Monday, September 26, 2011

It was another time for me

Liam Finn played Lincoln Hall on Friday night, and I was there. This show felt more polished than the last time I saw Liam in Chicago, which makes sense - he hasn't just lost a band member, and they've been touring on the new album for awhile now. The new three-piece we saw at the Hideout has become a four-piece with the advent of Eliza-Jane Barnes. EJ's presence allowed the band to play a song from the Eliza-Jane/Liam EP, "Plane Crash," a great song I'd been missing at recent shows. The setlist was split about evenly between songs from FOMO and songs from I'll Be Lightning, plus the aforementioned "Plane Crash" ... and a cover song. At midnight it was Liam's 28th birthday, celebrated on stage with a toast and plenty of alcohol. The audience sang "Happy Birthday," and then the band launched into the Beatles' "Birthday." 

Oddly enough, this wasn't the first time I'd seen Liam and his band play "Birthday" on the Lincoln Hall stage. In 2009 they broke it out in honor of another birthday - crew or audience member; I can no longer recall.

After the show, Rob got Liam's signature on his well-traveled acoustic guitar. Liam also played most of "Come As You Are," a little post-show bonus for the loitering bar patrons. The show ended too late to hit Kuma's, but Liam playing Nirvana was a nice consolation prize.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tonight's gonna be a good night

Yesterday was my friend Sam's birthday! To celebrate her birthday, I met up with with Sam and a few other friends at the Hideout in Chicago for The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel book release party, to be followed by dinner at Longman & Eagle.

The evening started off on a high note as DJ John Tolva spun some records and the real live Mayor Rahm Emanuel circulated in the music room. When Dan Sinker (the author of the book and fake @MayorEmanuel Twitter feed) took the stage, he announced that the mayor had signed his book: "You are an asshole - Mayor Emanuel."

First on the agenda was a book reading from cab driver and author Dmitry Samarov, followed by four excellent beat poetry performances by Louder Than A Bomb, a group composed of Chicago high school students. Next, author Megan Stielstra read a selection from her upcoming book. After that, Dan Sinker took the stage again, to introduce the evening's mystery guest.

The musical portion of the book release event had been billed as "Surprise Musical Guest Performing the Music of the Black Eyed Peas," but astute readers of the @MayorEmanuel Twitter feed might have been able to hazard a guess. Back in January, when a certain musician performed at a fundraiser for the real Rahm Emanuel, the @MayorEmanuel alter-ego had a few things to say about it:


Dan Sinker never expected his flight of fancy to become a reality, but guess what? Sometimes it happens. Last night it did, as Jeff Tweedy got up and performed three Black Eyed Peas songs: "I Gotta Feeling," "Rock That Body," and the classic "My Humps." The last was performed dramatic reading style, sans guitar. Sometimes it was hard to hear the guitar anyway, over the roars of laughter coming from the audience. I could give more details, but why do that when I could just show you?

(from Time Out Chicago)

(from gigettink)

Jeff Tweedy recites "My Humps" from Jasmine D on Vimeo.

Dan Sinker finished things off with a reading from The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel, and then it was off to Longman with us. And eventually, my drive back home. Was I tired at work today? Amazingly, no! Must have been the rejuvenating power of the Black Eyed Peas and porchetta.