Andrew McMahon

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The hardest working man in music, Warren Haynes, is back with the 20th year of his annual Christmas Jam. Though I'd pay a lot of money to go back in time and see all of the canadian tuxedos that people wore in 1988, this year looks like it could be a great event. This year's X-Mas Jam will span...
A few Sundays back, I was among the lucky few to attend the Fleet Foxes show here in Chicago. It was a perfect a show for a Sunday  -- tangible energy from the crowd and melodic music from the band. Yet, I caught Fleet Foxes back in July at Pritzker Pavilion and was a little underwhelmed with the direction...
Earlier this week we let you know about some great things we'll be doing at Metro here in Chicago to help get more and more readers to see great live music. For this Saturday's show featuring two pairs of musicians, Crystal Castles & Lymbyc Systym, we're offering two pairs of tickets. For the first two comments that appear on...
Over the last month or two, My Old Kentucky Blog has been putting together a series of posts that I've been all about, waiting with baited breath for the next. The entire piece of work is called The Ten Commandments Guidelines of Concert Behavior -- I guess they opted out of the overt religious reference but not the colonel...
The last few weeks have been really exciting for LMB especially here in Chicago where both Mitch and I call home. Not only did the blog get its wish -- it has to do with a certain band -- but we've been ironing out a relationship with Metro Chicago to get more and more great music to this city....
Blue-eyed soul has been around forever, white dudes have been trying -- sometimes very successfully -- to replicate the music that poured out of Detroit and Memphis during the 50's and 60's throughout almost every other decade to date. Jamie Lidell may have the most uncommon path to blue-eyed stardom, starting his career as one half of the electronic...
The live music universe is a world filled with ebbs and flows of energy; when things get busy, they really get busy and then there will be a down period. Suffice to say that in Chicago, right when that 90 day limit Lollapalooza puts on its performers finishes, October is busy. Everyone is touring. In addition, there have been...
After hearing of Jim James' unfortunate fall in Iowa City, its a little tough to write about the great time I had catching My Morning Jacket at the Greek Theater a few weeks back. Jim James has such energy and is totally in command when on stage, it is awful to think that he hurt himself doing what he so seemingly...
A happy Monday to everyone! Just spent a full weekend in Chicago for the first time in some time and I am smitten with this city all over again. I saw a great show Saturday, ate some amazing food and though the Cubbies lost, there is a lot of excitement and energy in my surrogate home. In honor of...
Sunday at Monolith was not really a full day. After watching my beloved Redskins -- they won -- and picking my buddy up at the airport it was nearly 6pm and our arrival to Red Rocks was marked by the setting sun. It was a sunny but chilly day for early September, but you can experience all four seasons...
About a month ago I realized that I had the opportunity to see over 20 bands in about the same number of nights; I figured it could be a cool little "feat of strength" while on vacation. But I ran into something much bigger and more powerful than myself: mother nature. The adventure came up five bands short but...
Few bands are worth waiting through two hours of over the top, arty music for; I was nearly prepared to walk out of the Empty Bottle two Thursday's ago because I was pretty sure Black Moth Super Rainbow wasn't going to make me forget the previous two hours of s***ty music. After dragging a cigarette out for as long...
A first trip to a historic place is always special. The first day of the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks was especially nice. A cool, sunny day highlighted the already picturesque venue all afternoon. Adding to the atmosphere was probably the best single festival day of music I've had all summer. There were no uninspired sets and the only...
Last Thursday night I braved the remnants of Hurricane Gustov here in Chicago to go catch Mike Gordon at Park West. The show was promoted as a variety show, which to me denotes multiple performers from different genres and maybe a comedian or two. To say the least, I was way off. What we all saw at Park West...
Its Friday, ten days into my end of summer tour and I'm blurry eyed and a little hung-over from last night's Black Moth Super Rainbow show, which started late and went well past my work-week bedtime. I am four bands down, sixteen to go. With a little help from the Monolith Festival I should be over half way point...
Though my end of summer extravaganza started last week, I must digress that I haven't really gone anywhere yet. There have been a a number of shows here in Chicago and there will be more on that later. This weekend is when things really get started when I travel to Denver for the second year of the Monolith Festival. Monolith...
It's always great to see a band for the first time and I am especially excited to see Black Moth Super Rainbow on the penultimate night of Empty Bottle's mini-festival, "Adventures in Modern Music." BMSR is as avant-garde as bands come, making super intelligent electronic music that's actually worth listening too. They are the headliner of tonight's four -and...
It's finally here! Stay Smooth X is finally here! The smooth music themed party is taking place on Saturday at Chicago's Columbia Yacht Club on a boat! Inspired by the now infamous Yacht Rock web-based TV show, Stay Smooth is a party celebrating all that is smooth in music. You see, there was a time when Captain's hats, dark...
A month or two ago, I wrote a column forecasting some of the changes in the current state of live music and the path the industry may take over the next year or two in natural response to the current state of the overarching music industry. In it, I claimed that touring out West could become too expensive and...
Tonight is the unofficial beginning of a serious run of concerts for me and I couldn't be more excited for this evening's show. Mike Gordon is stopping by Park West in Chicago. The last time I caught Gordon was with The Duo and the show was off the charts. Tonight is already lined up to be a special night....
It's great that most everyone got to see Radiohead this summer on their numerous individual tour dates or here, here and here. Yet if you didn't get a chance to catch the most blogged about band in the world or you didn't quite get your fill, the band is webcasting their stop in Santa Barbara tonight. It's promised to...
Since moving to Chicago, almost a year has passed before I was finally treated to a show at the theater which bears the city's name. It was worth the wait, as I got to see Steely Dan tear up the beautiful Chicago Theater. The Dan put a second stop in Chicago on their Think Fast, Steely Dan Tour after...
A few weeks back, Justin posted some news about TV on the Radio's upcoming fall tour. I remember reading the post and thinking that it was short tour considering TVOTR has an album release in the near future. Well, my intuition was spot on and they've extended their tour well into the autumn months. The tour extends into...
Poster Art by Judge Forward Music Fest is in full force as the schedule is now up on the website. The organizers are quick to acknowledge that accessibility is paramount to this festival, so Friday's headliner, Neko Case, goes on at 8PM even though Dan Deacon will be pushing the throttle into the wee hours. Saturday is bit more traditional,...
Now that Vegoose is no longer a reality, a lot of folks have their Halloween night all freed up. Let me make a suggestion. If you were planning on going to Vegas you might as well take the road all the way out west to LA. The folks who bring HARD Summer Music Festival and HARD New Year's...
The touring just never stops for STS9, and yet regardless of how many times I've seen this band I get really excited whenever they announce new dates. STS9 seems to be taking the road most traveled and is really reaping the rewards of touring to develop a larger and larger fan base. The band has seen ever increasing numbers since...
Just as My Morning Jacket returned to the US in support of Evil Urges, they announced 12 additional dates in Europe during the months preceding their hopefully earth shattering New Year's Eve show at Madison Square Garden. To the relief of tired feet everywhere, they also announced that every show will start on time. So, if the ticket says...
Last spring Atmosphere released When LIfe Gives You Lemons, You Paint that Shit Gold, which saw the highest level of success for any of their albums to date. Moving away from the melodramatic narrative that has predominated most of their previous albums, When Life Gives You Lemons has redemption as its main theme and branches into a number of...
Known to take hard left turns when it comes to the live music experience, Dan Deacon is at it again. This time around I think he may have outdone himself, which is saying a lot if you've ever seen him live. Deacon will take over 60 musicians out on the road for what he is calling the Baltimore Round...
With the the stock indexes in the first bear market in almost six years and gas prices that have hit lifetime highs, we are all feeling the proverbial tightening of the belt. Obviously I am not a columnist for the Wall Street Journal but I try and keep close tabs on the live music industry and this economic environment...
The Chicago based group, Future Rock is embarking on a September tour throughout the US after playing to festival in August. The nine-date run will cover some major media markets and will finish up with a Live PA set here in Chicago. I have yet to catch Future Rock outside of a festival setting and can't seem to catch...
Taking the summer off to work on a new album and a split LP with This Will Destroy You, Lymbyc Systym will tour with their LP mates this fall. Consistently touring over a hundred dates a year, the road is nothing new to the brothers from Arizona. They'll hit the road this fall Lymbyc Systym is a favorite of LMB,...
James Murphy, the creative brain behind LCD Soundsystem, and Pat Mahoney, said band's drummer, are headed out on the road and their taking their NYC party, Special Disco Version, with them. Last year they released the 36th installment of Fabric Live, which is a series of DJ mixes released by the London nightclub Fabric. They've been spinning and throwing...
The Tennessean family affair known as Kings of Leon are embarking on a fall tour throughout the US in support of their upcoming LP, Only By the Night. The album, out on September 23, has already produced two singles, "Crawl" and "Sex on Fire." The tunes are available for free through the various Kings of Leon websites, check above....
Though most of the music world's attention was focused on Grant Park last weekend, there was another, more storied festival happening on the east coast. The Newport Folk Festival is now in its 49th year; a remarkable achievement considering the number of festivals that have come and gone over the same amount of time. The site of the famed...
After spending an unsuccessful hour looking for tickets or a way into Friday night's festivities, I was a little downtrodden on Saturday morning. Lollapalooza was completely sold out for the second day in a row and I was sans ticket. It took some perseverance but we found our way into the festival with the help of an aspiring business...
The last day of a festival is always a difficult day, full of fatigue and sunburn, but with a little perseverance Lollapalooza Day Three can be an amazing day of dancing and indulgence. Sunday is usually the calmest day where discovery has more of a priority than frenzied fandom, but since this is an urban festival, the promoters at...
Now that Justin has properly filled everyone in on what to see at Lollapalooza Day 1, I'll take the reigns and give everyone some can't misses for Saturday's action. In my opinion Saturday has the best line-up top to bottom, including two of the top three headliners -- guess the other. While choosing between a reformed Rage Against the...
Last Saturday was a full-on mind and body exercise, complete with bike-riding, dancing, photography, networking, and hours and hours of wonderful music. The climax of the day was definitely the dual-bill featuring a couple of leaders in the independent music world. STS9 and Umphrey's McGee are as DIY as bands come, and that is independent music -- when a...
As we mentioned last month, Cold War Kids are embarking on an extensive world tour in support of their new LP, announced for release September 23. The tour starts on Saturday for a short run Down Under and then will pass through Europe before heading back to LA for the US leg of the tour. Recently the group tacked...
Sunday couldn't have been a more beautiful day, the sun was out and there was a light breeze; most importantly the music was worlds apart and totally amazing. In the short walk across Union Park you could hear folk, afro-pop, psychedelic rock and hip-hop. In my opinion, Sunday had the overall better schedule but delays and schedule changes made...
Acclaimed as one the most eclectic and venturesome weekends in the gauntlet of summer festivals, the Pitchfork Music Festival 2008 provided Live Music Blog with some very memorable sets but like any festival, a few frustrating moments -- see below. Overall it was a solid three days with poor weather descending upon Union Park for only a few hours...
Oh to be young, a music fan and live in Chicago; for the next three weeks there are more bands, festivals and concerts coming through this city than I know what to do with. Some will be missed but I'm sure Mitch and I will get in our fair share over the next month or so and hopefully we...
Last Thursday night one of the best tours of the summer kicked off in Madison, WI at Willow Park. The dual bill with Umphrey's McGee and STS9 will be roaring through eastern two-thirds of the U.S. for a little over three weeks. So far the tour has been in Madison, St. Louis, Omaha and Cincinnatti; tonight the tour will...
Having a wide and eclectic taste in music sometimes pulls you all over the map in terms of who and what is seen live. Personally I can go long stretches without catching a good rock show and after seeing two great ones in a week I've been wondering why I ever do. I caught The Black Angels in...
With strobe lights blaring and the drone physically pushing the crowd away from the stage, The Black Angels owned the room at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, DC two Tuesdays ago. Invoking the meandering psychosis that seems present in the last half of Apocalypse Now, The Black Angels' music takes on something bigger than itself and almost...
About a month ago, we filled everyone in on the short list of Ratatat dates and I was totally bummed because there was no Chicago date. But now on the same day they've released their third full length album, LP3, a whole slew of dates were announced, including a Chicago show. The problem is -- I'll be out of...
As I've mentioned before, the country is laden with some incredible street festivals and neighborhood parties. Of all the wonderful cities in the U S of A, Chicago may hold the belt for the range and number of its neighborhood parties. Perhaps the best of these is the annual Wicker Park Fest, which this year features some very nice...
Anyone with access to the Sundance Channel should point their remotes there this week as they premier Dean Budnick's documentary on the rise and fall of one of the jam scene's most important locations, Wetlands Preserve. Budnick, co-creator of the Jammys and Editor at both Relix and Jambands.com, teamed up with club owner Peter Shapiro to tell their side...
Almost every live music fan I know has one or two venues that hold some sort of special importance to them, a place where an unforgettable show was witnessed or so many shows have been attended that the place becomes familiar. For myself, Merriweather Post is one of these venues. This small wooded pavilion outside of DC was my...

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