• Sat November 28, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Windy City Soul Club
    $5 cover

    The WINDY CITY SOUL CLUB boasts that the "best rare soul deejays in Chicago come together to create the best party this city has ever seen," and if you're inclined to think real deejays need only a box full of vinyl, you'll likely agree. WCSC deejays play all original vinyl of the Northern Soul variety, Motown-style gems, regional hits, ace dancing tunes as well as your favorite recognizable sing-along classics. If you've ever wanted to "shake a tail feather" tonight's your night to get dapper and get down. Early arrival is recommended to avoid waiting in line outside! $5 cover (no advance tickets), 21+

    (Chicago Mixtape) (Gapers Block)

  • Sun November 29, 2015 4:30 pm
    • Empty Bottle Book Club: 'Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl' by Carrie Brownstein

    Support a local business/great cause by picking up your copy of Carrie Brownstein's Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl from our friends at 826CHI!

    The Empty Bottle Book Club is back and better than ever. Come by on Sunday, November 29th for a few drinks and a hearty, healthy discussion of the new memoir Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein.

    From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, the book Kim Gordon says “everyone has been waiting for” — a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life—and finding yourself—in music.

    Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance. With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as “America’s best rock band” by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock.

    HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era’s flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later.

    With deft, lucid prose Brownstein proves herself as formidable on the page as on the stage. Accessibly raw, honest and heartfelt, this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll.

  • Sun November 29, 2015 9:00 pm
    • "More Than Just a Pretty Face" featuring Music & Art from the Empty Bottle Staff : Che Arthur
    • Woodstock 99
    • DJ Zack Weil (Oozing Wound) & More TBA!
    $8 or Free with RSVP

    Tonight's show is FREE with RSVP, which must be submitted individually (no +1s) through TicketWeb by 7pm the night of the show. Your RSVP does not guarantee admission if we reach capacity. However, buying an advance ticket through TicketWeb does.

    More Than Just a Pretty Face is a showcase of live music and visual art created by members of the Empty Bottle/Bite Staff. Please join us to behold the polymath abilities of the servers, bartenders, sound and door persons at your favorite cultural institution!

    Featured artists:
    Erin Page Armstrong // Natalia Becker // Lecee Beggs // Christine Ciarleglio // Bill Connors // Ashleigh Dye // Jesy Grose // Charlie Megna // Devin Owsley-Aquilia // Lauren Taylor // Joe Schorgl // Kara Selberis // Erin Toale

    Live music performers:
    Bruce Lamont // Che Arthur // Woodstock 99 // DJ Zack Weil

    Your RSVP will get you a complimentary drink ticket, good for 1 Revolution Brewing beer or the non-alcoholic beverage of your choice!

  • Mon November 30, 2015 9:00 pm
    • The Bribes
    • PONYSHOW [Von Bondies]
    • Bleach Party
    • Glad Rags
    Free Monday

    THE BRIBES play dirty, moody, imaginative blues-rock from the soul. Relying on genre-bending songwriting originality and good old-fashioned musical instrumentation, the Chicago four-piece has developed a dynamic brand of rock and roll since forming in 2011. Haunting vocals and huge electric guitars act as anchors to round out their dark, bluesy sound. THE BRIBES released their first full-length record, The Man is Good and Fine, in early 2013, boasting nine raw, complex tunes that were made for the modern stage. Last time they played here we helped em celebrate the release of their follow-up EP, the raw, real and complex Nobody Got Anywhere – pick up your copy before you leave! PONYSHOW is a trio from Detroit that makes dirty, grungey rock music that can hardly fit into any one genre. You could call it “punk” or “alternative” or some kind of “grunge-hybrid” if you want, but it mostly defies genrefication (definitely a word) as it throws your sorry ass from one side of the room to the other. Featuring three original members of aught-rock heroes THE VON BONDIES (Leann Banks, Donny Blum, Jason Stollsteimer), these three sad cats bash out some of the catchiest guitar-rock we’ve heard from Detroit in ages – crunchy guitars, buzzing basslines and pummeling drums pair perfectly with the boy-girl vocal harmonies as they sing/shout little ditties like “Please don’t make me tell my folks.” Good stuff! BLEACH PARTY formed in May 2012 and has been knocking out their surfy, sweaty rock & roll ever since. Comprised of members of RABBLE RABBLE and RODEO, the four-piece was hailed for their "swinging, fuzzed-out garage" by the Chicago Reader and Chicagoist calls their single "Empty Heads" a "a fuzzy, melodic rocker filled to the brim with happy hooks." BLEACH PARTY is the kind of band that'll make you feel like you're partying on the beach no matter what time of year it is, which is perfect because winter fucking sucks and we could use some imaginary Vitamin-fucking-D right about now. Kicking off the night is rag-punk trio GLAD RAGS and they’re here to celebrate the release of their debut self-titled album, courtesy of Grandpa Bay Records. They call it “Jazz Fu” and “Randy Newman dance music, which is surprisingly accurate. It’s as bizarre as those genres would suggest and sounds like if Mr. Newman fronted a DIY punk band from Prohibition-era Chicago.

  • Tue December 1, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Rocket From the Tombs
    • Obnox
    • Protovulcan

    More than 40 years ago, the world blinked and missed ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS. The band formed in Cleveland in the summer of '74 and less than a year later - having released no music and played only a handful of shows - the quintet splintered into punk pioneers the DEAD BOYS and abrasive art-rock outfit PERE UBU. While from the outside DEAD and UBU have little in common, ROCKET somehow contained elements of both, fusing punk guitar aggression with darkly cerebral lyrics. Over time, the ROCKET legend grew and after reuniting in the 2000s for a series of tours, the band got together in Cleveland in the summer of '10 to record their first proper LP, Barfly, out via Fire Records in late 2011, when we were lucky enough to host them on our stage for the very first time. A thunderstorm of proto-punk poetry and contorted, art-garage anthems, the new incarnation brought the same fury that led GREG KOT from Sound Opinions to say, "ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS is not just the great lost proto-punk band of the '70s. It's one of the best bands of the 21st Century."

  • Wed December 2, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Shitizen
    • Eske
  • Thu December 3, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Empty Bottle & Curbside Splendor present "My Kind of Sound: The Secret History of Chicago Music Compendium" Release Party featuring Bobby Conn's My Chicago: A Multi Media Presentation
    • ONO
    • Athanor
    • VCSR
    $8 or Free with RSVP

    Curbside Splendor + Steve Krakow host the MY KIND OF SOUND: THE SECRET HISTORY OF CHICAGO MUSIC COMPENDIUM Book Release Party at The Empty Bottle.

    My Kind of Sound compiles more than a decade worth of “The Secret History of Chicago Music,” the illustrated column by Steve Krakow (“Plastic Crimewave”) that has been printed bi-weekly in the Chicago Reader since 2005. There is much to discover in these stories; amidst the slighted fame, botched contracts, overdoses, and break-ups, Krakow spotlights the glory that exists in making music.

    Each of the more than 200 columns included in My Kind of Sound were painstakingly constructed by Krakow in his signature scissor-and-glue process, the same he employs in his long-running psychedelic zine, Galactic Zoo Dossier. Charmed though his process may be, Krakow’s gigantic love for music and the people who make it is serious and staggering and the resulting collection is as fun as it is important. Jim DeRogatis of Sound Opinions says in his foreword: "Those of us who care about the good stuff know what [Krakow] has done, and we love him for it."

    The book will be for sale and Steve/PCW will be signing copies!

  • Fri December 4, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Tall Pat Records presents CUDDLESTOCK featuring Flesh Panthers
    • Clearance
    • The Rubs
    • Glyders
    $8 or Free with RSVP

    Its back, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. For the third year, Tall Pat Records and Thee Empty Bottle bring you CUDDLESTOCK. After two historically successful sold out shows, you might ask how can they up their game this time? The answer is we don’t need to. You know your going to attend. You need Cuddlestock. Without it, life is meaningless like reading about music on blogs. Once more, we bring you some of the hottest bands in town. Stay tuned...

    December 4th, 2015
    $8 or Free With RSVP
    Don’t Be A Square, You Can Watch A Neckbeard Stream Video Games Later.

  • Sat December 5, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Yakuza
    • Scientists
    • Two From The Eye
    • xmarsx
  • Sun December 6, 2015 2:00 pm
    • Cajun Dance Party featuring Chicago Cajun All-Stars

    Our love for all things Cajun just doesn't stop and today we see the return of the Cajun Dance Party! Come by all afternoon for Cajun music and dancing, grab a few drinks, and let your spirit soar to heart of New Orleans.

    THE CHICAGO CAJUN ALL-STARS play traditional Cajun waltzes and two-steps with real gusto and zeal. Double fiddles, Cajun accordion, guitar, bass and drums energize the dance floor. Playing with a nod to French Louisiana, all songs are sung in Cajun French. The members of the band are widely known outside of Chicago, having played and jammed with many Southwest Louisiana Cajun and Creole musicians. These all stars bring the heart of Cajun life to the dance hall!

    (Fox 8 Live NOLA)

  • Sun December 6, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Tiny Fireflies (Album Release)
    • Airiel
    • StarTropics
    • Dogs from Redding

    (AllMusic Album Stream) (CMJ)

  • Mon December 7, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Mooner
    • Midnight Reruns
    • Total Jams [VLLLAGE]

    THE DUMPSTER BABIES will once again grace the Bottle stage with their uncompromising brand of "Dumb Dumb Rock and Roll." This fun-lovin' four-piece has played loads of kick-ass shows on our stage and their sound can probably be best described in their own words: "We like to sing, we like to dance, sometimes we make pee-pee in our pants." These surfin’ power poppers love it when you chuck your empty beer cans at em, so come down and hurl away! MOONER plays power-pop for the 21st century. Melding their signature double lead-guitar attack with deceptively simple pop songwriting that pays homage to Elvis Costello, Big Star and Warren Zevon, MOONER has become a favorite in the Chicago rock community since forming in 2011. Despite an undeniably huge sound–engineer Mike Hagler (WILCO, NEKO CASE) records the band live in a converted warehouse–they tear with punk-rock economy through nimble arrangements, which turn on a dime from towering solos to candy-sweet This Lizzy guitarmonies to moments of swirling noise. MIDNIGHT RERUNS is a loud-as-fuck Milwaukee-based rock & roll band doing the best they can and, chances are, they're doing a whole lot better than you are. Snotty, loud power-pop for the pill-popping maniacs of the Midwest, these four bad dads write soaring, rip-roaring punk anthems that'll leave you gasping for air, as seen on this year's Get Me Out EP. The band headlined the first night of Milwaukee's Dusty Medical Fest back in August and are releasing their new full length album, Force Of Nature, on that esteemed label later this fall, so watch your back if you know what's good for you. Kicking things off tonight is TOTAL JAMS, formerly known as VLLLΔGE, who were once known as VLLLAGE, but started off as just plain ol' VILLAGE (we think). A local trio of dudes making consistently catchy, fuzzy, low-fuss-but-high-quality tuneage on a handful of excellent releases, TOTAL JAMS describes their sound as "Stoner-henge party jams best after last call but before 6am." Well, tonight you'll see em play around 9pm and that's something you'll just have to deal with that -- at least it'll be dark as hell out.

  • Tue December 8, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Avvenir
    • Wet Mouth
    • Teen Brigade
  • Thu December 10, 2015 9:00 pm
    • CHIRP welcomes
    • J Fernandez
    • The Hecks
    • Mines


  • Sat December 12, 2015 12:00 pm
    • Handmade Market

    Shop ❄ - Eat ❄❄ - Drink ❄❄❄ - Live it ❄❄❄❄ - Love it ❄❄❄❄❄

    Fill up at Bite cafe and drink up at The Empty Bottle. Too easy :-)

    You know you want to. We know you do. Handmade Market Chicago is a unique event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the unique and handmade. Not to mention, there are more than 30 amazing sellers in the mix!

    Each event is held on the second Saturday of every month, from the months of October - April. Noon to 4:00 PM. FREE admission to the public. 21+ and parents with kids (same goes for sellers).

    (Chicago Now) (Gaper's Block) (Time Out) (Tribune) (Windy City Live)

  • Sat December 12, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Meat Wave
    • Melkbelly
    • Sophagus
    • Rad Payoff
    $5 (limited), $10

    It's been nearly ten months since we last got some love from Chicago three-piece MEAT WAVE, but the punk rockers are returning to our stage tonight to fill us with their fierce and meaty goodness. These dudes really rock the shit out of their songs and we can't help but rage every time we listen to em, be it their rippin' debut full length or this year's acerbic follow-up, Delusion Moon, out this past September via Side One Dummy. Entertainment Weekly says MEAT WAVE "bites harder than a polar vortex gust tearing down Michigan Avenue." How's that for a geographically topical reference? Tonight sees the trio returning to Chicago for a hometown show after a busy-ass fall, so get ready to take it to the next level and show these boys why we love em so dang much. Before you catch their set here tonight, stream their new album over at the AV Club and get ready to ride the wave, ya heard? MATT ENGERS, a.k.a. SOPHAGUS VonEisengervich, is a multi-faceted artist mainly focused on beat-centered humanistic freakout music, visual art, and design. Walking the disparate line between hip-hop and experimental music, SOPHAGUS will bump the stage to give the audience a taste of a tight creative balance between lo-fi rapping and electronic beats. Almost reminiscent of alternative hip hop act DAS RACIST, ENGERS takes multiple experimental influences to sculpt a sound that's his own bizarre world. RAD PAYOFF returns to the Empty Bottle tonight for the first time in over a year, when they were fresh on the heels of their debut full-length, The Good, The Rad and The Ugly, out on Let's Pretend. Playing noisy, hard-edged punk with raw guitars, punishing rhythms and nasty, guttural vocals, RAD PAYOFF's self-dubbed "slow speed metal" provides that much-needed smack upside the head you've been asking for.

    (AV Club Album Stream) (Reader Soundcheck) (RedEye)

  • Sun December 13, 2015 11:00 am
    • School of Rock Hinsdale
    $10 (under 10 FREE)
  • Sun December 13, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Nick D' & The Believers
    • The Oarsman
    $8 (advance), $10
  • Mon December 14, 2015 9:00 pm
    • MAMA (Record Release)
    • Vamos
    • Swimsuit Addition
    • City Slang
  • Wed December 16, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Glitter Creeps presents : Bad Bad Meow
    • Sheep Numbers
    • The Holy Alimonies
    • Donkey Hotel

    Glitter Creeps is a Rock/Punk/New Wave queer night hosted and co-curated by Donnie Moore & Madison Moore of ABSOLUTELY NOT. The monthly showcase, which goes down on the third Wednesday of each month, was declared Best punk-rock LGBTQ night in Chicago Reader's 2015 Best Of issue and was included in Chicagoist's Best Queer Nightlife In Chicago. Each month brings new and exciting bands from Chicago and beyond to perform on our stage and we're stoked for the lineup that they've put together tonight.

    Advance ticket purchase includes guaranteed entrance AND one drink ticket good for Tiger Beer or the non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. All for just $5!

  • Thu December 17, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Wrekmeister Harmonies
    • Bell Witch
    • Horizon of Darkness

    J.R. ROBINSON is a Chicago-based sound artist who works under the name WREKMEISTER HARMONIES to explore the darkest corners of minimalistic synth, drone, and ambient music, combined with visual projections he creates. His Thrill Jockey debut, 2013's You've Always Meant So Much To Me, and it's 2014 follow-up, Then It All Came Down, are album-length compositions spread over two sides of vinyl, featuring some of Chicago's most infamous minds in the metal and experimental worlds. ROBINSON is one of the minds behind our shows at the Bohemian National Cemetery, having conceptualized and performed at our summer and winter concerts these past few years, so we're always excited to welcome him for a stripped down performance here tonight.

    (Consequence of Sound) (Revolver) (Terrorizer)

  • Fri December 18, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Ryley Walker
    • Circuit des Yeux
    • Moon Bros
  • Sun December 20, 2015 9:00 pm
    • State Champion
    • Health & Beauty
    • Sapat
    • Scott Tuma

    State Champions. as exemplified by parson weems and too the personality cult of dave thomas; a thin line exists between fact and fable. a spatial vacuum occupied only by his airness. gaps in parchment and in scroll are susceptible to the sway of the raconteur. like the clay tablets of samaria and the annunaki creation myth, an understanding of origins is fundamental. state champion is no different.

  • Mon December 21, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Chicago Singles Club Presents : Crown Larks
    • ShowYouSuck
    • The Cell Phones
    • Ace Da Vinci
    Free Monday
  • Mon December 28, 2015 9:00 pm
    • 11th Annual Alex Chilton Birthday Bash
    Free Monday

    Tonight is YEAR ELEVEN of the ALEX CHILTON BIRTHDAY BASH -- and it's on a Free Monday, to boot! Each year, we honor the great singer-songwriter's legacy (and birthday) by having a slew of bands come down to play a bunch of his memorable songs on our fair stage. You probably remember CHILTON for his esteemed solo career, an early start with THE BOX TOPS, and as the main songwriter for power pop pioneers BIG STAR. Come down, grab a drink, cry a lil, and partake in a very special edition of this annual tradition.

    (The A.V. Club) (Pitchfork) (Reader) (Sun-Times)

  • Thu December 31, 2015 9:00 pm
    • The Gories & The Oblivians
    $35 (adv), $40

    Spend New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with garage rock legends THE GORIES and THE OBLIVIANS! Tickets go on sale Friday, 11/6 @ 10am, but you can get them from the Empty Bottle Box Office from 5-8pm on Wednesday and Thursday, 11/4 & 11/5. Avoid online ticketing fees and have a drink with us while you make your NYE & NYD plans!

  • Logan Square Auditorium Thu December 31, 2015 9:00 pm
    • Windy City Soul Club
    $15 (limited), $20

    The WINDY CITY SOUL CLUB is coming back to Logan Square Auditorium to help Chicago ring in the New Year. Yes yes, y'all, these fine fellas create the best soul dance party this city has ever seen once/month at the Empty Bottle so they're primed and ready to tear the roof off LSA once again. WCSC deejays play all original vinyl of the Northern Soul variety, Motown-style gems, regional hits, ace dancing tunes as well as your favorite recognizable sing-along classics. If you've ever wanted to "shake a tail feather" while counting down to 2016, then you've found your party. Tonight's your night to get dapper and get down.

    (Gapers Block) (Time Out)

  • Fri January 1, 2016 9:00 pm
    • The Oblivians & The Gories

    Spend New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with garage rock legends THE OBLIVIANS and THE GORIES! Tickets go on sale Friday, 11/6 @ 10am, but you can get them from the Empty Bottle Box Office from 5-8pm on Wednesday and Thursday, 11/4 & 11/5. Avoid online ticketing fees and have a drink with us while you make your NYE & NYD plans!

  • Mon January 4, 2016 9:00 pm
    • Bottomed
    • Nude Attitude [Rectal Hygienics]
    • Holy Family [Rectal Hygienics]
    • Skrewherit
    Free Monday
  • Wed January 6, 2016 9:00 pm
    • Reaches [I Love You]
    • Richard Album & The Singles
    • Mega Bog
    • Deadbeat
  • Mon January 11, 2016 9:00 pm
    • Teen Cult
    • Longface
    • New Color
    • Coaster
    Free Monday

    9pm // FREE // 21+

    Formerly Water House, a series of bad financial moves and crippling ponzi schemes forced the band to eat their old "Manager" and scrap the whole operation, which was itself a ponzi scheme. After a long vision quest that drummer Smyth didn't partake in....TEEN CULT. 

    TEEN CULT's purpose is simple; To destroy rock music forever.

    LONGFACE creates angular anti-pop, pop structures centered around the universe of fictional characters Longface & Agnes Pachoulia Earheart.

    NEW COLOR, a trio from Chicago rooted equally in punk rock and jazz. Through the course of their songs, the band can seamlessly flows between several genres, swelling from the beautifully calm to the devastatingly severe. With a penchant for melody and technicality, their compositions will lure you in, as seen on their debut full length, Open Heart Surge Through Me, released at the beginning of 2015.

    COASTER is four dudes from Chicago, taking it to the limit and beyond.

  • Fri January 29, 2016 9:00 pm
    • NE-HI

    Born out of the backyards and basements of Chicago's DIY music scene, NE-HI's nostalgic-rock brings you back to a time that may have never existed. It may be the past. It may be the future. But, it is certainly a place where you feel younger, better looking, and you dance until you are soaked in sweat. A place where you know the best bands before your older brother and all the cool kids at school. The quartet's guitar-driven songwriting and distinct harmonies produce a sound that is both raw and relaxed, rough and humble. Formed to score a friend's film in the summer of 2013, the foursome–made up of Alex Otake, James Weir, Jason Balla and Mikey Wells–recognized the electricity between its four members and chose to continue making music. Since then, the foursome has toured the Midwest and East Coast, building a reputation as a promising young American band.

  • Thu February 11, 2016 9:00 pm
    • Des Ark
    • Options

    (NPR Music) (Pitchfork)

  • Fri February 12, 2016 9:00 pm
    • Disappears
    • Negative Scanner
    • HIDE

    Irreal, the fifth long player from Chicago's Disappears, is another trip down the rabbit hole. This time the album plays out as a dream sequence – hazed dub landscapes give way to the bands most experimental and open music yet. If their last album Era confirmed the fact that Disappears are on their own trip then Irreal is where it kicks in. Eternalism, roboethics, identity – it's a Ballardian mix of imperfect melodies, half thoughts and good ol' dystopian modernity. Produced by John Congleton at famed Chicago recording institution Electrical Audio, Irreal sits in the negative space where art rock and post punk collapse onto each other. It's the sound of Disappears reporting back from The Void.

  • Rockefeller Chapel at University of Chicago Sat February 13, 2016 7:00 pm
    • Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    $30 GA / $40 Preferred

    Godspeed You! Black Emperor began with Efrim, Mauro and Moya in the early 90s, playing a handful of shows and recording a self-released cassette as a trio before deciding to transform the group into a large band. Recruiting numerous Montreal musicians through 1995-1996, GYBEmounted sense-rattling wall-of-sound performances, featuring as many as 14 musicians and several 16mm film projectors, before recording their debut vinyl-only Constellation album in 1997.

    They transformed a warehouse space into the Hotel2Tango, a DIY hive of activity with band rehearsal rooms, silkscreen and wood shops, and weekend shows that took place under the radar. The group settled into a permanent nine-member line-up by late 1998, with Aidan and Bruce on drums, Thierry and Mauro on basses, Efrim, Dave and Roger on guitars, and Norsola and Sophie on cello and violin respectively.

    The band toured and recorded incessantly from 1998-2002 and gained a reputation for mesmerising live shows marked by orchestral dynamics, epic rock power and clunky, beautiful film loops. After four records, GYBE announced an indefinite hiatus in 2003; which lasted until December 2010, when the band returned to curate and performs at All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK, followed by extensive international touring. October 2012 saw the release of ‘ALLELUJAH! DON’T BEND! ASCEND!, their first recorded work in a decade, to widespread critical acclaim.

  • Wed February 24, 2016 9:00 pm
    • Eleanor Friedberger
    $13 (advance), $15

    New View, the third solo album by Eleanor Friedberger, was rehearsed in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park and recorded in upstate New York. The former is a place where characters in Warren Zevon songs get clingy with their old lady while toughing out heroin withdrawal; the latter is where Bob Dylan got clingy with Robbie Robertson after flying off his motorcycle and revisiting the highway with his face. Fittingly, there's a fair amount of recovery in the songs of New View (though you won't find much in the way of smack or motorcycles). "Today I'm frozen but tomorrow I'll write about you," Friedberger sings, and much of the album seems set in that post-traumatic tomorrow, when stuff's calmed down, the figurative road rash has healed, the metaphorical junkie sweating up your mattress has finally packed his bags. 

    Counting the albums she made with her brother Matthew as the Fiery Furnaces, this is Friedberger's twelfth full-length. I've been listening since the beginning, and to me New View seems like just that -- a vista that's opened up when I thought I'd seen everything Friedberger had to offer. (Then again, I believed her last album Personal Record was indeed her best to date, so maybe I'm just susceptible to album titles.) Before she entered the studio with New View producer Clemens Knieper, Friedberger made a playlist of reference songs. A live version of "Warm Love" by Van Morrison was on there, as was 80s-era Dylan, Neil Young at his most bummed out, a scattering of Robert Wyatt-era Soft Machine, and the odd gem by Slapp Happy, Fleetwood Mac, Funkadelic, et al. There are ghost notes of all of those influences on New View, but mostly you hear Eleanor Friedberger. She's never lacked confidence -- this is someone who once took a fractured nine-minute ballad about the international blueberry trade and put it across like it was "Thunder Road" -- but there's a new kind of confidence on this record. You can hear it on the warm, stately "Your Word," which holds a special place for Friedberger. 

    For everything new about New View, it still fits comfortably in the continuity of Friedberger's work. By coincidence, Knieper's studio in Germantown, NY where the album was recorded is in a barn that was once rented by Matthew Friedberger and stored the furniture of their grandmother -- the same grandmother whose spoken word reminiscences were the basis of the Fiery Furnaces LP Rehearsing My Choir. You won't hear much of that album here, but songs like "Open Season" recall the Furnaces at their most magisterial. The wry, plainspoken "Because I Asked You" builds on the style Friedberger first polished on her solo debut Last Summer. And then there's "A Long Walk," the sun-striped finale that lends a memorable afterglow to New View. It's a sweet, aching goodbye from an album that seems full of them. 


  • Wed March 16, 2016 9:00 pm
    • Glitter Creeps presents ... Rob Crow's Gloomy Place


  • Rockefeller Chapel at University of Chicago Mon March 21, 2016 7:00 pm
    • José González with yMusic
    $30 GA / $40 Preferred

    Since releasing “In Our Nature” in 2007, José González has been steadily collecting ideas for new songs.

    An album consisting of years’ worth of musical sketches might naturally sprawl wildly in production and style, but on “Vestiges & Claws”, González has created a collection of songs that cohere just about perfectly. It travels from the glowering, riff-driven ‘Stories We Build, Stories We Tell’ via the groovy ‘Leaf Off /The Cave’ to the anthemic ‘Every Age.’ For those familiar with José’s earlier work there is little doubt as to who is behind these recordings.

    “I started out thinking that I wanted to continue in the same minimalistic style as on my two previous records,” says José. “But once I started the actual recordings I soon realized that most of the songs turned out better with added guitars and a more beat-like percussion, and with more backing vocals. Personally, I think this made it a more interesting and varied album.”

    The result is less purist, less strict. One can find traces of inspired protest songs and eccentric folk rock here: monotonous grooves and rhythms, frustration and optimism. It’s a collection that is simultaneously confident, free and tentative.

  • Tue May 31, 2016 9:00 pm
    • Modern English
    • Burnt Hair
    • DJ Philly Peroxide

    UK post-punk vets MODERN ENGLISH will be returning to America to perform their incredible early 4AD material on their Mesh & Lace Tour. That includes the hit song "I Melt With You" and music off their first three albums, Mesh & LaceAfter The Snow and Ricochet Days, released from 1981-1984.

    (Brooklyn Vegan)

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