Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Spring Awakening organizers taking precautions to cut down on noise issues ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: When the touring Electric Daisy Carnival rolled last month into the Chicago Speedway in Joliet, many neighbors near the venue attended the show — whether they intended to or not. The electronic dance concert festival generated 500 noise complaints. But organizers of the Spring Awakening Music Festival this weekend report they’ve taken precautions to avoid a similar situation. ]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 19:17:55 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago Blues Festival celebrates heralded music road ]]> Lead story image

For its 30th incarnation in the city parks, the Chicago Blues Festival is looking to its roots. Themed “Rollin’ Up the River,” the 2013 blues fest casts an eye at the music’s origins in the Mississippi Delta — and the great migration that brought so many of its pioneer musicians north to the Chicago clubs. Friday morning, veteran guitarist Robert Walker will emcee a panel discussion about the Mississippi Blues Trail — the stretch of Southern road known as “the blues highway” — featuring Allison Washington, representative of the trail from the Mississippi Development Authority; writer and producer Jim O’Neal; … ]]> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 14:38:41 -0600 <![CDATA[ Blues prodigy Quinn Sullivan, 14, gets a boost from his Buddy ]]> Lead story image

The teenage blues phenom has a resume that includes TV appearances, a 2009 Lollapalooza gig and a few turns opening for his mentor, blues legend Buddy Guy. In April the young hotshot traded licks with Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan, Robbie Robertson, Guy and more at the Crossroads Guitar Festival at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “I was on stage with 30 of the best guitar players ever,” said Sullivan, who performs Thursday at the Chicago Blues Festival. ]]> Sun, 07 Jul 2013 06:52:54 -0600 <![CDATA[ John Fogerty stuck in low gear again on duets album ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: While beautifully recorded with guests including Alan Jackson, Jennifer Hudson and Foo Fighters, “Wrote a Song for Everyone” smacks of retirement planning and a lack of inspiration. ]]> Sat, 29 Jun 2013 06:07:27 -0600 <![CDATA[ Daft Punk strives to return life to dance music with new album ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk’s first full record in eight years, is not a great collection overall — dull in spots, self-indulgent throughout — but it is valuable and instructive. ]]> Tue, 21 May 2013 08:44:20 -0600 <![CDATA[ Summer music preview: With so many stars, Chicago’s too darn hot ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: It’s a season of big money and big names — from Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z to Jimmy Buffett and Bob Dylan — but there are affordable alternatives. ]]> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 06:27:13 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fall Out Boy still fighting for the right to be weird ]]> Lead story image

We knew this would happen. A band calls a time out, some members go solo, it doesn’t fly, the band regroups. Happens all the time — the question is: What’s changed? In the case of Fall Out Boy, Chicago’s suburban emo heroes, just listening to the new disc — “Save Rock and Roll,” the band’s fifth and second to debut at No. 1 — you’re hit immediately with galloping strings, thundering drums and new overall sonic ambitions. The guitars aren’t as brash and in-your-face as the production and vocals. This North Shore-born band — singer-guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist-lyricist Pete Wentz, … ]]> Wed, 15 May 2013 23:23:26 -0600 <![CDATA[ Vampire Weekend’s latest refines the band’s beauty with impressive grace ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: Backing away from the occasional clenched-fist eagerness of the lively debut and the spunky “Contra” (2010), Vampire Weekend on “Modern Vampires of the City” paces the streets of New York in a more ruminative state. The band’s third album refines the quartet’s built-in beauty with impressive grace. ]]> Mon, 13 May 2013 18:39:37 -0600 <![CDATA[ Camper and Cracker hit the road again ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: Jonathan Segel, back on the road with a Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker tour, which stops Friday at the Cubby Bear, talks about Camper’s legacy, its reunion and the band’s latest California-centric album, “La Costa Perdida.” ]]> Thu, 09 May 2013 19:18:45 -0600 <![CDATA[ Dwight Twilley perfectly content to churn out CDs ]]> Lead story image

A documentary is in the works about Dwight Twilley, and in addition to featuring songs from the pop-rocker’s four-decade career (including his pair of No. 16 hits, “I’m on Fire” in 1975 and “Girls” in 1984) the film features several new autobiographical songs Twilley wrote and recorded for the occasion. But you know how film projects go — slowly. With no wrap date in sight for the film, Twilley went ahead and released the songs last year as “Soundtrack.” “This film doesn’t seem to be speeding down the track, that’s for sure,” Twilley says. “I have no control over it. … ]]> Thu, 30 May 2013 20:36:31 -0600 <![CDATA[ ‘Great Gatsby’ soundtrack mostly a hit-or-miss effort ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: This is not one of those retro-hipster jazz projects that comes along whenever pop music gets too boring. It is merely another anachronistic hootenanny by Baz Luhrmann, mashing up modern music with his latest overstylized antique visuals for his adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.” How all this will mesh with the movie remains to be seen, since Luhrmann’s track record as a jukebox filmmaker is sketchy. As with any soundtrack, this one’s hit or miss. ]]> Mon, 06 May 2013 20:01:05 -0600 <![CDATA[ Record Store Day revolves around the comeback of vinyl ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: In an annual tradition, independent record shops will open early Saturday, have sales, spotlight live bands and stock what they can from an eagerly anticipated list of records released especially for the occasion. ]]> Mon, 20 May 2013 19:53:25 -0600 <![CDATA[ Flaming Lips’ ‘The Terror’ lives up to its name ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: “The Terror,” indeed. The Oklahoma City band’s 13th album is a spookhaus of eerie soundscapes and synthesized atmospherics. Listening to this album alone, in even the sunniest of rooms, is a recipe for deep despair. ]]> Fri, 17 May 2013 06:07:35 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago’s world music TV series spotlights sounds from all around ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: “Musicology,” debuting Friday on WYCC-Channel 20, tells the stories of diverse artists and presents their songs from the stage of the Old Town School of Folk Music. ]]> Wed, 15 May 2013 06:22:09 -0600 <![CDATA[ What’s in a name? For Ivan & Alyosha, watch words are seasoned, sunny ]]> Lead story image

They’ve made me write the column of criticism and so life was made possible. —from “The Brothers Karamazov” First things first: The band name is Ivan & Alyosha, but it’s a quartet, not a duo. “It’s been a bit confusing,” says Tim Wilson, Ivan & Alyosha’s singer-guitarist, not seeming too worried. “Journalists are usually, like, ‘Which one’s the atheist? I wanna talk to that one!’” The slightly esoteric moniker stems from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic novel, “The Brothers Karamazov,” which chronicles a lifelong philosophical debate between Russian siblings — two of them named, you guessed it — one of whom is … ]]> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 17:42:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fleetwood Mac: 5 ways the iconic band could reignite the flame ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: If only the classic rock institution (returning to Chicago on Saturday) could liberate itself from “Don’t Stop” and “Rhiannon,” play some theaters and bring back Christine. ]]> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 23:19:03 -0600 <![CDATA[ The Joy Formidable making some serious music ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: The Joy Formidable doesn’t always sound punk — the bright vocals, the shoegazing guitars, the latest links in the Jesus & Mary Chain — except when they talk. “We’re of a mindset of, you know, f--- you. We are what we are,” said bassist Rhydian Dafydd last week at South by Southwest. ]]> Wed, 01 May 2013 13:35:07 -0600 <![CDATA[ Green Day sets off on reinvigorated tour after SXSW outing ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: Green Day reboots their tour this spring, beginning Thursday night at the Chicago-area Allstate Arena. If this comeback showcase during the South by Southwest music conference and festival was any indication of what’s to come on the remianing dates, Armstrong couldn’t have looked more refreshed, reinvigorated and grateful. ]]> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 16:07:37 -0600