Friday, July 11, 2014


Shoes back in the days when Skip Meyer was their drummer.

I’ve been considering the idea of pitching Broken Hearted Toy to downtown Chicago hotel concierges as an alternate source of entertainment news. This is another one of those packed weekends that could leave tourists, and even locals unsure of where to start. 
Chicago Acoustic Underground (CAU) has several shows lined up for the Bucktown Garden Walk  this weekend. Alt rock group WhiteWolfSonicPrincess goes on at 3:00 PM and Phil Angotti and Ellis Clark perform at 9:00 PM tomorrow; Liz Chidester (2:00 PM) and Beatles tribute band The Cheetles (8:00 PM) perform on Sunday. See the CAU Facebook page for the full schedule.

Chicago Independent Book Store Day makes its debut tomorrow at nine book stores throughout the area. The event will involve author participation, free stuff, and refreshing beverages. The participating stores are The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square; 57th Street Books and Seminary Coop in Hyde Park; Sandmeyer’s in Printer’s Row; Unabridged Books in Lakeview; Open Books in River North; City Lit Books in Logan Square Logan; Powell’s Bookstore in University Village; and Women And Children First in Andersonville.

Clawing their way back. The six-woman cover band Catfight made a triumphant return to its birthplace last Saturday with a two-hour performance at the Palatine Hometown Fest. Lead vocalists Molly and Julie have developed into a dynamic duo, and the band was consistently in synch behind them. A lot of the songs in Catfight’s repertoire spring from the current Top 40 (Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Fitz And The Tantrums’ “The Walker”) but guitarist Kimi occasionally took the spotlight for some blistering hard rock. I miss the days when Catfight was even more adventurous with its set list but it’s great to have them back. 

Catfight has a 3:45 PM show tomorrow at the Roscoe Village Burger Fest, which takes place at Belmont and Damen in Chicago. Verona Red, The Handcuffs, Treaty Of Paris, and Better Than Ezra are also among the bands scheduled for tomorrow. American English, Fort Frances, and This Must Be The Band and others perform on Sunday.

Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, along with a backing band that includes his son Spencer, will be performing tomorrow at Taste Of Chicago, and he’ll have a potent opening act in Lucinda Williams. The concert starts at 3:00 PM. Other acts include Latin artist Rubén Alvarez and Sun Sounds; the tech duo Pyro Fighter; and the techno quartet Gemini Club. Aloe Blacc And The Wailers are the headliners on Sunday; with JA Cohen; Snow And Snow; Todd Kessler And The New Folk; and Logan Mize among the other acts scheduled.

The 23rd Annual Chicago Tribune North Michigan Avenue Art Festival runs through Sunday at Pioneer Court. I had a chance to check it out briefly at lunch today, and it has some interesting pieces that weren’t at the Old Town or Gold Coast Art Fairs.

According to a piece by Luis Gomez in the Tribune this past Tuesday, former Doctor Who actress Freema Agyeman (she played Martha Jones when David Tennant was The Doctor) will be among the cast members when the Netflix sci-fi series Sense8 starts filming in Chicago next month.

Kym Brunner, local author and co-leader (with local author Cherie Colyer) of the writers group I belong to, has a fun bash planned for next Friday night Bar Louie on Rand Road in Mt. Prospect to celebrate the release of her first-born novel Wanted: Dead Or In Love. Since the clever theme of the novel involves Bonnie And Clyde, Brunner is asking everyone who attends to dress in 1920s or ’30s costumes. Although as Clyde might say, “I reckon it ain’t mandatory.

Local H, Jackpot Donnie, Hemmingbirds, Save The Clocktower, White Mystery, and Band Called Catch are among the acts scheduled to perform at the Great American Lobster Fest being held at Navy Pier on August 16th and 17th. The winner of the Throne Room’s Battle Of The Bands Contest will also be on the bill.

Shoes, with drummer John Richardson joining founding members John Murphy, Jeff Murphy, and Gary Klebe, will be performing next Saturday night, July 19th at SPACE  in Evanston. The Valley Downs, the coed power pop band led by vocalist Marianne Shimkus and bassist-vocalist Mike Galassini,  will be the opening act.

On a sad note: Skip Meyer, who played drums for Shoes back in the days when the band first dazzled power pop fans with classic fare like “Tomorrow Night” and “Too Late,” has passed away after a long battle with illness. Meyer hadn’t performed with the band for several years, but the Murphy brothers and Klebe fondly recalled working him, in Boys Don’t Lie, the Shoes biography penned by Mary E. Donnelly and Moira McCormick.


Kym Brunner July 15, 2014 at 9:21 AM  

Great post, Terry! And yep, you guessed it. It isn't mandatory to dress in Great Gatsby style, but it sure is more fun that way. Thanks for the mention. :)

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