As sweet and understated as Jens Lekman is, he has managed build up quite the audience of devotees. Playing three sold out shows from New Years Eve to January 2nd at the Empty Bottle couldn’t have been easier for the Swedish folk musician. In addition to this brief residency he also added a solo show at The Viaduct Theater as a Sunday matinee that, in turn, sold out just as quickly. The fans were clearly waiting for Lekman with baited breath.
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December in Chicago is typically nothing short of frigid, full of blistery winds and unpredictable weather patterns. For me the long winter months lead to hibernation, longing for warm sunny days filled with ample outdoor activities, and endless concert opportunities. On Saturday December 12th my longing paid off in the form of the second annual Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival (CBB) at the city’s historic Congress Theater.
Anna Ternheim’s van has broken down. It’s a classic touring blunder that is an inconvenience at best or tragedy at worst. But Anna is committed and undaunted. She takes an emergency flight to Chicago in order not to miss her show at the Bottom Lounge later that evening—which has now officially become a solo one—or our interview.
British electro-indie duo The Big Pink (yep, they’re actually named after The Band album) played to an excited crowd at D.C.‘s the Black Cat in support of their debut album A Brief History Of Love. Their rough, scuzzed out but occasionally poppy sound worked well live, but for a band that’s publicly stated they’re not cool, they could have fooled me—just like they apparently fooled NME into naming them best new act. If you missed them on this tour relax, they’ll be back in the US starting in March.
// Notes from the Road
"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.READ the article