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Thursday, Feb 5, 2015
For the Chicago post-metal trio Russian Circles, ten years isn't just a number: it's a number that perfectly encapsulates the incredible journey they've taken up to this point.

The way anniversaries are typically celebrated in the music world tends to be arbitrary. Although these usually come up in neat multiples of five—the tenth anniversary, 25th, 50th, and so on—the fanfare is regularly thrown without any concern for whether or not the time that has elapsed, however neat a number it may be, actually holds any meaning for a particular artist’s career. Come the start of each calendar year, publications across the web and globe ready their lists of album anniversaries for a regular glut of thinkpieces—whether or not the albums in these albums are actually worth the retrospective is up for debate. So when the Chicago-based post-metal trio Russian Circles kicked off 2015 with a tenth anniversary tour, there was only one obvious question: are the past ten years meaningfully significant for this band?


After their final United States tenth anniversary show, a homecoming event held at the North Chicago rock venue Metro, Russian Circles confirmed what their five studio albums in their ten years as a group had already made obvious: yes, this is an anniversary well worth celebrating. Based on the amount of moving bodies and battered eardrums that left Metro just after midnight, much celebration was certainly had.


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Monday, Feb 2, 2015
The intimacy made Café Carlyle a special place to celebrate LaVette's 69th birthday but her residency there continues.

Singer Bettye LaVette’s legendary status has been cemented by the fact that she is holding a residency at the Café Carlyle. And on January 29th, the second night, the lucky audience, including friends and family, had the opportunity to celebrate not just the release of LaVette’s latest album Worthy earlier in the week, but also to mark her 69th birthday with a toast.


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Thursday, Jan 22, 2015
The Australian artist creates a poignant illustration of displacement in her video installation, Citizens Band.

Australian video artist Angelica Mesiti examined the conflict between private space and public performance in Citizens Band, an installation comprised of four projected videos at the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusettes, 24 October 2014—4 January 2015. Four projected videos comprised the exhibition; each showed a musician performing in a public or semi-public space. All of the performers were displaced. They performed works from their homeland in their adopted countries; Cameroon, Algeria, Mongolia and Sudan. They migrated to large cities like Paris, Sydney and Brisbane.


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Monday, Jan 12, 2015
The combination of the Black Keys and St. Vincent in one arena brought together two formidable and well-received guitar-driven acts for the final show of their 2014 tours.

Towards the end of 2014, the year in which both The Black Keys and St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, released strong albums (Turn Blue and St. Vincent respectively), it was a treat to hear both artists would be touring together. St. Vincent opened for Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach for the last stretch of their tour, fourteen shows, the final stop of which was at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The Black Keys are no strangers to arenas and they knew how to up their game for this show, revealing more of the stage throughout the night. It was practically hit after hit after hit with their set, but my particularly favorite stretch of songs came near the middle, beginning with “Howlin’ for You”, a cover of “A Girl Like You” and finally “Money Maker” though the encore, which included the hypnotic simmer of “Turn Blue” was hardly second fiddle.


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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Stephen Trask, co-creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Tits of Clay and some special guests played a benefit for Road Recovery, that doubled as a celebration for the reopening of Don Hill's venue.

The original Don Hill’s venue was essentially were Hedwig and the Angry Inch was born. Co-creators Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell conceived of their musical at the venue’s weekly Squeezebox parties. But Don Hill’s closed in 2011, before the reincarnation of Hedwig on Broadway earlier this year. But the legendary venue has just been revived as The Hills NYC and, as one of the first events in the space, this show was a “benefit for Road Recovery, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to helping young people battle addiction and other adversities by harnessing the influence of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar crises and now wish to share their experience, knowledge, and resources”. The organization invited the current Hedwig band, Tits of Clay with the current Broadway star Michael C. Hall and co-creator Stephen Trask for the performance along with some special guests.


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