Monthly Archives: April 2010

Sound Citizen Radio 9: Happy Mother’s Day!

Welcome back to another edition of Sound Citizen Radio. We’re celebrating Mother’s Day — so let me be the first to wish all Moms and Moms-to-be out there a Happy Mother’s Day!

We have a great lineup this week — Mom-approved. (Podcast is at the bottom of this post)

This weekend a crew of Sound Citizens are headed to Memphis in May. So drop a line if you’re headed that way and we’ll celebrate some live music. As always, please send any band recommendations, questions, comments and accolades to

Click the iTunes icon on the top right of the page there, and you can subscribe to Sound Citizen Radio on iTunes.

This week’s lineup:

Freelance Whales, “Generator (Second Floor)”
May 10, Lincoln Hall

Clem Snide, “Denise”
May 13, Lincoln Hall

Audrio, “Roll On”
April 30, Double Door

Jakob Dylan, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan – Chicago

(Video and tour dates included) Jakob Dylan, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan and the band Three Legs made their way to Chicago this week touring in support of Dylan’s new album, Women and Country. I suppose I’ve always been a bit fascinated with Dylan simply because of his old man. As an icon of a generation, that’s a tough act to follow — but impossible to ignore. Jakob started out in his own way with the Wallflowers and their pop-infused ballads of the early- and mid-nineties. But, as evidenced with Women and Country and the performance Monday night, Jakob Dylan has grown into another, more appropriate role. He is not a duplicate of his famous father, but a budding folk hero in his own right.

The set was a mix of old and new, and ups and downs. Songs ranged from singing about sweet apple pie to “Evil is Alive and Well” – the latter prompting a woman near the stage to comment, “that song made me sad.” To which Dylan replied, “It makes me sad, too.” It’s impossible to not notice Dylan’s progression as an artist while listening to him perform. Songs like “One Headlight” sound almost juvenile compared to new tracks like “Everybody’s Hurting” and “We Don’t Live Here Anymore.”

One of the main draws for Chicagoans on this evening were Neko Case and Kelly Hogan — both former bartenders at Chicago’s Hideout and favorite adopted daughters of Chicago (pictured, photo by Jason Dilday, And Dylan was keenly aware of this fact, evidenced by a song introduction of “This is going to be great,” met with applause and, after Case handled most of the singing, Dylan commenting, “The poor-kept secret, Ms. Neko Case,” met with more rousing applause. Case is a special talent and a tremendous addition to Dylan’s band.

This new album marks a transition for Jakob Dylan — the music is more focused and serious. Perhaps even a little slow in parts. It’s not for a lack of talent, it’s just a style thing. Case and Hogan add a welcome flavor, however. Without them, this show would have had a much different tone. As it stands, this tour comes highly recommended. Of course, you’ll need to be a fan of this style of music — it’s not for everyone. If you want a preview, stream Women and Country here (you will need a free Lala account.) And as far as Three Legs goes – serious talent all around.

A quick crowd note: There were plenty of boomers here, and even a silver fox or two. I didn’t know Jakob Dylan had that kind of following. It’s interesting, because I’ve seen Bob Dylan and his crowd was younger than this one. Maybe it was the venue.

I will admit that I left this show early. Not because I was bored – because the Blackhawks were wrapping up a playoff series in Nashville. And if there’s anything I love as much as music, it’s playoff hockey. They won. Nice job, boys — bring on the Canucks.

Below is some video of “Three Marenas.” My apologies for the long-distance view and abrupt ending – this was a covert operation that got busted. Below the video are his remaining tour dates.


Apr 28  2010   7:30P Fitzgerald Theatre  St. Paul, Minnesota
Apr 28 2010  8:00P Pabst Theatre  Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 12 2010  8:00P Regency Ballroom  San Francisco, California
May 13 2010  8:00P The Wiltern  Los Angeles, California
May 15 2010  12:00 The Hangout  Gulf Shores, Alabama
May 17 2010  9:00P Center Stage  Atlanta, Georgia
May 18 2010  9:00P Cat’s Cradle  Carrboro, North Carolina
May 19 2010  8:00P The Grand  Wilmington, Delaware
May 20 2010  7:30P Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  Richmond, Virginia
May 21 2010  8:00P The State Theatre  State College, Pennsylvania

Rolling Stone Opens up the Archives (for a price)

Rolling Stone magazine has a long, rich history. Arguably, it’s the most important publication and resource in the music industry. Now, along with a website redesign comes a new business model, called Rolling Stone All Access. You can access every piece of their 43-year history through their website … if you want to pay for it.

While much of the online content will remain free, to access the archives you can pay $3.95 per month, or $29.95 for one year, which includes a subscription to the print magazine. A regular subscription costs $19.95.

If you’re serious about music and music history, this is a pretty nifty feature. According to the website, you will get, “Every review we ever published, every cover and the deepest, most thoughtful interviews with rock legends, from John Lennon to Lil Wayne, Bob Dylan to Kurt Cobain – and 43 years of journalism that has defined our times, from Hunter S. Thompson to P.J. O’Rourke to Matt Taibbi. Give yourself a few hours, and you’ll find yourself immersed in the stories of our era: the good times and the bad, the culture, the politics and all the ridiculous hairstyles.”

In this day and age, the print industry needs every bit of revenue it can muster. And Rolling Stone is doing it right. Instead of cutting back at the expense of the readers, they are offering more – content that took decades to create and is of the highest quality. While most of the website will remain free, hardcore music fans should have no problem paying for a little extra. And, this fine publication gets a little insurance against a shrinking industry. That’s music to my ears. You can keep your e-readers – I like flipping actual paper when I read.

Sound Citizen Radio 8: On the Street

Welcome back to Sound Citizen Radio — this week we feature not three, but FOUR bands. Wow. Even more from Chicago’s music podcast.

Also, we booked a trip to Memphis in May. So if you’re headed that way, send an email to and we’ll see you there.

This week’s lineup:

Horsefeathers “Belly of June”
Thursday, April 22, Schuba’s

Aloha “Everything Goes My Way”
Thursday, April 22, Empty Bottle

Dozens “Arrest Yourself”
Saturday, May 1, Schuba’s

Nate Marsh “Know What I Mean”
Sunday, April 25, Let Them Eat Chocolate

Lollapalooza 2010 Show-Stealers

There are some great bands I’m excited to see at Lollapalooza 2010 – like Soundgarden, Green Day, The Strokes, The Black Keys and Spoon. But you know the bands in small type on the Lollapalooza lineup list? Yeah, those are often the best ones when it’s all said and done. Unfortunately, many times they are missed because you just don’t know who they are. Well, as always, we’re here to help.

Below you’ll find our list of five bands that you absolutely should not skip. In order of our predictions on who will be crowned Lollapalooza 2010′s Show Stealer:

The Soft Pack

This is one of our favorite new bands, and featured on Sound Citizen Radio 7. They play like they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so look for a sharp, energetic set. This band is going places and they will be eager to slam their collective foot on the gas pedal.


Another newfound favorite at Sound Citizen (and featured on Sound Citizen Radio 3), Dawes is a perfect fit for a summer day. These guys can rock out with the best of them, but I really dig their flowing melodies mixed with simple, clean hooks. “When My Time Comes” and “Love is All I Am” are two of the best songs I’ve heard this year.


The Morning Benders

Much of The Morning Benders (great band name, by the way) reminds me of the music from the simple times of the 50′s when music was considered rebellious but was understated. But, their arrangements are far from simplistic. Expect a big crowd reaction and sing-alongs with this one. The song “Excuses” is downright dreamy.

Freelance Whales

Sweeping songs are the specialty of Freelance Whales. They sound like a perfect fit for any number of indie movie soundtracks and kind of remind me of Postal Service. I think one of the most impressive things about this band is their ability to take several different instruments and styles and weave them together into one cohesive jam. Nothing sounds out of place.

Minus the Bear

You know the show BJ and the Bear? That’s how this band got their name… Anyway, this band is another that defies categorization. They can be metal, trip-hop and just about everything in between. They have serious chops and are not afraid to push boundaries. They have a new album coming May 4, so expect a heavy set of new stuff.


What do you think? Have any other show stealers you think we missed? Leave a comment and let your fellow Sound Citizens know!