Run the Jewels teams with Chicago brewer Pipeworks to release Panther stout

Rejoice fans of good music and good beer. The great duo Run the Jewels partnered with awesome Chicago brewery Pipeworks to release Panther Like a Panther stout.

The special beer, released Saturday, debuts the same weekend Black Panther opens in theaters. (Bonus: The movie features a Kendrick Lamar soundtrack.)

RTJ, Killer Mike and El-P, also plans stout releases later with New York’s Interboro and Miami’s J. Wakefield, according to a release.

Here’s a trailer for the movie.

2017 best albums: The rest of the top 40

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile

Here are the rest of the top 40 albums of 2017 listed in alphabetical order by artist.

Click here to see this year’s top 10.

John Andrews & the Yawns

Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice

Mac Blackout Band – Burning Alive

Blanck Mass – World Eater

The Courtneys – The Courtneys II

EMA – Exile in the Outer Ring

The Feelies – In Between

Fresh & Onlys – Wolf Lie Down

Kendrick Lamar – Damn

Land of Talk – Life After Youth

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

The National – Sleep Well Beast

Oh Sees – Orc

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Echo of Pleasure

Pile – A Hairshirt of Purpose

Priests – Nothing Feels Natural

Rays – Rays

Run the Jewels – RTJ3

Ty Segall – Ty Segall

Sheer Mag – Compilation

Splashh – Waiting a Lifetime

Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

Colin Stetson – All This I do for Glory

Torres – Three Futures

Uniform – Wake in Fright

The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference

Woods – Love is Love

The xx – I See You

Best albums of 2017 (so far)

It’s been a good six months … for new music.

Here are some of my favorite albums released in the first half of 2017.

Big Thief – Capacity

Mac Blackout Band – Burning Alive

Blanck Mass – World Eater

Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

The Feelies – In Between

Land of Talk – Life After Youth

Obituary – Obituary

Palehound – A Place I’ll Always Go

Priests – Nothing Feels Natural

Rays – Rays

Run the Jewels – RTJ3

Ty Segall – Ty Segall

Splashh – Waiting a Lifetime

Uniform – Wake in Fright

White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band

Woods – Love Is Love

The xx – I See You

Pitchfork fest must-see acts

The Pitchfork Music Festival (this weekend) boasts a great lineup — one of the strongest in years for the Chicago fest. Check out the full lineup here. It was hard to produce a list that narrows the 10 must-see acts but here’s what I came up with:





Kurt Vile and the Violators

Parquet Courts

Ex Hex



Run the Jewels

Jamie xx

Courtney Barnett

Viet Cong

Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, Chance the Rapper head strong Pitchfork lineup

In its 10th year, the Pitchfork Music Festival is delivering one of its strongest lineups. Having been there at the beginning and attending every year since, I can honestly say this year’s fest (July 17-19) in Chicago’s Union Park ranks high.

I’ve often wondered why Wilco didn’t play past Pitchfork festivals. Chicago’s best band should play the city’s preeminent music fest. Wilco headlines Friday night and, as I write this, tickets for that day are still for sale. I’d say that won’t last long, though.

The reunited Sleater-Kinney plays Saturday night and that’s one of the more exciting acts to headline the second night in recent years. Sticking with a theme of having a hip hop artist close Sunday night, Chicago’s Chance the Rapper will headline the fest’s final day.

While I’m excited about this year’s headliners, the best part of the festival is watching the earlier acts. Among the highlights: The awesome rap duo Run the Jewels precedes Chance on Sunday. Some of the earliest sets include some incredible bands, including Viet Cong on Sunday and Protomartyr on Saturday. Don’t miss either set! Ex Hex, Parquet Courts, Kurt Vile, Iceage, Steve Gunn, Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, Ariel Pink and Todd Terje are atop my must-see list.

Buy tickets here.

The top albums of 2014

There were strong contenders for top albums of the year. Any of the top five albums I named would easily slide into the No. 1 spot. Here are the top 20 albums of 2014. The top 20 includes some old favorites and a handful of debuts.

20. Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita.

19. Tweedy – Sukierae.

18. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream.

17. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2.

16. The Fresh & Onlys – House of Spirits.

15. Dum Dum Girls – Cult of Love.

14. Mozes and the Firstborn – Mozes and the Firstborn.

13. Wand – Ganglion Reef.

12. La Sera – Hour of the Dawn.

11. Ty Segall – Manipulator.

10. Together Pangea – Badillac.

9. Solids – Blame Confusion.

8. EMA – The Future’s Void.

7. Woods – With Light and With Love.

6. Protomartyr – Under Color of Official Right.

5. Ex Hex – Rips.

4. Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal.

3. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire for No Witness.

2. St. Vincent – St. Vincent.

1. Iceage – Plowing Into the Field of Love.

Click here to see the rest of the All the Young Punks’ top 40.