The curious tidbits of news of local interest have been piling up in my inbox, and we're long overdue to take a quick look at some of them. So let's dive in!
Pete's the prettier one on the left
Of course I will grant that Ashlee Simpson's significant other and the proud papa of Bronx Mowgli is endlessly annoying with his Twitter-fueled solipsism and fondness for shameless corporate expansionism (the clothing line, the bar, the label, etc.), but what can I say? The music of that erstwhile child of the North Shore suburbs and former Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz remains a guilty pleasure, and I'll argue that in his own way, he has long been as effective at subverting the pop mainstream as, say, Lady Gaga. Plus his punky dance-pop always is catchy as hell.
In any event, Wentz has announced the formation of a new electro-pop band called Black Cards, and he's streaming a weirdly endearing, 1920s-inflected club banger called "Club Called Heaven (featuring Chiddy Bang)" on the group's new Web site. The singer apparently is one Bebe Rexha, who has former band mate Patrick Stump beat in a few ways (if not necessarily in terms of vocal prowess), while other collaborators include drummer Spencer Peterson of Saves the Day and Hidden in Plain View and guitarist Nate Patterson of the Receiving End of Sirens.
The band sets out on a European tour in late October, but no word as yet on a triumphal homecoming. Blogged the now 31-year-old Fall Out Man [many sics]:
there will be no treasure hunt. not viral campaign. just the opposite- next week things will appear on this site in a very controlled distribution. if you enjoy it, keep coming back. if its not for you than we understand.
UPDATED: I HAD SOME OF THESE DATES BELOW ALL SCREWED UP BEFORE. I'VE FIXED 'EM AND THINK THEY'RE RIGHT NOW. I HOPE! SORRY!
Other highlights at the sixth annual punk celebration include Bad Religion, the Circle Jerks, and the Lawrence Arms (Congress, Oct. 8); the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Pennywise, and Anti-Flag (Congress,‚ Oct. 9); Red Oktoberfest 2010 and Propagandhi (Metro, Oct. 7); Jello Biafra, Articles of Faith, and Shot Baker (Metro, Oct. 8); Cap'n Jazz, Smoking Popes, and Anxiety High (Metro, Oct. 9); High on Fire and Torche (Metro, Oct. 10); Naked Raygun, the Effigies, and Steve Bjorklund (Double Door, Oct. 6), and Negative Approach, the Effigies, Zero Boys, and the Meatmen (Double Door, Oct. 10), to name just a few. (Many, many more can be found on the full schedule on the fest Web site.)
Oh, yeah: Promoters also just announced a "secret" warm-up show (How can a show be secret if it's announced? I dunno) by the Smoking Popes on Oct. 1 in an intimate setting at the AAA Building in Wicker Park. A hundred three- or five-day pass ‚ holders will be randomly selected for a pair of tickets as a cool "thank you."
Sure, Halloween still is a month away, but it's never too early to start thinking about New Year's Eve, right?
I've spent some great ones at Metro, and the North Side club has booked another fine act to ring out the old and ring in the new as 2010 yields to '11: expansive psychedelic rockers Yeasayer, whose second album "Odd Blood" is still riding high near the top of my list for the best of 2010. L.A. noise-rockers will Health open, and tickets will go on sale Saturday at noon for $56 via the club's Web site.
Finally, speaking of New Year's Eve in Chicago, that master of the mash-up Girl Talk, a.k.a. DJ Gregg Gillis, has released a DVD of last year's celebratory concert at the Congress, and thoughtfully posted it in three parts on YouTube, documenting the construction of a house onstage over the course of the night, as well as the musical chaos. Here's part one; parts two and three can be found here and here.