Chicago’s hometown heroes Wilco surprised the city and the world at large this month with a surprise drop of a completely free album of new material out of nowhere late on a Thursday night. Not only was the drop surprising, but so was the album title and design: named Star Wars which was certainly the result of some goofy late night conversation the band had, and it boasts a furry white cat and some flowers on the cover (which certainly will help them avoid any lawsuits from Disney). The band surprised further by boldly playing straight through their new album to start their set the night after its release at Pitchfork Music Festival, a move that baffled the general audience but went straight to the heart of Wilco diehards like myself. If that’s not enough surprise talk, the real honest surprise comes in the music itself: a distorted, noise rock album that channels Sonic Youth, T. Rex, and Velvet Underground more than the pleasant alt-country sound they are best known for. Continue reading “Wilco Review: Star Wars”
Pitchfork Music Festival is consistent festival gold in my opinion. Despite me not being able to make it Friday, a torrential downpour temporarily delaying the fest on Saturday, and almost being conned out of a ticket on Sunday, PMF 2015 was no exception. With me as always, was LxL’s own Wes (who was able to attend all three days), and another LxL regular/frequent festival coverage guru, Riley Johnson. We three squashed our mind grapes together, and this list is the winey result:
As the resident (and only) Wilco fan on this blog, I feel it’s my civic duty to bring you the Tweedy beat. What better way to do that than coverage of Jeff Tweedy (frontman of Wilco) and Spencer Tweedy ‘s (Jeff’s 18 year old son and drummer) interview and performance last night. The show was for Sound Opinions – one of the best radio shows/podcasts around – and took place at Lincoln Hall, certainly one of Chicago’s finest music establishments. Sound Opinions put on this event the day before the Pitchfork Music Festival last year with Savages and Parquet Courts (a one-two punch if there ever was one), and this year’s show was no slouch itself. Continue reading “Tweedy Show Review”
Philly indie rockers the War on Drugs admittedly hit my sweet spot when it comes to their sound: they create dreamy psychedelic rock with an Americana soul, sort of Wilco’s experimental side under a cloud of guitar haze. The band started out with 2008’s freewheeling Wagonwheel Blues, where they had fuzz-rocker Kurt Vile in their band as sort of a lo-fi Dylan-worshipping indie band. Since, Kurt Vile has left to do his own thing (which we have loved every minute of), and since the War on Drugs have gotten even more similar to Vile’s music: hazy, sonic explorations filled with atmospheric guitar, synth sounds, and front man Adam Granduciel’s wistful vocals. On their latest, Lost in the Dream, the band has never sounded so confident musically and anxious emotionally, making this a thrilling and wistful ride. Continue reading “The War on Drugs Review: Lost in the Dream”
Bonnaroo 2013 was quite the success. This is my fifth year attending what I believe to be America’s greatest music festival, and out of those five years, 2013 goes down as my favorite thus far. This is even aside from the fact I had to miss the entirety of Sunday, a day I know I would have enjoyed immensely, due to a work conflict. A lot of things fell into place very well this year. A great crew of friends, incredibly high caliber acts, a conducive schedule for my taste, more alcohol than I should have consumed, and some of the best collaborations I have ever seen. Paul McCartney shined as an untouchable legend, R Kelly reigned down from the heavens, and artists collaborated with each other in ways that I could never have imagined.
As our first recap, I decided to give a full, but quick breakdown of everything I saw last weekend. This is modeled after a successful post written by a fallen member of past Roo crews that could not be in attendance this year. Wes helped cover the acts I missed due to either physical or even mental absence. I don’t know what set me back more this year, work or whiskey. Anyways, onto the breakdown:
Retro rock and roll that will groove into your soul.