Features Stories

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...

List: Fiddling Around With Widespread Panic, 6 Great Guest Fiddlers

It seems unlikely, but the sound of the fiddle just seems to fit right with Widespread Panic's improv-heavy southern rock sound.Inspired by a few recent sit-ins, I put together this list of notable jams featuring the violin throughout their history.1. There is no other fiddler that this list could possibly have started with than...

Album Review: Pert Near Sandstone - The Hardest Part Of Leaving

The Hardest Part Of Leaving is evidence that Pert Near Sandstone understand the traditions of the bluegrass genre -- they channel old-time bluegrass traditions into a record both modern and timeless.Unlike the work of Minneapolis bluegrass contemporaries Trampled By Turtles, the tracks remain relatively short and centered around the vocalist, recorded with a distinct...

Review / Photos / Setlist: The Men @ Empty Bottle 4/12/14

Words / Photos: Alex WoodThe garage and punk rock genres have seen a massive influx of talent in recent years, and The Mens show at The Empty Bottle felt like a celebration of the music scenes embrace.Both openers were local and put on tremendous shows, full of energy and attitude, as though they represented the...

Review / Setlist / Video: Bela Fleck & Chick Corea @ Auditorium Theater 4/5/15

Words / Photos: @WeirScrewedEven in the robust musical market of Chicago, it is a rare treat when two virtuosos the caliber of Chick Corea and Bela Fleck come together. Both players have such deep catalogs and their respective careers transcend genre. The duo visited the magnificent Auditorium Theatre on Saturday night to play for a few...

Review / Photos: Typhoon @ Metro 4/3/14

Words / Photos: Alex WoodWith the excellent 2013 release White Lighter, Typhoon perfected their indie sound with well-written tracks and clean production. However, listeners of the studio album wouldnt guess it was an eleven-piece band making the music.For their performance at The Metro, there was no doubt.Two drummers and a percussionist played atop one another...

Pins & Needles: An Interview With Edward David Anderson

Though Anderson turned 42 last week, Lies & Wishes comes off as a record of maturation, the artists writing process essentially providing therapy toward recent events.Album opener Lies & Wishes illustrates this emotional intensity best.I think about the title track. I remember writing it and the first time I wrote that melodic finger picking...

Review / Photos / Audio / Setlist: Del McCoury Band @ City Winery 3/8/14

Words / Photos: Alex WoodThe Del McCoury Band defines traditionalism in the bluegrass genre.The five piece band, including Dels sons Ronnie and Robbie, performed an acoustic set comprising of originals, covers and traditional songs, the musicians huddling around two microphones for amplification.With few older bluegrass veterans left to carry the torch of traditionalism, 75-year...

Review / Setlist / Video: White Denim @ Metro 3/6/14

There was a pure, collective excitement about White Denim at Metro that I haven't felt in a good long time. With so many regular contributors to this site in attendance, I asked a few of them to contribute short thoughts to our "team coverage", while I chime in with my thoughts of my own below....