Equalizer Showcase, Darkroom, Chicago 7/16/08 KEXP Listener Party with Catfish Haven, Au & Sleep Out

review by Mike Turner
photos by Jeremy Farmer

Hi folks, I’m going to keep this short since you all might be sick to death of hearing from us out here in Chicago by now. I don’t want to run the risk of over exposure after six days of extensive KEXP coverage from “The Great Midwest” (actually no one really calls it that here) and ruin the chances that you will come visit me just cuz I’m all played out like The Jonas Brothers. I do, however, feel obligated to report to you at least a little bit on the extra special auxiliary Equalizer show that we were treated to last week in honor of John and Cheryl’s annual visit to Chicago and the first official birthday party for Equalizer! Yeah, that’s one ugly toddler but it’ll be a tough kid. For you knit-pickers, YES officially the one year mark was reached in June but Equalizer said it wanted to wait on the party until John Richards could administer that single stinging spank in person. Just imagine that for a moment will you? Got it in your brain? Good, because we weren’t able to get that moment on film... you can all relax now.

KEXP, Goose Island 312unes.com and the Chicago Reader came together one more time then usual this month -- and on a Wednesday of all days, -- to give us the added Equaliciousness of: Catfish Haven, Portland Oregon’s own Au, and Sleep Out. If you are thinking “holy crap-balls, that sounds like a helluva show!” then you my friend are correct but now take a deep breath and consider this: IT WAS A FREE SHOW! If you missed it, exhale into the bag. Yep, to say thank you to all of the loyal KEXP fans out here in Chicago who do so much to support the station all year, this free kick ass Equalizer line-up on the first night of the Chicago broadcast was a show of appreciation. It appeared by the jam-packed attendance last Wednesday that people felt pretty appreciated. All three bands tore the roof off of darkroom in front of an energetic and loaded pre Pitchfork crowd of music troops. DJ’s Johnny Kesh and Mikey Dance Panther played their finest assortment of imported MP3′s and they even handed out a couple of pairs of 3-day passes for Pitchfork to some lucky winners without being total dicks about it. It was quite a night from what I can remember.


If you were listening to the live in-studio broadcasts from Engine studios last week then you will be already quite familiar with Sleep Out and Au and you don’t need me ruining them for you with my far-flung comparisons. I really only watch the Disney Channel these days now anyway (shit’s addictive!) so I sort of draw all my parallels to what I see there. Not just for music either, with everything.... seriously. My cable was out last week though so I went to Engine, darkroom and Pitchfork for kicks -- what’s up with old people? OMG Gross! At any rate, if you missed it then golly! Go listen to them right now in the streaming archive kids, that’s what KEXP is for! So, that takes care of the first two bands and Catfish Haven is... well, they’re fawking Catfish Haven you guys! WTF!? Just check out these photos and I’ll squawk at you again next month. TTYL!

Don’t forget to come to the next monthly Equalizer coming up Thursday, August 7th, featuring:

-Royal Pines
-Macon Greyson
-Fetch
-Equalizer resident DJ’s Johnny Kesh and Mikey Dance Panther

Mike Turner and his partners at darkroom produce KEXP’S “Equalizer Chicago” a monthly showcase of on the verge Midwestern artists. Mike has consulted in the music industry nationally for 6+ years and currently resides in Chicago as a practicing social critic and sometimes DJ.

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One Comment

  1. Lawyer girl
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Once again for the great writing. I can’t wait till you come out to Seattle again and show us how a great midwesterner rocks out. These pictures are good. Don’t keep us too long before you dish us more social critique and music reviews.

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