Carsick Cars at the Burlington

Carsick Cars is one of China’s best-known indie rock bands, but they’d never played in Chicago until now. The Beijing trio finally …

Bad Sports

SXSW Day 5 Photos: Burgermania

On the final day of South By Southwest, March 15, 2014, I arrived at Hotel Vegas in late afternoon and stayed throughout …

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Ex Hex at SXSW

Ex Hex is a new band on the Sub Pop label starring Mary Timony of Helium and Wild Flag, Fire Tapes bassist …

Death By Unga Bunga at Icenhauer’s

SXSW Day 4 Photos

My photos from the fourth night of South By Southwest, March 14, 2014, including — click on these links to jump ahead …

Ha Ha Tonka

Bloodshot SXSW Party at Yard Dog

My photos from the Bloodshot Records party during South By Southwest, March 14, 2014, at the Yard Dog art gallery, including: the Deslondes, Robbie …

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Lydia Loveless at Yard Dog

Country singer Lydia Loveless has a terrific new album out on Bloodshot Records called Somewhere Else, and she played a bunch of times last …

Smacksoft at Icenhauer’s

SXSW Day 3 Photos: Nighttime Showcases

My photos from the nighttime showcases on Day 3 of SXSW, March 13, 2014, including: Smacksoft, Arc Iris, Utopians, Laura Cantrell and Honeyblood. (I have separate galleries …

The Blind Shake (Minneapolis) at the DC vs. the World Party at New Movement Theater

SXSW Day 3 Photos: Day Parties Etc.

My photos from the first half of Day 3 at South By Southwest 2014, including: Gary Numan, the  “Warehouse: Songs and Stories” songwriting …

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The Launderettes at SXSW

The Launderettes, an all-female rock band from Oslo, Norway, who have been together since 1999, played the final time slot of the night …

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Dog Trumpet at SXSW

The Australian rock band Dog Trumpet has been together since 1990, and its two key members — brothers Peter O’Doherty and Reg …

The Haden Triplets at St. David’s Sanctuary

SXSW Day 2 Photos

My photos from Day 2 of the South By Southwest festival, March 12, 2014, including LosPetitFellas, Jarvis Cocker, R. Ring, Birth of Joy, Señor Faraón, …

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Mothercoat at SXSW

In 2007, I caught a SXSW set by the Japanese band Mothercoat, which sticks in my memory for being so frantic and …

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Jambinai at SXSW

One of the best groups I saw at SXSW this year was a South Korean band called Jambinai, which uses some traditional …

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Photos of St. Vincent at SXSW

My photos of St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) on March 12, 2014, at South By Southwest — including a couple shots of …

Together Pangea at Haven

SXSW Day 1 Photos

My photos from Tuesday, March 11, the first day of South By Southwest, including: Neil Young, Shelby Earl, Mozes and the Firstborn, …

Bad Sports

SXSW Recap

This was the year people died at South By Southwest. The sprawling, raucous, nebulous combination of a trade show, academic conference, rock …

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SXSW, as told in tweets

Selections from my tweets at South By Southwest 2014. (Follow me at @robertloerzel.) TUESDAY, MARCH 11 2:37 p.m. Landed in Austin #sxsw 2:52 …

Neil Young at SXSW

I’m at the South By Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas — the first time I’ve gone since 2008. It’s good to …

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Fred Frith at Constellation

Monday night at Constellation, Fred Frith shook and scraped and stroked and beat his guitar. He set a can on top of …

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Precious Blood at the Hideout

Photos of Precious Blood on Feb. 25 at the Hideout, featuring Nora O’Connor, Danny Black and Kevin McDonough, a show that wrapped up O’Connor’s outstanding …

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Best Films of 2013

Belatedly, here are my choices for the best films of 2013 — including movies that showed at film festivals and noncommercial venues …

The Flat Five, from left: Scott Ligon, Alex Hall, Casey McDonough, Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor

The Flat Five at the Hideout

Nora O’Connor’s monthlong residency at the Hideout continued on Tuesday, Feb. 18, with a show by the band that Hideout owner Tim …

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Steve Dawson at Simon’s

In addition to his recordings as Dolly Varden’s main singer-songwriter, Steve Dawson has released a couple of solo albums, and now he’s …

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Ane Brun and Linnea Olsson at Schubas

Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun’s songs sounded delicate and intimate Saturday night, Feb. 15, at Schubas. As she explained to the audience at the …

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Chris Mills at Schubas

Chris Mills smiles a lot when he sings, and it’s a big, beaming smile. His voice is big, too. As he was …

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Cate Le Bon at Schubas

Welsh singer-songrwiter Cate Le Bon got stuck in a terrible traffic jam on her way to play on Thursday, Jan. 23, at the …

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Yuck, Diarrhea and more at TNK

January’s Tomorrow Never Knows festival keeps getting bigger, featuring more shows at more venues in Chicago. I saw two shows in this …

Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Tommy Stinson, during the June 21 Wilco concert

Favorite concerts of 2013

These are my favorite musical performances of the past year, out of the 104 concerts I attended. (I’m counting each day of …

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Favorite records of 2013

These are my favorite records of 2013, the ones I enjoyed the most. Betraying my personal tastes, the list is dominated by …

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Bonnie “Prince” Billy in Madison

“I heard that Beyonce put out a record today,” singer-songwriter Bonnie “Prince” Billy (aka Will Oldham) said during his concert Friday night, …

The Bingers

Cuddlestock

There’s a tall guy named Pat with dark black hair and a dark black beard who shows up at a lot of …

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Diarrhea Planet at the Beat Kitchen

First off, it seems impossible to write about the band Diarrhea Planet without commenting on its name. These rockers from Nashville must’ve …

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Neutral Milk Hotel at the Canopy Club

Until last year, concert audiences hadn’t heard from Jeff Mangum in years. Neutral Milk Hotel’s singer-songwriter finally emerged out of what seemed …

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Lee Ranaldo and the Dust

While Sonic Youth remains on indefinite hiatus, the group’s members have been quite busy with other projects. Lee Ranaldo, who played in …

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Ólafur Arnalds at Constellation

Constellation — Mike Reed’s music and arts venue in the old Viaduct Theatre space — has been hosting some interesting concerts since opening …