Monday, March 19, 2018

[CONCERT REVIEW + PHOTOS] Lucius Delivers at Thalia Hall in Chicago

All photos by Jason Gonulsen

Meet me in the place of no goodbye
I'll be there, you can't miss me

It's 2018, and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius have been busy.

They've already played 12 shows in New Zealand and Australia with Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters, part of the Us + Them tour, which had already logged close to 70 shows in 2017. Those shows are solid three-hour journeys -- I had the chance to attend two last year, and they were as phenomenal as the time I saw Pink Floyd, minus Waters, in Chicago in 1994. Wolfe and Laessig play a huge part. They are featured during "The Great Gig in the Sky," that crazy vocal interlude on The Dark Side of the Moon. It's something to witness -- to feel -- and I'm thankful I had the chance to experience it more than once.

I knew about Lucius' latest release, Nudes, and its brief tour, which I was dying to see, only it wasn't coming to St. Louis -- you know the drill. So, I drove to Chicago.

There is sometimes a fine window of time to see artists at the top of their game, and this is one of those times for Wolfe and Laessig, who, with Dan Molad and Peter Lalish, make up Lucius. That, and given they're still on a tour with Waters soon to hit Europe, these intimate, acoustic "Nudes" shows might not present themselves again for some time. Or maybe I'm just obsessed with living my life as if there are no guarantees (note: there aren't). The fact that Lucius is playing shows on what might have been their spring break tells me they live life the same way.

They began with "Go Home," possibly my favorite Lucius song, and probably the best way for them to spark an audience: It's a serious, confident way for their voices spark a "quieter" show, and when Wolfe and Laessig belted out the first "I don't neeeeeeed you anywayyyyy," it was on. Our hearts were pressed, delivered to the artist for the next 90 minutes.

And we knew when to sing with them. During "Wildewoman" and "Don't Just Sit There," when it was encouraged, we sang even louder. During the quieter moments, like the beautiful "Two Of Us On The Run," only the chorus was amplified by a couple thousand more-than-whispers.

These shows require a team effort to pull off. Last time I saw Neil Young perform a solo acoustic show, he had to re-start "After the Gold Rush" because of an audience member yelling a request at the beginning of the song. Everyone plays a part, and so before Lucius left with a final goodbye, a rendition of "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes," there wasn't much else to do but listen.

It was some kind of moment given to us in this mad, loud world.

It ended nude, in silence.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

[PHOTOS] They Might Be Giants at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe


They Might Be Giants recently performed at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona. Please enjoy these photos by Joe O'Toole.

[NEWS] Neko Case Releases Title Track From Upcoming Album 'Hell-On'

Hell, Neko. It's been Hell on Earth without you (as a solo artist).

In case you haven't heard, Neko Case will release a new solo album -- one that she also produced -- on June 1st. It's called "Hell-On," and you can hear the title track below. Case will be performing in St. Louis at the Peabody Opera House with Ray Lamontagne on July 7.

Friday, March 2, 2018

[FEATURE FRIDAY] Katie Toupin (formerly of Houndmouth) Releases Debut EP, 'Moroccan Ballroom'

Every Friday (well, truthfully, most Fridays), we will feature a new release, and today's selection is Katie Toupin's debut EP, Moroccan Ballroom. You will remember Toupin from the band Houndmouth, and we're excited about what lies ahead for the talented singer and songwriter, who is now out on her own. Her Moroccan Ballroom is filled with soul and detailed charm; a wonderful start to her solo career.

Katie Toupin upcoming performances:
3/10 - Hotel Cafe - Los Angeles, CA
3/21 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
3/23 - Rough Trade - Brooklyn, NY
3/25 - Schubas - Chicago, IL

[NEWS] John Prine Releases "Knockin' On Your Screen Door"

Geez, John Prine. Stop showing off already.

Just kidding.

When you're a legend and still writing songs like "Knockin' On Your Screen Door," (listen below Tour Dates) well, congratulations. Prine's new album, The Tree of Forgiveness, is out April 13.

April 11—Woodstock, NY—Levon’s Place (SOLD OUT)
April 13—New York, NY—Radio City Music Hall (co-headline with Sturgill Simpson (solo))
April 14—Philadelphia, PA—Merriam Theatre (with Kurt Vile)
April 25—Milwaukee, WI—Riverside Theatre (with Milk Carton Kids)
April 27—Chicago, IL—Chicago Theatre (with Milk Carton Kids)
April 28—Champaign, IL—Virginia Theatre (with Milk Carton Kids)
May 11—Beaver Dam, KY—Beaver Dam Amphitheater* (with Tyler Childers)
May 12—Indianapolis, IN—Clowes Hall (with Tyler Childers)
May 18—Los Angeles, CA—Ace Theatre (with Sam Outlaw)
May 19—San Diego, CA—Balboa Theatre (with Sam Outlaw)
May 23—Folsom, CA—Harris Center (with Ramblin Jack)
May 24—San Francisco, CA—The Warfield (with Sam Outlaw)
June 1—Vienna, VA—Wolf Trap (with Margo Price)
June 2—Norfolk, VA—Chrysler Hall (with Margo Price)
June 8—Louisville, KY—Palace Theatre (with Colter Wall)
June 9—Cincinnati, OH—Taft Theatre (with Tyler Childers)
June 13—Burlington, VT—Flynn Theatre (with Valerie June)
June 15—Boston, MA—Wang Theatre
June 16—Concord, NH—Capitol Theatre (with Valerie June)
June 29—Dallas, TX—AT&T Center (with Amanda Shires)
June 30—Austin, TX—Bass Hall (with Amanda Shires)
July 14—Somerset, KY—Musicians Festival
July 20—Pittsburgh, PA—Heinz Hall (with Langhorne Slim)
August 2—Glasgow, U.K. – Kelvingrove Bandstand (with John Moreland)
August 3—Birmingham, U.K.—Town Hall (with John Moreland)
August 5—Cambridge, U.K.—Cambridge Folk Festival
August 8—Oslo, Norway—Konserthurst (with Tanya McCole)
August 10—Amsterdam, Netherlands—Paradiso (with Tanya McCole)
August 13—Dublin, Ireland—National Concert Hall (with Tanya McCole)
September 14—Huntsville, AL—Von Braum Center (with Kelsey Waldon)
September 15—Memphis, TN—Orpheum Theatre (with Kelsey Waldon)
September 19—Eugene, OR—Hult Center (with Todd Snider)
September 21—Portland, OR—Schnitzer Theatre (with Todd Snider)
September 22—Seattle, WA—Paramount Theatre (with Todd Snider)
September 28—Columbus, OH—Ohio Theatre (with Lilly Hiatt)
October 3—Knoxville, TN—Tennessee Theatre (with Kelsey Waldon)
October 5—Nashville, TN—Ryman Auditorium
October 6—Nashville, TN—Ryman Auditorium
November 7—Breckenridge, CO—Riverwalk Center (with Nathaniel Rateliff)
November 8—Grand Junction, CO—Avalon Theatre (with Nathaniel Rateliff)
November 10—Denver, CO—Buell Center (with Nathaniel Rateliff)
December 12—Las Vegas, NV—Westgate Theatre (with John Paul White)
December 14—Phoenix, AZ—Celebrity Theatre (with John Paul White)
December 15—Tucson, AZ—Fox Theatre (with John Paul White)