Monday, February 25, 2008

Concert Recommendation: The Hives, The Riviera, Friday, February 29

As much as I love the Hives as a live act, I'd written them off as a novelty one-album wonder after Veni, Vidi, Vicious. Then I heard their newest release, The Black and White Album, and my faith was restored. There is no obvious single because so many songs are so outstanding, a total rush that lends itself to their explosive shows. Come see how rock and roll should be lived and breathed.

The Hives play with the Donnas at the Riviera Theater, 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago, on Friday, February 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Event Recommendation: Sound Opinions at the Movies: The Kids Are Alright

In these days of social software, band interaction with their fans is a given. Four decades ago, it was far less commonplace. Yet the Who handed over the reins to a persistent, devoted teenage fan to make a documentary about them. That he managed to show what made the band so fun and fantastic is why the film still matters now. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot co-host a special screening of the result, 1979's The Kids Are Alright, followed by a Q & A.

Sound Opinions at the Movies, Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, 773-871-6604 at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

'80s College Radio DJ Let Loose in Mall?

Muzak has lost its stodgy "elevator music" image of bland instrumental versions of songs that were never terribly interesting to begin with. Lots of stores use programmed music with more distinctive personality, but it's usually obviously suited to the retailer's target demographic. Which is why I was so surprised today when shopping at a boring suburban department store, one where I shop infrequently specifically because their clothing styles lack even the slightest edge, to hear "Boys Don't Cry" by the Cure, followed shortly by "Seven Seas" by Echo and the Bunnymen. It was as if the Muzak programming booth had been hijacked by someone from Rhino who had compiled the Left of the Dial or A Life Less Lived '80s alternative and goth, respectively, box sets. Soon enough it was back to mall pap with a bright shiny retro hit from Wham! But it was so pleasantly disconcerting that I considered asking a staff member what was up.