Rocket To L.A.
Music festivals tend to have an air of inclusion, a come-one come-all embrace that promises big-name acts and a sprinkling of enticing openers. Riot Fest, since its 2004 Chicago debut, has been different. This isn’t to say it’s exclusionary or private, but it’s punk rock by and for punk rockers. Headliners such as [...]
Fusion In D-Minor
There’s bit of the angel and the devil to acclaimed, Chicago native Christopher O’Riley. On one hand, there’s the Van Cliburn-prize finalist, classical pianist recorder/performer, and 10-year host of NPR’s highly rated show, “From The Top”; O’Riley’s the championed poster child (if not savior) of classical music in the modern era. On the [...]
The Old Switcheroo
Don’t judge a man by his ringtone. While Karl Denson may pull down the funkiest riffs on the sax and flute (take that, Ian Anderson) this side of a Tarantino flick, his main connection to the outside world alerts him of incoming calls with the fervor of a Kenny G track.
Appearing: Saturday, October [...]
Alive With The Glory Of Love
For awhile there, it seemed like Max Bemis might just end up as pop punk’s permanent and resident trainwreck. Diagnosed with bi-polar disorder following the release of his band Say Anything’s 2004 breakthrough release . . . Is A Real Boy (J), Bemis’ story became one of drugs and hospitals, [...]
In The Belly Of The Thirsty Whale
It was more than 20 years ago that I last set foot inside the Thirsty Whale. The band was Holland, on the eve of their Atlantic Records release, Little Monsters. Former B’zz singer Tommy Holland had assembled a new outfit, and I was excited to see what they were [...]
The Thirsty Whale Reunion
All The Whale Memories Unfit To Print
Joe Cantafio: “We were so young. I was the old guy at 19, but my brother and two of the other guys were 16 in the band, performing at the Whale and nobody knew it, nobody knew they were that young. And that was the thing. [...]
Q&A With Nils Lofgren
IE: What are you doing in your spare time?
Nils Lofgren: Just relax for awhile until I get back to my next action, probably a solo album for next year, get some more beginner lessons [online] for my guitar school. I just found out I like to teach and so many people think [...]
The Long Voyage Home
With cranky, indie curmudgeons berating us, we at IE developed a complex about some of the music we praised in the ’80s, but no more! Maybe it’s an empowerment from this month’s Thirsty Whale reunion or finally locating the courage to call Steve Albini a Mr. Meany Pants, we’re back to our [...]
The Wiitala Brothers
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Before we dig into influences and who brings what to the table, let’s get one thing out of the way: Chicago’s Wiitala Brothers have not hitched their wagon to moniker-punctuation ‘09, a.k.a. the double “i” bands like Miike Snow and Sliimy. Maybe they’re Finnish (slick-skating defenseman Janne Niinimaa comes [...]
Zoot Suit LG Guitar
Let’s face it, Gibson Guitars’ Zoot Suit SG maybe the ugliest guitar we’ve seen in the last several years. But sometimes ugly is cool. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies‘ leader Steve Perry has teamed up with the legendary manufacturer to take blame for this beauty. The Zoot Suit SG is a “guitar that’s made [...]
The name Neil Larsen might not immediately jump off the page to average music fans, but to those in the know, he’s a legendary keyboardist with credits on some 150 prominent albums. And he just so happens to be on one of this decade’s most anticipated tours, linking up with the legendary Leonard Cohen [...]
Walking On A Wire (1968-2009)
Somewhere early on in his career Richard Thompson got tagged as one of the great guitarists, but I’ve never thought it was true. He is an exceptional guitarist no doubt, but he is absolutely a great songwriter. And it’s great songs that last. There are 71 tracks – approximately [...]
Kid A/Amnesiac/Hail To The Thief
Where were you on October 3rd, 2000? Did you raise a glass to pop music as it tied a kerchief to a stick and set off down the tracks? Look around you now: Nothing has been the same since.
Local Band Reviews
Add American Draft to Chicago’s instrumental rock pedigree. The band’s second full-length release, the eight-track Hawk On Coachhouse, is like a less frenetic Mastodon minus the vocals. The title track showcases its multi-layered guitar attack, with variations on a soaring/airy riff. Harder-rocking tracks like “Diet Of Worms” and “Tree Of Woe” are at [...]
Steve Dahl unveiled his new weekday webcast September 8th (www.dahl.com), just after deadline time. The CBS Radio-sponsored show allows Dahl a chance to talk to his fans – something he hasn’t been able to do since CBS took him off WJMK-FM (104.3) late last year, and he won’t be able to return to the airwaves [...]