Friday, July 25, 2014


It’s my party and I’ll post if I want to. Today is my birthday but I’ve been celebrating with live music since last Saturday night with a Shoes and The Valley Downs double bill at SPACE in Evanston. Next up was a concert by Aimee Mann and Ted Leo as The Both (with opening act Tongues And Pillars) at Millennium Park on Monday; and then a swing by Durty Nellies on Wednesday night for the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival Center Piece Concert featuring Big Paraid (I got home too late from work to see Jackpot Donnie.) There are plenty of opportunities for me and everyone else in Chicago to make merry during the next few days.

The Fifth Annual Blue Whiskey Film Festival  wraps up this weekend with screenings at Cutting Hall in Palatine this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow night, and The Awards Dinner and Chaser at Star cinema Grill in Arlington Heights on Sunday. There’s another double bill today; the 70-minute documentary Not Exactly Cooperstown and the comedy short Wooing Wes Wilson in the 4:00 to 5:45 PM showcase, and the feature-length drama Nightlights, along with the short comedy Four In The Morning, the 12-minute drama A Man On The Edge, and the 15-minute drama Insomniacs in the 7:00 to 10:30 PM showcase.

No, but I went to LollaShop. If you’re brokenhearted because you missed out on Lollapalooza tickets, or you really like the acts scheduled but were worried you’d feel out of place at the indie rock fest because you’re over 20, you can still have a Lollapalooza experience by going to its LollaShop pop-up store at Block 37 (108 N. State Street) in downtown Chicago. It opens today and runs through August 4th.

The Bangles will be in Chicago for two sold-out shows at City Winery on July 27th and 28th. If they arrive two days early they could come to my birthday party, but they would more likely check out their good buddy Matthew Sweet who has a gig at that very same City Winery tonight, with special guests Stolen Silver and Tommy Keene. A lot of people come to Bangles concerts eager to hear the hits like “Manic Monday” and “Eternal Flame.” Which is fine, but truly knowledgeable power pop fans also embrace the album tracks like “Some Dreams Come” and “Tear Off Your Own Head,” as well as the well-chosen cover versions of 1960s nuggets.

Chicagoans who come to The Bangles show on the 27th will get an added treat. Our own Brad Elvis will be playing drums on a few songs while Debbi Peterson moves up front to join Vicki Peterson and Susanna Hoffs. Brad Elvis, formerly of Screams and The Elvis Brothers, also performs with The Romantics and is very active with The Handcuffs, the band he formed with his wife, singer-guitarist Chloe F. Orwell. The Handcuffs will be playing at Northalsted Market Days on August 10th. I wonder if Brad will be wearing a Bangles t-shirt at that gig.

Belinda Carlisle will be the main act on Saturday night, at 8:45 PM at Northalsted Market Days. Other bands on the bill include The Locals, Girl In A Coma, Catfight, and Lez Zeppelin.


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