Metro is pleased to welcome Tinariwen to our stage on Friday, November 25, 2011. Tickets are on sale now at the Metro Box Office and online at www.metrochicago.com and www.etix.com.

Formed in the 1970s by a young member of the Touareg rebel movement near Mali, Tinariwen was comprised of other aspiring musicians with the mission of writing songs about the rebellion and the aspirations of the Touareg people, and distribute the songs for free to anyone who had an empty cassette. The cassettes were taken back to camps and villages throughout the Sahara, and shortly thereafter the rebellion began, some say inspired by the music of this collective. After a short military life, the members of the band went back to being musicians and led relatively quiet lives. In 2001, they reunited to play the Festival In The Desert, and soon they were touring internationally.

Initially lauded by the world music scene and by African music aficionados, Tinariwen’s magic quickly began to work on those with little previous interest in those areas. The guitar licks, the grungy grimy desert sound, the arcane yet effortless rhythms, the striking turbans and robes, the wild rebel iconography, the scintillating exoticism of Kalashnikovs and Stratocasters, the glimpsed power of their poetry, so strange and yet somehow so thrillingly familiar…it all synched in with a general fatigue amongst adventurous pop and rock fans, exasperated with endless young drum-bass-and-two-guitars, indi-rock bands. Since then, the band has played hundreds of shows and released four albums, and is known and appreciated all over the globe.

The celebrated band is now on tour in North America in support of their powerful new album entitled Tassili in stores now. On their latest, the renowned “Touareg” band returned to the essence of their hypnotic desert blues sound. Recorded in the South-Eastern Algerian desert, the band is joined by Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio. Later on, virtuoso guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco) and the horns of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band contributed. The result is a simultaneously exotic and accessible sound that has garnered the group rave reviews. The band was profiled recently in the New York Times and Tassili debuted on the Billboard Top 200 its first week out and is currently #1 on the CMJ New World Chart.

You can view the group’s latest video for the song “Imidawan Ma Tenam” care of OkayAfrica.com. The clip was shot in Northern Mali and produced and directed by Patrick Votan. The song features guitar from the amazing Nels Cline of Wilco (recorded separately in Chicago) To view just go here!




Due to popular demand, Fitz and the Tantrums will play a third show at Metro! Tickets for the first two shows announced (November 19 and November 20) are already sold out, but fans will have one more opportunity to see the band on Tuesday, November 22, 2011. Tickets to this show will go on sale this Saturday October 22 at noon at the Metro Box Office and online at metrochicago.com and etix.com.

In just a few years, soulsters Fitz and the Tantrums went from the living room to the main stage. Their recipe for meteoric success is six killer musicians, five dapper suits, irresistible songs, some serendipity and one vintage organ. Since their first show at Hollywood’s Hotel Café in December 2008, Fitz and The Tantrums have toured with Maroon 5, played to thousands at Colorado’s world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, shared the stage New Year’s Eve with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and performed on KCRW’s esteemed show, Morning Becomes Eclectic – all this on the strength of their stellar five-song EP, Songs for a Breakup, Vol. 1. For some bands, it takes a lifetime to build this success, but few performers deliver an unrestrained blast of soul-clapping, get-down-on-the-floor, moneymaker shakers like Fitz and the Tantrums. Since the release of their debut full length, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, the troupe is even more poised get down in dancehalls across the universe, and recently played to thousands of adoring fans in Chicago at Lollapalooza.




Smart Bar will ring in 2012 with an all night long event featuring Danny Howells, Justin Long, Nate Manic and Ari Frank on December 31, 2011. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, October 8 at noon at the Metro Box Office and online at smartbarchicago.com.

Ari Frank kicks off the night starting at 10pm. Although born in Chicago, Ari was raised in Southern France and was heavily influenced by French House music throughout his teenage years. As he grew up and returned to Chicago, his two homes became important sources for his musical tastes: both classic and innovative, both sexy and nuanced. Currently, Ari mixes Minimal Tech-House and Funky Deep-House. His DJ sets are driving but warm, creating an atmosphere that is both intense and flirtatious. Ari has performed alongside international talent such as DJ Koze, Art Department, Catz n Dogz, Delano Smith, Lee Foss, Tanner Ross, Norm Talley, and more. His current influences revolve around labels such as Perlon, Suol, Moon Harbour, Oslo, and Crosstown Records

Smart Bar’s own Nate Manic takes the decks next. Nate Manic’s presence on the Midwest dance scene can be described as nothing less than ubiquitous, with hundreds of appearances at the region’s best venues and events over a career spanning over ten years. Always setting high goals and looking to the future, he continues to be a respected member of Chicago and the Midwest’s history with significant contributions to it’s dance community- most recently through his appointment to the position of Music Director for Smart Bar. It is his passion and ear for music that has also led to a minor celebrity status within the regional and national Burning Man contingent as well as invitations to play at these creative and individualistic events throughout the entire Midwest and nation. Able to play many different styles from Downtempo to Techno, he’s had the chance to be on the bill with a wide variety of artists, from Nouvelle Vague and the Dandy Warhols to Kaskade and Juan Atkins, just to name a few.

Justin Long will ring us into 2012 as the night progresses. Born and raised right here in Chicago, Justin’s music is influenced by the sounds of the city. He began DJing as a young man, as well as working at the famous Gramaphone Records. Shortly after selling his own mix tapes, he was asked to DJ at underground parties, guest and resident club spots around Chicago and beyond, alongside DJs he had respected and befriended in the scene. His early performances at Metro along the likes of Daft Punk, Carl Cox, Little Louie Vega and Dave Clark that caught the ear of owner Joe Shanahan. This shortly led to his current exclusive residency at the legendary Smartbar, also birthplace of the .dotbleep laboratory. In the last decade, Justin has played around the world, and began his own label, dotbleep. The label has released notorious names as Derrick Carter, Jacob London, Oliver $, No Ears Dub and Sawtooth Sucka, and has gained much support from DJs across the board of the musical spectrum. Justin’s past collaborations include working with Erik Sativa as the Beat Smugglers, as well as with Dan X under the moniker, No Assembly Firm which produced releases on Cajual, Classic, Junior Boys Own, Robsoul, and Luke Solomon & Derrick Carter’s Music for Freaks. You can catch him monthly at Smartbar Chicago’s .dotbleep!

All the way from the U.K., Danny Howells headlines our New Year’s Eve extravaganza. A man with a passion for all styles of music and a style all his own, Danny Howellls has been criss-crossing the globe for over two decades, delighting dancefloors around the world. Combining cutting edge grooves with crowd pleasing dynamics, Danny connects his audience in a special way, making him one of the hottest DJs in the world. He’s played in the world’s coolest clubs and held residencies at places such as Arc, Ministry of Sound, Twilo, Renaissance, The End, and Bedrock, as well as his own Dig Deeper nights worldwide. In addition to his live DJ sets, he has previously compiled acclaimed mixes for Global Underground’s main series,as well as 24:7 and Nu-Breed Series. He’s also compiled albums for Azuli’s Choice series, as well as albums for Renaissance along with three volumes of his own Nocturnal Frequencies series. As a producer he has been responsible for many stand out tracks, including the timeless Persuasion/Repercussion on Bedrock Records, Breathe on Renaissance Records and Kinkyfunk on Yoshitoshi Records. He also hit the charts in 2004 with the Miami hit Dusk till Dawn, which featured the talents of Dick Trevor and Erire. Danny has also had massive dance-floor success with Deep Dish as “Size DDD” and the Eminem sampling “Nobody Listens To Techno”. In more recent years he has been focusing on original productions for his own Dig Deeper label, the likes of which have been licensed to mix albums by artists such as Juan Maclean on his DJ Kicks album, and Cassy for her recent compilation on Cocoon. On the remix front Danny has previously mixed records such as Roachford’s “Ride The Storm”, Madonna’s “Get Together”, Marco Bailey’s “Smooth Drive”, and Bent’s “Waiting For You”. Other artists that have received the remix treatment include We Deliver, Stryke, International Observer, Robbie Williams, David Morales, BT, Chakra, Coco and Stonebridge, Destiny’s Child and many more, including most recently Felix Da Housecat’s purple tribute, “We All Wanna Be Prince”. Danny’s captivating style and energy make him the perfect DJ to ring in 2012!

Matthew Leone Plays the Metro!


On April 23, Matthew Leone will play the Metro on April 23, 2011. Matthew will join his band Madina Lake onstage! Tickets for this event go on sale this Saturday, March 5th, at Noon.

Last summer, Madina Lake bassist Matthew Leone was hospitalized with severe brain trauma after intervening to stop a woman he passed on the street from being beaten by her husband. Even though the attacker was twice his size, Matthew immediately intervened and managed to subdue the attacker, but as he waited for police to arrive, the attacker suddenly turned on Matthew, beating him severely. Metro hosted a benefit concert for Matthew last summer with the Smashing Pumpkins and Kill Hannah, and the Chicago music community rallied around Matthew and the Leone family. Gradually, in the intervening months, Matthew began to get better, his spirits lifted by the outpouring of love from fans and the music community.

Having not performed together in 10 months, Madina Lake have picked themselves up, dusted off and are ready for battle. Before them lies the release of the new record, Dresden Codex, and the news that two new songs will appear in the final edition of the award winning Guitar Hero franchise. Most of all, the band looks forward to a moment that seemed so far away last summer – their first stateside show back with Matthew, a celebratory performance at their home, the Metro in Chicago on April 23rd.

Saturday, April 23: ON SALE THIS SATURDAY 3/5 @ NOON:
$11 adv. – $13 day of / ALL AGES / Doors: 6:00PM / Show: 6:30PM

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT:Metro Box Office and www.metrochicago.com

Femi Kuti Plays the Metro on April 30th 2011


Femi Kuti and the Positive Force will be performing live on Saturday April 30th at Metro. Tickets are on sale now for this special event.

His records tell the story: After a short spell at Motown, he took on the Afrobeat sound with his first international album in 1998 (Shoki Shoki), before rubbing shoulders with the modern urban style of his American peers such as Mos Def and Common on the album Fight To Win. Returning to Lagos he worked on rebuilding the new Shrine and released an unbelievable live project recorded in the heat of the moment in his own venue (Live at the Shrine, MK2 / 2004). Finally his first studio record only came about in 2008, having found inspiration in Paris. This unanimously celebrated release (Day By Day) was his most successful one.

What was there left for him to accomplish from now on? To complete the cycle, Femi felt he needed to go back to his roots, to the origins of this burning feeling inside him which had fired all his work, and going back to the studio where he had produced his first recordings with his father and his solo album Shoki Shoki. Decca Studio, soon to become Afrodisia Records in the ’70s, was the experimenting ground for most Nigerian masterpieces of the time, including those of Fela. There, he recorded his newest album, Africa For Africa, which will be released April 12.
More than just a simple musician, the 48-year old composer has become a true African Ambassador, in its most honorable sense. Indeed the album recording had to be arranged around his busy schedule. For example, Femi was in Johannesburg to sing for Africa the opening ceremony for the Football World Cup. There he sang one of his hits “Beng Beng Beng”, and took the opportunity to meet a few of the anti-Apartheid heroes. Shortly after, he was heading off to New York to see the famous and very successful Broadway musical about Fela, where he also got to appear on stage, invited by the actors at the end of the show. “It’s truly extraordinary, they really understood my father’s struggle and his mindset. This show has got to travel the world, and come down to the Shrine,” he says naturally.
As Femi travels the world, his Shrine venue still carries the torch week in week out, so much so it has become one of the only last dynamic temples for live African music. Erykah Badu, Damon Albarn, Hugh Masekala have recently made appearances, as have the Lagos Police, who regularly raid the place, picking up and frightening off the local crowd, as they try to close down this highly regarded resistance venue.
Come see the energy of Femi live in Chicago on Saturday April 30 at Metro. Tickets are $25. The show is 18 & over and starts at 9pm.

Saturday, April 30:
$25 / 18 & Over / Doors: 8PM / Show: 9PM

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: Metro Box Office or at www.metrochicago.com

Chris Garneau To Play At Bargemusic On May 21st in New York City

First EVER Non-Classical/Jazz Performance At Brooklyn’s Most Prestigious Chamber Music Venue Sophomore LP EL Radio Out July 7th On Absolutely Kosher Records


 Click Here For More Info On Barge Music
“Since 1977, Bargemusic has presented chamber music in an unlikely and startlingly beautiful venue-a floating barge at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Both established and emerging musicians perform at Bargemusic on a small stage with the dramatic backdrop of the East River and lower Manhattan skyline.”
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Chris Brown’s Arrest

rihanna & chris brown

After being sought by police in connection with an alleged domestic assault, Chris Brown has been charged with one count of making felony criminal threats and released from custody on $50,000 bail. The 19 year old singer was accused of being involved in an altercation with a female victim around 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Police were summoned to an area near Los Angeles’ Hancock Park neighborhood following reports of a violent domestic dispute that escalated when the two parties involved exited their vehicle. Rihanna has reportedly been named as the victim in the Chris Brown felony battery investigation. According to reports, Robyn Fenty was listed in the police report as the complainant; the pop star’s full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. According to TMZ, Brown could face charges of assault with a deadly weapon. No weapons were recovered from the rented Lamborghini Brown was driving at the time of the incident (the car has since been impounded), however the R&B singer is a trained martial artist. Brown turned himself into police at Los Angeles’ Wilshire station shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday night. Both he and Rihanna were scheduled to appear at the Grammy ceremony, where Rihanna was nominated for three awards and Brown for two. After learning of the stars’ cancellations, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences president Neil Portnow stated, “Sure we were disappointed, but it’s live TV, you have to be prepared. We’re very nimble.” Justin Timberlake and Al Green helped fill in for Rihanna’s nixed performance.

The news sent shockwaves through the Staples Center as Grammy attendees slowly received word of Brown’s arrest. When asked if this incident sounds like Chris Brown to him, rapper David Banner told says, “No, not at all. One situation doesn’t define a man and I really want Americans to stop doing that to people. As humans, none of us is perfect.”

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