Road to the Bottle

Brian Chippendale is Black Pus. One half of the noise rock behemoth Lightning Bolt, Chippendale has been writing songs on the side for most of the band’s twenty year tenure. He released his 9th full-length as Black Pus, All My Relations, on Thrill Jockey on March 19th and is finally getting the attention he deserves for the effort.

Chippendale’s live drumming shreds any notions you may have had of the instrument to little bits of loose-leaf paper, soaks them in all sorts of bodily fluids, stuffs them into jumbo-sized slurpee straws, and machine guns them back through your brain like silver bullets. What’s even more nuts about a Black Pus show than its Lightning Bolt counterpart, is that Chippendale controls the bass tones through an oscillator connected to his kick drum instead of relying on bassist Brian Gibson to provide the sounds.

In an interview with Tiny Mix Tapes, Brian described Black Pus as a “fresh canvas.” When he and Brian jam nowadays, they frequently run into the problem, “Oh shit, we did that thing about ten years ago.” Pus provides Chippendale the opportunity to “move forward with every little stupid idea that I ever want. I don’t have to bounce it off of anyone…” He also addressed the increasing role of vocals in his music—he’s been trying to “branch out, and again just break down a few more rules that I set for myself…I think I’ve been growing as a vocalist.” For a guy who treats ‘rules’ in music like Beavis and Butthead treat their teachers, this is a promising direction. 

Black Pus plays Empty Bottle on Tuesday, May 7th, the fourth date on a tour that leapfrogs across the country in one month. Chi-town thrash experimenters Oozing Wound open, along with a clan of synth-proggers from Michigan, Mounds.

)))) Show starts at 9pm … Tickets are 10 bucks at the door, or 8 bucks in advance, dum dum ((((

~*~ Check out a couple videos of tracks from the new record.”1000 Years” is made up of a series of Brian’s childhood flip-book drawings and “Hear No Evil” is produced by Light Hits (duo of Kelie Bowman & Jessie Rose Vala) and featured on Pitchfork tv oOo ~*~

It’s been an exceptionally long road to the Bottle for Boston underground punk pioneers Unnatural Axe. “Is Gonna Kick Your Ass" came out in 1978 and though these dudes only stayed together for a few short years, the impact they left on the early American punk scene was huge. Three and a half decades have only cemented their cult status. 

Although the Axe has done numerous reunion tours since their initial breakup, Friday May 17th marks the crew’s Chicago debut. Lucky for you, their headlining show is one of four nights of Hozac Blackout Fest 2013, hosted by yours truly. Other bands on the bill that night include Tyvek, Eat Skull, Make-Overs, Buck Biloxi & the Fu*cks, and Winter Bear

Richie himself (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) has put together some tracks on the interwebs—one of which is a previously unreleased Plasmatics cover—to get you in a fightin’ mood for their set. Check ‘em out here:

+++ Show starts at 8pm & is $25 at the door or online +++ 

==> 4-Day Passes to Blackout Fest can be found here <==

Mmm the delicious taste of girl-fronted, melodic speed-rock from Canada—it’s the champagne of punk. Vocalist Mish Way is a vicious banshee on stage, raising the dead mosh impulses inside the most stubborn of foot-tappers and beer-sippers. White Lung released their killer second LP “Sorry" on Deranged Records last May and have been touring like animals since, sharing stages with folks like Iceage, Merchandise, and Metz. 

Chicagoans MAGIC MILK and Polish Gifts will match White Lung’s manic energy to round out a show that’ll be nothing short of hostile. Join us this Thursday, April 25th. Show starts at 9 PM. 

/\/\/\/ Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door /\/\/\/

We’re proud to be welcoming back indie-pop sensation Marnie Stern to our stage. Her latest album, The Chronicles of Marnia, dropped last month and we’re still singing along.

Through her gradual musical evolution, she remains true to what her fans have come to know her for: shredding. Intricate guitar work has and continues to be a sharp distinction in each of her albums, setting her apart from the pack.

Be sure to catch her while she’s around, as she’ll be leaving for Europe later this summer.

Also taking the stage this night are local three-piece Mayor Daley and Baltimore’s noisy grunge revivalists Roomrunner.

+++ Show starts at 9pm // Tickets are $12 +++

Experimental folk trio Akron/Family are returning to the Empty Bottle for the first time since 2005 on Tuesday, April 16th. Their latest release, Sub Verses, is set for release April 30th via Dead Oceans. You can pre-order now!

With a world tour under their belts and already a high number of albums out, Sub Verses takes on a slightly different direction from previous releases, incorporating a variety of musical styles and influences they were able to blend together flawlessly. SWANS’ Michael Gira has some really inspiring things to say about it.

These guys make it look easy up on stage, showcasing their improvisation skills and effortless vocal harmonies.

Starting the night off will be LA native M. Geddes Gengras and minimalist rock four-piece All Tiny Creatures.

+++ Show starts at 9pm // Tickets are $12 +++

An Iceage show isn’t necessarily ‘fun’ in the traditional sense of the word. Sullen, brooding, and vicious are adjectives more in line with the mood to be expected, but if you get satisfaction from listening to the band’s second record, You’re Nothing, released on Matador on February 19th, you’re probably down for a quick, banter-less set during which you might get hit. Lead vocalist Elias Benner Rondefelt is a haunting presence and is not afraid to participate in the pit.

The Danish four-piece is young and pissed off—making short, brutal punk songs with fresh noisy textures and strange song structures that translate well live. They’ve been on tour in support of the new album since late February across Europe and the West Coast and are finally making it to the heart of the heartland next Wednesday, April 10th.   

Put on your best boots and join us for a night of hardcore. Chicago outfits Violent End and Final Grin light the fire. 

+++ Show starts at 9pm // Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door +++

Mac Demarco sent the blog bees a buzzin’ this fall with the release of 2 (yes, his second album and yes, he’s that cheeky). These songs are sweet as summer honey; guitar-focused, folksy songwriting is full of mini-hooks and soaked in dreamy reverb. The best part is how super down-to-earth and laid-back it feels, like you were sippin on a lemonade on the porch with Mac plucking away.

Despite how chill his music is, his live shows are shaping up to be wild and wonderful events where crowd-surfing, make-outs, nudity, and other oddities are commonplace. The photos above are from SXSW this past week, where his band played every day. At least live, he’s dropped the glam facade—which was all a joke on music media—embracing the more organic persona of a 22-year-old kooky and manic country-bumpkin who wears the same shirt every night. See him be a lovely weirdo with a wig and a joint in the new video for “Dreamin” below.

Label-mates on Captured Tracks, Naomi Punk, throw some Seattle distortion in your face and rub it in with their boot heel. Calvin Love rounds out an eccentric night with some Canadian electro-pop. 

::: Show’s Thursday at 9:30pm & is $10 at the door or online :::


The Veronica Falls spring tour has hit North America and is headed straight for Chicago! After a busy schedule of East Coast shows, V-Falls is all warmed up and bringing the heat to the Bottle next Thursday, March 14. V-Falls will be coming straight from good old Cleveland, and will be making their way on west after entrancing us with their poised pop hits. The band is touring with their new LP, Waiting for Something to Happen, and while they’ve done some growing up on this album, V-Falls still retains the gothy goodness we know and love. Check out these rad photos from the beginning of their tour, along with the group’s new music video which was shot in a Portuguese Cemetery. To keep with their Prince of Darkness vibe, Veronica Falls performs new hit “Teenage” in the midst of ghostly grave stones. Don’t forget to grab your tickets here to join the goth pop party of the year at the Bottle with Cold Showers and Love of Everything. Tickets are $12 advance, $14 day of the show. Show starts at 9PM.

Here’s the video of V-Falls playing their new single “Teenage” in a cemetery - super goth!

Night Beds set off on tour this past Friday in support of their February 5th release on Dead Oceans (Phosphorescent, The Tallest Man on Earth), Country SleepThey hit the Bottle this Saturday night—March 2nd. Winston Yellen’s expressive and versatile tenor dominates atmospheric alt-country ditties that are steeped in Nashville sound and, you guessed it, pretty dreamy (not to mention Winston himself). Yellen has been evoking comparisons to Ryan Adams and Jeff Buckley; in short, this is the real deal. 

Indians, the pseudonym of Copenhagen’s Søren Løkke Juul, released an understated yet majestic debut album, Somewhere Else, in January and is opening for Night Beds on the U.S. portion of the tour. Cat Martino delights us with the first sounds of the evening.

:: Show’s at 10 PM & Tickets are $10 ::

Twenty-four year old Jacco Gardner writes and performs beautifully crafted baroque-tinged psych pop to the same caliber as legends Syd Barrett and Colin Blunstone, respectively of The Pink Floyd and The Zombies. A native to the Netherlands, Gardner’s approach to songwriting and producing includes layers of springs, harpsichords, mellotrons, and acoustic guitars. He creates a lush and heavily nostalgic sound not unlike modern contemporaries MMOSS, The Paperhead, White Fence and Quilt.

His first US tour starts in early March and takes him all the way down the east coast and through the Midwest. His debut LP, Cabinet of Curiosities, will be released by Chicago’s Trouble In Mind Records in February. Be sure to pay him a visit here at the Empty Bottle on March 19th!