He Was There: The Amazing Concert Adventures of Eric “Nihilist” Kolkey


You’re in for a special treat my friends. Because, during this episode of Live Fix Radio, we’ll journey through the amazing concert adventures of Eric “Nihilist” Kolkey. So buckle up and get ready for a wild ride as we explore Kolkey’s pioneering days promoting and celebrating Chicago’s legendary punk scene, discover his sensual rituals at Vivian Girls shows and relive a terrifying “Gaga moment” at Lollapalooza 2010.

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Show Notes:

  • Segment two (15:20): Feeling the speakers and being completely addicted to Vivian Girls.
  • Segment three (24:46): Captivated by Alice Cooper’s “Nightmare”, remembering Chicago’s historic punk scene and what most people don’t know about California punk rock fans.
  • Segment four (54:49): Why Lady Gaga is punk and how Eric survived her epic stage dive at Lollapalooza 2010.
Music played during the show
  • Vivian Girls – “Can’t Get Over You” & “Walking Alone at Night”
  • Alice Cooper –  “Welcome to My Nightmare”
  • Jesus Lizard – “Puss” Live at Pitchfork 2009
  • Jimmy Skafish – “Disgracing the Family Name”
  • Shrapnel – “Combat Love”


Share Your Story

What are your favorite punk rock moments? What’s your scariest concert experience? Got a question about a topic we talked about during the show? Share your concert experiences and thoughts about this podcast in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Preview: Art Brut Gets Clever, Clever at Double Door

Art Brut Brillant Tragic

Art Brut Brillant Tragic

What will happen at the Double Door tonight in Chicago? Will Art Brut live up to the expectations that have been brewing and growing and building in my head ever since their new album Brilliant! Tragic! (iTunes) first began to woo me silly like a good album should? Will Eddie Argos and his nifty upstart punk band take fans on a tragically wild ride of rock and pleasure?

Well, I should hope so. That is the purpose of live music, right?

And I’m sure it will be a very fun time at the Double Door this evening at 9pm.

I’m confident of this because right from the get-go this solid fourth album put a massive smile on my face with its excellent lead track “Clever Clever Jazz” that includes an exciting exploration of a very crucial part of the live music experience – the pre-show. And Eddie and company do it real good by piling on a whole lotta wit and cunning humor and mixing in a much appreciated tragic love story.

You can see what I mean and rock your brains out with the track below. And make sure to check back for a full review very soon – that is, of course, if we survive the show.

MP3:Clever Clever Jazz

Art Brut on Tour in June

6/15 – Chicago at Double Door
6/16 – Cleveland at Beachland Ballroom
6/17 – Toronto at Mod Club
6/18 – Montreal at Il Motore
6/20 – Boston at Brighton Music Hall
6/22 – DC at Black Cat
6/23 – Brooklyn at Music Hall Williamsburg

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Explore This: New “Chicago Rocks” Music Tour

Phil Rockrohr Chicago Rocks Tour

Phil Rockrohr Chicago Rocks Tour

We’ve got an exclusive interview with Phil Rockrohr, a fellow concert fan and the man behind Chicago Rocks: 1980-2002, a new music tour that takes you on a wild ride to discover Chicago’s historic recording roots and celebrated music venues.

Yes, my friends, that’s right! We have a treat for you today with a special bonus episode of Live Fix Radio.

I met with Phil on stage at Metro in Chicago to talk about his inspirations for creating the tour, a live memorable “Material Issue” moment, and why the celebrated label and record store Wax Trax! records, that introduced Ministry and other bands to the music world, plays a pivotal role in the history of Metro. A history, by the way, which is being celebrated this weekend.

Tunes from the Tour and Podcast

While you cruise around on the tour bus, Phil, who’s also a former Chicago musician, plays DJ and shares classic tracks with you as he explains the backstory of the tour’s sites and stops.

I included a few of the tour tunes below, plus a few extra tunes I included in the show. Here’s my interview with Phil and a listing of the music from the show:

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“Elephant’s Graveyard” — Strike Under

“Can’t Stand It” — Wilco

“Valerie Loves Me” – Material Issue

“Everyday is Halloween” — Ministry

“Stigmata” (Live) — Ministry

“Cherub Rock” — Smashing Pumpkins

Our Punk Rock Exploration Continues

Another part I loved about the tour was how part of it takes you to locations mentioned in “You Weren’t There,” a film that chronicles punk rock history from 1977-1984. And together the tour and the movie are an excellent continuation to our ongoing exploration of the punk rock history of Chicago.

Get a Sneak Peak
We’ve also got an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peek video below of the Metro part of the tour, which includes info about a secret performance spot at Metro. And you can check out more tour photos on Colleen’s Flickr page.

“Chicago Rocks” Tour Info:
The tour costs $28 (must be 21 or older), runs on Saturdays from 3-6p.m., and it takes off at Schubas Tavern (3159 N. Southport). You can sign up for the next tour at chicagorockstour.com

Thanks again to Phil for inviting us out on the tour and if you’ve been on the tour or have any questions about it, post your comments and suggestions below.

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My Quest Continues: Re-Discovering Chicago Hardcore


Norwood Park Allstars Cobra LoungeFor the last several months I’ve been doing some heavy research in to Chicago’s early to late 80’s hardcore scene. If you’re new to this era and genre you can check out some of my favorite bands like the Effigies and this Punk database to get an idea of what other bands were a part of the scene.

But I wanted to find more than what I had already read about and listened to.

I wanted to know more about a very obscure era that I began to hear about as my research unfolded.

I wanted to learn more about a specific group of bands that seemed to lack an extensive historical record or live show documentation.

I wanted to learn more about the bands of the NORCORE era.
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RIP Jay Reatard: A Special Note For Live Music Fans


I have some sad news to share with you. As Pitchfork reports, garage-punk rocker Jay Reatard died in his sleep early Wednesday morning due to unknown causes.

Whenever a musician dies I always feel weird writing about or calling attention to it.  I’m reluctant to blog about it because it makes other deaths seems less important or significant in some way.
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Jay Reatard Fans Rush Stage, Rock Comments



Have you left a comment after a live review since we discussed Jesus Lizard lead singer David Yow’s painful crowd-surfing incident?

If you haven’t, don’t worry. 

Because I found another one to inspire you.

But this time the concert drama comes from Emo’s in Austin, TX.

It’s not surprising that another punk-rocker, Jay Reatard, is involved.

Like Yow getting injured while stage-diving, getting into fights with fans onstage is not out of the ordinary for Reatard either.

But where things get interesting is in the fan comments after the review. 

I say this because the fans responded in a way that not only added to the concert’s dramatic storyline.

But the comments also entertainingly captured the essence of punk rock culture.  I loved how each fan speaks their mind providing solid commentary and context explaining Reatard’s infamous live show reputation. Heck, if you wanted to, you might even be able to take the fan comments and turn them into punk rock lyrics.

What Happened at Emo’s?

According to the Austin 360 report, Jay Reatard played a “40 minute” set that was “too short” for two fans who charged Reatard after he ended his set.

Patrick Caldwell’s review put me right in the middle of the action and made me remember crazy punk shows I’ve been to. I also enjoyed how Caldwell paints the scene and speaks his mind on the whole incident. And even takes some heat in the comments. I feel ya bro.

And make sure you check out the fan comments. They’re classic. And they come fast and furious, just like a punk rock show!

I’ve included two of my favorites after this review/report snippet.

“While the set had all the makings of a fun night of pop-punk, it was sadly abridged at only 40 minutes — less than the opening performance by Austin’s own Harlem — after two rowdy fans attacked Reatard on-stage shortly after he announced he was playing the night’s final song. He retaliated by swinging his microphone stand and departed mid-song, giving the at-times rambunctious audience the finger as he exited the stage. There was to be no encore — the lights went up and the PA music kicked in as the two intruding fans were arrested by police outside the club’s Sixth Street entrance.

It was a good show — while it lasted. And Reatard can’t be held responsible for violent fans. But at less than 45 minutes and with a buzzkill of an ending, it’s hard to regard the night as anything more than an initially promising disappointment. That’s the sad thing about punk rock — sometimes the anger overtakes the fun and an audience walks away let down. With a too-short set and a combative ending, Reatard’s Wednesday night show ultimately felt less like a satisfactory set from a skilled player and more like a sad tease of the fun evening that might have been.”

 And here are two of my favorite fan comments:

1) “buzzkill of an ending?” man, talk about blaming the victim. Last night was by far the longest set Jay Reatard has played in Austin, which isn’t super newsworthy except Caldwell seems to imply the brevity of the set somehow mitigates the actions of “two rowdy fans”. The real story here is that Jay Reatard was subject to an unprovoked, attempted assault by two audience members. If the ending was a trifle “combative” for Caldwell’s tastes, let’s see how well he functions if someone tries to punch him in the face while he’s typing.

2) “duration of show does not equal how good it is, just think phish plays for 3 hours, see my point?”

So now that I’ve equipped you with TWO excellent examples, I besheech you fellow concert fan…

Go to the show…rock…and post comments!

Photos courtesy of  Austin 360

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