The Smashing Pumpkins

Quite a Journey: Billy Corgan Reflects on Over 30 Years of Smashing Pumpkins, and the Extracurricular Endeavors That Occupy His Time The Smashing Pumpkins released their eleventh studio album, Cyr, on November 27 – but frontman Billy Corgan almost decided it wasn’t the right time to put out anything at all. “I was a little… Continue reading The Smashing Pumpkins

Wilco Polish Their Pearly Whites

Wilco's Being There: Deluxe Edition is out Dec. 1

Summerteeth, arguably Wilco’s finest work, is getting the deluxe treatment on Nov. 6 with a four-CD edition consisting of a remastered version of the original 1999 album; a disc of unreleased studio outtakes, alternate versions and demos; and two discs of a live show recorded in Colorado in November of that year. Collectors and super-fans… Continue reading Wilco Polish Their Pearly Whites

The Claudettes

Not Squares. Never Were. The Claudettes Are Just a Really Damn Good Band The Claudettes are one of the most delightfully unclassifiable bands currently running. They formed in 2010 as an instrumental piano/drums duo pounding out a tight, cartoonishly vaudevillian hybrid of Chicago/New Orleans-steeped blues, jazz and soul music, occasionally accompanied by nutty theatrical flourishes.… Continue reading The Claudettes

James Swanberg – The One and Only

James Swanberg is your weird uncle. He has been a loyal servant to the DIY Chicago scene for as long as I can remember. While he’s rarely been under the spotlight, James has been consistently intricate to the development of the community, operating from just behind the curtain with his rapid and prolific song-a-day campaign… Continue reading James Swanberg – The One and Only

Rookie – Rookie

Good guy rock and rollers Rookie release a long-awaited debut in unsure times, more treaded waters of brackish stature for a group who just jumped the gun. Is this the true death of a salesman? Lawdy I hope not. Rookie was just getting started. The Chicago outfit rides the same tides as greats like Twin… Continue reading Rookie – Rookie

Screeching Weasel – Some Freaks of Atavism

Ben Weasel has had a legendary/storied career, not only with Screeching Weasel but also The Riverdales, a popular underground Ramones-esque punk outfit formed while Screeching Weasel was on the outs. But ever since an infamous 2011 incident at SXSW, he’s been canceled/blacklisted. Band members resigned shortly after the incident, the band’s tour dates were erased,… Continue reading Screeching Weasel – Some Freaks of Atavism

William Patrick Corgan – Cotillions

Left-wing rock journalists (most rock journos are left-wing) absolutely cannot stand Billy Corgan – they love to mock him. He’s the ultimate antithesis of groupthink (and they love groupthink). He does what artists are supposed to do – y’know, create art and be fucking weird. In the music/art world it used to be cool to… Continue reading William Patrick Corgan – Cotillions

Skafish – Skafish (Remastered 2019 Reissue)

Pop music has probably created more sicko incels than the internet ever will. That might be a necessary evil, though. Consider this lost album from 1980 that’s come back to life just in time to serve as a better origin story than we got with Todd Phillips’ Joker – although the film has a sturdier connection to… Continue reading Skafish – Skafish (Remastered 2019 Reissue)

Modern Vices – If Only

Brazen indie troupe Modern Vices gives us another take from the DIY Chicago catalog with If Only. The band broke into the scene in 2014 with their self-titled debut. Championing a reverb-drenched garage sound which they dubbed “dirty doo wop,” they were able to make something completely unique to them. That was five years ago… Continue reading Modern Vices – If Only

Atlanta International Pop Festival 1969, Part 1

Changing Perceptions: Six Weeks Before Woodstock, the First Atlanta International Pop Festival Brought a Similar (and Some Might Say Better) Experience to Georgia. Bobby Moore Tracks Down Participants for a Fond Look Back During his speech at the Tabernacle’s Jan. 9, 2016 memorial service for longtime business partner Alex Cooley, Atlanta-based concert promoter Peter Conlon… Continue reading Atlanta International Pop Festival 1969, Part 1

Atlanta International Pop Festival 1969, Part 2

Things got better once Artigue and friends arrived at the Atlanta International Raceway – a place where like-minded outcasts gathered and, for one weekend only, cops turned a blind eye to unscrupulous behavior. “That was the first place I ever really got high on pot. I was trying hard in New Orleans, but that was… Continue reading Atlanta International Pop Festival 1969, Part 2

The Mekons – Deserted

The Mekons mean business this time. You’ll need to rewind to the mid ’90s and I (Heart) Mekons for the last case of this motley crew extending such an olive branch to those outside their circle of devoted fans. That’s not to say The Mekons have phoned it in the past 20 years – far… Continue reading The Mekons – Deserted

Liz Phair – Girly-Sound to Guyville

Liz Phair was one of the most divisive musical figures of the 1990s. Well before the term “hater” had entered the common lexicon, she had folks taking sides over her authenticity and rabble rousing. Fortunately, much of this drama was confined to Phair’s insular Chicago indie scene – the “Guyville” she enshrined in the title… Continue reading Liz Phair – Girly-Sound to Guyville

Ministry – AmeriKKKant

Ministry were the first North American band to popularize Industrial music and imagery, albeit a dumbed down version that metal-headbangers could easily digest. But they were a decade late and many brain cells too short to make an impact as profound as the genre’s European originators. Maybe it was the cultural climate that bred American… Continue reading Ministry – AmeriKKKant

Eleanor Friedberger’s on the Rebound

It’s not entirely clear what or who she’s rebounding from (although her last outing, 2015’s New View did sound pretty lovelorn), but Rebound is the name of Eleanor Friedberger’s new one, due May 4th on Frenchkiss Records. After three albums of churning, mostly guitar combo rock, Friedberger went the one-woman-band route this time with synths… Continue reading Eleanor Friedberger’s on the Rebound

William Patrick Corgan – Ogilala

Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame has had a lot of hits in the past, but he’s had his equal share of misses as well. He’s been lauded and adored by fans, but he’s been jeered, hated on, called the biggest douche in the universe, et al. Even recently he’s hit a lot of nerves… Continue reading William Patrick Corgan – Ogilala

Rhino Releasing Whole Lotta Wilco

Wilco’s first two albums – 1995’s A.M. and the following year’s Being There – are being given the deluxe treatment with expanded reissues coming December 1st via Rhino Records. The single-CD/double-LP A.M. will include the original album plus eight unreleased bonus tracks including “When You Find Trouble,” the last studio recording made by Jeff Tweedy’s… Continue reading Rhino Releasing Whole Lotta Wilco

Angel Olsen Readies Rarities Roundup

Jagjaguwar will release Phases, a collection of B-sides, stray cuts and demos from the positively dreamy Angel Olsen, on November 10th. any of which have never been released in any form, The tracklisting includes the previously Bandcamp-only “Fly On the Wall,” an eight-minute song called “Special” taken from the sessions for last year’s album My… Continue reading Angel Olsen Readies Rarities Roundup

Chivalrous Amoekons – Fanatic Voyage

Angel Olsen cut her teeth in Will Oldham’s band, and she was in tow for Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s 2012 Wolfroy Goes to Town tour. On the European leg, the sextet unleashed a full set of songs by the Mekons, the simpatico and long-running Leeds-by-way-of-Chicago alt-country anarchists. It’s a mutual admiration society – Mekon Jon Langford… Continue reading Chivalrous Amoekons – Fanatic Voyage

Rebecca Gates

Rebecca Gates: Finding the Future of Music, For Herself and Others A funny thing happened on the way to Rebecca Gates’ fifth studio album – the music industry imploded, and real life intervened as well. Best known as the singer/guitarist for Portland indie duo the Spinanes (though neither of those descriptors are wholly accurate – more on… Continue reading Rebecca Gates

Anthony Braxton

No Passport Necessary: From Every Direction, Anthony Braxton Embraces Music as His Life’s Work Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn on a Sunday morning is like an iPod on crack, stuck in oscillating shuffle mode. Dozens of food stalls crowd the sidewalks, sending up smoke from barbecue grills like votive offerings laced with the pungent tang… Continue reading Anthony Braxton

Advance Base – Nephew in the Wind

Owen Ashworth seemed to signal a break from his Casiotone for the Painfully Alone past when he launched the Advance Base moniker for 2012’s A Shut-In’s Prayer. The Advance Base Ashworth was a tad more polished, somewhat more mature, and vaguely country inflected. Nephew in the Wild is surprising mainly for its slight reversion to… Continue reading Advance Base – Nephew in the Wind

Angel Olsen

What’s So Wrong with the Light? Angel Olsen’s Demeanor Deceives Her Sound Considering the heartrending lyrics that drive her intensely emotional turn of folk, Angel Olsen, as a person, seems almost apathetic – about the inspirations behind her work, about the work itself, about life in general. She isn’t actually a cold or indifferent person,… Continue reading Angel Olsen