As you start considering your top albums of 2013, these are releases already scheduled for January and February of 2014.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags (1/7)
Broken Bells – After The Disco (1/14)
Warpaint – S/T (1/21)
Damien Jurado – Brothers & Sisters Of The Eternal Son (1/21)
Hospitality – Trouble (1/28)
Dum Dum Girls – Too True (1/28)
The Autumn Defense – Fifth (1/28)
Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness (2/18)
Beck – Morning Phase (Feb.)
Bare Mutants – The Affliction (8/6)
Polyphonic Spree – Yes, It’s True. (8/6)
Washed Out – Paracosm (8/13)
Superchunk – I Hate Music (8/20)
Ty Segall – Sleeper (8/20)
Julia Holter – Loud City Song (8/20)
Crocodiles – Crimes Of Passion (8/20)
Porcelain Raft – Permanent Signal (8/20)
No Age – An Object (8/20)
King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath the Moon (8/24)
Disappears – Era (8/27)
Belle & Sebastian – The Third Eye Centre (8/27)
Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (8/27)
Dent May – Warm Blanket (8/27)
The Dodos – Carrier (8/27)
Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You (9/3)
Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium (9/3)
Arctic Monkeys – AM (9/10)
MGMT – S/T (9/17)
Bill Callahan – Dream River (9/17)
Sebadoh – Defend Yourself (9/17)
Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe (9/24)
Mazzy Star – Seasons Of Your Day (9/24)
Quasi – Mole City (10/1)
Dr. Dog – B-Room (10/1)
Cults – Static (10/15)
The Head & The Heart – Let’s Be Still (10/15)
Arcade Fire (10/29)
Saturday, July 20:
Gates at 12 p.m.
8:45 Rustie (BLUE)
8:30 Belle & Sebastian (GREEN) – The reason I bought tickets. This is B & S’s first festival gig in Chicago, hopefully steering the set towards the hits/earlier albums.
7:45 Andy Stott (BLUE)
7:25 Solange (RED) – Mostly a “get in place for B & S” and watch from afar sitch, but her EP ‘True’ is exceptional.
6:45 Low (BLUE) – Surprising stage location, but maybe suited to their hushed sound of late. A good place to go sleep standing up?
6:15 The Breeders play Last Splash (GREEN) – Where I’ll be. Never saw The Breeders the first time around. Of course there’s “Cannonball,” but the album rocks more than I remember in the middle, then goes ultra-poppy on “Divine Hammer.”
5:45 Ryan Hemsworth (BLUE)
5:15 Swans (RED)
4:45 Metz (BLUE) – If ear-bleeding is something you seek, then head here. Taut, heavy stuff reminiscent of early Nirvana. Following this set seems like the best chance to grab some food & pre-game for The Breeders and the rest of your night.
4:15 Savages (GREEN) – Must-see of the weekend. May draw a bigger crowd than Belle & Sebastian? Heavy female 4-piece trading in Joy Division-esque throbbing tunes. Their intensity is likely to be unmatched.
3:45 Merchandise (BLUE) – A nice sound meld of heavy-ish backing band and fey Morrissey-like vocals at times. Depart early for Savages.
3:20 …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (RED)
2:50 Parquet Courts (BLUE) – Likely to be a crowded scene for this early-Pavement/early-Strokes sounding band. Ramshackle and low-fi by design. Plus then you’ll be here in advance of Merchandise.
2:30 Phosphorescent (GREEN) – zzzzzz – Fine and dandy on record, but nothing I need to see live in a hot field.
1:55 Julia Holter (BLUE) – I’d say to arrive in time to hear her, but really no reason to get to a fest before 3pm in my opinion.
1:45 Pissed Jeans (RED)
1:00 KEN mode (BLUE)
1:00 White Lung (GREEN)
Friday, July 19:
Gates at 3 p.m.
8:30 Björk (GREEN) – Of course, you’re not gonna go home are you?
7:20 Joanna Newsom (RED) – A harp and her voice in a large field? Will this work? I’ll be keenly watching and listening.
6:25 Wire (GREEN) – Pink Flag came out when? I’ll pass as they have new music I don’t need to hear.
6:15 Mikal Cronin (BLUE) – Likely the “star-making” set of the day. 2013’s Merge release has broadened his reach and polished his sound a bit though reports from his recent EB sets are that he and his band shred live.
5:30 Woods (RED) – Another toss-up time slot. Woods will likely play a loose set that will be passable, but my pick is the delicate-voiced Olsen and to begin jockeying for position for Cronin who misses out on a larger stage due to a nod to rock vets Wire.
5:15 Angel Olsen (BLUE)
4:35 Mac DeMarco (GREEN) – No doubter, smooth guitars, chilled-vibes…hot day.
4:15 Trash Talk (BLUE)
3:30 Daughn Gibson (RED) – This matchup is a toss-up, but given the number of other strong female performers on this day, roll the dice on the electro-baritone of Gibson. Is this stage right for him? Saw him @The Vic as a 1-piece, just a man and his drum machine.
3:20 Frankie Rose (BLUE)
You can always head for shade at the CHIRP record fair. Björk might be shopping. (Björk won’t be shopping.)
Its not Yuck [Part II], but Hebronix is the new work of that group’s former lead vocalist Daniel Blumberg. At times lethargic and meandering (see “Wild Whim & “Unreal”), at others bouncy and reverb-drenched (see “Garden”). Its no mistake that most of the six songs here stretch into 7-minute territory. Undoubtedly some listeners ears won’t be prepared to absorb the spacious tunes contained here, but patient and passive listening isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For me, the record works as chewing gum for the mind, especially the tail end of album closer “The Plan.”
My favorite track (#3) is “Wild Whim.” There are guitars piled upon guitars with minimal drumming that musically echoes the lyrical content of a circuitous walk. A triumphant record that won’t blow your socks off.
*More info & song streams here: http://www.atpfestival.com/recordings/artist/hebronix/view.php
Honorable Mentions: Rhye, Majical Cloudz, Baths, Night Beds, Brass Bed & Foxygen
Playing @ The Empty Bottle Mon. 3/11 – 2nd of 3 bands
Playing @ Subterranean Sun. 4/21 – Bottom of a 4 band bill
Both bands are on Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones Records.