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Banjo vs. Ukulele: Pros and Cons

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I’ve always said that I’ll never end up with a tattoo because if there’s an extra $300, there will always be another drum to buy. And I tend to spend an inordinate amount of time planning these next instrument purchases – quite often three or four instruments into the future. Before my lovely Fender Strat... Read more »

Cornershop: Remember them? They're jamming anyway...

Behind every “one hit wonder” is a story. Sometimes it’s a long, rewarding struggle — sometimes it’s instant fame followed by a sophomore cliff-dive — but sometimes those bands aren’t one-hit-wonders at all because they’ve been there in the background of your life for years. I still pull out Cornershop’s 1997 album When I Was Born for... Read more »

Trampled by Turtles "Alone" Live at KDHX 12/17/11

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Pretty sure I’m just now hearing about these guys (I dunno — a lot of microbrewed beers have been consumed between 2004 and the present). Trampled by Turtles, however, has put out SIX albums since their debut. First of all, I would voluntarily trample actual turtles to have that band name. Second — I’m still... Read more »

Beach Boys' new single "That's Why God Made the Radio" not good enough for radio

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Here they go. After more than 20 years apart, the Beach Boys are definitely reuniting, releasing another album, touring… surfing?… Have to admit — I really thought this reunion would eventually go the way of a Van Halen “They’re gonna… No they’re not.. But they might (but actually never were)”-type flirtation. It’s not going to... Read more »

Jack White, Japandroids and Dave Grohl Speaks Truths

In a January issue of Rolling Stone, Dave Grohl was asked about ’90s nostalgia and tough times for rock radio. His response was freaking excellent: I don’t really see anything that I consider ’90s nostalgia. Loud-ass guitars and drummers who trash their kits — when did that ever go away? I love that a band... Read more »

Eve 6 new single "Victoria" leads another '90s boom

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We are all suddenly Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five — unstuck in time — waking up never knowing what decade we’re in. What wars are we fighting? Which bands are we poking fun at now? Beauty and the Beast and Titanic are the big draws in theaters. Some stiff guy in a suit is running for... Read more »

New Music Monday: Alabama Shakes and Sons of the West

New Music Monday: Alabama Shakes and Sons of the West
I came across a couple of really exciting young bands this weekend. One from the deep south and one that’s sure to rock Chicago (and beyond..). Both are taking old rock ‘n’ roll in a cool new direction… Alabama Shakes They’re from where they say they are. And these cats sound like Creedence Clearwater Revival... Read more »

Sharon Van Etten jams "Serpents" from new album Tramp

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Are you ever watching something and you get the feeling that, at that exact moment, a person’s career is stepping to the next level (or at least was five hours ago when they pre-recorded it)? Like Steve Carell as The Office hit, The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show or velociraptors finally making a name for themselves... Read more »

Hot Chip preview June release with "Flutes"

Boy, Hot Chip are hitting their stride. Not only are all members engaged in side-projects (The 2 Bears, New Build), but together they’re releasing an album promptly every two years. I love it when a band seems to be as excited about music as I am. If you click on the large words above these... Read more »

Wild Flag - "Romance"

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Have you seen Portlandia? That place where young people go to retire, the ’90s never end and we all work in coffee shops until our band blows up (it’ll happen). Certainly your hip friend has told you about the show from SNL’s Fred Armisen and Wild Flag’s Carrie Brownstein. When L. and I finally got... Read more »