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Greg Kot

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Top Greg Kot Articles see all

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  • Alabama Shakes shake up their sound

    Alabama Shakes shake up their sound
    In 2012, when Alabama Shakes released its debut album, "Boys & Girls," the studio was not the band's friend. Songs that popped in concert sounded relatively constrained on record. The melodies were strong but fell into a retro pocket, evoking soul and roots-rock dynamics from the '60s and '70s. Brittany Howard's towering voice was undeniable, however, and "Boys & Girls" became one of the year's most acclaimed albums because her intensity melted a lot of quibbles about the lack of genuine surprise in the arrangements.
  • Rhiannon Giddens stepping out from the Chocolate Drops

    Rhiannon Giddens stepping out from the Chocolate Drops
    The year leading up to Rhiannon Giddens' first solo album, "Tomorrow is my Turn" (Nonesuch), was full of zigs and zags, a whirlwind of shows and recording sessions that had her performing in a variety of contexts, some a good musical distance from her...

    Chance the Rapper's grand plan to unite 'young creatives'

    Chance the Rapper's grand plan to unite 'young creatives'
    On a brutally cold late winter afternoon, an open-mic event at the Chicago Cultural Center was packing them in. More than 250 high school students lined up to enter the Claudia Cassidy Theater, where their school ID's were checked by young adults...

    Grateful Dead add 2 California concerts

    Grateful Dead add 2 California concerts
    It turns out the Grateful Dead’s three sold-out 50th anniversary concerts at Soldier Field July 3-5 aren’t the only shows the reunited band will play this year. On Friday, the Dead added two more farewell shows, this time in their home state:...

    Lightning Bolt has power behind that mask

    Lightning Bolt has power behind that mask
    Lightning Bolt's Brian Chippendale looks like he just walked off the set of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" when he jumps on stage to pummel the drums while wearing a mask. The drummer wraps a thrift-shop T-shirt around his face and decorates it with...