Daily Archives: August 24, 2009

And They Wanna Know How-ow-ow, Girls Rock . . .

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I have a piece in today’s Examiner about Chicagoland music journalist and itinerant rocker / reformed publicist Jessica Hopper, who will be at Comet Ping Pong tonight at 1900 hours to read from her new book, The Girls Guide to Rocking. As its title implies, the tome tells all you aspiring Karen Os and Carrie Brownsteins everything you need to know. Jessica also wrote the influential essay “Emo: Where the Girls Aren’t” for Punk Planet a few years back. You can find her writing in the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Tribune, the L.A. Weekly and her blog.

Jessica also chooses the interstitial songs heard This American Life, which is, of course, one of my favorite things that has ever existed. See my April 2008 interview with creator and host Ira Glass and/or my review of his last speaking appearance in town. My interview with comic Mike Birbiglia, whose stories have been featured on TAL several times in the last year or so, will be up in a few weeks.
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Live Friday Night: The Breeders at the Black Cat

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If The Breeders were thought of as indie rock in 1993, when “Cannonball” was all over MTV and Last Splash was speedily going platinum, they’re really indie now. They self-released their latest offering, the four-song EP Fate to Fatal, even posting a video on their website of twin sister-singers Kim and Kelley Deal silk-screening the vinyl album sleeves by hand.

Their Friday night set at the Black Cat was a similarly homespun, unfussy affair, making no apologies for its wobbly pacing or slight duration: 65 minutes, with plenty of momentum-sapping interstitial fumbling. But the individual performances? Perfect in their imperfection, like so much about this band. The sisters’ elfin harmonies and the itchy maelstrom of Kelley’s guitar would home in on the same frequency for two-to-three-minute salvos of buzzing nirvana, collapsing again at the end of each tune.
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