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Muse, Hugh Cornwell, Gordon Gano & The Ryans, The Dynamites and Charles Walker

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The death of Patrick Swayze and the cartoonishly rude antics of Kanye West at the MTV awards will dominate the news for days to come and are likely to overwhelm any attention that might have been rightly paid to the passing last Friday of poet/author/Punk frontman Jim Carroll. A fitting salute would be to seek out a copy of 'The Basketball Diaries' and read his journal kept as a teenager whom Jack Kerouac once called "better than 89 percent of the novelists working today."  

Music: The Airborne Toxic Event

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Success doesn’t come tracked any faster than that of The Airborne Toxic Event. Starting with an indie label last year, TATE was quickly attractive to the majors and, after several meetings, the Los Angeles quintet decided to cast its lot with Island Records. There was something about the label’s offer that was too good to pass up. Within a month of forming, TATE played its first show. By the end of 2006, Rolling Stone named the group one of MySpace’s Top 25 bands. They play The Mad Hatter with Hazle Weatherfield.  

Music: stellastarr*

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Early last year, stellastarr* went into the studio with the songs that generated the best live response and continued to shape and shine the material until the group emerged with its excellent third album, the just-released Civilized. Like its predecessors, it teems with the energetic New Wave/Britpop clockwork swing of the ’80s (think XTC/Gang of Four/Echo and the Bunnymen) mutated with contemporary, fist-pumping Pop/Punk anthemics (think the Strokes/Killers). They play with Wild Light at the 20th Century Theater.  

Ryan Bingham, Iggy Pop, Daddy, Elvis Costello and More

0 Comments · Friday, June 5, 2009
Another crazy week in Bakerville, and it's only going to get more hectic as the weeks proceed. My daughter's last day of school is next Thursday and, once she's home for the summer, my daily schedule gets slightly more complicated. But I'm excited to check out new CDs from Ryan Bingham, Iggy Pop, Daddy, Elvis Costello and Mark Everett and Eels.  

Music: Gomez

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 2, 2009
When British Psych/Folk/Blues quintet Gomez got started nearly a decade and a half ago, they were all around 18 and the personification of the title of their 2006 singles/B-sides compilation, Five Men in a Hut. A New Tide, their latest release, displays a looser vibe. In some ways it’s a return to form; in other ways, a fascinating extension. They play the Madison Theater with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.  

Michelle Shocked, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women, Chris Gaffney and Hatcham Social

0 Comments · Friday, May 29, 2009
This week's posting has been winnowed by a killer combination of my MidPoint Music Festival judging duties and a long holiday weekend, so try to contain your disappointment at the shortage of reviews. This week I tackle new releases from Michelle Shocked, Viva Voce, Maurice Mattei & the Tempers, Chris Gaffney, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women and Hatcham Social.  

brakesbrakesbrakes, Booker T. Jones, Manchester Orchestra, Milk & Honey Band and More

0 Comments · Friday, April 24, 2009
If I keep pushing titles into the following week, I'll be reviewing a couple hundred CDs in December, which could actually work out pretty well. The release sheets the month before Christmas are skinnier than my 401K returns in 2008, so I'll need to hold back some material for the lean times. But for now, it's all feast and no famine. Let's check out new CDs from brakesbrakesbrakes, Booker T. (of MGs fame), Manchester Orchestra, Chairlift, Milk & Honey Band, supergroup Tinted Windows and Art Brut, plus classic vinyl from Matthew Sweet.  

Onstage: Richard Kogan

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Dr. Richard Kogan must be a multi-tasker on a level that most humans would find completely baffling. A piano student from age 4, he studied at Julliard until he was 18, but under his father’s medical tutelage during the same stretch he ultimately decided to pursue a degree in medicine from Harvard. Kogan’s appearance Saturday at the Carnegie Arts Center in Covington will focus on the works and motivations of George Gershwin.  

Obi Best with Slow Claw

Feb. 18 • Southgate House (Parlour)

0 Comments · Friday, February 13, 2009
A good many people have become aware of Alex Lilly as backing vocalist for the renowned neo/retro Pop outfit The Bird and the Bee, but that role is merely a sideline compared to her front-of-the-stage duties for her own combo, Obi Best.  

Music: The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Elia Einhorn got a lesson in music journalism with the release of his first album under the banner of the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir six years ago. The Welsh born/Chicago reared singer/songwriter found some interesting feedback in a local review. “One critic here in Chicago, who I had idolized and loved his column, hated it and the reasons he didn’t like it was he thought we sounded too much like other groups -- specifically Belle and Sebastian -- and he said it was too British a record for a Chicago band." SYGC plays the Northside Tavern Saturday with Cash Flagg and Nathan Holscher.