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Alex's Top 100 Albums Of 2018

For the last decade, Ive compiled a list of my favorite studio albums at the end of each year. It gives me a reason to go back and listen to everything again, and lays out a sort of pattern that helps me comprehend the year in music on some larger scale.2018 was an interesting year,...

Review | Ryley Walker @ The Empty Bottle 12-28-18

By: Alex WoodA large part of Ryley Walkers appeal is his level of unpredictability. Each studio record from the Chicago songwriter shifts sounds dramatically. Each tour features a different band delivering a different sound, even for the same old songs.Walkers an example of an artist simply following his heart and mind wherever they wander,...

Review & Photos | Post Animal @ Metro 12/15/18

Words: Ryan Mannix | Photos: Billy AndresCan a band have contradictory influences?Let's say a band has got a DIY, carefree punk side... the last thing you'd also expect to hear complementing it is the mellow 70s pop of Paul McCartney or Steely Dan. Well, that's what's up with Post Animal, who spent an enjoyable evening...

PHOTOS & RECAP: Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival 2018

By: Michael LepekNestled between towering buildings of New Orleans and in the shadow of historic Gallier Hall is a grassy acre of green space known as LaFayette Square. The park serves as a lunchtime spot for the bustling downtown crowd as well as a gathering place during the spring and summer.  Folks come to...

PHOTOS / RECAP | MC50 @ Metro

By: Howard GreenblattFifty years ago MC5 rolled out the soon-to-be iconic album Kick Out the Jams. It was truly a space where music and ideas would marry -- their manager John Sinclair was founder of the anti-racist, anti-war, anti-capitalism, pro-revolution White Panther Party.And, yes, MC5 was a badass, anti-establishment band. They will forever...

Setlist / Video / Audio | Bob Weir & Wolf Brothers Celebrate Halloween In Chicago

[instagram id="Bpn7L7-ny7I"]Bob Weir brought his trio to the Chicago Theatre for a Halloween night performance that was also webcast around the world.In nineteen songs that covered Grateful Dead, Ratdog and other tunes from the Dead Family songbook, Weird, bassist Don Was and drummer Jay Lane primed the sold-out crowd,...

The Top Ten Moments In Chicago Phish History

Phish returns this weekend to Allstate Arena.  The former Rosemont Horizon has played host home of some memorable shows, including five previous Phish performances dating back to 1995.Chicago has long been a Midwest stronghold for the band, even more so in recent years as the band has scaled back its touring.  And like...

The Incredibly Wild Ride of White Denim [House Of Blues Chicago 2018]

[instagram id="Bn0-ZVkAUUr"]Smoking hot take:  theres more noise in music circles around what White Denim once was (a lightning-in-a-bottle classic-indie-jamband mega-hybrid supernova of brilliance) than what they currently are (the picture of arty yet tuneful, rock-n-roll consistency).  I think we can still celebrate the shining moment of D without discounting the...

JJ Grey & Mofro + Blackberry Smoke Cap Inagural Concert Season at Gallagher Way

Look around and youd see plenty of grey hairs in Gallagher Way as the sun was fading on an early August evening.So sure, the kids arent flocking to see JJ Grey & Mofro and Blackberry Smoke, but given the nice-sized, yet decidedly older, crowd that assembled on a Thursday night in the shadow of...

Marcus King Does It All At Thalia Hall

[instagram id="BoPMwCRA4KJ"]I guess it takes a certain type of music fan to have multiple new Southern Rock bands on your radar in the year 2018. Yeah, Ive got a soft spot for the sound and Im always ready for another take on the venerable sub-genre.But these days, its Marcus King and his...