Concert Review: Yoko and the Oh No’s, Jukebox the Ghost, October 29, Lincoln Hall

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts | Leave a comment


HalloQueen. What is it? How do we celebrate? Is it recurring? Will there be costumes? Candy? Dancing? Ghosts?

In order: Jukebox the Ghost’s made up holiday. By watching Ben Thornewill channel Freddie Mercury onstage and rock a sweet ‘stache. Yes. Yes. No (unfortunately). Yes. Yes.

For the third year in a row, Jukebox the Ghost celebrated their very own holiday – HalloQueen. The night started with Yoko and the Oh No’s, a perennial Chicago favorite. Lead singer Max Goldstein was sporting a red mullet and some thick, thick blue eyeshadow. The svelte David Bowie look-alike crooned his way through Bowie favorites “Starman” and “Space Oddity.” Love.

Next up was Jukebox. The trio crooned, cavorted, and capered their way through “Hollywood”, “Good Day”, “Schizophrenic”, and a new song about growing old and getting boring (not that I would know anything about that. #yolotilten.) Jukebox explained that they would be finishing up their set, stepping aside for a costume contest, and then Queen would take the stage. The trio talked about what an honor and a dream come true it was to be opening for the Mr. Freddie Mercury himself. A great guy, but apparently pretty hard to understand with the accent and all.

Mr. Bowie was back for the Halloween costume contest. While Buddy the Elf made a good show, the prize eventually went to Ms. Amelia Earhart.

And then Queen took the stage! Starting things off with “We Will Rock You”, Mr. Mercury and his thick, luxurious mustache dominated the stage (although at one point he couldn’t quite remember the lyrics to his own song. Weird.) Hitting so many high notes (literally and metaphorically) including “Bicycle Race” and “Under Pressure”, Queen hit all their highlights. Happy Halloween to us.

Record Buying – A Descent into Madness Part 1: Suede, Slowdive, Jamie XX

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As a somewhat big music fan, you would imagine that I would have had a record player for ages. So it comes as a surprise to many that I did not. It wasn’t because I didn’t want one, more so what would happen if I did buy one.

As a kid, I collected too many hockey cards and then eventually comics. Then it was DVDs and CDs for awhile, then a digital mp3 collection. You get the point, I like to accumulate shit. So in my mind, I knew if I got a record player, it would start all over again and frankly, records are not cheap. The logical thing to do was to enjoy the music as it was (mostly free) and not bother with it. However, it did feel like a part of the music world was missing.

I always knew eventually I would get a record player. In March of 2012, Suede released a box set of their albums. Naturally as a massive Suede fan, I bought it. Mostly because I figured it would be annoying to try to find all these Suede records should I buy a record player. Yet I didn’t buy one to listen to these records.

Until August of this year. Somehow a Friday night conversation about how “every day you don’t have a record player is a day you aren’t enjoying your records” came to make sense. Two days later I bought a record player – the Project Debut Carbon (which has dropped $100 in price since I bought it, much to my annoyance)

Anyways, since then I’ve been buying a lot of records (and enjoying the process). I figure I will write about the records I buy since this is a music blog or something.

1. Suede – The Vinyl Collection
Price Paid: $250??

I actually don’t remember the price I paid, but a box set of your favorite band is priceless. This box set is great and comes with a nice book that talks about each record and the record making process for that record. I still don’t have the heart to put on their record A New Morning and I doubt I ever will. Dog Man Star was the first record I played (after I played a test record to make sure I didn’t fuck up anything) and it was totally glorious. Not sure how my roommate felt about me cranking it up but she seemed cool with it.

2. Slowdive – Slowdive
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Price paid: $17.99 (Dead Dog Records)

I was just hankering to buy another record. The collection must be awesome! It must be curated. In my head, I was already mentally building a collection of records that would populate my household. However, my first foray into record stores highly suggested it would be a very expensive venture. Records were even more expensive than I thought. 30 bucks for new records? WTF?

Anyways, I was getting pissed off that all the records I wanted were thirty dollars or more and then I saw Slowdive sitting in the new release section at a nice price point of $17.99. While some of my friends are obsessed with this band, I was only neutral towards them. However, I really enjoyed this album when it was released earlier this year, so I thought, this is a good price point and also an album album, not a bunch of singles with shit tracks in between. It’s also good for late night listening because it’s pretty mellow. I enjoy this record.

3. Jamie XX – In Colour
Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 11.32.41 PM
Price paid: 23.99 (Rotate This)

I loved loved loved the XX concert earlier this year (and all the XX albums) but one of the highlights of that show was Romy singing Loud Places, one of the many highlights from Jamie XX’s album. Perhaps it was the vivid recollection of that moment that spurred me to buy this record as I looked through Rotate This’s vast collection, or perhaps it was the fact that this record is pretty awesome. Anyways, In Colour has a great collection of songs that you can pretty much put on at any time. I don’t know what juice that kid was drinking growing up but the dude can produce some poppin’ tracks.

When I opened this record, a little card dropped out and it was like a download code. I was like … do I type this into … my bit torrent site? I guess some people just legit download music. Good on them.

So it’s been 9 weeks and I’ve bought 20 records. I’ve decided to write about each one, to chronicle my journey. (Maybe)

The Lost Art Of Liner Notes: Buck Owens – Bridge Over Troubled Water (1971, Capitol Records)

Posted on by Paul in Albums, Classic Albums | Leave a comment


Liner notes. They were all the rage back in the day. Sometimes they were a little weird and sometimes a little too enthusiastic about their subject. Sometimes though, they were pretty straightforward, like the notes for Bridge Over Troubled Water, a 1971 collection of songs from Bakersfield country legend Buck Owens. Buck’s just giving you the straight goods on what his album is all about, while also using some creative apostrophe placement in his spelling of “kinda.” While the title track is the main attraction, the real gem is his cover of Donovan’s “Catch The Wind,” seen here in the form of a performance on Owens’ old TV series. Keep an eye on the keyboard/harmonica guy poorly miming his way through the song. And now, Buck would like a minute of your time:

I want to take just a minute of your time to tell you why we’re presenting the songs you’ll hear on this album. Most of them are familiar as what you’d call pop/folk/rock songs. Three were written by Paul Simon (of Simon and Garfunkel), there’s one by Donovan and one by Bob Dylan. And although The Buckaroos and I have been known as Country entertainers, we’ve always liked these particular songs and taken a whole lot of comfort and meaning from them. recently I discovered just why they appealed to me so much – they’re all really Country songs in disguise!

Take Bridge Over Troubled Water. It’s got real nice, simple, meaningful words. And like the other songs here, it’s got a certain longing to it. The same kind of longing that makes a good Country song great. if you take some time to really listen to them, you’ll find a lot of songs in the pop/rock class have that longing, but you really got to sit down and listen to them before you discover that Country heart. As far as that goes, any music, any song that has the right ingredients of simple everydayness can be a Country song – even classical things.

I sure do hope you’re going to like what me and The Buckaroos have done here. The five of us sat down in our studio and gave real, honest Country arrangements to the music. When you hear it presented this way, I think you’re going to agree that these area whole lot of actual Country songs that have been kind’a neglected for too long – just because of their disguises.

Your friend,

Buck Owens

Concert Review: The War On Drugs, October 22, Massey Hall

Posted on by Paul in Concerts | Leave a comment

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People really love The War On Drugs. I am not one of those people.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the band’s music. I’ve seen them live before and thought it was alright, but as the band played the second show of a two night stretch at Massey Hall on Sunday night, I noticed a fair number of people who were way into the show in a way that I most definitely was not.

Is it me? Am I missing something or were people overreacting to a fairly average show?

If I was being generous (and if I was feeling the music in the way a lot of people were feeling it on Sunday night), I’d concede that The War On Drugs are really good at locking into a groove and just jamming it out and that the band’s latest, A Deeper Understanding, is an impressively crafted piece from a production standpoint. If I’m a bit less generous, I’ll admit that their jams are not always the most interesting and that over the course of a nearly two hour set, the songs all started to blend together, to the point where when the band was playing certain songs, I caught myself wondering whether I’d already heard them played earlier in the night.

Maybe I’m being willfully obtuse. Maybe I even kind of agree with Mark Kozelek’s “beer commercial lead-guitar” comment from a while back, even if he was being a total dick about it. Or maybe the band just didn’t put on the most compelling show. Of course that’s just, like, my opinion, man. Your mileage may vary.