Gonerfest 2016 Day 2: Daytime Party

My photos from the daytime party at Memphis Made Brewing on Sept. 30, 2016, the second day of Gonerfest in Memphis, Memphis Made Brewing, featuring LSDOGS, Kool 100s, Trampoline Team and Pity. Also see: My roundup of Gonerfest and my visit to Memphis More Gonerfest 2016 photo galleries: Day 1 — opening ceremonies at Continue Reading

Gonerfest 2016 Day 1

My photos from Sept. 29, 2016, the first day of Gonerfest in Memphis, including the opening ceremonies at Cooper Young Gazebo with Nots and the nighttime show at the Hi Tone featuring emcee Jim Dandy, Hash Redactor, Chook Race, Counter Intuits, Useless Eaters, Fred & Toody and the Reigning Sound. Also Continue Reading

Cropped Out: Day 2

This is my report from Saturday, Sept. 24, the second day of the 2016 Cropped Out music festival in Louisville, Kentucky. To see my report and photos from the first day, click here. Bill Callahan’s performance was the highlight of the Cropped Out festival’s second day, Saturday, Sept. 24, in Continue Reading

Cropped Out: Day 1

Cropped Out feels like a homemade music festival. The website for the annual event in Louisville, Kentucky, hasn’t been thoroughly updated for a couple of years. Although the site displays pictures of the 2016 festival lineup, if you click on the drop-down menu for “FESTIVAL,” the most recent info listed Continue Reading

Hideout 20-Year Reunion

The Hideout, one of my favorite music venues, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a daylong mini-festival on Saturday — billed as a “20-Year Reunion.” In truth, the Hideout is much older than just two decades, as the city of Chicago’s cultural historian, Tim Samuelson, told the audience on Saturday in a Continue Reading

The Flat Five at the Green Mill

The Flat Five — that wonderful Chicago group I’ve photographed and written about many times before — played three sets on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Green Mill. As the band’s members observed, it may be the first time anyone has ever played a Hollies cover (“Carrie Anne”) at this venerable jazz Continue Reading

BÖC, Rob Mazurek & Emmett Kelly and Horse Lords

Friday, Aug. 26, was another two-concert night for me. Talk about strange juxtapositions. I started out the evening by driving to Skokie for a free show by Blue Öyster Cult at the Backlot Bash street festival… which was pretty good, as far as classic rock band shows go. But alas, I Continue Reading

Tortoise and Ryley Walker concerts, in one night

Aug. 25 felt like a quintessential night of live Chicago music: seeing Tortoise at Millennium Park, followed by Ryley Walker’s late concert at the Empty Bottle. Tortoise’s instrumental music resonated beautifully in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, with the band members constantly shifting around the instruments, playing intricate patterns with almost astonishing precision. The show Continue Reading

Comm to Black and Cinchel at the Comfort Station Fundraiser

I always love seeing concerts at Logan Square’s Illinois Centennial Monument — that tall column with the eagle on top — but these shows don’t happen often enough. So it was cool that Comfort Station, Maximum Pelt and Tall Pat Records teamed up for a fundraiser festival on Aug. 20. I Continue Reading

Mbongwana Star at Millennium Park

The African band Mbongwana Star got the audience dancing on Aug. 11 at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, playing wildly infectious beats and beguiling, highly rhythmic guitar riffs and solos. This group from the Democratic Republic of the Congo includes two singers (Yakala “Coco” Ngambali and Nsituvuidi “Theo” Nzonza,) who Continue Reading

2016 Pitchfork Music Fest: Day 3 Photos

My photos from the 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival are featured on the A.V. Club website. Here are some additional pictures from Day 3, July 17. (Click here for photos from Day 1, and here for photos from Day 2.) Sun Ra Akestra Woods Homme Kamasi Washington NAO Neon Indian Jeremih Miguel Continue Reading

2016 Pitchfork Music Fest: Day 2 Photos

My photos from the 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival are featured on the A.V. Club website. Here are some additional pictures from Day 2, July 16. (Click here for photos from Day 1, and here for photos from Day 3.) Girl Band RP Boo Kevin Morby Royal Headache Digable Planets Jenny Hval Continue Reading

2016 Pitchfork Music Fest: Day 1 Photos

My photos from the 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival are featured on the A.V. Club website. Here are some additional pictures, starting with a gallery from Day 1, July 15. (Click here for photos from Day 2, and here for photos from Day 3.) Car Seat Headrest Whitney Julia Holter Twin Peaks Continue Reading

Femi Kuti in Millennium Park

Femi Kuti‘s father, the legendary Nigerian bandleader Fela Kuti, created the extraordinary and exhilarating style of music called Afrobeat. As Fela’s eldest son, Femi is carrying on the family tradition. On Monday, July 11, he performed a joyous nonstop jam with his band, The Positive Force, at the Jay Pritzker Continue Reading

The Sadies at Wire

My photos of the Sadies — as always, one of the best live rock bands — on Saturday, May 21, at Wire in Berwyn. (My first visit to this venue.) Click here for a separate gallery of photos of the other band that played Saturday at Wire, the Waco Brothers.

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 under that name since 1995. Actually, as it turned out, it wasn’t quite a performance by the full group; cellist Lene Grenager wasn’t able to play due to Continue Reading

Frequency Series Festival of Chicago New Music

“New music” seems to be catching on lately as a label for the stuff that we used to call “20th-century music.” Neither label really works, but what else should we call the new music composed for classically trained musicians? Whatever you call it, it’s thriving in Chicago these days, with Continue Reading

Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Maiden Radio at the Vic

Bonnie “Prince” Billy (aka Will Oldham) returned to Chicago on Feb. 18, playing a concert at the Vic with the same band he played with last summer at the Old Town School of Folk Music — “The Bonny United Ensemble,” comprising Danny Kiely, Van Campbell, Roadie Rodahaffer and Drew Miller. Oldham was in Continue Reading