Levitation 2018 first lineup announced.

The first wave of lineup announcements for Levitation Austin 2018 has been released, and (as usual) it’s great.

The festival is no longer being held at the Carson Creek Ranch, but rather at multiple venues in downtown Austin like Stubb’s BBQ, Empire, Barracuda, and more.  You can buy tickets for the individual shows, which vary in price.  They offered full weekend passes for all shows for $400.00 (quite a price jump from previous years), but they sold out in minutes.  Screw you, ticket buying robots!

Regardless, the first lineup already has many great artists on it.  Rishi Dhir of Elephant Stone will be performing solo and with a new venture he has called Mien.  Dead Meadow, Thee Oh Sees, Slowdive, the Black Angels, Electric Wizard, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ministry, Chelsea Wolfe, Ty Segall, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Imarhan, the Men, and Al Lover are all stand-outs.

Don’t wait too long to get tickets.  Tickets to individual shows at the 2016 festival sold out quick and many tickets went to scalpers who flipped them at outrageous prices.  More announcements are due in the early part of 2018, and that will only cause tickets to sell faster.

Keep your mind open.

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Earthless announces March 2018 North American tour dates.

Clear up your calendar for March 2018, because stoner metal giants Earthless will be touring North America.  They’re also bringing legendary psychedelic band Kikagaku Moyo and psych-rockers Jjuujjuu with them.  This is a great triple bill, so don’t miss it.  I’m sure tickets will sell fast once they’re available.  I plan to see them at their Chicago stop in late March 2018 at the Empty Bottle.  I saw them there last year and it was a great show.

Keep your mind open.

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Partner announce tour dates for 2018.


PARTNER Announce 2018 Touring Plans

Tour Dates:
(current 2017)
December 08 – El Club, Detroit MI*
December 09 – The Drake, Toronto ON*
December 10 – Le Belmont, Montreal QC*
December 11 – Great Scott, Allston MA*
December 14 – Elsewhere, Brooklyn NY*
December 15 – U Street Music Hall, Washington DC*
December 16 – First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia PA*


January 17 – The Slice, Lethbridge AB^
January 18 – Revival, Regina SK (Winterruption)^
January 19 – Amigos, Saskatoon SK (Winterruption)^
January 20 – The Rec Room, Edmonton AB^
January 21 – Big Winter Classic, Calgary AB^

January 25 – MOTR, Cincinnati OH
January 26 – Empty Bottle, Chicago IL
January 27 – Founders Brewery, Grand Rapids MI

February 02 – This Ain’t Hollywood, Hamilton ON

March 13 – 17 – SXSW, Austin TX

May 11 – Focus Wales, Wrexham UK
May 17-19 –  The Great Escape, Brighton UK

*w/ Shamir    ^w/ Duchess Says
**More dates to be announced soon

For any interview requests or phoners contact – mar@maronmusic.com

Ahead of their joint Canadian Prairie Winter tour, Partner team up with Montrealers Duchess Says to curate a Spotify Winter playlist to get you in the mood, shared by Exclaim here.


RIYL – Weezer, AC/DC, The Breeders, Ween, Beavis & Butthead

Debut album In Search of Lost Time mixed by Grammy award winner Chris Shaw (Weezer, Public Enemy, Sum 41).

Partner is the “mature” effort of two best friends named Josée Caron and Lucy Niles. Borne of their bizarre and fortuitous friendship, Partner confidently harnesses the infinite power of Rock to explore a variety of niche yet strangely universal themes. Self described as post-classic-rock.

The two met while attending Mount Allison University in small town Sackville, New Brunswick, on Canada’s East Coast. The duo played in numerous Sackville bands together over their University years (Yellowteeth, The Mouthbreathers and the aptly named hardcore band Go Get Fucked). Around late 2014 the idea of Partner came to fruition.

Influenced by acts as varied as Melissa Etheridge, Ween, kd lang, and Prince, Partner delivers a refreshing and vital twist on a classic, prompting you to re-think what you thought was possible in Rock.

Partner relocated to Windsor ON at the beginning of 2016. After a freakishly productive year of writing, recording, and touring, Partner have released their debut to the world, titled In Search of Lost Time (September 08, 2017). Their enthusiastic and action-packed live set has led to them being named the “best new band in Canada” in the Globe and Mail.

Partner is genre-defying and terrifying: part musical act, part teenage diary, and 100% queer.

Partner Links
Website: http://www.partnerband.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officiallypartners
Bandcamp: https://partnerband.bandcamp.com/
Record Label: http://youvechangedrecords.com/portfolio/partner/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/partner_band
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/partnerband

Keep your mind open.

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Pitchfork 2018 Music Festival tickets are already on pre-sale!

Pitchfork Festival 2016
 Get your tickets early for Pitchfork 2018.  No lineup has been announced, but $150.00 for a three-day pass is a steal to any music festival, let alone one with such a diverse lineup.

Early Bird tickets available now!

3-Day Early Bird Ticket: $150 (vs. $175)
3-Day Early Bird +PLUS Ticket: $350 (vs. $375)

The Pitchfork Music Festival will return to Chicago’s Union Park next summer for its 13th year. The 2018 event will run from Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22.

For a limited time, enjoy discounted prices on both
3-Day GA and +PLUS passes. Don’t sleep on this HOLIDAY SALE and purchase your tickets TODAY before they are gone!

Additionally, as part of the holiday sale, single-day tickets will be available for $65. Once Early Bird tickets are are gone, three-day passes will be on sale for the regular price of $175. All pricing will increase after the holidays.

For more ticket info, and to stay tuned on new festival announcements, visit the Pitchfork Music Festival website. And follow @pitchforkfest on social media for the latest news, announcements, and exclusive content.

Keep your mind open.

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Live: Gary Numan and Me Not You – Chicago, IL – November 29, 2017

I hadn’t seen electro / industrial legend Gary Numan live for many years.  His new album, Savage, is getting rave reviews and debuted as high as #2 in the U.K.  His live shows are loud, dazzling, and impressive affairs, and his November 29th show at Chicago’s Thalia Hall was no exception.

Opening for him were the Brooklyn quartet Me Not You, who put on a nice set of shoegaze and synth-rock.  I’d like to hear more of their material.  Unfortunately, I missed part of their set due to getting a phone call from work that I had to take.

Me Not You

Numan and his four-man band came out and immediately kicked down the back wall with a blast of industrial rock on “Ghost Nation” – the lead track from the new record.  Upon hearing it, I immediately thought, “Yeah, I need to get this record.”

“Ghost Nation”

Although he’s not much for nostalgia, Numan delivered a great version of “Metal” right afterwards.  He had the crowd in his hand by this point, and it was only the second song.  Other solid cuts from the new record were “Bed of Thorns,” “Mercy,” “Pray for the Pain You Serve,” “My Name Is Ruin,” and “When the World Comes Apart.”

Gary Numan might be a Green Lantern. It wouldn’t surprise me at all, really.

“Down in the Park,” of course, remains one of the best electro-goth songs ever, and Numan’s path down more industrial roads puts a new spin on a lot of his classic material.  He has the bass brought up on “Cars” to make it almost a metal track, for example.  “Love Hurt Bleed,” from his Splinter album, is a new highlight to his show.  It’s everything Trent Reznor owes Numan in one song.

Perhaps Mr. Numan is actually a herald of Galactus. I’d believe that, too.

He performed “M.E.” and “Are Friends Electric?” for an encore.  Both were stunning, especially “Are Friend Electric?” – which is the greatest song Phillip K. Dick never wrote.

“Are Friends Electric?”

This was easily one of the best performances I’ve seen all year.  The crowd was a fun mix of aging hipsters like yours truly, young industrial fans, old punks, metal heads, and goths.  I know this makes me sound old, but it was great to see people younger than I having a great time at the show.  It ensures me that Numan’s music will continue through new generations of fans.  Don’t miss this tour if it gets close to you.

Thanks to the lucky lady who scored this set list for letting me take a photo of it.

Keep your mind open.

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Live: Flying Lotus – Chicago, IL – November 14, 2017

I wanted to see Flying Lotus‘ 3-D show since I saw it without 3-D glasses at Mamby on the Beach earlier this year.  He put on an impressive set there, so I figured one in an enclosed venue like Chicago’s Riviera Theatre would be a good time.

It was, albeit the place was packed once you got past the bar in the main theatre because everyone wanted the best spot to see the visual spectacle.  It was indeed impressive, and I sure a wild trip if you were high during the thing.  A guy next to my friend and I snapped at her when he thought she had been staring at him every time she turned around to talk to me.  We explained that he had misread all of it and nothing was intentional.  As my friend told me later, “If you can’t handle your fucking drugs, don’t come to a Flying Lotus show.”

He put on a good set, spinning in some stuff he did with Thundercat along the way.  That was a big hit with the crowd.  The visuals were mostly different from the ones at his Mamby set.  Some of the best were a “Flying Lotus” logo that seemed to push from the screen to above the crowd and a floating woman’s head that would curl out from the screen like a snake.  It probably gave some chemically altered folks nightmares.

Just a floating wheel made of human limbs. Nothing to worry about.

Go see this tour if you’re able.  It’s worth it for the visual feast, and Flying Lotus is one of the best experimental artists out there right now.  His future is bright if he’s already doing stuff like this.

Keep your mind open.

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Jackie Shane – Any Other Way

Imagine what it takes to be a successful musician.  There are many long hours of touring, rehearsing, writing, negotiating, hustling, and branding.  This is hard enough for your Average Joe or Jane, but imagine doing this in the 1960’s when you couldn’t release a single on the Internet and have it heard by millions within moments, pay-for-play was still legal and widely practiced, and record labels held your master recordings in a vise-like grip.  Now imagine doing all of this before the civil rights movement while you’re black in an industry dominated at the top levels by white people.   Now imagine doing this as an openly transgendered woman in the same time period.  Jackie Shane did all of that, and she made it look easy.

Jackie Shane’s Any Other Way is a stunning collection of rare singles and live tracks from perhaps the most remarkable performer you haven’t heard and easily one of the best collections and reissues of 2017.  Ms. Shane burned up stages in Toronto throughout the 1960’s, releasing a handful of singles and recording some amazing performances, before disappearing for nearly half a century (relocating to Nashville to tend to her ill mother and deciding to stay after her passing).

The double album opens with the sizzling “Sticks and Stones,” a burner in which Shane sings about people trying to shame her and bring her down, but she really doesn’t give a damn.  This is a common theme in her catalogue.  Shane lived by her own rules and refused to compromise.  Her vocals are fierce and almost race ahead of the song, but the horn section of the Frank Motley’s Motley Crew band (for which she sang at the time) keeps up with her well.  The title track is a sad song about Shane trying to to convince an ex-lover that she’s happy.  The horn section almost has a Latin flavor to it that sets it apart from other similar tracks of the time period.

“In My Tenement” has horns that belong in a Bond film soundtrack.  “Comin’ Down” has Shane coming down “with a heartache” as her band’s surf guitar and tight drumming back her assured vocals.  Her cover of “Money (That’s What I Want)” is fun as a bit emblematic of Shane’s life, who never gave away her skills for free.  “I’ve Really Got the Blues” swings as hard as any Chubby Checker or Fats Domino record ever did.  “Send Me Some Lovin'” has Shane pining for even a photo of her distant lover.  “Walking the Dog” is full of sass and a groove you’ll have in your head all day.  The funky organ on “You Are My Sunshine” brings in a bit of a gospel groove, which is no surprise since Shane has openly spoken on the influence of gospel and spiritual classics on her.  “Stand Up Straight and Tall” is pretty much the theme of Shane’s life.  She lived how she wanted to live and never gave a damn what people thought.  You can’t help but wonder about the possible symbolism of “New Way of Love,” especially since Shane sings it with such fire (and the Motley Crew band slays on it).  “Cruel Cruel World” has Shane calling for someone to love and not needing sympathy from anyone.  It’s a great example of how her vocals could go from soulful ballad to rock wails all in the same song.

That’s just the first disc of this release, by the way.  Disc two is a compilation of rare live cuts (with backing band the Hitchhikers including Frank Motley leading it) that are jaw-dropping at times.  It opens with “High Heel Sneakers” and Shane singing / tearing through an ode to stepping out in high fashion and being ready to kick ass and take names.  Pharrell Williams wishes he could write a groove half as good as the one on “Barefootin’.”

Shane warns that the live version of “Money” is so dangerous that her doctor warned her that performing it could be bad for her heart.  It’s over nine minutes of funk, sass, and defibrillating beats.  The breakdown on it is fabulous as Shane talks about not caring about what others think of her as she smiles on her way to the back.  “I’m going to live while I’m here,” she says.  “I don’t satisfy nobody that’s a square,” she also says at another point.

Other high points among the live tracks are “You’re the One (That I Need),” which features some of Shane’s best torch song vocals, the tight horn section groove and Shane’s heartbroken vocals on “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” her fun cover of “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (in which Shane appears to be cheering on an elderly man dancing in the crowd), the version of “Any Other Way” in which she sings, “Tell her that I’m happy.  Be sure to tell her this.  Tell her that I’m gay.” (which Shane claims wasn’t her openly admitting her sexuality, but the symbolism is hard to ignore), and the squawking, jumping “Shotgun” in which Shane advises, “You got to shoot your man before he runs.”

It’s a shame that Jackie Shane wasn’t bigger across the world and for longer a time than she was at her peak.  There are rumors that she might emerge from her self-imposed (and apparently enjoyable) exile in Nashville and return to perform in Toronto, so we can hope to see and hear more of her soon.  In the meantime, get this collection and be stunned by it.

Keep your mind open.

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Live: LCD Soundsystem – Chicago, IL – November 09, 2017

We got to Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom not long after they opened the doors for the second of three sold-out shows for LCD Soundsystem.  We were hungry and hoped to grab a bite before the show.  I asked a bouncer outside when LCDSS would start their set.  “Nine, I think,” he said.  “There’s a DJ opening, I think.”  We went to a nearby Thai restaurant, had a nice meal, and then headed to the show to line up around the corner of the building and nearby some vendors selling street tacos that smelled delicious.  We got in without trouble, although one bouncer thought my earplugs were pills for a moment, and went upstairs to the main floor.  The DJ was spinning a remix of the Police‘s “Voices Inside My Head” as we moved up toward front stage left.

The DJ, it turns out, was Derrick Carter – one of Chicago’s most legendary DJ’s and a pioneer of Chicago house music.  He’s spun all over the world and was putting down a solid set that no one in our area seemed to notice.  The bouncer outside and the Aragon Ballroom massively undersold this.  Carter’s name should’ve been on the marquis under LCDSS.  It was a wonderful surprise and we would’ve come up extra early to catch his whole set if we’d known he was going to be on the bill.

LCDSS shot out of the gate at almost exactly nine o’clock with “Get Innocuous.”  The whole place was jumping and then went positively nuts when light bounced off LCDSS’ massive disco ball above the stage.

The moment before Murphy announced Daft Punk was playing in his basement.

Not ones to rest soon, they followed it with their mega-hit “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” and the electro classic “I Can Change.”  The band was cooking with gas for the whole set, and were obviously healthier than when I saw them at Pitchfork Music Festival earlier this year when lead singer James Murphy openly spoke about getting over a cold and keyboardist Nancy Whang having “a bum knee.”

“I Can Change”

“Trials and Tribulations” was another crowd favorite and is one of those songs that sounds even better live.  The crowd disappointed me when no mosh pit broke out during “Movement” (as it rightfully did at Pitchfork).  In fact, the crowd was a bit subdued compared to the Pitchfork crowd.  I don’t know if the outdoor venue and nice weather of Pitchfork made everyone a bit looser, but many around us at the Aragon weren’t even dancing.  “Tonite,” one of the best singles of 2017, was another sharp cut and I was happy to hear it live for the first time.


After taking a break “to go pee,” as Murphy put it (“It’s hard.  A two-hour show.  You know, you get older, you have to pee,” he announced before they played a great rendition of “New York I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down.”), they came back onstage to play “Oh Baby,” the lead cut from their excellent new record, American Dream.  They followed it with another track off the new record and one that should’ve inspired the second mosh pit of the night – “Emotional Haircut.”

“Dance Yrself Clean” still ranks among the greatest of their hits and is easily one of the best parts of their live performances.  They closed with “All My Friends” and Murphy wished everyone a safe trip home.

All of Murphy’s friends were in the audience, it seemed.

It was good to see them again and good to see them all healthy.  LCDSS have become one of those bands I will see at any opportunity, as should you.

Keep your mind open.

Thanks to the lucky chap who scored this and let me take a photo of it.


Erika Wennerstrom announces winter U.S. tour dates..

Heartless Bastards leader Erika Wennerstrom has announced a series of winter tour dates through the United States to promote her upcoming solo album.

Nov 25 – ACL Live – part of Bob Schneider’s Holiday Show – Austin TX – TICKETS
Dec 8 – Andy’s Bar – Denton TX – TICKETS (Full Band show)
Dec 10 – The Listing Loon – Cincinnati OH –
Dec 13 – High Noon – Madison WI – TICKETS
Dec 14 – The Hideout – Chicago IL – TICKETS
Dec 15 – Soulful Space – Lexington KY – TICKETS 
Dec 16 – Songwriting Clinic at Historic Herzog Studios – Cincinnati OH – TICKETS
Dec 17 – The Listing Loon – Cincinnati OH – TICKETS

Wennerstrom has one of the best voices you’ll ever hear – raw, sultry, angry, and caressing all at the same time.  Don’t miss out on these rare acoustic show dates in small venues.

Keep your mind open.

Live: Goblin and Morricone Youth – Chicago, IL – October 25, 2017

The last time I saw horror / prog-rockers Goblin was in 2013 at Chicago’s Metro during their first tour of the United States.  It was a sold out show and one of the best I saw all year, so I was keen on catching them again on their “Sound of Fear” tour, especially since the lineup included four of the five original members – Massimo Morante, Maurizio Guarini, Fabio Pignaetti, and Agostino Marangolo (along with Aidan Zammit replacing keyboardist and founding member Claudio Simonetti).  They fact that they were playing in Thalia Hall – a former opera house – was a bonus.

Opening for them were the psychedelic / prog rockers Morricone Youth.  My friends and I arrived in time to catch the last two songs of their set.  Both were songs written as an alternate soundtrack to Night of the Living Dead.  The film played behind them as they rocked out and it was a great set-up for both Goblin and the Halloween season.

Goblin came out to a welcoming, albeit smaller than I expected, crowd.  I have no idea why more people weren’t at the show, unless the midweek date had something to do with it.  Regardless, Goblin came ready to play and to terrify.

They played a lot of stuff they didn’t play on their last tour, including tracks from the bizarre giallo film Beyond the Darkness (complete with grisly mortuary scenes playing behind them which might’ve made an intoxicated woman in front of us so woozy that she needed assistance leaving the main floor), another giallo Massimo Morante called Killer on the Train, and the bizarre alien invasion film Contamination.  I had no idea Goblin did the score for Contamination, so now I have extra incentive to track down that film.

Of course, they played tracks from their most famous film scores, starting with Profundo Russo (Deep Red).

They played not only the “Killer Doll” and main theme track, but also other songs from the film that you don’t hear often.  They did the same with Tenebrae, which is a giallo about a killer in an opera house no less.

They did the same with their score to Suspiria, playing music from the beginning of the film and the creepy scene in which the lead characters first start to suspect an evil witch is living among them.

It was another excellent performance that got better as it crawled along like some horrible thing creeping out of the shadows.  Goblin rarely get to the U.S., so don’t miss them.

Keep your mind open.

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