Monthly Archives: July 2010

Rage Against the Machine Reuinite!

Rage Against the Machine reunited, playing for the first time in 10 years in front of their home-town crowd in Los Angeles this week. The show was a benefit to support those opposed to the controversial Arizona immigration law. The results were explosive, as is the norm for a Rage show.

Rage has been a favorite ever since I first heard them in college. Then, when I saw them live, they entered into that “top 10″ list of all-time best live shows where they have remained to this day. No live act (the Beastie Boys come very, very close) delivers and creates the energy of a Rage concert.

You might not be a fan of their music or their outspoken political views, but watch these videos below to get a sense of the frenzy they can create. It’s truly a spectacle and one I hope to witness again in the future. Our thanks to those who shot the vids.




Get to Know Mumford & Sons

We’ve been talking about Mumford & Sons – both here on Sound Citizen and over beers this summer in Chicago – for a couple of months now. But then it dawned on me that I have yet to really post something exclusively about them. That’s just lame. So here it is.

I like music with conviction, creativity and in the interests of the common man. Mumford & Sons, I like. I like them so much that I’ve considered spending the obnoxious ticket price of one day of Lollapalooza just to see them. Because as we all know, you can’t really get to know a band until you’ve seen them live. And I’m committed to getting to know these folks.

Mumford & Sons might not be for everyone, although I’m not sure why someone wouldn’t like them.

Oh hell … just have a listen. (Might take a second to load – try skipping ahead if it won’t)

Sound Citizen Radio 14: Pitchfork Preview

It’s Pitchfork Music Festival time in Chicago. Like every year, dozens of great bands are ready to rock. So, this week on Sound Citizen Radio we preview four bands that will be playing over the weekend, along with a bonus band playing in two weeks at Empty Bottle.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Sound Citizen Radio here, or on iTunes by searching “Sound Citizen” and, as always, please send any feedback, suggestions or accolades to Enjoy the festival!

This week’s lineup:

Local Natives, “Sun Hands”
Pitchfork Music Fest, Sunday, July 18, 3:35pm

The Tallest Man on Earth, “King of Spain”
Pitchfork Music Fest, Friday, July 16, 4pm

Surfer Blood, “Swim (to reach the end)”
Pitchfork Music Fest, Sunday, July 18, 4:45pm

Smith Westerns, “Be My Girl”
Pitchfork Music Fest, Saturday, July 17, 4:45pm

Futurebirds, “Breathe for Days”
Empty Bottle, Sundday, July 25

Sound Citizen Radio 13: Happy 4th!

Welcome back to Sound Citizen Radio. It’s Fourth of July weekend, meaning it’s time to kick off your shoes, sit in the sun, sip a cold one and, of course, take in some music.

This week we feature three bands with shows over this holiday weekend, and they’re all Chicago folk. Not included, but recommended is The Streets on Fire at Double Door on July 2.

Send any future Sound Citizen Radio suggestions, comments and questions to

This week’s lineup:

Joe Pug, “The Sharpest Crown”
Fitzgeralds, Berwyn, July 2, 3

Filligar, “Gray Area”
Lincoln Hall, July 7

The Shams Band, “Working Man”
Beat Kitchen, July 8

Jace Everett Concert Review, Chicago

(Video below) If you don’t know Jace Everett, you’re not alone. But if you watch True Blood, you know Jace Everett. He’s responsible for the intro song to the popular vampire HBO series. But, as you’ll soon find out, he has plenty more to offer.

We took in his show at Martyr’s in Chicago and soon discovered that he’s a country boy at heart but, true to True Blood, has dark undertones. What makes this guy unique starts with his voice – it’s deep, loud and brooding. But he has a flair for the lighter side of things too. For instance, while struggling to tune his Gibson guitar, he remarked, “These Gibson’s, always going out of tune. They look great, though. Kind of like my ex-girlfriend — I couldn’t get her in tune either. And I was married to for five years.”

Everett is out touring now, promoting a new album and trying to capitalize on his True Blood fame. Which, he should. And he’s keenly aware of it – at the start of the show he talked about how he’s known as “The True Blood guy” but that he’d get to that later, so people would stay to hear more of his stuff. But he also acknowledged being truly grateful for the opportunity that song has brought. In all, Jace Everett is talented and rather humble. He knows his roots, too, closing out the set with a Bo Diddly song and remarking how, in his home state, Bo Diddly was brought to the white kids and that “Bo Diddly has been smiling ever since.”

A quick crowd note: Everett apparently has many friends and fans in the UK. There was a table of across-the-pond silver foxes hanging on every note. And they line dance, which you can see in the video. Everett referred to them often, happy they were there to support him.

The night’s opener was Tiffany Strietelmeier, featuring the Piscotti brothers (Dave and Tony) on guitar and drums. They play a nice mix of songs that are upbeat and heart-felt. Tony Piscotti is smooth on the guitar and brother Dave’s timing on the drums is spot-on. And from what I understand they are only getting better. You can check them out around town.