Monday, February 28, 2011


Winter returns with a vengeance. Looks like four to six more weeks of soul-crushing, gray and cold Chicago winter weather. So here's a few shows I won't being going to this week. Enjoy!

Lady Gaga, Scissor Sisters @ United Center
1901 W Madison Ave.

Ok, now I get it, Lady Gaga is the new Marilyn Manson— she worries your parents and scares little kids with her highly derivitave music, but it's all about art and image. I get it.

Weedeater, Zoroaster, Bible of the Devil, Reptoids @
Abbey Pub
3420 W. Grace St.
773-463-5808/ 866-468-3401

As far as lawncare goes, it doesn't really matter if you use a Weed Eater 15-Inch 4.5 Amp Twist-N-Edge Electric String Trimmer, a Hitachi 21.1cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Straight Shaft Grass Trimmer or even a Black & Decker Grass Hog XP 14-Inch 7.2 Amp Electric String Trimmer/Edger, you're gonna wanna take a wack at some some weed in some form for this show.

Cheap Time, Zoobombs, Ramma Lamma @
Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave.

The brats from Wauwatosa are back, this time in the form of Ramma Lamma. Zip boom ba!

Pogues, Titus Andronicus
@ Congress Theater
2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.

If you get up real close maybe you can catch one of Shane MacGowan's teeth. (Is Shane MacGowan back in the Pogues?)

Iron & Wine, Eleventh Dream Day
@ Riviera
4746 N. Racine Ave.

Doc said I needed more Iron and wine in my diet. At least that's what I heard him to say.

Gauge, Haymarket Riot @
Beat Kitchen
2100 W. Belmont

One hudred and twenty-five years later and that whole Haymarket Riot thing still stings.

Jacuzzi Boys, Tyler Jon Tyler
@ The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.

Nothing sounds better than a dip into the Jacuzzi with Tyler Jon Tyler and the boys.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Comic Review: Nine Gallons

Susie Cagle (microcosm)
Nine Gallons is a comic tale of the author's efforts to participate in a Food Not Bombs chapter in the SF/Oakland area. As a volunteer Susie confronts resistance from friends and colleagues who question the motives of her efforts and even the overall ethics of this type of food activism. As a result Susie's feels at times hypocritical and worse; completely ineffective. Interesting questions are raised on a subject that I must admit I've never given much thought to, unfortunately, the answers are not so easy or apparent—Chris Auman

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cassette Review: Blasted Diplomats

Blasted Diplomats (Plus Tapes)
There's something instantly familiar about the Blasted Diplomats, which makes sense—all four members are long-time record store employees. Osmosis alone would mean these guys have absorbed thousands of hours of rock music and peeped plenty of album art. So at their heart, the Blast Mats are a product of that music overload. What comes through most evidently on this self-titled debut cassette is their affinity for the indie guitar rock of the early to mid 1990s and bands like Grifters, Archers of Loaf and Gaunt. The tape is comprised of ten songs—a mix of tracks recorded both live and in the studio. The studio tracks are pretty raw and stripped down while the live tracks show the Blast Mats working their boozy charm on a party crowd thus reinforcing the unpretentious attitude of the studio songs. Given its look to the previous decade for inspiration it's only fitting then that a cassette is the chosen format for this release. Fine by me, time to get blasted—P.C. Jones

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Reviews: The Chainbreaker Bike Book

A Rough Guide to Bicycle Maintenance
by Shelly Lynn Jackson & Ethan Clark (microcosm)

Half handy guide to bicycle maintenance, half zine about all things bike, The Chainbreaker Bike Book is a comprehensive, illustrated manual for maintaining your ride. The book covers everything from dealing with your bike (from tools to tune-ups) to dealing with bike shops. Authors Ethan and Shelly both have long histories with bicycles and have both worked at the Plan B bike collective in New Orleans, so they not only have a passion for the material, they have the knowledge to back it up. The guide is intended for anyone and everyone who has an interest in self-propelled, self-sustained, two-wheeled transport regardless of the make or model of the bike or its rider. The back half of the book is the first four issues of the Chainbreaker zine that celebrated bike culture, and New Orleans specifically, which is a huge bonus to an already valuable publication. Ride your bike!

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Cassette Pet

Cassetty Meets a CD @ The Record Mart

Monday, February 21, 2011

Reglar Wiglar Interview: Artist Jesse Reklaw

I had the weirdest dream last night. I dreamt that Sarah Palin ran a strip joint in Vegas and Justin Beiber was there drinking Old Fashioneds with Lady Gaga and they were both stuffing hundred dollar bills into Kanye West's g-string. It was freaky, man. Naw, I'm kidding, but artist Jesse Reklaw has been hearing that kinda shit for years, and transforming those nocturnal submissions into a weekly comic strip called Slow Wave. But that's not all he does, click on the link below to find out more. Do it!

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Sunday, February 20, 2011


You know how last week I said that not one more flake of snow would fall this year until December? Well, that's sleet and rain fallin' out there, Baskerville, so get off my Doppler already. Anyway, here's some shows I ain't gonna make it out to this week. Enjoy!

The Forms, Archie Powell & The Exports, John The Savage
@ Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave.

John the Savage from Milwaukee John the Savage? Yes, that John the Savage.

The Streets on Fire, J+J+J, The Cathy Santonies
@ Schuba's 3159 N. Southport Ave.

J+J+J = J cubed.

When Clouds Attack, Seafarer, Color Card, The Canoes
@ Pancho's
2200 N. California

When Clouds Attack...I'm following Skilling on the Twitter so I ain't even worried about it.

Ke$ha Presents The Get $leazy Tour w/Beardo
@ House of Blues
329 N. Dearborn St.

A week ago, I didn't know who this trainwreck Ke$ha was. All's I knew is she dresses like C.C. DeVille did in 1983 and she apparently gargles with whisky in the morning (like C.C. did in '83). Then I saw her perform on TV and she's really, really awful. So that felt kinda good.

Blasted Diplomats
@ Cal Liquors 400 S. Wells

Blast Mats are playing Cals on Friday. I know this 'cause I aked them and not because Cal's updates their website... ever.

Soft Targets, Eric Howell's Greatest Hitch, Kevin Lee Band
@ Quenchers 2400 W. Fullerton

This isn't a shameless plug. I actually feel a lot of shame.

Dropkick Murphys, Naked Raygun @ Congress Theater
2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Randy Newman at The Park West or Naken Raygun at The Congress? Hmmmmm. Going Raygun on this one.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Reglar Wiglar Band Interview: Bad Cop

Bad Cop are some growed up kids from Nashville playin' punk rock and roll. They got signed to ROIR right quick after forming. Musta liked 'em. It's been balls out from there. Nashville correspondent Rebecca Seung interviewed frontman Adam Moult and filed this report.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reglar Wiglar Band Interview: Blasted Diplomats

Photo by John Sturdy
I guess we have Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to thank for the recent spate of diplomat blastings, but that has nothing to do with Chicago's Blasted Diplomats. Naw, there ain't nuthin' diplomatic about the way these dudes blast out their loud brand of good old fashioned guitar rock. So check 'em out and tell your friends, but remember, you can call them the Blast Mats, you can even call them the B. Mats, just don't call them Blasted Dips. Please!

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Jazz All-Stars

Here are just a handful of the Jazz greats playing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this year:

Jon Bon Jovi
Jimmy Buffet
Kid Rock
Cyndi Lauper
Tom Jones
The Strokes
and of course, Kenny G

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reglar Wiglar Band Interview: Kris Poulin

Sound & Recording Engineer, Kris Poulin has worn many hats in Chicago (but mostly a White Sox hat). He's the basement recording engineer with the punk rock rates, the patient sound guy for your shitty band at any number of local clubs, he's a world traveling sound dude for Pinback and a guitar player and singer in the noise band Phantom Works, and now this Chicagoan is about to become a San Diegan. A San Diegan! We can be jealous, but can we really blame him?

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Dan Kiss, I mean KISS shreds

Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Reviews: Zinester's Guide to NYC

Ayun Halliday (microcosm)
The Zinester’s Guide to New York City is the second installment of such handy guides published by Microcosm (the first being the Portland version). For this two-hundred and fifty plus page book, writer and zine publisher Ayun Halliday (East Village Inky) gathered contributions from dozens of writers and artists who offer up their choices of favorite restaurants, bars, live music venues, parks, and special events in NYC. Very useful and well-thought out with a handy index section in the back of the book, although the section on public restrooms could be expanded, perhaps with a map and a star rating system.... anyway, just a suggestion. Illustrated and informative whether you are a New Yorker or just passing through. Includes artwork and writing from Liz Baillie, Carrie McNinch, Heath Row and many, many others—Chris Auman

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Happy Birthday, Controller!

It is the Controller's Birthday today. Happy Birthday, Controller. The Controller is old. 
Not the Controller, you were thinking of?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reglar Wiglar Band Interview: Lady GooGoo

At just fourteen months old, baby prodigy, Lady GooGoo has accomplished more than most artists do by the time they're in their tweens. First the Fabulous Lady G stole our hearts with last year's club hit "Peekaboo Face" from her debut album, The Fame Monster Under the Bed and now the young singer is about to drop her second record, Born Like This. Her eccentric fashion sense and her recent political activism have made her a baby to be reckoned with both on and off the pop charts. The Reglar Wiglar was able to get a pre-nap time interview with Miss G.G. on the day of the release of her new single "Born Like This."

REGLAR WIGLAR: Congratulations on the new single, "Born Like This" which was just released today. I personally am a huge fan of the new song but some critics who have obtained advanced copies have called the song "very stinky." What's your reaction to this?

LADY GOOGOO: (grunting noise)

REGLAR WIGLAR: Wooweee, now that's very stinky. I take it you don't care much for your critics. Lady GooGoo, you've been teasing the music press by releasing partial lyrics to "Born Like This". You sent this lyrical snippet to Perez Hilton a few weeks ago: "Goo, goo, goo, ga/ Giggle, goo goo ga." Why the tease?

LADY GOOGOO: Gggul, goo goo ga goo. Goo.

REGLAR WIGLAR: Makes sense to me. Now, regarding your fashion sense, which some have called "infantile", I have to ask, are you just trying to shock your parents and the public? I mean, you showed up to the Grammy's last year wrapped in swaddling bacon!

LADY GOOGOO: Gagagagagaga na. Gurgle, gurgle.

REGLAR WIGLAR: Well, that's to the point of my question actually—the diaper made of pigeon feathers, the baby bonnet made of live snakes—what's the motivation?

LADY GOOGOO: Goo goo ga  gagagagagaga na. Eeeh fafa goo. Goo.

REGLAR WIGLAR:  I see. I hadn't thought of it in quite that way. Now, sweetie, dispel the rumours that you're dating Justin Beiber.

LADY GOOGOO: Phhhtttttt!

REGLAR WIGLAR: Well, I don't know if it's fair to call him a geezer, Lady GooGoo, but I do agree, there is quite an age difference. I would think that maybe someone like Lil Dirty Bastard might be in more of your age bracket.

LADY GOOGOO: Giggle goo!

REGLAR WIGLAR: Lady GooGoo, you've been very political lately: you recently made a "boom boom" in your diaper at a rally to end "Don't Ask, Don't Show and Tell" at a kindergarten here in New York; you also produced a lot of spittle in reaction to the enforcement of immigration law in Arizona. Is there a run for political office in your future?

LADY GOOGOO: Nnnnnnnnnnn, nnnnnnnn.

REGLAR WIGLAR: Ok, well, thank you very much Lady GooGoo, I'll let you go so you can get a fresh diaper. Thank you for the interview.

LADY GOOGOO: Phhhhsssssst, goo, gurgle.

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Zine Review: Lumpen

Issue number one hundred and fifteen for this staple of Chicago independent publications. Seems like Lumpen is getting back up to the tabloid size of its humble beginnings as the Lumpen Times back in the early 90s. I’m going to go ahead and say that, fluctuations in size and title withstanding, not much has changed with the magazine. What has changed, however, is that the twenty plus year gentrification of Wicker Park has finally been completed and Edmar and crew have long since left the north side for Bridgeport, "Neighborhood of the Future." Still free where you can find it and still an impressive effort for this left-leaning quarterly. Articles and commentary in this issue include "Please Don’t Bomb the Suburbs" by William Upski Wimsatt; "Third World America, Here We Come" by Democracy Now!; "Our Water is Not for Sale" by Abigal Singer plus comics and reviews.
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

7" Review: The Girls

Remote View b/w Lord Auch (HoZac)

"Remote View" opens with a nasty, descending guitar chord progression before blasting into chunks of alienating scuzzed out punk. I like chunks of that shit in my punk rock. "Lord Auch" delivers more of all that but also features a killer chorus in it's rabid attack. It's paranoid, it's skitzoid, it's Seattleoid—Joey T. Germ

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Reglar Wiglar Band Interview: Radar Eyes

That growing blip on your radar screen ain't a UFO, genius, it's Radar Eyes. And that blip is set to go blop 'cause this Chicago quartet is about to follow up a good year with a better one. 2010 saw the band release a tape on local cassette label, plustapes and a 7" on HoZac, and in 2011 the Eyes are gearing up for an EP on Rococo and a full-length long-player for HoZac, as well as a jaunt down to Austin, Texas for that one music festival they have down there every year... South by Southwest, I think it's called. Proper!

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Reglar Wiglar now available on the I-Pad!

No I Pad "app" required!
Go here: Reglar Wiglar on your IPAD.
This might work on your I-Phone too!


Can you believe how much friggin' snow we got last week? I'm not gonna be able to dig out my moped until August at least. So yeah, I ain't gonna be makin' any of these shows. But you should go. Seriously. You should.

Hunters, Reptoids, Hawkbit @ Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave.

How 'bout a Reptoid Hunter?

Eluveitie, 3 Inches of Blood,
Holy Grail, System Divide
@ Bottom Lounge
1375 W. Lake St.

Do I wanna see 3 inches of Blood on the stage at Bottom Lounge? Dunno, depends on who's blood it is.

Wavves, Best Coast, No Joy @ Lincoln Hall
2424 N. Lincoln Ave.

This is the show all the important critics in town are gonna pick in their fancy papers and websites, but I was gonna pick it anyway. Uh-huh, was too.

The Godfathers, Frosting, Love in October, Death Ships @Double Door
1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Is this thee The Godfathers? From Old Blighty? From the 80s? The "Birth, School, Work, Death" The Godfathers? If I was goin' to a show on Thursday I might go to this, which I won't 'cause I'm not.

Gang of Four, Hollerado @
3730 N. Clark St.

To hell with poverty, maybe, but I can't be throwin' $28.50 at it either.

Tortoise, Spooky Ruben @
Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave.

"Movin' like a tortoise, full of rigor mortis." Dr. Dre said that.

Slash w/The Fabulous Miss Wendy @ House of Blues
329 N. Dearborn St.

No, Palin, this is a wtf moment.

Friday, February 04, 2011

7" Review: Tortured Tongues

Let Me Down b/w Feed the Flys + To Death (HoZac)
If it were possible for Tortured Tongues to reach a level where they cared less about what anybody thought of their music, then I'm sure they would try to get there in a hurry. I'm showing my age here (eighty-five next week) but The Tongues remind me of the ultimate bad time band, Flipper and their brand of bummer rock. There's a similar unsettling effect with whatever is going on here. You've got to turn up the Loud and turn up the Angry if you're going to listen this record, and really bad ditchweed would only enhance the experience—Muggsy McMurphy

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Let These Sexy Aussies Warm You Up Today!

Thanks, Melissa U.!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

7" Review: Gentleman Jesse & His Men

You’ve Got the Wrong Man b/w Stuborn Ghost (HoZac)
Georgian and Organ Donor (and Gentlman) Jesse Smith digs poppy, jangly 60s pop music. I know this because of the two songs on this record. The one hundred and fifty-five pound, six foot one, Gentle J. and the additional men rock and roll out two tuneful nuggets here that you can surely get the hand-clap machine going on if you got an inkling that way. Be sure to wish Jesse a happy birthday on May 17th. I believe he'll be thirty-one this year—P.C. Jones

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CD Review: Reading Rainbow

Prism Eyes (HoZac)
Prism Eyes is kind of a delightful surprise. After listening to a slew of psych garage rock bands twist out spasms of static hiss, the Rainbow sounds nice—down right pretty at times. It’s also catchy as hell despite its hazy washed out sound. The dual harmony vocals of husband and wife team Sarah E. and Rob G. are the real hook however. Fans of pretty much any style of music from any decade will find something familiar and appealing about R. Rainbow's sound, and once you let it sink in, it tends to stay there awhile—P.C. Jones

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I debated whether or not to review this magazine because I knew I was almost surely going to make fun of it from the moment I saw it laying in the foyer of the Old Town School of Folk Music. And why not? It's dedicated, almost entirely, to cover bands that play predominately in the suburbs. The bars and clubs that advertise herein, look like horrible places where douche bags congregate to do Jager Bombs and shake their fists at the even bigger d. bags on stage who are costumed as some of the worst dinosaur rock musicians I hated enough the first time around. But who am I to judge and what right do I have to do so? These are just my own biases and prejudices and I would have to be an even bigger a-hole to put down other people for their tastes in music regardless of how much fun it is and how much pure joy and pleasure it would give me to do such. That said, this newsletter, which has been in circulation since 1988, is basically the Maximumrocknroll for suburban cover band coverage. The dual cover features The Lounge Puppets (80s Hair Band Tribute) on one side and Petty Profits (Tom Petty Tribute) on the flip and there are interviews/articles on these bands inside. There's also the "Street Talk News & Views" column by Rock Princess Christine Perry which has tidbits on various area bands. (For example, UFO tribute band, Lights Out Chicago, has a new frontman.) The cover /tribute band concept has always been an intriguing phenomenon and apparently it will never leave the burbs ever, ever, ever. Many of the groups that these cover bands are paying tribute to are still schlepping around the country playing to the die-hards at county fairs and such, but I guess people still want to hear their favorite songs live regardless of who is performing them.

I guess. I really don't understand it actually.

The most mindblowing revelation I received from the Chicago Rocker was an ad for Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill and their "Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade Afterparty" show in which Jackyl featuring DMC (from Run DMC) was performing. That's Jackyl featuring DMC. Let that sink in. I bet Tailgaters was packed that night. Probably sold a lot of Jager Bombs.

Zine Review: Roctober #48

Roctober is another publication in the line of long-running Chicago zines. As action-packed as ever, Roctober hasn’t changed much in its almost twenty-year reign as the preeminent rag and resource for all things rock and roll. Issue number forty-eight, like it’s predecessors, is chock full of dynamic greatness and filled to the margins with rockness. Roctober switched to a half and half zine format with the back half (or is it the front half?) featuring comics, including a twenty-page “Gumballhead the Cat” and the usual suspects “Punk’n’Head” and the slow moving “Rockin’ Ace”. The front half (or is it the back half?) is where you'll find interviews and assorted articles. This time around we get the goods on White Sox organist Nancy Faust; Chicago Soul singer, Hellen Wooten; the umpteenth but always entertaining Nardwuar/Snoop Dog hookup; an article on Cleveland legends, Easter Monkeys, and Larry Pig Gold chats with one-time Dee Dee Ramone wife, Vera Ramone King. But wait there’s more in the from of a shizzle load of record, CD, book and comic reviews. All this for the incredibly low price of four friggin’ clams!!!!—Chris Auman

Punxsutawney Phil Punks Out...Again!

Punxsutawney Phil sees his blobby shadow and so now we've got six more weeks of this shit? Time to chuck this woodchuck.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Zine Review: The Book Bindery

Sarah Royal (Microcosm)
This small bound book is about book bindery. It’s a collection of the zine of the same name and documents Sarah Royal’s time in Chicago working at a west side book bindery. Not the romantic environs one might picture of artisans lovingly assembling classics of literature, or producing the cutting edge in experimental fiction, but rather the binding of mind-numbing law publications. However, the characters and everyday situations Sarah encounters during her seemingly menial occupation provide the grist for some compelling tales of deranged bosses, delusional co-workers and destitute hood rats. Sarah also befriends a few commuters on the 55 bus which make for additional character studies. Every work place is a microcosm populated with odd players and the book bindery is certainly no exception—Chris Auman

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