concerts

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previous shows of 2015:

2014 shows
2013 shows
2012 shows
2011 shows
here's the link to even older (pre-Conundrian) shows
here's the link to the google calendar

Amelia White ~~~ Sergio Webb
w/ Hobart Trotter & Jennifer Griffitt

Many of you are already familiar with the guitar work of Sergio Webb. You may know mostly of his work with David Olney. He is a master! He is a songwriter in his own right, too. On Wednesday, January 28th he will be laying down his phenomenal guitar licks and background vocals with songwriter Amelia White. She is touring in support of her new CD, "Old Postcard" which came out this past February.
We hope you can join us for our social hour. If you'd like, bring a light dish or small bites to share. The Conundrum stage will be graced by a couple of duos who are dedicated to the art of music and have carved out a piece of their lives they'd appreciate sharing with us. It leaves little doubt the evening will be one of exemplary music, laughter, and comradery.

Amelia White: Home, history, and family take different shapes on Old Postcard. Over steadily propulsive drums and echoing guitars, the album's title track finds White looking back at the ghosts of her family, realizing that dreams that don't come true are still dreams after all. "Big Blue Sun" is told from the perspective of a homeless man who dreads the daylight and the masses that flood in with their daily routines of normalcy. It features ethereal backing vocals from Sally Barris and gorgeous nylon-string guitar from Sergio Webb. With a haunting, noir-ish sound, "Hollow Heart" is the dark tale of a motherless child and the deep sense of longing that develops within. "River Of My Dreams" features snarling guitars, as White sings of all the crazy, mysterious, otherworldly things -- flying, breathing underwater, being pulled back from Hell -- which one can astonishingly accomplish in their dreams. With lines pulled straight from her father's memoirs, "Daddy Run" is a rousing anthem with a sing-along chorus.

Hobart Trotter & Jennifer Griffitt: Kelly Gilbert, who plays a vital role as a board member of the Woodshed Archive, describes Hobart Trotter's music: "Columbia native Hobart Trotter -- a singer/songwriter/guitarist with a passion for music and its ability to connect us all. Hobart's love of music traces back to his early childhood, with memories of his mother playing Rachmaninoff on their spinet piano and of singing and harmonizing with his parents and siblings to old gospel tunes during long trips in the family car. Mastering piano and guitar would land him in a few high school bands, his first band with renowned jazz guitarist Joe Taylor who is now Hobart's producer and occasional bandmate. His tunes can be classified as Americana, a blend of folk, country, and bluegrass, sung with soothing vocals to heartfelt lyrics." Hobart will be accompanied by vocalist, Jennifer Griffitt.

Wednesday, January 28 2015
7:30pm (doors at 6:30pm)
$12 in advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door


Coast 2 Coast Live Interactive Showcase

"Giving Indie Artists Major Opportunities"

Tuesday, January 27 2015
9pm
$10


Steve Marquette Quintet

A group capable of producing moments of frightening power and striking sensitivity, the Steve Marquette Quintet (formed 2012) features the talents of musicians Mars Williams (reeds), Nick Mozzarella (alto), Anton Hatwich (bass). and Quin Kirchner (drums). Though primarily showcasing Marquette's compositions, their democratic nature provide a vehicle for all the musicians to inform and alter the shape of each piece. Drawing upon free jazz, collective improvisation, noise / rock and other strains of the jazz tradition their debut recording,"I Knew it Then" (2013), also marks the first release on Two Cities Records -- a record label started by Marquette dedicated to documenting Chicago and New Orleans' improvising music communities.

Saturday, January 24 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)
$10


Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys

Jonathan Byrd is a North Carolina flatpicker and a Texas songwriter, a Gulf War veteran and a preacher's son, and an award-winning songwriter whose songs you've probably heard, even if you haven't heard Byrd sing them. Covered by Tim O'Brien, Steve James, Red Molly, Jack Lawrence, Melissa Greener and more, Byrd's music will seem familiar to any Americana fan.

Byrd quit the rock bands of his youth and hit the road solo in 2000, flatpicking and singing new songs in an old style. A tip from a friend led him down to the Kerrville Folk Festival, a dusty ranch where he discovered the rich Texas songwriting culture and made it his own.

The word began to spread in 2003, when Jonathan won the festival's "New Folk" songwriting competition, a milestone for Americana's most influential artists: Steve Earle. Lucinda Williams. Nanci Griffith. Lyle Lovett. Byrd broke the record for CD sales at the festival, and has played there nearly every year since.

Byrd's 2008 release, "The Law and the Lonesome" is the fruit of this interstate cross-pollination, what might have happened if Townes Van Zandt had made a record with Doc Watson. Tamara Kater of Canada's folk mag Penguin Eggs called "The Law and the Lonesome" her "album of the decade."

"Cackalack" is the newest Jonathan Byrd release, an homage to his home state. Recorded live in a day while on the road, "Cackalack" hit #1 on Roots Music Reports folk radio chart, #22 on the Americana chart, was the #91 Americana album of 2011, and made John Platt's "Best of 2011," along with strong international airplay and a dozen other "best of" lists.

Most recently, Jonathan won a 2011 SESAC Americana Music Award beside Bob Dylan, Seth Avett, Hayes Carll, Jim Lauderdale, and Colin Brooks from The Band of Heathens. "One of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years." -Chicago Tribune.

Thursday, January 22 2015
7:30pm (doors at 7pm)
$12 in advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door


Altar of Excess

Cum Kneel @the Altar of Excess. featuring performances by Ahomari, Dendera Bloodbath, FOODCOMPUTER, Ritual Abjects

Sunday, January 18 2015
8:30pm (doors at 8pm)
$6


Young Blaze ~~~ House of Whales ~~~ Nepotism ~~~ The Haves

Friday, January 16, 2015
8pm (doors at 7:30pm)
$6


Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley

Ken Vandermark ~~~ Nate Wooley

Chicago saxophonist/composer Ken Vandermark and New York trumpet player Nate Wooley had been operating in each other's orbits for several years- having worked together with Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Agusti Fernandez, and Terrie Ex- before putting together their duo project in October 2013, when they toured the United States for the first time. With this unique ensemble, they deal directly with each other's iconoclastic compositional and improvisational vocabularies, and have created a book of original material that takes inspirational cues from the under-appreciated work of John Carter and Bobby Bradford (two of their compositions are part of the group's repertoire). Vandermark and Wooley have worked together to create an organic combination of the jazz tradition, free improvisation, and modern composition, and have then placed it into the raw and intimate context of this duo.

On June 22nd, 2014 they recorded an album that combined their performance at Okka Fest 6 in Milwaukee with a studio session the following day. Entitled, East By Northwest, the record was released in December of that year as a co-production between their two independent labels, Pleasure of the Text Records (Wooley) and Audiographic Records (Vandermark). In January 2014, the duo goes back on the road in the United States for their second tour together, and they will again join creative forces in September with the start of a brand new quartet which will include Steve Heather on drums and Jasper Stadhouders on guitar and bass for a tour of Europe.

Wednesday, January 14 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)
$10


Kayo Dot ~~~ Autocorrect ~~~ Toothbrusher

Led by founding member Toby Driver (also of Secret Chiefs 3), Kayo Dot emerged in Boston, MA in 2002 from the ashes of metal group Maudlin of the Well. Since then, Driver has led Kayo Dot through several lineup changes and dramatic stylistic shifts: from traditional metal, to atmospheric, avant-garde metal; and now with their new album Coffins on Io, the bats-in-your-belfry hard rock of Sisters of Mercy meets Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, Scritti Politti and early Roxy Music.
In 2013, Kayo Dot demarcated the beginning of a sonic change by releasing their critically acclaimed conceptual double-albumHubardo. Undeniably experimental, but largely unclassifiable, Hubardo received rave reviews: SputnikMusic ranked it among their best albums of 2013, and CVLT Nation called it, "mesmerizing avant garde blackened doom," and a "towering achievement."
But when it comes to Kayo Dot, change is the only constant. And like the best pop culture chameleons of the past, Kayo Dot's evolution is governed by an inscrutable inner-logic. Despite the accessible songwriting of Coffins on Io and the emphasis on vocal melody and electronic percussion, Kayo Dot fans will find the record's darkness and intensity familiar and relatable. For example: the dark wave of Coffins on Io album-track "Off-ramp Cycle" might be unrecognizable to Kayo Dot's metal fans. "The sound is kind of like a sexy combination of Type O Negative, Peter Gabriel, Sisters of Mercy," Driver says. But the track also encompasses the brooding menace of classic Bauhaus as well as current dark wavers Cold Cave and Crystal Stilts: artists young and old who live and die in those unknowable corners where heaviness meets delicacy and sincerity meets theatricality.
Elsewhere, Driver's penchant for prog rock surfaces in the ethereal "Spirit Photography", complete with a saxophone melody line -- strikingly gentle when compared to Kayo Dot's brutal back catalog. "Long Time Disturbance on the Miracle Mile" could be a Bryan Ferry-era Roxy Music cut, and "The Mortality of Doves" could be Eno-produced David Bowie.

Autocorrect have been called "the Sonic Youth of noise rap". They are comprised of Cecil Decker, Sean Burns Chris Johnson Moses Andrews III and a revolving cast of friends.

Toothbrusher are fine upstanding young humans who intend to play by the rules for the sake of the children. They are like a puppetless Happiness Bomb.

Tuesday, January 13 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)
$10