Friday, April 22, 2016


The Romeros will once again be the final act of International Pop Overthrow - Chicago.

Graham Parker and Brinsley Schwarz, two of England’s most influential musicians, will be sharing the stage together tonight at SPACE in Evanston. The duo performed at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn two days ago.

Tonight’s International Pop Overthrow lineup at Red Line Tap features Milwaukee power pop masters Trolley; Phil Angotti; Tommi Zender; Rich Miller from Waiflike; Too Much Saturn; and Rollo. I won’t be able to make it, but I did catch Angotti and Zender’s sets last Saturday at Laurie’s Planet Of Sound as part of its Record Store Day entertainment.

Angotti, working with Casey McDonough and John San Juan, did a fine job of performing the entire 1st album by The Bee Gees, including the more challenging tracks like “Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Tell You.” Zender, joined by vocalist Dina DiCostanzo and musicians Dave Sills, Matt Kerste, and Jim Barclay, paid tribute to the music of Michael Penn and Aimee Mann. One of the highlights was a haunting take on Mann’s Til Tuesday hit “Voices Carry” on which DiCostanzo sang beautifully while the atmospheric keyboards of the original were replaced by acoustic piano. I’d love to have a recording of this version.

International Pop Overthrow will wrap up its 2016 stay in Chicago with two separate showcases tomorrow. Liam Kelley; The Shake Ups; Deco Auto; Fine Subterraneans, Freetoed, and horrible/beaut will perform throughout the afternoon. The Romeros again have the honor of being the last act of the festival, preceded tomorrow night by Rob Schulz Band; The Bon Mots; Bob’s Yer Uncle; The Unswept; and Jupiter In Velvet. See the official IPO sight for times and band bios.

Johnny Marr, whose album The Messenger topped the Broken Hearted Toy Favorite Releases of 2013 list, and whose album Playland came in at number two a year later, will surely mention those achievements in his upcoming autobiography Set The Boy Free. Well, probably not. Marr will have plenty of experiences to draw upon, having formed The Smiths with Morrissey and later collaborating with some of rock’s best-known musicians. Set The Boy Free is coming out via Dey Street Books in November.

Former Chicago Tribune writer Mark Caro’s Is It Still Funny? series continues next Tuesday night, April 26 at the Music Box Theatre with a screening of The Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup. The idea behind the series is to determine if classic comedies from the past still hold up. I’m betting Groucho and the boys will get a passing grade.

Houndmouth has a gig next Thursday, April 28 at Reggies Rock Club on State Street. The band is best known for "Sedona," an infectious song with Hollies-style harmonies.

Luke, I am your librarian. The Joliet Public Library’s 7th Annual Star Wars Day will be held from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM on June 4 at the library and Joliet Area Historical Museum. The event will offer prizes; games; lots of adults and kids in Star Wars costumes; music; artists; exhibitors; and movie props. Admission is free.

Get Crazy, a 1983 low-budget rock and roll comedy, will be screened on May 4 as part of the ongoing Northwest Chicago Film Society festival running through May at Northeastern Illinois University on Bryn Mawr Avenue in Chicago. Directed by Allan Arkush and featuring cameos by Lou Reed and other cult figures, Get Crazy centers on the ambitious efforts of the rambunctious staff of an L.A. concert promoter to save his business while he recovers from a heart attack.

Mary-Archie’s April 17 performance of David Mamet’s American Buffalo was the final production from the critically acclaimed storefront theatre. As for Mary-Archie’s annual Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Festival, in the words of a song by The Bad Examples, it’s not dead yet. One more Abbie Fest will take place on the weekend of August 19-21 at The Den Theatre on Milwaukee Avenue. Mary-Archie previously utilized The Den Theatre to stage Abbie Fest 25. Having performed in the first 20 Abbie Fests (starting in 1989) It would be great to see this freewheeling, three-day celebration of drama, comedy, music, and performance art go out with a bang.


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