Features Stories

Photos & Video | Michael McDermott Kicks Off Tour At City Winery

By: John 'Nunu' ZomotMichael McDermott is looking to spread the vibes his hometown audiences have given him for 20 years to audiences everywhere.So he used Chicago's City Winery as a beachhead, launching a tour in support of Out From Under (out on April 27th) with a pair of shows that also had the support of...

PHOTOS & VIDEO | Matador! Soul Sounds & Hartswick/Cassarino Duo @ Martyrs' 3/22/18

By: John 'Nunu' ZomotIn this age of funk-and-soul supergroups, it seems like a pick-up band can materialize -- full of a handful of musicians sourced from a pool of well-known jammers -- at any time and for any reason.This group of road warriors is ready to be drawn into battle at...

Review / Setlist / Video | The Wood Brothers @ The Vic 4/14/18

Words: Alex Wood | Photo: @TinaNiberiThe Wood Brothers have long been one of the hardest working bands in the business, constantly touring, writing and recording for more than a decade.Ive watched the band grow from playing dive bars to their recent two-night run at The Vic Theatre, and the increased popularity doesnt feel the slightest...

PHOTOS / VIDEO | JGB @ Park West 3/16/18

By: John 'Nunu' ZomotFormer Jerry Garcia Band organist Melvin Seals is no stranger to the Chicago area.  He appears frequently as a special guest with the local Dead tribute staple Terrapin Flyer.But it's been a minute since he's brought his JGB project through the city -- so it was nice to get a...

PHOTOS / VIDEO | Pigeons Playing Ping Pong @ Turner Hall 3/1/18

Photos: Adam MiszewskiI'm going to say it.  Beyond just their name, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has a jambandy aesthetic that makes String Cheese Incident seem reserved, self-serious and demure by comparison.But good on them for just embracing the fuck out of it.  And you can't say the audience hasn't responded. The...

PHOTOS / VIDEO | Stanley Clarke @ City Winery 3/21/18

By: John 'Nunu' ZomotAs a music veteran, Stanley Clarke can fly a little bit under the radar, but when he pops up you best pay attention.The man is an absolute beast on the bass.  City Winery goers were treated to a full-on clinic during his March visit with his talented touring ensemble....

Review & Audio | Kung Fu @ Martyrs' 3/31/18

Kung Fu have become perennial visitors to the Chicago area, and their loyal local fanbase packed Martyrs' on Easter Eve for a fantastic show full of extended jazz-inspired solos, danceable favorites, and straight up heavy grooves.It seems the band and venue have worked out a mutual attraction, as their regular spring visits have created...

PREMIERE | JC Brooks Band - Red Black + Blue EP

JC Brooks exploded into Chicagoans' consciousness in 2010 with a smooth-as-silk re-imagining of Wilco's "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart".  It was a damn near perfect introduction to the version of retro-soul that he and his band The Uptown Sound were offering just year into the Obama era.But digging deeper after this intro,...

Review / Videos / Setlist | Rivers Cuomo @ Beat Kitchen 4/10/18

Words: Alex Wood | Photo: @comedyjunkie1Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo announced an intimate, one-off acoustic performance at Beat Kitchen last week, with tickets selling out instantly the next morning.Though Weezer will perform at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater with Pixies this summer, this 300-capacity performance naturally felt like the polar opposite, an extremely rare opportunity to see...

PHOTOS | Fleshtone @ Beat Kitchen 3/3/18

By: Philamonjaro StudioOn a Saturday night in Chicago, fans were treated to a rare concert by New York's favorite garage punk band, The Fleshtones.Having first debuted at CBGB in 1976, they were a part of the beating heart of the NYC punk scene.In 2018, the band harnessed energy from that storied era when they touched...