Monthly Archives: January 2010

Stream History’s Best Concerts with Wolfgang’s Vault

If you’re a live music fan and wolfgang's vaulthaven’t yet heard of Wolfgang’s Vault, it’s time to get acquainted. This site lets you stream some of history’s best concerts and includes such rock stalwarts as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, to name a few. But there are also shows from more recent acts.

Visit the website and create an account, then click “Browse Concerts >> All Performers” and you’ll find an enormous alphabetical list – click one, scroll down, and click “play.” A pop-up window will show up, listing all the tracks, length, and giving you the option to switch between songs. You can also share concerts with friends, via email.

Concerts in Wolfgang’s Vault are usually of the highest quality, so you won’t hear intrusive background noise. However, it’s the full concert experience. For example, an Allman Brothers concert on New Year’s Eve includes the countdown to midnight. Not all concerts are full-length, but there are plenty of them. The Allman Brothers have more than a dozen concerts from 1973 all the way to 1993.

This is an excellent way to get your live music fix, and the closest you’ll ever get to experiencing historic live performances from some of rock’s biggest acts. It’s impressive and a hell of a lot of fun. Oh, and did I mention you could download these concerts? Some of them are even free.

This week, Wolfgang’s Vault added a nice Muddy Waters show. Giggity.

Sound Citizen Radio #2 – It’s Ladies Week!

Welcome back to Sound Citizen Radio! It’s ladies week, so we’re bringing you a couple of rocking all-women bands. Two that you’ll hear will be playing a special event called Girls out of the Garage, on January 28, at Lincoln Hall. It’s going to be a lot of fun. And, as if you really needed a reason to go, we’re giving away a pair of free tickets. Just become a fan of Sound Citizen on Facebook.

This week’s podcast is at the bottom of this post.

Here’s the lineup for Girls out of the Garage:

The Wanton Looks (pictured at right, 11 PM)
Leslie Hunt (10 PM)
The Maybenauts (9 PM)
Scotia Widows (8 PM)

Also this week we have a song from Kid You’ll Move Mountains, an up-and-coming Chicago band who will be featured on a new Travel Channel show called The Last Adventure. The band plays February 5, at Lincoln Hall, where The Travel Channel will be recording.

Enjoy the podcast. One correction – I mention The Black Lips are playing March 1. It’s actually April 1.

G. Love Kicks off Tour at Chicago’s House of Blues

In 1994 I was in college. That’s the same year G. Love and Special Sauce released their self-titled album that went on to achieve gold status. The timing could not have been better – I was ready for a new sound, and that’s exactly what I got.

G. Love (Garrett Dutton III) has a style that infuses blues, some hip-hop and even occasional jazz riffs into one rolling, steady rhythm. It’s one of those sounds that sticks with you immediately – you could hear it once, then not again for years and still know exactly who it is within the first few seconds. It’s rare in music to come across an act that stands alone, but this is just such an example.

Post-college, I kept up with G. Love and Special Sauce through the releases of Coast to Coast Motel, Yeah, It’s That Easy, and Philadelphonic. Then, for whatever reason, I lost track. That’s until a few weeks ago, when I noticed they were kicking off a tour, right here in Chicago at House of Blues, one of the finest venues in town. And as if fate intervened, a friend and fellow Sound Citizen scooped up tickets to the show and extended an invite to me. So thanks, Brad. I owe you one.

The show was part of a charity event hosted by Chicago Cubs broadcasters (and performing musicians) Len Kasper and Bob Brenly. Charity, local Chicago celelbrities and G. Love … and it wasn’t sold out? Interesting and perplexing, but fine by me. The thing is, everyone there had a long history with G. Love and the Sauce. So the crowd was just right.

It was a laid back night, to be sure. And no doubt, the 5,000 pounds of pot in the air didn’t hurt. Seriously, it’s the most weed I’ve ever seen burned at any concert – and I’m talking more than shows like Phish at Red Rocks. Believe it.

Well, we had a great time. I’ve heard that G. Love either brings it, or leaves it back home. This night, he brought it full force. Or, at least as forceful as one of his shows can be. I was teleported back to Des Moines, Iowa, when kegs were still tapped at frat parties and flannel was still hanging on. While those things have faded with time, G. Love and Special Sauce are timeless – I’m glad I was reminded of this, and encourage you to do the same.

Below is some video from the show – a compilation and below that is a performance of “Cold Beverage.” Enjoy. Listed below the videos are G. Love’s 2010 tour dates.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpPhVnBplqI[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEVtSHY-Jxs[/youtube]

Feb 3 2010 8:00P The Lyric Oxford Oxford, Mississippi
Feb 4 2010 8:00P House of Blues – New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana
Feb 5 2010 8:00P House of Blues – Dallas Dallas, Texas
Feb 6 2010 8:00P The Warehouse Houston, Texas
Feb 9 2010 8:00P Orpheum Theater Flagstaff, Arizona
Feb 11 2010 8:00P The Marquee Tempe, Arizona
Feb 12 2010 8:00P House of Blues – San Diego San Diego, California
Feb 13 2010 8:00P House of Blues – Hollywood W. Hollywood, California
Feb 14 2010 8:00P Downtown Brew San Luis Obispo, California
Feb 17 2010 8:00P Harlow’s Sacramento, California
Feb 18 2010 8:00P The Fillmore San Francisco, California
Feb 19 2010 8:00P The Catalyst Santa Cruz, California
Feb 20 2010 8:00P Harrah’s Lake Tahoe South Shore Room Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Feb 21 2010 8:00P McNears Mystic Theatre Petaluma, California
Feb 24 2010 8:00P Humboldt Brews Arcata, California
Feb 25 2010 8:00P WOW Hall Eugene, Oregon
Feb 26 2010 8:00P Knitting Factory Spokane, Washington
Feb 27 2010 8:00P Knitting Factory Boise, Idaho
Mar 5 2010 8:00P Turner Hall Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mar 6 2010 8:00P Barrymore Theatre Madison, Wisconsin
Mar 7 2010 8:00P First Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mar 10 2010 8:00P House Of Blues – Cleveland Cleveland, Ohio
Mar 11 2010 8:00P Intersection Grand Rapids, Michigan
Mar 12 2010 8:00P Madison Theatre Covington, Kentucky
Mar 13 2010 8:00P The Pageant St. Louis, Missouri
Mar 16 2010 8:00P Exit-In Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 17 2010 8:00P The Orange Peel Asheville, North Carolina
Mar 18 2010 8:00P Valarium Knoxville, Tennessee
Mar 19 2010 8:00P The Music Farm Charleston, South Carolina
Mar 20 2010 8:00P Amos’ Southend Charlotte, North Carolina
Mar 23 2010 8:00P The Handlebar Greenville, South Carolina
Mar 24 2010 8:00P Freebird Live Jacksonville, Florida
Mar 25 2010 8:00P Culture Room Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Mar 26 2010 8:00P The Ritz Ybor City, Florida
Mar 27 2010 8:00P House Of Blues – FL Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Mar 29 2010 8:00P WorkPlay Theater Birmingham, Alabama
Mar 31 2010 8:00P George’s Majestic Lounge Fayetteville, Arkansas
Apr 1 2010 8:00P Revolution Music Hall Little Rock, Arkansas
Apr 2 2010 8:00P Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, Oklahoma
Apr 3 2010 8:00P Antone’s Austin, Texas

Stream Free, Legal Music with Grooveshark.com

The new Grooveshark.com lets you stream free music – without interruption.

As much as we love Web radio stations like those available from Pandora.com, Slacker.com and Last.fm, the one thing they all lack is total control. That’s where Grooveshark comes in handy. You can stream virtually any music you want – for free – without any advertising interruptions. Grooveshark’s catalog is huge so, while you might not find absolutely every band you want, you will come close. It’s fast, easy and almost limitless. You pick the bands and songs you want, and build playlists to listen to and share with friends.

For artists, you can set up a Grooveshark profile to help get your music discovered. There are advertising options, analytics to show how people are interacting with your music, and more.

Watch the video below. We show you how to get started streaming the music you want with Grooveshark.

Sound Citizen Radio IS ON THE AIR!

Welcome to Sound Citizen Radio!

In our continuous efforts to bring the live music scene straight to you, we decided to launch a podcast – Sound Citizen Radio. Every broadcast, we will talk music and play music. You will hear about the general music scene, the latest happenings on Sound Citizen, shows we went to, shows we are planning to go to, and just about anything else that we think you should know about. This week’s podcast is at the bottom of this post.

And what’s radio without music? We will play some local bands, tell you where to go see them and make some other recommendations of upcoming concerts in the area.

This week, we feature Welcome to Ashley and Moses Cleveland. We also pick three upcoming concerts we think you’ll like and discuss our New Year’s Eve with The Black Keys. So have a listen, go see some music and come back to Sound Citizen for new episodes. (We will get better at this, I promise.)

If you are in a band, manage a band, or are a fan and you want to hear your band on Sound Citizen Radio, send an email to soundcitizenmike@gmail.com with some info and an MP3 or a link where I can download some of their tunes (legally, of course.)

Here are the details of this week’s two featured bands:

Welcome to Ashley
Jan. 14, Double Door, Chicago, IL
http://myspace.com/welcometoashley

Moses Cleveland
Jan. 8, Elbo Room, Chicago, IL
Jan. 16, The Phantasy Niteclub Symposium, Cleveland, OH
http://mosescleveland.com
http://myspace.com/mosesclevelandband

Listen to Sound Citizen Radio 2 – It’s Ladies Week!

Listen to Sound Citizen Radio 3 – It’s for Lovers! Or Not.

The Top 10 Albums of Winter

You know those albums that are just perfect for those warm summer days? Like Bob Marley’s Legend or Sublime’s self-titled masterpiece? They make you feel like laying in the grass with your headphones on or lazily steering a pontoon boat around a calm lake, beer in hand. But what about winter? What do you listen to when it’s 20-below and the thought of going outside literally sends chills down your spine?

Winter is tough around these parts. I go through stages, not unlike the five stages of loss and grief; denial (it won’t be as bad as last year), anger (this sucks), bargaining (if I get through this winter, I’ll plan a vacation next year), depression (I haven’t seen the sun in three weeks), and acceptance (I’m locked in – might as well get used to it). I’ve never become accustomed to winter. I’m tired of it usually right after Christmas. And without a good stock of music, I’d never make it to spring.

So, I thought I’d share my top 10 winter albums – selections that help me cope with the worst Chicago winters. They reflect the stages of loss and grief – some help me get my anger out, while others give me hope for sunnier days. They are all from very talented artists, new and old.

Good luck this season, I hope this helps.

Did we miss your favorite winter album? Leave a comment and help all Sound Citizens get through the doldrums.

10. The Subways, Young for Eternity.

The Subways are a UK product and when they recorded this album they were raw – like the worst winters. It’s full of power and anger, with a punk/power-pop twist. The songs are short (how I like my winters) but furious. This album fits an angry round peg into a square hole.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZwbG1I2cGs&feature=related[/youtube]

9. Interpol, Turn on the Bright Lights.

Interpol has a consistent flow in just about all of their songs. That’s what I like about them and that’s exactly what I need during weeks of uninterrupted, brutal cold. Pretentious, maybe, but this album makes me want to put my head down and just keep trudging forward.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jhur8_T_c9E[/youtube]

8. Metallica, The Black Album.

I think the fact that I always seem to catch Metallica during cold months has something to do with this. The Black Album is dark, but it also gives a “me against the world” feeling, perfect for gearing up to go scrape an inch of ice off your windshield. And if you’re in the acceptance stage of winter, you can’t go wrong with “Sad but True.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQOpXZt0x2g[/youtube]

7. Johnny Cash, Live at Folsom Prison.

Maybe I think of this as a winter album because prison is a cold, dark and dreary place. But there is hope in this album. As the album progresses you can almost feel a burden being lifted from the shoulders of hopeless prisoners, even if just for a short time. Kind of like an unusually warm day in early March.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmve1IH7_bw[/youtube]

6. Smashing Pumpkins, Pisces Iscariot.

This collection of B-sides and demos is easily one of the Pumpkins’ most overlooked albums. It also fits in nicely with the winter theme, especially Billy Corgan’s cover of “Landslide.” Corgan is all too familiar with Chicago winters and it shows in this album. It’s loaded with angst and sadness, and speckled with hope. The Pumpkins’ Ava Adore could easily be on this list too.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6CIu8xtF5s[/youtube]

5. Portishead, Dummy.

I don’t know much about Portishead. But I do know that Dummy can knock you out if you listen long enough. It’s not boring; it’s just dark, twisted and very groovy. If you want to zone out and forget about the blizzard outside, put this one on; turn down the lights and pour a stiff drink.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg1jyL3cr60&feature=PlayList&p=2CA0B1C6F9B32DC9&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2[/youtube]

4. Cat Power, The Greatest.

The story of Cat Power (Chan Marshall) is one of redemption, so far. She’s the daughter of musicians, had a nomadic childhood, fell into deep depression and alcoholism and her tours suffered. But her gifts prevailed. Through determination and perseverance, Marshall rose from the cold. The Greatest encompasses both the struggle and revival of Cat Power.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJfQXS1hKDo[/youtube]

3. Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs.

It goes without saying that Death Cab has a firm grip on melancholy. Just about every one of their albums makes me think of cold, dark winters – especially Narrow Stairs. But for some reason it’s a feeling of warmth in an otherwise cold place. Death Cab is interesting in that the songs can be depressing yet oddly transcending, taking you wherever you want to go.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bllo6dHnZ70[/youtube]

2. PJ Harvey, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.

Polly Jean’s haunting and powerful voice, direct lyrics and straightforward rock riffs make her a classic. But its this album’s gritty feel mixed with PJ’s trademark elegance that makes it so appropriate for winter. It’s like a miserably cold day with a delicate snowfall. Rolling Stone called this album the best of her career. She toured through Chicago on this album on September 13, 2001 – two days after the terror in New York. It remains the most powerful and emotional concert I’ve ever seen. Along with the video below, check out “The Mess We’re In,” featuring Thom Yorke on vocals.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyZYmT8p3Jo[/youtube]

1. Morphine, Cure for Pain.

The title of this album and the band itself are certainly fitting, and so is its mood. Listen to this album loud and it will literally reverberate in your body. It’s the good kind of shivers. Cure for Pain is dark, but remarkably warm.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=985JGeGq_tc[/youtube]