A Bebe Le Strange era portrait of the Wilson sisters from a 1980 tour book.
Happy birthday to Heart’s Nancy Wilson. For over four decades, she’s been a guitarslinger, rock & roll fantasy, role model, soundtrack composer, and the best sis Ann could ever ask for. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Heart perform live several times, the most recent being at Lilith Fair in 2010. And so, here’s a toast to Nancy Wilson.
“Penn, You’re Funny.” Penn Jillette is the only reason my wife Pam watches this season’s Celebrity Apprentice. Even if he doesn’t win, Penn can always fall back on his career as a magician/comedian. He and longtime co-conspirator Teller will be performing at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino Hammond on June 8th. Tickets, which range from $30 to $130, are now on sale.
Singer-guitarist Joe Pug has made a name for himself with heartfelt, acoustic-based songs. His next CD, The Great Despiser, is due out April 24th. Gordon Patriarca, a veteran of the Chicago music scene, (and fellow staff writer of mine at Metro Calendar back in an earlier century) recently posted a promo video on Facebook in which he can be seen playing bass during one of Pug’s recording session. Gordon is the bald-headed gentleman with his back to the camera.
Seattle’s self-described pop/soul combo, Red Jacket Mine, has recorded a new 7 inch single on Fin Records that reflects our troubled times. 500 hand-numbered copies of “Listen Up (If The World Is Going To Hell)” will be available on colored vinyl, and also online. It’s a catchy number with a hint of Squeeze, but I can’t say I like the over-the-top video Red Jacket Mine filmed for it. Then again, humor is always subjective. Incidentally, my old old comedy group, Famous In The Future, used the exact same panda mask in a short play called Grace & The Bear, we did by cast member, Frank Carr. The 45’s flipside, “Rosy Days” successfully taps into a vintage Motown groove.
Garage/glam rockers The Ex-Girlfriends also tap into current events on their new video, “Blowback (I Am Your SuperPAC).” The clip, a funny take on Bob Dylan’s promo clip for “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” was recently picked by England’s NME for its website, and also surfaced on Politico.com as the Daily Funny. The Ex-Girlfriends (who are actually four guys) recently released their debut effort, Boo Hoo Hoo, which includes a cover of “The Witch” by The Sonics.
Crosby, Stills, & Nash will be bringing their celebrated three-part harmonies to Ravinia on August 3rd.
Coed indie rock band, Magatha Trysty, is currently recording its full-length debut, Another Lovely Party, at Kingsize Studios in Chicago. Michael Hagler will be producing it. One of the tracks, “Saturday Dress,” has already been released as a demo. Magatha Trysty will once again take part in International Pop Overthrow - Chicago, with a show at Red Line Tap on April 27th.
When The Empty Bottle in Chicago holds a Garage Sale, it’s not an opportunity to pick up cheap kicknacks and used clothing. It’s a celebration of garage rock that kicks off on Monday, March 19th, with a triple bill of K-Holes, Bare Wires, and Bezoar and runs through March 27th. Former members of The Nerves, Peter Case and Paul Collins, will be performing with Summer Twins and Sleepovers on March 25th. Should be a fun evening of classic garage rock and power pop songs Case and Collins created together in The Nerves, and apart, with other bands like The Plimsouls and The Beat.
George Harrison’s sister, Louise, has put together a traveling charitable event that features Liverpool Legends, the Beatles tribute band she helped form in 2006. The idea behind Help Keep Music Alive is to raise funds to help schools, from middle on through college, continue to offer music lessons. The show, which is done free of charge to the schools, will also present a history of The Beatles, utilizing Liverpool Legends, as well as student musicians. (The band provides music charts specifically written for the students.) There was a concert at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas yesterday, and there’s a show today at the Greenbrier High School. Administrators interested in bringing Help Keep Music Alive to their schools can call 417-893-0464
Bangles singer-guitarist Vicki Peterson and former Cowsills singer-guitarist Susan Cowsill have met the Kickstarter funding goal for their debut CD as Psycho Sisters. The duo has already begun recoding tracks.
This year’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place continues to expand its impressive and eclectic lineup, with recent additions including author Anne Rice, John Barrowman from Doctor Who and Torchwood, Maggie Q from Nikita, Chris Hardwicke from the Nerdist website, Chicago’s acclaimed chef Stephanie Izard, and musician Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine. The event takes place on the weekend of April 13-15th. Tickets can be purchased online or through various retail outlets.
Nicholas Sistler, an artist who has gained an avid following in recent years, will have a show of his work at Firecat Projects at 2124 N. Damen from April 27th through May 19th. Sistler was kind enough to discuss his provocative work, and the gallery scene in general, for an article I did for Chicago Art Magazine a while ago.
And finally, a wish for everyone to have a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll be catching some of the festivities here in Palatine. Incidentally, English musician Mordecai Smyth was quite touched to learn that he had been unofficially named a Palatine resident in last week’s Slumgullion.
“My dear Mr. Flamm!” he wrote in a Facebook message. “I am honoured - a Palatine resident, no less. Wishing you and all fellow Palatines a groovy weekend.” Here’s a video of Mordecai Smyth’s “Sinister Cyclist." It’s more appropriate for Halloween than St. Patrick’s Day, but then everything he does is suitable for Halloween.