Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Playlist, CHIRP updates

I DJed a Halloween set last night at Maeve. Scroll down for the playlist (Halloween parties are probably all over now, but these are some goodies for your 2012 celebrations).

This Tuesday night will be my last midnight shift on CHIRP. I'm moving to the 8-10pm shift on Wednesdays, starting 11/9. As a send-off, I'm airing my interview with Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc, Capn Jazz) this week at 12:15am, CST.. Tune in for that, and stay awake for three insomniac-friendly hours of tunes. It's the end of a chapter, and I'm tempted to quote Semisonic.

Alright, Halloween mix:

Trent Reznor - Hall of the Mountain King
The xx - Intro
Salem - King Knight
Designer Drugs - Dead Meat
Aphex Twin - Come to Daddy
Basement Jaxx - Dracula
Chromeo - Don't Turn the Lights On
Outkast - Dracula's Wedding
Gnarls Barkley - Boogie Monster
Gucci Mane - Haunted House
Gravediggaz - Diary of a Madman
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
Fela Kuti - Zombie
Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies
Tegan and Sara - Walking with a Ghost
Dead Man's Bones - Pa Pa Power
Lonely Island - The Creep
Kanye West - Monster
Kesha - Cannibal
Shakira - She Wolf
Lady Gaga - Monster
Nine Inch Nails - Closer
The Knife - Silent Shout
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
Jonathan Richman - Vampire Girl
Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You
Bobby Pickett - The Monster Mash

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CHIRP playlist (10/19/11)

I'll be DJing at a little neighborhood bar in Lincoln Park called Maeve this Friday night. It's a chill place, dog-friendly, with a great drink list. I would love to hang out with your dog while mixing tunes. It's actually been a goal of mine for a while now, to DJ at a bar with dogs. Anyway, let's do that in a few days, here's what happened on CHIRP last night:

12:02AM Megafaun Hope You Know from Megafaun (Hometapes)

12:07AM Dylan LeBlanc Changing Of The Seasons from Pauper's Field (Rough Trade)

12:12AM Dirty Projectors No Intention from Bitte Orca (Domino)

12:17AM Girls Alex from Father, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther Sounds)

12:21AM The Breeders Saints from Last Splash (4AD)

12:25AM Charalambides Before You Go from Exile (kranky)

12:34AM Cave Adam Roberts from Neverendless (Drag City)

12:38AM Laura Marling Night After Night from A Creature I Don't Know (Ribbon)

12:43AM Isotope 217 Solaris from Utonian Automatic (Thrill Jockey)

12:50AM Neu! E-Musik from Neu! 75 (Brain)

1:01AM Jackie Wilson I Get the Sweetest Feeling from The Very Best of Jackie Wilson (Brunswick)

1:02AM Jorge Ben Meus Filhos, Meu Tesouro from Africa Brasil (Philips)

1:06AM King Tubby Base Dub from Loving Memory Dub (Fuel 2000)

1:10AM Toro Y Moi Go With You from Underneath The Pine (Carpark)

1:16AM Cocteau Twins Lazy Calm from Victorialand (4AD)

1:22AM High Places Sophia from Original Colors (Thrill Jockey)

1:27AM Tom Waits Bad As Me from Bad As Me (ANTI-)

1:32AM Sonik Omi Main Theme from Andhera / Darwaza from Bollywood Bloodbath (Finders Keepers)

1:34AM Siouxsie & The Banshees Little Johnny Jewel from Through The Looking Glass (Geffen)

1:40AM Icebird Wander from The Abandoned Lullaby (RJ's Electrical Connections)

1:44AM School Of Seven Bells Iamundernodisguise from Alpinisms (Ghostly International)

1:49AM Loney Dear Largo from Hall Music (Polyvinyl)

1:52AM Paleo From the Sky Down from A View of the Sky (Parisan)

1:55AM Vivian Girls Where Do You Run To from Vivian Girls (Mauled By Tigers)

2:01AM Blonde Redhead Water from Fake Can Be Just as Good (Touch and Go)

2:04AM Pavement All My Friends from Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins (Matador)

2:09AM Beat Happening Polly Pereguinn from Music to Climb the Apple Tree By (K Records)

2:15AM Television Venus from Marquee Moon (Elektra)

2:18AM Jean-Claude Vannier Les Yeux Valise from Roses Rouge Sang (Finders Keepers)

2:24AM Joe Henry Dark Tears from Reverie (ANTI-)

2:29AM Carter Tanton Pitch Bent Flute from Freeclouds (Western Vinyl)

2:35AM Sneaky Sound System The Colours from From Here To Anywhere (Modular)

2:40AM Dreamers of the Ghetto Always from Enemy/Lover (Temporary Residence Ltd.)

2:46AM Mike and the Censations Don't Mess With Me from Don't Sell Your Soul (Ubiquity)

2:50AM Friendly Fires Chimes from Pala (XL)

2:55AM Aspic Tines Music of the Spheres from Crypto-Superzeit! International (Johann's Face)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CHIRP playlist (10/12/11)

Come to Rodan this Friday after 10pm. I'll be DJing, which means good music will be on. Come say hi, I'll buy you a drink. No cover. 1530 N. Milwaukee Ave. And here's what I played on CHIRP last night:

12:02AM Feist Woe Be from Metals (Cherrytree)

12:06AM Van Dyke Parks Tribute To Spree from Idiosyncratic Path: The Best Of Van Dyke Parks (Diabolo)

12:09AM David Bowie All The Young Dudes from Aladdin Sane (RCA)

12:14AM Ratatat Lex from Classics (XL)

12:19AM DJ Shadow Warning Call from The Less You Know, The Better (Verve)

12:23AM Prince Rama Trust from Trust Now (Paw Tracks)

12:30AM Painted Palms Water Hymn from Canopy EP (Secretly Canadian)

12:33AM Animal Collective Leaf House from Sung Tongs (FatCat)

12:37AM The Field It's Up There from Looping State of Mind (Kompakt)

12:47AM Beastie Boys Transitions from The In Sound From Way Out! (Grand Royal)

12:50AM Silkworm Clean'd Me Out from Blueblood (Touch and Go)

12:53AM Where the Moon Came From We Dove into the Sunrise from Twin of Pangaea (Nasoni)

1:00AM Kraftwerk Ruckzuck from Kraftwerk 1 (Philips)

1:08AM The Faint Agenda Suicide from Danse Macabre (Saddle Creek)

1:13AM Sweep the Leg Johnny Las Cruces from Tomorrow We Will Run Faster (Southern)

1:21AM Bonnie "Prince" Billy Cows from Wolfroy Goes to Town (Drag City)

1:27AM Björk Thunderbolt from Biophilia (One Little Indian)

1:32AM Gauntlet Hair Showing from Gauntlet Hair (Dead Oceans)

1:36AM We Were Promised Jetpacks Pear Tree from In the Pit of the Stomach (FatCat)

1:43AM Ladytron Melting Ice from Gravity the Seducer (Artwerk)

1:49AM Pretty Good Dance Moves 600 Days (featuring Heather Christian) from Pretty Good Dance Moves (Township)

1:53AM The Afro Soul-Tet Slave Traders from Afrodesia (Luv N' Haight)

2:00AM Sigur Rós Saeglopur from Takk... (Geffen)

2:07AM Antony & the Johnsons Flétta from Swanlights (Secretly Canadian)

2:12AM The Tough Alliance Miami from A New Chance (Sincerely Yours)

2:16AM My Brightest Diamond We Added It Up from All Things Will Unwind (Asthmatic Kitty)

2:20AM Mazzy Star Blue Flower from She Hangs Brightly (Rough Trade)

2:25AM Young Man Enough from Ideas of Distance (Frenchkiss)

2:30AM Azita Keep Hymn from Disturbing the Air (Drag City)

2:38AM Rocket from the Tombs Birth Day from Barfly (Fire)

2:42AM Wild Flag Racehorse from Wild Flag (Merge)

2:49AM Isis Celestial (The Tower) from Celestial (Escape Artist/HydraHead)

Friday, October 07, 2011

Another Day in Logan Square

Have you ever wondered what the criminals are listening to during a high speed chase? Is it something intentionally pulse-pounding like Metallica or Iron Maiden? AM talk radio? Do they turn it off so as not to distract? White noise might actually be appropriate for when sirens are blaring behind you and you're recklessly driving a huge mass of metal and glass through neighborhoods and busy streets.

Well, today I found out.

Let me begin this story by explaining how sick I've been for the past week. Last night was the first full sleep I got in days. This cold has either kept me up via sore throat, monster headache, or diarrhea. I've been miserable, but I finally kicked it last night. What was my remedy? For that, we have to go back two weeks, to the apartment of Jim Joyce.

Jim texted me one early autumn day, well before the Chicago leaves showed any yellow. He suggested we partake in a festive project together. Hard cider was the idea, and I jumped on it at that minute, and raced over to his place. After buying our supplies, we mixed the concoction. Apple juice, cinnamon sticks, and everclear had to sit and brew for at least two weeks. As of last night, it had been about three weeks.

So last night, still feeling sickly, I decided it was time to take my medicine. I poured a heaping cup of cider into a pot on the stove, and let it heat up (not to a boil though, just to a steam). Sipping it down over the course of a midnight hour, I knew that I was in for a good night's sleep for the first time in October. My throat was warm, my head was light, and my limbs were heavy. Sweet slumber. Thank you Jim Joyce and hard cider.

But what Jim didn't tell me, and what I had to find out this morning, is that the mix of hard liquor, apples, and cinnamon calls for an urgent bowel movement. Maybe I could've surmised this myself, nevertheless, the problem wasn't as simple as a trip to the bathrooom today.

I woke up, turned on the sink, and heard only a gurgle. No water. I looked out the front window to see the construction outside on our street, a hole 10 feet deep and wide assured me that my water would not be back on for some time. I would have to find another toilet in which to dispense the hard cider waste which was now brewing within me.

So my plan was to take Arlen out first, so he could do his business, then I would bring him back in, and then go find a place where I could do my business.

Stepping out onto the porch, the noise of the generators and bulldozers was louder than usual. The piles of gravel were higher than ever, mountainous even. Then something even louder from around the corner. A screeching of tires, construction workers yelling. A massive , rusty van stormed through, workers leaping off the street onto the grass in front of me. Then, the vehicle slams into the mountain of gravel, and a hysterical looking man leaps out the side of the door with something dark in his hand.

"Get on the ground! Get on the ground!"

At least three cops are surrounding him with guns out and aimed. He raises his arms, revealing only a cell phone. Then he's wrestled to my sidewalk, while his van's door remains open. I looked down at Arlen, who was comfortably squatting, taking what looked to be a most satisfying shit. I was consumed with envy.

I took my dog back inside, grabbed my bike, clenched my butt-cheeks, and scampered out the door again. With cops, neighbors, and gawkers everywhere in front of my building, I unabashedly walked up to one of the construction workers. "Excuse me, I know you have a setback here," I pointed at the van, still king of the mountain, "but do you know how much longer it will be until the water in the building is back on?" He gave me a well-deserved smirk, "At least another hour."

Onto the bike, the saddle of which felt harder and more uncomfortable than usual. My destination: Starbucks on California. In the words of George Costanza, "magnificent facilities!" On my ride over, I recapped the events in my head. A brutal cold that required homemade hard cider, which demanded a quick out 8 hours later, but it's the one morning the water is shut off in my building, and prolonged because a crazy guy drove into a construction site in front of my place. Now finally at Starbucks, wouldn't you know it, here I sit broken hearted...

Nah just kidding, I just took the most satisfying shit of my life. Oh, and the sound coming out of the van was white noise. A quiet chaos, another day in Logan Square.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

CHIRP playlist (10/4/11) and Washed Out interview

My Washed Out interview will be available as a podcast later today, I'll let you know when you can download it. Otherwise, here's what you missed last night. It was one of those shows I had to go a couple octaves lower for, due to a nasty cold. But it's all worth it for fall.

12:01AM Neon Indian Halogen (I Could Be a Shadow) from Era Extraña (Mom+Pop)

12:06AM Gotye Giving Me A Chance from Making Mirrors (Ais)

12:09AM Matthew Dear Reason And Responsibility from Leave Luck To Heaven (Spectral Sound)

12:17AM Washed Out Within and Without from Within and Without (Sub Pop)

12:30AM Twin Sister Badstreet from In Heaven (Domino)

12:35AM Talkdemonic Summer Glass from Ruins (Glacial Pace)

12:39AM Loney Dear Calm Down from Hall Music (Polyvinyl)

12:44AM Jens Lekman Rocky Dennis' Farewell Song from Oh You're So Silent Jens (Secretly Canadian)

12:49AM Memoryhouse To the Lighthouse from The Years EP (Sub Pop)

12:53AM Chin Up Chin Up We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers (Stephen Snydacker Mix) from Chin Up Chin Up (Flameshovel)

12:56AM The Poison Arrows The Path of Least Resistance from First Class, and Forever (File 13)

1:00AM The Acorn Oh Napoleon from Glory Hope Mountain (Paper Bag)

1:04AM Leonard Cohen Tonight Will Be Fine from Songs From A Room (Columbia)

1:08AM Townes Van Zandt Who Do You Love from Flyin' Shoes (Tomato)

1:13AM Caribou Leave House from Swim (Merge)

1:18AM YAWN Never Knew from Open Season (self-released)

1:20AM Dead Man's Bones Pa Pa Power from Dead Man's Bones (Anti)

1:25AM High Places Banksia from Original Colors (Thrill Jockey)

1:30AM Dâm-Funk Inside of U from InnaFocusedDaze EP (Scion A/V)

1:32AM The Notations A New Day from Twinight's Chicago Soul Heaven (Kent)

1:37AM Geotic Union from Bless the Self (self-released)

1:40AM Zola Jesus Hikikomori from Conatus (Sacred Bones)

1:44AM Kings Of Convenience Mrs. Cold from Declaration Of Dependence (Astralwerks)

1:48AM Pujol Stuff from Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Saddle Creek)

1:50AM Menomena Weird from Friend and Foe (Barsuk)

1:53AM Sonic Youth Snare, Girl from A Thousand Leaves (DGC)

2:01AM Ministry Scare Crow from Psalm 69 (Sire)

2:09AM Reds and Blue Son of the Stars from Son of the Stars (Addenda)

2:14AM The Welcome Wagon But For You Who Fear My Name from Welcome to the Welcome Wagon (Asthmatic Kitty)

2:17AM Bill Mallonee From the Beats Down to the Buddha from The Power & The Glory (self-released)

2:24AM Sufjan Stevens All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace! from Greetings From Michigan (Asthmatic Kitty)

2:30AM Meg Baird The Finder from Seasons on Earth (Drag City)

2:35AM Sleeper Agent Be My Monster from Celebrasion (Mom + Pop)

2:39AM Tycho Coastal Brake from Dive (Ghostly International)

2:43AM Paranoid Castle Stacey's Doing WAY Too Much from Champagne Nightmares (Fake Four Inc.)

2:46AM Jonti Nodlews Way Home from Twirligig (Stones Throw)

2:50AM The Jayhawks Black-Eyed Susan from Mockingbird Time (Rounder)

2:54AM Roy Orbison Coming Home from The Essential Roy Orbison (Sony)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

You Missed Out: Jens Lekman

As I write this review, I firmly believe that Jens Lekman is still out there somewhere in Chicago, playing third, fourth, fifth encores on his guitar. Before wrapping up his second encore at Lincoln Hall, he told the crowd, "This is the last song of the night... on this stage. If you want to hear some more, come find me after the show." And you know it's true. A guy this earnest would not mislead such an adoring audience.

Even with a set consisting mostly of new songs, the people of Chicago fawned over the boy from Gothenburg. All the better, actually, because it's probably more fun to hear his new songs for the first time in a corporate setting so we can all laugh together. Unsurprisingly, his unreleased material is hilarious. Look out for "I Broke Up A Fight," which reveals Jens as a most well-intentioned philanthropist whose greatest strength is his crippling social awkwardness.

Playing without a full band (only a drummer), Jens' songs sounded almost stronger as stripped down acoustic versions. His deep voice was richer tonight, confident and controlled. Old lyrics stuck out to me in ways they hadn't before, especially his last song of the night, "Pocketful of Money." When after hearing so much lovely music, to hear him repeat the line about how he wants to go to a place "where the music never ends" hit close to home. It encapsulated Jens Lekman as one who truly loves music. He gave his tambourine to the girl in the front row, entrusting her to play along with the rhythm. He smiled brightly every time the crowd sang along with a familiar line, but especially "that's when the feeling hits. So just lick your lips. These are the good times that you'll miss, when you are sipping on the sweet nectars of your memories." As with all Jens Lekman shows, tonight's was one I'll never forget.

The first Jens Lekman song I ever heard was "The Department of Forgotten Songs," in which he anthropomorphizes a vinyl record as a lonely girl. I didn't realize it then, but it really is a love song to music itself. And every time I see him play a show, I can feel that intense love emanating from Jens Lekman. It's a treat for any music lover to witness such honest sincerity from an artist, but I imagine it must be most rewarding for Jens himself. Which is why I'm sure he's still playing music at this moment. He is doing what he loves.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Chromeo and Mayer Hawthorne at the House of Blues

Notice I didn't title this a "You Missed Out." I could have, because Mayer Hawthorne and Chromeo are both great acts. But, it's really difficult to spin anything positive from a House of Blues experience.

The last time I was at the House of Blues was for a Sleeping at Last show, which had to be about four years ago. That was a fine show though, because a) it wasn't sold out and overcrowded with dude-bros, b) the Sleeping at Last guys are my friends, and c) it was the first time I ever got a photo pass for the pit.

Before that, it was The Shins at the House of Blues. Pretty sure this was pre-Garden State Shins too. Yet, that show had a bizarrely high number of mid-life crisis douche bags. I think they were even screaming "Freebird." At a Shins show...

WTF House of Blues? Why do you suck so much? After tonight, I have to swear off the House of Blues for good.

Now, Mayer Hawthorne and the County put on a hell of a charming show. Old school fun like The Temptations, with just the right amount of nerdy white guy flare. He isn't even close to hitting his stride either. If he gets a horn section to replace the samples, Mayer Hawthorne will be headlining the House of Blues in no time.

But the duo known as Chromeo are just perplexing to me. They don't look or sound like anyone else, and I love that. Their synths are straight out of Beverly Hills Cop, and the Ratatat-ish electric guitar harmonies take the epic-ness to another level. Throw an insane light show, leg lamps for keyboard stands, and vocoder vocals into the mix, and it's more than enough to inspire a silly-awesome dance party.

Unfortunately, and I hope House of Blues is somehow to blame, the crowd at this show took themselves way too seriously. It looked like Excalibur in there. And they didn't even dance very hard. As great as Chromeo sounded, the atmosphere in the venue really got to me. I left a few songs early.

I don't know when or how Chromeo got such a shitty fanbase (they were touring with Neon Indian a year ago...), but it's a bummer. They're better than that. Ugh. The House of Blues....