Top 50 Albums Of 2014

December 22, 2014 Leave a comment

rock-music copy

50.Bombay Bicycle Club-So Long, See You Tomorrow

49. Ex Hex-Rips

48. Christopher Owens-A New Testament

47. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib-Piñata

46. Steve Dawson-Funeral Bonsai Wedding

45. Frontier Ruckus-Sitcom Afterlife

44. Kitten-Self-Titled

43. Briar Rabbit-From Your Bones

42. Isaiah Rashad-Cilvia Demo

41. Ariel Pink-Pom Pom

40. Ought-Once More With Feeling

39. Ultimate Painting-Ultimate Painting

38. Wu-Tang Clan-A Better Tomorrow

37. Curtis Harding-Soul Power

36. Cousin Dud-The Faded

35. Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes-Kid Tiger

34. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers-Hypnotic Eye

33. Royal Blood-Royal Blood

32. Actress-Ghettoville

31. Sir Sly-You Haunt Me

30. The Wind & The Wave-From The Wreckage

29. Nick Thorburn-Music From SERIAL

28 J. Cole-2014 Forest Hills Drive

27. Sons Of An Illustrious Father-“No Mercy/Loveletting” “Very Few Dancers/Strange Home

26. La Roux-Trouble In Paradise

25. Schoolboy Q-Oxymoron

24. We Were Promised Jetpacks-Unravelling

23. Honeyblood-Honeyblood

22. Shakey Graves-And The War Came

21. Tweedy-Sukierae

20. Shovels And Rope-Swimmin’ Time

19. Willis Earl Beal-Experiments In Time

18. Andrew Jackson Jihad-Christmas Island

17. Perfume Genius-Too Bright

16. Blake Mills-Heigh Ho

15. Benjamin Booker-Benjamin Booker

14. First Aid Kit-Stay Gold

13. Hurray For The Riff Raff-Small Town Heroes

12. Shabazz Palaces-Lese Majesty

11. Angel Olsen-Burn Your Fire For No Witness

10. Beck-Morning Phase

9. D’Angelo & The Vanguard-Black Messiah

8. St Vincent-St Vincent

7. Conor Oberst-Upside Down Mountain

6. Slothrust-Of Course You Do

5. Prince/3rd Eye Girl-PlectrumElectrum/Art Official Age

4. Run The Jewels-RTJ2

3. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz-Tyranny

2. Spider Bags-Frozen Letter

1. Flying Lotus-You’re Dead!

Categories: Music Review

(Kari’s) Top Concert Photos Of 2014

December 17, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s been a great year, and between Kari and I we’ve taken probably tens of thousands of photos at concerts and festivals. Of those, about ten of mine were good. Kari had a much higher quantity of great shots, which is probably why I just shoot occasionally and she shoots for Pop’Stache and Brooklyn Vegan, as well as for this little site. Here are her picks for her best work this year.

Shabazz Palaces at Lincoln Hall

Shabazz Palaces at Lincoln Hall

Jeff Tweedy at The Riviera

Jeff Tweedy at The Riviera

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien at Block 37

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien at Block 37

Jeff Tweedy at The Riviera

Jeff Tweedy at The Riviera


Del Tha Funkee Homosapien at Block 37

Kendrick Lamar at Pitchfork

Kendrick Lamar at Pitchfork

Peter Dreimanis of July Talk at Toronto Urban Roots Festival

Peter Dreimanis of July Talk at Toronto Urban Roots Festival

Nils Edenloff of Rural Alberta Advantage at Metro

Nils Edenloff of Rural Alberta Advantage at Metro

Jenny Lewis at Toronto Urban Roots Festival

Jenny Lewis at Toronto Urban Roots Festival

Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels And Rope at Toronto Urban Roots Festival

Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels And Rope at Toronto Urban Roots Festival

Elizabeth Lindau of Canasta at House Of Blues

Elizabeth Lindau of Canasta at House Of Blues

Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls at Pitchfork

Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls at Pitchfork

Ryan Tibbs of Vintage Blue

Ryan Tibbs of Vintage Blue

Benny Bassett of Vintage Blue

Benny Bassett of Vintage Blue

Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy at Pitchfork

Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy at Pitchfork

St. Vincent at Pitchfork

St. Vincent at Pitchfork

Beck at Pitchfork

Beck at Pitchfork

Beck at Pitchfork

Beck at Pitchfork

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event at The Vic

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event at The Vic

Top 10 Concerts Of 2014

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f75/21987375/files/2014/12/img_1714.jpgWe’re not quite to the end of 2014, but my concert calendar is empty and I don’t plan on hitting any more shows. It’s been a great year, with lots of big acts making their way through Chicago. Some smaller acts make the list as well, but in my mind they should be way more popular so consider this a heads up: If you aren’t already listening to them, you should be.

Side note: Four of these videos were shot by me, and one features me for a brief moment. Can you guess which ones are which?

10. Cage The Elephant At JBTV 8/1/2014
9. Wilco At The Riviera 12/11/14

8. Deltron 3030 At Block 37 8/2/2014

7. Jameson Presents The Best Fest, Pettyfest At Metro 4/23/2014

6. Blake Mills At Mayne Stage 9/28/2014

5. Beck At Pitchfork 7/18/2014

4. Josh Ritter At City Winery

3. Justin Timberlake At United Center 2/16/2014

2. Run The Jewels At Lacuna Lofts

1. Stevie Wonder At United Center 11/14/2014

Top 10 Local Releases Of 2014 (Chicago)

December 13, 2014 Leave a comment

10. The Damn Choir-Creatures Of Habit

9. NE-HI by NE-HI

8. Bummer-Bummer

7. Twin Peaks-Wild Onion

6. Michele McGuire-Off The Wagon

5. Martin Van Ruin-Every Man A King

4. Flesh Panthers-S/T

3. Axons-Unmanageable

2. Empires-How Good Does It Feel

1. Archie Powell & The Exports-Back In Black

Top 50 Songs Of 2014

December 12, 2014 Leave a comment

singing-in-car copy

We’re down to the last couple weeks of the year, and I don’t see anything on the horizon that’s gonna blow me away (even if Yeezy does decide to drop his new album before the new year, I probably won’t care). This was a tough year for ranking songs, with no real clear number one. The difference between my top 1-5 songs is negligible. The list is a very of-the-moment kind of thing, with some fluidity from top to bottom as to which I prefer at any given time. There is one song that isn’t available on Spotify so I didn’t include it here: “Loveletting” by Sons Of An Illustrious Father. Go find it if you can-totally worth a quick look. Hope you enjoy! Looking forward to another great year in 2015!

(This list starts at 50 and works down to number 1. Pay no attention to the track numbers.)

50. Why I Wait-Kitten

49. Out Of The Black-Neneh Cherry (Featuring Robyn)

48. Nothing Better-Tangerine

47. Stone’s Throw-Shareef Ali

46. Put Your Number In My Phone-Ariel Pink

45. These Lips-The Smittens

44. Party Line-Belle & Sebastian

43. Blue Moon-Beck

42. Crockpot-Slothrust

41. Collard Greens-Schoolboy Q (Featuring Kendrick Lamar)

40. Got It All-Michele McGuire

39. Severed Crossed Fingers-St. Vincent

38. Ready/Set-Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes

37. Did I Ever Love You?-Leonard Cohen

36. From The Night-Stars

35. Cherry Licorice-The Felice Brothers

34. Really Wanna See You-Lydia Loveless

33. Right Time-Nikki Lane

32. Bothered No More-Briar Rabbit

31. Getting Naked, Playing With Guns-Andrew Jackson Jihad

30. Artifact #1-Conor Oberst

29. The Heart It Beats, The Thunder It Rolls-The Wind + The Wave

28. i-Kendrick Lamar

27. Have You Seen My Son-Benjamin Booker

26. Goshen ’97-Strand Of Oaks

25. Keep On Shining-Curtis Harding

24. Summer of ’79-Spider Bags

23. Ten-Ultimate Painting

22. Fire Squad-J. Cole

21. Super Rat-Honeyblood

20. 0 To 100/The Catch Up-Drake

19. Kiss And Not Tell-La Roux


17. Blind Faze-TOPS

16. Ruckus In B Minor-Wu Tang

15. Low Key-Tweedy

14. Dress It Up, Better Have It All-Bob Dylan & The Band

13. Master Pretender-First Aid Kit

12. American Dream Plan B-Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

11. Dead Man’s Tetris-Flying Lotus


9. Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)-Run The Jewels (Featuring Zach De La Rocha)

8. Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me-Blake Mills

7. I Know It’s Wrong (But That’s Alright)-Hurray For The Riff Raff

6. Dearly Departed-Shakey Graves

5. Human Sadness-JC+The Voidz

4. Water Fountain-tUnE-yArDs

3. Uptown Funk-Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars

2. Evil-Shovels & Rope

1. Queen-Perfume Genius

Categories: Music Review Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wilco Winterlude Night 5: 12/11/2014

December 12, 2014 1 comment

Here’s a silly thing I thought of as the concert came to a close last night: “The show began with the smoldering, quiet intensity of Benedict Cumberbatch and ended with the rollicking energy you’d expect from early 80’s Robin Williams.” Oddly, I feel like that describes it pretty well.

Night 2 of Wilco’s 6-night stand at The Riviera was a treasure trove of rarities mostly from the band’s early days. Night 5 was a complete 180, featuring crowd-pleasers from beginning to end. The audience was way more into the set, and hardly took the time to chat amongst themselves during songs.

They opened with a brilliant rendition of “Sunken Treasure.” Nels was highlighted often during the first few songs, especially his lap steel work during the breakdown of this first song. Like that other show we attended, this one started off with some slower, more intricate tracks. Unlike that show, last night’s set kept getting bigger and bigger. There was the occasional deep cut, like “Blasting Fonda,” but mostly they stuck to the hits-albeit in alternate versions.

For example, “Camera” took on a drum-heavy industrial feel with Jeff’s vocals playing second fiddle to the guitar work of Pat and Nels. Jeff pointed out that their performance of “Panthers” on this night was a repeat (they also played it on Saturday), but this one featured Glenn playing with casual detachment, and Pat was thinking about Christmas. It was revealed that Mikael Jorgenson is actually a robot, so he plays the same every night no matter what. Jeff referred to the animatronic Chuck E. Cheese Band or the Country Bears as a reference for Mikael’s playing style.

The biggest surprise of the night may have been the version of “Born Alone” they played. I would have never expected that song to get such a huge applause from the crowd, but they played it like a huge arena rock jam and the crowd ate it up. Between that and the sing-a-long on “Hummingbird,” this may have been the best crowd I’ve seen Wilco with.

They ended the show with four acoustic numbers. Jeff and John on guitar, Nels on a lap steel, Pat on banjo, Glenn with just a snare and brushes…not sure what Mikael was playing. Looked like a melodica, but it was probably just a tiny keyboard or synth. You couldn’t really hear it from where I was, way in the back.

It was another great Wilco show, which at this point is the least surprising thing ever. The band never disappoints and I never tire of seeing them play.

Sunken Treasure
In A Future Age
Remember The Mountain Bed
Handshake Drugs
Why Would You Wanna Live?
Pick Up The Change
Magazine Called Sunset
Blasting Fonda
Should’ve Been In Love
Born Alone
Poor Places
Either Way
Hotel Arizona
Everlasting Everything
California Stars
I’m Always In Love
Casino Queen
Outta Mind (Outtasite)

Hoodoo Voodoo
Dreamer In My Dreams

Encore 2:
Someone Else’s Song (acoustic)
Airline To Heaven (acoustic)
Whole Love (acoustic)
Shot In The Arm (acoustic)

Top 10 Moments In Music 2014

December 9, 2014 Leave a comment

10. Lorde’s Identity Is Revealed And She’s Actually Randy Marsh.

9. U2 Put An Album In My iTunes, And Apple Made An Update To Take It Off

8. Keira Knightley Can Sing?

7. Justin Timberlake Making A Run For The Border After His People’s Choice Award WinIMG_1575.JPG

6. Jay Z and Solange Fight In An Elevator-FINALLY a reason to bring up Beyoncé

5. The Roots Ride Dr Demon’s Free Fall At Universal Studios Orlando

4. Bruce Springsteen Inducts The E Street Band

3. The Greatest Music Video Of All-Time Debuts

2. Lorde Takes Diplo To Task On TwitterIMG_1571.PNG

1. Yusuf/Cat Stevens Returns At Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Ceremony


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