Some roads to the bottle take longer than others. In the case of San Francisco’s A MINOR FOREST, it’s taken damn-near 15 years to make it back to our little stage, but here they come once again. Since it’s taken the math/post-rock trio so long to get here, we’ll try to keep this short and sweet. It kind of makes sense to anyone familiar with their music, which excels at stopping, starting, and shifting directions at a moment’s notice. After releasing a couple awesome, cerebral records back in the 90s, the band disappeared for 15 years and, out of nowhere, has decided to come back for one final farewell.
Road to the Bottle Empty Bottle Presents BLACK LIPS at Logan Square Auditorium!
This is a very special edition of Road to The Bottle because it features some old friends of ours, a band that’s been playing our stage (and various EBP rooms) for close to a decade. It’s also the first RTTB to feature a band not actually playing THE Empty Bottle. If you’re a fan of contemporary rock & roll, chances are you’re well aware of Atlanta’s BLACK LIPS. They’ve been burning up the punk underground for damn-near 15 years and have slowly peaked their heads into mainstream consciousness these past few years with kick-ass records that stay true to their old-school punk roots. If you haven’t heard their brand new record, Underneath The Rainbow (VICE), give it a spin and come on down for the show tomorrow night. Hopefully you’ve already got your ticket, though, cause that shit’s been sold out for months!
Not all of us can journey down to the SXSW. We have day jobs, obligations up here in Chicago. Besides, why bother fighting the crowds and BBQ lines? If you’ve paid close attention, all the best acts from SXSW have been stopping by the Bottle in the last couple weeks or will come by in the next month. So, you know, you’re welcome.
Shearwater’s road to the Bottle has seen them passing through a multitude of environments and working on their sharing skills. Their road to the Bottle has featured long drives from Austin to Atlanta, and Seattle to Salt Lake City. But their next drive may be the longest of all. See their show at the Bottle Saturday night also serves as a bon voyage party before the band heads to Vienna, Austria. That’s right Shearwater’s last view of America for two months will be all you beautiful people that hang out at here at this place we call the Empty Bottle.
Shearwater is the music of Jonathan Meiburg, who also provided his multi-instrumental talents to a band called Okkervil River (Check out his gorgeous backstage selfie above). Shearwater’s music is like no one else’s while also feeling immediately familiar. Their sound manages to contain a folkiness that feels comfortable, while being much more sonically inventive than any folk artist we can think of. See their cover of the excellent Mountain Goats song, “This Year”. Meiburg remains true to the feeling of the original while effectively adding electronic beeps and a sweet synth line to the melody!
[Oh, yeah! Shearwater did a whole album of wonderful covers of songs by their former tourmates. You should buy it at their show!]
Shearwater’s newer stuff has been far more informed by that genre endearingly called “rock”. Meiburg’s voice wander’s in operatic fashion. This is a man who really knows how to sing. And sing he does, he sings about the likes of snow leopards, golden archipelagos, black rivers and birds. But the driving propulsion of the drums always keep the songs moving forward. The arrangements are lush and full they expand creating beautiful sonic landscapes but never feel like their sole goal is to explore texture (see:put you to sleep). These are well crafted songs, and it’s going to be a delight to see Shearwater pull them off live here!
Just cause Shearwater won’t put you to sleep doesn’t mean they don’t need to catch up on some Zs with all the traveling they do!
The road to the bottle began in Vancouver for The Pack A.D. and has since taken them through some of America’s amber waves of grain and red desert’s majesty. Don’t be fooled though, this band is Canadian through and through. What does that mean for you? It means they’re guaranteed to be some of the nicest people to ever rock your face off.
The Belle Game tour just kicked off last week, but they come to us all the way from Vancouver. We’re happy to have them back after seeing their delightfully dark live show last year when they stopped here on their tour with Bear Mountain. They’re stopping at the Empty Bottle as part of their detailed U.S. tour which has them traveling to all the cool cities and discussing how frequent pioneers got laid.
A wise man with long golden locks once said that, “The road to the Bottle isn’t always smooth. It’s not always trips to London and Paris, or the most exotic beaches.” That man is correct, of course. The truth is that sometimes in life you escape from the crocodiles unscathed, and sometimes the ‘crocodiles’ of life total your van. So the road to the bottle hasn’t been easy for The Casket Girls and The Graveface Roadshow, but as you can see they’re staying in good spirits.
Courtney Barnett and her band, The Courtney Barnetts, have had an exceptionally long road to the bottle. They come to us all the way from Melbourne, Australia. But lately they’ve been hanging around London and Paris where they had a handful of performances over the past week or so.
Check em out below!
Jeffrey Novak has been at the center of Cheap Time since the band started in 2006. Jeff writes and sings all those Cheap Time songs we love. He’s also the guy standing in the middle of that photograph, but that aint Lake Michigan he’s standing in. These guys are in the middle of a massive U.S. tour which has seen them swerving around all those states that are warmer than ours.
Cheap Time have been teasing us before their Valentine’s day date at the bottle with these photos they keep sending. The pics are quite the tantalizing. They show us a band we love, but haven’t had the pleasure of seeing in almost three years, and that there is still land that exists outside this polar vortex.
POTTY MOUTH is four ladies from western Massachusetts who are simply doing what they want to do. This straightforward approach to living may seem naïve in our modern world, but it appears to be working out pretty well for them. As the chorus of approving blogs (Spin, CMJ, Pitchfork, Noisey, and NPR among them) and a growing nest of fans might agree, it’s both admirable and enjoyable to watch come together.
Ally, Phoebe, Ally, and Victoria are going on two years making badass melodic pop music with punk rock in their hearts and minds. They clearly came of age in the 90s, but are not to be fetishized as a teenage punk band. Nor, as they have made clear in every interview they’ve done, are they to be labeled as RIOT GRRRL, because that’s “lazy and reductive” and “gender does not equal genre.” Boo-yah.
Learn more about the gals in POTTY MOUTH and view some adorbz photoz after the jump.