In spite of their venue, Cut Copy almost made the acoustics in the Riviera sound adequate last night. Dan Whitford’s baritone sounded just as rich live as it does on record, every synth and guitar was working in perfect harmony, and the beats were unnaturally tight. It probably wasn’t unlike the first time people heard Joy Division. But on this night, Cut Copy were doing their best New Order impersonation. The sound was huge, and it got warm as hell in there.
Isn’t it fun when people dance in Schubas? I generally consider Schubas to be Chicago’s “quiet venue” where singer songwriters strum on acoustic guitars. But sometimes they bring in an artist like Gold Panda, and the bass overwhelms us. So we move around.
After over 40 years and dozens of albums, I decided that it was time to see what all the fuss was about. The thing is, the Residents are notorious for being enigmatic. Almost like the Bob Dylan of avant-garde experimental artists, they are chameleons. The four (three on this night) members have never revealed their identities. They’ve kept their act mysterious since the beginning, and there’s no telling when or if an end is in sight.
When people ask me what’s happening in electronic music today, the first thing that comes to mind is Baths. The more popular answer should be Flying Lotus, but Baths is a little more challenging and youthful. 21-year-old Will Wiesenfeld creates glitchy soundscapes that kids can dance to (ages 17 and up, at the Subterranean). Wiesenfeld’s energy isn’t as apparent on record, but when he’s on stage he’s in constant motion.
When was the last time you heard a guitar solo from the stage of the Empty Bottle? Honestly, I’m not sure if I ever had before last night. Dave Hartley, also known as Nightwings, brought his new project to the Empty Bottle and took the venue one guitar solo at a time.