Toots and the Maytals - Thalia Hall, Chicago
Toots and the Maytals - Thalia Hall, Chicago

Toots and the Maytals - Thalia Hall, Chicago

Toots and the Maytals have been around a long time. As one the first purveyors of reggae/ska music (their 1968 tune “Do the Reggay” was actually the first song to use the word itself), their influence and lasting legacy on music really can’t be overstated.

Texacaliago
Read more
Aimee Mann / This Is The Kit - Jay Pritzker Pavilion - Chicago
Aimee Mann / This Is The Kit - Jay Pritzker Pavilion - Chicago

Aimee Mann / This Is The Kit - Jay Pritzker Pavilion - Chicago

Over on Waveland Avenue, the Foo Fighters were carpet bombing Wrigley Field.  The more genteel of us were subject to a much more delicate dismantling at the hands of Kate Stables (aka This Is The Kit) and Aimee Mann at Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Chicago’s Millennium Park.  In most instances and most cities, the offer of a free concert in the park would be grounds for a polite decline.  Add to that it was a Monday night and there must be better things to do. 

Mark Moody
Read more
Micky P Kerr - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Micky P Kerr - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Micky P Kerr - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

A musician appearing on TV can give the illusion of overnight success. You write a few songs, put in a brief appearance on a national TV talent show and – bam! – you’re sipping champagne with Ant and Dec. Sounds relatively quick and easy, right? Micky P Kerr made it to the final of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent but those three appearances are far from the full story.

Andy Brown
Read more
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - The Record Bar, Kansas City
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - The Record Bar, Kansas City

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - The Record Bar, Kansas City

With a name like Soccer Mommy, you’d expect a much older front woman than Sophie Allison. Instead, a fresh-faced, wide-eyed 20-year old took the stage with her band on Sunday in downtown Kansas City to get the crowd ready for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. The 35-minute set is further proof that Soccer Mommy intelligently taps into the current trend of directness in indie rock. Their debut album Clean dropped back in March, and it’s full of Elliot Smith-level mournfulness that translated to the live setting well.

Tim Sentz
Read more
UKAEA Kult Ritual / AJA / Beta Blockers - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley
UKAEA Kult Ritual / AJA / Beta Blockers - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

UKAEA Kult Ritual / AJA / Beta Blockers - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

It’s about half 9 on a Saturday night in Shipley and it looks like my friend is about to be indoctrinated into a cult. Tribal rhythms and shadowy figures work their way through the crowd and it feels like I’ve inadvertently stumbled into the middle of a horror film; the closing scenes to Ben Wheatley’s disconcerting Kill List perhaps? Well, let’s hope things don’t go that way. Of course all this makes sense when I remember that I’m actually at The Golden Cabinet, West Yorkshire’s finest night for all things experimental.

Andy Brown
Read more
My Bloody Valentine - The Palace Theatre, St. Paul
My Bloody Valentine - The Palace Theatre, St. Paul

My Bloody Valentine - The Palace Theatre, St. Paul

When Kevin Shields spoke earlier this year that new material from his iconic shoegaze project My Bloody Valentine would be released in 2018, I knew right away that they’d be touring the U.S., and more specifically that the closest they’d be playing would be St. Paul. Back in 2013 on the mbv tour, they played Denver and St. Paul. I had every intention then to see them, but plans fell through. MBV has been my number one bucket list band to see for years, and missing that show was a gut punch. I thought I’d never get the opportunity again.

Tim Sentz
Read more
Courtney Barnett - The Truman, Kansas City
Courtney Barnett - The Truman, Kansas City

Courtney Barnett - The Truman, Kansas City

Sometime in the last five years, Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett became a certified rock star. Touring behind her sophomore album Tell Me How You Really Feel, Barnett and her band swung by Kansas City’s The Truman, on their way to the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend in Chicago. The last time Barnett visited the area was in 2015, supporting her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, and opening for Belle & Sebastian at the Uptown Theater. Despite that brief set, Kansas City has embraced Barnett’s punk-meets-alt rock style.

Tim Sentz
Read more
Beck - Madison Square Garden, New York
Beck - Madison Square Garden, New York

Beck - Madison Square Garden, New York

When Beck (finally) released Colors last year…I didn’t hate it, I hated what it represented…or might have represented; I had some pretty weird thoughts in my review…but one thing was undeniable: it was colorful. And not the standard spectrum of colors we’re used to seeing as humans, this motherfucker INVENTED colors for this album. Then he called down lightning from some other planet’s sky to supercharge the damn thing before unleashing it upon the masses.

paul_guyet
Read more
Pylon Reenactment Society - Mercury Lounge, New York
Pylon Reenactment Society - Mercury Lounge, New York

Pylon Reenactment Society - Mercury Lounge, New York

Kevin Orton
Read more
Low - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Low - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Low - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Andy Brown
Read more
The Flaming Lips - Uptown Theater, Kansas City
The Flaming Lips - Uptown Theater, Kansas City

The Flaming Lips - Uptown Theater, Kansas City

Tim Sentz
Read more
Marillion - Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
Marillion - Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Marillion - Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Steve Rhodes
Read more