Category: Photo

We were at New Ruins’ record release show

And here's the proof. Common Loon opened the evening on a splendid, reverb-drenched note.


Matthew Campbell and Robert Hirschfeld of Common Loon show off the New Ruins' new vinyl (with the Ruins' Elzie Sexton in the background).


The Tractor Kings continue to impress. Adding one half of The Chemicals — Johnny and Andrew Davidson — to the band was a stroke of genius. Below, Aaron McCallister and Jake Fleischli bring the country-rock goodness on Saturday night. "Gone to Heaven" always does the trick.


Elzie Sexton packs a mean beard.


So does his compatriot Caleb Means.


After a stellar set highlighted by an encore performance of two as-yet-unrecorded songs that were amazing (especially the latter), the boys from New Ruins posed for our fine photographer, David Cubberly. Left to right: Andrew Davidson (who pulled double duty this night after his set with Tractor Kings), Paul Chastain, Caleb Means, New Ruins' fan Kurt, Elzie Sexton, and Roy Ewing.


Check out more of David Cubberly's photography here.


If you enjoyed this, Smile Politely recommends:

+ Kids 'R Us: New Ruins as interviewed by a trio of children
+ Growing up before our ears (New Ruins record review)
+ Not so common: the secret lives of Common Loon
+ Tractor Kings — guys worth pulling for


Irving Azoff was a punk when he attended U of I, too

For those of you following the current Ticketmaster and LiveNation merger, you should know that former local music promoter gone HUGE time, Irving Azoff, is in the center of it all. 

In this photo, my father, Vern Fein (in the foreground with his hands raised to his mouth), is listening to Azoff and his partner Bob Nutt discuss the idea of a partnership with Students for a Democratic Society. Their agency, Blytham Ltd. would be booking bands at rallies henceforth. Interesting, indeed. 

(Photo courtesy of Jimmy Cole at Hollywood Hangover)


Mazes gets off on the right foot (now with video)

"I Have Laid In the Darkness of Doubt"

Mazes played at the Canopy Club last night. It was a late show, but a good one. Mazes went on shortly after midnight, followed by Elsinore and Post Historic. See the video above to get a feel for their work. They played a really tight set for their first-ever show, and the turnout and crowd enthusiasm was excellent.

Here's our show preview from Thursday, including an interview with Mazes' Edward Anderson and Caroline Donovan.


Red Herring hosts open mic night

Whether you're shopping for some new wall decor, seeing if you can rap in front of something other than a mirror, or just sitting back and watching the stage, Red Herring's open mic night brings artists, musicians, and aspiring performers together to display their skills in a laid-back, friendly environment. Check it out every Sunday from 7:30 to 10 p.m., and visit to see more photos from the night.