Monday, November 17, 2014

Photos: Springtime Carnivore, Glass Lux at Thalia Hall, 10/30/14

WCR's Eliana Siegel caught Springtime Carnivore and Glass Lux recently at Thalia Hall, and got some photos from the show. Check out some of them below, and then head to the Saudade Photography Facebook page to see the full set.

Springtime Carnivore
Springtime Carnivore
Springtime Carnivore
Glass Lux
Glass Lux

Friday, October 31, 2014

Show review: tUnE-yArDs at the Vic, 10/22/14

By Melissa Bordeau

tUnE-yArDs opened last Wednesday's show at the Vic Theatre with "Rocking Chair," a track off the album Nikki Nack, released this Spring. Lead member, singer and drummer Merrill Garbus—along with dancing backup singers Jo Lampert and Abigail Nessen-Bengson—sang a cappella with just a few hand claps to accompany their gorgeous voices, making for a great way to start off the night.

During the next song, “Sink- O"— really cool track filled with jazz, hip-hop, and tribal elements—bassist Nate Brenner and newly-added percussionist Dani Markham joined on stage. Adding to the setup were two large eyeballs hanging on the wall above, a red sheet with more eyeballs running across the stage, and a colorful collection of clothes worn by the band. Garbus rocked a half-red, half-gold dress with spiked sleeves, Brenner a colorful striped tee, Markham a "Tarzan"-esque dress, and Lampert and Nessen-Bengson in contrasting black and white.

It was very pleasing and engaging for the eyes. The setting, music, and group of energetic, talented musicians resembled the scene in the movie "Hook," where the boys have an imaginary food fight throwing colorful splatters of food at each other. tUnE-yArDs' set and music felt that way. Chaotic, colorful beauty.

tUnE-yArDs live performance is very raw, transparent and welcoming. Garbus gives each one of her fans a chance to look into her artistic process, to step inside and watch something very intimate. She is organically creating her sounds right in front of the crowd, and that allows each performance to be unique. As she stated in a recent interview with Spin, “I don’t think the crowd knows this, but at any moment anything can go wrong.”

Unlike tUnE-yArDs 2012 Lollapalooza performance—where Garbus and Brenner were accompanied by two saxophonists and most of the show saw Garbus looping her songs—this tour for Nikki Nack has found Garbus trying something different. With this album she wanted to be more dance, more pop, but still remain loyal to the tUnE-yArDs sound. There is not as much looping, there are no saxophone players on stage—instead adding the incredible back up singers and additional percussionist.

But Garbus still used her looping expertise at the show to delight the audience while she played her older hits "Gangsta," "Bizness" and "Powa." These three songs got the most energy out of the crowd, with all of the Vic vibrating along with each and every word.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Preview: Springtime Carnivore at Thalia Hall, 10/30/14

By Eliana Siegal

The side project of Greta Morgan, Springtime Carnivore is an infectious one-lady band steeped in dreamy nostalgia. Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Morgan has been in bands for the past ten years, first founding The Hush Sound at sixteen and her sunny pop project, Gold Motel, in 2009. Long-time listeners will be delighted to find that Morgan has only gotten better with her latest project. The self-titled Springtime Carnivore LP – due out November 4th – effortlessly reflects the growth Morgan has achieved as an artist over the past years. Morgan's confidence is enchanting, and there's a wisdom in the music that makes her a joy to listen to.

Listening to the Springtime Carnivore LP is much like taking a trip back to the far-away past. Each song is a faded Polaroid picture, a moment preserved like a dried flower pressed between a hardback book. Opening your ears to the album sets all those memories free. Springtime Carnivore takes you back to all those days barefoot on heat-warmed pavement, and brings back to mind all those nights necking in parked cars underneath streetlights. Though on the surface this album contains shimmery gems of folk-pop, there is an underlying current of melancholy in many of the songs as well. Greta Morgan holds your hand and walks you back through the moments when you thought you were infinite, and stays there with you through the moments you realized you weren't.

Take a listen to the album here, and catch Springtime Carnivore live at Thalia Hall this Thursday, October 30 with Generationals and Glass Lux (more info and tickets here).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

P4K Picks: Pitchfork Music Festival Preview

Did you get your passes for the almost entirely sold out Pitchfork Music Festival yet?  Hopefully so because the line up this year is stacked.  Despite some unfortunate cancelled acts (RIP Death Grips and Get Well Soon Kathleen Hanna!) the mix of up and comers with some seriously solid old school headliners make this one of the most anticipated Chicago music festivals of the summer.  Happening THIS WEEKEND, July 18 - 20 down in Union Park, here's a few of our picks for "don't miss 'em" bands each day:

FRIDAY (7/18)

DEATH GRIPS - Well, Death Grips cancelled all their gigs and broke up via a note written on a napkin (RUDE) so there goes that.  At least they cancelled BEFORE their scheduled performance this year.  Oh well.  Definitely not still butthurt over this at all.  Nope.

The Haxan Cloak (5:15pm // Blue Stage) - I'm generally not one to recommend electronic acts (I prefer my musicians to actually play, you know, instruments) however, the dark and twisty instrumental soundscapes created by British musician and producer Bobby Krlic are incredibly seductive with a mix of haunting strings and heartbeat like percussions among the droning digital fuzz. This is not your usual thumping bass kind of electronic music.  He already played an entrancing evening set at Pitchfork Paris last winter, so it will be interesting to see how his set goes over before the sun goes down.

Giorgio Moroder (7:20pm // Red Stage) - Keeping with the electronic theme for Friday, sometimes there are just those once-in-a-lifetime performances you have to check out and 74-year-old (!!) Italian producer and musician Giorgio Moroder is one of them.  Disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder has been constructing synthwave vibes since the '60s and had a hand in producing music all over the past few decades, including the soundtrack for a little known gangster movie from the '80s called Scarface.  Bring your disco dance shoes for this one!

Beck (HEADLINER // 8:30pm // Green Stage) - OMFG Beck!  Morning Phase, Beck's most recent album released this past February, is VERY good, plus he will probably play his older crowd pleasers.  Just want to sing along to Devil's Haircut and Loser plz and thanx!!


Circulatory System (1:55pm // Blue Stage) - Make it an Elephant 6 Saturday!  Start off your Pitchfork on the early side with these long standing psych-rockers from Athens, GA to set the tone for the day.  They just released  a new LP Mosaics Within Mosaics a few weeks ago that had some input from NMH's Jeff Mangum and since they are playing later in the day is it too much to hope that the elusive Mangum might join Circulatory System on stage?

Cloud Nothings (3:20pm // Red Stage) - Noisy pop-punk rockers Cloud Nothings have been around for years but they always bring it when playing live. Veterans of the festival circuit these Cleveland dudes are just straight up fun.

tUnE-yArDs (5:15pm // Red Stage) - Merrill Garbus will almost certainly have a very danceable set with her unique brand of afrobeat-electro pop and her strong vocals. It's hard not to move around listening to tUnE-yArDs tunes and with her recent album Nikki Nack just out in May to follow up her hits from 2011 there will be plenty of material for her to work with for an upbeat joyful set.

St. Vincent (7:25pm // Red Stage) - If her set at Pitchfork is even half as good as her recent show at the Riv this past spring, this is definitely a set you shouldn't miss. Annie Clark is a fantastic performer as well as a talented musician and has yet to put out a bad album. She knows which songs her audience wants to hear and maybe if we're lucky she'll do her chill-bump inducing cover of Nirvana's Lithium.

Neutral Milk Hotel (HEADLINER // 8:30pm // Green Stage) - OMFG NMH!!  If you somehow missed them on their reunion tour this past fall/winter you are in for a real treat.  The best part of watching Jeff Mangum and friends is how much fun they have together on stage.  In The Aeroplane Over the Sea is an amazing album that has really held up over the years and Julian's singing saws are just plain old enchanting.

SUNDAY (7/20)

Perfect Pussy (1:55pm // Blue Stage) - We covered their very short show back in January and if you missed these rowdy noisy hardcore rockers from Syracuse consider rallying on Sunday morning and coming to Union Park a little early to catch a (hopefully) longer set to kick off the last day of the fest.

Deafheaven (2:30pm // Green Stage) - Depending on how long Perfect Pussy plays this time you may be able to catch their full set and then Deafheaven immediately afterwards on the Green Stage.  Deafheaven is about as metal as it gets at Pitchfork.  Described as "shoe-gazey black metal," Deafheaven definitely had the crowd going for a daytime set at NYC's Governor's Ball back in June and is more accessible to most Pitchfork fest goers than a lot of metal.  Sunday's early selections are pretty heavy so best bring earplugs if you can't handle it.

Earl Sweatshirt (3:20pm // Red Stage) - Take a break from the heavy and head over to what may be Earl Sweatshirt's last hip hop show for a while.  Although he recently cancelled the remainder of his tour due to extreme exhaustion, he did say he would still play Pitchfork as scheduled.

Slowdive (6:15pm // Green Stage) - This British shoegaze band has been around since 1989 but it was quite a surprise to see them on the lineup since the band pretty much broke up back in 1994 (they reunited in 2014 and recently announced they'll go on tour this fall).  There are a number of "blast from the past" performances this Pitchfork which works with the lineup quite well.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Show photos: Empires at Summerfest, 6/25/14

WCR's Eliana Siegal headed up to Milwaukee's Summerfest late last month to catch Chicago's Empires play the fest, and captured some photos of the performance. Check out a selection of the shots below, and take a look at the Saudade Photography Facebook page for more.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Tunes: Tutu & The Pirates - 'Trail of the Great White Beaver'

By Gene Wagendorf III 

Drop the needle on Trail of the Great White Beaver and, at first, you might think nothing has changed with local punk pioneers Tutu & The Pirates. Formed in 1977, the group's material was heavy on tongue-in-cheek, adolescent snottiness, crunchy riffs and driving, fist-pump inducing beats. Raw anthems like "I Wanna Be A Janitor" and "Anarchy, Man" showed off an eye for satire and a warped sense of humor that helped make Tutu outsiders in a local music landscape dominated by what we now call "classic rock."

Flip the calendar almost 40 years and the band's new album opens with the raucous, crude and ultimately hilarious rocker "Jerk It To Sleep." Delightfully perverted lyrics aside (I didn't wanna wake you up/Had to jerk it to sleep/But I needed to shake things up/And make a mess on my sheets/Ew...), the song sets the tone for Beaver with it's combination of derecho guitars, bludgeoning drums and Lil Richie Speck's ornery crooning. "Debbie Debbie Debbie (And Her) Prison Baby" follows with a buzzsaw riff and massive percussion- think an even more buoyant take on The Ramones' "Teenage Lobotomy."

Monday, June 23, 2014

Go To There: June 24 - 30

By Gene Wagendorf III   

Tuesday, June 24th: Young Distractions and Dead Sheriff at Double Door (8:15pm, 21+, $8)

Chicago's power-poppers Young Distractions are a band that follows in the footsteps of predecessors like Material Issue and Smoking Popes; hook-heavy rock 'n' roll littered with cathartic lyrics, white-hot guitar solos and a healthy dose of crunch. Singer Nico Deportago-Cabrera has a voice that sounds as good used for confessional story telling as it does during fits of punk defiance, and his bandmates form a tight rhythm section that's sure to have the audience bopping. Bluesy, grungy, kinda Pearl Jammy quartet Dead Sheriff open up, and will likely play some material from their forthcoming album Acoustic - Friends & Total Strangers, which seems to have a much folkier vibe than their previous work.

Wednesday, June 25th: Music. Defined. presents Ghostpal, Ariada and No Shoes at Empty Bottle (9pm, 21+, $5)

We ran a preview a few days ago, but in case you missed it, we still haven't changed our minds. You should spend your Wednesday night checking out Ghostpal, Ariada and No Shoes at The Bottle. Our friends over at Music. Defined. have put together this awesome bill featuring two dynamic, electrifying NYC bands alongside one of Chicago's finest indie/soul groups. For their parts, Ghostpal brings a sort of Sondre Lerche meets Of Montreal swoon and No Shoes gets a little bit psychedelic and a lotta bit algebraic. Not convinced? Check out the full preview here (streaming tunes included!) and then grab yourself that five-bone ticket.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Show preview: Ghostpal, Ariada and No Shoes at The Empty Bottle, 6/25

By Gene Wagendorf III

Our friends over at the excellent blog Music. Defined. have put together an awesome gig at The Bottle that will mark the first Chicago appearance by Brooklyn psych-soul outfit Ghostpal. Featuring former members of The Hysterics, Ghostpal blend influences like The Beatles, Sly Stone and Brian Wilson for a sound that's akin to Sondre Lerche singing songs written by Rufus Wainwright while backed by Of Montreal. That's a mish-mash of sounds I just threw at you, but the end result is anything but sloppy. Ghostpal's recently released record This Was Ghostpal is a devilishly seductive listen; a professionally executed, ridiculously infectious album that'll settle effortlessly into your personal playlist of favorites.

Also making the trip from New York is "post-apocalyptic pop" band No Shoes, who sound like a sandwich of Mines, MGMT, Animal Collective and Paper Mice. Another jumble, another fascinating result. Those sounds are all at work their cover of Basal Gang's "Sean The Paul," which starts off in a romp of Dionysian mischief with a twinkling hook, then grows these sort of nervey, math rock appendages that yank the song through a staccato jam. If that sounds like it'll be cool to see live, that's because it will, especially for only 5 fucking dollars.