I have a Eurovision Song Contest spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has 28 tabs. The first three tabs are focused on the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals and finals. The remaining tabs are for every participating Eurovision country that has a national selection contest to choose their representing song. Every artist that makes it to that country’s finals is ranked in the corresponding country tab.
I never imagined myself to be the sort of person who would have a Eurovision Song Contest spreadsheet. Especially not one that’s two dozen tabs deep. Yet, here I am. A Yankee who finds himself with strong opinions about Eurovision things. Did Iceland make the right decision sending Systur instead of Reykjavíkurdætur? No. Was Romania robbed by the jury vote? Maybe. Are there too many ballads? I’m new to this, so who am I to say, but possibly.
How is it in the year 2022 I have so many opinions about Eurovision? Seriously, who am I?
For most of my life, Eurovision has lived in my head as a European music competition featuring campy pop performances. If you asked me last year at this time to name five artists who’ve competed in Eurovision I’d be able to tell you Abba, Olivia Newton-John, and Conchita Wurst. That’s it. I wouldn’t even be able to get to five.
Filed under Festivals, Music
Jon Spencer is a unique individual in the world of independent music. While it isn’t uncommon for a well-known and prolific musician to have multiple projects during his or her career, it’s rare for more than two of those projects to be hailed with critical affection. Typically the cap is two, for example, Kim Deal with the Pixies and then the Breeders or David Lowery with Camper Van Beethoven and later Cracker. Spencer has managed to pull it off four times to date. First with mid-80s anti-rock band Pussy Galore, then fronting alongside his wife Christina Martinez (who was also a member of Pussy Galore) in Boss Hog, then most famously to date with the influential and genre-defying Blues Explosion, and now, and most likely not finally, alongside Matt Verta-Ray (of both Madder Rose and Speedball Baby) with the rockabilly influenced Heavy Trash.
Spencer and Verta-Ray brought Heavy Trash to the High Noon Saloon on Monday, September 25, 2006 with the garage-country-rock infused The Sadies opening and acting as backup band. Dane101 spoke with Spencer about Heavy Trash, his other side projects, and the future of the Blues Explosion.
Personally, I’m a fan of rants and divergences during conversations, that’s why this interview with Rachel Nagy of the Detroit Cobras, which appeared on dane101.com on October 2, 2016, has earned itself the top spot on my list of favorite interviews of all time. It might be second only to my interview with Kelley Deal. When I originally wrote up my questions for Rachel Nagy I’d planned for a 15-minute interview. Thanks to her rocket fuel drenched brain and stream-of-consciousness way of speaking, we were on the phone for a solid half hour. I wouldn’t trade a second of it.
We unintentionally covered everything from how she copes with road rage (she was on her cell phone in Detroit traffic), moving back to Detroit from San Diego, hot dogs, digging up a former soul musician from a crack house, and why you should never come at an ex-butcher with a broken bottle…and lots more.
In 2009, I interviewed Kelley Deal for dane101.com. The Breeders were on tour supporting the “Fate to Fatal” EP and were scheduled to play a show at the Majestic Theater in Madison, Wis. on August 10. Hands down, it was one of my favorite conversations with an artist. For the last five years I had thought it was lost to the Internet abyss but this week I found it in an archive.
Madison is a roller derby city and you’ve invited the Mad Rollin Dolls to have a table at your show. How did the Breeders get involved with roller derby?
Kelley Deal: Back in 1994 we did Lollapalooza in Chicago and my mom and dad went to the show and backstage my mom and dad had adopted this little 16-year-old blonde headed girl named Amy Whited. They were appalled that she had hitchhiked from St. Louis to come to Chicago. We just kind of hung out that day and at the end of the day my Mom and Dad gave her bus money and made her promise to take a bus home. So that’s how we first met Amy Whited.
Throughout the years we’d see Amy. If we were going through Chicago or St. Louis, there’d be Amy. Over the years we started exchanging emails and last year we were on tour and we went through St. Louis. And Amy had been involved with roller derby for a while, she had recently broken her leg…
Trent Reznor is asking fans to eschew their addiction to the digital world. This winter, Nine Inch Nails will head out on the “Cold and Black and Infinite” tour with The Jesus and Mary Chain but if you want the best tickets you’ll need to unplug from the Internet and head out into the physical world.
Seeing Huey Lewis and the News would certainly have been one of the high points of attending Outside Lands this year. The band, steeped in decades of perfect pop hits, always create a rambunctious, must sing-along party atmosphere whenever they perform. Unfortunately, the 67-year-old rock frontman of the band has canceled the tour due to hearing loss. Continue reading
Chicago doesn’t receive enough credit for the sheer number of music festivals it hosts every year. We might not have the climate of Austin but we sure do make up for it between June and October. Over the course of 15 weeks, a grand total of 24 days are dedicated to some sort of large-scale outdoor music event – and that doesn’t include the city-run World Music Festival or random summer block parties.
And it doesn’t need to end at city limits. If you’re feeling ambitious and passionate about music there are more than a dozen upper midwest summer music festivals within a six-hour drive of the city.
Below you’ll find our comprehensive guide to not only Chicago music festivals, but music fest throughout the Upper Midwest. From Chicago to Wisconsin to Detroit to Iowa, we’ve got it covered. We’ve broken the festivals down by distance and within each distance cluster they’re ordered by date. Did we miss an important festival or update? Let us know in the comments.
Filed under Chicago, Music
The White Stripes. The Flaming Lips. Spoon. Modest Mouse. The Mountain Goats. Sleater-Kinney. Guided By Voices. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. These are only a handful of the hundreds of bands who have performed over the last two decades at San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival.
Many were little known when they first took the Noise Pop stage. Every February, Noise Pop returns giving music fans an opportunity to discover something new.
In 1993, Noise Pop was launched as a one-night event featuring a handful of local acts. It went so well, founders Kevin Arnold and Jordan Kurland, tried it again in 1994. They tapped punk rock band Jawbreaker to headline. The band had just come off a tour opening for Nirvana and were riding a wave of critical acclaim for their album 24-Hour Revenge Therapy. Not surprisingly, that show also did well, so the duo persisted.
Today, Noise Pop stretches over 10 days at venues in both San Francisco and Oakland. The focus continues to expose your ears to exciting new sounds of noise and pop, but recent years have seen an expansion beyond the aural to also include the visual.
“Party at the NSA” is a new track from YACHT that helps raise funds for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. More information at partyatthensa.com.