Tag Archives: Chicago

Photos: Kill Hannah & Dot Dot Dot @ HOB Chicago

Kill Hannah & Dot Dot Dot
House of Blues Chicago
December 22, 2012

Kill Hannah hosted their annual party with Dot Dot Dot at the HOB Chicago along with returning members guitarist Jonny Radtke, who has been involved with Filter for a few years and drummer Elias Mallin, who’s been touring with Kesha. Ke$ha? Yeah, that’s it.

Kill Hannah



Dot Dot Dot


Continue reading

Photos: Dir En Grey @ House of Blues (Chicago) live

Dir En Grey live
House of Blues
Chicago, IL
December 18, 2011




Continue reading

Photos: Kill Hannah @ The Bottom Lounge (Chicago) live – a love letter

Let me nerd out for a moment as this is not the kind of band we normally post about.

I LOVE Kill Hannah. I love Kill Hannah without a cent of irony. Next to the Smashing Pumpkins, they’re second to none, the bee’s knees, the best thing since sliced bread. I’m embarrassed (and proud) to admit how many times I’ve seen these guys play over the past decade and how many states I’ve traveled to for their shows. (I lost track at 84 four years ago. Really.) Back in the day I basically shoved myself into the the street team for Atlantic Records, their label at the time, to promote the band and see as many shows as possible across the Midwest. Their blend of electro-new romantic pop blends perfectly in my little brain and guaranteed, Kill Hannah has the best live show out there, no matter what genre of music you listen to.

I had my first photo passes with these guys when I was still shooting with a 35mm point and shoot – I credit them for teaching me how to photograph, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Dear Kill Hannah,
I love you. Thank you.
Your humble fan,


Since 2003 (save last year when singer Mat Devine appeared on Broadway in Spiderman) they’ve held a massive Christmas show/party in their hometown of Chicago. This past weekend was this year’s New Heart for XMas 8.

Kill Hannah w/ Comasoft
December 17, 2011
The Bottom Lounge
Chicago, IL




Continue reading

A Transmission About Liz Phair from the Actual Guyville

Much print has been spilled in the most recent flurry of Liz Phair news, and a lot of it just clearly misses the fucking point.

As an artistic piece I still think Exile In Guyville is an amazing piece of emotional honesty. I could care less what motivated Liz Phair to write the songs, and from what I can tell she was an artist first and foremost, but she wanted validation from Nash Kato and that crew, so I think that supplied the drive to actually get her stuff released. I think the “potty mouth / slutty blowjob queen / Exile On Mainstreet / priveleged rich kid going bohemian” thing is an angle that lazy journalists employed then, and still employ. One watch of the Guyville Redux DVD that comes with the reissue is paints a much better representation of the indie scene at the time — Chicago in particular — and the way she actually fit into things at the time.

But I think she was/is an artist with a limited well from which to draw. There’s a reason the good songs on later discs were mostly reworkings of stuff from the Girlysound tapes. I think she hit upon a bright burst of inspiration at a certain point in her life and after that was gone she didn’t have anything else unique to say.

Another journalist and I were having an argument recently over whether or not Guyville is even a feminist work. I argued it wasn’t philosophically, but understood that since it empowered so many women some folks just lump it in as a “feminist work.” And I think that’s the most important thing, and one that gets severely overlooked since almost everyone that’s ever written about the album is male, and they totally fucking miss this point just about every single time, but when that disc came out there were a LOT of girls that were suddenly like, OH my GOD, I think those same things too. And it’s O.K. I’m not alone!”

Who cares if Phair never writes another decent song, or that her career nowadays is one naked grab for attention after another? That’s her business, and I don’t hold it against her one whit, and I think it’s idiotic for people to hate on her for trying to make a career within today’s totally fucked up music industry. What matters is that, once upon a time, she created a piece of art that gave a lot of people courage by shouting universal truths previously held behind closed doors. For that Liz Phair will always have my respect.

Guyville, No Longer With Wild Thing?

Liz PhairI’m reviewing Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville reissue for another publication and got the digital version of the album a week or two ago so I could hear the bonus tracks. I just got the physical version in the mail today since I needed that to review the DVD that’s included. (Which, just from this brief bit, already looks pretty awesome.) However I noticed that the CD no longer includes the bonus track “Wild Thing,” a playful rework of The Troggs tune.

I wonder what happened?

The Chicago anti-promoter ordinance must not pass.

This would put me out of the promotion business. Local blogs and fanzines would no longer be able to book a bill at places like Double Door, The Empty Bottle, Schubas, Metro, or Hideout. Fundraisers would cease to exist.

And I’m just thinking of the live music community … if this thing passes the dance scene in Chicago will basically disappear overnight.

Chicagoist — the local Chicago website I write for — writers Marcus and Lizz have written about this situation much better than I have, and Jim DeRogatis’ daily updates have proven invaluable.

If you are reading this and live in Chicago LET YOUR ALDERMAN KNOW HOW MUCH YOU DISAPPROVE OF THIS … TODAY! RIGHT NOW! RIGHT THIS SECOND! And be sure to mention that if they DO vote for it, they’ve lost YOUR vote when they run for re-election.

If you don’t live here, well, wish us luck … or your band / DJ crew / hip-hop group might have a much harder time finding a gig next time you come through town.

UPDATE: The Chicago “anti-promoter” ordinance has been tabled for “further research” so there will be no vote on it tomorrow. Independent promotion is safe in Chicago for now, and I think it’s entirely due to the strong and immediate response from the music community. I’ve been told this is 100% sure to still come to a vote — possibly within the next month — so folks need to keep the pressure up on Chicago aldermen!