Features Stories

Ten Chicago Jazz Artists To See in 2014

Guest Post by Paul Abella. Paul is a musician, radio host, pundit and early supporter of The Barn Presents. As a jazz guy who actively embraces and celebrates jambands like Grateful Dead and Phish, and even champions jammers on our local scene, his sensibilities are a natural fit for the site. He offered to provide...

The Barn's Top Ten Things of 2013

As with last year, I'm not going to try to rank the best shows, songs or albums of the year (though some thoughts on albums are here and here). I want to use my year end list to capture the musical things that had the biggest impact on me -- and also provide an excuse...

The Best Albums of 2013: Alex's Top 125

We welcomed writer / photographer Alex Wood to the fold in 2013 and couldn't be happier with his contributions. Before his association with the site, it had been his yearly tradition to circulate a top albums list amongst his friends. We're excited to publish the 2013 edition here to kick off our 2013 year-in-review coverage.1. DAFT PUNK - RANDOM...

Karl Denson Rings In 2014 With Tiny Universe

While 2013 has been a busy year juggling multiple projects for Karl Denson, you'll find him greeting 2014 at Chicago's Park West the way he'd like to spend the most of next twelve months: with his friends in the Tiny Universe."I want to get back to just doing Tiny Universe," he told me in a phone...

Review / Photos: Moistboyz @ Cubby Bear 12/13/13

Words / Photos: Alex WoodMoistboyz are too metal to be punk and too punk to be metal. Between the two genres falls the blisteringly energetic rock n roll the band makes their own.Despite their being best known as a side-project for Ween due to the inclusion of guitarist Mickey Melchiondo (referred to as Dean Ween...

Night Three of Andrew Bird's Gezelligheid Run Offers Contrast with Tift Merritt Collaboration (Setlist / Review 12/11/13)

Words / Photos: Alex WoodDespite sharing a similar setlist to the previous nights show, Andrew Birds third Gezelligheid date at the Fourth Presbyterian proved to be another unique experience in his cozy concert series.The set began with Bird performing Pulaski At Night tracks Hover and Ethio Invention, the performer carefully combining swooping legato violin loops...

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...

Setlist / Review: Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three @ Lincoln Hall 12/5/13

Words / Photo: Alex WoodPokey Lafarge & The South City Three played a boisterous, confident set at Lincoln Hall, packed to the brim with the energy of all their pre-WWII musical idols rolled into one.Swing. Ragtime. Blues. Jazz. Country. Folk.The band owned every single one.Even beneath the entertaining stage personality that Pokey himself...

Setlist / Video / Stream / Download / Recap: SkyDeck Allstars @ Willis Tower 11/22/13

Reporting by @WeirScrewedCrafting a true "destination" event can be as risky for a promoter as the improvisational turns that performers take on stage. Stakes are higher when the music is delivered by a one time configuration, then ratcheted up another notch when the supergroup draws from a pool best known for both Grateful Dead related...

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...