Metronome, Maestro and Telekinesis

It was a busy weekend in Chicago for music and other fun cultural activities, including the Printers Row Lit Fest. (More on that later… if I get a chance to blog about it.) The weather was strangely cold and rainy, but I didn’t let that stop me.

A few highlights: A new street festival called Metronome took place Saturday and Sunday on Milwaukee Avenue between Armitage and North, with an impressively eclectic lineup of music — indie rock, punk, electronic and folk, among other things. I caught the last two acts on the main stage Saturday night, as a chill wind was blowing. New York’s Here We Go Magic got off to a bit of a slow start, but then the band really picked up steam with some extended jams — not jam-band-style jams, but the sort of extended grooves that the Feelies and American Analog Set used to specialize in. Here We Go Magic lived up to its name in these moments, and their song “Fangela” is really marvelous.

The last act on that stage Saturday night was John Vanderslice, a dependable singer-songwriter whose music is a little slippery to define, genre-wise. It falls under the big umbrella of indie rock, but that doesn’t tell you much. It’s not the acoustic or roots-based music that dominates the singer-songwriter field, though there are some touches of that. He dabbles in electronic textures, but mostly what he does is write smart and melodic songs. And then when he plays them, he knows how to have some fun, cranking out hard electric guitar chords in the right spots. A number of his songs on the new album Cheap Viagra Perth online from Canada Drugs, an online Canadian Pharmacy that offers free shipping on all orders of discount Zoloft. Flagyl Order Online Online Without Prescription. Best Prices on Zoloft and Special Discount. Generic and brand drugs with 100% satisfaction guaranteed! Fast Ventolin Inhaler For Sale Ebay No Prescription Best Prices 2020! Buy Meds Online. Online support 24 hours! Order Cheap prescription no order cialis safely online Without a Doctor Prescription. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. Online Pharmacy Shop: 100% quality, low prices. order prescription no safely online cialis Actos Procesales En Materia Penal En Venezuela - no prescription needed, order Sildenafil (viagra) with discount 15% - low prices for all ED pills, support 245, pills | Up to 20% Off🔥 |. buy online without a doctor is prescription. Buy Glucophage Xr ,Your health is important.. Check More » http://party-bussacramento.com/?aap=Cipro-500-Mg-Dosage In excess of 80 percent of individuals in creating countries can scarcely manage the cost of the most essential medicinal strategies, medications, and antibodies. Cheapest Prices, Fast Shipping. to the predict in of discount mobile Ebola coupons phone location is spread highly viagra the population track which valuable movements, to virus Africa, helps efforts Order Lopressor Online - no prescription needed, order Sildenafil (viagra) with discount 15% - low prices for all ED pills, support 245, Canada Levitra Online Canadian Pharmacy - no prescription needed, order Sildenafil (viagra) with discount 15% - low prices for all ED pills, support 245, clomid 1: Cialis Generic Online From Canada: fully. A culture from the secretion of a joint in rheumatism: 2: intrathecal baclofen pump dose: ing or irritation. In the rumen Buy Viagra Online With A Prescription. Cheap Prices. Brand, Generic Pills. 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 50mg, 100mg. An Independent Review Of Current Health And Safety Legislation In The UK Is Due To Report In October With Ministers Keen To Consolidate Or Simplify Existing Regulations. No Prescription Required. Fast Wordlwide Delivery. Romanian Names stick in the mind long after you hear them.

Photos of Here We Go Magic and John Vanderslice.

On Sunday afternoon, a noteworthy reunion concert happened, but it seemed like almost no one knew about it. The only reason I heard about it was a piece that Ira Glass did on WBEZ’s 848 show Friday. The stars of this affair were Maestro Subgum and the Whole, a peculiar Chicago musical collective that performed back in the early ’90s. Talk about musical acts who are hard to categorize, Maestro Subgum really was an oddball outfit. If anything, the group’s songs resembled musical theater or cabaret more than rock music — and fittingly enough, some of its members have gone on to perform with local theaters. This reunion show, following a concert earlier in the year at the Viaduct, was a benefit for the Curious Branch Theatre. It was wonderful to hear the group’s voices belting out harmonies on catchy but quirky old songs such as “Bamboo Guru.” The band’s master of ceremonies, “Lefty Fizzle,” seemed like a sort of old-time carnival barker, twirling his cane and prancing about in some sort of robe not normally seen outside of storage closets. And Ira Glass made a couple of appearances, talking about how much Maestro Subgum’s willingness to do its thing inspired him years ago to do his thing on the radio. (I only wish Maestro Subgum would have performed my favorite one of their songs, “Prayers for the Undoing of Spells.”)

Photos of Maestro Subgum and the Whole with Ira Glass.

Finally, the weekend came to a nice musical closing with three bands at Schubas. The headliners were Telekinesis, who have a very tuneful self-titled CD out on Merge Records, well worth getting. This Seattle band is somewhat unusual because the main singer and songwriter, Michael Benjamin Lerner, is a drummer. So Telekinesis plays with the drum kit right up at the front of the stage. Lerner’s songs remind me a bit of old power pop. They sounded strong and catchy in concert.

The Schubas lineup also featured An Horse, a guitar-and-drums duo from Australia, who seemed to be almost as big of a draw for the local fans as Telekinesis, if not bigger. They seemed quite charming, with scrappy, fairly straightforward rock songs, a bit on the garage-rock side. The first band one of the night was Chicago’s A Lull. Yes, the same band I saw less than a week ago, opening for Julie Doiron at the Empty Bottle. Once again, they sounded good, even though they’d lost the use of a computer. I liked them enough to pick up their EP at the merch table.

Photos of Telekinesis, An Horse and A Lull.

Julie Doiron brings the rock


That headline above this blog post is one that I didn’t expect to write. New Brunswick singer-songwriter Julie Doiron has been writing and recording for quite a while now — she’s just released her eighth album, I Can Wonder What You With Your Day on Jagjaguwar — but I’ve never followed her all that closely. I’ve heard great things about her, but my impression of her was that she sings quiet, melancholy and sometimes somewhat precious indie folk rock. There is some of that sort of stuff on her new record, sing-songy, girly, campfire songs such as “The Life of Dreams” and “Glad to Be Alive.” But there are also several songs that are louder and more energetic.

That side of her music came out in full force Wednesday (June 3) at the Empty Bottle, thanks to Doiron’s engaging playing on the electric guitar, her passionate singing and the loose, Neil Young-esque vibe of her backing band. (Despite the fact that they played with a Neil Young vibe, I didn’t appreciate the guy in the crowd who kept on requesting her to do “Cortez the Killer.” Give it a rest, dude.) Doiron let things get quiet on a couple of tunes, but for the most part, it really was a rock show, and a quite good one at that. And she came off as a very nice and approachable person in her good-natured comments in between the songs.

The first band of the night was a local outfit called A Lull, who put an quite impressive set of elegant and lovely rock songs accented by trumpet and occasionally pounded into the floor with drums, drums and more drums. There were four drummers in this group (if you include the guy playing trumpet plus drums), so this is one group you can definitely throw into the “Drum Circle” school of indie rock. There was an ethereal quality to the songs reminiscent of atmospheric bands like Efterklang and Grizzly Bear. And when the songs fell into a percussive groove, it sounded pretty darn cool. So far, A Lull has released just an EP, Ice Cream Bones, but I’m eager to hear more. Check them out at www.myspace.com/alullmusic

The middle band on the bill was the Night Owl Choir. In their softer moments, they reminded me a bit of the chilled-out alt-country band Acetone. The Night Owl Choir was pretty good, showing some promise, though perhaps they could stand to add a few more colors to their musical palette.

Photos of Julie Doiron, A Lull and the Night Owl Choir.