Thank you to everyone who voted in the Chicago Reader‘s 2015 Best of Poll, especially if you voted for us to win Best Music Venue and Best Rock Club. It’s our third year in-a-row taking home both top spots and fifth year getting the Best Rock Club nod in the Chicago Reader. Of course, awards and recognition aren’t the reason we do what we do, but it’s always damn nice to be recognized by the community for all the hard work that goes into making this place run day-in and day-out. Special thanks to all of the incredible artists who’ve graced our stage over the past 365, all the fans who’ve come out to see the shows, and of course, to our incredible staff for all of their hard work.
There are times when my life can feel like a fairy tale, and it all started Once Upon A Time in the sunshine filled, rolling hills of Athens, Ohio. Where the town is small, but house shows happen often, where nature reigns supreme and one of the most tight-knit communities finds a home. Athens is also the birthplace of DARK CIRCLES RECORDS, a label and collective devoted to producing and promoting independent music and art.
A few years has passed since the genesis of DCR and myself, along with what I will call a power team of friends that make up the masterminds of DCR and half of SODDY DAISY have since transplanted to the one and only Chicago, Illinois. What started as a group of my closest friends loosely putting out albums and throwing a lot of parties, has begun to grow into a driving force in the DIY scene, becoming more efficient and confident every step of the way. From the outside it’s easy to dismiss yet another DIY tape label emerging on the scene, but from the inside, knowing that a group of people you love is working towards bettering a community you love, well nothing can bring a tear to your eye more quickly.
Tonight DCR is celebrating the release of it’s first, of many, compilations and all the hard work it took to put it together. The track lists includes bands from varying genres and locations including some local legends like RABBLE RABBLE, THE LEMONS, NEGATIVE SCANNER, and new comers SODDY DAISY. To say that this compilation is unique is an understatement, from the tracks to the custom made packing, everything about this comp is special. I got to catch up with my good pal, Maureen Neer of SODDY DAISY to talk about life post-Ohio and the growing musical empire surrounding SODDY DAISY and DCR.
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Glitter Creeps is a Rock/Punk/New Wave queer night hosted and co-curated by Donnie Moore & Madison Moore, who you may know as two-thirds of Chicago punk band ABSOLUTELY NOT. Donnie and Madison started hosting Glitter Creeps at the Bottle just last month, and we’ve got em booked on the second or third Wednesday of the Month through the winter (at least). Madison gets behind the bar and plays “Guest Bartender” (this month: Jello Shots) while Donny plays Mr. DJ from the good ol’ Piano DJ Booth. Don’t miss em THIS WEDNESDAY for Party #2!
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.”
In case you haven’t heard, a year from now (October 2015) Chicago publisher Curbside Splendor is putting out a book about us and they want your stories, photographs, and art! This is the LAST CALL for submissions: You have until December 31st, 2014 to submit something for the Empty Bottle BOOK! Journey through the dark, twisted, beer-soaked canals of your mind to come up with something YOU think the people will want to read about.
For our 8th Episode, still with a Parental Advisory on iTunes, we are honored to welcome three of the righteous dudes from beloved Chicago institution, Permanent Records. Dave, Robert and Jamie get around the table to talk about in-stores, Boris and other favorite bands. Then Dave gets Permanent Records founders Lance and Liz on the phone all the way from LA to talk about Permanent’s Bronze Anniversary and the party we’ll be hosting with them at the Bottle on Oct 27 celebrating the release of Oozing Wound’s newest LP. This month we also welcome one of our favorite local bands, Running to discuss higher education and other “high” exploits. They’ll be joining in the celebration on October 27 and then will be returning to the Bottle to open the two sold out Thee Oh Sees shows here in November.
OOZING WOUND is in a genre all it’s own and it literally doesn’t give a shit. The three person riff-heavy, punk outfit has been thrashing skulls and taking names for roughly three years with no signs of slowing down. This month they’re celebrating the release of their second full length album, Earth Suck, out on Thrill Jockey last week. In the new record, you can find even more caustic examination of mankind, an impressive blend of punk, metal and rock & roll, and some very cheeky lyrics, that is if you can decipher them. I met up with the trashy trio for an interview that’s as serious as the band itself, during which I weird out Zach Weil, discuss past wounds, and the toppings on an Oozing Wound specialty dog.
I first met Juan Wauters in November last year, opening for his band The Beets at Glasslands in Brooklyn. We became quick friends and realized we had a lot in common musically. Months later he released his outstanding debut solo album North American Poetry. Soon after we played a handful of shows together in Austin for SXSW, where we did nothing but chill. Since then we’ve kept in touch and hang whenever the opportunity is there. Juan and homeboy Mac Demarco dropped by my last show in Brooklyn a couple months back, which is when the picture above was taken.
To get down to business, Juan is one of the most unique songwriters in recent years. He has a weird philosophical take on day-to-day living in his lyrics. His live show and aesthetic is as unique as everything else he does. Backed by Matt Volz’s artwork and an array of triggered lighting, he engages the audience by himself in the chillest way imaginable.
This is his third Empty Bottle performance of 2014 and I could not be more excited to have him back! I caught up with my man on the phone today for a little interview action, and here’s what he had to say.
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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.
Though you may not assume it when listening to their music, YAWN are DIY renegades. The phrase DIY usually doesn’t bring the type of immaculate production style that YAWN’s recordings feature. They represent a sort of hybrid animal within current music that reflects aspects of both recent DIY and archaic pop aspects of music. On one side, they are self-producing and recording. On the other, they have quality sounding recordings with an acute attention to detail. They have the assets of time and artistic control on their side and it has shown ever since their first EP in 2010.