Monthly Archives: January 2011

A Sound We Like: The Shams Band

The Shams Band are moving up in the Chicago music scene, and you have a chance to see them on the way — this Thursday, January 27, at Lincoln Hall. The Shams Band play an eclectic style of music that incorporates blues, folk, rock and even a little big band to create a unique but authentic sound that’s hard not to play over in your head long after hearing them for the first time.

You might recognize The Shams Band from their recent breakout performance at the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival, where they took the stage after Grace Potter and The Nocturnals and before Edward Sharpre & The Magnetic Zeroes. But even if you don’t yet know The Shams Band, chances are, soon enough, your friends will.

Have a listen to “Working Man” below, and check them out Thursday at Lincoln Hall.

Working Man

Sound Citizen Radio 18: Gigmaven Launch Party

This week on Sound Citizen Radio we preview the Gigmaven coming out party with four great Chicago bands. Gigmaven comes to Chicago with a service that helps local bands book shows at various venues in the city – a valuable service to artists of all kinds. Gigmaven, in association with HEAVE Media, is putting on a show January 6 at Subterranean to celebrate their launch. On the lineup are four great Chicago artists. You can hear them all, right now.

Please get out and support your Chicago music scene. This week’s lineup:

Dozens, “Lacuna”

Netherfriends, “I’m Gonna Start”

The Lonliest Monk, “The Ghost and the Silhouette”

Wolf in a Spacesuit, “Bark of a Cedar”

If you have suggestions for future episodes of Sound Citizen Radio, please send an email.

Review: The Black Keys, New Year’s Day 2011

The Black Keys just wrapped up a three-day Chicago set spanning New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, in what is becoming an annual tradition. For the second year in a row, we attended, this year the New Year’s Day show at Aragon Ballroom.

I must admit, I was worried when The Black Keys latest album, Brothers, was released. I selfishly (and privately) felt that they might destroy the best two-person sound this side of The White Stripes. And even after listening to the album several times over, I still needed to see how it would stack up live to be truly convinced that The Black Keys didn’t lose the magic. I thought the Keys couldn’t possibly get any better than they already were.
black keys, 2011, new year's day
They did.

After ripping through some classics like 10 A.M. Automatic, Girl is on My Mind (and envisioning that jackass drawing a heart on a frozen window) and Stack Shot Billy, Nick Movshon (bass guitar) and Leon Michels (keyboards) joined Dan and Patrick on stage for some new classics; the likes of Next Girl, Howlin’ For You and Tighten Up. The songs had more power than I thought they would. They were polished but still carried the Keys’ trademark “dirtiness.” Thing is, after seeing it performed live, Brothers kicks ass. The Black Keys have managed to enhance their sound, not detract from it. It was just the first day of 2011, but I already know that this show will go down as one of the year’s best.

Some videos are posted below, of varying quality from The Black Keys on New Year’s Day. The sound is not the best, but I recommend watching the vid for “I Got Mine,” to get a feel for the atmosphere – at least the first minute. The last video is from New Year’s Eve. That awesome photo, by the way, from Joshua Mellin.

Read our review of The Black Keys on New Year’s Eve, 2009.

Tighten Up


I’ll Be Your Man


10 A.M. Automatic


Everlasting Light (New Year’s Eve)


The Black Keys New Year’s Day Setlist.