Monday, June 29, 2009

Never Say Never

"Some things we don't talk about
better do without
just hold a smile
we're falling in and out of love
the same damn problem
together all the while"

So true, my friend...

The Fray might be on the border of pop & rock, but they sure make damn beautiful music.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Hold Steady - Round 4

It just never gets old. My partner in crime and I have both been beyond excited for the Hold Steady show that took place this past Sunday at the Taste of Randolph. It was inserted into our Outlook calendars back in April and when it goes into Outlook...consider it done. This was my first experience with this particular street fest, but by the time I arrived at Randolph & May the food vendors had deserted their booths and the only bit of sustenance left to purchase was Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy ale. We grabbed our beers and made our way to the stage that was perfectly situated with a great view of the Chicago skyline. When the Hold Steady finally took the stage we had maneuvered our way near the front and were ready for the dance party to begin. The set consisted of a nice mix of their past three albums, but a few of the highlights were presented in the form of a couple of brand new songs that have yet to be released. I, of course, bounced along to "Chips Ahoy" and "Sequestered in Memphis", but the best part about this outdoor show was the fantastic weather which gave me a glimpse of hope for the remainder of the summer. I'm sick of this rain, Chicago! We could all use a bit more sunny skies and hard rock in our lives.

*The Hold Steady photography by Nick Gerber (Thanks G!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lolla Lineup

The lineup has officially been released so now all us can begin making plans for our "dream schedule" for those 3 humid days in August. I thought I would share....just in case you were curious.

Friday, August 7
12:15pm - Manchester Orchestra
2:00pm - Gaslight Anthem
3:00pm - Heartless Bastards
4:00pm - Ben Folds
5:00pm - Fleet Foxes
6:00pm/6:30pm - The Decemberists / Thievery Corporation / Peter Bjorn and John (tie!)
8:15pm - Kings of Leon

Saturday, August 8
2:30pm - Los Campesinos!
3:30pm - Gomez
4:30pm - Arctic Monkeys / Coheed and Cambria
5:30pm - Santigold
6:30pm - TV on the Radio
7:30pm - Ben Harper
8:30pm - Beastie Boys

Sunday, August 9
12:30pm - Friendly Fires / Ra Ra Riot
2:15pm - Cage the Elephant
2:30pm - Kaiser Chiefs / The Airborne Toxic Event
3:30pm - The Raveonettes
4:30pm - Vampire Weekend
5:00pm - Passion Pit
5:30pm - Cold War Kids
7:30pm - Band of Horses
8:30pm - Jane's Addiction / The Killers (it's a toss up)

If I could offer up one suggestion for a potential Lolla concert-goer it would be to put your hard earned cash into a Sunday ticket and call it a day. See you there!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Music Fix - Company of Thieves

It seems to be the one album that stays on repeat in my iTunes music library this minute. Company of Thieves recently broke out into the semi-mainstream scene with their first single, "Oscar Wilde", but it was their acoustic recordings that really caught my attention. It's upbeat, it's earthy, and it sure is catchy. This trio from Chicago, IL may be relatively new, but apparently their following is strong and constantly growing...especially in the Windy City. Company of Thieves last appearance in Chicago at the Bottom Lounge was crowded and a rowdy group of supporters made for a fantastic show. Their upcoming show on July 26th at the Wicker Park Fest should not be missed. It combines my two favorite things (outdoor shows and fried food/beer) plus the tickets are only $5 (suggested donation). How can you pass up such a deal?

Download it: "In Passing (Acoustic) / "Quiet on the Front" / "Oscar Wilde"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Get It While It's Hot

Not only it is true that I love music, but I especially love it when that music is free. When I first heard that The Hush Now's album was available as a free download on their website ( I was a bit skeptical. What band would be willing to put their latest album out for free? Would it even be any good?

Radiohead recently succeeded in skyrocketing their latest release, In Rainbows, to the top of the charts with their "name your own price" tactic on their website, but seriously...they are RADIOHEAD. The Hush Now were able to capture the attention of the independent charts with their dreamy list of tracks and powerful lyrics. The creation of the band was actually spurred by an accident of sorts. The lead singer, Noel Kelly, found himself face to face with the wall of a local church after he crashed his car while attempting to drive with a broken wrist. This near-death experience led to his move to Portland, Oregon where he began penning the self-titled album, The Hush Now. It just goes to show that you just never know when inspiration will hit you. Literally.

Download it: ....the entire album, it's free!
**A few personal favorites: "Traditions" / "Roleplay" / "Bedtime Stories"

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fly Me to the Moon

Tonight is the Prom. Seriously.

A close friend of mine is hosting a fantastic party at her apartment tonight and the Prom theme brought about a great discussion regarding music...specifically the perfect playlist for a night like this. Since our high school years revolved around the late 90's and early 2000's we were excited to revisit some of our favorites and hopefully inspire a few people in the crowd to slow dance.

Remember these goodies...

All My Life - KC & JoJo
Back at One - Brian McKnight
What a Girl Wants - Christina Aguilera
All the Small Things - Blink 182
Girl on TV - LFO
Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer
Slide - Goo Goo Dolls
Thank You - Dido
One Minute Man - Missy Elliott
One More Time - Daft Punk

I'm getting anxious just thinking about it. Now I just need to throw on my tiara, outdated prom dress, and toss my hair up in a fabulous updo. The real question is....who will be crowned king and queen?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Do-Division Street Fest

What could be better than hopping in a cab for a quick ride over to Division & Damen for my first street fest of the summer? Not much...I'm here to tell you. On Sunday night I ventured to Wicker Park for the Do-Division Street Fest and was greeted by hundreds (thousands?) of indie rock/hippie kids of all ages. The whole intent of this trip to the west neighborhood was very important. Ever since I began listening to the White Rabbits I promised myself that I could not miss them the next time they visit the Chi. True to the promises that I make to myself, I found myself scurrying around my apartment at 6:35pm on Sunday night after a long day at work, but at 6:40pm I was safely in a cab and well on my way.

The show started promptly at 7:00pm and you better believe that Cara, her newest boy, and myself were elbowing our way to the front at that point. Their set lasted about 40 minutes, but it was packed with drum & piano-heavy songs that kept everyone's heads moving. The energy seemed to build about 15 minutes into their set and soon the guys of the band had made many of the kids in the audience true believers in their music. Cara's boy was anticipating a rowdy version of "Percussion Gun", while I was hoping for "The Plot" to make an appearance on their abbreviated set list. We were both in luck.

If you ever get the chance to check out these young guys from Missouri then you are in for a real treat. They're easy on the eyes (that one's for you, ladies!) and their live show goes above and beyond any album they have recorded in the past couple of years. I didn't think it was possible, but I heard it with my own two ears.

For the next best thing you can check out their latest release, It's Frightening.

Download it: "Percussion Gun" / "The Plot" / "Kid on My Shoulders" / "They Done Wrong - We Done Wrong"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

I will be the first one to admit that MTV's The Hills is a pretty ridiculous show, but the entertainment value alone has drawn me in as an avid fan. I find myself cheering on LC, shooting dirty looks at Speidi, and wondering how often Justin Bobby actually showers. The show has always been a good reference for new(ish) music, but the Season 4 finale really took the cake. My absolute favorite band of the moment (the Born Ruffians) had a song featured in the final episode and my jaw literally dropped to the floor of my apartment when I recognized the quick beats of "Hummingbird" as Brody met Spencer for lunch. Wow...I need to get a life.

Download it: "Hummingbird"