left off the tracks.

Archive for the category “Concerts”

Chi-Live Music Fall Preview: Shows to Warm the Body and Soul as the Weather Heads South

I spent a summer wasting…”* my time at rocks shows that morphed into dance parties, watching the young minds of another generation relishing, gyrating, and breathing in the beats and rhythms of indie, punk, pop, dance, electronic (and sundry other eclectic styles) music’s past, present, and future. It was totally life-affirming. Despite seeing more live shows than ever (77 shows and counting), I’ve yet to tire of the experience and euphoria. #therewillbeplentyoftimeforsleepinglater

Highlights?  So many but to name a few…

  • Watching the ladies (and gents) of Lucius embrace a late night crowd, wooing us with their harmonies, impressing us with their backwards crowd surfing duet, and serenading us with an intimate acoustic set. They didn’t need to steal any hearts, we gave them willingly. 
  • Sharon Van Etten on a sun-drenched Friday afternoon at Pitchfork bearing her deeply intimate songs and weaving a magical spell on a crowd of attentive and thankful listeners.
  • Lykke Li whose onslaught of dense, layered pop and flair for the dramatic put to shame (for this listener) the headlining efforts of Eminem and Arctic Monkeys who despite the billing felt dated and sleepy.
  • Watching The Front Bottoms bring a room of 500 teens and 20-somethings to feverishly sing and shake with every note; confirming that the kids still love rock n roll.
  • Angel Olsen returning to Chicago casting us in her gorgeous dream-like world.
  • The National (as always) getting the entire crowd at the Chicago Theater revved up with fists in the air, voices to the wind, and reminding me that they are the best live act out there.

Despite this pleasing past as prologue, the Fall offers some equally grand potential. See the list below. I’ll definitely be at the “Purple Bold” ones but strongly considering all other dates. Feel free to make me join you for more…

 

August

26th – Anthony Saint and the Downers @ Schubas

27th – the Lemons at Empty Bottle

2930 – North Coast Music Festival at Union Park

 

September

4th – Owen Pallet at the Metro. 

5th – Hideout Block Party Day 1 w/ Death Cab For Cutie & Hamilton Leithauser (from the Walkmen)

6th – Hideout Block Party Day 2 w/ War on Drugs, Dismemberment Plan, Marc DeMarco, Sylvan Esso, Valerie June, etc.

12th – Riot Fest Day 1 w/ Jane’s Addiction, Pussy Riot, NOFX, Gogol Bordello, Pity Sex, The Hotelier . . .

13th – Riot Fest Day 2 w/ The National, Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang, Taking Back Sunday, Get Up Kids, The Afghan Whigs, Dashboard Confessional, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Orwells, The World is a Beautiful Place…, Lemuria

14th – Riot Fest Day 3 w/ The Cure, Weezer, Tegan and Sara, Patti Smith, Superchunk, Billy Bragg, The Hold Steady, Lucero, Kurt Vile, The Front Bottoms, Dads….

16th – Spoon and EMA at Chicago Theater

19th – Bonobo (DJ Set) at Metro

21st – Andy Stott an Demetre Stare at Thalia Hall

23rd – Justin Townes Earle at the Vic or Ty Segall and La Luz at Thalia Hall

25th – Slow Club at Schubas

 

October

5th – Tennis & Pure Bathing Culture at Lincoln Hall

6th – Buke & Gase at Empty Bottle

7th – Banks at the Metro

8th – Lucius at the Metro

10th – Sharon Van Etten with Tiny Ruins at Thalia Hall

13th – Charli XCX at Lincoln Hall

16th – Foxygen at Lincoln Hall or Ryan Adams at Chicago Theater

22nd – Tune Yards at the Riv

25th – Rhye at the Vic or Speedy Ortiz at the Empty Bottle

27th – Courtney Barnett & San Fermin at the Metro

30th – St. Paul and The Broken Bones

 

November

2nd – Alt-J at the Riv

13th – FKA Twigs at the Metro 

14th – Peter Hook at the Metro

21st – Stars at the Vic

22nd – First Aid Kit at the Vic

28th – Lydia Loveless at Lincoln Hall

 

See you at the venue!

PitchforkFest 2014: A Primer (Un-Abridged)

A tradition unlike any other… the Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago) Primer

Pitchfork-Festival

It has been awhile since my last musical missive. Why? Did I stop listening? Turn away from the sound?  Find my way into some ostensibly more mature passion, like wine or crotchet? No. Nothing of the sort. If anything, 2014 has been the year most filled with juvenilia and regression to adolescence than ever before. Perhaps attending too many rock shows (62 to date) combined with needing to maintain some semblance of a sensible work/life balance and sleep has cut into my writing.  Scratch that… it most definitely has. The nerdy music obsessive gene has not left the body; it’s just strolling around the venues rather than on the interwebs. Hopefully this will mark a return to form. But, let’s cut to the core.

Pitchfork Music Festival begins today (tomorrow as of this writing but when you read…) and the lineup is filled with an exciting array of acts from legends of my youth (e.g., Beck and Neutral Milk Hotel) to the next generation of musical visionaries (e.g., St. Vincent and Tune-Yards). Pitchfork’s annual festival has always been one of my summer highlights. In three music-and-sun-drenched days, you can legitimately see almost every performer on a bill that spans a wide range of upcoming musicians and heroes of yesteryear from almost every genre (indie to hip hop to electronic to experimental/indie electronic/[fill-in-the-genre) and there will always be at least a couple of killer dance party worthy moments (e.g., LCD, Robyn, Major Lazer, Cut Copy, B&S, MIA, to name a few…). Okay enough with the extended-LP intro… here is what I’m excited about by day, hour, and (stage). (For a condensed/abridged version of this go here.) (For the full lineup go here.)

But, while you read listen to this playlist as prep: PitchforkFest 2014 (Playlist)

Friday, July 18th

3:30 – Hundred Water (Red) (Indie-Experimental Electronic)

I saw HW open for Julia Holter a couple of years back at Schubas and they blew me away.  And, their newest record. The Moon Rang Like a Bell, is easily one of my ten favorite records of 2014. It is a sensual embrace of angelic vocals and lush electronic compositions. This should be a moment of afternoon beauty.

4:15 – Factory Floor (Blue) (Electronic-Downtempo)

After one listen, I was totally entranced.

5:30 – Sharon Van Etten (Red) (Indie)

Sharon Van Etten’s music will to the attentive ear cut you to the quick. She speaks the emotional truths and questions we all contemplate in our search for understanding and meaningfulness. Her voice has the haunting beauty that will lull you to a euphoric reverie. And, she’s got an amazingly endearing stage presence. Don’t Miss!

6:25 – Sun Kil Moon (Green) (Lo-Fi Folk-Rock)

…aka Mark Kozelek. His music I’ll admit is an acquired taste. It is a mix of storytelling and/or speak singing monologues over Lo-Fi folk-rock (think Neil Young but more poignant). SKM tell darkly comedic and disarmingly heartfelt stories from Mark’s personal life and observations of the world.

8:30 – Beck (Green) (Genre-Potpourri)

El Perdidor!  To be honest, I want to hear Beck play Morning Phase, his new record, from start to finish.  It is just that amazing and gorgeous of a record.  But, he won’t do that because many folks will want to hear the songs from Odelay and Midnight Vultures, admittedly not my favorite albums, and he should because life-long fans deserve that.  Regardless of what he plays, he is such a brilliantly talented musician and I’ll just sit or perhaps lay and revel in awe at the quirky and odd mix of mellow and psych folk mixed with soul and disco that he has cobbled together over the years.

Also worth checking out: Haxan Cloak @ 5:14 (Blue) – Meditative and introspective downtempo; Giorgio Moroder @ 7:20 (Red) – the 70s Dance/Disco avant-garde composer that inspired the Daft Punk song of same name  (and arguably a lot of what they did/do).

Saturday, July 19th

2:50 – Empress Of (Blue) (Electronic/Dance)

I saw her at the Moog Showcase at SXSW and was pleasantly surprised. She combines a Grimes experimental groove vibe with an M.I.A. like presence.

3:20 – Cloud Nothings (Red) (Punk/Indie Rock)

Get ready for some fist pumping and adrenaline churning punk infused indie rock! If there is any band that has found the way to channel and replicate the unique sub/urban-ennui punk and indie-rock/pop sensibilities of the Replacements, Cloud Nothings is my pick. There are angsty dirges, anthemic epiphanies, and heart-on-sleeve proclamations throughout, which is basically what growing up feels like.

4:45 – The Range (Blue) (Electronic/Dance)

The Range’s Nonfiction was one of the most exciting revelations of 2013. His music is a throwback to the early days of electronic dance music that is filled with rich, intricately layered grooves and samples.  Another performer I saw at SXSW, who totally captivated me.  Plus, post set, we chatted and he is a really smart and genuine dude.  Check him out!

5:15 – Tune-Yards (Red) (Dance/Indie-Folk)

Dance party alert!!! Merrill Garbus writes with a keen, critical, and comical vibrancy. Her music exudes life and energy and will infect even the dourest of listener.  While you groove to the beats listen to her keen wit.

6:15 – Danny Brown (Green) (Rap/Hip-Hop)

The mirthful and quirky maestro of Detroit descends on the Chi. XXX was the first rap record in years that completely captivated me. His rhymes float and flutter with a lyrical ease and his beat will keep you grinding.

7:25 – St. Vincent (Red) (Baroque Indie)

There are talented artists and their next level visionaries. Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) is the latter. Perhaps her art and commentary fly over the heads of many (see post SNL internet comments), but her self-titled 2014 album is on another level of genius (which is not to say her previous records weren’t great, which they were, see Strange Mercy).  But does her “art-rock” translate?  Hell, yeah.  I saw her perform earlier this year and it was a truly brilliant orchestrated piece of stage craft that blended authentic and carefully styled thematic tableaux.  In St. Vincent you will trust.

(beat)

8:30 – Neutral Milk Hotel (Green) (Psych-Folk-Indie)

For a generation of kids, NMH was “the band that got away”. We heard them as they were hitting their stride and then they disappeared.  It was young geek love lost. In the Aeroplane Over Sea is a masterpiece of dream-like hallucinatory imagery and heart-wrenching emotional brutalism. Jeff Mangum is a mystical poet and his return is a delight to all us geeks and weirdos that believe life is filled with every day magic.

(bed)

Also worth checking out: The Field @ 615 (Blue) (Chill-Downtempo-Electronic)

Sunday, July 20th (aka marathon day)

1:00 – Mutual Benefit (Green) (Folk) or Speedy Ortiz (Blue) (Indie-Punk)

Ahh… such a struggle!  I’m going to see MB because they sport a multi-member band of exceptional musicians with angelic vocals that play mesmerizing melodies. Prepare to be seduced by sirens…  But if you want to start your day with an adrenaline kick, Speedy Ortiz are just the musical hair-of-the-dog your mind/body ordered.

1:45 – DIIV (Red) (Indie-Shoegazer)

DIIV (pronounced “Dive”) blend the melodic Brit-Pop of the Stone Roses with the sprawling expansive Shoegazer rock of Slowdive (see below).  Although on record they sound precise and composed, their live set is dynamic.

1:55 – Perfect Pussy (Punk/Hardcore)

I saw maybe three minutes of these guys at SXSW and found that aural amuse-bouche electrifying. They are loud, brash, aggressive, and captivating.  Yes please!  Don’t get there late or you’ll miss their set.

3:45 – Dum Dum Girls (Blue) (Dream Pop)

These ladies spin dark-black seductive dreams with hints of new wave, 60s girl group pop, and Smiths-like ecstatic dreariness. For those with a penchant for (David)Lynch-esque moments of devilish anachronism, check out the Dum Dums and their spellbinding sounds. I will swoon if they play “Trouble Is My Name.”  Is it your name too?

4:45 – Jon Hopkins (Blue) (Dance-Electronic)

JH is a phenomenal electronic composer that produces pieces that go from folk-tinged meditations to floor thumping bangers.

5:15 – Real Estate (Red) (Jangle Pop)

Their sound is evocative of a West Coast surfer/slacker rock with the pleasant and mirth inducing whirl-in-the-grass jangle pop perfect for a summer festival.

6:15 – Slowdive (Green) (Ur-Shoegazer)

Yes!!! The band that to me epitomizes Shoegazer…. extended jams of ethereal and distortion-laced soundscapes. Sit back and take in the sprawling “wall of sound” that Slowdive weave… The Return of the Shoegazer Kings! Reclaiming the sound that has bred so many disciples.

7:25 – Grimes (Red) (Experimental Electronic)

Another… Dance Party Alert. Finally!!! I’ve been dying to see Claire Boucher for way too long and keep missing her when she passes through Chicago. Her blend of experimental upbeat electronic jams and performance art –like compositions get the body grooving and the mind wandering. #theperfectblend

8:30 – Kendrick Lamar (Green) (Rap/Hip-Hop)

The good kid brings his backseat freestyle to the W.I.N.D.Y. city.  Start up that Maserati…   End of the fest/night smooth beat and grooves to relish and remember three days of musical brilliance. #dontkillmyvibe

Also worth checking out: Earl Sweathshirt at 3:20 at Red Stage or Schoolboy Q at 4:15 at Green Stage or Majical Cloudz @5:45 at Blue Stage.

…can’t believe how strange it is to be anything at all. – Jeff Mangum

Over and out,

a.a.

p.s. Aftershows?  Seriously?  Okay…

  • Friday Bottom Lounge – Deafhaven, Perfect Pussy, Pink Frost;
  • Saturday Bottom Lounge – Dum Dum Girls, Ex Hex, and Speedy Ortiz
  • Sunday Lincoln Hall – Majical Cloudz and Hundred Waters
  • If you can get in… DIIV at Empty Bottle Friday (currently sold out) or Cloud Nothings at Schubas, Friday (also sold out).

PitchforkFest 2014: A Primer (Abridged)

…for those with a short attention span or who prefer not to read extensive ruminations, an abridged version of the bands/performers to catch at Pitchfork 2014. (Or, if you need to find me this is where I’ll be…)

And a playlist: PitchforkFest 2014

Pitchfork-Festival

Friday, July 18th

3:30 – Hundred Water (Red) (Indie-Experimental Electronic)

4:15 – Factory Floor (Blue) (Electronic-Downtempo)

5:30 – Sharon Van Etten (Red) (Indie)

6:25 – Sun Kil Moon (Green) (Lo-Fi Folk-Rock)

8:30 – Beck (Green) (Genre-Potpourri)

Also worth checking out: Haxan Cloak @ 5:14 (Blue) – Meditative and introspective downtempo; Giorgio Moroder @ 7:20 (Red) – the 70s Dance/Disco avant-garde composer that inspired the Daft Punk of same name.

Saturday, July 19th

2:50 – Empress Of (Blue) (Electronic/Dance)

3:20 – Cloud Nothings (Red) (Punk/Indie Rock)

4:45 – The Range (Blue) (Electronic/Dance)

5:15 – Tune-Yards (Red) (Dance/Indie-Folk)

6:15 – Danny Brown (Green) (Rap/Hip-Hop)

7:25 – St. Vincent (Red) (Baroque Indie)

8:30 – Neutral Milk Hotel (Green) (Psych-Folk-Indie)

Also worth checking out: The Field @ 6:15 (Blue) (Chill-Downtempo-Electronic)

Sunday, July 20th (aka marathon day)

1:00 – Mutual Benefit (Green) (Folk) or Speedy Ortiz (Blue) (Indie-Punk)

1:45 – DIIV (Red) (Indie-Shoegazer)

1:55 – Perfect Pussy (Punk/Hardcore)

3:45 – Dum Dum Girls (Blue) (Dream Pop)

4:45 – Jon Hopkins (Blue) (Dance-Electronic)

5:15 – Real Estate (Red) (Jangle Pop)

6:15 – Slowdive (Green) (Ur-Shoegazer)

7:25 – Grimes (Red) (Experimental Electronic)

8:30 – Kendrick Lamar (Green) (Rap/Hip-Hop)

Also worth checking out: Earl Sweathshirt at 3:20 at Red Stage or Schoolboy Q at 4:15 at Green Stage.

…can’t believe how strange it is to be anything at all. – Jeff Mangum

Over and out,

a.a.

Never Too Old To Dance – Winter/Spring 2014 Concert List (aka Dance Card)

headphonessavemylifeWhat? Is a little cold weather slowing your two step? I hope not. Well, if you are in Chicago, you know this City never really stops. We may sleep but we work through the frost and polar winds. Double digit negatives are nothing. In the words of Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard, “I don’t mind the weather, I’ve got scarves and caps and sweaters.”

Now, if you really want to build up that inner heat without the extra layers (or doing some yoga but that’s cool too), I recommend getting the blood pumping by shaking those hips, pumping those fists, and moving those legs on the dance floor.  Or perhaps sharing your body warmth with one, two or twenty strangers in a tightly packed, sweaty music venue near you.  

In case, you need some suggestions on what and/or who to see, here you go. These are shows which I’m excited about. It’s not exhaustive so if i missed something, please, please let me know. I’m not musically omniscient. A bit clairvoyant but certainly fallible. …These are only for Chicago, but if the band is referenced here they are likely on tour so check out their site for a tour date near you.  

…and yes I do sleep.  but not much.  see you at the front of the house!

(legend… bold = definitely attending; italics = very likely attending;  hyperlinks for venues; thoughts for giggles)

February

March

  • Mar. 1st – Into It. Over It. @ Bottom Lounge
    • Emo-Alert!!!
  • Mar. 1st – Broken Bells & Au Revoir Simone @ the Vic
    • I’d go for ARS; BB put me to sleep last time
  • Mar. 7th – Classixx @ Double Door
    • Dance Party!!!
  • Mar. 13th –16th – I’ll be in Austin, Texas for SXSW… you guys will have to find your own shows for that weekend J
  • Mar. 18th – Lorde @ the Aragon
    • she’s lovely, the venue is awful…i’m kind of over going to all ages shows, be prepared to fight the young ones for a good view
  • Mar. 21st – So Many Dynamos @ Township
  • Mar. 23rd – The War on Drugs @ the Metro
  • Mar. 26th – Future Islands @ Lincoln Hall
  • Mar. 27th – James Vincent McMorrow @ Lincoln Hall
    • soulful, swooning, epic, engrossing vocals to soothe your soul
  • Mar. 27th – Real Estate @ the Metro
  • Mar. 28th – Warpaint with Cate Le Bon @ the Metro
  • Mar. 29th – Shearwater @ The Empty Bottle
  • Mar. 31st – Dum Dum Girls @ The Empty Bottle
    • Swoon… if they play “There is A Light…” I can die happy.

April

May

  • May 7th – Woods @ Subterranean
  • May 9th – The Both (Aimee Mann and Ted Leo) @ the Metro
  • May 13th – Neko Case @ the Chicago Theater
    • The lovely mesmerizing voice of Neko, great acoustics and Kelly Hogan?  Does it get any better?
  • May 16th – Mogwai @ the Vic
  • May 17th – Haim @ the Riviera (sold out)
    • These girls rock

July

One day????

  • The Smiths… I wish.

a.a.

2013 Pitchfork Primer – Youth Be Served, But Respect Your Elders

… it’s the freakin’ weekend baby, ‘m ’bout to have me some fun.  -r.kelly

20130710_pitchfork_91Yeah, it’s that time of year again.  Pitchfork’s showcase of young emerging artists blended with a nod to indie stalwarts and heroes of yesteryear.  Maybe more so than any year, the 2013 Pitchfork Festival illustrates the increased diversification and expansion of the indie online-periodical’s musical breadth.  Is this a good thing?  There are those who might claim Pitchfork has reached into realms outside its “proper reach” or beyond  the quirky, fan-boy zealotry for weirdo and curio bands, but I don’t know if I agree.  Music has right to all its children and over time tastes and predilections change.  But enough of that stuff, we can discuss this on the grass at Union Park.  In the meantime, some rather serious business is at hand.  Who should you go see at the Festival?  I’ll admit my unabashed school-boy enthusiasm to see Bjork for the first time after 20 years of hearing her on headphones.  Also, I can;t wait to see Stuart and co., aka Belle & Sebastian (or as my friend PG once dubbed them the Buena Vista Scottish Club) dance mirthfully dancing around on stage with that 60s baroque pop charm of theirs.  Or the grizzled vets like The Breeders (last time I saw them was in 1993!), Yo La Tengo, or Low, all of whom have made music for some time (ok Kim Deal and co. took some time off).  But, those guys you know….

What about the rest of the field?  I’ve got some suggestions (Don’t I always?).  Also for more details go to http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/

Well, here are the 10 bands that I’m most eager to see:

Read below or listen along here:  Pitchkfork 2013 Primer: A Playlist

*(I recommend playing on shuffle)

Waxahatchee (Sunday 3:45 – Blue) – Katie Crutchfield’s work as Waxahatchee is a rare thing.  At one moment, it delivers a crushing blow to the gut with its lyrical sincerity and then evokes a euphoric impassioned angst the next minute.  In 2013, Katie (an Alabama native) has given us Cerulean Salt, my favorite 2013 record to date, a record that alternates between muzzled pop harmonies and raw-lo-fi punk-y folk/roots rock.  To the former, layer in Katie Crutchfield’s piercing and pleasing vocals and you have the perfect roller coaster ride of emotions to get you rolling around.

Angel Olsen (Friday 5:15 – Blue) – One of the most beautiful and captivating singers and songwriters I’ve heard in a long time.  I caught her sold out set at the Hideout (a small intimate corner of the world) in February and it was spellbinding.  Her sound is rooted in a/n America/na that is magical, otherworldly, and, at times, brutal and sad, yet authentic and redeeming, leaving you wanting more. 

Solange (Saturday 7:25 – Red) – Beyonce’s little sister certainly has the soul and voice to wow like her sister but she tends towards the slower grooves with a decidedly late 80s/early 90s pop R&B vibe.  Grab a girl or a boy and head over for a chill dance party break for the evening. . .

Savages (Saturday 4:15 – Green) –These English proto/post-punk rockers are loud, fast, and aggressive combing a little of the dark, relentless drone of Joy Division with the dance-like sensibility of Gang of Four but fronted by a Patti Smith sounding lead singer.  From all accounts they put on one of the best live shows.  I can’t wait! Note:  Bring earplugs and avoid the front (some slam-dancing likely)

Foxygen (Sunday 1:45 – Red) – The duo known as Foxygen come from another time or perhaps a world where time doesn’t exist because their music is rooted in a surreal past blending psychedelia and blues in such a pleasing way you wonder if you are dreaming.  Having seen them perform at Lincoln Hall earlier this year, I can tell you these gents are talented and brilliant live when they are on.  About half way through their set that night something was off and watching them deal with imperfection was a sight to behold.  For the flower-power kids this is your chance to spin and whirl like dervishes.  Drop in and tune out, man.

Autre Ne Veut  (Sunday 1:55 – Blue) – Another opportunity for grooving to some pleasant pop R&B.  Don’t worry.  You don’t need to get too low, move too fast, or juke for this kind of music.  It’s more of the close your eyes and just let Autre Ne Veut’s Prince-like falsetto serenade you and guide you through the early afternoon.

Julia Holter (Saturday 1:55 – Blue) – What does walking into a dream feel like?  For me the music of LA based experimental pop artist Julia Holter is just that.  Gorgeous gossamer layers of baroque pop juxtaposed with sparse classical-like compositions will get you floating into. . .

Chairlift (Sunday 5:45 – Blue) – Many people complain about 80s synth-based dance music.  I don’t understand what is wrong with them.  Perhaps they just dislike fun.  Chairlift’s sound is ecstatic, energetic, emotional, and ebullient, bursting through 808s or moogs, entreating you to let go and dance with abandon.  How can you resist?

Phosphorescent (Saturday 2:30 – Green) – Nestled somewhere between the languid and expansive rock of Joshua Tree era U2 and the southwestern flair of Calexico, Alabama native (that is two if you are counting at home) Matthew Houck’s music is reverie inducing and the perfect way to let the week and the world melt away.

Andy Stott (Saturday 7:45 – Blue) –Downtempo electronic music is still somewhat under-appreciated in the U.S.  People are never quite sure what to do with or how to move to it; at times it has a film soundtrack quality and at other times it seems almost sleep-inducing.  Watching English DJ Andy Stott spin could help ameliorate this problem.  His work is layered with pregnant beats and an unrelenting bass groove that keeps one constantly at attention.  By evening’s end you’ll likely find your shoulders and hips shaking. (Stream here on YouTube)

…and yes there is so, so much more and very talented artists I’ve missed, but that is what I’d recommend and will be prioritizing.  However if you want to see my full dance card day by day (which always makes me think of Godspell #musicaltheatregeek) see below.  Note: Bold denotes my can’t miss; Italics are also recommended.

Friday

3:20 Frankie Rose (BLUE) (Dream Pop)

4:35 Mac DeMarco (GREEN) (Folk Rock)

5:15 Angel Olsen (BLUE) (Americana Folk)

5:30 Woods (RED) (Neo Folk/Surf Rock)

6:15 Mikal Cronin (BLUE) (Pop/Surf Rock)

8:30 Björk (GREEN) (Sui Generis)

 

Saturday

1:55 Julia Holter (BLUE) (Dream Pop)

2:30 Phosphorescent (GREEN) (Neo Folk)

2:50 Parquet Courts (BLUE) (Punk)

3:20 …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (RED) (Rock)

4:15 Savages (GREEN) (Post Punk)

6:15 The Breeders play Last Splash (GREEN) (Baroque Pop)

6:45 Low (BLUE) (Baroque Indie Rock)

7:25 Solange (RED) (Pop R&B)

7:45 Andy Stott (BLUE) (Downtempo/Electornic)

8:30 Belle & Sebastian (GREEN) (Baroque Pop)

 

Sunday

1:00 DJ Rashad (BLUE)(Hip Hop)

1:45 Foxygen (RED) (Psychedelic)

1:55 Autre Ne Veut (BLUE) (R&B)

2:50 Blood Orange (BLUE) (R&B)

3:45 Waxahatchee (BLUE) (Folk/Punk/Lo-Fi Rock)

4:15 Yo La Tengo (GREEN) (Baroque Indie)

4:45 Sky Ferreira (BLUE)(Pop)

5:45 Chairlift (BLUE)(Indie/Baroque Pop)

7:25 M.I.A. (RED)(Hip Hop/R&B)

8:30 R. Kelly (GREEN) (Hip Hop/R&B)

 

Bounce, bounce…. 

a.a.

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SHOWS!!! – Tomorrow Never Knows 2013

Although it is winter in the Windy City, the music never stops. Starting tomorrow, the Tomorrow Never Knows (“TNK”) festival will continue its tradition of bringing great bands and artists on the rise (e.g., Father John Misty (!!!), Jessie Ware, Niki & the Dove, the Orwells, Wild Belle) mixed with some old favorites (e.g., The Walkmen, Lucero, Urge Overkill). In addition, this year there will be a live taping of The Low Times Podcast (with Tom Sharpling) featuring Steve Albini (of Big Black and producer of the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa, Nirvana’s In Utero, Cloud Nothings’ Attack on Memory, and many more) at the Hideout, which should be a really interesting evening/discussion.

For those who have yet to purchase tickets to the shows, the good news is that there are still plenty of chances to see some great new bands in some fabulous and intimate locations like Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and The Hideout; the Vic and the Metro are also in the mix but they are bigger venues although no less exquisite.

For more information on all the bands, dates, locations and to purchase tickets go to: http://www.tnkfest.com/.

Unfortunately, some shows are already sold out but this shouldn’t deter you as there are always people who will falter at the last-minute so check on Craigslist or if you are willing you can still buy a five-day pass (but it comes at a hefty $100 price tag) here.

For those who are planning to go or on the fence, I’ve put together a playlist sampler of the bands I am eager to see as well as those who are worth checking out, including The Walkmen, Father John Misty, Niki & the Dove, Lucero, The Orwells, Freelance Whales, Hundred Waters and more.

Click on Tomorrow Never Knows 2013 to hear the music.

Note: I haven’t included all 50+ bands & DJs, just a handful.

Also, check out the TNK playlist via their website here.

I’ll see you at the venues!

a.a.

In the Shadow of the Impending (Mayan) Apocalypse (Pt. 2): Shows and Observations

(Or, how I got through my neurosis about the end of the world with the aid of my headphones)

(note: in case you missed the best of 2012 in tracks go here:  Bring on Your Wrecking Ball: a best of 2012 playlist)

Part the 2nd – Shows and Observations

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Wilco @ Hideout Block Party . . . so misunderstood

By year’s end, I will have made it to close to sixty shows in the calendar year, but the following evenings and performances were the most memorable to date.

  • Bruce Springsteen @ Wrigley Field
    • A cold September night surrounded by bricks and ivy with the Boss, does it get any better?… well, see below
    • The Boss and Eddie Vedder singing “My Hometown”
    • Tom Morrello’s guitar playing on “The Ghost of Tom Joad”
    • With a curtain of rain descending over and drenching the crowd, Bruce covering CCR’s “Who’ll Stop The Rain” and an all out romp through “Thunder Road”
    • yes there is magic in the night
  • Hideout Block Party
    • Kelly Hogan‘s amazing pipes, Corin Tucker thrashing, Lee Field and Wild Belles grooving, and Wye Oak mesmerizing, topped off by…
    • Wilco closing out the night with the Chicago skyline as backdrop.
    • going home via Chicago
  • Riot Fest (Chicago) @ Humboldt Park
    • Watching Fat Mike and daughter listen as Alkaline Trio went old school on an emotionally hungry Chicago crowd
    • Elvis Costello masterful, NOFX loud and pleasantly obnoxious, Promise Ring bringing back a little Emo, Gogol Bordello world eclectic dance party, Iggy Pop and the Stooges still as fiery and furious as ever.
    • A punk carnival with Ferris wheels, sideshows, and performance art.  I love when it gets weird.
  • Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel) @ the Athenaeum – a sparse and haunting set of Neutral Milk Hotel songs
  • Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly Hogan (@the Vic & the Hideout x 3)
    • No words can capture what an absolutely gorgeous voice Kelly Hogan has and I was fortunate to see her showcase it on four different occasions with her back up band and old friends. Lucky Boy!
    • A stunningly gorgeous cover of the Magnetic Fields’ “Papa Was A Rodeo”
    • Playing Cheap Trick in a crowded and steamy summer late night Hideout show (with Yo La Tengo in the audience)
    • Mesmerizing and harmonizing with Robbie Fulks to standards old and new classics
  • Adam Arcuragi (@Empty Bottle) and Sean Rowe (@Space) – two amazing singer-songwriters showcasing amazing musicianship, searing lyrics and heartwarming and blood chilling emotional depth. Can’t miss either of these guys.
  • Patrick Watson @ Lincoln Hall & Of Monsters & Men @ the Double Door – these performers are masterful at working the crowd and illustrating how live music can be a communal and joyous experience
  • Perfume Genius & Lost in the Trees @ Schuba’s – two of the most gorgeously intricate, tense, yet satisfying performances of the year; still get goosebumps of PG’s “Hood” live
  • Shallow Diver @ Phyllis’ Musical Inn – debut performance by my friends; the only show that was actually perfectly loud and filled with unbridled joy
  • Alt-J @ the Empty Bottle – electric, mesmerizing, can’t wait until they come back
  • Sharon Van Etten & Shearwater @ Lincoln Hall – bursts of intricate epic sounds and soft, slow, delicately haunting reveries

Shows I’m really bummed I missed:  Grimes, Father John Misty, Sleigh Bells, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Purity Ring, Chad Valley.

Shows still pending:  Japandroids/DIIV, How to Dress Well, OMAM (again) and Hood Internet

(Okay and now some) Bitter Reflections:

  • We lost some very talented and wonderfully gifted musicians.
    • Rest in Peace and thank you: Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Etta James, Levon Helm, MCA, Robin Gibb, Earl Scruggs, Davy Jones, and Dave Brubeck.
  • Madonna:  Kabalost?  Or too much MDNA?  the Material Girl hasn’t been on her game for some time but this was perhaps her low point. Nonetheless, she was easily one of the most influential performers of the late 20th century.
  • Fiona Apple: I so wanted to like that ridiculously long titled record, but yet again I find myself unable to indulge in the non-traditional nature of her songs, and I like some really bizarre stuff.
  • Nicki Minaj – from super bass to super boring, call it karma for dissing other artists
  • The xx – perhaps it was inevitable after the brilliance of the first record, but aside from “Angels” I couldn’t even finish listening to Coexist
  • Usher – you remind of an artist I once liked, so over produced it hurts.
  • Ty Segall – he’s like the garage rock Ryan Adams so prolific it hurts, but I still can’t get into his stuff
  • Where BKLYN at? After years of being home and haven for countless indie-darlings, NYC’s “hipsterist” borough seems like it’s off its game. #NotHatin’JustSayin’
  • Minor disappointments: All these records fell below my eager anticipation and/or the critical praise showered upon them (for my taste): Yeasayer’s Fragrant World, Grizzly Bear’s Shrines, Dirty Projectors’ Swing Lo Magellan, and Animal Collective’s Centipede Hz .

Sweet (or things I discovered, loved, and learned via music in 2012)

  • On the non-music entertainment side of things, Tig Notaro’s live set (click here) about dealing with her cancer diagnosis and the countless tragedies she dealt with in 2012 was the most inspiring, thoughtful, comical, and gorgeous thirty minutes of performance I heard all year. If you or anyone in your family has been affected by the blight and tragedy of cancer, please download and listen.
  • Surprises from old faces: Jack White turns back the clock; Norah Jones getting down and dirty; Patti Smith and Bob Dylan, ever ancient, ever new; Leonard Cohen and Neil Young put out records (not a fan but make many others very happy); Jeff Mangum touring!
  • Indie rock’s global imprint increases: Canadians, Swedes, Icelanders and Australians are taking over the Indie-Realm. See Of Monsters and Men (ICE), Japandroids (CAN), Grimes (CAN), Purity Ring(CAN), First Aid Kit (SWE), Jens Lekman (SWE), Tallest Man on Earth (SWE), Niki & the Dove (SWE), Stars(CAN), Gotye (AUS), Carly Rae Jepsen (CAN)(okay only slightly kidding on this one).
  • Boys and girls still wait patiently for calls from the objects of their affection and pine with youthful optimism.
  • I’ve still never heard a song by Justin Bieber or One Direction.  Helps me keep my sanity.
  • Michael Angelakos’ honesty about dealing with mental illness and the need to share with both family and fans was brave, moving and inspiring. Click to the right and listen to Gossamer
  • Undiscovered home recordings can provide some genius inspiration for new and old. See Donnie & Joe Emerson’s Dreamin’ Wild (great for anyone stuck in that 1979 mind or your Uncle Rico)
  • Chicago’s best kept secret, The Numero Group, is releasing fabulous dusty grooves while very few people are paying attention.
  • Lots of really talented people really love (and demonstrated why) Philip Glass (is a genius).
  • And yet again, Bob Dylan is touring … all is right with the world.

Tomorrow… the albums that won my heart.

for now images from the shows below…

- a.a.

bruce↓Springsteen @ Wrigley↑

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the fabulous Kelly Hogan @ Hideout Block PartyIMG_8614

Wye Oak @ Hideout Block Party

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Alkaline Trio (with Fat Mike and daughter on shoulders wearing headphones stage left) @ Riot FestIMG_20120806_001701

Of Monsters and Men @ Double DoorIMG_20121202_234557

Patrick Watson @ Lincoln HallIMG_8528

Death Cab for Cutie @ the Chicago Theatre

shallow diver

Shallow Diver @ Phyllis’ Musical InnIMG_8662

Cloud Nothings @ WBEZ StudioIMG_8692

Julia Holter @ SchubasIMG_20120723_003256

Kelly Hogan @ the Hideout

hasta mañana

Block & Riot!!! Weekend (Festival Playlists)

…it’s Wednesday and either the week is dragging or the anticipation for the weekend is building.  The latter here.  To help through the Wednesday doldrums and get you excited for the weekend, I’m sharing two playlists of varying styles:  Roots/Folk Rock (for the pensive) and Punk Rock (for the antsy).  I’m both.  Further explanation(s) below.

Hideout Block Party : Saturday, September 15th 

At the intersection of Elston and Wabansia nestled within Chicago’s Industrial Corridor, you will find the Hideout, home to one of Chicago’s most intimate musical performance spaces and a recurring set of killer dance parties.  Spilling out from the confines of the bar, the Hideout Block Party is one of the best weekends of live and family oriented music.  With each passing year, the Block Party draws more impressive acts, but it always makes sure to showcase local musicians.  This year is no exception with the phenomenal Kelly Hogan (who I gush about with regularity) and the up and coming Wild Belle.  Of course, the piece de resistance is none other than Chicago’s finest, although they now belong to the world without any reservations, Wilco. 

Playlist: to get you excited for Saturday’s lineup

Listen to this mix → HideoutBlockParty

Note on playlist:  I recommend setting it to shuffle as the list is ordered according to Saturday’s lineup.

Saturday’s Hideout Lineup (with bands I’m seeing in Bold)

2:00pm Kelly Hogan

3:00pm The Corin Tucker Band

4:00pm Wild Belle

5:00pm Wye Oak

6:00pm Lee Fields & The Expressions

7:30pm Wilco

 

Riot Festival (Chicago):  Sunday, September 16th (at Humboldt Park)

I have already written with some frequency about this event and the numerous bands playing at this festival (and two posts are still forthcoming).  So why am I bothering you again?  Is this some effort at musical bludgeoning?  Hmm… thought hadn’t occurred to me.  Fitting as Gwar will be playing the event.  In any event, I wanted to share a mix/playlist of the bands for Sunday’s performance.  Even if you are not attending the Fest (located in the West Side’s Humboldt Park), you might enjoy this mix containing a collection of my favorite tunes from Elvis Costello, Alkaline Trio, Iggy and the Stooges, Promise Ring, NOFX, Less Than Jake and more.

Playlist: For some energy and aggression (and Punkish pining)

Listen to this → RiotFestPlaylist 

Note on playlist:  I also recommend setting this to shuffle as the list is in alphabetical order.

Sunday’s RiotFest Lineup (with bands I’m seeing in Bold) (Map of Stages here.)

1:00 pm               Reverend Horton Heat (Roots Stage)

1:40 pm              Less Than Jake (Riot Stage)

2:20 pm             The Promise Ring (Roots)

3:00 pm                Built to Spill (Riot)

3:40 pm             NOFX (Roots)

4:40 pm             Jesus & Mary Chain (Riot)

5:25 pm             Elvis Costello & The Imposters (Roots)

6:25 pm             Alkaline Trio (Riot)

7:25 pm               Gogol Bordello (Roots)

8:25 pm             Iggy And The Stooges (Riot)

 Also, both festivals have additional dates for information on:

  • Friday’s Hideout bands and times go here 
  • Friday’s Riot bands and times go here
  • Saturday’s Riot Fest bands and times go here. 

live long and prosper,

a.a.

Listen to Live Music: 2012 Fall Tours!!!

A second but short post to just bring to your attention all the great tours that will be coming through the U.S. in the fall.  Check the “Upcoming Shows” menu at the top of the site for information on who, when and where.

As always links are provided for national tour dates and Chicago venues.  Also here is just a short list to get you excited of some bands on tour:

Are We Too Old For This? Nope. But it sure would be nice if people acted with more courtesy: thoughts on concert-going while watching Of Monsters & Men + the Jezabels*

*No, this is not my attempt at writing a Wordsworthian title.  Ed.’s Note 8.7, on second thought, Fiona Apple would be the more apt analogy.

It’s been some time since I’ve written about a show that I’ve attended. An oversight on my part given that I’ve seen some really fabulous artists perform at some really excellent venues over the past month, including, but not limited to, Wilco & Andrew Bird at the Kane County Cougars’ Baseball Stadium (#Via(SweetHome)Chicago), Explosions in the Sky at the Chicago Theater (#mindblowing), and Kelly Hogan at the Hideout (#singerswoon). All were worthy of a more extended recap but sometimes other things get in the way.

Last night was most definitely worth recounting and recording for both the sweet and the bitter. Before proceeding to the description and thoughts, here’s a short playlist of the two bands I saw last night, in case you haven’t already encountered them before.

The Jezabels and Of Monsters and Men Mini-Playlist

Hayley Mary (of the Jezabels) getting it going

Let’s start with the basics…

Date & Location: Sunday August 5th @ the Double Door, Chicago, IL, 10pm

Bands: The Jezabels and Of Monsters and Men (“OMAM”)

Event: *Free post-Lollapalooza after-show*

Now, if you are reading closely and/or have been to events of this nature, you’ll know that “free” is always nice, but it means lining up early to guarantee entry. I managed to scuttle myself into line around 9pm (quite easy given that the venue is three blocks down the street) at which point there was already a rather lengthy stream of hopeful attendees. (For those following at home and familiar with some piece of Chicago (film) lore, you’ve actually seen the interior of the Double Door if you’ve watched High Fidelity; it’s in the closing sequence: the scene of the “CD Release Party”/Jack Black band, Sonic Death Monkey, cover of “Let’s Get It On”.)

As always, the individuals in line provided a great deal of conversation and entertainment starting with the kid from Memphis asking about the existence of the Chicago “House” scene (largely extinct since the late 90s) and discussing it’s vibrancy in Memphis (road trip anyone?); the band from LA out for Lolla and a Wedding (check them out here; haven’t listened yet but they were very nice and earnest, I appreciate that); the mother and son from Pittsburgh who had also flown out for Lolla, looked exhausted, and left after waiting in line for an hour (quit while you are ahead?!?), and the countless individuals who tried cutting into the line with the “oh really the line goes all the way back there?” [vocal pitch increasing with each new word]. (If you were from another planet and didn’t understand sarcasm, you would attend a concert and believe that most humans, or American kids at the very least, were daft. Little would you know how sneaky they can be!).  Oh and of course who can forget the sexagenarian Tintin-look-a-like minus Snowy, but accoutered with ascot and satchel (!), riding an old-fashioned (1940s era) moto-bike (!!) with side-car (!!!), and offering rides to “your destination for a small donation”? I can’t make this up people; my mind isn’t as fecund as the real world.

According to “word on the street” doors were opening at 10…. and, 10 came and went with little movement. In the meantime, the Blue Line kept dropping hordes of people fresh from Grant Park (home of Lolla) and some finagled their way into the line ahead of us. I guess they sent out advance scouts. Then, suddenly, as though the Red Sea had parted, there was a steady stream of footsteps at which I exclaimed “Exodus!” The people surrounding me didn’t get my reference, in fact their gaze could have been described as befuddled and confused (or perhaps they were high and frightened that I was reading their minds). Fortunately my friend Gaby understood where I was going with my (possibly) ill-suited quip. Do people really not listen to Marley anymore? Or, perhaps, we were displaying our age relative to our fellow concert-goers. (Gaby was also the only other person who knew who Tom Verlaine of Television was. Seriously, kids these days need a primer on 70s music. Parents and siblings your work is cut out for you. I’ll send you a mixtape if necessary.) Despite my resignation that we’d be unable to enter based on capacity, not only did we manage to get in, we walked through the doors just as the Jezabels were about to begin and we ended up about 7 feet from the front, using my patented “Getting-to-the-Front-of-the-Stage-Technique”—all rights reserved. (For the record it doesn’t involve pushing and/or pretending to “find your friends” but recognizing that people tend to congregate and meander in the same spots, leading to openings and inefficiencies of spatial allocation; a sort of a Moneyball approach to concert going.)

Platonic Ideal of a Rock’N’Roll Animal

The Jezabels (of Australia) were awesome. The lead singer channels Pat Benatar at the height of her career with a booming and majestic voice and the aesthetic of Karen O mixed with Souxise (of the Banshees fame). Since the last time I saw them in 2010, their sound has become fuller and more refined. They fulfill a certain tinge of 80s Brit-Aussie Pop nostalgia: the dance-ability of bands like Men At Work, Madness, and Big Audio Dynamite with a decidedly more 80s New York Rock feel. For those who were plugged into their set (a small handful of us), it was the perfect late Sunday night rock-dance party.

Of Monsters and Mirthful Madness

Of Monsters and Men came on and the crush began. Before turning to general reflections about the “crowd”, this Icelandic septet (by my count) are as skilled a live band as they are on album. Although the initial mix sounded muddled (too much bass to my novice ears), by the third song the sound engineer and band were in full swing, bringing their mix of up-beat gypsy folk rock to the music hungry youths (and elders) of the Double Door. From the outset, it was evident that OMAM was thrilled and ecstatic to be playing despite what I can only imagine was a long day, a hefty time difference, and a 12:15 a.m. start. Also, these Icelanders know how to work a crowd, unafraid to instigate extended and extensive use of hand clapping and sing-a-alongs. For the folks who don’t like to be a part of the show, then this isn’t your scene, but for the rest of us it’s like what Belinda Carlisle sang so many years ago. In short, the set was a perfect sweat and dance fest to end the weekend. (Even for those of us who didn’t and don’t do Lollapalooza.)

Not to distract from the brilliance of OMAM, but I found myself for not the first time in the past year lamenting the absence of the old front of house/show dance pits. Why? Weren’t those replete with young male aggression and physical violence? In certain establishments where the crowd and venue weren’t vigilant, things did disintegrate into “pandemonium” and really despicable behavior. But, when I attended shows in the early and late 90s, there was still a code of decorum and ethics about the front of stage area that encouraged and fostered a pleasant and mirthful space for the people who wanted to dance and be part of the show. Now, I understand people enjoy music in different manners, and not everyone feels like dancing. I respect that. However, I don’t quite understand the sentiment. Since a very early age, music has always moved me, and if a beat is “right”, my hips and legs are shaking. But I’m digressing, this is not a discussion about dance habits, sorry, let’s get back to the topic at hand: my longing for the equality of opportunity represented by the dance pits back in the day as well as a general lack of respect for fellow concert-goers.

So, what is missing these days? Well, let me list my grievances ;)

Grievance Zero: Respect The People Around You; Don’t Act Entitled

The unacknowledged code and/or understanding of the dance pit/front of stage back in my day was that (a) if you wanted to dance you just joined in, (b) you held your spot as long as you didn’t leave, (c) you minimized unnecessary “contact” or “objects” in the dance space and (d) you were totally invested in the actual show. What you didn’t do? Slowly slither your way between groups when they were dancing, say “my friend” is at the front when they aren’t, or push through the crowd irrespective of people’s personal space and thinking only of yourself. Concerts are a communal experience with some unspoken rules and codes of respect. Enjoy yourself but always think about the consequences of your actions and others.

A couple of shots of OMAM a show is cool

Grievance the First: Photos/Cameras

I have nothing against people wanting to capture the moment. Clearly this post contains snapshots taken during the show – see to the right. A couple of photos a show are cool and a nice memento. However, there is a difference between one or two snapshots per act and a continuous series of photos and/or video recording. (Who are you, D.A. Pennebaker?)  Constant photo-taking or videotaping interrupt the ability for people around you to enjoy the show by adding a distracting glow and blocking views of the stage.  Also, why isn’t dancing and watching a sufficient way of enjoying the show? I love the ways in which social media and the internet connect and educate people, however, the inability to not constantly share or be “in the moment” (however hippie it might sound) is A HUGE problem affecting many folks these days.  I don’t think this is purely a generational thing, even though the younger set fall prey to it more than the rest, but its not entirely their fault, they’ve learned by (a) example and/or (b) the lack of counterexample. Parents (and their friends) listen to CSN&Y and teach your children well.

Grievance the Second: Large Bags/Purses.

Look, as someone who rides his bike to many shows, I often bring a messenger bag with me to most shows. However, when I am at the venue, I either check the bag and/or find a nice coat hook to hold it for me. I encourage others to do the same because large bags filled with non-cushioned items tend to hurt quite a bit. This show in particular was quite a claustrophobic event to begin with, tight and compact spaces with limited room for movement and only the smallest of dancing. Now, add to this the fact that the three attendees surrounding me had large bags that kept stabbing me repeatedly no matter whatever adjustment I made and it felt like I was Leia, Luke, Chewy and Han in the garbage compactor on the Death Star. There was no escape and this morning some bruises. Decorum you are our only hope.

Grievance the Third: Beer/Drink Runs.

Far be it from me to tell anyone how much and/or when to drink. I am no moralist or regulator. However, if you leave near the end of a show to get drinks, tell the people around you that you are coming back. It is a commonly understood “concert code” that if you leave late in a set, you’ve conceded your spot in the crowd unless you tell your fellow concert-goers and friends that you will be returning. And, it is also acceptable and understood to take a bathroom break, whenever necessary, but again let others know. What you don’t do is return with drinks in hand, splashing, pushing and acting like someone has grievously harmed you. In my experience, most people are pretty considerate when you actually ask them to hold your spot/space.

Grievance the Fourth: Tall Dudes to the Back or Sides, Please.

If you are over 6 feet, it is likely that you will be able to see the show quite well from almost any spot in the venue. However, if you stand near the front, your “shadow” looms large and you will block many a person around you. Perhaps, if you are trying to get close to the front of the stage you should consider the wings. Not an ideal location for sound quality, but you’d be doing the rest of us/the small people a real favor. It isn’t too much to ask really. Most of my concert-going male friends are over 6 feet – I live in the Midwest, they grow them pretty tall here – and we routinely find locations on audience right or left so as to limit the amount of people they block. And, even though I’m a lowly 5’8″, I always look around to make sure I’m not blocking any folks behind me. Be considerate and thoughtful. It goes a long way.

Exit Stage Left (or quickest exit available)

I will stop my rant now and return to the regularly scheduled programming. But, I just ask that you consider some of these little observations, and by all means feel free to share.

Art should not have “rules and regulations” and people should be able to enjoy things as they see fit. I hope I am not being fascistic in my thoughts and observations. I just believe that at times folks forget to consider other people. To maximize, everyone’s enjoyment it helps when people act with a modicum of respect and understanding. Otherwise, we will prove Hobbes right, and the art/concert venue will devolve into “the war of all against all” and we don’t want that do we?

Climbing down from his soapbox,

a.a.

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