Hum @ Pritzker Pavilion [5/31/10]

Inexplicably exhausted tonight, so not even gonna try to write about this show right now. Other than perhaps to say it kicked all kinds of ass.

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Monday 31 May 2010 at 10:51 pm

The Waco Brothers @ Double Door [5/30/10]

Just some pics. Discussion is pretty unnecessary – if you’ve seen one Waco Brothers show, you’ve pretty much seen ’em all. In other words, the band kicked ass for 2+ hours.

This was actually my first show at the Double Door. Glad to finally see a show at the same venue where “I Sold My Mom’s Wheelchair” was played in public for the first time.

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Monday 31 May 2010 at 3:04 pm

This Week In Chicago [June 1-6]

Short week this week thanks to the holiday. Not the strongest week ever, but there’s at least one show I’d be interested in seeing every night, and the weekend is pretty much flat-out bad ass thanks to the Do Division Festival. And if you want to see one of my favorite up-and-coming acts around right now, join me at Schubas on Saturday night for Milwaukee’s fantastic Juniper Tar.

Shows in bold are recommended shows, while shows in larger bold red are shows that I plan on going to and/or shows that I really, really think you should be going to.

Tuesday, June 1
Cubby Bear: Fuel, 1 Less Reason, Jimi Falls
Double Door: Dreams of the Sea, Milk & Honey, more
Empty Bottle: Casino Versus Japan, Nudge, Signal Drift
Hideout: Sanctified Grumblers
Lincoln Hall: 3 Penny Movie Night – Boogie Nights & Trainspotting
Martyrs: Pecha Kucha
Quenchers: Yves Francois and Rocambu Jazz
Reggie’s Rock Club: Gilby Clarke, Cavalry, Hessley, Bad City
Ronny’s: Bring Your Ray Gun, Sprickets, The Sour Notes, Have Gun Will Travel, Jared Grabb
Saki Records (6pm): Sadhu Sadhu, Hollows
Schubas: New York Songwriters Circle
Subterranean: Bitter Wigs, The Earth is a Man, The Canoes, The Pear Traps

Gilby Clarke: “Cure Me or Kill Me” (live)

Wednesday, June 2
Beat Kitchen: Wishgift, Health&Beauty, The Sewing Machine
Chicago Theatre: Erykah Badu
Darkroom: Hightide Blues, Tesla Rossa
Double Door: John Wesley’s Band, Shades of a Lightyear, more
Empty Bottle: Green Grocer, Invade Rome, Waterstreet
Hideout: Immediate Sound Series ft. Leimgruber/Hug/Longberg-Holm/Demierre/Mallozzi
Martyrs (7pm): Tributosaurus becomes The Beatles Vol. 2 [SOLD OUT]
Martyrs (10pm): Tributosaurus becomes The Beatles Vol 2
Park West: Evelyn Evelyn
Quenchers: Bible of the Devil, Broken Teeth, Vibrolas
Reggie’s Rock Club: Garaj Mahal, Black Bear Combo, Environmental Encroachment
Ronny’s: The Para-medics, Humble an Empire, Moon Rock Wiz-Kid, Peacewolf
Schubas: Like Pioneers (ex-Bound Stems), Darren Garvey
Subterranean: Bad City, The Rails, The Natural, The Webelos

Tributosaurus: “Somebody to Love” (Queen)

Thursday, June 3
Abbey Pub: Workout Music, Caveat Empire, Yawn, more
Beat Kitchen: Lorus, Shifting Totem
Beauty Bar: Radioclit, Kid Color, Black Holes
Chicago Theatre: Erykah Badu
Darkroom: Gospel Gossip, Spouse, Bully Pulpit, Matt Crews
Double Door: Beatallica, Black Angus, I Love Rich
Empty Bottle: Bird Names, Ken Camden, Distractions, Zelienople
Hideout: Thee Hardy Mums, Outer Minds, Bedfellows, Victim of Time (DJ)
Lincoln Hall: Tortoise, D. Rider
Martyrs: Big C Jamboree ft. Izzy & the Kesstronics
Quenchers: Helicopters, The Single Helix, Legs Like Straw
Pritzker Park (6:30pm): Antibalas, The Very Best
Ronny’s: The Downtown Struts, Andy Marchel and the Cocaine Rainbow, Blackbelts, Villains
Schubas: Charlie Mars, Julie Meckler
Subterranean: Social Studies, New Ruins, The Burning Hotels, Honest Engines

Beatallica: “Hero of the Day Tripper”

Friday, June 4
Abbey Pub: I Lost Control, Magatha Trysty, The Hurtin’ Kind, more
Beat Kitchen: Rainbow Rhythms, Milano
Bottom Lounge: Rock & Wrestling Supershow
Cubby Bear: Adrianna Ramirez, Late Night Hooligan Riff Raff, more
Darkroom: The Goodness, People Under The Stairs
Double Door: Tortured Soul, Maad Soul, more
Empty Bottle: Mannequin Men, Jacuzzi Boys, CoCoComa, Maximum Wage
Hideout (6:30pm): The Interview Show ft. Charlie Trotter, The Jordan Years
Hideout (10pm): CAVE, Jerusalem and the Starbaskets, Daniel Lutz
Lincoln Hall: The Life and Times, This Will Destroy You, Light Pollution
Martyrs: Kicksville
Metro: The Highlife, Dear Noel, Draft Week, Just Left, Kirkland
Quenchers: Tin Tin Can, The Van Goghs, Mana Kintorso, Rock Falls
Reggie’s Rock Club: Merlin Wall, Pagan Youth, Cottonseed
Ronny’s: Deth Warrant, Smelly Fucking Mulkpants, more
Schubas: Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat, Dan Singa, more
Subterranean: The Good Life, Brighton MA, Quieting Syrup
The Vic: Jewel, Kip Moore

The Good Life: “Heartbroke” (mean version)

Saturday, June 5
Abbey Pub: Aaron Fox and the Reliables, Nice Vega, The Great Crusades
Beat Kitchen: Yakuza, The Alaya Conscious, The Swan King
Beauty Bar: The Hood Internet, Jason Tyler, more
Bottom Lounge: Train Company, Jason & The Haymakers, Scattergun, Divebar
Do Division Fest (12pm): The Hood Internet, Pelican, Headlights, Maritime, more
Double Door: Hollywood Holt, K-Os, Ill Legit, more
Empty Bottle: Toro y Moi, Save the Clocktower, Glitter Bones
Hideout: Future Islands, Lower Dens, Altered States
House of Blues: Mathien
Lincoln Hall (7pm): Julia Nunes
Lincoln Hall (10pm): Tom Schraeder & His Ego, Richard Edwards, more
Martyrs (7pm): Mickey Harte
Martyrs (9:30pm): 28 Mansions, Adam Fitz, Haywood Yards
Martyrs: Dot Dot Dot, The Insecurities, The Lifeline
Old Town School: Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Elizabeth Cook
Quenchers: The Polkaholics
Reggie’s Rock Club: Entombed, Jungle Rot, Woe of Tyrants, more
Ronny’s: Champagne Champagne, Pocahaunted, Emanuel Vinson, more
Saki Records (6pm): Astronomer
Schubas: The Mother Hips, Juniper Tar
Subterranean: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons, Musikanto

Juniper Tar: “Black Pain Tea”
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: “Cigarettes and Wine” (live)
Pelican: “Dead Between The Walls”

Sunday, June 6
Beauty Bar: Bobby Birdman, Jeffrey Jerusalem, YACHT (DJ sets)
Darkroom: Romania, Starina, The Baker Family, Holiday House
Do Division Fest (12pm): YACHT, The Ponys, El Ten Eleven, Warpaint, more
Double Door: Goodbyehome, The Root Cause, more
Empty Bottle: Pelican, Miracle Condition, Medusa
Hideout: Liam Hayes & Plush, Henry Joseph
Lincoln Hall: The Show ‘n Tell Show
Park West: w00tstock (3 hours of geeks & music)
Quenchers: The Bare Hand Jug Band, Mad Bread
Reggie’s Rock Club: Vera Cruz, Illusions Fate, Amorallous, Atomize
Ronny’s: Brian Olive, Cartolinas, Paula Head, Wooden Wing
Saki Records (4pm): Jon Langford
Schubas: Trashcan Sinatras, The Candles
Subterranean: Empires, Lights Resolve, Harvard

The Ponys: “Shadow Box” (live)
YACHT: “Summer Song”
El Ten Eleven: “I Like Van Halen Because My Sister Says They Are Cool” (live on KEXP)

Posted under Babystew Home,This Week In Chicago by Steve on Monday 31 May 2010 at 2:38 pm

SPOON Playing World’s Largest Block Party

Being new to Chicago, I’ve never heard of the World’s Largest Block Party, a two-day festival happening on Friday, July 9th and Saturday, July 10th at the Old St. Patrick’s Church in the West Loop. So I’ll have to take their word for it that it truly is the largest block party in the world.

Or perhaps I’ll just check it out for myself. While Friday night’s lineup doesn’t do anything for me (Barenaked Ladies, Kris Allen, Angel Taylor), it was just announced that Spoon will be headlining the Saturday lineup. As of now I haven’t seen if anyone else will be playing on Saturday or not.

Tickets for both days are on sale now. Regular tickets for each day are $40 (or $70 for the weekend), but all tickets include 5 free beverages, so theoretically that should help alleviate the price a bit. Or, if you want to spend a little more ($80/day), you can get VIP tickets which give you access to a private bar and private toilets.

I figure the sound can’t be any worse for Spoon than at their Riviera show in the spring, right? Right?

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 26 May 2010 at 1:37 pm

9:30 Club’s 30th Anniversary Shows THIS WEEKEND

Damn, this is one of those times that I wish I were still in DC.

Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club is celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend with two big concerts. Sunday night (5/30) will feature Richard Cheese, and Monday night (5/31) will feature a veritable who’s who of acts with DC ties, including:

Ted Leo
The Evens
The Psychedelic Furs
Tommy Keene
The Fleshtones
Tiny Desk Unit
The Slickee Boys
The Pietasters
Marti Jones & Don Dixon
Trouble Funk
Justin Jones

The show will be hosted by Henry Rollins, and will also feature some surprise guests with DC roots (the rumor I’ve seen is Dave Grohl).

Tickets to the Sunday show are on sale now via, and tickets for the Monday show are going to be available for FREE by lottery to members of 9:30 Club Forum, subscribers to Volume (the club’s print newsletter), and subscribers to the club’s email list. A “very limited” number of tickets will be available at the door on Monday.

I may have to check out flight prices.

Edited to add: According to this week’s 9:30 Club mailer, there will apparently be an email tomorrow night (Thursday 5/27) with info about how to enter the lottery for tickets.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 26 May 2010 at 1:08 pm

Besnard Lakes + The Ponys @ Pritzker Pavilion [5/24/10]

Last night was the kick-off of the 2010 Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays music series – and, coincidentally, my first time seeing a band at the beautiful Pritzker Pavilion – and what a start it was.

I was a little worried going in that the weather might make things miserable. The temperature in Chicago had reached 90 degrees during the day, and there were few, if no, clouds in the sky to help block the sun. By the time the show got underway, though, things had started to cool down, and by the time the Besnard Lakes came on, there was even a really nice breeze coming off the lake. (Ed.: Insert cheesy “but the band heated things back up” bit here.)

This was the third time I’ve seen the Besnard Lakes this year, and it was definitely the best yet. (Note: you can still see my video of the band’s visit to the WOXY studios here.) Not only did the band sound fantastic, but you could feel a palpable excitement from the band to be playing such a beautiful stage in front of such a large crowd. Taken together, it was a really special performance. Even Greg Kot thought so.

Locals The Ponys opened the show. The band is in the middle of a bit of a “comeback” after a couple of years of inaction. The last time I saw them was opening for Spoon at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club in 2007, and they nearly destroyed the hearing in my right ear that night due to a waaaaaaaay-too-loud guitar amp. They weren’t quite as loud last night, and for that I’m thankful. Otherwise, they sound pretty much the same as they ever did.

The Besnard Lakes

The Ponys

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Tuesday 25 May 2010 at 10:16 am

This Week In Chicago [May 24-31]

I’ve got a super-sized edition of This Week In Chicago for you this week. And by “super-sized,” I mean I’m going including Monday, May 31st (Memorial Day) so that the entirety of the long weekend is covered in this post.

Shows in bold are recommended shows, while shows in larger bold red are shows that I plan on going to and/or shows that I really, really think you should be going to.

Monday, May 24
Beat Kitchen: Pat McCurdy
Darkroom: The Mag 7, Catsmelvin
Double Door: Jon Griffin’s Comedy Night & Zinger Showcase
Empty Bottle (7pm): Nick Jaina, Ami Saraiya [FREE]
Empty Bottle (9:30pm): G L E A M I N G, El is the Sound of Joy, Verma [FREE]
Hideout: Robbie Fulks w/ Nora O’Connor
Lincoln Hall: Mumford and Sons, The Middle East [SOLD OUT]
Martyrs: Cabaret Vagabond
Pritzker Pavilion: The Besnard Lakes, The Ponys [FREE]
Ronny’s: Ken Mode, Wolvhammer, Bayonets
Schubas: Eluvium, Julianna Barwick

Tuesday, May 25
Beat Kitchen: Chicago Underground Comedy
Double Door: The Sweeps, The Outbreaks, Jackpot Donnie, more
Empty Bottle: Athens, The Names That Spell, The Gentlemen’s Guild
Hideout: Sanctified Grumblers
Lincoln Hall: Rosaline, Face Time Police, The Dyes, Monsters Armed with Scissors
Ronny’s: Shotgun for Royalty, Martin Luther and the Kings, The Fullertons
Schubas: Suns, Volcanoes Make Islands, The Field Auxiliary
Subterranean: Glittermouse, Lee, We Drive Yeah, Ben Joseph and the Mathematics

Wednesday, May 26
Beat Kitchen: Dash Cunning
Double Door: Karma to Burn, Admiral of Black, Howler, With a Gun
Empty Bottle: Tim Lowly Ensemble, Husband & Wife, Kaspar Hauser [FREE]
Hideout: Immediate Sound Series ft. Akiyama/Nakamura Duo, Streigenjunko, Koboku Senju
House of Blues: Enanitos Verdes
Lincoln Hall: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Shapers
Martyrs: Moonalice
Metro: LCD Soundsystem, Holy Ghost!
Ronny’s: Waste Basket, Stereohype, The Night Brigade, more
Schubas: April Smith & The Great Picture Show, Ornery Little Darlings
Subterranean: Arbogast, Of Wolves, Reptoids, The Larroquettes

Thursday, May 27
Abbey Pub: The Handsome Devilz, The Cops, Vertigo
Beat Kitchen: Lucky Boys Confusion, The Scissors, Danger is My Middle Name, more
Darkroom: Coltrane Motion, Moxie Motive, Blueheels
Double Door: Carter Twins, Kelly Stanley & Matt Loos
Empty Bottle: Birthday Suits, The Blind Shake, Bird Talk
Hideout: Singing in the Abbey, Can.Ky.Ree, Tacoma Narrows
House of Blues: Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse
Lincoln Hall: Josh Rouse, AM
Martyrs: Midnight Ultra, The Black Tape, Tom Fuller Band
Ronny’s: The Sass Dragons, Stoned at Heart, Sister Kisser, more
Schubas: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Sadhu Sadhu
Subterranean: Verona Account, God & The Architects, Chaperone, more

Friday, May 28
Abbey Pub: Anxiety High, Donkey Punch, Ideamen, more
Beat Kitchen: Good Old War, Yukon Blonde, Audra Mae
Darkroom: Equalizer, Ladies & Gentlemen, more
Double Door: Matthew Santos, Bumpus
Empty Bottle: Windy City Soul Club
Hideout: Brent Puls, Coupleskate, Machineshop
House of Blues: Steel Pulse, Toots and the Maytals
Lincoln Hall: The Tallest Man on Earth, Nathaniel Rateliff [SOLD OUT]
Martyrs: ALO, Chris Velan
Metro: Facing Forward, Munroe, A Friend Called Fire, more
Ronny’s: Sequoia, It’s True, Haywood Yards, Brice Woodall
Schubas: The Shondes, Minneapolis Henrys, The Homoticons
Subterranean: Toys That Kill, Mikey Erg, Lil Dave, more

Saturday, May 29
Abbey Pub: Esohel & The U Dot Fam, YP, Voyce G.I., more
Beat Kitchen: Rough Cut, Geronimo!, Elusive Parallelograms, Slowhawks
Double Door: Members of Morphine & Jeremy Lyons, Rescue School, more
Empty Bottle: Yourself and the Air, Jookabox, YAWN
Hideout: Pieta Brown, Judson Claiborne
House of Blues (Back Porch): Danger Muffin
Lincoln Hall: Smoking Popes, Shot Baker, Bully in the Hallway
Martyrs: The August, John Wesley’s Band
Martyrs: BLOWOFF ft. DJs Richard Morel and Bob Mould
Schubas: Andre Williams, The Dirty Diamonds
Subterranean (4pm): The Ataris, Banner Pilot, The Menzingers, more
Subterranean (9:15pm): The Mushuganas, Winepress, Lynyrd’s Innards, more

Sunday, May 30
Abbey Pub: Now Now Every Children, Tarlton, Comasoft
Beat Kitchen: Big Light, Van Ghost, Todd Kessler
Darkroom: Indiana Bandana, The Slingerland Ride, more
Double Door: Waco Brothers, Yellowhammers
Empty Bottle: Aquifers, Goodbyehome, Dopplermann, more
Hideout: Eleventh Dream Day, Head of Skulls
Martyrs: Brian Jonestown Massacre, Elephant Stone
Quencher’s: Morningbell, Tim Hazen
Ronny’s: Suffix, Stegosaur, Richard Def and the Mos Pryors, Gun
Schubas: Asian American Arts Benefit ft. Imelda de la Cruz, Aloha Lives!, more
Subterranean: Teen Idols, The Dopamines, Be My Doppelganger, more

Monday, May 31
Empty Bottle: Stephen Paul Smoker, Perfect Kiss, Loyal Divide [FREE]
Hideout: Visqueen, Purple Apple
Pritzker Pavilion: Hum, Volcano! [FREE]
Ronny’s: Astronautalis, Big Eyes
The Vic: Broken Bells, The Morning Benders [SOLD OUT]

Posted under Babystew Home,This Week In Chicago by Steve on Monday 24 May 2010 at 9:00 am

Mono + The Twilight Sad @ Lincoln Hall [5/22/10]

Just pics for now. Hopefully discussion soon.

The Twilight Sad


Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Sunday 23 May 2010 at 1:31 pm

Voxtrot @ Lincoln Hall [5/21/10]

Just a few pics from what, most likely, was the last time I’ll ever see Voxtrot. Amazingly, although this was my fifth or sixth time seeing the band, I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever seen them outside of their hometown of Austin, TX. Not sure how that happened.

Anyway, it was great to have the chance to see the band one last time, even if Ramesh’s vocals were a little muddy at times, and even if the band’s live performances have never quite matched the level of their recorded output. (I’m one of the few people who really liked the LP, by the way.)

The band has seven more shows left before officially calling it a day at the end of next month. If you have the chance, try to catch them if you can. Remaining dates follow the pics.

Remaining Voxtrot Shows
MAY 22 – Appleton, WI @ Lawrence University
MAY 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex *
MAY 29 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall *
JUNE 3 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s *
JUNE 23 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat ^ #
JUNE 25 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom + ^ #
JUNE 26 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ^ # SOLD OUT

* w/ International Waters (Mitch from Voxtrot)
# w/ The Black (with Matt and Jason from Voxtrot)
^ w/ Yellow Fever
+ w/ Home Video

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Saturday 22 May 2010 at 3:43 pm

VIDEO: Bonnie Prince Billy, “Hombre Sencillo”

From the forthcoming tribute album, Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash’s Songs for Beginners, out May 25th via Grass Roots Record Co..

In addition, if you go to Adult Swim, you can also download a collaborative cover of O.G. Gene Watson’s “Love in the Hot Afternoon” by Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Matt Sweeney.

Posted under Babystew Home,Videos by Steve on Thursday 20 May 2010 at 4:01 pm

VIDEO: The Sadies, “Postcards”

Fantastic tune from the band’s new album, Darker Circles, which is out TODAY.

Posted under Babystew Home,Videos by Steve on Tuesday 18 May 2010 at 1:53 pm

VIDEO: Hold Steady Perform Acoustic for Rolling Stone

The Hold Steady stopped by the Rolling Stone offices (in my old office building) last week to record a 3-song acoustic set featuring songs from their new album, Heaven Is Whenever [BUY]. I’m still not really sold on the album as a whole, but these acoustic performances are pretty solid.

Check out two of the videos below, and head over to Rolling Stone for the third (“Barely Breathing”). Oh, and be warned – they may make you watch a commercial with Taylor Dayne Swift.

“Hurricane J”

“We Can Get Together”

Posted under Babystew Home,Videos by Steve on Tuesday 18 May 2010 at 12:55 pm

Patrick Watson @ Schubas [5/17/10]

Just pics now, some discussion tomorrow. A preview – this was one of the best shows I’ve seen this year.

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Tuesday 18 May 2010 at 12:08 am

Condo Fucks @ Hideout [5/16/10]

Just a few pics from last night’s Condo Fucks (a/k/a Yo La Tengo) show at the Hideout. I didn’t stick around for much of Eleventh Dream Day’s set or the bands’ “all star jam” at the end of the night – I was pretty beat from a long weekend and yawning before the CFs even went on. Bad decision on my part.

I’ve never counted myself a huge fan of Yo La Tengo, but I’ll see them anytime they want to bring the rock like they did last night.

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Monday 17 May 2010 at 5:29 pm

Listen to the New Sadies Album!

I’m not sure why, but I’m just now discovering that The Sadies have a brand new album, entitled Darker Circles, coming out tomorrow (Tues. 5/18). I absolutely love this band, and I’m not sure how I dropped the ball on this.

Regardless, the good news is that you can listen to the entire album RIGHT NOW thanks to the band and ReverbNation. Check it out:

stand alone playerQuantcast

I’ve only heard about 3 songs so far, but what I’ve heard is spectacular. Take a listen for yourself, and then go order the album here.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 17 May 2010 at 5:08 pm

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