Concert Review: Minami Deutsch, Kikagaku Moyo, November 19, Horseshoe Tavern

Posted on by Paul in Concerts | Leave a comment

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There’s always something special about seeing a band at the top of their game playing live – the interaction between band members with the ability to lock into a groove and jam at an almost telepathic level can make for an impressive show. And on Tuesday night at the Horseshoe, a packed house was treated to not one but two such performances courtesy of two acts from Japan – Minami Deutsch and Kikagaku Moyo.

First up was Minami Deutsch, whose name translates to “South Germany” – an apt name since the band is heavily inspired by the Krautrock sounds originated by acts such as Faust, Can, and Neu!

In concert, the band’s long, hypnotic jams alternated between a locked-in motorik groove and pure balls-to-the-wall guitar freak outs. Those were basically the band’s two main gears throughout their roughly 40 minute set, though they did find time for the odd exploratory psychedelic passage here and there.

It was a seriously beautiful performance. I came in as a curious admirer of what I’d heard from the band on record and came out a full on fan.

Following Minami Deutsch, headliners Kikagaku Moyo took to the stage and kept the psychedelic vibes coming with a sound that was a tad trippier and more expansive than the openers, though no less intense and just as satisfying.

Song Of The Day: Johnny Marr – Armatopia

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day | Leave a comment


Johnny Marr clearly won Twitter this week.

When a fan inquired as to whether a Smiths reunion was going to happen, Marr shot back with a brilliant response: “Nigel Farage on guitar.” Classic. A couple days later and I’m still laughing.

And while it looks like a Smiths reunion is most definitely not in the cards, Marr is still putting out great music under his own name. Check out the video for his latest single “Armatopia”, released earlier this year:

Preview: Riptide Music Festival

Posted on by halley in Everything | Leave a comment


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As much as I love my hometown (#chicitymycity) and I know all our Canadian readers love theirs, I would hope we’re all mature enough to acknowledge one small – flaw? quirk? reality? – about our residences: the winters can be a beast. I think it’s especially on my mind as Daylight Saving Time has descended on the world, making it pitch black at 5 PM. While I respect that ye olde farmers may have needed that extra hour to… do whatever farmers do (harvest? reap? sow? sew?), I’m of the strong belief we should do away with everything that brings more darkness, cold and general discomfort to our modern population.

Since doing away with Daylight Saving Time may be a LITTLE outside my power of influence, I’m happy to spread the word about a more feasible opportunity to soak up some sun, surf and songs later this month. The Riptide Music Festival on fantastic Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida is almost upon us! The two-day festival on November 23rd-24th will feature over 20 musical performers including Jimmy Eat World, The Killers, The 1975, The Revivalists and Judah & The Lion (who I just saw and fell in love with), among others. Tickets range from $29-$79 at www.riptidefest.com, and are going fast.

If you’re looking for more than a tan and tunes (hard to fathom you’d need anything else, but just in case!), the festival is also featuring Festival Fashion Make-overs with Tan France, fashion expert from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and a runaway fashion show with designer George Styler. The event will also feature an enhanced art exhibition celebration and a robust array of culinary food demos by celebrity chefs on the Maximus mobile kitchen, as seen on Gordon Ramsey’s television show “Hell on Wheels.”

Still debating whether to spend a weekend on the beach? Let me give you a quick gut check: I just pulled up the weather on my phone. Chicago? 31 degrees (-0.5 C for all you Candians). Fort Lauderdale? A sweet 80 degrees (26 C). I rest my case. See you in Florida.

Concert Review: Judah and the Lion, November 2, Aragon Theater

Posted on by halley in Concerts | Leave a comment


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Choreographed dancing? Check. Campfire singing? Check. Cape-wearing? Check. Pep talk? BIG CHECK. Who’s been checking off these feel-good requirements on their ongoing tour? Look no further than the tremendous trio of Judah and the Lion (although at this show, there was a glorious six-man line-up of talent). The Tennessee-based band is making huge waves throughout the States as they promote their newest album, Pep Talks, and regale audiences with old-time favorite tunes.

The band took the stage at the estimable Aragon Ballroom Saturday night to an energetic crowd pumped up by the awesome opener Wilderado. Judah and the Lion opened up with their newest hit, “Quarter-Life Crisis”, which had everyone in the crowd asking for a pep talk – and getting it in spades. Over the next two hours, frontman Judah Akers led his band through on-stage shenanigans, crowd surfing, choreographed dancing, and silly/sexy group dancing. One of the highlights of the show was when Judah actually came off the stage with his band, setting up shop in the middle of the crowd, and leading an intimate “camp-fire sing-along” experience of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Interspersed throughout were, in all seriousness, pep talks. Judah told uplifting stories about his childhood, told everyone in the crowd they could overcome their “something” – be it addiction, divorce, or just a bad day, and generally dropped tons of love on Chi-city.

The band left the stage with a 4-song encore culminating in their hit “Take it All Back” which became an uproarious sing-along from a crowd who obviously wouldn’t have taken any of the last two hours back for anything in the world. Judah and the Lion will be on tour for the next few months – be sure to check them out when they’re in a city near you!

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