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Dan Caffrey

Dan Caffrey

Outside of Groupon, Dan is a playwright, Senior Staff Writer for Consequence of Sound, and contributor to The A.V. Club.


Latest articles by Dan Caffrey


Six Alternatives to Popular Summer Music Festivals

Six Alternatives to Popular Summer Music Festivals

5.29.2015

So you missed out on Lollapalooza tickets? Here are six eclectic summer music festivals that won’t break your bank.


The Guide Presents: An Actual Dillinger Escape Plan

The Guide Presents: An Actual Dillinger Escape Plan

4.4.2014

John Dillinger escaped from jail numerous times in his life, often leaving several police officers dead in the process. We devised a friendlier jailbreak In anticipation of The Dillinger Escape Plan's upcoming show.


What to Know Before You Go to the Shooting Range For the First Time

What to Know Before You Go to the Shooting Range For the First Time

11.4.2015

Our expert explains why you should never wear a V-neck when firing a pistol.


Curiosity Shop: Logan Square's Bucket O' Blood Books and Records

Curiosity Shop: Logan Square's Bucket O' Blood Books and Records

3.29.2013

You’d think the Logan Square gem Bucket O' Blood Books and Records would be crawling with horror fanatics and full-on gore hounds. And sometimes it is. But the curated inventory of books, records, and CDs is more a reflection of owner Marc Ruvolo’s personal tastes than a definitive library of splatter fiction and horror punk. “I just try and put as much cool stuff in here as possible,” he explains.


Girl Group Chicago Takes the Stage at The Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest

Girl Group Chicago Takes the Stage at The Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest

9.5.2013

Girl Group Chicago is a local collective that puts a spin on the decades-old genre by featuring female vocalists and musicians. With a rotating roster of up to 20 members onstage at any given time, the group poses a unique challenge for clubs with small stages and limited mics. But their band size won’t keep them from turning The Hideout into a time warp at the venue’s Block Party & A.V. Fest this Saturday, September 7. We talked to GGC founder and bandleader Shana East about the group’s formation, its future, and which songs they sing better than the boys.


Behind the Cover: Robbie Fulks Does Craig Johnson's “Piney Mountains”

Behind the Cover: Robbie Fulks Does Craig Johnson's “Piney Mountains”

9.5.2013

Plenty of bands throw another artist’s song into their sets, if only to win over the crowd or put an unconventional spin on a well-worn tune. Robbie Fulks, however, loves to play covers of songs you may never have heard. Granted, he’s no stranger to mainstream pop music—he released an entire album of Michael Jackson songs back in 2010—but his weekly Monday-night set at The Hideout gives him free reign to explore whatever he wants, whether it’s a brand-new original or an obscure gem from Appalachia. Fulks has been on hiatus for the past month or so to promote the release of his latest album, Gone Away Backward, but once he returns to his regular shows at the beloved Chicago venue, he hopes to put one of his favorite folk songs into regular rotation.


Robbie Fulks Heads Back to The Hideout for a Monday-Night Residency

Robbie Fulks Heads Back to The Hideout for a Monday-Night Residency

11.13.2013

A couple of months ago, local alt-country artist Robbie Fulks shared the story behind his cover of Craig Johnson’s obscure Appalachian folk song “Piney Mountains.” Fulks first played the tune as a duet with Australian singer-songwriter Audrey Auld during his Monday-night residency at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.), a gig he’s had off and on since early 2010. However, he only got to perform “Piney Mountains” live a handful of times before hitting the road to promote his latest album, Gone Away Backward, recently released on Bloodshot Records.


How an Awkward Thanksgiving Dinner Inspired Southern Rock Outfit the Drive-By Truckers

10 Shows for 10 Very Different Comedy Fans at SketchFest

The War on Drugs Turn Heartland Rock Into a Hypnotic Dreamscape

The War on Drugs Turn Heartland Rock Into a Hypnotic Dreamscape

3.10.2014

Experimental heartland rockers The War on Drugs are poised to play bigger venues in the future, so catch them at the club-sized Metro while you still can.


Five Fictional Robots Speak Their Minds About Gary Numan

Five Fictional Robots Speak Their Minds About Gary Numan

3.21.2014

Science fiction has always influenced Gary Numan’s darkened brand of new wave. Five of our favorite robots were eager to share their thoughts on Numan before he plays the Metro.


The Sounds’ Maja Ivarsson Creates a Mini Playlist for Her Nonexistent Weekend

The Sounds’ Maja Ivarsson Creates a Mini Playlist for Her Nonexistent Weekend

3.21.2014

Playing in a new-wave band means Maja Ivarsson spends her free time just chilling out. So she picked a handful of songs for staying at home.


The White Buffalo’s Jake Smith Has Never Seen a (Real) White Buffalo

The White Buffalo’s Jake Smith Has Never Seen a (Real) White Buffalo

4.10.2014

The White Buffalo’s music will strike a chord with fans of cowboy movies. But Jake Smith’s real life is a different kind of Western—one filled with surf films and inbred livestock.


Maja Ivarsson Did These Five Awesome Dance Moves at Wednesday Night’s Sounds Concert

Maja Ivarsson Did These Five Awesome Dance Moves at Wednesday Night’s Sounds Concert

4.4.2014

The Sounds’ Maja Ivarsson remains one of the most charismatic frontwomen in rock music, thanks in part to her frenetic dancing. Here are five moves we saw her pull off at the Metro.


La Dispute and Five Other Hardcore/Punk Bands with Iconic Logos

La Dispute and Five Other Hardcore/Punk Bands with Iconic Logos

4.4.2014

La Dispute’s flower logo is as much a part of the band as the songs themselves. Here are five other groups whose logos have transcended even their music.


A Song for Every Southern State

A Song for Every Southern State

4.15.2014

The Council of State Governments defines the South as being made up of 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. And while “Sweet Home Alabama” has more or less been the Yellowhammer State’s unofficial theme song for nearly 40 years now, we thought the other 14 each needed one as well. Just one rule: in the spirit of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most famous tune, we decided that every song had to include the state’s name in its title—even Missouri.


We Interviewed Chuck Ragan While He Was on a Boat

We Interviewed Chuck Ragan While He Was on a Boat

4.16.2014

Folk troubadour Chuck Ragan loves fishing. From a boat on Wisconsin’s Rush River, he talked to us about humility, trilene knots, and his ventriloquist mother.


Goblin’s Theme for “Suspiria” Makes These Four Family Films Absolutely Terrifying

Goblin’s Theme for “Suspiria” Makes These Four Family Films Absolutely Terrifying

4.25.2014

Goblin’s theme for Dario Argento’s surreal horror masterpiece Suspiria would make anything scary. But its chime-like synths and raspy la-la-las become especially unnerving when paired with scenes from the four ‘80s family films below. Make sure you mute the YouTube clips, and don’t turn off the lights. (And if that’s not enough terror for you, catch the Italian prog-rock legends at the Metro on May 3, where they’ll treat horror hounds to a live performance of Suspiria’s score in its entirety).


BottleRock Festival Playlist: 15 Songs That Go Beyond the Hits

BottleRock Festival Playlist: 15 Songs That Go Beyond the Hits

4.17.2014

While the acts at this year’s BottleRock Festival—from Outkast to The Cure and Third Eye Blind—are far from being one-hit wonders, America arguably knows many of them by a signature song. But there’s much to sift through in every band’s respective catalog. Here are 15 deep cuts that go beyond “Hey Ya!,” “Friday I’m in Love,” and “Semi-Charmed Life.”


Watching MasterChef's Elise Mayfield Watch MasterChef's Elise Mayfield, Episode 2

Watching MasterChef's Elise Mayfield Watch MasterChef's Elise Mayfield, Episode 2

6.3.2014

Every week, we’ll be watching FOX’s MasterChef alongside competitor Elise Mayfield as she has the mind-bending experience of seeing herself as a character on TV. Last week: redemption pie! This week: friends under pressure!


Chris Carrabba Picks a New Anthem for Florida

Chris Carrabba Picks a New Anthem for Florida

6.19.2014

In State Songs, Revisited, we ask a musician to pick a new official song for their home state, or at least the state where they launched the career. It can be as literal, metaphorical, or nonsensical as they want—as long as it represents what the state means to them.


Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional and Twin Forks Picks His Favorite Soundtrack Songs

Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional and Twin Forks Picks His Favorite Soundtrack Songs

5.9.2014

Back in 2004, Chris Carrabba already had a sizable following as the frontman of emo stalwarts Dashboard Confessional. But writing “Vindicated” for the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack took his fan base to a whole new level. Ten years later, Spidey and Carrabba have both moved on: the former has a freshly rebooted film series, while the latter has a new band in Twin Forks. In celebration of the alt-folk outfit’s tour, we asked Carrabba to create a playlist of his favorite songs on movie soundtracks.


The Faint’s Todd Fink Wants to Learn About Your Brain

The Faint’s Todd Fink Wants to Learn About Your Brain

5.16.2014

The Faint create some of the most danceable music around, yet they’ve always been pegged as “dark.” Maybe it has something to do with their album titles: Danse Macabre, Wet From Birth, and, most recently, Doom Abuse, their first full-length in six years. But frontman Todd Fink suggests that all the darkness could just be the band’s version of a mind game. After all, this is a guy who’s deeply interested in how the human brain works. Telekinesis and freaky lab tests were just a couple of topics that came up when we chatted with Fink ahead of his band’s upcoming show at the Metro on May 23.


Hip-Hop Artist Malik Yusef to Unveil New Poem at The Simple Good’s City of Big Dreams

Hip-Hop Artist Malik Yusef to Unveil New Poem at The Simple Good’s City of Big Dreams

7.11.2014

The people at The Simple Good believe that enacting change in Chicago is, well, simple: art makes people feel better and helps them discover the beauty within themselves. The nonprofit organization adheres to this creed by curating public art projects and youth art programming.


"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," Starring the Animals of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," Starring the Animals of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

8.8.2014

When we asked the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s director of Living Collections, Celeste Troon, to examine how realistic the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films really are, she had so much fun that she took things one step further and cast her own dream team for the movie. The actors? The museum’s own turtles, of course.


Which Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo Are Most Likely to Take Over the Planet

Which Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo Are Most Likely to Take Over the Planet

7.9.2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comes out this weekend, and though the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes—itself a prequel/reboot of the original series—is more rooted in reality than the '60s and '70s films, we still wondered if a global ape revolt could actually happen. So we turned to Steve Ross, director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Chicago’s own Lincoln Park Zoo.


Jason Mraz Picks a New Anthem for Virginia

Jason Mraz Picks a New Anthem for Virginia

7.14.2014

In State Songs Revisited, we ask a musician to pick a new official song for their home state, or at least the state where they launched the career. It can be as literal, metaphorical, or nonsensical as they want—as long as it represents what the state means to them.


Five Kid-Friendly Bands That Aren't Kids' Bands at Lollapalooza

Five Kid-Friendly Bands That Aren't Kids' Bands at Lollapalooza

7.29.2014

Every year, music-festival juggernaut Lollapalooza caters to the parental crowd with Kidzapalooza, a stage dedicated solely to acts appropriate for children. But with no disrespect to School of Rock or the pop-punk whimsy of bands like Play Date, there are plenty of other artists at Lolla that appeal to all ages without being specifically geared toward kids. Here are five of our favorites.


Pizza: Good for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," Lousy for Actual Turtles

Pizza: Good for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," Lousy for Actual Turtles

8.8.2014

How realistic is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise as it relates to actual turtles? The title alone suggests not very. Still, in light of the recent reboot, we couldn’t resist asking some of Chicago’s top herpetological experts from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Shedd Aquarium to examine the realism of TMNT’s mythology. The Nature Museum’s expert even went as far to cast the film using its own turtles and one very intelligent rat.


Sharks Are Friendlier Than You Think, Especially During Shark Week

Sharks Are Friendlier Than You Think, Especially During Shark Week

8.13.2014

Every summer, Discovery Channel airs Shark Week, a seven-day block of programming dedicated to some of the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants. As educational as it can be, however, Shark Week comes with a heavy dose of sensationalism—think ominous music and water clouded with blood.


Lee Brice Picks a New Anthem for South Carolina

Lee Brice Picks a New Anthem for South Carolina

9.10.2014

In State Songs Revisited, we ask a musician to pick a new official song for their home state, or at least the state where they launched their career. It can be as literal, metaphorical, or nonsensical as they want—as long as it represents what the state means to them.


10 Music Blogs You Should Be Reading Right Now

10 Music Blogs You Should Be Reading Right Now

8.22.2014

There are literally thousands of music blogs out there. As you can imagine, sifting through all of the genres, sub-genres, and writing styles can leave you staring slack-jawed at your computer. Luckily, we’ve come up with a starting point: 10 music blogs that we are reading (and loving) right this minute.


Horror Curators for Alamo Drafthouse, Tribeca Cinemas, and More Pick Their Favorite Scary Movies

Horror Curators for Alamo Drafthouse, Tribeca Cinemas, and More Pick Their Favorite Scary Movies

10.7.2014

Every October, theaters around the country host horror-movie marathons that span anywhere from 24 hours to more than a week. Some, such as the one at Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA, showcase time-tested classics along the lines of Nosferatu and Bride of Frankenstein. Others gravitate toward grindhouse schlock, ‘70s slasher flicks, or even short films produced by up-and-coming talents.


How to Build an Igloo, as Explained by an Arctic Explorer

How to Build an Igloo, as Explained by an Arctic Explorer

1.28.2015

All you need is a shovel and saw. And maybe some hot cocoa.


The History (and Science!) of Ice Skating, in Five Facts

The History (and Science!) of Ice Skating, in Five Facts

2.4.2015

Ice skates were invented by Finnish hunters. The Zamboni, however, was not.


Five Rare Plants to Look for at the Botanical Garden

Five Rare Plants to Look for at the Botanical Garden

3.27.2015

They smell like corpses, have corkscrew-shaped beans, and might be hiding in your local botanical garden.


A Day in the Life of a Dog-Sledder

A Day in the Life of a Dog-Sledder

2.20.2015

Dog-sledding may be a tough job, but the perks include hanging out with wolves and cooking brats by the lake.


Arcade Bar Do's and Don'ts

Arcade Bar Do's and Don'ts

3.18.2015

Respect the games. Some of them are older than you.


Los Angeles CrossFit Trainers Create Movie-Stunt Workouts

Los Angeles CrossFit Trainers Create Movie-Stunt Workouts

7.10.2015

See how CrossFit workouts can help you build strength and escape a hungry T. rex.


Five Sailing Myths, Debunked

Five Sailing Myths, Debunked

5.5.2016

Sure, your boat captain can marry you—but only if he’s an ordained minister.


Five Things You Might Not Know About Trampolining (But Should)

Five Things You Might Not Know About Trampolining (But Should)

10.8.2014

You'll know the difference between the Water Tower and Water Tower Place after this leisurely tour of the Magnificent Mile.


Know the Basics Before Visiting an Indoor Trampoline Park

Know the Basics Before Visiting an Indoor Trampoline Park

7.25.2016

From trampoline safety to when you should execute that first flip, we’ve got you covered.


Ask an Insider: Chicago Music Critic Jeremy D. Larson

Ask an Insider: Chicago Music Critic Jeremy D. Larson

4.15.2013

Founded in 2007 by CEO and Publisher Alex Young and Editor in Chief Michael Roffman, Consequence of Sound had humble beginnings. But what was once scattered over several cities and run by an ever-changing roster of writers now has roots firmly planted in the Chicago soil, with more than 50 permanent writers, editors, graphic designers, and photographers uploading content by the hour. Jeremy D. Larson serves as managing editor and has brought several innovative features to the site, including the long-form writing section, Aux.Out. In “Ask an Insider,” Jeremy gives us some insight into his process as a critic, his tastes, and his questionable record-buying habits.


Atypical Theater: WildClaw Theatre Conjures Terror on Chicago Stages

Atypical Theater: WildClaw Theatre Conjures Terror on Chicago Stages

4.16.2013

In Atypical Theater, we cover a local company that bucks theatrical convention. It may be in the type of work they do, the way they do it, or their inventive use of space. This week, we talk to Brian Amidei, managing director of WildClaw Theatre, a collective dedicated to bringing horror and the supernatural to the stage. On top of cultivating a constantly growing audience, the Chicago Tribune has commended them for being “the only Chicago theater company to specialize in this particular genre.” As WildClaw likes to put it, “We take our horror seriously. And so should you.”


Rollin' Up the River: The 30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival

Rollin' Up the River: The 30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival

6.6.2013

If the blues was born in Mississippi, it certainly came of age and grew up in Chicago.


Behind the Cover: JC Brooks Does Wilco's “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”

Behind the Cover: JC Brooks Does Wilco's “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”

8.15.2013

Plenty of bands throw a well-worn cover into their sets when starting out, if only to win over the crowd with a recognizable tune. In Behind the Covers, we talk to our favorite Chicago musicians about their most frequently performed cover—why they started playing it, what they’ve changed about it, and how the audience has responded.


Pairing Riot Fest’s Music with Its Carnival Attractions

The Kickback Covers Randy Newman’s “Baltimore”

The Kickback Covers Randy Newman’s “Baltimore”

10.10.2013

Plenty of musicians throw another artist’s song into their sets, if only to win over the crowd or put an unconventional spin on a well-worn tune. But two members of The Kickback—frontman Billy Yost and his brother Danny, who plays drums—have been paying tribute to Randy Newman’s “Baltimore” ever since they were kids.


Deer Tick Made This Mini Playlist to Beat the Cold-Weather Blues

Deer Tick Made This Mini Playlist to Beat the Cold-Weather Blues

11.15.2013

Although their band name is somewhat autumnal, Deer Tick’s latest album, Negativity, feels built for the summer. Sure, “Big House” has the creaky alt-country trappings of the Providence, Rhode Island, outfit’s earlier work, but first single “The Dream’s in the Ditch” takes on an anthemic quality that offsets the songs’ dark subject matter. The contrasting bombast and introspection is perfect for getting through the rest of the fall and oncoming winter, and you can catch these tunes live on Friday, November 22, at 8 p.m., when Deer Tick opens for The Avett Brothers at UIC Pavilion.


The Twelve Plays of Christmas

The Twelve Plays of Christmas

11.27.2013

No disrespect to Charles Dickens, but we’ve seen A Christmas Carol more than enough times. This year alone, more than a dozen versions of Scrooge and Tiny Tim will grace stages throughout the Chicagoland area. In the spirit of the old Christmas song, here are 12 days’ worth of alternatives—some of which, we admit, owe a bit of their plot lines to the Dickens classic.