Friday, April 21, 2017

Slumgullion

To paraphrase The Electric Prunes: Get me to the fest on time. (Yes, they had other great songs besides “I Had To Much To Dream Last Night.) Within the next few weeks, Chicago will experience C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo); the CIMMfest (Chicago International Movies and Music Festival) Spring Fling ThingInternational Pop Overthrow and Record Store Day, with its accompanying live shows. Plus The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism is out on Navy Pier through the end of July.

Riot Fest’s First Wave Lineup Announcement came out a few days ago. Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Jawbreaker are the headline acts for September 15, 16, and 17 respectively, and other scheduled acts include The Cribs; The Buzzcocks; The Orwells; Paramore; Ministry; The Regrettes; Bad Brains; Dinosaur Jr.; Peaches; M.I.A.; The Mighty Mighty Bosstones; and Wu Tang Clan.

The Second Disc website has been working overtime with Record Store Day posts, but also recently reported on the upcoming release of two vintage EPs by The Paul Collins Beat. Long Long Gone and To Beat Or Not To Beat are coming out on Lollipop Records on April 28.

Graham Nash’s July 30 show at The Old Town School of Folk Music sold out immediately when it went on sale a few weeks back, so earlier this week, he added a concert there on July 29. That one has now sold out as well.

Ann Wilson from Heart has a solo tour coming underway, and her sister/bandmate Nancy has some things on her plate as well. Nancy has teamed up with vocalist Liv Warfield form Prince’s New Power Generations to form Roadcase Royale. The band’s first single, the women-empowering “Get Loud,” is now available on several digital outlets and the video can be seen on YouTube.

The 33rd Chicago Latino Film Festival opened yesterday and runs through May 4.

Kevin Lee And The Kings will be performing at the Breaking The Silence - A Benefit For Autism Awareness this Sunday, August 23, at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine. The event runs from noon to 8:00 p.m., and special VIP Floor Tables (as opposed to in the balcony) are still available for $200.

The 11th Annual Screen Test Student Fest takes place tonight and tomorrow at the Prairie Center For The Arts in Schaumburg. Presented by 3 Monkeys and Aardvark Studios and Tribeca Flashpoint College, the event will include 31 short films by students in grades five through eight, as well as by high school students around the world.

The Zombies, who are in the midst of a 50th Anniversary Odessey and Oracle Tour, have created a new animated video for the song “Care Of Cell 44,” which comes from that initially overlooked but now legendary album.

The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, Phil Angotti, and Sunshine Boys will be featured in a WNUR Power Pop Shoppe showcase being staged at The Elbo Room on Lincoln Avenue on May 19.

Penthouse Sweets will be playing songs from their new album In The House Of The Penthouse Sweets when they perform at the LiveWire Club on Milwaukee Avenue with The Safes and Means Of Production next Saturday, April 29.

Sopro Music’s 30th Annual Easter Parade Blues Revue takes place tomorrow night at Sullivan’s Night Club and Restaurant in Midlothian. Performers include The Chicago Horns, Debbie Seitz, Joey Drada, Doug Lee, and Billy King. There music starts at 9:00 p.m.

The Griffin Theatre’s production In To America, featuring stories of immigrants to America throughout the country’s history, wraps up its run at The Den Theatre this Sunday.

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RSD - Come For The Vinyl, Stay For The Jams


As the 10th Annual Record Store Day unfolds tomorrow, some stores will be augmenting the vinyl-hunting experience with live performances by local bands. In the Chicago area, Laurie’s Planet Of Sound on Lincoln Avenue; Val’s Halla in Oak Park; Vintage Vinyl in Evanston; and the Reckless Records on Broadway and Milwaukee Avenue have entertainment scheduled. It’s worthing to see if your favorite record store has anything planned.

But first, a few Record Store Day Tips:

Check the official RSD website for the full list of limited-edition releases and create a handwritten or printed list. Based on my experience in Chicago, record store employees don’t want you to hand them your smartphone—they want an actual list. They also don’t have time for any customer dithering at the counter.

Get there early. These records are limited editions, and they’re likely to sell out quickly.

Dress appropriately for the weather. You might be waiting outside in line for an extended time.

And now, here are some of the live RSD shows going on tomorrow.

Reckless Records - 1379 N. Milwaukee Avenue

2:00 p.m. Magas

3:00 p.m. OHMME

4:30 p.m. Smoking Popes

Reckless Records - 3125 N. Broadway

2:00 p.m. CARPENTERSville

3:00 p.m. Tal Sounds

4:00 p.m. Poison Arrows

Laurie’s Planet Of Sound - 4639 N. Lincoln Avenue

12:00 p.m. Ted Wulfers (performing songs from his album The Cubs Won It All in 2016

12:40 p.m. Phil Angotti and Friends perform The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

2:00 p.m. Sanctified Grumblers

3:00 p.m. The Romeros perform the music of George Michael

4:00 p.m. Sweet Figurines perform the music of David Bowie

5:00 p.m. Dust Bunnies

Vintage Vinyl - 925 Davis Street, Evanston

12:00 p.m. Acoustic set by The Luck Of Eden Hall

Val’s Halla - 239 Harrison Street Oak Park

11:00 a.m. Mike Nutt & Charlie Bredrup from Fletcher Rockwell

12:00 p.m. Bill Kavanagh & Friends

1:00 p.m. Dead Freddies perform songs by David Bowie

2:00 p.m. Ellis Clark & Ary Jeebie

3:00 p.m. The InBetween Days

4:00 p.m. Phil Angotti

5:00 p.m. Rachel Drew

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

IPO - Chicago's Opening Weekend

International Pop Overthrow returns to Chicago tomorrow night to kick off nine consecutive days of power pop and indie rock showcases at the Red Line Tap. CFO/Founder David Bash has expanded his approach over the years to embrace several shades of those two genres, but his passion for presenting music with strong melodies remains the same. Friday night’s lineup features Jason Batchko; Gerald Dowd; The Diff; The Joy Poppers; Paul Coady and The Edsel Brothers; and Ravi/Lola.

The afternoon showcase on Saturday offers Black Jack; Mike Pecucci; Larry O. Dean; Coke Belda; and Rich Miller from Waiflike. The heart of Saturday night’s showcase is particularly impressive, with sets by Steve Dawson from Dolly Varden; Phil Angotti; and Ellis Clark and The Big Parade featuring Ary Jeebie. Along The Drive opens the evening at 8:00 p.m., followed by Aethereal. Rollo Time finishes up with a set at 11:45.

Sunday afternoon’s highlight is the Milwaukee-based power pop group Trolley, and the coed band The Artist Formally Known As Vince is always a lot of fun. Judah Michael; The Last Afternoons; and Co-Stanza are also part of the this showcase. Sunday night’s showcase closes with the The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, whose recently released Don’t Buy This Record is power pop delight. Douglas and Tucker kick things off Sunday night at 8:00 p.m.; followed by Lovejoy; Certain Stars; and Drew Neeley and The Heroes.

The entire IPO - Chicago 2017 schedule can be found on the official International Pop Overthrow website, with links to almost all the acts involved. Even if you can’t get to the Red Line Tap, check out those band links for Chicago, as well as the other cities on the IPO tour. It’s a great way to discover new local and international talent.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mothboxer - The Secret Art Of Saying Nothing

Mothboxer is one of those English pop bands like Squeeze or XTC with enough class to merit placing HMS—Her Majesty’s Songs—before its name. The Secret Art Of Saying Nothing is Mothboxer’s first release since Sand And The Rain was so well received back in 2014, and even the title exudes a wry sense of humor. It sports a heavier sound than in the past but not a bit of the style this band has exuded since its 2010 debut has been lost in the transformation.

“Don’t Forget To Breathe” is one of the tracks that packs a punch, with clever lyrics delivered via harmony vocals. “Rest My Mind” has energetic guitar playing woven throughout and “Get It Right,” a song about taking the time to enjoy life, moves to a steady beat. On the lighter side, the acoustic and philosophical “Within And Without” is more successful than the dramatic and less engaging “Look At The Sun.”

While the band’s mission to delve further into power pop is certainly evident, there are also enticing elements of prog rock involved here. “Right Time To Say Goodnight” evokes open spaces and the epic “Half Light,” with its instrumental passages, feels like vintage Pink Floyd. A lilting arrangement and ethereal harmonies turn “I Don’t Mind” into a thing of beauty; bringing yet another facet to this well-crafted collection.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Mission Control - Exhibitionism, IPO Chicago, C2E2, CIMMfest, and RSD

Last Monday, I was strapped into a rocket ship ready to travel through space via the Mission To Mars ride at the EPCOT Center in Disney World. Now I’m back from vacation and getting a similar rush of adrenalin about the next two weeks in Chicago. Maybe with less simulated g-force. With so many entertainment events taking place in such a short time, a person would need a rocket to experience all of them.

The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism show opened this past Saturday on Navy Pier and runs through July 30. International Pop Overthrow Chicago kicks off at Red Line Tap on Thursday and runs through April 29. The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) runs Friday through Sunday at McCormick Place, and a new variation of the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) will be at various venues around the north side this weekend. Record Store Day, with its one-day only vinyl releases and accompanying in-store performances takes place on Saturday.

Judging from the advance press in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, Exhibitionism is every bit as cool as one might expect from a massive display of Rolling Stones memorabilia. It features guitars, posters, film, fashion, personal notes, an art gallery and a recreation of the kitchen in the first London apartment shared by the band members. Exhibitionism has previously been staged by the Aussie-based iEC Exhibitions! in London and New York.

International Pop Overthrow returns for nine days of multi-band showcases (two each on Saturday, April 22; Sunday April 23; and Saturday April 29) and Founder/CFO David Bash has once again lined up some stellar power pop and indie rock acts. Steve Dawson; Phil Angotti; Ellis Clark And The Big Parade featuring Ary Jeebie; Trolley; The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club; The Unswept; The Webstirs; Pop Dollys; and The Red Plastic Buddha; and The Romeros are among the top acts, and you’re bound to discover a new favorite along the way. The IPO website has links to all the acts involved.

Even though the annual Chicago International Movies and Music Festival—a global selection of films; concerts; film/concert combos; and special presentations at venues around the city—has been moved to the fall, the very first CIMMfest Spring Fling Thing  takes place this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the Logan Square neighborhood.

The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo returns to the South Building of McCormick Place this weekend with the promise of Bringing Comics, Cosplay, and Pop Culture To Chicago. It’s always a fun event to check out for the high tech promotions and exhibits, celebrity guests, and loads of people in sci-fi, superhero, ultra villain, monster, and sexy costumes. Rows of vendors offers comics, t-shirts, games, action figures, and all sorts of imaginative memorabilia. Local artists and writers get their shot at selling stuff too.

The 10th Annual Record Store Day offers another massive selection of genre-spanning, multi-generational, limited-edition releases. This year’s crop includes rare vinyl from Against Me!; Air; Andre 3000; The Beatles; Big Star; David Bowie; R.L. Burnside; The Carts; Johnny Cash; Cheap Trick; The Cure; The Doors; Steve Earle And The Dukes; Fleetwood Mac; Dexter Gordon Buddy Guy; Hawkwind; Jane’s Addiction; Elton John; Robert Johnson; The Kinks; Thelonious Monk; Pink Floyd, Iggy Pop; and several other artists. Check out the official site for the complete list. Also, watch for in-store performances. The Luck Of Eden Hall will be performing at Vintage Vinyl in Evanston; and there are full-day lineups of live music scheduled for Laurie’s Planet Of Sound on Lincoln Avenue and Val’s Halla in Oak Park. Reckless Records, Reggies usually schedule live live shows, so be sure to check out your favorite record store to see if anything’s scheduled.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Slumgullion

A hearty welcome to The Zombies, who are wrapping up a two-day visit to Thalia Hall in Chicago tonight, as part of their Odyssey and Oracle 50th Anniversary Tour. I wasn’t able to make it out this time, but I did catch a very good Zombies show at The Arcada in St. Charles last year. The Zombies will have two seven-inch singles—“I Want You Back 1965 and 2015” and “A Rose For Emily”/“This Will Be Our Year”—available next Saturday as part of the 10th Annual Record Store Day.

Tickets went on sale today for Evan Dando at Lincoln Hall on June 20, the Graham Parker Duo at City Winery on July 12, and Michele Shocked’s June 27, July 27, and August 25 gigs at City Winery.

Gee, but it’s great to be back home. Usually when I only manage two posts in a week it’s due to a heavy work load. But this time, it’s because I made like Dada and went to Disneyland. My wife Pam and I also checked out both Universal parks while in Orlando, FL and had a great time. There’s a record store called Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven in Orlando that’s definitely worth a visit for its extensive selection of vinyl, CDs, vintage magazines, t-shirts and assorted memorabilia. The staff is fun, very cool, and willing to help avid fans of The Hollies, and other artists.

This is also the place to pick up a copy of Orlando Weekly, the city’s performing arts/political views (very much like the Chicago Reader) free paper. The Orlando Hard Rock Café has upcoming gigs by Steve Winwood and Lilly Wood on May 6, and a double bill of Blondie and Garbage on August 9. Orlando’s International Fringe Theatre Festival runs May 16 – 29, and judging from the 130–page full-color brochure, it’s a pretty elaborate event.

Speaking of Blondie, the iconic new wave band invited some intriguing guests to help record its latest album Pollinator, according to a story in Mojo magazine. Writer Pat Gilbert notes that Johnny Marr helped write the song “Monster,” and other guests included Sia, Charlie SCX, and Nick Valensi from The Strokes.

Lead vocalist-guitarist Katrina Leskanich of Katrina And The Waves is currently touring and has a new 18-track album titled The Very Best Of Katrina coming out that will feature live versions of the band’s hits and various exclusives. Check out the Katrina of The Waves Facebook page for more details.

The 33rd Chicago Latino Film Festival kicks of next Thursday, April 20 and runs through May 4.

Kevin Lee And The Kings will be performing at the Breaking The Silence - A Benefit For Autism Awareness next Sunday, August 23, at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine. The event runs from noon to 8:00 p.m., and special VIP Floor Tables (as opposed to in the balcony) are still available for $200.

The 11th Annual Screen Test Student Fest takes place next Friday and Saturday at the Prairie Center For The Arts in Schaumburg. Presented by 3 Monkeys and Aardvark Studios and Tribeca Flashpoint College, the event will include 31 short films by students in grades five through eight, as well as by high school students from around the world.

Soprp Music’s 30th Annual Easter Parade Blues Revue takes place next Saturday, April 22 at Sullivan’s Night Club and Restaurant in Midlothian. Performers include The Chicago Horns, Debbie Seitz, Joey Drada, Doug Lee, and Billy King. There music starts at 9:00 p.m.

The Griffin Theatre’s production In To America, featuring stories of immigrants to America throughout the country’s history, continues at The Den Theatre through next Sunday, April 23.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

RSD - Singles Going Steady

Seven-inch singles with picture sleeves are long-time favorites among vinyl aficionados so it’s not surprising to find another bumper crop among this year’s Record Store Day releases. Generally, they’re the lowest-priced RSD items, so it’s possible to pick up at least a handful of 45s. The limited-edition, one-day availability adds to their allure. Here are a few of the more interesting choices. Be sure to check the official Record Store Day website for a full description of each of these offerings.

The Beatles “Strawberry Fields”/“Penny Lane”

Blondie “ Long Time”/“The Breaks” The first is from their upcoming album Polinator, the second side is an RSD exclusive.

The Chills “Rocket Science”/“Lost In Space” Two songs that follow on the heels of the band’s politically charged and impossibly melodic Silver Bullets album.

The Kinks
“All Day And All Of The Night”/“Long Tall Sally”/I’m A Lover Not A Fighter” French EP, originally released in 1964.

The Shelters
“Really Wanted You”/“So Get Out” Two vintage cover from this amazing L.A. band; the first originally done by Emmitt Rhodes and the second by The Surfaris.

Tegan And Sara/The Regrettes “Back In Your Head” Another entry from the Side By Side series, in which two bands perform different versions of the same song. This time, it’s the popular indie rock duo and the quickly rising L.A. punk band.

Peter Schilling - “Major Tom” picture disc of his one and only major hit.

The Zombies “I Want You Back” 1965 and 2015 The original version and a much newer one recorded decades later.

The Zombies “A Rose For Emily”/“This Will Be Our Year” Two songs from the iconic British band’s 1967 Odessey And Oracle album. The first is the original version, but the second in a recently discovered version with a different arrangement.

Record Store Day is April 22.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Slumgullion

CHIRP Radio and Vintage Garage will be sharing space tomorrow when the 15th Annual CHIRP Record Fair And Other Delights takes place tomorrow at the Local 130 Plumbers Union Hall at 1340 W. Washington in Chicago. Vintage Garage will set up shop on the first floor, with 25 vendors offering vintage decor and fashion items. CHIRP will fill the the second floor with vinyl, CDs, videos, and other music memorabilia for sale. It’s also a great place to see local musicians wandering the aisles, looking for rarities. Admission from 10:AM to 6:00 PM is $7; early admission from 8:00 to 10:00 AM costs $25, with readmission allowed all day.

Lovin’ Spoonful founding member and solo artist John Sebastian will be at SPACE in Evanston this Sunday night.

Richard Thompson has two shows at The Old Town School of Folk Music this Sunday; an all request show at 4:00 p.m. and his regular show at 8:00 p.

An Evening With Graham Nash at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on July 30 sold out immediately this morning. Here’s hoping he adds another show because I wasn’t able to get a ticket. In other Nash news, his Facebook page states that he’s now open to patching things up estranged pal David Crosby. The current political climate in the USA is said to be a factor in his change of heart.

Other concerts that went on sale today include NRBQ at The Hideout on May 26 and 27; Feist at The Vic on June 14; Air at the Auditorium Theatre on June 20; Drive-By Truckers at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on June 20; and The Alarm at City Winery on August 28.

Imelda May has a gig at Park West on June 30, and according to writer Tom Lanham’s article in the issue No. 141 of Magnet magazine, the Irish singer explores some new territory on her upcoming album Life, Love, Flesh, Blood.

Tellin’ Tales Theatre wraps up its latest production, Metamorphosisthis this weekend at the Prop Thtr on Chicago’s north side. James Sweeney from Live Lit will be joining in, along with regular members Tekki Lomnicki, Steve Glickman, and Judi Lee Goshen.

The Griffin Theatre’s In To America, a new production that features stories of immigrant to America throughout the country’s history, continues at The Den Theatre through April 23. Tickets are $36
Los Angeles-based band The Shelters, whose self-titled debut was one of the very best albums of 2016, will be at Beat Kitchen next Wednesday, April12.

The Zombies bring their Odyssey and Oracle 50th Anniversary Tour to Thalia Hall on Thursday and Friday.

The Kaleidoscope Eye psychedelic festival coming to the LiveWire Lounge in Chicago this September now has an official Facebook page. Check it out for updates, and also to provide feedback to organizers Tim Ferguson of The Red Plastic Buddha, Gregory Curvey The Luck Of Eden Hall, and Lee Klawans.

Exhibitionism, the massive, multi-media The Rolling Stones exhibit comes to Navy Pier next Saturday, April 15and will run through through July 30.

The Penthouse Sweets, a band who’s made some memorable appearances at The Abbey Pub and other venues around Chicago since 2002, have a new album titled In The House Of The Penthouse Sweets coming out at the end of this month. Band member Lou Hallwas helped out Material Reissue on keyboards during a recent concert at Metro.

In other local releases news, new albums are coming John San Juan from the psychedelic band The Hushdrops; Christopher David from Magatha Trysty, and singer-guitarist Phil Angotti.

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Monday, April 3, 2017

The Smithereens Return To The Chicago Area

Photo by Cat Lynn from The Smithereens Facebook page.

The Smithereens’ concert this past Saturday night at the Schaumburg Prairie Center For The Arts was noticeably different from their show at City Winery Chicago last September. Back in 2016, the New Jersey-based band was marking the 30th anniversary of its stellar debut effort Especially For You. With that celebration finished and the dawn of a new year, The Smithereens have set out with a different playlist. The result was another energetic and well-crafted performance of catchy power pop songs, along with a few covers of The Beatles and The Who.

At one point, lead vocalist Pat DiNizio thanked the audience members for allowing his band to delve deeper into its catalogue. I’ve been to several Smithereens shows over the years, but I don’t recall seeing them do “One Look At You,” “If I Never Get Back Home,” “The War For Mind,” or “Life Is So Beautiful.” Even the choice of Beatles covers—“Please Please Me” and “It’s Only Love”—were different this time out. In addition to being a first-rate vocalist, DiNizio always serves up a number of bitingly funny comments and anecdotes.

Elsewhere, the songs that have become milestones in The Smithereens’ live shows were just as vital as ever. Even though Especialy For You wasn’t front and center, DiNizio, guitarist Jim Babjak, drummer Dennis Diken, and bassist Severo Jornncion tapped into it for rousing versions of “Behind The Wall Of Sleep,” “Only A Memory,” and “Blood And Roses.” There was also the touching noir of “In A Lonely Place,” originally a duet for DiNizio and Suzanne Vega. “House We Used To Live In,” with its exuberant call-and-response vocals from all four band members, segued into the instrumental “Sparks” from The Who’s rock opera Tommy. The Smithereens returned to The Who for “Behind Blue Eyes” as well as Free’s “All Right Now,” for a rousing finale that had everyone in the theater up on their feet. 

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Slumgullion

New Jersey boys The Smithereens are frequent and always welcome visitors to the Chicago area, and they’ll be at The Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts  tomorrow night. When I saw them at City Winery Chicago last September (see September 26, 2016 in the BHT archive for my review), they were celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their full-length debut Especially For You. It’s a landmark album, but every Smithereens record has its share of power pop gems. Look for them to do some covers of The Beatles and The Who as well.

The Adrian Belew Power Trio will be at Old Town School Of Folk Music tomorrow night.

Richard Thompson has two shows at The Old Town School of Folk Music next Sunday; an all request show at 4:00 p.m. and his regular show at 8:00 p.m.

If you saw Greg Kot’s Turn It Up column on The Regrettes in the On The Town section of today’s Chicago Tribune and wondered if such a young and relatively unknown band is worth that much attention, the answer is yes. Lead vocalist-guitarist Lydia Night’s observations on navigating life as a teenager ring true and are often bitterly funny. Plus, she and her mates mix authentic punk with the 1960s girl group sound and come up with irresistible melodies on their full-length debut Feel Your Feelings Fool! The Regrettes will be at Schubas this Sunday, with Brooklyn-based indie rock band Active Bird Community as their opening act.

Nancy Wilson from Heart will be on hand when The Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp celebrates its 21st Anniversary in Hollywood, CA. on July 29 – July 2. Other guests include Steven Adler from Guns N’ Roses, Greg Bissonette from the David Lee Roth Band, Ashley Dzerigian from Filter, and Joe Vitale.

Ann Wilson from Heart has a solo concert coming up at House Of Blues in Chicago on June 16. Tickets went on sale earlier today.

Tickets also went on sale today for the Phoenix and Lemon Twigs concert at the Aragon Ballroom on June 5.

Tellin’ Tales Theatre kicks off its latest production, Metamorphosis tonight at the Prop Theatre on Chicago’s north side. James Sweeney from Live Lit will be joining in, along with members Tekki Lomnicki, Steve Glickman, and Judi Lee Goshen. Metamorphosis runs this weekend and next weekend.

Power pop fans know him as a founding member of the band Green, and now singer-guitarist Jeff Lescher has a solo effort coming out. A post on Lescher’s Solo Album Facebook page states he has 28 songs that need a home. Hopefully, we’ll be hearing those songs in the near future.

Tributosaurus will become Pink Floyd next Wednesday, April 5 at Martyrs in Chicago. The first set will feature Pink Floyd’s rock classics, and for the second set, Tributosaurus will perform the entire Dark Side Of The Moon album in order. Two days later, they’ll go all Pink Floyd again at Wire in Berwyn.

The Griffin Theatre’s In To America, a new production that features stories of immigrants coming to America throughout the country’s history, continues at The Den Theatre through April 23.

Dave Davies from The Kinks will be coming to The Arcada in St. Charles next Saturday, April 8. I saw Mr. Davies with his first-rate backing band at Taste Of Lincoln Avenue a few years back and it was an amazing show that included his solo stuff as well as Kinks material.

The annual CHIRP Record Fair And Other Delights takes place next Saturday at the Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Union Hall on Washington, just west of downtown. Admission is $7. By the way, this should have been part of my April, Rock She Will post the other day. It’s always a lot of fun and you can find records, CDs, videos, posters, and other music-related treasures.

John Sebastian, who was a founding member of The Lovin’ Spoonful before embarking on a successful solo career, will be at SPACE in Evanston next Sunday, on April 9.

The Second Disc website recently reported that the Brinsley Schwarz album All Over Now is being released on the U.K. label Mega Dodo four decades after it was recorded. The band lineup is Nick Lowe, Ian Gomm, Brinsley Schwarz, Bob Andrews, and Billy Rankin; the tracks include “Cruel To Be Kind.”

Also, according to The Second Disc, there’s a new Bee Gees tribute album coming out, titled To Love Somebody: The Songs Of The Bee Gees 1966 – 1970. Al Green, Nina Simone, Percy Sledge, Lulu, Sandie Shaw, and The Staple Singers are among the artists who’ll be participating. It’s available on Amazon.

We still play the blues in Chicago, and by 2019, we’ll finally have a downtown museum honoring the music and role the our city played in its development. Chicago Blues Experience already has a Facebook page, announcing “A world-class cultural attraction for the City of Chicago,” and has garnered press in Crain’s Chicago Business and the Chicago Tribune.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

It’s A Small World After All

I frequently worry that the postings here on Broken Hearted Toy are too Chicago-centric to interest anyone outside the immediate area. So here’s some far-reaching entertainment business news.

Joe Algeri, the hardest-working singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist in Australia has just released a new song by The Outryders. (He’s also a member of The Britannicas, The Jangle Band, and The JAC.) “Live For Today”/“Piangi Con Me” finds Algeri and Paul Colombini performing a catchy and very fun blend of the original version by The Grassroots and a later one by the Italian band The Rokes.The song also features Britannicas bassist Herb Eimerman, and is available for free download on Algeri’s Bandcamp page.

UK-based Genesis Publications had an exhibit at the AIPAD-hosted Photography Show in New York today to celebrate the 100 limited-edition music books it’s published since 1974. Photos on display at the Genesis booth included ones relating to John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Yoko Ono, and Paul Weller. Noted photographer Mick Rock was on hand to sign bookplates from Transformer, a Genesis book devoted to Lou Reed.

The French band Phoenix will be traveling the globe performing “Lisztomania,” “1901,” and other selections from their oervre for the first time in two years. The tour will bring them to London, Tokyo, Paris, Jakarta, Manila, Rome, Berlin, Lisbon, Hollywood, Chicago and other major cities.

Fruits de Mer, the UK indie label that puts all its releases on slabs of vinyl (frequently coloured), has some new efforts on the way. The bands Sendelica and Superfjord combine forces on the seven-inch single “Zappa,” which features “Peaches En Regalia” on one side and “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” on the other. Astralasia’s new double album Oceania has over an hour of new and original electronic/chill music. The album has a gatefold sleeve and includes a perforated seven-inch blotter. I’m not sure what a perforated seven-inch blotter is; I’m just quoting the press release.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

April, Rock She Will

April is traditionally a big month here at Broken Hearted Toy because it brings International Pop Overthrow, Record Store Day, CIMMfest, and usually C2E2 to Chicago. 2017 has those four anchor events, along with the Rolling Stones’ Exhibitionism exhibit, and a bunch of live shows. Here’s a quick list of what to expect. Hopefully, I’ll be going into more detail on each of these in future posts. More events will probably be added to the list as the month goes by.

April 1 The Smithereens at thePrairie Center Arts in Schaumburg.

April 1 Adrian Belew Power Trio at Old Town School Of Folk Music

April 2 The Regrettes at Schubas.

April 5 Tributosaurus becomes Pink Floyd at Martyrs on Lincoln Avenue.

April 8 Dave Davies of The Kinks at The Arcada in St. Charles.

April 12 The Shelters at Beat Kitchen

April 13 and 14 - The Zombies Odyssey and Oracle 50th Anniversary Tour at Thalia Hall

April 15 through July 30 Exhibitionism - The Rolling Stones at Navy Pier.

April 19 The New Pornographers at Metro

April 21 through 23 C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) at McCormick Place.

April 21 through 23 CIMMfest at various venues.

April 21 through April 29  International Pop Overthrow runs at the Red Line Tap on Chicago’s north side.

April 22 Record Store Day

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

RSD - Seeing Double

Last Thursday’s post here on Broken Hearted Toy mentioned four of the most tempting box sets or multiple-LP offerings coming on April 22 as part of Record Store Day 2017. For those with the cash, there are definitely some genuine treasures on the way. Now it’s time to move on to the (hopefully) more modestly priced 2-LP sets.

The Cars Live at the Agora, 1978 was recorded in Cleveland at the height of the band’s popularity. Songs include “Just I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” and “Moving In Stereo.” The Cars played an essential role in putting new wave on the map and should have been inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Cheap Trick has been inducted into the RRHOF, and The Epic Archive Vol. One will likely provide more evidence of why they’ve earned that right. The official RSD site describes this as “eighteen rarities” on yellow vinyl but doesn’t mention any specific tracks. There will be single mixes, and non-LP tracks, along with annotation by Bun E. Carlos, rare photos from band photographer Bob Alford, and liner notes by Ken Sharp. Sharp is the noted rock critic/musician who recently published Vol. 4 of his Power Pop Heroes book series.

The Cure - Greatest Hits offers two picture discs of songs selected and remastered by lead vocalist Robert Smith. Songs include “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Love Cats,” “Friday I’m In Love,” “Let’s Go Yo Bed,” “Why Can’t I Be You” and “Love Song.”

The Cure Greatest Hits Acoustic is also on two picture discs and has acoustic versions of the hit songs on the regular Greatest Hits album. It doesn’t say when these were recorded but the concept could be “Just Like Heaven” for the group’s devoted following.

Various Artists - Nuggets: Come To The Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets was originally released in 2004 on the Rhino Handmade label, and now it’s on orange/yellow marble vinyl. The acts involved include Harpers Bizarre, The Association, The Monkees, The Vogues, and Dino, Desi, and Billy. Hard to imagine this being as much fun as the harder-edged Nuggets fare, but probably still a worthwhile trip.

Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye - A Tribute To Roky Erikson recruits R.E.M., The Lyres, ZZ Top, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Julian Cope, Poi Dog Pondering, The Judybats, Lou Ann Barton, Richard Lloyd, John Wesley Harding, T Bone Burnett and others to pay homage to the leader of the 13th Floor Elevators and one of psychedelic rock’s most adventurous pioneers. Originally released by Sire in 1990, this version has three songs that were previously only available on a cassette version.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Slumgullion

The Shelters will be at Beat Kitchen in April and at Lollapalooza in August.

The full lineup of 170 music acts for this year’s Lollapalooza was announced earlier this week. The event takes place August 3 – 6 in Grant Park. Chance the Rapper, who’s been in the news lately for his efforts to stop gun violence in Chicago, is one of the headline acts, along with Lorde, The Killers, and Arcade Fire. The Shelters (whose self-titled album came in at number two on the Broken Hearted Toy Favorite Releases of 2016 list), Cage The Elephant, Liam Gallagher, Spoon, Tegan and Sara, Warpaint, and The Shins will also be performing. Tickets for Lollapalooza are already sold out.

Tickets went on sale today for Juliana Hatfield at Lincoln Hall on May 1; The Shelters at Beat Kitchen on April12; Robyn Hitchcock at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on June 17; and Alison Moyet at Park West on September 19.

The Factory Theater, a major force in Chicago for decades, has a new play called Born Ready opening tonight at its space on the far north side. Stacie Barra’s play about an aging actress and a young dancer who join forces as a comedy duo is directed by W. Bullion and stars Eleanor Katz and and Clara Byczkowski.

Wild Honey’s benefit for The Autism Think Tank takes place tomorrow night, March 25 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale California. Jackson Browne, Peter Case, Victoria Williams, Syd Straw, David Baerwald, Continental Drifters, Plainsong, and Cait O’Riordan are among the musicians who’ll be performing The Band’s Music From Big Pink album. Founding Band member Garth Hudson will also be on hand.

Singer-guitarist James Moeller will be getting a workout tomorrow night at Phyllis Musical Inn when whitewolfsonicprincess, the mysterious alt rock band he leads with vocalist Carla Hayden, shares the stage with his more garage rock oriented outfit The Telepaths. Music starts at 10:00 p.m.

The Refugee Theatre’s production of the High Fidelity Musical wraps up tomorrow night.

The Experience Hendrix all-star tribute to the legendary guitarist comes to the Chicago Theatre tomorrow night, March 25. Performers include Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Johnny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dweezil Zappa, and others.

The Smithereens will be back in the Chicago area next Saturday, April 1 when they play the Prairie Arts Center in Schaumburg. The Smithereens’ ESP3PECIALLY F0R YOU 30th Anniversary of their debut album Especially For You, came in at number three on my Favorite Releases Of 2016 list.

The Heroes And Villains Fan Fest returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center tomorrow and Sunday, March 25 and 26, with special guests from several popular TV shows. Two-day passes for general admission are $90, Saturday only is $55, and Sunday is $45. Various forms of VIP packages are also available.

The 20th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival is currently taking place at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and by the time it’s finished on March 30, 62 films from 28 countries will have been screened

The Regrettes, the Los Angeles-based quartet whose full length debut Feel Your Feelings Fool is an irresistible blend of punk and the 1960s girl group sound, will be at Schubas next Sunday night. Brooklyn-based indie rock band Active Bird Community, which released its latest album Stick Around earlier this year, will be the opening act.

Little Steven and The Disciples Of Soul will be summering in Europe this year, with concerts scheduled in Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, and Norway. Musician/actor/radio host Steven Van Zandt first recorded with The Disciples Of Soul in 1982 with the release of the Men Without Women album. Musically, of course, Van Zandt is best known for his work with Bruce Springsteen

The ambitious psychedelic rock fest Tim Ferguson, Gregory Curvey, and Lee Klawans are going to stage at the LiveWire Lounge in Chicago this September has been officially dubbed Kaleidoscope Eye. The bands involved are The Red Plastic Buddha, The Luck Of Eden Hall, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Friends of Dennis Wilson, Warhorses, Heaven’s Gateway Drugs, Magic Castles, The Orange Drop, White Shape, Constantine, Aethereal, Junkee Girl, Diagonal, and Lucille Furs.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

RSD - Big Ticket Items

As far as I can tell, there’s no way to find out in advance what the prices will be on any of the Record Store Day releases. A seven-inch single can run from a few bucks to $15.00, and the cost of albums and EPs varies as well. Box sets are sure to be expensive but it might be worth rolling the dice on some of this year’s more tempting selections.

Just Say 50, The Sire Records 50th Anniversary four-LP set reaches back to the label’s very first single (“Hocus Pocus” by Focus) and up to current releases by artists like Wilco. There are several tracks by late 1970s and early 1980s punk and new wave acts, including Echo And The Bunnymen, The Pretenders, The Ramones, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and Talking Heads.

The three-LP Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74) by David Bowie features him performing “Changes,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Suffragette City,” “All The Young Dudes,” The Jean Genie,” and other world-changing songs. The Ramones ’76 – ’79 Singles box set includes “Rock ’N’ Roll High School,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “I Wanna Be Sedated,” and each record has an authentically reproduced picture sleeve. The four-LP Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band Hammersmith Odeon ’75 captures his first European concert.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club - Don’t Buy This Record

It’s always a kick to encounter a new release from The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, the Chicago-based quintet with the Monty Pythonesque name and knack for quirky power pop. Don’t Buy This Record is a ten-song effort that mostly follows in the tradition of fellow Midwestern acts like Wilco and The Webstirs, but also explores 1980s style synth rock. True to its title, the release is currently available for free download on the group’s Bandcamp page.

“Have You Met You” delivers sharp lyrics about lacking self awareness via glam rock vocals and a guitar-driven arrangement. “Pick Pocket,” with its punchy rhythms and keyboards simultaneously evokes The Cars and Supergrass while “The Woman Who Got Old” is a catchy and energetic look at how quickly life can pass us by. “The Sweetest Song,” with its rich instrumental tapestry and adventurous vocal interplay (guitarist Bill Giricz, bassist Dan Passarelli, and guitarist Paulette Bertrand are all listed as lead singers), would have fit in well on a Wilco album.

The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club delves more deeply into techno music than on previous efforts, and the results are impressive. The hard-edged “Up The Stairs” grooves to an ominous beat, and the band also conjures a 1980s style ambience on “Just Drive” and “What’s It To You.” The eclectic approach on Don’t Buy This Record also includes the lighter and eccentric “Rare Bird” and “Succumb To Your Blues.”

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Incoming

If the song “40,000 Headmen” brings back fond memories of the early and far more adventurous days of FM radio, then you might want to drop by Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue tomorrow night. A collection of musicians, using the name of that Steve Winwood/Jim Capladi song, will be performing the music of Traffic. There will be another tribute show at Martyrs’ on Thursday when the Great Moments In Vinyl crew will perform the Nevermind and MTV Unplugged In New York albums by Nirvana.

The official Record Store Day Facebook page had a post on March 14 stating, “One week from today, we’ll launch the Official RSD 2017 titles.” That adds up to March 21—tomorrow—and you can bet vinyl collectors will be eager to see the one-day-only limited editions that will be available. The actual Record Store Day this year takes place on Saturday, April 22.

It was so great to see all the tributes to Chuck Berry across social and traditional media during the past few days. Berry first rose to stardom over a half a century ago, but musicians and fans still regard him as a founding father of rock and roll. Some of the personal anecdotes I’ve seen on Facebook and in newspapers have been particularly touching. Hail, Hail, Rock And Roll!

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Irish Stew

The latest Wild Honey benefit for The Autism Think Tank will be held next Saturday, March 25 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale California. The all-star lineup of musicians playing The Band’s Music From Big Pink album will include original member Garth Hudson, along with Jackson Browne, Peter Case, Victoria Williams, Syd Straw, David Baerwald, Continental Drifters, Plainsong, Cait O’Riordan and several others.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, let’s raise a toast to Irish rock and roll, including U2, The Undertones, Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison, The Boomtown Rats, The Pogues, The Cranberries, The Urges, My Bloody Valentine, Them, Little Green Cars, Ash, Something Happens, Sinead O’Connor, The Corrs, and Rory Gallagher.

Mahoney’s Pub & Grille on Ogden Avenue in Chicago is holding an Irish Fest tomorrow that will feature bagpipers, Irish dancers, and performances by Maggie Speaks, Three Men In Kilts, and the Larkin Brothers.

Barrington is billing its Seventh Annual Celtic Fest as “suburban Chicagoland’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Celebration” and will offer dancers, food and drink, live bands, bagpipers, and local merchants. It will be hosted by McGonigal’s Pub and runs through late tomorrow night.

Tickets went on sale today for Paul Simon at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on June 14; two shows by the Bodeans at City Winery on May 26; Ian Hunter and The Rant Band at Park West on May 13; and Heartsfield at FitzGerald’s on May 13.

New albums arriving today included Spirit by from Depeche Mode—who’ll at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Tinley Park on August 30, and Hot Thoughts by Spoon.

George Harrison’s The Vinyl Collection, a box set containing all 12 of his studio albums, is now available. It also includes a Live In Japan record and two picture-disc 12-inch singles.

After hearing an employee at the Graham Cracker Comic store in downtown Chicago talking about a local production of the High Fidelity Musical, I found a a review by theatre critic Kerry Reid on the Chicago Tribune’s website. Reid wasn’t overwhelmed by Refugee Theatre Project’s production but did note, “Christopher Pazdernik's endearing production brims with good-natured enthusiasm and dollops of sly wit, along with a fine onstage band headed by music director John Cockerill.” The play has been extended through March 25.

Hard-hitting power pop band Go Time! will be performing at Silvie’s Lounge in Chicago tomorrow night (March 18).

They’re still everywhere that I’m not. Translator, who had an FM radio hit with “Everywhere That I’m Not” in 1982, has dates with The Long Ryders coming up toward the end of April in California. Wish they would visit Chicago.

The Experience Hendrix all-star tribute to the legendary guitarist comes to the Chicago Theatre next Saturday, March 25. Performers include Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Johnny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dweezil Zappa, and others.

The tribute show Fleetwood Mac Mania will be performed at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Park next Friday, March 24.

The Heroes And Villains Fan Fest comes to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center next weekend, March 25 and 26, with special guests from several popular TV shows. Two-day passes for general admission are $90, Saturday only is $55, and Sunday is $45. Various forms of VIP packages are also available.

The 20th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival is currently taking place at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and by the time it’s finished on March 30, 62 films from 28 countries will have been screened.

The Jewish Film Festival continues through this weekend at various venues in the Chicago area.

The Last Waltz 40 Tour will pay a visit to The Chicago Theatre on April 19. Warren Haynes, Dr. John, and several other performers will be paying tribute to The Band’s star-studded farewell concert.

As mentioned here yesterday, tickets for Lollapalooza 2017 go on sale at 10:00 a.m. next Tuesday, March 21. The event takes place in Grant Park August 3 – 6; with a single day ticket running $120 and a four-day pass going for $335.

Ravinia announced its 2017 schedule, which includes Santana; Stephen Stills and Judy Collins; John Mellancamp; The Temptations and The Beach Boys; Blondie and Garbage; and The Moody Blues.

The LiveWire Lounge on Milwaukee Avenue continues its string of interesting bookings with a show on May 13 that will offer Splitsville, The Handcuffs, Collectors, and Hyperplane.

I’m not an avid fan of college basketball, but here are a few interesting things about Northwestern and the 2017 NCAA Tournament: It’s the first time in 78 years the university has qualified for participation. The team’s forward, Charlie Hall, is the son of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. According to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Gordon Wittenmyer, members of the Chicago Cubs, including Kris Bryant, are rooting for Northwestern. They won their first game of the tournament last night.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Festivals On The Horizon

Tickets for Lollapalooza 2017 go on sale at 10:00 a.m. next Tuesday, March 21, and it’s safe to say they’ll immediately sell out even though none of the acts have been announced yet. The event takes place in Grant Park August 3 – 6; with a single day ticket running $120 and a four-day pass going for $335. If past years are any indication, Lollapalooza will feature popular artists from alternative, rap, hip-hop, ambient, and classic rock.

While Lollapalooza’s organizers can rightfully be proud to their inclusive and diverse approach, they can’t touch Ravinia in terms of eclectic offerings. Then again, Lollapalooza only has four days, while Ravinia runs all summer. This year’s Ravinia schedule was recently announced and it includes Tony Bennett; Common; Fitz And The Tantrums; Santana; Stevie Nicks; Aretha Franklin; Stephen Stills and Judy Collins; John Mellencamp, Pat Metheny The Temptations and The Beach Boys; the John Butler Trio; Alanis Morissette; Darius Rucker; Diana Krall; Smokey Robinson; Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons; and Sheryl Crow. The Moody Blues will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their majestic Days Of The Future Passed album: Blondie will team with Garbage; and there will be a David Bowie tribute. There's also a full schedule of classical music concerts being offered.

The Pitchfork Music Festival, which takes place at Union Park July 14 – 16, also recently announced its full lineup. Artists include PJ Harvey; LCD Soundsystem; The Feelies; Thurston Moore; A Tribe Called Quest; Angel Olsen; George Clinton; Priests; Solange; and Ride. Tickets are $75 for a single day; $175 for a three-day pass.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Slumgullion

Just the man to unleash psychedelic music on Chicago. Photo from Tim Ferguson's Facebook page.

The Sons Of The Silent Age, a very good David Bowie tribute band that comprises veterans of Chicago’s music scene, will be at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue tomorrow night.

Tickets went on sale today for Depeche Mode at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Tinley Park on August 30, Tommy Keene at The Hideout onApril 27, and Jeff Tweedy at The Vic on April 21 and 22.

Lead-vocalist-bassist Tim Ferguson and his Chicago-based band The Red Plastic Buddha will host an ambitious psychedelic music festival on September 8 and 9 at the Live Wire club. Partnering with Lee Klawans, he’s already booked several acts, including The Luck of Eden Hall, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Friends of Dennis Wilson, and Warhorses from Detroit. Heaven’s Gateway Drugs from Ft. Wayne, Magic Castles from Minneapolis, The Orange Drop from Philadelphia, and White Shape from Rockford are also on the schedule, along with locals Constantine, Aethereal, Junkee Girl, Diagonal, and Lucille Furs. And he’s not done yet. There’s no name for this festival yet, so Ferguson and Klawans are asking for suggestions via Facebook.

“This is going to be the best psychedelic music fest Chicago has seen since 1968,” Ferguson told me in a Facebook message, and he knows his way around the genre. The Red Plastic Buddha has been at the forefront of Chicago’s psychedelic scene for a number of years now, and their Song For Mara album came in at number four on my Favorite Releases of 2014 list. The Red Plastic Buddha will perform an afternoon show at Red Line Tap on April 29 as part of International Pop Overthrow.

The Music Box Theatre on Chicago’s north side has a special multimedia event titled Deconstructing The Beatles; The White Album coming up next Thursday, March 16. Produced and hosted by composer Scott Freiman, the 90-minute documentary explores the various recording methods used by The Beatles on their iconic album.

The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club has a new album called Don’t Buy This Record and they want people to take that title seriously. All songs are available for a free download on the Chicago power pop group’s Bandcamp page. I plan on reviewing it soon.

Mothboxer, the British band that’s earned a reputation for gorgeously crafted power pop, has returned from a two-year hiatus with new album titled The Secret Art Of Saying Nothing. I suspect I’ll have some good things to say when I review it in the near future.

There’s an International Woman’s Day art sale from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. taking place tomorrow, March 11 at Bourdage Pearls on Ravenswood in Chicago. Local artist Brenda Goodbread Walker will be showing some of her work and there will be an acoustic performance by Graham Elvis. at 3:00 p.m.

The 20th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival is currently taking place at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and by the time it’s finished on March 30, 62 films from 28 countries will have been screened.

The Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead continues at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Park through March 18, and the tribute show Fleetwood Mac Mania comes to that venue on March 24.

Roxy Swain, the Chicago-based band that’s fronted by the engaging vocalist-rhythm guitarist Roxy Swain, has a gig at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn next Thursday, March 16. Three of the group’s albums have been favorably reviewed here on Broken Hearted Toy.

The latest Wild Honey benefit for The Autism Think Tank will be held March 25 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale California, and as usual, it boasts an all-star lineup of musicians playing the music of an iconic band. The Beatles and Big Star have been honored in the past, and this time, Wild Honey will cast a spotlight on The Band’s Music From Big Pink album. Garth Hudson, an original member of The Band, will be joined by Jackson Browne, Peter Case, Victoria Williams, Syd Straw, David Baerwald, Continental Drifters, Plainsong, Cait O’Riordan and several others. The event will be hosted by Chris Morris.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Regrettes - Feel Your Feelings Fool

The Regrettes have been creating a buzz on the Los Angeles club scene by mixing that city’s heralded punk approach with the 1960s girl group sound. There’s a running theme throughout their full-length debut Feel Your Feelings Fool of a rebellious young woman navigating the ups and downs of relationships. Lead vocalist-guitarist and main songwriter Lydia Night consistently brings grit and humor to her lyrics and The Regrettes set them to explosive but irresistible arrangements.

The fast-paced “I Don’t LikeYou” and “How It Should Be,” which evokes Leslie Gore, celebrate ditching boyfriends who haven’t measured up. “Hot” depicts a guy who turns on lots of girls but is still bad news because he’s conceited and a liar. Even when Night creates upbeat romantic songs like “Hey Now” and “’Til Tomorrow,” they exude an off-kilter and vulnerable charm.

Other songs take aim at the limitations society places on women. “A Living Human Girl” serves up a funny list of attributes that defy the traditional ideals of female beauty, and on “Seashore,” Night lashes out at condescending attitudes. “You’re talking to me like I’m hurt,” she sings. “At least I’m not six feet in the dirt. And I’ll still kick your ass even in my skirt.” The rollicking “Lacy Loo” and satiric “Picture Perfect” are two more examples of why Feel Your Feelings Fool is such a blast.

The Regrettes are coming to Chicago for a gig at Schubas on April 2.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Past And Present Perfect

Photo by Larry Gross, from Phil Angotti’s Facebook page.

The Lilacs, Material Reissue, and The Bad Examples—the three acts in last Saturday’s immensely enjoyable triple bill at Metro—have their roots in the Chicago club scene of the early 1990s. Each has also gone on hiatus at some point. When The Lilacs hit the Metro stage this past weekend, it was the first time the band had performed in 25 years. It remains to be seen if The Lilacs will stick around, the way Material Reissue and The Bad Examples have been back with us for a while now.

Lead vocalist-guitarist Ken Kurson noted that playing Metro and sharing the bill with Material Reissue had a special significance for The Lilacs. The venue’s owner Joe Shanahan was an early supporter of the band, and the late Jim Ellison, vocalist for the original Material Issue, produced The Lilacs’ debut album, The Lilacs Rise Above The Filth. Even those unfamiliar with that record could easily embrace catchy songs like “Jennifer” and “Red Dress.” The bone-crunching and fun “It Seems Like Years Since I’ve Had Sex” was another highlight in a tightly performed reunion show that was given an enthusiastic hometown welcome.

Still, I suspect that Material Reissue was the main draw that evening. A combination of original band members drummer Mike Zelenko and bassist-vocalist Ted Ansani with Chicago club scene veteran singer-guitarist Phil Angotti, Material Reissue continues to perform occasionally after making its debut at the 2011 International Pop Overthrow - Chicago. Ellison’s songs remain power pop masterpieces, particularly the MTV staples “Valerie Loves Me” and “Diane.” “Kim The Waitress,” a Green Pajamas cover from Material Issue’s Freak City Soundtrack album, was also expertly delivered, along with gems like “Crazy,” “What Girls Want” and “Renee Remains The Same.”

Led by founding member/lead vocalist-guitarist Ralph Covert, The Bad Examples opened the evening with a flawless set that reached back to the band’s 1991 full-length debut Bad Is Beautiful (recently rereleased on vinyl) and up to the impressive 2011 comeback Smash Record. “Pictures Of A Masquerade” and “Kill Amanda” evoked Squeeze with strong melodies and Covert’s wry lyrics, while “Raspberry Jam” was a touching and catchy tribute to a late friend and band member. The Bad Examples closed with the rollicking “Not Dead Yet,” a local hit from Bad Is Beautiful that embodies the rebellious spirit of the Chicago music community.

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Slumgullion

Tickets went on sale today for the Elvis Costello And The Imposters Imperial Bedroom And Other Chambers concert on June 12 at the Huntington Bank Pavilion. Dawes will be the opening act.

Other shows currently on sale are Denny Laine (May 8) and Micky Dolenz (June 13 and 14) at City Winery Chicago; The Zombies (April 13 and 14) and Flat Five (June 9) at Thalia Hall; Nouvelle Vague (March 27) and New Pornographers (April 19) at Metro; and The Pixies at Chicago Theatre on October 8.

There’s a showcase at Metro tomorrow night featuring three bands that formed over 20 years ago but are still highly regarded. The Lilacs, led by singer-guitarist Ken Kurson, will be performing for the first time in quite a while. Material Reissue brought back original Material Issue members Ted Ansani and Mike Zelenko for a 2011 reunion gig at International Pop Overthrow - Chicago with singer-guitarist Phil Angotti replacing the late Jim Ellison. They’ve been playing the occasional gig around town ever since, such as opening for Matthew Sweet at Park West. The Bad Examples have been back together for a while now, even as singer-guitarist Ralph Covert continues his successful Ralph’s World career. The all-ages show is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m.

The schedule for this year’s International Pop Overthrow - Chicago at Red Line Tap is now available online and once again, a lot of long-time favorites will be involved. Some of the more familiar acts are Steve Dawson from Dolly Varden, Phil Angotti, Ellis Clark And The Big Parade, Trolley, The Artist Formally Known As Vince, The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, The Unswept, Dave Rave, The Collectors, Mike Vanderbilt And The Suburban Garage Sound, Metropoly, The Webstirs, Sex Ritter, Pop Dollys, The Red Plastic Buddha, The Jeremy Band, and The Romeros. Plus, there are always exciting new bands waiting to be discovered.

The 20th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival opened tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center with the U.S. Premiere of director Jameson Cucciardi’s romantic comedy 20,000 Reasons. The festival will offer 62 films from 28 countries through March 30.

The Britannicas have a new song penned by vocalist-bassist Herb Eimerman called “Real World Time” can be heard on vocalist-drummer Joe Algeri’s Bandcamp page. It will be on a various artists compilation titled 12 String High Vol. 2 on the Spanish label You Are The Cosmos this summer. Eimerman lives here in the Chicago area, Algeri resides in Australia, and through the marvels of modern technology, they record jangling power pop music together, along with the Swedish musicians Stefan Johansson and Magnus Karlsson.

The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles has a grand opening tonight for its Club Arcada Speakeasy And Showroom. It’s a Roaring Twenties themed collection of small performance spaces and bars—some with secret entrances. Club Arcada is located in the same building as The Arcada’s main stage, but on the third floor. The staff will wear “Gatsby Girls & Guys” attire and patrons are expected to look presentable, i.e. no t-shirts, beachwear, shorts, gym shoes, or ripped jeans. The decor reminds me of the Harlow’s club on Chicago’s southwest side back in the late 1970s, where you could catch some of the coolest bands on the club scene.

The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights is presenting its first play of 2017 with Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Metropolis. It runs through March18.

That issue of MOJO magazine with Ray Davi.es on the cover and a free Kinks tribute CD is now available in America. Most of the artists on Something Else - A Tribute To The Kinks turned in low key renditions of Kinks material, with the best efforts coming from Ty Segall on “Waterloo Sunset” and former Supergrass member Gaz Coombes on “This Time Tomorrow.”

Dave Davies from The Kinks will be coming to The Arcada in St. Charles on April 8.

The Sons Of The Silent Age David Bowie tribute band will be at Martyrs’ next Saturday, March 11.

There will be an International Woman’s Day art sale from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. next Saturday, March 11 at Bourdage Pearls on Ravenswood in Chicago. Local artist Brenda Goodbread Walker will be showing some of her work and there will be an acoustic performance by Graham Elvis. at 3:00 p.m.

The Heroes And Villains Fan Fest comes to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on the weekend of March 25 and 26, with special guests from several popular TV shows. Two-day passes for general admission are $90, Saturday only is $55, and Sunday is $45. Various forms of VIP packages are also available.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tomorrow The Moon - Blow, Mind, Blow

Tomorrow The Moon’s 2015 full-length debut was a 14-song adventure that followed the trajectory of two earlier and impressive EPs. The Chicago-based band had pursued a sci-fi identity from the start and Blow, Mind, Blow continued in that vein. It also offered other approaches and served as a starring role for vocalist-guitarist Steve Gerlach, a veteran of the Sons Of The Silent Age David Bowie tribute band and The Bad Examples.

“The Dying Game,” with its intriguing intro and ominous beat, was a prime example of how Tomorrow The Moon transplants listeners to other dimensions. “The Gun That Changed Everything” and “Strange Distance” had a similar atmospheric effect. “Just Wednesday Night,” on the other hand, was more eccentric and theatrical, while “Xpandora” would have been right at home in the 1980s techno scene.

Blow, Mind Blow was at its best on high energy tracks like “One Way Down” and “Everything They Said,” where Gerlach cut loose on guitar. The imaginative and careening “Miles Of Jenny” could have been a psychedelic hit single in the late 1960s. “Goodbye” was a less manic song that made the most of Tomorrow The Moon’s Brit-rock influences. Backed by a melodic arrangement, Gerlach proclaimed, “It’s high time we took to the sky. Goodbye.”

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Monday, February 27, 2017

The (Local) Concert For George

Photo by Frank Corpus, from Ary Paloma Jeebie's Facebook page.

Director David Leland’s 2003 documentary Concert for George played on a large screen in front of the stage as people entered Martyrs’ for the George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert this past Saturday night. Showing the film not only gave the audience something to look at while Ellis Clark and other Chicago area musicians worked to get the concert underway, it set the mood for what was to come. Like the superstar event that took place at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2002, the George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert in Chicago was a celebration of Harrison’s music as well as his decidedly cool and benevolent outlook on life.

Clark and his band The Big Parade, with special guest Ary Paloma Jeebie from the Amazing Heeby Jeebies, kicked things off with a set that included “Taxman,” “Old Brown Shoe,” and “Cry For A Shadow.” Sporting an Abraham Lincoln (or Ebenezer Scrooge) top hat, Clark and the elegantly dressed Ary Paloma Jeebie served as congenial and efficient hosts throughout the evening. They not only introduced each act, they often joined in the performances.

It became clear that all of these musicians were true Harrison fans; from The Twisted Roots playing “Badge,” which Harrison co-wrote with Eric Clapton for Cream’s Goodbye album, to Gunnar Cleemann offering a song from the Wonderwall soundtrack. Cleemann also covered “Beware Of Darkness” with help from Clark, and drew a burst of applause with the line, “Beware of greedy leaders, they’ll take you where you should not go.” Aethereal captured the eeriness of “Blue Jay Way,” as well as the silliness of “Savoy Truffle.”

Musicians drifted off and on the stage, but I believe it was a few members of Social Act that made the scathing “Piggies” even more fun by tossing in some Monty Pythonesque vocals. Phil Angotti joined Clark and Ary Paloma Jeebie on “Think For Yourself,” and there was a packed stage (including Mars Williams from The Psychedelic Furs) for a rollicking version of “Wah Wah.” The Handcuffs were in the midst of a set that included “Got My Mind Set On You,” “For You Blue” and “Bangladesh” when unfortunately, I had to leave to catch a train back home. At that point, there were still several acts that had yet to perform. Like George Harrison’s legacy, the George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert seemed like it could go forever.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Papers

Regrettes, we’ll have a few. Photo from The Regrettes Facebook page.

Congratulations to Ellis Clark and Ary Paloma Jeebie for hosting a truly fun George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert at Martyrs’ last night. Several local bands took part and the event ran smoothly while exuding a benevolent vibe I’m sure Mr. Harrison would have appreciated. I’m hoping to post a review some time this week.

The Regrettes have been creating a buzz on the L.A. club scene, and will be coming to Chicago for a show on April 2 at Schubas. On its new Feel Your Feelings Fool album, the band backs a two-fisted feminist message with catchy arrangements that mix vintage punk with the 1960s girl group sound. I’m hoping to post a review of the album some time this week.

Chicago Acoustic Underground, which helped make last night’s George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert at Martyrs’ a reality, used the event to debut its new printed publication Overdub. Issue 1 has features on singer-guitarist Anita Chase from The Lost Brigade and singer/trumpet player/composer Jeannie Tanner, as well as an illustration by Amazing Heeby Jeebies vocalist Ary Paloma Jeebie.

The Second Disc website recently reported on The Zombies’ Odessey And Oracle: 50th Anniversary Edition being released on March 17 by the Varese Vintyage label. This latest version includes seven bonus tracks that are alternate mixes of some of the album’s original tracks, and arrives just as The Zombies are in the midst of an Odessey And Oracle: 50th Anniversary tour.

Congratulations to former White Sox left hander Mark Buehrle on having his No. 56 jersey retired by the team. Buehrle compiled a 161-119 record with the Sox, and was chosen four times for the All-Star Game.

So that catchy song that jumped out at me on Emma Mac’s morning show on WXRT turns out to be “High Ticket Attractions” by The New Pornographers. The seven-member band’s next album, Whiteout Conditions, isn’t due out for a couple of months, but “High Ticket Attractions” is available to download now on iTunes, along with the also appealing “This Is The World Of Theatre.”

Kedi, director Ceyda Torun’s new documentary about the free-roaming but not necessarily feral cats in Istanbul, is currently running at the Music Box Theatre on Chicago’s north side.

Tickets are now on sale for Exhibitionism, a massive exhibit of artifacts from The Rolling Stones, that opens on Navy Pier April 15 and will run through July 30.

There will be an International Woman’s Day art sale from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on March 11 at Bourdage Pearls on Ravenswood in Chicago. Local artist Brenda Goodbread Walker will be showing some of her work and there will be an acoustic performance by Graham Elvis. at 3:00 p.m.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Slumgullion

It’s been a few years since the sci-fi/psychedelic band Tomorrow The Moon played a gig on the local scene. That could be because of vocalist-guitarist Steve Gerlach’s busy schedule since he’s also a member of the David Bowie tribute band Sons Of The Silent Age and has performed with The Bad Examples and Tommy Keene. Tomorrow The Moon will be at Live Wire tonight, along with the Boston-based prog rock/industrial trio Inaenona; The Florida Rooms, which is actually a three-piece folk/punk band from Chicago, and the local quintet Into Dust, whose Bandcamp page describes its music as “spooky and heavy.” Tomorrow The Moon’s latest album, the 14-song Blow, Mind Blow, is available on iTunes.

This Sunday will be the last opportunity to catch The Invention Of Morel while it’s at The Studebaker Theater in Chicago. Former Police drummer Stewart Copeland was commissioned to compose original music for this opera, which based on a novel by Adolfo Bioy Casares. Tickets range from $39 to $125.

Wilco will wrap up its Winterlude 2017 run at the Chicago Theatre tomorrow. The band released its latest album, Schmilco, in 2016.

Ellis Clark and The Big Parade featuring Ary Paloma Jeebie will be hosting a George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert tomorrow night at Martyrs’. Special guests include Mars Williams from The Psychedelic Furs, Carla Prather of Poi Dog Pondering, Phil Angotti, The Handcuffs, Aethereal, Social Act, The Polkaholics and Gunnar Cleermann all the way from Denmark. Admission is $12.

The American Writers Museum, which officially opens at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street on May 16, held its first press conference earlier this week. According to Steve Johnson’s piece in the Chicago Tribune, the museum will have 11,000 square feet of space for galleries honoring American writers. Upcoming exhibits include “Chicago Writers: Visionaries and Troublemakers” and “A Nation Of Writers.”

The Chicago Sun-Times recently reported that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield will have a new exhibit titled “Cubs vs. Cardinals: The Rivalry.” It will feature rare and important items from both teams dating back through their long histories, and was created with assistance from The National Baseball Hall Of Fame. No word yet on whether the Barack Obama Presidential Museum will have a Cubs vs. White Sox exhibit.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert

This coming Friday, February 24th would have been George Harrison’s 74th birthday and Chicago area Beatles fans will be able to have a fun time in his honor a day later at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. The George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert will be hosted on Saturday night by Ellis Clark and The Big Parade with guest Ary Paloma Jeebie from the garage/rockabilly band Amazing Heeby Jeebies. A founding member of Epicycle and Social Act, Clark is also a solo recording artist and producer.

Other performers include Mars Williams from The Psychedelic Furs; Carla Prather of Poi Dog Pondering; and singer guitarist Phil Angotti, who’s on the verge of releasing his latest solo effort. The Handcuffs, the coed indie band that’s led by vocalist-guitarist Chloe F. Orwell and drummer Brad Elvis (and once included Clark as a member), will also be on hand. Some of the other bands are Social Act, Aethereal, Rachel Drew, and The Polkaholics. There will also be a Silent Art Auction.

See the George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert Facebook page for a full list of the performers. Admission is $12 at the door, and proceeds will go to The Material World Charitable Foundation, which was founded by George Harrison in 1973.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

The Stones At Navy Pier And I Like It

The Rolling Stones will be planting a great big kiss on Chicago when the band’s Exhibitionism show arrives at Navy Pier on April 15 and keeps rocking through July 30. Featuring guitars, posters, film, fashion, personal notes, an art gallery and other memorabilia, Exhibitionism celebrates The Rolling Stones’ 50 years of dominating rock and roll. It draws from the personal collections of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood, and has previously been staged by the Aussie-based iEC Exhibitions! in London and New York.

As reported by Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune and Miriam Di Nunzio in the Chicago Sun-Times, Exhibitionism’s Chicago run was announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a press conference last Thursday. Our city’s legacy as the birthplace of blues, along with The Rolling Stones’ early recordings at Chess Records make Chicago an obvious destination for this touring exhibit. Johnson quotes Navy Pier CEO Marilyn Gardner’s reason for wanting to be involved.

“We are redeveloping the pier not only physically but programmatically, and this is part of the new Navy Pier.”

Exhibitionism will no doubt remind some Chicago rock fans of the David Bowie Is exhibit that ran at The Museum of Contemporary Art in 2014. That event kicked off with the David Bowie tribute band Sons Of The Silent Age playing an afternoon concert at Daley Plaza, and according to Johnson, there will be Rolling Stones cover bands performing at the Navy Pier beer gardens throughout Exhibitionism’s visit. Tickets range from $25 – $35 for adults and $20 – $22 for kids 6 to 16.

This could be the first time I’ll be buying souvenirs at Navy Pier.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Slumgullion

This coming February 24th would have been George Harrison’s 74th birthday, and there are some fun shows coming up in his honor. WXRT air personality Terri Hemmert will celebrate George Harrison's birthday on her Breakfast With The Beatles show this Sunday morning on from 8 to 10 a.m.

Congratulations to Breakfast With The Beatles contributor Professor Moptop on reaching his Kickstarter goal to fund his Textbook Beatles Vol. 1 project. 

Ellis Clark and The Big Parade featuring Ary Paloma Jeebie will be hosting a a George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert on February 25 at Martyrs’. Special guests so far include Mars Williams from The Psychedelic Furs, Carla Prather of Poi Dog Pondering, Phil Angotti, The Handcuffs, Aethereal, Social Act, The Polkaholics and Gunnar Cleermann all the way from Denmark. Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

If you want to impress the musicians at the Martyrs’ George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert, tell them you ordered one of the limited-run, numbered and estate-stamped copies of I Me Mine – The Extended Edition from the U.K.-based Genesis Publications. This elite, updated take on the quiet Beatle’s 1981 autobiography is printed on Italian art paper and comes in a boxed set that includes an exclusive vinyl record. The price is £245.00. Or you can go with the far less elaborate version for $36.81 on Amazon.

Chicago sci-fi rockers Tomorrow The Moon perform their first show in about a year when they open for the Boston-based InAeona trio next Friday, February 24 at Live Wire. Tomorrow The Moon’s latest album, the 14-song Blow, Mind Blow, is available on iTunes.

Psychedelic Saturday takes place February 25 at Live Wire. The Red Plastic Buddha, a band on the front lines of Chicago’s vibrant psyche scene, will host Diagonal, Lord Stanley, and Duende.

The hard-hitting English band The Godfathers is back in action with A Big Bad Beautiful Noise, its first album since 2014. As noted by critic Tim Stegall in his review for Magnet, The Godfathers regrouped eight years ago, although lead vocalist Pete Coyle is the only original member. Stegall gave A Big Bad Beautiful Noise nine out of ten possible stars.

Other new albums include Live In Paris by Sleater-Kinney and Reflection by Brian Eno.

The Hollies have released a six-CD box set titled Head Out Of Dreams: The Complete Hollies August 1973  – May 1988. It includes official recordings from the band throughout that time period, as well as a 24-page booklet and the previously unreleased "You’re All Woman" and "You Gave Me Strength." .

Critically acclaimed and beguiling indie rock artist St. Vincent is the official Ambassador for Record Store Day this year. The annual springtime event (there’s also a Black Friday version in November) is now in its tenth year of offering exclusive, one-day only treasures on vinyl. RSD takes place on April 22.

Streetwise, the Chicago publication dedicated to providing income to the homeless as well as a path back to productive lives, is holding a 21-and-older Karaoke Fundraiser on March 4 at 3415 N. Clark. The $25 admission includes unlimited well drinks, drafts, and shot specials. There will raffles, and participants get 25% off the entire food menu.

Tickets went on sale today for the intriguing double bill of the Psychedelic Furs and Robyn Hitchcock on April 8 at Thalia Hall. Other shows that went on sale today include Laurie Anderson at Old Town School Of Folk Music on April 6; Joe Ely at SPACE on May 4; Steve Forbert at SPACE on May 19; and Screaming Females with Metz at Empty Bottle on March 4.

Now that the band Take Me has reunited, it should be interesting to see what kind of shows they’ll play on the Chicago area club scene. Back in its heyday, Take Me put together a playlist of cover versions that incorporated up-and-coming power pop bands like Shoes, 20/20, The Paul Collins Beat, and Ian Lloyd. In fact, I discovered some of my favorite bands of that genre via Take Me gigs.

The 33 – A Cabinet of Curious Characters New Works by by MaM! exhibition continues its at the Rotofugi Designer Toy Store and Gallery at 2780 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago through February 26.

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