Friday, April 17, 2015

IPO Saturday Afternoon Preview

You can almost hear those harmonies from The Abbeys coming through the photo.

There will be a wide range of ages represented on the stage at Red Line Tap tomorrow afternoon as International Pop Overthrow Founder/CEO David Bash continues his tradition of inviting fledgling bands to perform as part of his weekend afternoon showcases. In addition to the teen bands scheduled, there are four longtime IPO favorites on board.

1:15 PM Homeschool Dropouts These six young women from Downers Grove delve into classic rock by The Beatles, AC/DC, and Fleetwood Mac.  

2:00 Euphoria A coed teen band with six members whose taste in music ranges from Led Zeppelin to Weezer. 

2:45 Jeremy Band This single-named, Portage, Michigan-based singer-guitarist comes close to rivaling Dave Rave’s amazing IPO attendance record, having played the festival in several cities over the years. Jeremy draws inspiration from the 1960s and has released several CDs on his own Jam label. He can always be counted on for some powerful and extensive jamming during his live performances.

3:30 Clear Confusion This young quartet first came together at the Rock Academy of Dupage and is active on the local Battle of the Bands scene. Its set list tends toward current alt rock, with covers of The Foo Fighters’ “These Days” and The Black Keys’ “Gold On The Ceiling.”

4:15 The Cubes This quartet puts an emphasis on guitar-driven arrangements while taking the occasional journey into psychedelic or spaghetti western music. They like to think of their approach as a little twisted.

5:00 The Abbeys The lineup has changed over the years, but this power pop band’s nucleus of singers-guitarists Mike Cohen and Jeff Janulis has performed at every single International Pop Overthrow since the festival has been coming to Chicago. Cohen and Janulis have spent years creating Everly Brothers type harmonies within infectious arrangements, so it’s no surprise they also have a band called The Everly Hillbillies.

5:45 The Hurtin’ Kind This is a roots rock/power pop quartet led by Matt Rhodes on vocals and guitar. Guitarist John Leonard amd bassist Bill Kavanagh provide backup vocals, and Jerry King plays drums. Songs like “Settle” and “Soft Landing” combine high energy and strong melodies.


How ‘Bout Some Live Music To Go With That Rare Vinyl?

Unless you’re one of the first people standing outside your favorite record store at the break of dawn tomorrow, it’s not likely you’ll be able to get everything on your Record Store Day wish list. Even if all those vinyl rarities were still in stock, most of us would still have to make some tough choices due to budget constraints. Luckily, Record Store Day has some built-in consolation prizes in the form of free promo items, snacks, and even better—in-store performances. Here’s a sampling of some of the live music events going on in the Chicago area as part of Record Store Day tomorrow. All are in the city unless otherwise noted. Note: There is a much more extensive list in the Agenda section of today’s Chicago Sun-Times.

Emporium Arcade Bar 1366 N. Milwaukee Avenue (Across the street from the Reckless Records Milwaukee Avenue location.)
12:30 throughout the day. Revolution Brewing is sponsoring a Record Store Day themed event featuring live music from Ribbon Head, Roach Wave, and Meatwave

Laurie’s Planet Of Sound 4639 N. Lincoln Avenue  (Opens at 9:00 AM)
12:30 Polkaholics
1:00 PM DJ Tim Miller
2:00 PM Phil Angotti, Casey McDonough, and Tommi Zender perform Simon and Garfunkel’s  Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme album. 
3:00 PM WXRT air personality Terri Hemmert
3:30 PM The Handcuffs
4:00 PM DJ Miss Alex White
5:00 PM The Baby Magic
5:00 - 8:00 PM DJ Peroxide
6:00 PM Staring Problem
7:00 PM Synth City

Purple Dog Records 329 Center Street - Naperville (Opens at noon)
The vintage record store will be sponsoring an all-day event with free live music at the nearby Orazio Pub.

Reckless Records 3126 N. Broadway (Opens 10:00 AM)
2:00 PM Lasers and Fast and Shit
3:00 PM Local H
4:00 PM NE-HI

Reckless Records 1379 Milwaukee Avenue. Note the new location. (Opens 10:00 AM)
3:00 PM Sea and Cake
3:30 - 5:00 PM Robert Trujillo (Metallica) signing. He’s promoting the documentary Jaco, which is about bassist Jaco Pastorius. The film will be shown at CIMMfest later that night at the Logan Theatre.
5:30 DJ Clent

Reckless Records  26 E. Madison (Opens 10:00 AM)
2:00 PM Tim Kinsella

Reggie’s Rock Club 2109 S. State Street in Chicago 
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM WXRT hosts a celebration of its Live From The Archive Vol. 16 compilation on vinyl. Live performance by the band Great Moments In Vinyl.

Val’s Halla 239 Harrison Oak Park (Opens at 9:00 AM, serving coffee and doughnuts)
Raffles and live music throughout the day by Lloyd Brodnax from Funkadesi and Paul Von Mertens from Poi Dog Pondering.

Vintage Vinyl  925 Davis Street in Evanston (Opens at 11:00 AM)
11:00 AM Ellis Clark and The Big Parade with special guest vocalist Ary Paloma Jeebie from The Amazing Heeby Jeebies.
12:00 PM The Luck Of Eden Hall, who will also be raffling off some colored vinyl and a new turntable. They’ll also be performing later that night at 9:00 PM at Moe’s Tavern as part of a CIMMfest showcase. 


IPO Friday Night Preview

Photo from Rollo Time Facebook page.

It’s an all-hometown showcase for the second night of International Pop Overthrow - Chicago at the Red Line Tap. There will definitely be some power pop music going on, along with some quirky and eclectic fare. The festival runs through next Saturday night, April 25th. Be sure to check out the official IPO site for the full schedule and any last-minute changes. 

8:00 PM The Spindles Guitarist-vocalist Jeff Janulis of The Abbeys also works with this power pop band. The other members are bassist-guitarist Jerald Cross and drummer Duane Spindle. Influences include The Beatles, The Hollies, The Kinks, The Pretenders, and The Plimsouls. The Spindles’ melodic single “Young Heart” features Brad Elvis on drums and Bill Corston on bass.

8:45 PM Cooler By The Lake This group will put as many as nine musicians on stage and has been around for 20 years. Its repertoire draws influences from classic, punk, progressive and psychedelic rock, which explains why Cooler By The Lake has been able to open for a variety of major acts, including Molly Hatchett, The Fixx, Adam And The Ants and Asia. The band’s new album Summer’s Over comes out at the beginning of August.

9:30 PM Bob’s Your Uncle Formed in 1995, this quartet says it draws upon “no specific influences” while creating melodic original songs with harmony vocals.  Bob’s Your Uncle will have copies of its Xplod-i-mite CD available for sale and will no doubt be performing songs from it.

10:15 Food And Drug A coed indie rock band that describes its music as drawing inspiration from The Velvet Underground, The Pixies, and The Kinks.

11:00 PM Soft Candy Back from a two-year hiatus, this psychedelic garage pop band creates elaborate harmonies within 1960s style songs like “Song For Ellie Mae” and “Bixare Luv Pyramids.” The six-song Chelsea Boot +Violet Eyelids is the latest release from these catchy jokesters.

11:45 Rollo Time This power pop band’s 2010 CD, Victims Of The Crown was filled with catchy tunes like “’Til It All Comes Down.” Singer-songwriter Jon Raleigh was formerly with The Time Beings. Influences include Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins, and Off Broadway.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Seventh Ring Of Saturn - Ormythology

Photo from the Seventh Ring Of Saturn website.

The Seventh Ring Of Saturn is based in Northampton, MA but the band has fit in perfectly on a series of various artist compilations released by the UK label Fruits de Mer. In fact, its rendition of  “All The World Is Love” was one of the highlights on the Re-Evolution Hollies tribute album. Like Fruits de Mer, The Seventh Ring Of Saturn loves vintage psychedelic rock, and knows the genre inside and out.

Its second effort Ormythology has four appealing instrumentals—especially the Middle Eastern flavored “Teli Teli Teli”—but the tracks with lead-singer-bassist Ted Selke’s vocals are definitely more engaging. Fans of authentic psychedelia will definitely know they’ve come to the right place as he sings mind-bending lyrics like, “Can’t you see she’s burning a hole in my mind?” and “Nothing is what it seems” over the melodic dreamscape of  “Burning A Hole.” On “Time To Fly,” Selke opts for a more garage rock vocal approach as he and band mates guitarist Jacob Brown, guitarist Joe Giddings, and drummer Jamie Reilly unleash an energetic arrangement.

“Face” offers another adventure fueled by an irresistible melody, imaginative lyrics, and Selke’s layered vocals. The rollicking “Spaceman” is an older track with instrumentation that evokes Humble Pie and ZZ Top. Synth player Jeremy Knauff, who supplies the raw vocals, was lost to an apparent suicide in 2012. The Seventh Ring Of Saturn has dedicated Ormythology to him.


IPO Arrives In A Folksy Mood

Photo from Mallory Lennon’s website.

International Pop Overthrow returns to Chicago tonight with the opening salvo of multi-band showcases it will be holding at the Red Line Tap through April 25th. Check out the IPO website (which has links to all the acts involved) and plan ahead.

I wrote a preview of International Pop Overthrow - Chicago for the Illinois Entertainer that’s now up on their website. I’d like to thank IPO Founder/CEO David Bash for taking the time to respond a series of email questions I sent him. Justin Fielding, a Boston-based filmmaker who is working on a documentary called The Power Pop Movie, also contributed some email answers, along with a few musicians who will be taking part in this year’s IPO - Chicago. Mr. Fielding will be in Chicago this weekend, and hopefully will do some filming.

Tonight’s lineup has more of a Country and Western and indie rock flavor than some of the upcoming power pop-oriented showcases. All of these acts are from the Chicago area, unless otherwise noted.

8:00 PM Bryan Roberts The singer-guitarist performs original Americana and folk songs.

8:45 Skatterplot The moniker for keyboards player-studio recluse Steve Solomon, who describes his music as “Unique originals, nerd beats, pop!"

9:30 Mallory Lennon and the Sykadelix  Singer-acoustic guitarist who leans more toward folk and indie originals like the intimate “Built To Last” than psychedelic rock. She performs with guitarist-vocalist Keith Semple, and has been known to cover “Nights In White Satin” by The Moody Blues.

10:15 The Aaron Williams Band Aaron Williams, Dan Wonsover, and Kris Ahrens mix elements of classic, indie, and punk rock on their original material. They recently recorded music for the feature film Mind Over Mindy and will likely be showcasing songs from their recent release The Art Of Electricity.

11:00 Jennifer Fletcher And The Reckoning  The Country/folk singer-songwriter grew up in Beal City, MI and performs tuneful songs like “Beautiful Games” and Little Bit Of Me.” The Reckoning is comprised of Frank Loria, Jason Vinluan, and Jeremy Schmidt.


It’s Here

Red Bull Sound Select/Record Store Day graphic from the Record Store Day website.

If your taste in music and film leads you away from the mainstream, if you’re willing to delve into the cultures of far away lands, if you take pride in collecting one-of-a-kind treasures and you’re willing to hunt for them; if your imagination transports you to other galaxies; this evening could kick off some exciting adventures and challenges. You’ll need funds, transportation around the city, and an itinerary that makes March Madness brackets look like tic-tac-toe. This is April Anticipation.

Every April, at least two entertainment events coincide at the same in Chicago. This year, there are five. CIMMfest (Chicago International Movies and Music) and the inaugural Lake FX Chicago 2015 Summit Expo run tonight through Sunday, April 19th; International Pop Overthrow - Chicago runs tonight through Sunday, April 25th; Record Store Day is Saturday, April 18th; and C2E2 (Chicago Comic And Entertainment Expo) runs Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26th.

This is the holiday season at Broken Hearted Toy. Hundreds of unpaid interns are brought in to help with the overwhelming research and workflow. It’s already proven to be too much. This particular post was scheduled to run last Monday, but freelance assignments and my writers group (not that those are bad things) caused it to be delayed. Your best best is to check out the websites for each of these events, find what most intrigues you, and start planning. Have a great time.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday Slumgullion

Posters art graphic from the Curly Tale Fine Art Facebook page.

Here are a few bits that were left off yesterday’s Slumgullion due to my running out of time last night.

The Curly Tale Fine Art Gallery at 16 W. Erie Street in Chicago is having an opening night reception for its Vintage Music Poster Show on Friday, April 17th from 6:00 to 10 PM. Subtitled, “of the 60’s, 70’s, and other stuff we love,” the exhibit includes posters for The Sex Pistols, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Grace Slick. It runs through May 30th.

Locomotive Breath and a Freeway Jam. Tickets for the Chicago Theatre events Jethro Tull - The Rock Opera Performed By Ian Anderson on November 1st and Jeff Beck’s concert on May 21st are now on sale.

The Rolling Stones’ North American stadium ZIP CODE Tour will be stopping at Summerfest in Milwaukee on June 23rd. Other dates include Columbus, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Quebec.

Yesterday’s Slumgullion noted that Simon Townshend will be doing a solo show at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue on May 12th, the day before he’ll be performing with his brother Pete and The Who at the Allstate Arena. According to a recent issue of Rolling Stone (the one with Ringo on the cover) this 50th Anniversary Who Tour will include rarely performed songs from the band’s early days.

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