This past weekend of LEVITATION CHICAGO at Thalia Hall was quite the time! Spring is upon us and we find ourselves on the other side of a killer three days of music at LEVITATION CHICAGO music festival. Let's dive on in to revisit how great of a time we had music-friendly-dancing (and drinking LAGUNITAS beer)all over Thalia Hall. [Pictures by Allison Taich ] Read More »
Two Fresh Streams segments in one month?! You better be grateful. Welcome to January streams round TWO. We are making sure to keep you in check with your emotions while also giving you the opportunity to be saturated in nostalgia with these upcoming releases.
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On September 10th, 2015 we returned to the Bohemian National Cemetery on the northwest side of Chicago for the fourth installment of the Beyond The Gate series, which Empty Bottle Presents produces alongside J.R. ROBINSON, leader of Chicago doom collective WREKMEISTER HARMONIES. For this end of summer concert, EARTH, DISAPPEARS and HOLY SONS performed on stage and ROBINSON kept the tone in place with cryptic vinyl selections before and in-between bands. It was a thrill to host such this line-up in such a gorgeous and haunting setting, especially since the skies were clear after a long (and stressful) day of rain. We are incredibly thankful and excited that all of the artists were as into the idea of performing in this setting as we are.
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The new album by Ryley Walker, Primrose Green, out Tuesday on Dead Oceans, ebbs and flows effortlessly in all the right ways. It's an album that's easy to lose yourself in, one that helps you travel through time as it streams through your speakers. As a newcomer to the music of Ryley Walker, I was instantly captivated by his unique blend of jazz and folk. Learning that he had his hands involved in the noise and punk scene as a precursor to his current sound came as no surprise. His acoustic influences, paired with an affinity for improvisation make for an album that builds into a wonderful sonic landscape that is well beyond his 25 years and his songs have found their way on my playlist more times than I'd like to admit.
If you've have the pleasure to see him IRL ("in real life" grandpa!) you know that Walker's live show is like a graceful, audio-enigma. No two shows are the same and you often times leave having bore witness to a genesis of new songs, songs in progress, and favorites that have been re-worked, stretching and expanding beautifully before your very ears. Walker plays alongside a rotating cast of some of the most talented Chicago jazz musicians, a collection of friends and colleagues developed over years of involvement in the underground Chicago music scene. From the first recordings to the photos on the covers, everything is Chicago-centric, showcasing the beauty of a city that collaborates and grows together.
I was fortunate enough to exchange some quick words with Ryley the day after his Chopin Theatre record release (and the day of his solo show at Permanent Records). When talking with Walker his intentions are unspoken but clear, and he intends on continuing to make music he likes, with people he likes. Lucky for us, the product of these collaborations continue to be damn good.
On Saturday, December 6th, we returned to Bohemian National Cemetery for Cold Moon, December's full moon that summons the beginning of the winter. For this performance, we ventured into BNC's Cathedral, where we presented three outstanding performances by Chicago's WREKMEISTER HARMONIES, RYLEY WALKER and CIRCUIT DES YEUX. The show was sold out by 8:15pm, just before we started, and the artists were joined by Brownshoesonly, everyone's favorite multi-talented projectionist. Rob Sevier of Numero Group came through once again to set the sonic tone of the evening, playing some brain-melting records throughout the event. Consequence of Sound was there to catch the mystical concert, and at the end of their review the writer "wondered whether the whole event had been some sort of ancient rite, the incantation on the steps of some final initiation. Only time will tell... until the next full moon anyway."
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This past Sunday, October 12th, rather than staying home and drinking Sambuca all day, we joined forces with Jimmy Whispers to host the first ever HOOP DREAMS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT. The tournament (and music fest) was located at 1834 W Chicago Ave and it was created to raise funds for CeaseFire, the Illinois branch of the Cure Violence Organization, which operates in 6 cities throughout the state – Chicago, Maywood, Rockford, East St. Louis, Springfield, and North Chicago/Waukegan.
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This week we're hosting a show at Bohemian National Cemetery and it's also the night of a Supermoon. It’s going to be perfect. Literally, we could not imagine hosting an evening such as this – experimental melancholy and searing ensemble performances – in a better location. And you know what? We think you'd be into this sort of thing. Come spend your Saturday in Bohemian National Cemetery, as Wrekmeister Harmonies and a renowned roster of collaborators serenade you into darkness.
The performance will take place near the Mausoleum (not among the graves – we aren’t monsters!) at the south-east corner of Pulaski and Bryn Mawr. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and WREKMEISTER HARMONIES set will begin at 9:30, one hour after sunset. This is a one-of-a-kind event that is not to be missed!
"Reflective drones grow and decay, forming waves of overlapping sound that evolve into a gigantic roar of distorted guitar. Searing, disembodied howls and pummeling drums signal a shift from mournful to harrowing as Robinson and his ensemble lurch forward into the abyss." [Thrill Jockey]Tickets available here
Wrekmeister Harmonies - You've Always Meant So Much to Me from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.
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This Wednesday we’ll be screening the documentary, If We Shout Loud Enough, a film about one of our favorite Baltimore punk bands of the 2000s, essential underground legends DOUBLE DAGGER! The event will be taking place at Galerie F in Logan Square, starting at 7pm, and it’s only $7! This is one of those special, don’t miss Empty Bottle Presents events, for anyone “who was there” at one of there shows when they were still around. Galerie F is located at 2381 N Milwaukee Ave.
Watch the trailer:
If We Shout Loud Enough is an intimate portrait that follows the punk band, Double Dagger, as they complete their final tour and album, tracing the history and growth of both the band and Baltimore’s underground music and arts scene. Along the way, we learn how this charming trio captivated audiences and critics, and why Baltimore has become such a vital and diverse creative breeding ground for the ethos of DIY music and art. In personal and often hilarious interviews, Double Dagger and other members of the Baltimore music scene talk about how and why they create art outside of the mainstream. If We Shout Loud Enough is filled with extraordinary performance footage from Double Dagger’s last tour, much of it shot from amid the sweaty bodies surging around the band. Featuring interviews with: Dan Deacon and members of Wye Oak, Future Islands, Ruiner, Thank You, and many others.
Our favorite quote from the trailer: “Most bands now don’t have a personality, they have a haircut. And they don’t have a point of view, they have a publicist. I’m happy as hell you could never say that about Double Dagger.”