Friday, January 23, 2015


Former Doctor Who star Karen Gillian’s underrated sitcom Selfie didn’t fare well on ABC, but she’ll be back on the same network next Thursday night with another show about taking pictures. We’ll Take Manhattan is actually a Brit film set in the 1960s that first aired on the BBC in 2012. It centers on the early days of trendsetting model Jean Shrimpton and photographer David Bailey.

The Pitchfork website is reporting that 1960s garage rockers The Sonics will soon be releasing their first album since 1967. The news was also shared on Facebook by Dig It Up, the concert promoting arm of Australia’s very fun and garage rock influenced band The Hoodoo Gurus. The Sonics joined the Hoodoo Gurus as part of the 2012 Dig It Up tour. The Sonics will be at Thalia Hall in Chicago with Barrence Whitfield and The Savages on April 24th.

The six-part, various artists digital album Legends: Shoulder To Shoulder was released earlier this week by The Pete Quaife Foundation Quaife was the original bassist for The Kinks. The foundation that was formed shortly after his death in 2010 has been using events and albums released on its own label to raise funds to supply sterilized kindles, play stations, and other devices that can be used by children undergoing kidney dialysis. The musician himself had suffered through the those monotonous treatments. Shoulder To Shoulder includes tracks by Noel Gallagher; Terry Reid/Kast off KinKs; The Jigsaw Seen; Michael Des Barres; Tommy Keene; John Wicks and The Records; Peter Noone; Paul Weller; Roger McGuinn; Mike Pender’s Searchers; Johnette Napolitano; and Robin Hitchcock.

Looking up. Speaking of Noel Gallagher, he’ll be bringing his High Flying Birds for a show at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on May 29th. Tickets went on sale today.

Other shows that went on sale today include Jenny Lewis at The Vic on May 18th; Screaming Females at Empty Bottle on March 27th; and Southern Culture On The Skids at FitzGerald’s on May 6th.

Hootin’ and hollerin’ at The Hideout. Pearls Mahone, the Chicago-based singer who has traveled the globe belting out authentic rockabilly, country, and bluegrass tunes, is having a release party for her solo debut Echoes from the Prairie at The Hideout on February 6th.

The very first Elgin Literary Festival takes place on the weekend of February 6–8 at several venues in the citys downtown area. There will be free workshops, panel discussions, sales, book signings, and guest speakers. Sunday’s action includes workshops by published authors Kym Brunner, Katie Sparks, and Cherie Colyer from the writers group I’ve belonged to for a number of years.

The UK indie/vinyl-only label Fruits de Mer has just released its first album of 2015 and it’s a double LP titled Mechanisms Part Two from the prog rock band Cranium Pie. There’s a video of the track “The Lost Song” for all those people who have been clamoring for prog rock mind-bending videos with crustaceans in them.

Visitors to the Curly Tale Fine Art Gallery just north of downtown in Chicago have no doubt encountered the friendly pug dog Tina who inspired the venue’s name. I met her when I was there for a Beatles-related exhibit. Tina was recently diagnosed as having cataracts in both her eyes and is in need of surgery. Curly Tale owner Anita Jerman has announced a fundraiser to help cover the costs and is asking individuals for $20 donations Checks can be sent to Curly Tale Fine Art, Anita Jerman, 16 W. Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60654. 

Come on an amazing journey. The Paramount Theatre’s production of Tommy is a definite success, if you can believe critic Chris Jones (and I usually do) of the Chicago Tribune. Jone gave director Jim Corti’s take on The Who’s rock opera/broadway musical three and a half stars.

A sad note. Dallas Taylor, the drummer best known for his work with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (as well as being the mysterious guy on the back cover of the CSN debut) has passed away from kidney failure. There was a touching and well-crafted tribute to him by Steve Chawkins in this past Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune. It covered Taylor’s accomplishments as a musician as well as how he overcame substance abuse and went on to become a certified addiction counselor.

The indie rock band Save The Clock Tower will headline a show with two other bands at The Abbey Pub on January 30th.

Singer-guitarist Dann Morr, a veteran of bands like Wells-next-the-Sea and Mooner continues his residency at The Hideout this coming Tuesday night.

How can you say someone has indie rock cred if he’s never been a bubblegum card? I heard WXRT DJ Terri Hemmert talking about the new Topps Baseball cards for Eddie Vedder and Jack White on the air today and had to check it out. The two musicians qualified for this honor by appearing at baseball games to throw out the first pitch. Other celebrities featured on the new cards are Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine and actor Jeff Bridges.

Hopefully, it won’t seem wildly inappropriate to follow the above item with this one, but as I was about to post this, I saw the news report that Cubs great Ernie Banks passed away this evening. When I was growing up, with four brothers and a Dad who loved baseball, Ernie Banks was one of our favorite players. My younger brother had a chance to meet him a few times in more recent years, and said that Mr. Banks was genuinely friendly and a class act. A tip of the cap to Mr. Cub. 


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