Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saturday Slumgullion

Fireworks photo montage by wife Pam.

Slumgullion is delayed again this week due to parties and various outdoor festivities. We’re still in the midst of our 4th of July celebrating here in the States, due to the holiday falling in the middle of the week. Many suburbs have carnivals and concerts running through Sunday. My wife Pam and I went to our next door neighbors’ annual fireworks bash, where the husband had created a particularly entertaining iTunes playlist including Squeeze, Motown artists, Elvis Costello, and Iggy Pop. Playlists for parties are often overlooked (underheard?), so here’s a tip of the hat to those who take the time to make them.

I caught shows by Dot Dot Dot and Diving For Dynamite at the Hometown Fest in Palatine. Despite their impossibly busy schedule, the Dot Dot Dot members always come ready to party, and Diving For Dynamite, which includes vocalist-bassist Brian Sheridan from Ralph’s World and former Material Issue vocalist-guitarist Ted Ansani, played a an extensive range of cover tunes. Guitarist Chris Castelli and drummer Paul Castelli were also impressive on vocals. Highlights included The Smithereens’ “Blood And Roses,” “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys, “No Matter What” by Badfinger, The BoDeans’ “Closer To Free,” and Bowling For Soup’s satirical “1985.” I would have preferred that Diving For Dynamite stay within the power pop genre, but I can understand how they would need to include more commercial fare for larger suburban audiences.

It’s a tradition for kids to line the streets during Palatine’s 4th Of July Parade, anxiously waiting for participants for throw them candy. When I spotted the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival float coming, I pushed my way to the front and wouldn’t stop crying until a bearded BWIFF volunteer handed me a schedule for its 4th annual bash. It will spread across Cutting Hall, Durty Nellie’s, and Emmitt’s later this month. Okay, I wasn’t crying, but I do want to make up for my petulant rant last July about BWIFF not adequately promoting itself. As it turned out, they had done a lot more than I knew about, so I apologized to them in person and changed the snot-nosed title I had used for my post.

Really, it’s almost unbelievable that something as cool as this week-long event could take place in my humble small town. In addition to several independent films being shown, there will be a special night for music videos; the Blue Glass Awards Lunch; and the Centerpiece Concert featuring singer-guitarist Chris Petlak and indie rock band Murley. I’m planning on providing more coverage as the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival draws closer.

The Australian Bee Gees Show will be staging its multi-media event at Water Tower Place in Chicago from July 9th through August 4th.

Joe Algeri, the Australian power pop musician who’s a member of the international trio The Britannicas, and who plays every instrument on CDs he releases under the name The JAC, is coming to America. He’ll be in Chicago for a gig with fellow Britannica Herb Eimerman at Martyrs on July 25th, and will be a guest on the Razor And Die Show (WLUW 88.7FM ) at 4:00 PM on the 26th. Algeri and Eimerman will also be part of International Pop Overthrow - Los Angeles on August 1st. Check out his Facebook page for more performances and radio shows in the States. 

Let It Be, the London-based Beatles musical, begins previews on Broadway in New York on July 16th, and will officially open on July 24th. It’s scheduled to run through December 29th.

Things keep getting more interesting for the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins 25th Anniversary coming up on August 9th - 11th. Mary-Arrchie Theatre has moved its annual celebration of theatre, comedy, and performance art to The Den Theater on Milwaukee Avenue, which can accommodate simultaneous shows and larger crowds.

Plus, Mary-Arrchie recently put out a call for bands to perform at this year’s Abbie. This isn’t the first time Artistic Director Rich Cotovsky, director-actor Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, and the Mary-Arrchie staff have dabbled in live music. Cotovsky has played guitar in his Bitch With Rich sessions at Abbie Fest, and the theatre hosted a series of live music shows a few years back. Garcia has also hosted karaoke nights there as well. Any bands interested in being part of the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins 25th Anniversary can contact the theatre at 


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