: Pat McCurdy
Darkroom: Anders Parker, John Roeser Avenue, Rhombus, Ian Mellencamp
Double Door: Tara Macri, Peter Calo
Empty Bottle: Fuck Knights, Dumpster Babies, The Runnies
House of Blues: All Time Low, We The Kings, Hey Monday, The Friday Night Boys
Schubas: Cameron McGill & What Army, Vandaveer, A Lull

Anders Parker: “72nd Street Horses”
Vandaveer: “A Mighty Leviathan of Old” (video)


Tuesday, November 24
Double Door: Sure Fire Groove, Common Shiner, Moses Cleveland
Empty Bottle: The Tinycakes, I Luv Luv Birds, The Wood Knots, Kramer versus Kramer
Hideout: Sanctified Grumblers, more
House of Blues: All Time Low, We The Kings, Hey Monday, The Friday Night Boys
Lincoln Hall: Ari Hest, Declan O’Rourke
Metro (6pm): Less Than Jake, The Casualties, The Swellers
Museum of Contemporary Art: David Daniell
Reggie’s Rock Club: Cage, Qwel & Maker, Lamon Manuel, Tha Basix
Schubas: Todd Kessler & The New Folk, Calvin Marty & The Sunken Ship, Strange Arrangement
The Vic: Imogen Heap, Tim Exile, Back Ted N-Ted


Wednesday, November 25
Aragon: Aragon Rock Fest 2009
Beat Kitchen: The Safes, The Differents, No Enemy, Kim Schaefer
Bottom Lounge: The Sleepers, Indignant, Evil Beaver, Lollipop Factory
Empty Bottle: Tight Phantomz, The Che Arthur Three, Follows
Fitzgerald’s (Berwyn): The Waco Brothers, Steepwater Band
Hideout: Immediate Sound Series (Rempis/Ward/McBride/Reed)
House of Blues: Kid Sister, Flosstradamus, Rob Threezy, Green Velvet
Lincoln Hall: Blind Pilot, Laura Veirs & The Hall of Flames, Mimicking Birds
Martyr’s: District 9, Information Superhighway, Megitza Quartet
Metro: Kaskade, Greenskeepers, Santiago & Bushido, Blake Jarrells & Milo Wahi
Reggie’s Rock Club: Baroness, Earthless, U.S. Christmas
Riviera: The Cranberries, Griffin House
Ronny’s: Grooms Crayolala, Caw! Caw!
Schubas: Haley Bonar, Daniel Knox, Sin Ropas
Subterranean: Nershi-Law Duo, Van Ghost

Baroness, “A Horse Called Golgotha” (video)
Blind Pilot, “Go On Say It” (video)


Thursday, November 26 – HAPPY THANKSGIVING
House of Blues: Chris Brown, Rihanna


Friday, November 27
Beat Kitchen: The Ataris, The Hallow, Love & Squalor
Bottom Lounge: The Twilight and the Sound, The Playoff, Coventry, Devon Kay & The Solutions
Double Door: Ezra Furman and The Harpoons, The Sleeptalkers
Empty Bottle (5:30pm): The Hoyle Brothers
Empty Bottle (10pm): The Big Pink, Crystal Antlers, White Car
Fitzgerald’s (Berwyn): Bottle Rockets, Giving Tree Band
Hideout: Old Fake, Blasted Diplomats, Prichard, more
House of Blues: Bruce in the USA
Lincoln Hall: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Fool’s Gold, Local Natives
Martyr’s: The Hue, Crawl, NovaRoma
Metro: The Jesus Lizard, Model/Actress [sold out]
Park West: Freddy Jones Band, Stellar Road, Troubled Identity
Reggie’s Rock Club: Hawthorne Heights, Just Surrender, Monty Are I, The Story Changes, The Nightbeast
Schubas: Nomo, Alla
Subterranean: Sam Roberts Band, Jonny Rumble
The Vic: Lotus, The Hood Internet

The Jesus Lizard, “Nub” (video)


Saturday, November 28
Beat Kitchen (5pm): State & Madison, Urbanites, Windsor Drive, Koo Koo Kangaroo
Beat Kitchen (10pm): Days Off
Bottom Lounge: Tomorrow The Moon, Airlines-X, Damp Hay, Killer Moon
Double Door: Nitzer Ebb, Kill Memory Crash, The Glide, Polyfuse (DJ set), DJ Tacopunch
Empty Bottle: Them Jeans, Willy Joy, Million $ Mano, Moneypenny, Kid Color, Gemini Club
Hideout: The Sadies, Chris Mills, more
House of Blues (12pm): The White Tie Affair
House of Blues (7:30pm): Brett Dennen, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
House of Blues (11:30pm): Robbie Rivera, Mixin Marc, Ryan B
Lincoln Hall: Flobots, Kinetix, Kidd Russell
Logan Square Auditorium: Company of Thieves, Annuals, Big Science, Mike Maimone
Martyr’s: City at Large, The Outbreaks, Dean Welch
Metro: The Jesus Lizard, Triclops! [sold out]
Reggie’s Rock Club: Psychostick, Audiobon, Oui Si Only You
Schubas: The Blakes, Team Band
Subterranean: Filligar, Brice Woodall, Evan Holmes and Exit Ghost
The Vic: Cornmeal, Trampled By Turtles

The Sadies, “Flash” (video)
Chris Mills, “Atom Smashers”


Sunday, November 29
Beat Kitchen: Agent Ribbons, Rabbit Children
Empty Bottle: Suzy Brack & The New Jack Lords, Pick Noerr, Baby Magic, Bambi Raptor
Hideout: Life During Wartime (DJs Bald E. and Mother Hubbard, Sparkletone)
Logan Square Auditorium: Ensiferum, Hypocrisy, Ex Deo, Blackguard
Reggie’s Rock Club (3pm): Hot For Skippy, Fysem, Hessler, Leading Eternity After Death + 4 more
Ronny’s: The New Diet, We Are The Willows, An Aesthetic Anaesthetic
Subterranean: The Sometimes Family, Steven Gilpin, Mia Leblon

Posted under Babystew Home,This Week In Chicago by Steve on Monday 23 November 2009 at 10:00 am

VIDEO: Jay Bennett Memorial, “California Stars”

Wow, how have I never seen this?

This is video from a memorial concert held for Jay Bennett on September 5th, 2009 at Cowboy Monkey in Champaign, IL, featuring, among others, Edward Burch and David Vandervelde covering “California Stars”.

And here’s a couple more videos from the memorial that I was able to find on Youtube.

“Hotel” ft. Ben Clarke and David Vandervelde

“Out All Night” ft. David Vandervelde

Posted under Babystew Home,Videos by Steve on Monday 23 November 2009 at 1:22 am

Elvis Perkins + A.A. Bondy @ Lincoln Hall [11/21/09]

Just pics for now. Gotta sleep. But really do want to say a few things about this (excellent) show when I’m a little more coherent tomorrow.

Elvis Perkins and Dearland


A.A. Bondy

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Sunday 22 November 2009 at 3:03 am

Brendan Benson @ Chicago Apple Store [11/20/09]



Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Friday 20 November 2009 at 9:54 pm

VIDEO: These United States, “The Important Thing”

(Via Ryan)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 20 November 2009 at 2:43 pm

Chicago New Year’s Eve Shows [Updated]

So it looks like this New Year’s Eve is going to be pretty unique for me – I’m actually going to be in the town in which I live (i.e., Chicago).

For as long as I can remember, I’ve gone out of town over New Year’s for one reason or another, whether it was to visit friends in Chicago or Miami, to attend a friend’s wedding in Hell Buenos Aires, to see the final Guided By Voices shows at the Metro (while I was living in NYC), or to see The Frames do their annual NYE show in Dublin.

But unless something changes this year, it looks like I’m staying put in the upper midwest. And what’s a music blogger to do other than try to see some bands that night?

Luckily, there’s a ton of interesting Chicago-area (and beyond) options this year, so I figured I’d keep a running list of them here. This is a bit of a work-in-progress, and I’ll add things as I find them. If I’m missing anything, please feel free to drop a comment with info.

As always, my picks in bold. Updates will be in italics.

Chicago-Area (And Beyond) NYE Shows
Aragon: Umphrey’s McGee
Beat Kitchen: Pegboy, Shot Baker
Bottom Lounge: Todd Hembrook & The Hemispheres, Lowdown Brass Band
Congress Theater: Girl Talk
Double Door: Local H, Electric Six
Empty Bottle: Jens Lenkman
House of Blues: Big Head Todd and the Monsters
House of Blues (Back Porch): Urge Overkill
Lincoln Hall: The Fiery Furnaces
Logan Square Auditorium: Crystal Castles (Live and DJ sets), DJ Alex Zelenka
Metro: The Jesus Lizard
Metro (Smart Bar): Santiago
Quenchers Saloon: Tight Phantomz
Reggie’s Music Joint: Supersuckers
Reggie’s Rock Club: The Tossers, Teen Idols, Yakuza, Scott Lucas and His Married Men
Riverside Theater (Milwaukee): Spoon, Jay Reatard
Riviera: Black Keys, Kurt Vile and the Violators
Schubas: Bobby Bare, Jr., David Vandervelde
Subterranean: Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos
The Vic: Pretty Lights

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 20 November 2009 at 11:00 am

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