My "Sound Opinions" colleague Greg Kot was quick out of the chute yesterday following the news that Mayor Richard M. Daley will not run for re-election with a damning story recounting the many ways that the like-father, like-son machine politician, so quick to trumpet this extraordinary city's other accomplishments, routinely displayed a tin ear to its unparalleled music scenes -- that is, when his minions weren't actively setting out to destroy them.
Album review: Mavis Staples, "You Are Not Alone" (Anti-) Rating: 3/4
At age 71, gospel and soul legend Mavis Staples is nothing short of an American treasure, and she long has been overdue for the late-career commercial and cultural resurgence -- renewed album sales, a basketful of Grammys, a new presence on television and movie soundtracks, and all the rest -- that we've often seen awarded to far lesser legacy talents. Yet while Staples has made a fine string of albums in the new millennium, including "Have a Little Faith" (which was released by the blues label Alligator in 2004), "We'll Never Turn Back" (the start of her association with the ever-hip Anti- label in 2007), and "Live: Hope at the Hideout" (2008), they've all lacked that certain indefinable "something" required to wake up a music world that's been taking her indomitable spirit and inspiring voice for granted.
Here is a look at this week's best bets for live music.
While I'm otherwise occupied, I've been using the blogging downtime to take a look back at 1990 and some of my favorite releases from that year from the perspective of two decades on. Today: "In a Priest Driven Ambulance," the first unqualified masterpiece by Oklahoma City's fabulous Flaming Lips, via an excerpt from my 2006 biography of the band, Staring at Sound.
The Flaming Lips, "In a Priest Driven Ambulance" (Restless) Rating:4/4
As noted yesterday, I'll be otherwise occupied for the next few days, but I thought it would be fun during the blogging downtime to take a look back at 1990 and some of my favorite releases from that year from the perspective of two decades on. Today: My original circa '90 fanzine review of a lovely acoustic detour by thefavorite sons (and daughter) of Hoboken, N.J.: Yo La Tengo.
Yo La Tengo, "Fakebook" (Bar None) Rating:4/4
I'll be otherwise occupied for the next few days, but I thought it would be fun during the blogging downtime to take a look back at 1990 and some of my favorite releases from that year from the perspective of two decades on. First up: My original circa '90 fanzine review of the debut album by the fine Scottish pop band Teenage Fanclub.
Teenage Fan Club, "A Catholic Education" (Matador) Eating:4/4]
These Scottish pinups could never be accused of startling originality—no band that reverently looks up to Dinosaur, Jr.’s third-generation Neil Young/Velvets pisstake could.
Every musician wants his or her music to be heard by as many people as possible, and to that end, one of the big advantages for bands in Chicago is that the city is within easy striking distance of so many other Midwestern burgs.
As summer (finally) draws to a close, things remain pretty sleepy in the club and theater world, and/or dazed from festival hangover. But there still are some fine shows flying just below the radar.