Features Stories

Setlist / Review / Video / Stream / Download: Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration featuring Warren Haynes @ Chicago Theater 5/20/14

Given the format and its inherit lack of spontaneity, I was in "no spoilers" mode and had shut myself off from the flow of information about the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration featuring Warren Haynes prior to the Chicago stop on the short spring tour.So it was a bit strange that the only bit of (...

Review / Setlist: Neko Case @ Chicago Theater 5/13/14

Words / Photo: Alex WoodPerhaps my expectations were too high, or perhaps seeing both Neil Youngs sparse acoustic set and The Nationals over-the-top performance at the Chicago Theatre in the past few weeks spoiled me, but Neko Case left me underwhelmed.The outstanding songwriting was there, and Cases voice sounded strong as ever, but the six-piece...

Review / Photos / Stream / Download: Edward David Anderson @ Martyrs 5/3/14

Words: Alex WoodPhotos: Alex Wood & Tom HarmonEdward David Andersons album release show at Martyrs' was about more than his new full-length, Lies & Wishes. It felt like an odd family reunion, old friends gathering together joyously to see Anderson perform with a band after years of patiently waiting.Yet perhaps the most joyous member...

Review / Photos: Woods & Quilt @ Subterranean 5/7/14

Words / Photos: Alex WoodWoods headlining show at the Subterranean was a sort of psychedelic extravaganza, a night full of flangers, phasers, reverb and guitar effects.Local opener Bike Cop sounded as many young psych bands do, using barre-chords to churn out simplistic garage-rock riffs, songs stretching out horizontally for minutes without changing.The four-piece played...

Review / Setlist: Booker T Jones @ City Winery 5/4/14

Words: Justin & Alex WoodPhotos: Justin WoodThough typically known for his affiliation with Stax Records and the M.G.s, Booker T Jones show at City Winery covered the artists entire career.Focusing as much on collaborations and influences as on original songs, the set was full of surprises.Backed by a three-piece band, Booker...

Long Live Jambands: Three Types (and 16 Examples) Of Bands Keeping The Jam Torch Burning

"Jambands are dead! Long live jambands!" That's a bit of wordplay that my friends and I have been tossing around since sometime in the early 2000s.There is a roughly 15 year stretch -- from "Touch Of Grey" being released as a single in 1987 to the inaugural Bonnaroo in 2002 -- that represents the last era ofpeak...

Album Review: Edward David Anderson - Lies & Wishes

Backyard Tire Fires music felt like everything a rock band should be, the songs sounding like they were written through collaboration, its three members working through the songs together with guitars cranked up to 11.At the center of the Tire Fire universe stood Edward David Anderson, the always-productive singer-songwriter lending melodies and lyrics that came...

Review / Setlist / Stream / Download: The Mountain Goats @ Old Town School Of Folk Music 4/19/14

Words / Photos: Alex WoodJohn Darnielle has released music as The Mountain Goats since 1991, developing his unique brand of songwriting, and with it, a devout fan base. Mountain Goats fans see Darnielle as more than simply the author of the songs they love, the songwriters amiable stage persona and endlessly prolific output sets him up as...

Review: The National @ Chicago Theater 4/15/14

Words: Alex WoodIts easy to recall the days when The National werent so overwhelmingly popular. Even 2010s High Violet tour, a mere four years back, wouldnt have sold out four nights at The Chicago Theatre.So what changed, exactly?One could argue that The Nationals music has been a constant progression leading to last years...

Review / Setlist / Video: Sharon Jones @ The Vic 4/11/14

Words: @312mrgPhotos: PhilamonjaroSharon Jones: A Soulful SacrificeWe all have a friend that we look up to for the way they handle tough situations and adversity. They have the uncanny ability to see through the haze and fog and not only lift themselves up, but also those around them. They are infectious and draw the attention...