Freakons at the Hideout and the Shitty Barn

When the Mekons teamed up with Freakwater, of course they called themselves the Freakons. As they’ve joked, the other option was Meekwater, a far less formidable-sounding portmanteau. Actually, this collaborative group — which played a few shows last week, recording one of them for a forthcoming album — doesn’t include Continue Reading

Mid-February Concert Recap

Quick recaps of a few concerts (and other literary musical event) I’ve seen recently: OLIVIA CHANEY and MARK DVORAK: The English singer Olivia Chaney was enchanting as she made her Chicago debut as a solo artist on Feb. 12 at the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Szold Hall. She Continue Reading

Hideout Block Party/AV Fest

As I’ve said before, the Hideout Block Party is one of the Chicago outdoor concert season’s most enjoyable events. For the past few years, it has merged with the Onion/A.V. Club’s festival, and this past weekend’s lineup seemed to reflect the tastes of that publication as much as the usual Continue Reading

Recap: The Hideout Block Party/A.V. Fest

Almost without fail, the Hideout Block Party is one of the summer’s most entertaining festivals — and that hasn’t changed over the past couple of years, when it combined with the A.V. Club’s A.V. Fest. It feels like a gathering of old friends — in the middle of an concrete-block Continue Reading

Hideout Block Party

The Hideout celebrated its 15th anniversary in true Hideout style, with a day full of top-notch music. Even the weather turned out pretty nice on Saturday (Sept. 24) — a little chilly at times, but without the downpours of rain or hail that had been predicted. It was a perfect Continue Reading

Sadies, Flat Five and Dream Day

Recapping a few shows from the past week… The Sadies were back in town Thursday (Dec. 4) for a show at Schubas, kicking off a tour with the estimable Tim Easton as opening act. The Sadies don’t have a new record out (not since releasing my favorite album of 2007, Continue Reading

The ‘Joe Show’ at the Hideout

Yet another benefit for a musician without health insurance. Yet another reminder of what an awful system (or lack of system) we have in the United States for making sure everyone gets the health care they deserve. This time, it was Waco Brothers drummer Joe Camarillo, who was recently injured Continue Reading

Jon Langford: The Executioner’s Last Songs

Jan. 21 — “The Executioner’s Last Songs,” which Jon Langford performed Friday and Saturday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, is a mix of concert, staged reading, performance art and video projection. Nothing too pretentious, thankfully… Despite the title, only a small part of the show (the last section) is about Continue Reading