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Setlist / Photos / Video: The Pod Featuring Dean Ween @ Tonic Room 2/4/14

Ween's Mickey Melchiondo (aka Dean Ween) has made Chicago a regular stopping place these days. First, he dropped in unexpectedly with The Pod, our local Ween tribute band in September. Then, he found himself at Cubby Bear with his Moistboyz project in December.On February 4th, The Pod was billed with a VERY SPECIAL GUEST...

Recap / Photos / Video: Dark Star Orchestra @ The Vic 1/31/14

Dark Star Orchestra set the flux capacitor back to 1983 for the sold out crowd at Chicago's Vic Theater on Friday, but then used the time travel juice from a pair of special guests to reach back ten more years during an extended encore.The Grateful Dead's May 15th performance at Greek Theater in Berkeley served...

Railroad Earth Takes 'Outlaws' To Illinois: Photos / Audio / Video

It's not uncommon for Railroad Earth to find themselves in Chicago this time of year.This time they came to town with a little more to prove. Their two Land of Lincoln dates fell on the weekend before Tuesday's official release of Last Of The Outlaws, the band's 10 song volume of new tunes.And so...

Photos / Audio / Video: Mr. Blotto & Family Groove Company, NYE @ Wire

Mr. Blotto and it's fans had plenty to celebrate as 2013 ticked to a close. It was the year they put out their long awaited new CD, Thread. They completed another circuit of their trademark Chicago area events, including a horn-fueled funktastic James Brown encore at the fourteenth Blottopia.Singer / guitarist Paul Bolger, specifically had reason...

Review / Photos: Andrew Bird @ Fourth Presbyterian Church 12/10/13

Words / Photos: Alex WoodDuring his second night in Chicago, Andrew Bird referred to this years Gezelligheid series at Fourth Presbyterian Church as the fourth annual, before acknowledging skipping a year somewhere in there.Regardless, the church shows have become a staple for Bird fans, a tradition celebrating the Chicagoans musical gift.And always just in...

George Clinton Unveils New Look at Concord Music Hall (Photos / Video)

Lots of bands play funk music, but the weird and wonderful universe of Parliament Funkadelic IS funk.  Complete with its own mythology, cast of characters, ensemble of players, and catalog of hits which climbed to tops of charts (both in their original and sampled forms), it's a miracle it could all be squeezed onto...

Photos / Video / Setlists: Black Crowes @ The Riv 11/1 & 11/2 2013

When the Black Crowes do a tour, they DO A TOUR. The weekend after Halloween marked the fourth and fifth time they've played in Chicago in 2013, offering a slightly different look at each stop. It was more intimate at the pair of shows in April at the Vic, and a straight up party during the...

Recap / Photos / Setlists / Video: Yonder Mountain String Band @ House Of Blues 10/25 & 10/26 2013

Photos: Adam McCall PhotographyIt's been almost fifteen years since I first saw Yonder Mountain String Band perform at their first ever Chicago area show, huddled around a single microphone at Abbey Pub for no more than about two dozen people. Billing themselves at the time as "Colorado's Nakedest Bluegrass", this intriguing (yet meaningless) tagline, along...

Setlist / Photos / Video Playlist: Jeff Beck, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine & David Marks @ House of Blues 10/29/13

What seems like an unlikely pairing is actually winning some acclaim on a tour this fall. British blues master Jeff Beck and Brian Wilson (with former Beach boy compadres Al Jardine and David Marks) have superstar resumes if not superstar status or "buzz", but together they make for an entertaining evening of contrasts and collaborations....

Photos / Audio / Video: Hot Buttered Rum with Allie Kral, Wavy Dave & Chicago Farmer @ Cubby Bear 10/11/13

When Cornmeal & Hot Buttered Rum teamed up for a 4/20 show in 2012 at The Vic, it was a pairing of two rising jamgrass stars at the top of their game. Well, a lot has changed since then, with Cornmeal fiddler Allie Kral parting ways with her bandmates this year shortly after the band absorbed the...