Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Concert Review: Frisbie, Empty Bottle, June 14

Concert Review: Frisbie, Empty Bottle, June 14

It was a banner week in Chicago for power pop bands beginning with F. Fountains of Wayne headlined the Taste of Randolph Street on Friday, and Frisbie took the stage at the Empty Bottle the night before. Based on how sparse the Empty Bottle crowd was, I hesitate to use the term "local favorites" in describing Frisbie, but they could warrant that designation again with their upcoming album New Debut.

Their set started off displaying more potential than the actual goods. I kept thinking that the new songs would probably sound good on the new album, but I wasn't hearing it yet. The abrupt ending of the title track left the audience confused, especially since the persistent hum in the PA made it unclear if they had only come to a false ending. Then they fired up the early stuff, most notably "Disaster," and everything finally clicked. They excelled at both the power and the pop, rocking out with guitars blazing accompanied by gorgeous vocal harmonies.

After far too long with shows too sporadically scheduled, Frisbie plays the Double Door on July 14 for their record release party.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Concert recommendation: Fountains of Wayne, Taste of Randolph Street, Friday, June 15.

I was feeling lethargic and mopey after getting some bad news at work. However, I also have to-do list that I'm trying to blast my way through while my kids off visiting grandparents. So I finally got around to buying the Robbie Fulks song "Fountains of Wayne Hotline" from iTunes. I had not previously realized that FoW's songs were formulaic enough to merit such an astonishing accurate parody/homage, but leave it Robbie Fulks to humorously hit all the key points. As my toddler is fond of saying, albeit about "Crazy Train," "This song makes me happy."

To hear and see the inspiration in action, head to the Taste of Randolph on Friday night, where Fountains of Wayne take the stage at 8:30 p.m., Randolph & May Streets, Chicago.