Chicago contingent heading to Strasbourg, France

Mike Musikanto, Ami Saraiya and Julia Klee are heading to Strasbourg, France as part of the Strasbourg-Chicago exchange, also known as Transatlantic Nights. Nick will join the expedition to make sure everybody comes back.

Full Strasbourg schedule:
5/24 – Arrive in Strasbourg
5/25 – Le Quai’son – Nancy, FR
5/27 – Medienfestival – Tubingen, DE
5/29 – Cafe des Anges – Strasbourg, FR
5/30 – Artichaut – Strasbourg, FR
5/31 – Cine’ma Star – Strasbourg, FR
6/1 – Club Laterie – Strasbourg, FR
6/2 – Leave Strasbourg

RECAP: Jon Drake & The Shakes at The Double Door

Time Out Chicago, Music. Defined., and Southside on the Town had some nice things to say about Jon Drake & The Shakes’ album release party at Chicago’s Double Door last Friday. Here are some kind words from Time Out:

“Drake is a beastly frontman, sweating out beer and staring intensely into the crowd like a plaid-clad Keith Morris. His band is almost too much talent for one stage, utilizing strings and horns in a way that never seems excessive or pretentious. It helps that they’re all dancing, too. I hate to classify a band when its music is this fun, so let’s call it celebratory. The compositions are brilliantly intricate, but once your feet start to move, all the parts meld into one ecstatic blend of peer pressure: Drink, dance, and be merry. Jon Drake & the Shakes want nothing more from its audience.” – Time Out Chicago

If you weren’t in Chicago for the party, you can still pre-order Dear Ulysses at The Shakes’ Official Website. Dear Ulysses will be available on May 29 via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, EMusic and the rest of your favorites.

Mike Musikanto adds more US tour dates

Mike Musikanto has added a handful of dates to his stateside agenda. Here’s the updated itinerary (new shows in bold):

5/19 – Schuba’s – Chicago, IL (with Truth and Salvage Co.)
5/22 – Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO (with Hoots and Hellmouth)

5/25 – Quai Son – Nancy, France
5/27 – Medienfestival (Germany) Leibnizhaus Stage – Tübingen, Germany
5/29 – Cafe Des Anges – Strasbourg, France
5/30 – Artichaut – Strasubourg, France
5/31 – Cine’ma Star – Strasbourg, France
6/1 – Club Laiterie – Strasbourg, France
6/4 – L’entrepot – Paris, France
6/9 – Il Banco – Sabato Zoagli, Italy
6/11 – Loggia de Banchi – Lunedì la Spezia, Italy
6/12 – Articioc – Martedì Montirone, Italy
6/13 – Vinerita – Mercoledì Aosta, Italy
6/14 – Nidaba – Giovedì Milano, Italy
7/19 – Trocodero – Milwaukee, WI
7/20 – UMS Festival – Denver, CO
7/21 – Square Roots Festival – Chicago, IL

Jon and Ellis from The Shakes on WXRT’s Local Anesthetic

Jon and Ellis were featured on tonight’s Local Anesthetic with Richard Milne. Click here if you missed it. Jon Drake & The Shakes will celebrate the release of Dear Ulysses this Friday at the Double Door.

Milne had this to say about the new album:

“Rich and rewarding songwriting is the order of the day on the band’s debut Dear UlyssesJon Drake’s tenor rings pure on most tunes but there’s some artful panning and double tracking on a few tunes that help him cut even closer to the bone.
Jon’s not afraid to get up his subject’s face just a bit but only enough to draw the listener in to his indignation. The art of it all comes in to play when you find yourself singing along to whatever it is he’s singing about. At the top of your lungs.”

New tour dates from Musikanto, including his first time in Europe

We’re excited to announce that Musikanto is going to Europe this summer. After a stretch of dates in Kentucky, he’ll jump across the pond as part of the Transatlantic Nights festival (centered around Strasbourg, France), then a handful of shows in Italy. Here are all of the summer dates thus far:

5/7 – Kentucky Theater – Lexington, KY
5/9 – The Basement (w/Truth and Salvage Co.) – Nashville, TN
5/10 – Molly Malone’s – Covington, KY
5/11 – Ferdinand Folk Festival -Ferdinanad, IN
5/12 – Uncle Slayton’s – Louisville, KY
5/25 – Quai Son – Nancy, France
5/27 – Medienfestival (Germany) Leibnizhaus Stage – Tübingen, Germany
5/29 – Cafe Des Anges – Strasbourg, France
5/30 – Artichaut – Strasubourg, France
5/31 – Cine’ma Star – Strasbourg, France
6/1 – Club Laiterie – Strasbourg, France
6/4 – L’entrepot – Paris, France
6/9 – Il Banco – Sabato Zoagli, Italy
6/11 – Loggia de Banchi – Lunedì la Spezia, Italy
6/12 – Articioc – Martedì Montirone, Italy
6/13 – Vinerita – Mercoledì Aosta, Italy
6/14 – Nidaba – Giovedì Milano, Italy
7/19 – Trocodero – Milwaukee, WI

Jon Drake & The Shakes to release Dear Ulysses on May 29





Jon Drake & The Shakes will release their debut album, Dear Ulysses, on May 29. Pre-order the CD and get an immediate download of the single, “Charlie,” as well as a bonus track that you can’t get anywhere else. The band will celebrate in Chicago a little early on May 11, and the band will hit the road in the summer.

Stream four songs from the album at

JD&TS AlbumArt SquareCoverFinal 300dpi Jon Drake & The Shakes to release Dear Ulysses on May 29

Jeremy David Miller – Lepus – Out Now

Jeremy David Miller says it has taken him 30 years to write his first record, Lepus. Thirty years of learning wordplay, thirty years of melding melodies, thirty years of observing. Now as Miller steps up to the mic he is ready to pronounce, “I am here and this is what I’m saying.”

We at the Grape Juice camp are very excited to see this album come to fruition. Jeremy has been part of the Grape Juice family for a few years now, and this album puts the spotlight right where it should be: on Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy. The combination of charisma and storytelling prowess is unparalleled these days, with more and more musicians putting the business before the craft. Miller has not forgotten the craft, and today we salute him and his songs.

Preview and purchase the album at iTunes, where the album has also been featured on their New and Noteworthy releases for Singer/Songwriters.


Jeremy David Miller Lepus 540x537 Jeremy David Miller   Lepus   Out Now


Jon Drake & The Shakes head to Des Moines and Rochester

Look out Iowa and Minnesota! Jon Drake & The Shakes are bringing their folk-pop carnival of sound from Chicago to Des Moines on Friday, April 6th to play at Gas Lamp along with Rebel Creek and Mumfords. Then on Saturday, April 7th they will be in Rochester, MN to play a free show at Kathy’s Pub! Click here for more details:

Musikanto in a barber shop for Red Eye at SXSW

Walking around SXSW can be pretty hectic, and when you’re looking for a quiet place to record a song with just a voice and an acoustic guitar, you can probably imagine the difficulty. Musikanto and Red Eye had to get creative when they met up for a session in Austin, but they were eventually able to find a quiet barber shop on the east side of town. Here’s Musikanto performing “Every Which Way” in said barber shop.

Catch Musikanto on tour this week:

3/21 @ Case University, Cleveland, OH w/Ezra Furman

3/22 @ Chicago Live, Piper’s Alley, Chicago, IL w/Buddy Guy

3/23 @ Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO w/Jackopierce

3/24 @ SPACE, Evanston, IL w/Jackopierce


Grape Juice at SXSW

If you’re in Austin, come to Lovely Boutique to say hi.

Grape Juice Records, Township Records and Stic of the Week Present:


Thursday, March 15

At Lovely Boutique

1506 South 1st Street  Austin, TX 78704

2:00pm Musikanto

2:45pm Joanna Barbera

3:30pm Danny Malone

4:15pm Holiday

5:00pm J Wesley Haynes Trio

5:45pm Moon Furies

6:30pm The Courtsey Tier

7:15pm Fort Frances


The MPLS Henrys hit the studio

The MPLS Henrys are in the studio for the first time in over two years. They are at Strobe this weekend, once again enlisting the help of producer/engineer Vince Casamatta (Vince also recorded the Henrys’ debut, “The Way of the Albatross”). The Henrys plan to record three songs. We’re told those songs are called “Echoes,” “Halfway to Tijuana” and “The Ballad of Skinny J.” If you’ve seen them live in the past six months, then you’ve definitely heard these songs and are probably just as excited as we are to hear them. We’ll keep you posted on what happened in the studio, meanwhile, here’s photographic proof that Jai and Brandon still don’t know when to stop singing:


Jai Brandon Studio 1 466x350 The MPLS Henrys hit the studio

Windy City Winter Ball Wrap-Up

Thanks to everyone that came out to the Fourth Annual Windy City Winter Ball. We had a blast, and it was awesome to see so many people dressed up this year. Glitterguts has posted the photos from the evening here. There are lots of awesome outfits to check out, better start now. Just in case you missed the Best Dressed festivities, here’s a recap:



BD1 F Ashley Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up






















BD2 F Megan Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up


Leah (pictured with NOT Best Dressed Scott Henry of The Minneapolis Henrys)

BD3 F Leah Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up


And the winner…


BD Winner Miranda Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up




BD2 Patrick Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up


Our very own: Jai Henry

BD1 Jai Henry 526x350 Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up


Joe (pictured with female winner, Miranda)

BD3 Joe 526x350 Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up


And the winner…


BD Winner Nick Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up

(All photos above by Glitterguts. (c) 2012. All rights reserved.)


Thanks to Pet Lions, Brighton, MA, Briar Rabbit, and Ben Keeler and the 500 Club for a night of awesome music.

Brighton, MA

IMG 4149 e1331332576998 Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up



Briar Rabbit

IMG 4136 525x350 Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up



Ben Keeler

IMG 4077 525x350 Windy City Winter Ball Wrap Up


(Band photos by Taikera Conyers. (c) 2012. All rights reserved.)

(If you have any photos of Pet Lions, please email them to

Musikanto at Subterranean with Chaperone

Musikanto and Chaperone will share the stage at Subterranean this evening. Go to this show for a raucous good time. Musikanto has put together quite a slick backing band for this evening, we’re very excited.

Musikanto’s backing band will feature:
Will Phalen (of Will Phalen)
Brian Morrissey (of The Dirty Pigeons)
Mark Zoller (of Go Long Mule)





This week in Chicago shows

Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel fame plays two sold out shows at the Athenaeum Theater, 2/6 – 2/7.

On Monday (2/6), Stolen Silver kick of their residency at Schuba’s with Julie Meckler and Ami Saraiya.

Next weekend is a Grape Juice double-header at Burlington:

Geronimo, Inspector Owl and Deserters on Friday

The Kickback, Dirty Pigeons and Kerosene Stars on Saturday.

Rambos will release Rock and Roll Monsters March 6

It’s finally here. The debut album from Rambos is here.

Rock and Roll Monsters
Out March 6

Rambos Rock and Roll Monsters FINAL Rambos will release Rock and Roll Monsters March 6

1. Terrorize
2. Rock and Roll
3. Human Monsters
4. Radio
5. Hiyawatha
6. Chuck Taylors
7. USA
8. Vampire
9. Nothin’ to Say
10. Poet Murders


RIP Etta James

One of the most beautiful voices of all time, she will be missed.

New (to us) music: Archie Powell and the Exports

Got a tip from Brandon Stein (of the MPLS Henrys) back when he was galavanting around the CMJ Marathon in October. His text read something along the lines of: “Dude, this band Archie Powell and the Exports is f#!%ing awesome.” I new I had heard the name around Chicago, so I decided to check them out. It’s always refreshing to hear a poppy band that still knows how to be creative. It’s straight-ahead rock and roll, and it has me really excited for their next album. Here’s the official video for “Skip Work” from 2010:

Very excited: Dr. Dog @ The Vic

Dr. Dog is releasing a new album called BE THE VOID (ANTI-) on February 7 and they’re taking to the road in celebration. We’ll be checking them out when they play the Vic in Chicago on February 18th. Here’s the video for “That Old Black Hole,” the lead single from the album.

This week in Chicago shows

We go to a lot of shows, so we thought we’d start sharing which ones we’re planning on hitting up.

1/17 Pomegranates at Schuba’s
Gotta love Pomegranates. So refreshing and full of antioxidants!
Pomegranates – “Create Your Own Reality” by Afternoon Records


1/18 Summer Girlfriends, Damon and Whitney of E+ at Beat Kitchen
What could be better than a band consisting of 5 girls who know how to rock? Yep, that’s right, nothing.


1/19 Dastardly at Lincoln Hall
Dastardly are releasing their second album, and celebrating at Lincoln Hall with Brighton MA and Santah. Check out Dastardly’s session with Audiotree:


1/21 Grape Juice Presents: Jaime Rojo, Geoff Dolce and The Thin Man at The Burlington
Talent runs in the Drake family. Jim Drake (yep, Jon Drake’s brother) heads up Jaime Rojo, a rock and roll band with great songs and a live show that started great and keeps getting better.

New(ish) Chicago venue: Pancho’s in Logan Square

As Logan Square continues its rise, Pancho’s has officially joined the party. Pancho’s has been hosting music for a while now, but Brian Peterson of mP Shows and Tamiz Haiderali (formerly of Treat restaurant in Humboldt Park) have recently bought the place, which brings a new and exciting venue/bar/restaurant to the neighborhood. We’re very excited to see what they do with the place. There’s no doubt that the food will be amazing, and they’re already sporting some of the best drink specials in town. Add live music to the mix and it turns out that this place can’t really go wrong. Check out their lineup of shows here.