Friday, January 9, 2015


Although the iconic rock star won’t be there to blow out the candles, The Sons Of The Silent Age tribute band will be celebrating David Bowie’s birthday with a bash tonight at Metro.

Congratulations to Bloodshot Records on its 20th Anniversary. The Chicago-based indie label will be celebrating tomorrow night, January 10th, when WXRT and Lagunitas Brewing Co present the Bloodshot Records 20th Anniversary Blowout at Metro. Ben Kweller, Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller, Lydia Loveless, Bobby Bare, Jr. and Banditos are scheduled to perform. There will be a pre-party next door at Gingerman, starting at 5:00 PM.

As noted by theater critic Chris Jones in his Winter Arts Preview in the Chicago Tribune, the Paramount Theatre in Aurora will stage Pete Townshend’s rock opera Tommy starting this month. Director Jim Corti’s production, which stars Devin DeSantis and Jake Klinkhammer, will run from January 14th through February 15th.

The Second Disc website recently offered a preview of an upcoming series of deluxe reissues of all eight of The Pretenders albums from their days with Warner Bros. Records. Most will be comprised of two CDs and one DVD, with loads of rare tracks, demos, and promotional videos. The Pretenders 1979–1999 box set will include all eight of these special releases.

Tears in Liverpool. The Liverpool Echo recently reported that John Keats, one of the current directors of the Cavern Club, plans to stage a day-long series of concerts in honor of Ray McFall, who recently has passed away at the age of 88. McFall bought the Cavern Club in 1959, and changed history by booking The Beatles in 1961. He also brought in The Who and The Kinks to perform, and remained in charge through 1966.

Shoes are busy working on a new vinyl release titled Primal Vinyl, according to a reliable source who posted the news on Facebook.

The CD And Record Show comes to the Holiday Inn Express at 1550 E. Dundee in Palatine next Saturday, January 17th. The event promises rare CDs and DVDs; vinyl; imports; and out of print items. Admission is $3.00; call 847-409-9656 for information.

‘76 In ‘15. EXPO ‘76, the self-described “four lifers who don’t need to be in another band, but still can’t quite help themselves,” will perform their first show of the year next Friday, January 16th at SPACE in Evanston.

It’s radio. From SPACE! Meanwhile, the Evanston venue has announced the arrival of SPACE Radio,  which will offer live performances and exclusive tracks. New episodes will appear online each month. Ep. 1 features songs by John Oates, John McLaughlin, Justin Townes Earle, and others.

Go Time! has a release party for its new Ratsel CD coming up next Saturday (January 17th) at Sylvie’s. Ratsel came in at number 29 on the Broken Hearted Toy Favorite Releases Of 2014 List, (see December 31st post) where I described it as, “An ambitious 19-track effort from this prolific Chicago band that explores the harder edges of power pop with inventive, energetic arrangements.”

The Fifth Annual Warren Zevon Bash takes place on Thursday, January 22nd at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. Androgynous Mustache, a local tribute band with a revolving roster of members, will once again anchor the event; covering the Zevon catalog from beginning to end. The Faders are also on the bill. The show starts at 8:00 PM, with $10 admission charge.

Jeff Kelley is looking for brief comedy bits for his (now monthly) Sunday Morning Coffee With Jeff show on the Internet. If you know how to work a camera and can create something funny within two minutes, be sure to contact him at Kelley also wants people to send in clips of themselves and/or friends saying, “You’re watching Sunday Morning Coffee With Jeff!” that he can use on his show. 

The critically acclaimed and sometimes confrontational singer-songwriter Steve Earle has a four-night Solo And Acoustic residency coming up at City Winery February 1 – 4. His special guest will be the off-kilter but always enchanting singer-songwriter Dawn Landes.

Mavis! the feature-length documentary about legendary soul singer Mavis Staples directed by Jessica Edwards, had its world premiere yesterday (Jan. 8th) at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX. 

I just finished reading local author Kym Brunner’s YA/paranormal novel Wanted: Dead Or In Love. It’s a fast-paced and suspenseful tale of two modern teenagers who are trying to keep the spirits of Bonnie and Clyde from taking over their bodies.

Ms. Brunner will likely be among the many authors and book lovers attending The Elgin Literary Festival, which will take place on the weekend of February 6–8 at Borden Public Library and Exhibition Hall at the Hemmens Cultural Center. There will be free workshops for kids, sales, book signings, and guest speakers. Young Adult author—and Elgin resident—Karly Kirkpatrick (Into The Shadows, After Dawn) and Middle Grade author Katie Sparks (Reality Natalie) will be among the guests. 

The Rock Of The 80s 2015 lineup has been announced, and it will once again feature The Romantics and The Smithereens. This year, Berlin, the band that gave us new wave classics like “Metro” and “Masquerade” is also on the bill. Hopefully, the tour dates will be announced soon. The 2014 tour of Rock Of The 80s, with The Romantics, The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw, and Tommy Tutone, included a very fun show at The Arcada in St. Charles, IL.

And finally, a word of congratulations to WXRT on its highly entertaining 2014 Listeners Poll Gala, which was held this past Wednesday night at City Winery. Host Lin Brehmer did a great job, Tributosaurus was outstanding as usual, and it was nice having a chance to chat with Brehmer, news anchor Mary Dixon, and Marty Lennartz afterward, when the XRT on-air personalities mingled with the audience.


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