Friday, May 17, 2013

Slumgullion


Photo from The Merrylees Facebook page.

Happy Birthday to Carla Evonne, former lead vocalist for one of Chicago’s all-time best punk bands, Bohemia. Here’s a clip of Bohemia performing “Empty Room” from their debut LP, Deviations. This was one of the songs that inspired the rock and roll novel I recently completed. I’m now looking for an agent or publisher. 

Expo 76, an eclectic cover band that includes Dag Juhlin of The Slugs and Poi Dog Pondering, as well as Pravda Records founder/CEO Kenn Goodman, will playing real good for free, tonight at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn.

This Is This, a Chicago area trio that plays mostly original music, will be back at Mac’s On Slade   tomorrow night. On The Hours, The Minutes And The Days, the most recent CD by This Is This, guitarist-singer John Petitt, bassist-singer Don Torres, and drummer Eric Helge brought other genres into their melodic mainstream rock songs. As I mentioned before here on BHT, Mac’s is quickly becoming a popular choice for musicians.

Singer-songwriter Gerry O’Keefe will be playing acoustic versions of songs from his recent Whatever Suits You CD tomorrow night (Saturday, May 18th) at the Buzz Cafe Oak Park. The show starts at 6:30 PM. In my BHT review of Whatever Suits You a while back I noted, “it’s clear that O’Keefe still adores a catchy melody, especially one that’s augmented with harmony vocals and jangling guitars.” I believe at some point, he mentioned on Facebook that he might also play the Herman’s Hermits song, “I’m Into Something Good.” 

Crawpuppies, a band from Indiana that’s equally adept at power pop and mainstream rock, will be the opening act when the Gin Blossoms play at Popcorn Fest in Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso, IN on September 7th. A few years back, when I reviewed the World’s Much Bigger CD by Crawpuppies, I noted that lead singer-guitarist Chad Clifford’s vocals evoke Ian Hunter while his lyrics concerning relationships and topical issues consistently hit the mark. Crawpuppies also have a show on May 31st at Buddy & Pals in Winfield, IN on May 31st.

Luck Of Eden Hall will be in a celebratory mood at Vintage Vinyl in Evanston tomorrow afternoon starting at 1:00 PM. The occasion is the European release of the eternally psychedelic band’s Butterfly Revolutions Volumes 1 and 2. Luck Of Eden Hall will also perform a few songs as a preview of its upcoming release, Victoria Moon.

Go Time! has a record release party for its impressive new CD, Tight Like Wood, on Saturday, June 1st, at Silvie’s Lounge at 9:00 PM. When I reviewed the band’s most recent for release this past Tuesday, I noted its complex arrangements that fall somewhere between power pop and hard rock.

I mentioned in last week’s Slumgullion that the new Plastiscines single “Coming To Get You” was overly commercial, but I suspected better things could still come from the French three-woman band. And I was right.  “Ooh La La” still leans more toward techno than the garage rock that made Plastiscines so much fun in the past, but it’s a catchy tune, built on lead and bass  guitars.

Young Sinclairs, a band that incorporates the jangle of British Invasion but also delves into Bob Dylan and garage rock, has  a new video for “Didn’t You Baby.”  The song is from their 2010 release Chimneys, which is being reissued in digital format available on Amazon and iTunes.  “Hurt My Pride,” released earlier this year as a single, has been getting airplay on Little Steven’s Underground Garage radio show. Young Sinclairs vocalist Sam Lunsford’s self-titled solo debut is also now available. 

International Pop Overthrow is in full swing in the home town of The Beatles. Thirty bands are lined up to play throughout tomorrow at The Cavern Club, which means plenty of opportunities to discover new music. For example, here’s a clip of one of the participating acts, The MerryLees. There’s also a Cavern Club Tribute To Lennon/McCartney scheduled for 2:00 to 6:00 PM. IPO - Liverpool runs through Tuesday, May 21st.

Grab a bowl of cereal and get ready for the world premiere of Ralph Covert’s children’s TV pilot, Ralph’s World: Time Machine Guitar on Chicago PBS station Channel 11. The show will air tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM; Sunday at 10:30 AM; and Tuesday at 6:30 AM. Covert also has a non-Ralph’s World related show tomorrow night at the Friendly Tap in Berwyn.

A Mini Minion? Congratulations to WXRT’s PR Director Kristin Kay on the birth of her first child, Charles. Kay and her staff, or minions, as XRT morning DJ Lin Brehmer and news anchor Mary Dixon call them, are in charge of the station’s Corporate Takeover promotion and can often be seen at XRT events. Like the station’s long-time air personalities, Kay exudes a genuine friendliness that resonates with listeners. Back when I first started BHT in 2009, I attended a birthday bash for Brehmer at Arlington Park. It was a limited affair for selected listeners. Spotting Kay hanging out, I figured protocol dictated that I ask if it would all right to do a blog post about the party. Kay told me it was fine, and with a friendly tap on my arm added, “Knock yourself out!” 

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