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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