Live Preview: Wilco (The Concert)

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It’s time for Wilco tonight. 

It’s the second of two shows at UIC Pavilion in Chicago. 

And seeing as I’ve passed out at a Wilco concert before and their 5 night residency at the Riveria during their last tour was fantastic, this will be the kind of show that I’ll bring with me all types of  memories and emotional touch points and triggers. We’ll see how my Ink19 review turns out.

Here are a few things I’ll be thinking about during the show:

  • I always wonder what a band does when they play back-to-back shows. Do they compare them in their mind or are they like  baseball players (when I played I used the  24-hour rule and only focused on a win or lose for that day then I moved on). So does a band just block the previous show out of their mind so they can focus on the present show.
  • Do they apply what they learn from the last show to make the second show better?
  • What level of change does the band experience with their emotional energy from one show to the next?
  • Does Wilco think of ways to make each show unique?
  • This will be Wilco’s final show of their recent tour, so will there be anything special for Chicago fans?
  • What will seeing Wilco in an arena be like, especially when they start playing “Just a Kid,” a song they contributed to the SpongeBob SquarePants movie soundtrack.

Tribune’s Greg Kot had this to say about Sunday’s concert.

Did you see last night’s show

Are you going tonight?

Follow my tweets on @chriscatania

 

Photo by Colleen Catania

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Do We Get In The Way of a Great Show?

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Though most of the show shifted in all the right ways and flowed to all the right places on the strength of Noonan’s smooth and soothing lyrical storytelling, a bit of tension arose between Noonan and fans who gazed upwards in awe at him from the front row. Getting a bit frustrated, he wasn’t finding the intimate connection he was hoping for with the crowd. So he took a risk and decided to call out fans for abusing their right to record the show on video cameras and cell phones.  He smiled at fans in the front row and said “I appreciate the desire, but the Internet doesn’t need any more videos of us Irish lads floating about, so can we sing a song for you without a lens between us.”

 

This is a snippet from my forthcoming review for Popmatters of Bell x1‘s recent Chicago concert at the Double Door. It shows how lead singer Paul Noonan was expressing his thoughts on technology getting in the way of our live concert experience. 

Capturing his comment wasn’t something I had planned for the Live Fix Experiment that I was doing to test out experiencing “How Your Heart Is Wired” live.

Nonetheless Noonan’s comment came just before he was about to play “Eve, the Apple of My Eye,” a hit song that fans certainly were expecting to hear, so his move could’ve ruined the moment for fans.

 Then the other thing that came up about how we use technology to record our concert experiences was this comment left by a Live Fix reader on my post about Why We Tweet and Text During concerts

 Here’s the part of his comment that got me thinking:

At concerts I have witnessed people waiting for hours on end to get that perfect spot in front of the stage only to proceed to position their device directly between themselves and the artist during the entire show. Tell me how they are experiencing it in such a way as to be able to accurately describe it to someone else? They are viewing it through a phone. Even a photographer puts the camera down and looks at the subject periodically. In their attempt to so generously share the show, (are you sure they are not just bragging?) the fans around me have radically altered my experience.

I really appreciate this fellow concert fan’s comment, because he made several great points that challenged my thoughts on how we enjoy concerts.

So I’m wondering now if overusing our love for recording our live music experiences is actually holding us back from having a more transcendent live concert experience?

What do you think?

Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below.

 

Photo credit: Colleen Catania

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Follow Live Fix to BlogWorld 2009

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This post is a shout out to all my fellow blogging and new media buddies!  And a note to you my faithful and cherished Live Fix readers!

This Thurs-Sat (Oct 15-17), I’ll be taking Live Fix on the road to Las Vegas for the BlogWorld New Media Expo

BlogWorld will be my first “blogger conference” since I began Live Fix, so I’m excited to connect with and learn along with other bloggers. 

I’m looking forward to soaking up everything from the growing influence of mommy bloggers to the impact of social media on the music industry. Local Chicago blog network ChicagoNow will be talking about how they created their community.  And some of my favorite bloggers (Chris Brogan and Copyblogger) will also be speaking so I’ll be sure to share with you what I learn. I’ll also be writing a feature story for Popmatters about the key points during the conference as various industry leaders chime in on the state of the blogosphere, New Media and social media.

I expect it to be a huge learning experience and I hope that what I learn in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, because I plan on returning with more ideas for future Live Fix Experiments that we can test out. 

Send me your Vegas tips!

This will be my first time visiting Las Vegas, so if you’re a Vegas veteran let me know if there’s something live music related that I should check out while I’m there.

If you’re going too, please drop a comment or send me an email or a tweet.  I’d love to connect with you during the conference!

I’ll be doing updates during the BlogWorld conference via Twitter @chriscatania and Live Fix blog posts, so stay tuned…

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CHIPUBLIB Sound Off: See Who Won!

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Congrats to Psalm One (Grand Prize) and Shawn Pennington (People’s Choice Award) for winning the CHIPUBLIB Sound Off Contest!

Both entries were my top picks and I’ll be looking forward to seeing them perform live on Oct 22nd at Pritzker Park.

It’s a free concert, so Chicago fans have no reason not to show up and support the Chicago Public Library and local artists.

Check out my previous post to peep Psalm One’s winning video, see what she won, and to get more info on the Chicago Public Library “Not What You Think” program.

If you were a part of the contest, or will be going to the concert, I’d love to hear your story. Drop a comment or send me an email to chris@christophercatania.com.

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Nas Tattoo Shows Us Something We Can’t See

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Earlier this year, I began exploring the power of the “Little Things” with Bon Iver because, as I mentioned, having played baseball since I was old enough to hold a bat and toss a ball, there ’s one thing that the baseball taught me about live music; it’s that noticing and appreciating the “little things,” or the game changers, makes all the difference.

And the same goes for live music.

When I review a show I try to capture the big picture in broad strokes. But it’s in the details where the show can shift on a dime.

So I look for those pivotal moments, too.

Because when you notice the hidden nuances about your surroundings during the show, you also begin to discover what separates an average show from a great show and why certain shows have stronger subtexts and more significance for you than others.

And the Little Things come into play even more when the artist has many “little things”  permanently written all over his body.

Little things that you usually can’t see from afar. Like an artist’s tattoos.

But even though you can’t see them, they still become part of what I like to call the concert’s Collective Subconscious.

And somehow the concert’s collective subconscious is created by a mystic process that happens as all of these “little things” come together during the show and have a huge impact on the artist’s performance, which then flows right to our hearts and minds during the concert.

Nas: “The Helper and Protector” of the Collective Subconscious

This photo I’m featuring on this “Little Things” post  is a close up that Colleen took during Rothbury of  rapper Nas.  We had also seen Nas a week earlier at Rock The Bells; and though both shows failed to impress or truly move me, I’ve had a chance to see it from another more microscopic perspective.

And Since those shows, I’ve been intrigued by this tattoo on his neck of his full first name: Nasir, which after my some research, I learned means ‘helper’ or ‘protector’ in Arabic.

And when I  looked into Nas’s love for tattoos and saw how important a role his tattoos play in his music and self-expression, I also wondered more about the meaning of his “Nasir” tattoo and the placement of it on his body, and when he got it, etc.

That said, every time I look at this Nas photo I think back to the Rothbury and Rock the Bells shows wondering about the connection between self-expression, subtle tattoos and Carl Jung’s Collective Subconscious.

Psychiatrist Carl Jung coined a phrase known as the Collective Subconscious which this wiki defines as “a part of the unconscious mind, shared by a society, humanity and all life forms.”

Now, this is amazing when you think about the CS in terms of the live concert experience because the live music experience is such an electrifying moment of self-expression that’s filled with intense emotional peaks that are simultaneously shared with hundreds, or even thousands, of perfect strangers who only have one thing in common: the person expressing themselves on stage.

And, in most cases, that artist on stage is giving up a part of themselves–a part of their heart, mind and soul–that fans can’t see. And whatever they’re giving up we absorb into our hearts, minds and souls, too.  And whatever we absorb is becomes a part of our experience consciously or subconsciously.

And just because we don’t notice or can’t “see” the self-expression doesn’t mean that we can’t feel it. Because we do feel it.  And that’s where the collective subconscious comes in. Because  a crucial part of feeling evolves engaging the collective subconscious.

So, again, I think it’s amazing that looking at this tattoo close up on a photo reminds me that, as concert fans, we’re participating in a massive experiment with perfect strangers and fellow fans involving the heart, mind and the collective subconscious. On a very deep level we’re all merging and melding together as one.

And this Nas tattoo reminds me that whether we’re aware of this merging or not, it still happens and, as fans, we can enjoy the concert experience on so many levels, together or individually, consciously or subconsciously.

The mystical beat goes on

During Rothbury and Rock the Bells,  Nas was using beats and rhymes to act as tangible by-products of the Collective Subconscious.  And all of it, from his tattoos to the emotional call-and-responses with the crowd, merged together in one big mystical self-expression subconscious stew during the concert.  We swim around in it voluntarily or involuntarily.

Will knowing this make my next Nas concert better?

Maybe.

But I know this much is true.

When we go to concerts, so much goes on below the surface deep within our minds, that it’s nearly impossible to be completely aware of it all during the concert.

But we can revisit the power of the Little Things if we want to.

That’s why I love this photo because it 1) helps me to relive the moment and 2) when I relive the moment I can soak up all the nuances of the Nas show that I missed and 3) when I do that I almost always return to the artist’s music with a fresh perspective that I didn’t have before.

I’d like to share with you one last thing that deepened my understanding of those Nas shows.

When I watched this YouTube video I learned even more about his other tattoos that were hiding underneath his t-shirt and influencing the flow of the collective subconscious during the concerts.

Photo by Colleen Catania

What have you noticed lately about the collective subconscious at your last concert?

Have you returned to past shows with a new perspective after seeing a photo or watching a video?

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Live Music Is…

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A few days ago, I posted a random update on Facebook off the top of my head and asked my friends to finish the sentence “Live music is…” with their own idea or expression. 

I already knew live music had changed my friends lives, but I wanted my friends to actually share and express themselves.

So I thought what better way than to let them have the last word.

So far, all of the responses I’ve received have really showed me how live music impacts people’s lives  in so many ways and on so many different levels.  

My friends haven spoken the power of live music in their own words and communicated it so plainly, honestly and beautifully.

Now it’s your turn. 

Join in the fun and finish the sentence in the comments below:

Live music is…

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Don’t Do This at Your Next Concert

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Live Fix Experiment Results: Miike Snow &  The Tapping-On-My-Notepad Lady

These are no ordinary Live Fix Experiment results.

What I’m going to share with you is both rare and crucial to every fan’s live music experience.

It happened to me at the Miike Snow concert on Sept 25th. 

It was something that has never happened to me before.

It was something that I must share with you because the interaction I had with a fellow fan taught me a lesson that is of critical importance if we are to truly appreciate and respect the amazing diversity of our live music experiences.

During this Miike Snow concert at the Empty Bottle, I was conducting another Live Fix Experiment using Twitter, my Blackberry Storm and my Moleskine. 

I was loving the show and caught up in the wonderful throbing electronic pulse and frenzy vibe inside the Empty Bottle. 

Jumping back and forth from my Moleskine and Blackberry I was simultaneously sending out a flurry of tweets and scribbling down notes for later examination and recap. On the outside it might’ve seemed like a distraction to my enjoyment of the show, but actually it enhanced it.  Scribbling and tweeting are just a few of the ways that I enjoy the show.

And in the climax of Miike Snow’s hit anthem “Animal” a female fan reaches over and pokes me in the stomach and taps down hard on my Moleskin almost knocking it from my hand. And she says to me shaking her head and sipping her beer, “Just stop taking notes and enjoy the show.” 

Enjoy this!

Now,  let me say this first.

I appreciated the fellow fan interaction–and I always love when fans take the risk to reach out to perfect strangers at shows just for the sake of spreading the love and sharing the moment– but I have to be honest with you. I was pissed when she did that. It was really frickin’ annoying. 

But at the same time I felt sad for this confused and misguided fan.

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my post tap tweet

Because she, though she probably had good intentions, had failed to see beyond her near-sighted concert enjoyment perspective. And she probably thinks that the only way to enjoy the show was in the same way she was. 

So I smiled at her and just let her speak her peace. And we went our separate ways of enjoying the rest of the show. 

But you know what? 

I regret that I didn’t have the chance to tell her that she had sadly misjudge me and my note-taking.  I’d really like the chance to ask her a few questions. Why did she do this?  Does she normally do this at concerts to other fans?  Or was this a case of chemicals lowering her inhibitions to the point where she felt comfortable telling me how I should be enjoying Miike Snow?

I’m not sure how she would have answered those questions. But I can confidently say that this particular fan was, on some level, very aware and capable. And she knew exactly what she was doing. 

Because when she tapped on my Moleskine and gave me her misguided advice, she proudly smiled at me like she was doing me some great favor of a lifetime.  Like she was some sort of  live music do-gooder  protecting the live music experience from being tarnish by note-taking-social-media-texting-tweeting freaks like me. 

But, sadly, she only rippd me right out of my zone of pleasure and flung me into a moment of annoyance and displeasure. Which, I’m sure, was actually the opposite of what she hoped to do.

This Just In:  Every Fan Has Their Own Way of Enjoying a Concert

I tell you this story because you need to know this about your fellow fans.  And I tell you this as a friendly and sincere word of caution. I tell you this because I care about you and your concert experiences. 

We all enjoy live music in different ways.  Some of us write or tweet. Some of us tap our feet and let the inner-mind do the dancing and wiggling. Some of us let loose in all directions and dance, sing or shout to abandon.  And some of us have no idea at all how to handle the social anxieties and rush of excitement that live music creates in us.

Yes, we all need to have our boundaries and comfort zones extended. But let’s not mistake a helping hand tapping on someone’s notepad for a misguiding missile destroying someone else’s enjoyment.  

Again, by all means, talk to your fellow fan, give them a fist bump during a great riff moment, toss them the devil horns when the band is killing it during your favorite song. 

Share a hearty WOOT with everyone else in the venue. Concerts are suppose to places for deep emotional connection with others. It’s why we spend our hard earn cash to see a show. 

But PLEASE don’t push another fan out of their own moment of enjoyment just because it’s not exactly what you think they should be doing.  Because when you do, you’re actually ruining the moment for them. It’s a fine line to walk. I know. 

How are you suppose to know when to say hello or interact with a fellow fan during a concert? 

Well, there are ways. 

I’ve had the pleasure of being asked what I was writing on my notepad by a fan once during a Wilco show and I found out right at that moment that when this fan looked at my notepad it was a life-changing experience for him.  I was honored to be a part of such a sacred moment for a fellow fan (I’m still amazed that my notepad scribblings can have such an impact on someone).

So when I think of how to interact with fellow fans I think of moments like that. So though it may seem hard and difficult to know when we should tap a fellow friend on the shoulder and “interrupt” their moment of pleasure.  But I know we can do it.  It really just takes what I call “common concert sense.”  I know we may not all have the same amount of “common concert sense” but I’d like to believe that we all have enough to know what to do when we see a fellow fan enjoying the show in a different way than us.

Silly actions couldn’t steal this show

Luckily, the Tapping-On-My-Notepad-Lady didn’t ruin the whole show.  It only caused a brief moment of fan-to-fan frustration that quickly passed once I moved away from the fan. And I was able to purge some of my frustration by tweeting this fan’s silly actions. 

Then I relied on Miike Snow  to take care of the rest.  And they did by putting on a great show that was a fabulous mix of terror and ecstasy.

Check out the videos below on the Live Fix YouTube Channel to see how it went. I did some experiments with light, sound and pleasure.  You’ll also see how I was part of a pre-Halloween fright rock intro.

Download Miike Snow via Miike

Where you at this Miike Snow show? 

Has a fellow fan ever ripped you from a moment of pleasure?

Photo by Colleen Catania

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Chicago Public Library Sound Off: People's Choice Awards

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The fan to artist transformation is in full effect.

The Chicago Public Library Sound Off Music Contest is in the voting stage for the People’s Choice Awards (Sept 27-Oct 3) and there are a lot of great and inspiring entries. The contestants  have all found a way to uniquely express their love for Chicago by repping all the myriad personalities and flavors of the Windy City in lyric, beat and rhyme.

I’ve been really inspired by all the entries, especially local emcee Psalm One’s “My Bucket Song” and Shawn Pennington’s “Doors Closing.”  Both songs each put a unique spin on riding The “El” train through Chicago’s neighborhoods.  

Show your love for the Chicago Public Library and Chi-city and vote for your favorite entries.  And I’ll keep you updated on who wins the right to perform as the opening act at the upcoming Sound Off headline event.

If you entered the contest drop a comment and tell me about your experience.

If you’ve voted tell me what you think about the entries.

Oh, and if don’t already have one…GO get yourself a Chicago Public Library card today!

UPDATE 10-4:

10 Sound Off Contest Finalists announced here.

 People’s Choice Award Winner announced here.

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more about “CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY“, posted with vodpod
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Experiencing Grief, Joy and Community in Live Music

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Two things have been brewing in my mind lately.

1) The Community of Cathartic Mourning

and

2) Building Relationships in Live Music

The Community of Cathartic Mourning

A good friend of my wife and I shared this Bonnie Raitt Star Tribune review with me a few weeks ago (the video above is one she excitedly posted on Facebook before the concert).

I share this review with you because it was one of my favorite reviews I’ve read this year.  And when I finished reading the review I thought about something very important that happened to me when our friend sent me the link.

My life changed.

I was transported straight to the heart of Raitt’s palpable concert atmosphere.

I read the review and I felt rushes of  joy, sadness, hope and an overwhelming sense of cathartic connectedness with the fans at the concert that captured the essence of live blues so beautifully. And this review represented one of the aspects of live music I love the most:

I love how live music can be an unexpected yet appropriate environment for group mourning (just like it was for fans at Rock the Bells after Michael Jackson died).

And it goes both ways.

Because live music can be just as cathartic for the artists as it can be for the fans.

The review writer/reporter, Jon Bream, didn’t say it overtly, but because of the way he wrote the review and captured the emotional intensity of the moment, I could feel that he too was traveling through and expressing his own version of cathartic mourning.  I could feel the emotion in the words as he took me step by step through the emotional progression of the show.

And the progression allowed me to travel though my own internal emotions from the past.

As I read the review, I recalled similar emotionally intense situations were I’ve been ambushed by grief at concerts. One that always stands out is Lollapalooza 2007,  where I unexpectedly mourned a friend who died.  That friend loved Modest Mouse and specifically their song Float On. During that song I welled up and had a moment of grief that was unexpected and somewhat undesired (like most of us I’m still working on expressing sadness and grief among strangers).

When you read the Lolla 2007 review you’ll see that I didn’t mention the Modest Mouse moment because I wasn’t quite sure how to make it appropriate for the review.

But nonetheless that moment was good for me.

And I’ll never forget that moment.  Ever.

Judging by Bream’s review, I imagine Raitt did her own mourning during the show as she mourned her brother Steve who recently died of cancer.

And I know, too, by reading the fan comments after the review, that other fans at the show were mourning in a similar way like I did at Lollapalooza 2007.

Which brings me to my second reason for this post: connecting with others during the live music experience.

Building Relationships in Live Music

Recently my friend Benjamin Slayter–who I had the pleasure of meeting at Rothbury this summer–asked me in a Facebook comment how I write my live concert reviews. This was the first time any body had ever asked me.  It was a honor to answer Benjamin’s questions and a pleasure to share what I’ve learned about writing live music reviews. So I gave him a short version of my approach which led me to write a more fleshed out and formal rundown that I’ll be sharing with you in a future post.

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The reason I mention Ben’s request is because meeting him at Rothbury was one of many relationships and connections I’ve made over the last year with other music writers, photographers, business owners and fans. And lately, I’ve been really excited as I think about how cool it is when relationships and community can be built because of live music.

So what I did was compile a list of people I’ve connected with over this last year or so because of live music.  The list is in no particular order and is a mix of artists I’ve interviewed on-site; writers and photographers I’ve met and had great chats with in the media tent; vendors and PR I’ve connected with at concerts. I’ve included links to their online work so you too can enjoy their words, music, photos, businesses and daily experiences as much as I have.

If I’ve forgotten anybody I do apologize. It’s not because I’m a jerk. It’s because I suffer from the occasional brain fart. So by all means feel free to send along your link so I can add it to this post.

As always,  thanks for reading. And I hope to see you at a show, or talk live music with you very soon!

Ann Teliczan: photographer, artist at Michigan Sweet Spot

Greame Flegenheimer: writer at Brooklyn Vegan

Mike: writer, editor at Sound Citizen

Garret Woodward: writer at State of Mind and RFW

Jesse Borrell: writer at  Jam Base

The crew at Rock for Kids

Lewis Cooper: writer, photographer at Gonzo Shots

Photographer Leigh Ann Hines

The crew Arts of Life

Dan Hyman writer at Popmatters

Jules Esh at Earphoria

Chicago emcee, producer, activist, poet Jessica Disu (AKA FM Supreme)

Jamie Ludwig: editor, writer at Alarm Press

Jen Cray: writer, photographer & editor at Ink19

Steve Wienberger: author of No Air Guitar Allowed

Chicago producer and beatmaker Radius

The crew at Pitch Perfect PR

The crew at Madison House

Sgt Tibs at GoWhereHipHop

Scott Legato: photographer at RockStarProPhotography

The Crew at Future of Music Coalition

Ben Ratliff: writer at New York Times

S.D. Green:  writer, editor at Ink19

Eric Mueller: Pirates Press

The Crew at Cornerstone Promotions

Drew Fortune: writer, editor at Popmatters

The Crew at Open Books

emcee, poet, activist Saul Williams

Ben Slayter: photographer, designer

Lily: Director of Popmurals.com

David Miller: writer, editor at Matador Travel

Photographer: Anthony Nowack

Dean Budnick: writer, editor at Relix Magazine

Janine Pumilia: writer, editor at Northwest Quarterly

The crew at Live Music Blog

Writer David Shehi

Frank Krolicki writer, blogger at Windy City Rock

Jason Petros editor, writer at Chicago Independent Music Review

The crew at I Pledge Eco

Wolfgang's Vault - Bonnie Raitt Live Concert Recordings

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Will ‘This Is It’ Be a Final Thriller for Jackson Fans?

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Some say that with This Is It Michael Jackson will finally get the silver screen moment he always wanted.

But will it be a concert film he would’ve wanted and one that fans deserve?

It certainly won’t replace what his live concerts were like or what his final tour would’ve been like.

But nonetheless this past weekend tickets for This Is It went on sale for the “two weeks only” theatrical run, with DVDs sales to follow probably in time for the holiday shopping season.

And according to the AP, AEG says the film will clear their name and answer any doubt that the concert promoter was taking advantage of Jackson.

“I think we still are hurt,” Leiweke said. “Some of the things that people have said about us, which are so untrue, this movie’s going to restore his legacy, and prove that we, in fact, gave Michael a second chance here. And an opportunity to make the kind of comeback he was dreaming of. And that we created an environment for him that was probably the best environment that the guy had the last 10 or 15 years of his life. And I’m very proud of the way we treated Michael, and very proud of the partnership that we had with him. And this movie is an opportunity to celebrate that, and we could get past all of the gossip and all of the innuendo.”

But still I wonder…

What kind of concert film will this be?

Will it be a moment of closure for fans or just open more doors of controversy, embarrassement and mourning?

It might clear AEG’s name but will the film help them also recoup costs?

What do you think about  This Is It?

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The Wonderful Beats of Bhangra at Funky Bhudda Lounge

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The atmospheric beauty of DJ Rekha’s set began with sensual Bhangra beats that cultivated in her mind, flowed to her turntables and laptop, and eventually manifested on the dance floor in a hybrid of traditional Indian dancehall and contemporary club grooving. In Chicago’s Smart Bar, located in the basement of the historic Metro rock venue, Basement Bhangra could not have had a better subterranean setting. The Punjabi-hip-hop fusion swirled and percolated, bouncing off the circumference of dimly-lit multi-colored walls and filling bodies with motion.

At first, I watched with grinning pleasure as the waves of dancers were wooed with a buoyant Punjabi-sonic invitation to buck club pretensions and let loose in a flurry of loose-limbed liberation. Hands reached high, almost touching the low hanging ceiling. But it wasn’t long before I had to ditch my pen and pad and join in. And, as the set carried on into the early hours of Friday morning, I wondered, especially in a venue called Smart Bar, why all learning experiences couldn’t be like this.

That was a snippet from my review in 2008 when I got lost in the swirling live show of  DJ Rekha at Smart Bar in Chicago.

And recently I dove once again into another fantastic night of Bhangra beats and rhythms courtesy of local DJ Jimmy Singh who worked the decks and band Funkadesi who sent the crowd into a frenzy at Funky Bhudda Lounge.  That night the same feelings and sensations returned from 2008 as I stood inches away from my favorite Bhangra instrument the Dhol: the key instrument that gives Bhangra music its polyrhythmic pulsing dancehall pleasure vibe.  The video above shows Funkadesi mixing vintage Bhangra beats with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama.  And somehow they pulled it off!

If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy a live Bhangra show before, and you love to dance, I encourage you to keep your eye out for the next Bhangra night at your local club.

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The Secrets to Oprah’s Kickoff Party Flash Mob Dance

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What’s bigger than Chicago, bigger than the Black Eyed Peas and bigger than Oprah?

The collective ripple effect of thousands of “Joy Ambassadors” dancing in downtown Chicago during a Black Eyed Peas concert.

Like the rest of Chicago, I was amazed when I saw it (see above video).  And usually mobs are angry and not this beautiful or inspiring to watch.

But this Flash Mob was swarming and surging for a different purpose.

That said,  I had the chance to speak with my friend Jenny Schmidtz who was in the Flash Mob Dance for Oprah’s 24th season Kickoff Party in downtown Chicago. Jenny has practiced various forms of dance for several years so she was kind enough to take some time to talk about her passion for dance and training for the Oprah Flash Mob Dance.

Jenny did a great job of explaining how we as fans all have the power to spread joy during concerts via a contagious “ripple effect.”  She also explained how she was inspired and what it felt like to be in the swarming the mob that looked more like a fantastic pulsing organism of communal celebration.

And though this Dance was expertly choreographed by the same team that did the T-Mobile Flash Mob, the footage of the Oprah Flash Mob still reminds me of  watching the phenomenon of the Dancing Guy.

This 3 Part video interview with Jenny is a first for Live Fix. And I hope to do more video interviews with other fans and artists.  The interview took place on the streets of Chicago so I hope you enjoy it as Jenny tells her Inside the Mob story.

Giving the Black Eyed Peas Another Chance

After the interview I gained a new perspective on the Black Eye Peas latest album THE E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies).  I’ve haven’t been crazy about “Boom Boom Pow” but I after talking with Jenny I have better idea of what the song “I’ve Gotta Feeling”  can do to a live crowd. So I’ll give the BEPs another chance because I think it must’ve been so hard to wait your turn to dance during the Flash Mob and not be instantly under the influence of the individual.

This interview was lots of fun and special thanks to my wife Colleen who became a videographer for the first time and did a great job!

Part One is below and you can check out Parts 2 & 3 on the Live Fix YouTube Channel.  I invite you to subscribe as I’ll be adding more videos in the coming weeks.

Were you in the Flash Mob?

What did you think when you saw it?

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Live Preview: Miike Snow, Bell X1 in Chicago

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It’s Friday! And that means it’s time for live music!

Well, tonight will be quite the night (should everything go as planned) because we’ll be heading to review both Bell X1 and Miike Snow  in the same night. How exactly are we going to accomplish this?  That’s a good question. I’m not quite sure but I know that we’ll figure it out and enjoy ourselves in the process and, hopefully,  avoid any physiological  burnout.

Bell X1

Earlier I shared with you how the lyrics to Bell X1’s “How Your Heart Is Wired” does a beautiful job of illustrating lyrically how our minds and hearts work together to impact our emotions.  I’ve loved Bell x1’s latest album Blue Lights on the Runway and I’m hoping that tonight will add even more emotional depth and meaning to the songs as I soak up the songs in a live setting. 

Miike Snow

Animal.  Dancing. My wife. Colleen has been playing Miike Snow’s  “Animal” nonstop for weeks and I know she’s looking forward to photographing Miike Snow’s live show tonight. 

I’m pumped too because I know the urge to dance should be tops on the fan’s list of urges once the music starts. And it seems that other Chicagoans are pumped too because both shows at the Empty Bottle (we’re catching the late show) are sold out.  Will I be influenced by others?  Will there be one dancing  guy who starts it all?

Live Fix Experiment

I’ll be doing another intense exciting super duper fantastic and amazing Live Fix Experiment tonight, so be sure to tweet in during the show at @chriscatania 

And please use the hashtag #LFEXP if you plan on tweeting along.

Well, kids.  It’s time for the weekend.   And if you’re at either show be sure to stop and say hello.  I’d love to chat with you.

 

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