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Record Store Day 2016

My photos of musical performances I saw on Record Store Day, Saturday, April 16 — mostly at Permanent Records, plus a picture of …

Songhoy Blues at Martyrs’

There’s a serious and sobering story behind the band Songhoy Blues. These four musicians are in a sort of exile — as …

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The Necks at Constellation

The Necks have been improvising beautiful music for many years now. You might call them a jazz trio — after all, they …

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Freakwater at the Hideout

Freakwater is the sound of two pining, earthy, twangy voices coming together — the voices of Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin, who …

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Spunk at Constellation

The concert Wednesday, March 16, at Constellation was the first U.S. performance by Spunk, a quartet of Norwegian woman who have been improvising music …

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Wussy at the Red Line Tap

The great Cincinnati rock band Wussy has a new album out, Forever Sounds — an outstanding follow-up to its 2014 album Attica! — …

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Le Butcherettes at Subterranean

Le Butcherettes, the Mexican garage punk band led by the phenomenal Teri Gender Bender (aka Teresa Suárez), returned to Chicago on Thursday, …

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Music Frozen Dancing 2016

For the last three years, the Empty Bottle has hosted an outdoor winter concert called “Music Frozen Dancing.” It’s a somewhat ridiculous …

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Bitchin Bajas at the Hideout

On Tuesdays in February, the Hideout hosted a residency of concerts featuring Chicago musician Rob Frye. I was there on Feb. 23, …

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Favorite Films of 2015

1. World of Tomorrow Yes, it’s a short film, so few people would put in the same category with the year’s best …

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Chicago Psych Fest

For the seventh year, the Hideout hosted Chicago Psych Fest last week, with three nights of music from the more experimental, trippy …

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The Go! Team at Lincoln Hall

It was nearly a decade since the last time I saw the Go! Team — when the British group played at Lollapalooza in 2006 …

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Vulgar Boatmen at Schubas

Way back on April 21, 1990, I saw the Vulgar Boatmen perform a free in-store set at the old Reckless Records store …

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Favorite albums of 2015

I could say this about almost any year: I heard a lot of great music in 2015 — and I surely missed …

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Drinks at the Empty Bottle

Welsh singer-songwriter-guitarist Cate Le Bon has moved way beyond her early acoustic songs. Her solo music got spikier and stranger — and …

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The Ex at Lincoln Hall

The Ex, a Dutch art-punk band that’s been around since 1979, returned to Chicago for the first time in four years, playing …

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Algiers at the Empty Bottle

Algiers — a band of Atlanta natives based in London — released a powerful self-titled debut album this summer. The music has been …

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Patrick Watson at Lincoln Hall

The Montreal musician Patrick Watson returned on Monday, Sept. 28, to Chicago’s Lincoln Hall, where I saw him perform in 2012. (I …

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Great Chicago Fire Fest #2

It was not a fiasco this time. For the second year, Redmoon Theater created a Great Chicago Fire Festival for the city …

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Low at Thalia Hall

The new album by Low, Ones and Sixes, is something of a change for the long-running Duluth, Minn., band. The sonic textures …

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Hailu Mergia at the Promontory

Hailu Mergia, a keyboardist and accordion player, was a musical star in Ethiopia in the 1970s, playing in the one of the …