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.
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.
TORRES & LADY LAMB THE BEEKEEPER co-headline a show this Thursday, June 27th at the Bottle that will leave you swooning, honey. MACKENZIE SCOTT and ALY SPALTRO, respectively, make music that’s as rough-and-tumble as it is emotionally lush, as raw and imbued with blues and roots tradition as it is touching and straight to the heart. They have each crafted a singular breed of modern American folk that is distinct from each other and those who have come before. What unites them is an honest delivery, gorgeous pipes, and friendship knives.
Brooklynite Lady Lamb dropped her record, Ripely Pine, in February on Ba Da Bing! Torres self-released her self-titled, debut LP from her home in Nashville in January. This is one of the last few dates these gals have on their brief touring stint together that by the looks of it has been just as fun as you’d imagine it would be. Probably because of those friendship knives.
One of our favorite mellow rockin’ openers, Chicago’s Judson Claiborne returns to play their deliciously poignant tunes for your ears’ delights.
The starts at 9. Tickets are 10 dollas here or at the door.
Written by our trusted intern BEN WILKES