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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 …

Yuck

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 …

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Nick Lowe at Space

With his last several albums, Nick Lowe has settled into a new phase of his career: more of a mellow crooner than …

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Billy Bragg at Space

“Americana is country music for people who like the Smiths,” Billy Bragg said during his concert Friday (Sept. 17) at Space in …

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Laura Veirs at Schubas

You can count on Laura Veirs. She’s had a string of records filled with alluring songs, and her latest album (her ninth) …

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Centro-matic at Schubas

When you see concerts week in and week out at the same venues, you start to take them for granted. I haven’t …

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Pere Ubu at the Empty Bottle

“Like the Rolling Stones, we’re getting back to our club roots,” David Thomas, the lead singer and mastermind of Pere Ubu, said …

Pixies

Riot Fest Recap

I’ve never been in a riot I’ve never been in a fight I’ve never been in anything That turns out right — …

The audience during All-Time Low's set

Riot Fest Day 3: Photos

Photos from the third day of Riot Fest, Sept. 15, 2013, in Humboldt Park, Chicago. See: photos from Day 1 / Photos from …

Circus performers wander the ground during the X concert.

Riot Fest Day 2: Photos

Photos from the second day of Riot Fest, Sept. 14, 2013, in Humboldt Park, Chicago. See: photos from Day 1 / Photos from Day 3 / Photos …

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Riot Fest Day 1: Photos

Photos from the first day of Riot Fest, Sept. 13, 2013, in Humboldt Park, Chicago. See: Photos from Day 2 / Photos from Day 3 / Photos …

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Replacements reunion

For some reason that I cannot recall, I did not see the Replacements when I had a chance to see them play …

White Mystery

Station to Station

A train filled is crossing the country, bringing art installations and live music to stations in eight cities. The project, organized by artist …

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Jeff Parker-Nels Cline Quartet

Jeff Parker and Nels Cline, two virtuoso guitarists who are fluent in both jazz and rock, played together Aug. 8 at the …

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Lollapalooza Photos

I took photos last weekend at Lollapalooza for The A.V. Club. Over on The A.V. Club’s Flickr page, you can see my …

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Wicker Park Fest photos

I took photos for The A.V. Club on July 27 and 28 at Wicker Park Fest. You can see the photos from …

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The Handsome Family at Pritzker

It’s always a joy when the Handsome Family, who once called Chicago their home, return to this city for a concert. “We …

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2013

See my photos of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival for The A.V. Club: Days 1, 2 and 3. I’ve included photos in this …

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Fatoumata Diawara at Square Roots

Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara put on a fantastic show Saturday (July 13) at the Square Roots street festival in Lincoln Square. She …

Josh Caterer, Gary Louris, Ed Roeser and Chris Stamey

Big Star’s Third in Concert

Back when I discovered the music of Big Star as a college student, my first impression was that the band’s first two …

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Matmos and Fonema Consort at Pritzker

Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion hosts a series of free concerts on Thursday evenings called “Loops and Variations,” which brings together electronic experimental …

Xu Bing's Phoenix

Solid Sound, Part 4

My recap of Solid Sound 2013, continued from blog posts 1, 2 and 3… The Solid Sound festival also featured rousing soul …

Neko Case

Solid Sound, Part 3

Read more about Solid Sound and see more photos in Parts 1, 2 and 4 My last two blog posts about Solid …

The key mammal that survived the meteor explosion that killed off the dinosaurs — the shrewdinger — appears during "Radio Lab," with Jad Abumrad, right.

Solid Sound, Part 2

Read more about Solid Sound and see more photos in Parts 1, 3 and 4 Given the fact that Solid Sound was …

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

Solid Sound, Part 1

Read more about Solid Sound and see more photos in the rest of my report: Parts 2, 3 and 4 Wilco’s home base is …