March 31, 2010

Lollapalooza's Wheel of Fortune Challenge

With the lineup announcement days away, Lollapalooza has followed in the footsteps of last years VooDoo Music Festival and released a wheel of fortune style puzzle to get everyone interested in this years lineup. Who is going to be there?

On Day 1, we got the O's. For Day 2, We got all the R's.

Here's what we got so far:

Line 1: Soundgarden, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Phoenix
Line 2: Social Distortion, MGMT, Jimmy Cliff, Hot Chip, The Black Keys
Line 3: The National, Spoon, Devo, Cypress Hill, Cut Copy, The New Pornographers
Line 4: Slightly Stoopid, Grizzly Bear, Gogol Bordello, Chromeo, Wolfmother
Line 5: Yeasayer, X Japan, Metric, Dirty Projectors AFI
Line 6: Mavis Staples, Matt & Kim, The XX, Drive-By Truckers, Blues Traveler
Line 7: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Temper Trap, Jamie Lidell
Line 8: Frightened Rabbit, Fuck Buttons, Deer Tick, Blitzen Trapper
Line 9: Raphael Saadiq, The Cribs, Minus the Bear, Switchfoot
Line 10: Mumford & Sons, Wild Beasts, Rogue Wave, Los Amigos Invisibles
Line 11: The Big Pink, The Dodos, Hockey, Cymbals Eat Guitars
Line 12: Warpaint, The Antlers, The Soft Pack, Rebelution
Line 13: American Bang, The Ike Reilly Assassination, Company of Thieves
Line 14: The Constellations, Miniature Tigers, Mimicking Birds
Line 15: The Kissaway Trail, The Morning Benders
Line 16: Violent Soho, Royal Bangs, Neon Trees, Freelance Whales
Line 17: Semi-Precious Weapons, The Band of Heathens, Dragonette
Line 18: My Dear Disco, Jukebox the Ghost
Line 19: these united states, mynameisjohnmichael

Perry's Stage:

Line 1: Empire of the Sun, Digitalism, Perry Farrell, Tiga
Line 2: Felix da Housecat, Rusko, Erol Aiken, Flosstradamus
Line 3: Wolfgang Gartner, Joachim Garraud, Mexican Institute of Sound
Line 4: Peanut Butter Wolf, Dirty South, Cut Copy (DJ Set)
Line 5: Beats Antique, Steve Porter, Didi Gutman of Brazilian Girls
Line 6: Team Bayside High, Dani Deahl
Line 7: Only Children

March 30, 2010

Rumor Has It... The Hangover 2 is on, in Thailand?

According to Deadline today, the entire cast of The Hangover will be back for a second go. That's right everybody, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Gilifanakis will be reuniting with Todd Phillips, in an attempt to outdo the funniest movie of 2009. It's possible that filming might take place in Thailand, according to unconfirmed sources.

In fact, not only will everyone be back for another go around, but they'll all be making significantly more money to do it. The three starts will each be paid a reported 5% plus a portion of the take on the back-end, while Todd Phillips can plan on taking home 10% plus a heft percentage on the back-end. The truth is he was far better off with the deal he got on the first movie, which amounted to more than 15% of gross receipts (the original has made almost $500 Million internationally).

Whatever the plot/location of the new movie, if they add another part in that's as awkwardly funny as this, we're in:

The Hangover - One Man Wolf Pack Speech
Uploaded by BruceFan. - See more comedy videos.

Rumor has it that 'Independence Day' is coming back! is reporting that Will Smith has signed on for two new installments of what would now be called the Independence Day franchise. Director Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were hesitant to come back to this movie, especially since it would have been hard for Fox to pony up Smith's quote, however now it seems like it might be a good idea to get the crew together (did anyone even thank James Cameron?).

Apparently, it's possible that the movies may shoot back to back so they can have a release schedule like Lord of the Rings rather than every two years, which would be good if the movies are decent, and terrible if they turn out to be like The Day After Tomorrow.

Anyway, everyone knows that getting Will Smith on board is a start, but without Judd Hirsh and Bill Pullman back, that movie is going to struggle.

March 29, 2010

Rachel Weisz to play Bond Villain; Godzilla Back? Oh no...

It seems that the two big rumors floating around the film industry are just bad. First things first, Rachel Weisz is, according to Cinema Blend, in consideration for the role of the next James Bond villain. While I'm okay with Rachel Weisz in pretty much anything 90% of the time, I'm not so on board with her as a villain, never mind in a movie series like James Bond.

While I'm excited to see how this plays out because it means we're taking another step towards a new Bond film, and CB was quick to point out that this is just a rumor, I'm not so sure about this casting decision, even if it is just the beginning.

Next, Legnedary Pictures, in a press release, announced that they will be filming a new installment of the once thought to be dead forever Godzilla series. One, I didn't know that this was actually a series. Two, I didn't know that anyone in their right minds would consider making a new installment of it. It seems that Legendary, who were behind 300, the Batman reboot, and other notable films from the past few years, are going to team with Warner Bros. to try and turn Godzilla into a brand again.

If they're true to form with this type of film, we'll see a much darker version this time, as opposed to something that could just as easily be animated. Also, though the thought of seeing the big green monster may scare American moviegoers a bit, the Japanese market might just be primed for a quality remake.

Release date is speculated to be sometime in 2012, and the production team stretches across two continents, so that should be an interesting working environment. All joking aside though, let's hope they leave the Wallflowers out of this one.

March 26, 2010

April Concerts Around Chicago

I'll update these as necessary, but here are the concerts coming up around Chicago this month.


1 - Spoon @ Aragon Tickets
2 - Passion Pit @ Congress Tickets
2 - Ingrid Michaelson @ Riviera Tickets
4-5 - Miike Snow @ Metro Tickets
6 - Dashboard Confessional @ House of Blues Tickets
7 - Motion City Soundtrack @ House of Blues Tickets
8 - The xx @ Lincoln Hall Tickets
10 - John Mayer @ United Center Tickets
10-11 - Atoms for Peace @ Aragon Tickets
11 - K'Naan @ Metro Tickets
12 - Florence and the Machine @ House of Blues Tickets
16 - 30 Seconds to Mars @ Aragon Tickets
16 - Dr. Dog @ Metro Tickets
16 - Three 6 Mafia @ Congress Tickets
17 - Rogue Wave @ Lincoln Hall Tickets
17 - OK Go @ Metro Tickets
19-21 - Ben Folds @ The Vic Tickets
21 - Charlotte Gainsbourg @ Park West Tickets
20 - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus @ Reggie's Tickets
22 - Passion Pit @ Congress Tickets
23 - Gogol Bordello @ Congress Tickets
24 - Angels and Airwaves @ Aragon (w/ Say AnythingTickets
26 - Amos Lee @ Lincoln Hall Tickets
26 - Jakob Dylan @ Park West (w/ Neko CaseTickets
27-28 - Jonsi (Of Sigur Ros) @ The Vic Tickets
29 - Yeasayer @ Metro Tickets
30 - Owl City @ Aragon Tickets


Leaked LCD Soundsystem single "Drunk Girls"

The new LCD Soundsystem single "Drunk Girls" has been leaked and you can listen to it now! I'm not a huge fan, and this song isn't going to make me a fan, but they have a following, I guess.

March 25, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Trailer

It seems like the first half of this week was all music, and the second half of this week is going to be about the movies. Universal released the first teaser trailer of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It actually looks funny/cool and it might, just might, break out of it's comic book shell by the time they actually release it.

Dispicable Me has a new coherent trailer?

After three separate trailers which leave one to basically imagine what the movie is about, Universal has released the first trailer that actually provides some background into what's going on. The basic premise is that Gru (Steve Carell) is a supervillian that inherits 3 kids somehow while trying to take over the world, hilarity might ensue...

The movie tagline ("Just because you're a bad guy, doesn't mean you're a bad guy.") totally makes it worth seeing.

March 24, 2010

10 Most Famous Guitars of All Time

An LA Times Magazine article I came across recently, even though I don't think it's so recent, got me to thinking about which guitars, not guitarists, we could consider the most famous of all time. This list is actually a pretty comprehensive look at guitars that you'll remember the look of because they're unique, but what guitars actually grew with the people that played them. For instance, Elvis was obviously one of the 5 most famous musicians of all time, he changed music, but no one really knows that he played a Gibson J200 for most of his career.

The flip side is that there are guitars that have just as much a legend as the guitarists that play them, and that's what this article made me think of, and that's what this list is covering. It's by no means absolute, but from 10 to 1, here they are:

10 - Brian May's "Red Special"

The "Red Special" was hand built by Brian May and his dad because he couldn't afford a high quality guitar, and wanted something that would outperform them anyway. It took 2 years of hand tooling to come up with the finished product, and no one ever played it like him. Queen would have never been the same without the tone which is often imitated, but never duplicated.

Phoenix release free live album!

In an effort for self-promotion, Phoenix has released an free download of a new live recording form a concert they did in Syndney last year.. It's an easy zip-download, or you can get it here or from iTunes if you're so inclined.

Tracklist is as follows:

Live in Sydney:
01 Lisztomania
02 Lasso
03 Fences
04 Girlfriend
05 Armistice
06 Love Like a Sunset
07 Rome
08 1901

March 23, 2010

Anoop Desai (From American Idol Season 8) has a new club hit called "My Name"... maybe.

Anoop Desai's new album is coming out in May (I didn't know it was getting made), and his new single, "My Name," is part Slumdog Millionaire part Justin Timberlake. I fully expect that college bars around the nation will be playing this to death, at which point it will be remixed, and then the dance clubs will overplay it. But first, get ready to hear too much of it on your local pop radio station, for those in Chicago, it will probably be on The Mix soon.

That being said, it's really catchy, and actually a lot of fun to listen to, at least the first couple times around. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of the album, it's definitely an album that has to come out in the summer. I'm not sure that it will really be a chart-topping record that will last past that, but it will be fun for a while.

If you're interested, Anoop did an interview with People about the song, and the rest of the album.

Gaslight Anthem set 'American Slang' release date, release new single, also called "American Slang"

The Gaslight Anthem set a release date for their upcoming album, American Slang. You'll be able to pick up your much anticipated (if you're into them) copy on June 14th. Though they promised to be done touring for a while last October when they finished a marathon tour at the Double Door in Chicago, I'm sure that you can expect the old style New Jersey rockers to be back on the road before the summer is out.

As told to Brian Fallon said that this album will "take you on much more of a ride than the last one." Though they're keeping their style, the songs on this one "sound really big." "Not bigger in an American Idiot (Green Day) where it's like there's a play going on, but bigger in terms of a bold statement."

American Slang, like The '59 Sound was produced by Ted Hutt, and there was no change in the band's lineup, which leaves me hopeful that this album, though bigger, will be a similar throwback to alternative rock mixed with old time rock and roll in that way that The Gaslight Anthem and the Hold Steady seem to be able to manage.

Stream the new single, "American Slang," on the myspace page.

The Gaslight Anthem unveil 'American Slang'.

The Dead Weather New Single - "Die By the Drop"

The Dead Weather have released the video for their first single off of their new album, Sea of Cowards, set to hit stores May 11th from Jack White's label Third Man Records. It's heavy, and awesome.

UPDATE: Sadly, if you didn't get to see the video or hear the streams yesterday, it looks like we'll be waiting a while for them to resurface. Metacafe and Some Kind of Awesome have both been asked to remove their posts, which leave us waiting a while to hear music again that we've already heard.

UPDATE 2: The band has released a trailer of their video, you get ~30 seconds, and the song is only about 4 minutes, so... here's a fair portion of the video.

Tom Hanks working on movie deal for Green Day's 'American Idiot' musical? broke an exclusive last night, saying that Tom Hanks' production company is in talks with whoever owns the rights to the musical (can't tell if it's Billie Joe Armstrong or Green Day or even partially Michael Mayer) to adapt it into movie form. After much success with the adaptation of Mamma Mia, $610 million worldwide, the company must be itching to turn another musical into a movie, and why wouldn't they be?

The story centers on three kids coming of age in Jingletown, USA, all going their separate ways after growing up watching too much TV. Sounds like modern Shakespeare to me...

The musical made it's off-Broadway debut at the Berkeley Repertory Theater on September 15th, and ended a record-busting run on November 15th after two extensions. After a performance by the band with the cast at the Grammy's, expectations are running high for it's run at the St. James Theater in New York, set to begin on April 20th, coincidence?

Hanks doesn't seem to want to wait until the musical achieves Broadway success. My bet is that he's understandably worried that the more critical acclaim the musical receives, the more expensive the rights to make the movie are going to get. Amid mild success on stage, the movie would have the ability to garner an audience of a reasonable size, even though the musical is relatively dialogue-free. Add to that the Green Day fans that will go see it just because, and Hanks will buy himself another couple hundred million at the box office at least.

As far as Playtone's music movies go, I'm rooting for another That Thing You Do rather than Mamma Mia, but then again isn't everybody?

Oscar Cliche Overload Trailer

This trailer, made by a couple of kids whose self-proclaimed goal in life is to make short movies that make them laugh, parodies all movies that are shoe-ins for Oscar nominations. The website to reference is, there are hits and misses, but their stuff is pretty funny by all accounts.

March 22, 2010

John Butler Trio Single - "One Way Road"

This has been out for a while but I feel like it deserves some recognition as it's finally starting to get some radio play. This band rocks and they're touring with State Radio, which means that you shouldn't miss their show if they're coming to a city near you. If you like this, check out their last album, Grand National, it's great all the way through.

Check out the new single, the album April Uprising is set to be released April 6.

Snoop Dogg Late Night Appearances

I know that this only sort of conforms to the topics at hand, but I always find Snoop Dogg funny. A few days ago, he made an appearance on Letterman reading the Top Ten list, which was funny enough to post, but in searching for the video, I came across another one that I found funnier. I know it's not really the time of year, but that just might make it more amusing. Enjoy!

James Beard 2010 Nominees

Seeing as how there is a third part to this blog, I figure that it would be beneficial, and less misleading if there was a post about food somewhere. So with that in mind, I thought it might be relevant for those in Chicago to know that a number of people in the local restaurant industry have been nominated for James Beard awards. Follow the link to the full list of nominations, but here is the local nitty gritty:

Multimedia Feature Writing: Kevin Pang from
Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants or Chefs: Kevin Pang from the Chicago Tribune
Newspaper Feature Writing: Mike Sula and Cliff Doerksen of the Chicago Reader
Reporting on Health, Environment, or Nutrition: Monica Eng from the Chicago Tribune
Multimedia Food Feature:
Television Segment: Steve Dolinsky "The Hungry Hound" on ABC 7
Best Television Food Personality: Rick Bayless - Mexico: One Plate at a Time
Audio Webcast or Radio Show: "Eight Forty-Eight" on Chicago Public Radio
Outstanding Restaurant Graphics: Korn Design for Mercat a la Planxa
Best Chef - Great Lakes: Michael Carlson of Schwa

                                          Koren Grieveson of Avec
                                          Arun Sampanthavivat of Arun's
                                          Bruce Sherman of North Pond
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Mindy Segal of Mindy's HotChocolate
Outstanding Service Award: Alinea

Outstanding Restaurateur: Rich Melman from Lettuce Entertain You
Best Restaurant: Spiaggia

The winners will be announced May 2nd and 3rd in NYC.

Listen to the new Hold Steady - "Hurricane J"

The Hold steady have released a stream of the new single, "Hurricane J" off of their upcoming album Heaven is Whenever. Check it out:

Premiere: Hold Steady: "Hurricane J"

MGMT's New Album Congratulations is streaming now!

MGMT's album leaked last week and according to the band, that's ok!
'Hey everybody, the album leaked, and we wanted you to be able to hear it from us', they wrote on the site. 'We wanted to offer it as a free download but that didn't make sense to anyone but us.'
Get a listen on your own and hear what all the fuss is about here

File:MGMT Congratulations.jpg

Disney Won't Cast Fake Boobs in Pirates 4

According to an article in the NY Post, Disney is starting a screening process for female extras in the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. They've issued a statement to inform potential actresses that fake boobs is a disqualification for the role, and that there is no need to show up to the audition.

A further note, in addition to the eye test, potential actresses will have to jog for the casting directors to prove that their assets do in fact jiggle in the right manner. Word has been released that Disney is looking for bouncier breasts in the upcoming film, as the target market for a Disney movie is apparently quite adept at spotting implants.

In addition to the all natural requirement, Disney has put further stipulations as to the look that they're seeking:
Beautiful female fit models. Must be 5'7"-5'8", size 4 or 6, no bigger or smaller. Age 18-25. Must have a lean dancer body. Must have real breasts. Do not submit if you have implants."
I know that when I think of pirates I think everyone should look like a Playboy model, too. Maybe this is Disney's way of getting an edge on the Harry Potter seres?

Anyway, when the film is released on May 20, 2011, you can expect a movie free of girls with small waists and artificially large boobs, and full of girls with small waists and naturally large breasts. Thanks Disney, we wouldn't want kids to get the wrong impression.

March 20, 2010

New Black Keys - "Tighten Up"

The Black Keys are gearing up for the release of their new album, Brothers. It's about time, as much as I liked BlakRoc, I've been itching to hear some new Black Keys material since a few months after Attack & Release came out. This is the only track on the new album produced by Danger Mouse, so maybe they're headed in a different direction, but I'm excited to find out. Thoughts...

Film Review: She's Out of My League

Jay Baruchel's debut leading role went okay. Alice Eve is hot. I don't understand what happened in the pivotal scene in the movie. That pretty much sums things up for this sometimes but not always funny release that was touted as the "funniest movie since The Hangover. I don't know if it was that, but it certainly was at least entertaining for the majority of the running time.

Some of the jokes were tired but reimagined, like the ball shaving jokes that seemed like it was going to be an exact replica of American Wedding, but wasn't. But most of the movie was simply plain fun with a little bit of romantic comedy mixed in. While definitely not a chick flick, it would have been enjoyable for everyone, rather than the movie to go see with the boys, but still enough raunchy humor that you wouldn't give up your man card for not taking a date.

No one is going to be nominated for an Oscar or a Golden Globe here, but the acting was sufficient for a movie of this type. Kyle Bornheimer's character reminded me of Sean Astin in 50 First Dates, inasmuch as he seemed like he was on steroids and was overaggressive towards everyone, but mostly in that endearing sort of way that these movies seem to foster for those characters. 

If there's one thing that bothered me about the movie was that there were so many jokes, both good and bad, that with the exception of the two main characters (played by Baruchel and Eve), there was almost no time spent on any of the other characters at all. Devon, played by Nate Torrence, who was the awkwardly ambisexual friend, was funny but barely a side character for most of the movie. I suppose, also, that it would have been cliche for the angry best friends to get together, but that being said, there's always so many ways to go with that storyline that it's usually funny.

The movie certainly wasn't a waste of time, except that some of the storyline was mishandled in favor of loading it with as many jokes as could be fit into an hour and forty minutes.


March 19, 2010

Concert Review: Jay-Z @ United Center in Chicago 3/18/10

Greg Kot seems to think that I wasn't invited to LeBron's party at The Shrine last night. He said it was exclusive and that there would be Chicago Bulls players, and Cleveland Cavs players there, and that Twista and some Chicago Bears would show up. Even Jay-Z was on the guest list. Well, he was right, I didn't go to LeBron's party, but I did go to Jay-Z's party at the United Center, and while less exclusive (there was a sold out crowd of like 18,000 people), all of the high profile people that were supposed to be at The Shrine for that party (started at 9) were at the United Center instead until at least 11:20. I know because that's when Jay-Z's set finished, and that's when I saw the Bulls team walk out the door.

Let's back up a minute and start from the beginning. I'm not sure when the start time for the show got pushed from 7 to 8, but apparently everybody else missed the memo too, which must have been great for the United Center, but really boring for everyone that would have rather been watching an extra hour of the NCAA Tournament than sitting in their seat listening to a DJ.

When everything did get started, and Trey Songz came out on stage, a couple of things were evident to me. One, though there was a huge LCD screen in back of him while he was performing, only a small portion of the budget was devoted to the visuals, because most of it looked like an iTunes visualization. Though the band was tight, and Trey, Tremaine, Trigga, or whatever the girls are calling him at that moment did his best to put on a good show I couldn't get by the fact that he kept grabbing his junk as if he were Michael Jackson. The ladies swooned over "I Need a Girl" and "I Invented Sex," but if I had to put it into one sentence; The girl next to me, after his set was over, said that "his best song ("Say Ahh" which is currently his biggest hit) was his cover of Jamie Foxx's 'Blame It'."

March 16, 2010

Album Review: Flobots - Survival Story

The recent release of the Flobots sophomore album, Survival Story sneaked up on us pretty good. As a fan of the Flobots beats and production, I was fairly excited for the new release. Upon first listen, two things are supremely evident. First, the beats are still fantastic and still very different from the direction all other hip-hop groups seem to be headed. Second, the political overtones are still heavy throughout most of the songs on the album, and to a certain extent, I want my music to be free of all the rest of the crap going on.

The talk of global warming and corporate monopolies, it just seems like if this music hits home as a form of protest, the idea is that all of it will become irrelevant within the next few years.

Okay, off my high horse. As expected, Survival Story is heavy on distorted guitar and leans towards the hard rock side of music, kind of like Linkin Park. The key to the melodies in these songs remains the meshing of the viola and the vocals, which, once again is both interesting and seamless. I've always been impressed with the Flobots ability to turn what would normally be something you'd only hear coming out of a computer after editing is complete, and turn it into something that can be performed live.

The first single, "White Flag Warriors," features Tim McIlrath from Chicago based band Rise Against. Thought not quite as radio-friendly as some of the Linkin Park material, McIlrath serves as a Chester Bennington to Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit's rap. The drums/guitars are also quite reminiscent of Rise Against, which almost has me convinced that this could become a legitimate hit.

The other songs that deserve individual recognition include "Whip$ and Chain$," which has a chorus seemingly straight out of an Eminem song, "Good Soldier," a slowed down song which is a departure from the normal Flobots sound, and backing vocals from Mackenzie Roberts on the chorus, and "Defend Atlantis," which if there's a song on this album that makes you think of "Handlebars," is it.

I wasn't a fan of "Infatuation" which featured fellow Denver musician Matt Morris. It was almost like the sung chorus was forced into the song and didn't belong quite like it did in "White Flag Warriors."

In the spirit of the Flobots, listen and make up your own mind, don't let me make it up for you.


March 15, 2010

Shrek Forever After New Trailer

I know that there were a lot of people excited about the Twilight trailer from last week, but I'm more excited about this one.

The National - Terrible Love on Fallon 3/10/10

The National debut "Terrible Love" on Fallon on 3/10/10. Enjoy and get ready to go see them this summer:

Harold and Kumar 3 coming November 5th?

Remember last May when /Film confirmed that there was going to be another Harold and Kumar? Well, during Collider's interview with John Cho while he was promoting Flash Forward, Cho hinted that there might be enough time for him to film A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.

That's not to say that it's going to be filmed, or that they're going to hit their target date of November 5th, but it does mean that it's more possible than it was two weeks ago. Assuming Kal Penn can take time from his busy schedule as Obama's Associate Director of White House Public Engagement, whatever that is, we could be watching some crazy stoner humor again in the near-ish future.

Niel Patrick Harris will soon be our favorite drugged up crazy person again, and I, for one, am ecstatic.

Also, how does Kal Penn fit that title on a business card? Until November...

March 14, 2010

Lady Gaga - Telephone (ft. Beyonce)

Don't watch this more than once or you could experience serious damage.

March 13, 2010

Concert Review: Muse w/ Silversun Pickups @ United Center in Chicago - 3/12/10

If you at the United Center for the Muse show last night, you should have been.

But let me back up for a minute. The Silversun Pickups put on a set worthy of at least some note. I've always like their style, and Brian Aubert's voice is interesting if not really quite good. I think, ultimately, their music doesn't lend itself well to an arena show, but rather something that would be better suited for a club like the Aragon or a festival setting a la Lollapalooza last year, where they put on one hell of a set. Which brings me to the meat of the subject.

Muse "appeared on stage" to the roar of the crowd (pictures to follow, which will explain the quotes), and led off with their current single "Uprising." When the curtains fell, the crowd was in a frenzy, the floor bounced in synchronicity with arms held high and sang along as Matt Bellamy at long last started to fulfill his promise of a show to redeem their Lolla '07 performance. Though well-received, they acknowledged after that performance that they owed the city of Chicago something more. As would be expected with a show like this, there were few lulls in the action. Even in the seated sections, few sat for much of the show.

Although it continued throughout the show, the most impressive moment came at the beginning of "Resistance" when the light show started in earnest. Few combine music and visuals to this extent, and very few do it better than Muse. The lasers were everywhere, the strobes were going nuts, and all the while, the music just kept on driving forward.

"Supermassive" found Bellamy on a part of the stage practically overhanging the crowd, and they thanked him for it. Shortly after, Christopher Wolstenholme showcased his talent on "Hysteria," which as expected, was one of the high moments for the show. And shortly after, something I didn't expect happened, the pillars raised back up with Bellamy playing the coolest piano I've seen in quite some time. Every time he hit a note, a different light in the soundboard of the piano lit up. More impressive was the cover of "Feeling Good" which was done quite well.

The main set ended with a string of some of their biggest hits, "Starlight," "Time Is Running Out," and "Plug In Baby." These songs found Bellamy doing power slides, laying on the stage playing a solo, and oddly twirling across the stage while continuing to keep rhythm with the band. As the set ended during plug in baby, giant eyeball balloons fell from the rafters and entertained the crowd during the encore break.

Although the set was fairly similar to that of the MSG show last weekend, there was one noticeable difference. Rather than play a long, relatively unknown song off their new album to close the set, they moved "Unnatrual Selection" to the middle of a string of hits, which helped carry the energy from the end of "Plug In Baby" right into the encore which included "Stockholm Syndrome" and Muse's biggest U.S. hit "Knights of Cydonia." The show ended with Bellamy once again on the ground and some pretty intense pyrotechnics to put the exclamation point on a fantastic set.

Photos and Set List after the jump...

March 12, 2010

Concert Review: We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Lincoln Hall in Chicago - 3/11/10

Before we get into the bands, let me take a minute to acknowledge that Lincoln Hall is now among my favorite venues in the city. It's a place for the mid-level band that's too big for Schuba's and Martyr's but too small for the Metro or the Riv. The acoustics were great, the balcony was cool, and there are plenty of bars to serve even the most alcoholic of music fans. The only real hangup that I could find was that a "sold out" crowd actually seemed oversold. Either the people in front of the stage were taking up extra room, or there were too many people in the place to begin with.

Moving on, I got there just in time to see the second opener, The Lonely Forest out of Anacortes, WA. I will say this about them, the musicianship and actual music were pretty good. I actually could listen to this music in the background and not be upset that it was on (that's pretty good in my book). However, their sound is so close to Death Cab for Cutie that they might as well just play covers. That being said, it's no surprised that the band was recently signed to Chris Walla's (guitarist for Death Cab) new label. I wouldn't be surprised if they had a few minor hits on the indie music scene, but they'll always be overshadowed by their better known sound alike.

Now, on to bigger (slightly) and better things. We were Promised Jetpacks hit the stage at 11PM and it was like something out of a 80's sci-fi flick. Either that or there was a mechanical voice repeating someone's credit card number over and over again. The band entered to a full house, and Adam Thompson said that the band was not used to playing venues with balconies (check, Lincoln Hall). They then proceeded to rock out for a short 50-minute set.

The music, as one would expect, was fast-paced, guitar-driven rock, but I have to give props to the drummer, that guy was working it out. I would say the highlight of the set for me was the only song played from their new EP, "A Far Cry", which coincidentally was the only track that included an elongated section played in less than eighth notes. Other notable songs included the single "Quiet Little Voices" which was played early in the set and started to get the crowd into it, and "Short Bursts," which being the set closer was sadly the only other song that received any real amount of crowd participation.

Now, to address the shortcomings of the show, I have to say I hardly think that they were the result of the band. As I mentioned before, the overcrowded main floor made it really hard to get into the music in a manner you would normally expect at a show like this, and I think that carried over to the band. They just seemed to lack the energy that you would expect from a band whose style is kinda on the indie/punk border. I'd be excited to see them in a more suitable venue, or at least at a similar venue with a few less people.


Keeping Warm
Quiet Little Voices
Moving Clocks Run Slow
Ships With Holes Will Sink
A Far Cry
A Half Built House
It's Thunder And Lightning
Roll Up Your Sleeves
This Is My House, This Is My Home
An Almighty Thud
Short Bursts

March 11, 2010

Scorsese planning a Sinatra biopic?

In a recent interview, Martin Scorsese discussed his plans for a future Sinatro biopic, saying that the style of the project would likely fall somewhere in between Goodfellas and The Aviator.
... in structure I’d like it to be more like GoodFellas. But like The Aviator, it only deals with certain times in his life. We can’t go through the greatest hits of Sinatra’s life. We tried this already. Just can’t do it. So the other way to go is to have three or four different Sinatras. Younger. Older. Middle-aged. Very old. You cut back and forth in time – and you do it through the music. See what I’m saying? So that’s what we’re trying for. It’s very tricky [laughs].

This sounds like it could be quite the success in my opinion. There hasn't really been a great movie made about Sinatra yet. When The Rat Pack was on HBO, I thought someone might run with it, but to date all attempts to make a movie apparently never saw the light of day. I'm not sure that this one is through enough of the pre-production process to call it a done deal, but the planning is definitely moving along.

So what does Scorsese say about who will play Ol' Blue Eyes:
Johnny Depp is one, I like him. He's unique. I don't know how he does it. George Clooney. Brad Pitt's interesting. And Tobey Maguire. There's a lot of good people. 
I'm also wondering a couple other things, like how far are they going into Sinatra's personal life, or will it mainly focus on him as a musician? And if it does, will they let whoever they get to play him sing a la Kevin Spacey in Beyond the Sea? Or is it going to be lip-synced?

Tentative release date is sometime in 2011, so there's plenty of time for this stuff to be figured out. We'll update as people are attached, especially to the lead role, mainly because I'm curious.

For those that want it... the Twilight: Eclipse trailer

I'm not sure I see what the fascination is with the Twilight series... I guess I'll have to read the books and see, but here's the full trailer for the new movie so that you can get yourself excited for the next 100+ days of fighting for Team Edward or Team Jacob...


March 10, 2010

B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars - Nothin' On You is blowing up.

If you haven't already heard it, get ready to listen to the new single from B.o.B. - "Nothin On You." If you like it now, just wait until the summer, and you'll be ready to not hear it for a couple of years.

Still a pretty kick ass track right now though. Enjoy!

Deniro as Lombardi = EPIC!

So, rumor is that Robert Deniro is going to play Vince Lombardi in a biopic. First of all, let me say right now, it should get an Oscar nom, but it won't. Something about sports movies seems to say that it's just not going to get the big prize. I know, The Blind Side was up for the award, and Sandra Bullock won which is great, but it just seems like they don't get the same level of respect.

Deniro as Lombardi though, that's just awesome. Is there anyone else that could be as dominating a screen presence in a role that requires just that? Lombardi transcended football in a way that few players/coaches have. In fact, the only other sports figure that I can think of that has provided the same amount of material for non-sporting situations is Yogi Berra, which I think is quite a good comparison. Vince Lombardi is the Yogi Berra of football, except for the most part, he intended to be memorable.

The other reason I'm looking forward to a Lombardi biopic is because the good sports movies of late have all had one thing in common - they're all uplifting. I, for one, am tired of it. I know that achievements in sports are motivational (Invincible), inspirational (The Blind Side), or just downright nostalgic (Miracle), but I really miss the movies that are just good movies about sports, and there's the opportunity for that here. Whether it's comedic (The Replacements), or dramatic (Any Given Sunday), sports has given us an incredible backdrop for quality storytelling. How awesome would it be if rather than focusing on Lombardi the quote machine, the focus was on him as the hard-driving, army trained coach that endeared himself to his players and the fans by winning and turning the Packers into a machine?

I'm looking forward to that as a possibility, but just as much as that, I'm hoping that Deniro can pull it off. He was, and probably really still is one of the great actors of his time, he just hasn't had an opportunity like this to showcase it lately. As I started, I will end; Put this one on your calendar, it should be epic!

Album Review: Massive Attack - Heligoland

Anyone listened to Massive Attack’s Heligoland yet? One look at the cover-art will tell you what you need to know, but here’s what I've decided anyway; I can't just classify it as something I would normally pick up. Before this album I was only vaguely familiar with the trip-hop genre. And maybe it was better that way, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it, but the album was getting quite a bit of press as Massive Attack had broken up for a while, and had been quite popular through the 90’s, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

The group, along with a who’s who of the Britain indie music scene, got together to record the album that has been in the works since the mid 2000’s. The tracks are really a slow, stripped down version of trance music with some repetitious hooks and drawn out vocals. I guess that’s the essence of a trip-hop album to start with. I could imagine a lot of people on drugs enjoying this, and it would go killer with some seriously strange artwork, like the album cover.

All sarcasm and cheap digs at the genre as a whole aside, the album has some serious finesse to it. It’s tough for me to listen to these albums on the whole because I can only take so much bass drum, but the tracks show restraint, as well as some really cool transitions from one part of a song to the next. For the most part, the guest selection was spot-on. The vocalists were not overpowering to the music, but rather additive.  Martina Topley-Bird (“Babel” and “Psyche”) and Tunde Adebimpe (“Pray for Rain”) sounded fantastic on their tracks, and the vocals provided by Marshall and Del Naja themselves fit the tone of the album well. The highlight track for me was “Saturday Come Slow,” with Damon Albarn on vocals.  There is form to this song, rather than the free-flowing , no boundaries style of the rest of the album. If there is a second single from the album, expect this one.

Although this album won’t be climbing the charts in the U.S. anytime soon (it’s certainly not mainstream radio material), it’s not a wholly unsatisfying listen. Take a listen the next time you have 45 minutes to kill in a dark room with cool colors, and let me know what you think on the other side.


March 8, 2010


After many hours searching for a useful place to find information about new music, new movies, and the best places to have dinner before said concert or movie, I finally decided that I could put something together myself. Consider this a one-stop shop for some, not all, the information necessary to make your life more enjoyable. Expect reviews of new music, new movies, and restaurants/bars in and around Chicago. 

It'll be interesting to see where things go, if there's something that should be included, drop me a line and I'll do my best to include it. At worst, it will be an entertaining look at what you might find interesting.