The Handpicked column has been revived.
Happy Holidays from Chicago Tunes:
New Chicago Tunes favorite Advance Base tops a Thursday evening bill at The Burlington. I recently reviewed their album, A Shut-In’s Prayer, and have been eager since to see how Owen’s minimalism translates inside a Logan Square rock bar. His music’s been wonderful respite in a year where my attention’s been so dominated by much noisier fare. Advance Base is wiped clear of unneeded clamor and is essentially vocal duets with a Rhodes.
Saturday, December 15: Archie Powell & the Exports, The Noise FM @ Subterranean, 9 p.m.
Cost: $5 with a packaged toy ($10 without) | Tickets
Other acts: Blane Fonda, The Grooks
The 2nd Annual Chicago Noise For Toys is a benefit concert for Chicagoland Toys For Tots, an organization that provides families in need with gifts during the holiday season. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, December 15 at SubT. The show starts at 9pm and is only $5 with the donation of an unopened toy ($10 without). All toy donations and proceeds from the door will go to Toys for Tots.
This is the 2nd year that The Noise FM and Archie Powell & The Exports have teamed up to host the event in Chicago. Also on the bill are Blane Fonda and The Grooks. There will be an ugly sweater contest, a photobooth with (a most likely drunk) Santa, and lots of horribly botched Christmas covers from the bands playing.
The idea for Noise For Toys started four years ago when The Noise FM still lived in Lawrence, Kansas. We like toys. And we like kids. The moment we figured out we could help give toys to kids AND play a rock show at the same time will probably go down as the single greatest achievement in our band’s history. When we moved to Chicago we knew we wanted to carry on with the Noise For Toys event, and we were lucky enough to find kindred spirits in our friends Archie Powell & The Exports.
We encourage everyone to throw on an ugly sweater, chug a carton of eggnog and come dance with us on December 15!
About a mile south of the Saturday benefit show at Subterranean will be Outer Minds‘ record release at the Empty Bottle. The show is in support of Outer Minds’ second LP of 2012, Behind the Mirror, released on Halloween. Their April record release show (also at the Bottle) with Mannequin Men, Radar Eyes and Summer Girlfriends was a high time of fuzzy lo-fi, and no doubt one of my favorite evenings at the venue all year.
It seems an Outer Minds or Radar Eyes release show wouldn’t be complete without the other (and sometimes Bare Mutants). Bare Mutants and Outer Minds were at Radar Eyes’ release show in February, Radar Eyes played at Outer Minds’ record release in April and both Radar Eyes and Bare Mutants will play in front of Outer Minds on the 15th. All well and good as I enjoy all three immensely.
Tuesday, December 18: Heavy Times, Uh Bones @ Empty Bottle, 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $5 (limited), $8 (advance), $10 (door) | Tickets
Other acts: The People’s Temple
Saw Uh Bones at The Burlington on Thursday. Thought their brand of a kind of aged garage pop could send them places if a little notice is thrown their way. I was totally impressed with how unfazed Luke seemed when one of his guitar’s strings detached from the neck about a minute into their first song. It was like alright, let’s just keep going.
I haven’t noticed many things said about Uh Bones yet. I only found out about them when I saw them play a few times before and after Magic Milk. I think they’re poised to have a happy 2013 if they book more shows at the Empty Bottle and maybe release another EP. Their debut released in June is proudly one of my favorites of the year. Certainly the best EP.
Heavy Times plays, too.
Friday, December 28: Suns (record release) @ Subterranean, 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 ($20 with vinyl or cd) | Tickets
Other acts: Sequoia, Snow Ghost, Court of Owls
Back in July I listened to and reviewed When We Were Us and anticipated that Suns would probably release it sometime before the year ran out. They’ll do so with a record release show at Subterranean, or the other December record release (in addition to Outer Minds’) worth your consideration.
I loved the record and will seed it high on my list of best local releases of the year in a few weeks. As I wrote in July, Suns “so fluidly meander the dial: from a storm of drums to quiet poetry, words that are yelled to lyrics merely spoken, explosions of noise to serene peace. These movements, and the movements within those movements, seem so effortless and natural. Suns pull it off with a kind of grace.”
Monday, December 31: Mucca Pazza, White Mystery @ Logan Square Auditorium, 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 | Tickets
Other acts: Jon Drake & the Shakes
A punk marching band to ring in the new year? Why the heck not. The 20-something piece with accompanying cheerleader section, Mucca Pazza, is for sure making music that’s difficult to pair with a comparable band. I mean is there one? I like to think these guys make marching bands sexy in much the same way that Glee did glee club.
White Mystery opens.
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